Asian Myths

Myth 1: Asians arrived later to Americas for gold in the mid-1800s

“Asians had been migrating to the Americas along with the Spanish colonizers dating back to the 1560s and the Manila Galleon Trade that brought Chinese and other Asian luxury goods, spices, jewels to New Spain. And along with those goods came about 40 to 100,000 Asians, Filipinos, Chinese, South Asians, coming as sailors, coming as slaves and coming as servants.”

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Myth 2: Asian Americans are the model minority.

Projected to be the largest immigrant group by 2055, Asian Americans are extremely diverse with a wide range of experiences in America including more than 20 countries of origins, and more than 800 spoken languages. They are not all wealthy, highly educated or documented. Many experience systematic racism and face challenges to fulfill their dreams in this country. The model minority myth generates unbearable stress on Asian American youths while at the same time make Asian Americans invisible and silent. The model minority myth also is used to create tension between Asian and Black communities. It overlooked the efforts that the Black Americans fought for the immigration reforms in 1965 that led to many Asian immigrants. It also erases the systematic anti-Black racist laws and blames African American individuals for their plight caused by the unfair treatment from the past to the present.

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Myth 3: Asian parents are tiger parents.

This stereotype is not only untrue but also further sustains the false image of Asians being less warm. Asian parents practice more than one style of parenting. This harmful stereotype also dismisses the cultural complexity across contexts behind various parenting styles in the Asian communities.

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Myth 4 Asian Americans are politically apathetic.

Asian Americans have traditionally been viewed as less involved in the politics. In reality, many Asian Americans were actively participated in political movements working closely with African Americans and Latinx Americans during the civil rights movements. There have also been more Asian Americans holding offices in the United States.

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Black Myths

Myth 1: Black people feel less pain.

The myth is so pernicious and its effects are lived by Black Americans in their daily lives. From having to wait longer to see the doctors, receiving under-treatment, to having higher risks of maternal mortality, this false belief adds to the long term systematic unequal access to healthcare and further threatens Black people’s wellbeing in America. On average, Black patients have around 25% longer wait time than White patients to receive medical care. The maternal mortality rate for non-Hispanic Black women was 3.55 times that for non-Hispanic White women.

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Myth 2: Black women give births excessively.

There has been a long-held prejudice and racist regulations toward Black women and their bodies. One is about the high birthrate of African American women. In reality, from June 2020-June 2021, non-Hispanic Black women had a 5% negative birth rate compared to that of non-Hispanic White women. All minority races have a lower birth rate than that of White women. During the time period, the U.S. birth rate increased 0.09%. Black pregnant women experienced much judgement and psychological stress because of heavy stigmas placed on them.

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Myth 3: Black people have themselves to blame for being poor.

Black Americans experience a higher level of poverty. According to Survey of Consumer Finances data, the median Black family has $24,100 in wealth, compared to the $189,100 in wealth owned by the typical White family. However, this phenomenon has a long history out of control by African American individuals. Instead of accusing the morality of those who have been affected by long standing racial violence, a more critical question is how we got here? When Black Americans, against all odds, built wealth from their hard work, their achievements were taken. Their intelligence and innovation are not given credit but robbed away from them. For example, when Onesimus, an African man, shared with his slave owner, essentially the method of inoculation that helped to mitigate smallpox in the 1700s. Him or his offspring never were benefited from his ingeniousness. When Black people built wealthy and thriving communities, they faced sudden and violent attacks such as the racial cleansing of Forsyth County, Ga., in 1912. Since the 20th century, millions of acres of African American-owned land were stolen from them. Between the 1860s and 1920s, White Americans pushed Black people out of communities that they had established. Until the 1970s, Black Americans were still fighting to keep the little land that they owned from being taken by White Americans. Black Americans continue to experience housing discrimination in the 21st century. When African Americans took down family photos in their house, there was almost a 40% appreciation simply because no Black resident appeared to live in the house, one of the many legacies from the "redlining" practiced by the U.S. Federal Housing Administration since the 1930s.

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Myth 4: African Americans do not value education or work.

In addition to lacking generational wealth, Black youth have to overcome tremendous obstacles to fight for a job. Unlike White Americans, they have to stay highly motivated to complete higher degrees for no apparent immediate benefit. In fact, it is admirable that so many stayed in school when "White high school dropouts are as likely to land jobs as Black college students." However, the unemployment gap between Black and White men with bachelor's degrees is only 5%. For Black women who have bachelor's degrees, the gap with White people is 3%. The gap almost disappears for those who earn professional degrees. Black boys and men face more challenges to complete their degrees because they receive harsher punishment than White boys and men. They are more likely to be suspended for the same offenses their White peers conducted in school. According to research, Black students do not “act out” in class more frequently than their White peers. Yet, they are more likely to be sent to the principal’s office for subjective offenses, like “disrupting class,” and they’re more likely to be sent there by White teachers. White students are more likely to be suspended for "objective offenses," like drug possession.

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As racial minorities, we do not see our histories taught in formal education. Therefore, we need to self-educate with truthful and comprehensive information. When you plan your next (family) vacation, consider building in a couple of these stops to learn about ourselves and each other.

Please click on a marker to view places to visit.

Building a National Museum of API Americans

As a nation, there is no national museum to document and learn about the API Americans’ contributions to the United States. We need to have a place to learn how the API’s histories are an integral part of the American story. Please follow the development of the potential to build a National Museum of API Americans.

On June 13 2022 President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 3525 which establishes a Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. The commission must report recommendations for a plan of action for the establishment and maintenance of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture in Washington, DC. Furthermore they must develop a fundraising plan to support the establishment, operation, and maintenance of the museum through public contributions. In relation to this plan they must obtain an independent review of this fundraising plan, including an analysis of the resources necessary to fund the construction of the museum and its operations and maintenance in perpetuity without reliance on federal funds. Lastly they must submit a legislative plan of action to establish and construct the museum.