Asian-Americans are often thought of as doctors. Bankers. Success stories. While those examples exist, Asian-Americans are by no means monolithic. There’s a whole other side to the minority group that goes undiscussed.
There’s the elderly retired Chinatown restaurant worker who has limited savings and must share an apartment with several other people. There’s the Cambodian refugee dealing with the trauma from living in a war-torn country and trying to start over in the Bronx with limited English. And there are many others who have yet to see their American dreams come true.
In fact, there are more Asian-Americans living in poverty in New York City than any other minority group. Their stories, however, are rarely told.
Recently, dispelling the model minority myth has become a major issue as Asian-Americans from disadvantaged communities become more vocal about how their experiences differ from the stereotyped narratives the public hears so often.
Nonprofits are calling for disaggregated data, publishing their own research and reaching out to help disadvantaged Asian-American communities. They say the belief that Asians are successful across the board hurts the community and keeps funding from those in need.