Chad just asked me what I thought about "Paper Tigers," by Wesley Yang, in New York Magazine, which is subtitled "What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends?" and has apparently been much-linked lately. (I've been really busy.)
Having read it, well, see the subject line, but here are a couple of responses that I found useful that I dug out of a conversation elsewhere I'd previously skipped for time:
- "A Response to Wesley Yang's 'Paper Tigers,'" by Nina Shen Rastogi at Slate;
- "'Tigers' of Many Stripes: An Open Letter to Wesley Yang," by Sylvie Kim at Hyphen.
Morning ETA: upon due reflection, I think my reaction can be summarized thusly:
Racism is an institutional structure of oppression. Yang has documented one facet of that structure—a quite narrow one, as the links above discuss, but a real one. Yet Yang's response appears to be, "how can we [*] join white guys at the top of the structure," rather than, "how can we dismantle the structure"?
And that is the wrong question.
[*] Where "we" = "heterosexual males of Asian descent in America."comment(s) | reply | link