This week we heard from Pastor Fred Mok and learned about what the “model minority” means for Asian American Studies.

 

Fred Mok:

“So it’s almost like the story of being Christian paralleled the immigrant experience.  You do the best you can, you try hard, you get a good education, you make it.  And that’s kind of like what it means to be a Christian also….I began to realize that Christianity was much deeper and more powerful than I had realized.  It was more than “Jesus loves you”—there’s a richness and a complexity….God cares about us and…God the Father wants to re-parent us.”

“I would say it didn’t really hit me until my parents began to change.   And I got to witness throughout college that my dad….my dad’s change was probably the most dramatic.  Actually both my parents.   My mom always very moody and temperamental, and I witnessed how she really got control of her temper, became much more gentle.  And my dad…became more emotionally involved with us, he became less judgmental and critical.   He was more accepting; he would even give us encouragement; he would say positive things about us, and we had never experienced that.”

 

What is meant by “model minority?”

“Model minority comes from the 1960s, [a] time of racial upheaval: Civil Rights movement with its violent and non-violent strands.  All racial groups in upheaval except for one group: Japanese Americans…They are succeeding, and even out-whiting the whites.”

“Despite the “model minority’s” positivity, we are still regarded as perpetual foreigners….We are not mainly “one” static culture.  We have a range of values on family and work. [And this view]  will lead to our material and social disadvantage.  If you don’t need help, you don’t need public funding, assistance, health care, etc.”

 

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