Asian American Smart Stereotype

Asians are so smart! Why are all Asians so good at math and science?!!! Obviously, he is smart because he is Asian.

When I hear things like these no matter how well-intentional they mean, it rubs me off in the wrong way! It frustrates me! Yes, there are Asians who are smart and they do live up to the stereotype. I do for an example. However, to generalize a whole race as smart when it comes to academics is bothersome. I don’t want people to think Asians are not smart but at the same time I don’t agree with the idea of generalizing a specific race as smart as if being born to a certain race makes you inherent to having a specific trait, which I do not agree to. No matter how “positive” the stereotype is, it is still offensive to many Asian Americans, especially those who want to be known more than just academics.

Just because you are Asian does not mean you are automatically smart which is often times synonymous to doing well in school. There are Asians who struggled with school because they have learning ability. There are Asians who do not do well in school, because school does not come naturally to them, but they are good at arts, music, or hands on activities. There are Asians who struggled with math and science, but they flourish in areas of English and Social Studies. There are Asians who are more interested in sports, so they do not do their best in school. Asians are a diverse group of people. Not all of us are interested in attaining Ivy League degrees and becoming the next top doctor or surgeon. Not all Asian Americans go to the field of engineering, medicine, and other professional fields. Not all Asian Americans go to Ivy League schools or in fact graduate from colleges. In fact, historically Southeast Asians because of predominant refugee background, have had one of the highest high school drop out rates. According to APIASF findings, Burmese teens face the highest high school drop out rate in the country with 39%. That is literally pretty much 40%.

Click to access APIASF_Burma_Bhutan_Report.pdf

Let’s not perpetuate stereotypes by making assumptions of a whole race or ethnic group, but rather judge people on an individual case. Humanity is too diverse to lump certain race or group of people as being this or that.

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