November 24, 2004

The Asian Myth

The success of Asians in America is simply a smoke and mirror magician trick being played on the ignorant. This is not to say that the success of Asians in America, in regards to education and household incomes, is a fallacy. The fallacy of the Asian story comes from comparing their performance and success with the aggregate performance of Americans in general and other races in America in particular.

This week, a Hmong man from South East Asia killed six hunters in the woods of Wisconsin. This act certainly does not fit the image held of Asians by most Americans. In fact, the Hmong community in Minnesota is the largest outside their native country. This community has existed in Minnesota since the early seventies, the product of the war in Vietnam. The Hmong fought of the side of the USA against the communist in South East Asia. The communist won the war and the Hmong lives were threatened and hence many were brought to the USA as refugees.

The Hmong are an interesting case study. If one looks at their educational attainment and income levels, it falls far below the average and median performance of the Asian population in the USA. Thee is also a high level of violence, from street gang related violence, to domestic violence, in the Hmong community in Minnesota, along with their high levels of poverty. Many live in public housing projects and poor communities in St. Paul Minnesota inner city.

So what makes the Hmongs performance in America so much different from than the performance of the Asian community in general? The primary answer to that question is based upon how they arrived here. There is big difference between the performance of immigrants who come as refugees, as opposed to those who come legally through the office of immigration. Those Asians who come by virtue of visas represents a filtering processes that has resulted in selecting the best and the brightest or the most ambitious into this nation. On the other hand, refugees are not filtered into the country based upon education or financial means and hence selects a more representative reflection of the reality of their native peoples.

It is this filtering process, by the US immigration department, along with some other factors, which results in the filtering into this nation the best and brightest and the most motivated from other nations. This is true for all those groups who enter into this nation legally, including the Africans, the West Indies and other places. One simply has to ask the question “how did they manage to get here, when so many others from their nation would like to come also.” These immigrants, in most cases, represents the elites, in regards to education, income and motivation, of their native countries.

These filtered elites are then used to play on the credulous of ignorant people by juxtaposing their success against the totality of the African Americans in this nation. The goal of this juxtaposing is to make the claim that African Americans are simply lazy and irresponsible and hence the major source of their problems. The Asian is then used as a template of what is can be accomplished by a minority group in America…if they are willing to work hard.

Not to take anything away from Asians, but some of the statistics in regards to income is misleading. For example, it is often noted that the Income of Asians is higher than that of white Americans. Again, this ignores that the Asian population are filtered elites and should outperform the general population of any group, barring discrimination. However, the truth of the matter is that most Asians are concentrated in the states and metropolitan areas with the highest cost of living and hence with the highest rates of pay. Most educated people know that the typical professional in Mississippi earns less than the typical professional in California or New York. Most Asians are concentrated in those two states, where incomes are higher. Hence, their national incomes appear inflated relative to other groups whose populations are dispersed more evenly throughtout the nation.

In conclusions, people should not allow themselves to fall victims to the smoke and mirrors statistics in regards to the Asian population, especially when they are being juxtaposed against the general population of other groups.

13 Comments:

At 2:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Erick - NY

"It is this filtering process, by the US immigration department, along with some other factors, which results in the filtering into this nation the best and brightest and the most motivated from other nations. This is true for all those groups who enter into this nation legally, including the Africans, the West Indies and other places. One simply has to ask the question “how did they manage to get here, when so many others from their nation would like to come also.” These immigrants, in most cases, represents the elites, in regards to education, income and motivation, of their native countries."

Interesting theory, but very untrue. None of what you said can be backed up by facts, and if you believe you can do so then please post what you are basing your theory on.

 
At 4:54 PM, Blogger EG said...

I think what is referred to by immigration vs. refugee is that an immigrant typically come to America for a better life and has made a mental commitment to work for it. A refugee comes based on political considerations.

Today's immigration process typically starts when a family member comes to America for education or for temporary employment (H1-B VISA). Once here, the VISA can be extended until the person decides to get a 'Green Card'. That process takes several years until final immigrant status is given. During this, any infraction with the law may cause the immigrant to be deported. Once citizenship is granted, the new America can sponsor relatives.

A refugee comes here based on his status in the native country is almost life threatening. The declaration of refugee status is not based on education or income but on the relationship of the US and the refugee’s native land. Problems with the law would not mean deportation.

Today, Vietnam citizens would not be considered refugees whereas in the 1970-80s, they were.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

It only stands to reason that educated people immigrating to the USA will do better than uneducated people in the USA, barring ethnic or racial discrimination. There, were about 4000 Hmong, who were living in Cambodia and being treated badly, who were given citizenship in the USA. This happened this year and they are considered refugees. They certainly did not come over on HB1 Visas, educational visas or the visa lottery.

 
At 7:12 PM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

The fact remains that even though the Asian population of the United States is relatively small, statistically the income and educational level of Asians ON AVERAGE is higher than that of even White folks in this country.

Is it possible that the term "Asian" is a broad brush? Asian includes Chinese, Japanese, Indian as well as Cambodian. Just like with any other race of people there are different classes and associated wealth among them.

The phenomenon of the immigrant out performing the American natives is not restricted to Asians. Ivy League schools which have a very competitive admissions policy have their population of individuals that are of African descent with 2/3s coming from the Caribbean or Africa instead of native African Americans. (And No Faheem, I do not view Ivy League Schools as the ultimate reference for success only pointing out the high level of competition for admissions.

 
At 8:24 PM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Did you pay attention or comprehend the conclusion of the essay Renaldo? I explained why these imigrants perform above average. I guarantee you that elite African Americans who immigrate to other nations will far better than the general population of the nation that the immigrated to. Taks South African for example. There are many African Americans living and working in SA, and their incomes and education is far above the native Black SA. Are these african Americans in SA a microcosm of blacks in the USA...no they are not and neither are the filtered elite Asians who come to the USA either. It does not take a rocket scientist to see this..only an open and objective mind.

 
At 2:57 AM, Blogger Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]I guarantee you that elite African Americans who immigrate to other nations will far better than the general population of the nation that the immigrated to.[/quote]

I have first hand experience with this situation. My wife is an immigrant from Jamaica. Having spent the past Chirstmas week at the home of her brother in Kingston (notice not at a beach resort) I can assure you that they were not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. No hot water, no air conditioning and cramped quarters. Still the house was one of the cleanest I have ever been in. Proving once again that poverty does not equate to uncleanliness.

I spend more of my family time socializing with her Jamiacan friends and family more than I do Americans. The majority of these friends are some type of professionals, in my view, at a higher proportion of what I see among Black Americans in general.

Though Jamaica is a relatively poor country it seems to me that many of the people down there have the concept of self-governance ingrained more than does the average America. In Jamaica the "THEY" that African-Americans like to refer to (ie: "THEY" don't want a Brother having sh_t is none other than a fellow Black Jamaican who runs the country). When they come to America after understanding how much they didn't have in their homeland they appear to be more appreciative because of the contrast and tend to take more full advantage of this open opportunity that this country provides.

Now I am sure that somewhere in the back of some of your minds the view that "Black Americans were harmed by slavery" as the main crux of your argument. Yet the people of Jamaica and other properous Caribbean nations had a similar fate of slavery.

We need to focus on the culture that is alive today and how to filter the negative items that span the synapse of generations as parents indoctrinate their child in their ways, allowing more of the positive to be communicated. None of us can change the past. The future is all that we have control over based on what we do in the present.

 
At 5:32 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Renaldo...you forgot to put you name in that last thread. Please do not use your personal example to make a point. My brother in law is a Jamaican who happens to be a part-time drug dealer and part time dead beat dad. He is also one of Kingstons finest. He has not had a steady job in years....he wants to keep many differnt women...although he is married. So you are not the only one with an inside scoop.

Again, one simply has to ask the question "how did they make it over and others did not". It is like the natural selection process of Darwin. With so many people wanting to come to America...only those with some sort of ADVANTAGE actually make it. That advantage may be financial, education, drive, willingess to take risk or all of the above. The advatage that allowed them to beat out the competition thus works to their advantage when the get to America.

My brother-in-law is intelligent, aggressive and a hustler...and those traits works to your advantage in capitalism.

the "They" in Jamaica are those blacks who work in step with the dictates of the "Queen Mother", their former colonial masters. the "They" are akin to who we call Negro-Cons and House Negroes.

 
At 10:45 PM, Blogger Natural Mystic said...

First,

Noah and Faheem, you two guys are the most astute and articulate brothers blogging. Period.

Second,

“The success of Asians in America is simply a smoke and mirror magician trick being played on the ignorant.”


The smoke and mirror magician trick is really a technique used in the art of magic and propaganda called MISDIRECTION. In magic, misdirection is used to get people to look physically and mentally in the desired direction, while another action is performed. How do I know, I am a African American magician with over 25 years experience in the art of Illusion. Coupled with that, I am a retired Persian Gulf War I veteran that served in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. Also, I was able to obtain messages and newspapers of the Brother Minister while serving in those areas. I am putting a magic show together to illustrate how propaganda is used in politics to deceive the masses, in time for Black History. This blog has provided a wealth of presentational ideas for my upcoming shows.

Third,

This is a prime example of misdirection:

“The goal of this juxtaposing is to make the claim that African Americans are simply lazy and irresponsible and hence the major source of their problems. The Asian is then used as a template of what is can be accomplished by a minority group in America…if they are willing to work hard.”

Keep up the good work.

 
At 11:34 PM, Blogger Natural Mystic said...

another example of misdirection:

"If you give a man the correct information for seven years, he may believe the incorrect information on the first day of the eighth year when it is necessary, from your point of view, that he should do so. Your first job is to build the credibility and the authenticity of your propaganda, and persuade the enemy to trust you although you are his enemy."

A Psychological Warfare Casebook Operations Research Office Johns Hopkins University Baltimore (1958)

"There's a war out there old friend, a world war, and it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information: about how we think, how we see and hear, how we work. It's all about information."

"Sneakers", MCA Universal Pictures, 1992

A very good site for the study of propaganda:

http://www.psywarrior.com

http://www.psywarrior.com/sexandprop.html
http://www.psywarrior.com/quotes.html

"

 
At 7:08 AM, Blogger Scott said...

You guys all miss the point. When people talk about Asian success they are not saying that they all are great. They are saying that on average they are more successful. And they are. All you are saying in the post is that some asian fail. BFD. And you pointing out that immigrants are more successful in general also a well known fact.

You have done nothing to refute the basic fact that Asian are more succesful than blacks. Its a fact.

And it primarily comes from being more educated.
Currently 50% of thier men have 4 years of college under their belt. 16% of black men (that is a scary low number i wasn't aware of).

http://encarta.msn.com/media_701500940/Educational_Attainment_by_Race_Hispanic_Origin_and_Sex_in_the_United_States.html

Educational attainment is directly correlated to employement.

ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/lf/aat7.txt

Notice that Asian unemployment rate for college graduates is the same a blacks. But they have Over 3 times as many people in that group.

Anyway, thanks for continuing to make excuses for black American. Without someone to blame we might have to get off our asses and work.

 
At 8:06 AM, Blogger shannon said...

Most black people I know work just as hard as whites and Asians. We are doing the best that we can. I do not see how understanding the facts makes us not work. If I believe that Asians are naturally superior to me, wouldn't that demotivate me more than knowing that that is a lie, and that blacks are just as good as anyone else?

But if I see the truth, I'll be able to work harder and achieve my goal. (to go to grad school and become a psychologist in my case) So it's important to be able to tell that truth, I think.

 
At 10:43 AM, Blogger Noah TA said...

Scott...I bet you that I can find African Americans that are doing just as good, if not better, than every single Asian in America. I will bet you that. These are the ELITE african Americans being compared against the ELITE Asians. You are trying to compare an ELITE subset of Asian peoples,or immigrants, with the total superset of black America. That is an unfair comparison. I have already established the general rule of how the Immigration department filters this subset of Asians from their native lands. One of the main reasons that so many underdeveloped nations stay underdeveloped...is due to the brain and talent drain to the West. If a nations best, brightest and most motivated leave for America...those nations can never rise. On the otherside, those elite individuals SHOULD come over to America and do better than the average or mean of the superset of other ethnic groups in America.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Faheem said...

LOL, Scott is really a sick dude. When presented with facts he go out to find information that prove Black folk are a bunch no good niggers. I can just imagine what he type in his search engine when looking for this info; "Black people are inferior" "Black people are the worst human beings on earth". It has to be difficult being Black and then thinking Black people are dumb and there is no way we are a great and wonderful people.

 

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