Believe It Or Not, Being The 'Model Minority' Is Not A Privilege

Believe It Or Not, Being The 'Model Minority' Is Not A Privilege

Asian-American history is not something that is widely known or talked about, and for that, Asian-Americans are perceived as more privileged than other minorities.

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The topic of racism is one that is very much prevalent in the United States. However, in conversations about racism and marginalized groups, it seems that Asian-Americans are often excluded. The Asian-American experience is different from that of other minorities, with the model minority myth being a major contributing factor. While being viewed as a "model minority" may not seem like such a bad thing for Asians upon first glance, being a model minority does not equate to privilege.

There is a notion that Asian-Americans have suffered less from racism, and that they are privileged compared to other minorities. From elementary school, American students learn about Native American genocide and the history of racism against African Americans, but Asian-Americans rarely appear in any US history courses. They are not shown to have suffered a long history of systematic racism in the United States as other minorities have. Asian-American history is not something that is widely known or talked about, and for that, Asian-Americans are perceived as more privileged than other minorities.

Here's the issue: just because it isn't talked about, just because it isn't taught in school, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Discrimination against Asian-Americans is a part of American history, from the Chinese Exclusion Act, which was the first immigration law to target a specific ethnic group, in 1882, to the Japanese internment camps in the 1940s, to the murder of Vincent Chin in 1982, in which the murderers served no jail time, to the issues of media representation that still exist now. This is a history that has seemingly been erased and brushed to the side so that Asians can be used as the model minority.

I'm not asking that everyone become an expert on Asian-American history. It's enough to know that it exists, and that Asian-Americans are still a racial minority in the United States and still suffer from racism. Instead of dismissing them as privileged, acknowledge that Asian-Americans have faced discrimination and include them in conversations about racism.

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9 Things Girly Tomboys Know Too Well

It's all about balance.
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Most girls are either girly girls or tomboys, but for some of us, we are a cross between the two. We are a rare breed between wearing dresses and shotgunning beers. We can relate to other girls but play sports with the boys without batting an eye. It's all about balance like balancing your ratio of pieces of pizza to how many pieces of cake you'll still be able to eat.

1. You love your comfy clothes.

You wish you could live the rest of your life in your favorite pair of sweatpants, yet you know you have to "adult" sometimes and put on more socially acceptable clothes.

2. You don't love shopping.

You find it a real hassle to drive all the way to the mall, just to aimlessly walk around looking for expensive clothes that you can't afford. Your one saving grace is the food court, that's your happy place.

3. You LOVE food.

Most of the time when you're in a bad mood it's because no one has fed you in a few hours. When you finally get that burger you've needed, you don't care who sees you devour it.

4. You're not graceful.

When you wear heels you look like a baby giraffe learning to walk. You wonder how these other girls glide around in heels while you're falling in trash cans.

5. You love wearing a dress.

You love wearing a dress, because think about it, it's one piece of clothing instead of having to put an entire outfit together. But you are sure to always wear some shorts under it, knowing that if shenanigans present themselves a dress isn't going to stop you from participating in the festivities.

6. Your makeup routine takes 10 minutes or less.

Sometimes you get in a girly mood and try to watch makeup tutorials, the end result never turns out well and normally results in you wiping it all off and eating an entire frozen pizza instead.

7. You love playing/watching sports.

You feel at home on the field or court, you're never afraid to get down and dirty when it comes to your favorite sport. You'd rather watch sports than "Say Yes to the Dress."

8. You love beer.

If given the choice between a fruity girly drink or a nice cold beer, there is no hesitation for you, beer it is.

9. Sometimes you just really don't know what kind of girl you are.

You don't consider yourself a girly girl, a tomboy, or anything else really...so the best title is a girly tomboy.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Mandatory Fines Target Minorities And Cause Mass Incarceration

I believe if we got rid of the mandatory fines, fewer minorities would be sent to prison and the mass incarceration rate would drop, as well as many recidivism rates.

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I believe one of the leading causes of mass incarceration is the continuous cycle of people being unable to pay the penalties and then being put in jail for not paying. In the NPR podcast, called "How Can America Reduce Mass Incarceration?" Judge Victoria Pratt recounts how there were a lot of cases where people were in a downward spiral and suck in the criminal justice system because they were unable to pay the fines. (Fresh Air 2:00). There are other options for these fines, such as community service. However, in many instances, there are mandatory fines that judges cannot touch.

These kinds of penalties disproportionately target people in the lower-middle class and the lower class because there is no option other than to pay the fines. If people in the lower-middle class and the lower pay bracket cannot pay the penalties, they will be sent to jail and add to the prison's population. Unfortunately, this cycle will continue to occur until there are no longer any mandatory fines, which is unlikely to happen since prisons profit off of the prisoners.

Also, there is not just one fine per individual, the courts give each multiple penalties. Pratt claims, "So even on a disorderly persons offense, you would get a fine, maybe, of $100, or no fine, but it's $75 plus that $50 and then $33 court costs. The judge could waive the other fines. But those two they could not waive." (Fresh Air 10:00). This illuminates how even if the judge attempts to help the individual by waiving some of the fines, there are still the mandatory ones which tend to be expensive.

So, no matter what, the judge cannot throw out these, and the individuals are stuck with them because no alternatives are allowed. Therefore, the current system the criminal justice system is using targets minorities, such as the lower class, by enforcing these mandatory fines and incarcerating them if they can not afford them.

So, at what point do we throw away the utilitarian ideals aside and focus on the minority?

To me, I believe the extent to which we should focus on the minority rather than focusing on the greatest good for the most significant number is when individuals are being used as a mere means to the criminal justice's own ends. So, this means that since the criminal justice system is implementing these mandatory fines to target minorities and place them in prison so they can make a profit, which is using these people as a means to their own end. I believe if we got rid of the mandatory fines, fewer minorities would be sent to prison and the mass incarceration rate would drop, as well as many recidivism rates.

Mandatory fines need to have alternatives. Otherwise, the U.S. criminal justice system is going to continue to target specific groups.

The fines directly target minorities, such as people lower class, because they can not afford the fines and end up in jail due to this. It is unjust and immoral to do this to citizens since they are already at a disadvantage and the government is supposed to take care of its people, not make their lives worse,

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