The Harmful Silencing of Southeast Asian Americans

The term Asian American is often only thought of by Americans as people of East Asian descent. Left out of this identity are all of the people from Southeast Asia, and as a result, Southeast Asian Americans have been disadvantaged by stereotypes that assume Asian Americans as a group that performs and acts in the same manner as particular, high-performing East Asians. This paper will tackle this problem in regards to the current court case of Edward Blum versus Harvard University. Focusing specifically on Southeast Asians, this paper will first examine their history of coming to the United States. Subsequently, it will discuss how Southeast Asians have been harmed by the model minority myth in relation to education. This is to all give context to why success in the current affirmative action case for Blum would hurt Southeast Asians. Success for Blum would not only put down people of color outside of Asian Americans, but it would not help Southeast Asians, a major part of the Asian American group who Blum claims to be supporting. The current lawsuit against affirmative action is detrimental to Southeast Asian Americans, who suffer from the assumption of a monolithic Asian American identity on a national level, and neglect inside of the school setting.

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