两条腿走路:对内反思对外争取


李春燕    11/25     8478    
4.0/1 



最近有群友提出亚裔应该注意心理健康,不要在爬藤是恶性竞争,还要再校友回馈,社区投入上下功夫。这些对内的反思很好,但要注意不能模糊了问题症结:我们有可以提高的方面是否就可以成为隐形限额的借口?我的快速回复如下。

~~Asian American student suicide rates 
1. There is no data that says As Am suicide rate is higher. Even if it is true, as someone pointed out, it might be due to the pressure of the de facto quota.

~~Some "packaged" students lack the inner drive.
2. If one believes in the ability of admission officers (火眼金睛) then the "packaged" ones should have been weeded out. 

3. What I observed from knowing so many students and their families in many towns and online (parallel to people's anecdotes) is that, at the top level, there are more self-motivated, well-rounded students than the packaged ones, more than the de facto quota could admit.  Even if there are packaged ones, who does not package? What about those sports kids? 

~~lack of Asian American participation in college affairs, alumni giving etc. 
4. Harvard Crimson alone has many As Am student writers. Yet the fact is that As Am are frequently left out in many discussions at the national level. See this Elephant project. Historically As Am are just not part of the Black and White debate, or the immigration debate. See Frank Wu's book Yellow. 

See Michigan Chinese students' demonstration. I commented under the article.

5. Even if some don't participate in alumni affairs, since the As Am population esp the Chinese Am, only recently drastically increased, how can we let anecdotes (or past facts) invalidate those self motivated, well rounded students? 

~~ what the Jews went through
6. When the quota (or even the SAT) was designed against the Jews in the 1920s, Harvard started the "holistic criteria" to include morals and leadership, causing the Jewish admission rate to plummet and stay that way for about 50 years. Did it mean all of a sudden the Jews lack morals and leadership? 

~~Asian American students lack EQ and AQ
7. Do we use this type of stereotyping that As Am lack EQ/AQ etc. as a justification for rejecting qualified students? I for one, know too many well-rounded students to accept this type of prejudice, esp. when uttered from our own mouths. 

~~Asian American students only focus on STEM
8. Even the assertion that As Am are only good at STEM is unfounded. Most of the top kids are truly well rounded. Just in presidential scholar cases I posted a while ago, those students wrote award winning poetry and essays but want to study math and science in college. And vice versa, some have math awards but want to study philosophy or literature.

9. In my son's school alone, those who are selected to go to the Governor School (a prestigious summer science/tech program in NJ) are also debate team captains and newspaper editors, as well as sports team captains. So many students pack leadership and community services, again, not out of tiger moms' push, but their own ability. Do they only do these for college? Well I challenge anyone to be in their shoes and ask "do you only do these as a package?" 

~~Do we need to self reflect?
10. Are there ways we collectively need to improve? Of course, and that is the purpose of this WeChat group. While we need to promote more engagement in society, we need to be aware that most first generation parents did not come from a culture like that of the US. Using fundraising as an example, I don't think the Chinese are inherently selfish, but they may not be used to this type of fundraising yet. The same pattern exists in school PTA participation--most Chinese schools are not like the American schools where parents run many daily functions. Thus, Chinese parents may have affected their children's perception of what is considered participation and giving back to society. 

Fortunately, because of my close relationship with so many youths, I see many youngsters break through what their parents' generation has not been able to do. 

~~ Excuses, and more excuses? 
11. Am I looking for excuses? Are we all so good? NO and NO. I used to harbor enough complaints about recent Chinese immigrants from so many years of volunteer work and community engagement, but then I realized the first generation's limitation in language and experience (which affects their second generation). I then started bringing more people "to the table". What I want to stress is that, while we do need to self reflect on these aspects, we need to be mindful of casting our own impression of the past to today's generation. 

~~Don't let history repeat itself
12. We also can NOT use any of what have been casted onto the Jews as justification of limiting qualified Asian American enrollment in top colleges. 

转群友反馈:“美国的政治环境对在这里成长的下一代的心理健康危害极大。1. 媒体、政客把中国树立成假想敌,不停的谩骂。就算是第100代华人,也不可能和中国彻底撇清,因为她是你的祖国。这种谩骂在心上有很大的负面影响。很多人又害怕被指责为对美国不衷心,对这种谩骂不敢说半个不字。
2. 不停的把华人学者科学家当中间谍逮捕又无罪释放,这种行为带来的负面影响是施加给整个华人社区的。
3. 高校录取的歧视给华人学生施加了很大的压力,华人学生必须更加刻苦地努力来弥补。学习压力比别的族裔大,休息时间少,自然影响心理健康。
4. 被歧视不录取还要说我不录取你是因为你有缺陷、没有领导力、只知道死读书、不回报社会,雪上加霜的打击。 华人学生成长在一个这样的负面环境里,心理压力很大,对自信心也是极大的打击。到一定程度承受不了就有可能会出现自杀的想法乃至行动。在这种环境成长起来的也很少会去反抗他面临的不公平,因为他已经适应了、完全被驯化了。我们这群里有几个二代移民?!如果不解决这种心理问题,我们的奋战就只停留在第一代,而且华人政客中会不断地出违背我们利益的。”

“我们华人辛苦工作纳税,认真培养下一代做遵纪守法自食其力的公民就是对社会的贡献。我们不能完全掉到别人给我们画的不为社会做贡献的圈子里。监狱里的一个犯人要浪费社会多少资源?我们华人有几个靠吃救济过日子的?

我的建议就是华人以后减少默默无闻的为社会做贡献。要多参与楼头露脸的社会活动。这个社会喜欢叫嚣的嚣张地参与社会活动,所以我们少做绿叶,多做红花。少缩在人后,多站在台上。上电视,上电台,给主流媒体写 opinion, 在英文的公众 social media 多发声。参与政治活动,少做幕后工作,多做人前工作,比如去街上举牌子,去发表演讲。”