Even if you think you're being complimentary, assigning any character trait to an entire community is the definition of prejudice. — Rep. Judy Chu, a California Democrat and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Even if you think you're being complimentary, assigning any character trait to an entire community is the definition of prejudice. — Rep. Judy Chu, a California Democrat and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
How Chuck Grassley's 'work ethic' and 'your people' comments to Korean American judicial nominee perpetuate harmful model minority myth
If confirmed, she would be the first Korean American woman to serve as a federal appellate judge, and only the second AAPI woman to serve on the 9th Circuit from California.

Grassley's comments tapped into a long history of stereotyping Asian Americans.

"What you said about your Korean background reminded me a lot of what my daughter-in-law of 45 years has said: 'If I've learned anything from Korean people, it's a hard work ethic. And how you can make a lot out of nothing,' " the senator said during Koh's confirmation hearing.

Then, Grassley twisted the knife: "So I congratulate you and your people."

Hard work ethic. A lot out of nothing. You and your people. Swiftly, Grassley's comments set off backlash, with many pointing out that the senator had conjured the corrosive, age-old "model minority" myth.

Not only does this timeworn narrative strip Asian Americans of dimension and demographic complexity. It also creates conflict between racial groups and makes invisible the very real exclusion and prejudice that Asian Americans face.

Presumably, Grassley meant no offense with his statements, crass as they were. His "intent was to be complimentary, not to insult anyone," per communications director Taylor Foy, who mentioned that the senator's daughter-in-law is Korean American.

Still, the at times violent anti-Asian bigotry that's loomed over the US over the past year and a half has made clear the importance of not flattening the experiences of marginalized communities.

"Even if you think you're being complimentary, assigning any character trait to an entire community is the definition of prejudice," Rep. Judy Chu, a California Democrat and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, told The Washington Post.

"Treating all members of a group as the same invites mistreatment when one person can be held accountable for the actions of someone else. It may not be the same incitement to violence seen in other slurs, but it is harmful nonetheless," she added.
Read the full article: https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/07/politics/chuck-grassley-lucy-koh-asian-americans-prejudice/index.html