This week, Maclean’s Magazine published an article called: “Too Asian? Worries that efforts in the U.S. to limit enrollment of Asian students in top universities may migrate to Canada” by Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler
Haven’t we been here before?
W5. “Campus Giveaway”. The creation of the Chinese Canadian National Council.
Oh yeah, riiiiight.
It took place fucking 30 years ago. Please scroll to “Controversies”. Yeah, that was a fucking controversy alright.
Let me just start with the full outrage that my groovy readers expect from Maysie. This level of blatant racism is despicable and if anyone, ANYONE, talks bullshit to me about there being no racism in Canada, including not understanding what fucking systemic and institutional racism looks like, just shut the fuck up, read this article, read other stuff and fucking educate yourself.
The opening paragraph takes a classic lesson from How To Be A Racist Ass 101:
When Alexandra and her friend Rachel, both graduates of Toronto’s Havergal College, an all-girls private school, were deciding which university to go to, they didn’t even bother considering the University of Toronto. “The only people from our school who went to U of T were Asian,” explains Alexandra, a second-year student who looks like a girl from an Aritzia billboard. “All the white kids,” she says, “go to Queen’s, Western and McGill.”
First, Alexandra and Rachel are not identified by race, which means they’re white. Ah the magic of white as normal, white as default, white as Canadian.
This happens simply everywhere in the article, such as
Indeed, Rachel, Alexandra and her brother belong to a growing cohort of student that’s eschewing some big-name schools over perceptions that they’re “too Asian.”
Racist racist bullshit bullshit. Fucking hell fuck.
The description of Alexandra is creepy as hell and sexist to boot. The authors later indicate that Alexandra isn’t her real name, since she is “hesitant” to talk about race and universities.
Anonymous? And “hesitant” to talk about racism? Awwwwwwwww.
So hesitant that you can’t stop talking about how those Asian kids are all over U of T and changing the fun, drinking culture of the university so the white kids don’t want to go there anymore, because they don’t want to “compete” and want the freedom to be top of the class and go party whenever they want to?
Can you say “privileged”? Can you say “entitled”?
Pardon me while I puke. Which is clearly what the white kids want to do after a night of partying and still not have to “compete” for top spots in their classes.
Cry me a fucking river.
And the opinions of the writers of the article are surprisingly absent from any racist implications, either, since they make no judgments on Alexandra’s and Rachel’s comments. Right.
Last time I checked, and the last time I applied to undergrad (1985, folks) U of T was always the academic school. Always.
“Evidence” of the tendency for Asians to be high achievers is shown by a mention, no link, of a professor and researcher from Oregon with an apparently Asian name (Stephen Hsu). No mention of the studies themselves, if they were conducted with Canadian or American students, when any studies were done. Nothing. That’s a failing grade right there, Stephanie and Nicholas.
Then various random yammerings by high school guidance counsellors is used as further “evidence” of how Asian students (ALL of them!) compare with white students (again, ALL of them! Handy!) and the Asian students (ALL of them!) are such vigorous students and hard workers and the further segregation rather than integration at the university level this is causing.
Further on in the piece of crap article, it’s revealed (this is not a surprise) that “Asian” is being used as an equivalent to “Chinese”.
Because hell yes, Chinese folks make up ALL of Asia. Yup. There’s no other countries in Asia dontcha know.
I’m running out of swear words at this point.
No I’m not.
Hey, is anyone else reminded of Rob Ford’s clash with the Chinese-Canadian community in Toronto when he said basically the same thing, and was forced to apologize in council? I am.
Maclean’s took his racist premise and ran with it. Because THAT is a story that needed to be told. In 2010.
I want to take some time to deconstruct this next gem of crap:
Catherine Costigan, a psychology assistant prof at the University of Victoria, says it’s unsurprising that Asian students are segregated from “mainstream” campus life. She cites studies that show Chinese youth are bullied more than their non-Asian peers. As a so-called “model minority,” they are more frequently targeted because of being “too smart” and “teachers’ pets.” To counter peer ostracism and resentment, Costigan says Chinese students reaffirm their ethnicity.
(I’m going to need a whole other blog to take apart “reaffirm their ethnicity”. For Fucks Sake.)
Costigan cites studies, but the writers of this fine, accurate and factual article don’t tell us which ones.
That’s the thing about “common sense” racism. It doesn’t need, oh what are those things called, um, FACTS, to back it up. It’s just said, then nods all around and murmurs of agreement proceed. That’s what institutional racism looks like folks, just as an fyi.
Let’s take a closer look at:
…Chinese youth are bullied more than their non-Asian peers. As a so-called “model minority,” they are more frequently targeted because of being “too smart” and “teachers’ pets
Bullied and targeted are nicer words than racism aren’t they? Cleaner, tidier, just plain nicer. Because actually naming racism, at the peer level, and clearly at the institutional level since Ms. Costigan is fully aware of racism and clearly does shit fuck all about it, is simply beyond the scope of the fine white folks interviewed for and associated with this article.
The value of education has been drilled into Asian students by their parents, likely for cultural and socio-economic reasons.
Now this is a juicy one.
First, we’ve heard it before, so super yawn.
Second, the reverse argument is also used by fine upstanding white folks to justify the horrific racism and attrition experienced by Aboriginal, African, Black and Caribbean students in the Canadian school system. For doing so poorly, statistically, in the Canadian school system. A system which, beyond a doubt, does its best to marginalize, BULLY and TARGET such students from the moment they enter it.
From lack of representation in the curriculum, to overt racism by teachers, to streaming, to peer attacks (verbal and physical) that are ignore by authority figures. Which, hey, includes Asian students ya know. And when I say Asian I actually mean Asian, for fuck’s sake.
Remember the Keswick teen? I do.
The reverse argument is that it’s simply not in the “culture” of such folks to value education. More racism. Fabulous.
Third, what’s with the Asian academic nerd stereotype? Why does it carry such cultural currency, for decades and decades?
I need to try to get to the root of this.
Asians are brainy, nerds are brainy.
Being brainy means non-sexual, and it’s a classic anti-Asian stereotype. Men and women both.
Well, like all stereotypes, it’s true until it isn’t. And the “hyper sexual” stereotypes are still racist, imagine that. The whole wack of overly-sexualized images of Asian girls and women from geisha girl to schoolgirl to dragon lady. There are fewer such images counter to the “passive” and “docile” Asian man, except maybe the stereotypes like Bruce Lee and John Cho. You know, martial arts masters. Bad ass Asian men.
But the rest of Asian men (and women) are nerdy bookish and non-physical. None in the arts (Richard Fung, Wayson Choy, Margaret Cho), none in sports (Yao Ming). Nope.
But I digress.
Okay, here’s my favourite quote of the article.
It’s often described that Asians are the new Jews,” says Jon Reider, director of college counselling at San Francisco University High School
Did he just say that? Actually, no he didn’t. He said “it’s often described” this way. HE didn’t say it. Nor does he believe it, apparently? No such luck. “In the face of discrimination, study” is his explanation for this ridiculous racist statement. He has the nerve to imply that Confucius supported this theory.
Such balkanization is reflected in official student organizations: there is little Asian representation on student government, campus newspapers or college radio stations. At UBC, where the student body is roughly 40 per cent Asian, not one Asian sits on the student executive. Same goes for Waterloo.
Well, this isn’t a surprise, is it?
So we have the idiot “self-selection” argument made by the writers, and shockingly this same view is held by everyone they interviewed for the article.
Sadly, for them, they’re wrong.
The answer? You really wanna know?
Boring old systemic racism and racist exclusion. Funny how often that’s the fucking answer.
Okay, it’s not funny.
While one could certainly make the arguments that cultural groups tend to hang together in most social circumstances (although I wouldn’t because it’s a stupid argument and also who the fuck cares?), it’s not a coincidence that it’s Asians Chinese folks that are always being targeted for this, as if the external world of racism has nothing to do with it when it does happen.
I’m only on page 3 of the online article and I need to take a break. This bullshit is making me tired.
I’ll conclude with this, which made me giggle.
And U.S. studies suggest Ivy League schools have taken the issue of Asian academic prowess so seriously that they’ve operated with secret quotas for decades to maintain their WASP credentials.
Um, seriously, you think that’s been a secret, you assholes?