Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Asian Americans
June 9, 2021 11:12 AM - Season 8, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Another week in the void. We hear about two right-wing leaders and their failed COVID responses, that of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro, who let an offer by Pfizer of 70 million vaccine doses pass without response. And Now: People On TV Lose Their Shit Over The Phrase “Hot Vax Summer.” Main Story: The experiences of Asian Americans, often held up as a “model minority” by people who would like other minorities to see their problems as their own fault, when, to no surprise, the true story is a lot more complicated than tends to be recognized.

posted by JHarris (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I think this was a particularly interesting and useful episode, with how effectively it demolished the model-minority myth of Asian Americans by showing we purposely courted immigration by educated Asians back in the 60s and 70s, and their success is largely due to continuity of wealth.
posted by JHarris at 1:24 PM on June 10, 2021 [1 favorite]

Yeah, "Asian" is a much less useful category than (Western) European (vs. even Eastern, at that).

Even breaking it up by country/ polity of origin isn't very helpful when taking into consideration the era that the first generation immigrated.

CBC (Chinese Born Canadian, CBA for American but I'm not sure how popular that term is) can be a vastly different demographic than someone who immigrated during the Hong Kong diaspora (1st, 2nd [which includes children from 1 who returned to HK],... and now 3rd?) or from Taiwan (many after diaspora 1) or from mainland China (many just before/ concurrent with 2).

Personally, I'm the child of 1st generation immigrants to Canada pre-HK diaspora 1 but after "lo yeh," who arrived post railroad/ gold rush immigrants - and I align more with CBC than HK diaspora. Now, there are even CBC from diaspora 1+. My sister's kid is one such, and dual heritage. Which can be another demographic facet - and it sometimes depends on which parent was "Asian." Less so now than during the "lo yeh" era, but more common.

And that's only considering "Chinese."
posted by porpoise at 11:34 PM on June 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

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