Say It Louder “Model Minority” is just another tool of oppression
Neha Sampat is a lawyer, belonging strategist, speaker & trainer.
The Model Minority Myth lauds Asian-Americans as somehow superior to other minorities and parades them as proof of meritocracy and the American Dream: If you work hard, you will succeed. In doing so, the Myth creates a false racial hierarchy, placing Asian-Americans right below White-Americans and above all other racial minorities, thereby serving as a tool of oppression of all other minorities, and more broadly, as a manifestation of White supremacy that harms all minorities, including Asian-Americans. It is a form of the colonial “divide-and-conquer” strategy of oppression that pits one minority group against the other to sustain the power and privilege of the colonizers. It plays out in its harm societally and personally, but it also causes tangible harm in the workplace and to different minorities in different ways as they navigate their careers and their lives.
Right from recruitment, the Model Minority Myth is used as a tool of oppression and exclusion. Whether intentional or unconscious, many organizations and recruiters are relieved to find Asian-American applicants because doing so allows them to “check the diversity box” without having to confront their own anti-Black, anti-Latinx, and/or anti-Indigenous bias. In this way, Asian-Americans sometimes are recruited as “diversity candidates” and showcased as “diversity hires” by organizations that are not truly diverse. And the idea of checking the diversity box of course means that this type of hiring of Asian-Americans is a form of tokenism, whereby the Asian-Americans hired are not valued for their unique skillsets, experiences, and perspectives, but are valued merely for their identities as Asian-Americans and the optics they provide, which ends up stifling their authentic engagement in their work. Then of course, the employment data showing greater employment of Asian-Americans than other racial groups, perpetuates the Myth itself: “Well, see, these Asians have no problem finding a job; why can’t other minorities be more like them?”
Read the Story on LinkedIn
Less of This The right wing legal movement won’t stop at Roe
The right-wing attack on abortion will not end with abortion.
Defenders of Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion that would overrule Roe v. Wade say otherwise. They say that because Alito explicitly states that his opinion “does not undermine” other cases that rely on a right to privacy, like Obergefell v. Hodges, which established a right to same-sex marriage, then it’s fair to say that it doesn’t.
I think this is wrong — not just because of the logic of Alito’s opinion, but because of the logic of the political movement that ultimately produced his ruling.
The central argument in Justice Alito’s draft opinion is that the 14th Amendment protects only those unenumerated rights (meaning rights not stated explicitly in the text of the Constitution) that are “deeply rooted in this nation’s history and tradition” and “implicit in the concept of ordered liberty” (Alito is referring here to the court’s decision in Washington v. Glucksberg). It is mainly for this reason that the right to an abortion — which, in Alito’s telling, was not recognized in the United States before the 20th century — lies outside the scope of constitutional protection.
To establish this, Alito looks to the law as it existed in 1868, when the 14th Amendment took effect. Roe roots the right to an abortion in its due process clause, but Alito finds statutes “making abortion a crime” in 27 of what were then the nation’s 37 states. Thus, he concludes, lawmakers couldn’t have had abortion in mind when drafting, passing and ratifying the amendment.
Read the story on NY Times
Speaking Of… Justice Alito cites a judge who believed women were witches and property
Jill Elaine Hasday is a distinguished McKnight university professor and the centennial professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School.
In his recently leaked draft majority opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. presents what he sees as his most convincing arguments for permitting legislatures to ban abortion. So what is the best Alito can do? One of his prominent strategies is to repeatedly quote and discuss someone he describes as a “great” and “eminent” legal authority, Sir Matthew Hale.
Most Americans have probably never heard of Hale, an English judge and lawyer who lived from 1609 to 1676. Hale was on the bench so long ago that his judgeship included presiding over a witchcraft trial where he sentenced two “witches” to death.
Nonetheless, we are still living in the world that Hale helped create. And as that witchcraft trial suggests, Hale’s influence has not been a “great” development if you believe women have equal humanity with men.
Read the Story on Washington Post
Perspective The death of Roe will tear this country apart
In his draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito blamed that 1973 abortion decision for sparking “a national controversy that has embittered our political culture for a half century.” He quoted Justice Antonin Scalia: “Roe fanned into life an issue that has inflamed our national politics in general, and has obscured with its smoke the selection of justices to this court in particular, ever since.”
As a matter of history, the idea that Roe ignited America’s culture wars is, at best, a distortion. The 7-2 decision was not nearly as politically divisive when it was decided as it is today. Catholics opposed it, but many conservative evangelicals did not; the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution calling for legal abortion in some circumstances in 1971, and then reaffirmed it in 1974. As the Dartmouth historian Randall Balmer has argued, evangelical leaders didn’t seize on Roe until the contemporary religious right began to coalesce at the end of the 1970s, largely in response to the I.R.S. stripping segregated Christian schools of their tax exemptions.
But even if Roe had let loose the forces ripping this country apart, its end still wouldn’t bring détente. Instead, the demise of Roe will exacerbate America’s antagonisms, creating more furious legal rifts between states than we’ve seen in modern times.
Read the story on NY Times
Asian Americans in the legal profession survey
The Portrait Project is an ongoing study that documents the experiences and perspectives of Asian Americans in the legal profession.
Take survey >
Transgender Law Center hiring legal fellow
The position is within the Border Butterflies project and will provide direct legal support to LGBTQ asylum seekers living in the United States.
Apply here >