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Model Minority – What I Hear When You Say

In our endless quest for our true identities and where we belong from within, it is important to understand how to filter out certain stigmas the world tends to enforce on us. Frankly speaking, stigmas tend to get to us the most when they’re coming from a large group of people and agreed upon on a global scale. This on its own is a good enough reason to make us as individuals stop and reflect momentarily: “Why is it only me who finds something wrong about what the majority is imposing?” In Model Minority, an episode published in the series of “ What I Hear When You Say”, I was surprised to see how they define this term and apply it onto many examples that I have personally heard of. The episode discusses the idea of “Model Minority ” being a man made term used to divide communities and allow certain groups of the society to suffer altogether from immigration problems, vast unemployment rates and continuous discrimination because of how they look. In the video, asian americans were interviewed to express their struggles with racial discrimination and how they tend to always fight the consequences among other groups they do not necessarily relate to such as latinos, gay communities and black people. In that regard, one gets to ask themselves if those communities are shaped to suffer together in the first place with all the different backgrounds they all come from. Similarly, the same idea was proposed in the TED Talk: “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Ask Me Where I’m Local”. Personally, I believe that this video could act as a counter argument for what has been proposed in the episode. This is due to the fact that the speaker tends to propose several different solutions by which an individual could alter the way they can view other communities of the world. For instance, she states that we as human beings are shaped to be multilocal and have a tendency to define ourselves according to the experiences we have been through and the people we’ve met. Although the history of our country of origin will always be the same, yet one mustn’t restrict an individual with their country’s logic of the state. As different generations cease to exist, it is important to understand how different identities tend to evolve and overlap creating authentic beings that are not limited to the nationalities they have on their passports. In fact, in the “Model Minority” episode, one of the interviewees said “If one of us is oppressed, none of us are free”. Personally, I believe the true definition that would object to this quote and the idea of model minorities would come from the Ted Talk when she mentioned how true identities are shaped saying: “You can take away my passport, but you can’t take away my experiences, that is what I carry within me”.

Link to “Model Minority” video:

Link to TED Talk “Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From, Ask Me Where I’m Local”:


One response to “Model Minority – What I Hear When You Say”

  1. I like the connections you made to the “don’t ask me where I’m from” video – although I don’t think you’ve expressed the idea of model minority well here…


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