Hypocrisy against Asian Students

It’s a stereotype, the Asian-American parents who push their children to excel in school, I’ve experienced it to some degree but I rebelled against my parents wishes, (they wanted me to go to Law School), instead I ran away to California straight after college.

The pressure of not feeling good enough is strong in many Asian-American children. Getting a B is not good enough, getting straight A’s is. I’ve heard that the pressure is even worse for Koreans in South Korea, kids even commit suicide over admissions rejections because their entire future depends on going to prestigious schools. The guilt and burden of disappointing parents that sacrificed for their children’s well-being is huge. I live with a lot of guilt, of not being the person that my long-suffering immigrant parents intended me to be. Much of my self-imposed self-criticism comes from this root cause.

This doesn’t surprise me, Harvard is for the privileged children of Elites, with a few scholarships thrown in to look good for their statistics.

Do I think affirmative action is a good policy? I think it needs to be adjusted. The cause of inequity is still not being addressed and certain minorities, Asians are shouldering the burden of policies that raise a token few up, push the majority of others down and keep the white dominant culture as the status quo.

Merit should be the predominant deciding factor regardless of the color of your skin, the shape of your eyes, your gender, or your age. Asian students’ SAT scores should not have to be 200 points higher than black, hispanic or marginalized ethnic groups that receive credit for their societal disadvantage. Asians are not allowed in to white privileged culture, they’re discriminated against on both sides of the battlefield. I’m sick of being silent about this issue.

21 Comments

  1. Good to know about South Korean students as I am now tutoring a young man from there. He’s only here for 6 months, but plans on returning. I have him for 3 hours a week for the next 8 weeks, We have much to work on, but fortunately his English learned in South Korea is quite advanced.

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    1. That sounds cool, Dennis. I’m think you’d be a good tutor. I think many Korean students study aboard in the US, I’m not sure how intense the competition is for students to get into the prestigious schools in Korea currently but I heard it was very high years ago, much more so than for US students who have more options here. Yes, I think most South Koreans study English in secondary school and beyond. Many American words have even replaced Korean words, that’s how prevalent it is in the culture. Some of my childhood/high school friends went to Ivy League schools, but they also went to private schools, had specific SAT studies and had tutors.

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    1. Thank you for sharing this information about the admissions requirement issue. It sounds very illogical, since it’s a specialized public school. When I was growing up there was a program in public schools called “gifted and talented”, the top students were in the program which had more challenging curriculum. I was a part of that program, it was like a free version of private school. I think they should bring that or something similar back. In the NYC school mentioned in the clip, the outcry was over discrimination, (too many Asians in the school), but the Asian students were from poor families, not middle class or wealth. It’s like the PC ideals have a blind spot or are hypocritical, they seem to ignore that Asians are still a disadvantaged minority but aren’t given any extra support, they’re penalized actually.

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      1. It appears they are judging people differently even though they have similar socio economic statuses and both fall under minority status. I think they consider Asians in these situations the same status as whites. I think what they are trying to get is the same percentages of different minority groups represented in the schools as is represented in the population in the city. In the past it has always been take the top students as based on the entrance exam. I know people are fighting it. I think they can only accomplish their goal by removing the entrance exams.

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      2. Hi Sharon, that’s an interesting idea, removing the exams, some colleges don’t require them. I agree that the schools seem to want their diversity to reflect the population, but it doesn’t seem right to choose based on quotas, (they deny having quotas). I think you’re right, Asians seem to be grouped with Caucasians but it’s not fair because they receive discrimination that most white people haven’t experienced. I often feel invisible as an Asian, not included in minority rights and not included in the mainstream white-centric culture that I’ve adapted to, I still feel like people see me as a foreigner, (I’d be a foreigner in South Korea too, sadly ironic). There are many Asians that live in poverty in the many Chinatown areas in major cities, but they quietly cope without assistance. I think merit is non-negotiable, but many don’t agree with that. Thank you for your comment.

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      3. You would think poverty would be figured into it, as it can be the big equalizer. I know Korean children born in the US while their parents pursued advanced degrees usually could not attend regular Korean schools as their Korean language skills were judged to be sub par. Most ended up attending International schools in Taejon and Seoul. I know Ivy leagues are trying to limit Asian acceptances. I think some already do.

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      4. I remember the big day when they had to go to the university of their choice to take the National exams. If they did not meet that schools cut off score they were not accepted. Students in middle school and high school did not have a social life. They might shrink lunch and dinner with them to school and not get home until 9 at night. They either attended study halls at school or their parents paid for them to go to different cram schools for different subjects after school.

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      5. Hi Sharon, I somehow accidentally deleted a wonderful comment you left about a survivor who escaped North Korea, I approved your comment, responded and then pushed the wrong button somehow, I’m sorry. I appreciate your thoughts and enjoy the information and perceptions that you share.

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      6. Basically a woman named Sook Nyul Choi wrote about her life in three books aimed at children, but adults could learn from them. The first book is called Year of Impossible Goodbyes. It starts with her talking about life in what is now North Korea during Japanese occupation. She was a child at the time. The story moves through the Russians forcing the Japanese out of Northern Korea and what life was like under the communists. Then her family decides to try to flee across the border. Not all make it. They reunite in Seoul. The next book is about their life in a a short time period in Soul then the Korea War breaks out. She flees with her mother and younger brother to Pusan and they live in a shack on the side of a mountain during the war. Her brothers and father joined the army while they were fleeing. After the war she finds out who survived and she finishes high school in Seoul as they try to rebuild. She ends up going to university in America and stays teaching in the NYC schools if I remember correctly. I would say it is a must read. A lot of insight into what life is like during war and for refugees.

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  2. I can sympathize over parental pressure to go to law school.

    My mother wanted me to go to law school.

    I wanted to be a teacher like my dad.

    My dad was fine with whatever choice I made.

    My mother and I fought cats and dogs in my last year of undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Arts over the direction I should take.

    Me wanting to take a post-degree in the Faculty of Education.

    My mother wanting me to go to law school.

    The end result was eventually neither one of us got what we wanted – I somehow wound up in the field of journalism.

    And since I refused to adopt the slanted ideological bias of whatever periodical or publication I was working for, I eventually found myself out of work most of the time.

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    1. Parents often mistake financial stability/success with happiness. I do feel guilty for promising my older brother, (who I greatly respect) that I’d go to law school but then I just ran away after college. I think maybe I could’ve been a good lawyer but I had no interest in it. I don’t regret not becoming a lawyer, but I regret disappointing my family. Your dad sounds like he was a cool person; parents should support their kids to pursue their own dreams not their parent’s. Teaching’s a noble profession but it wasn’t my dream. I wanted to be an artist. 👩🏻‍🎨✍️

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