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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Students fight against the Asian stereotype

Strictly defined, “Asian” means a native of Asia or a person of Asian descent. But when people use the phrase “Why are you so Asian?” they are referring to a different, often negative, meaning of the word: someone who is only interested in receiving good grades and fattening up an extracurricular activity list to gain acceptance into top-tier colleges.

“It seems like there’s another standard for Asian students,” junior Brian Kim said. “I’m pressured to work a lot harder and to get into a good school.”

Many Asian students complain that their parents stress the importance of straight A’s and extracurricular activities that will impress a college admissions officer, while non-Asian parents may not be as strict and demanding. This conspicuous difference formed the basis for the Asian stereotype, automatically raising the bar for all Asians and causing much unnecessary stress.
“I feel a lot of pressure from my parents to do well in school,” junior Michelle Tian said. “They said that if I don’t get a 2,300 on the SAT, I might as well not take it.”

The meaning that is now associated with the word “Asian” can even be applied to people who are not of Asian descent.

“Some of my peers have called me Asian because I care about my grades and often do my homework in the library,” senior Cullan McChesney said. “I just do what needs to get done, so it doesn’t bother me that much, but I don’t like how people just assume things.”

Not only is it wrong to assume that all Asians are studious, but it is also insulting to other races, as if implying that they are not capable of possessing this trait.

“Anyone can be studious,” senior Austin Kerby said. “It’s not something that is confined to one race.”
The Asian stereotype is detrimental in many other ways, especially on those who fulfill the true meaning of the word. Many students of Asian descent are ashamed of how they are so easily identified with the vast ocean of studious Asians. They try to distinguish themselves from “those Asians” by asserting that they’re not “Asian” at all or by exemplifying their sinking grades.

“There are many Asians that actually fit the stereotype,” senior Kenneth Leung said. “I don’t want to be automatically seen as another one of them.”

Nowadays, people rarely have “Asian pride,” and feel the need to cover up remnants of their background.

“I’ve become pretty Americanized,” Leung said.
Other students believe that those who are Asian should not be ashamed of their background, no matter what prejudices may accompany it.

“Even though there are a lot of negative stereotypes, people should still be proud of their race,” Kim said.

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