In Episode #4, Alex Au and Rebecca Wei discuss the model minority myth’s historical origins for Chinese in America in the 1950s. In response to political repression, Chinese in America responded with gung-ho patriotism and even complicity in repressing fellow Chinese on the Left. Was it fear of deportation that led them down this path or was it something about being an immigrant, Chinese, or aspiring to wealth based on white supremacy? Tune-in to hear the one major takeaway Alex and Rebecca got from studying this little-known history of the model minority myth.
Correction (1:15): “Overseas Chinese” was not a term invented by Chinese in America in the 1950s. Rather, Chinese people then emphasized their status as Overseas Chinese as a way to increase their value as a bridge during the Cold War between the US and China. The term seems to have been in use for a while because we have a long history of diaspora and in Chinese, there are many different words used to describe the different states of being Overseas Chinese.