John Oliver Decries U.S. for ‘Racist’ Treatment of Chinese Titanic Survivors, Slams ‘Model Minority Myth’ as ‘Tool of White Supremacy’
Category: Op/EdVia: john-russell • one week ago • 30 comments
By: Leia Idliby (Mediaite)
By Leia IdlibyJun 7th, 2021, 7:59 am
John Oliver highlighted the history of racism in towards Asian Americans in the United States — dispelling the model minority myth as "a tool of white supremacy."
On Sunday's Last Week Tonight, the host exposed the nation's "racist" and "insensitive" treatment of six Chinese passengers who survived the sinking of the Titanic but were prohibited from reaching the U.S. shores.
"Instead, they were forced onto another boat and sent away the very next day," Oliver explained. "Which isn't just racist, it's insensitive. Did it really have to be another boat? They had just been on the best boat and it fucking sucked. Could you not put them on a zeppelin or something? At the very least, let's try and mix up the doomed turn of the century transportation methods here."
Oliver additionally detailed past immigration laws, explaining how they impacted each demographic's arrival to the U.S. differently.
Asian Americans, for example, were stamped as the model minority group, which Oliver explained as part of a tactic used to pit minorities against each other.
"A prevailing narrative most people hear regarding Asian Americans is one of the conflicts between them and other communities of color like during the 1992 LA Uprising," said the host. "It's not that those tensions aren't very real but it's not the whole picture either. It's also a narrative that fits a much larger pattern in which White America has actively pitted Asian Americans against other communities."
Oliver also said that the U.S. used the success of Chinese and Japanese Americans as a means to disprove systemic racism — using the prosperity of one demographic to suppress another.
"Basically America prioritized wealthy, more educated Asian immigrants then turned to Black people who'd been subjugated for centuries and said 'See? They're educated and successful. Why aren't you?'" Oliver said.
The host went on to detail the present-day repercussions of racism towards Asian Americans, revealing that suicide is the leading cause of death among young Asian American adults.
"This is what happens when you're consistently told to quietly and happily accept discrimination because your version is the nice racism," said Oliver. "There is no nice racism, there is no silver lining to it, and there is no working your way out of it.
"You're still perpetually treated as a foreigner, still asked where you're 'really from,' and Asian Americans always seem to be just one geopolitical crisis away from becoming the targets of violence yet again, whether it's those internment camps for Japanese Americans, or the spate of attacks on South Asians after 9/11, or all the recent racial violence during the pandemic," he continued. So the model minority myth is both a tool of white supremacy and a trap."
Watch above via YouTube.
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