12.01.2010

Analyzing the Myth of the Asian-American Income

From Abagond:

“Asian Americans have a higher median family income” than whites is something that White Americans like to point out. It is repeated so much that it seems to be a stock part of the white racist imagination – like black rapists.

Median family income in 2000:

* $59,000 Asian American
* $48,500 white
* $36,000 Latino
* $33,300 black
* $32,240 Native American

So it is true!

See that: Asians come to America with nothing and, pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, they pass not just blacks but whites too! Whatever is holding back blacks, Latinos and Native Americans it is certainly not racism!

And look how well it falls in line with IQ:

* 106 South Korea
* 105 Japan
* 104 Taiwan
* 101 White America
* 87 Mexico
* 85 Black America

Proof that American society is not racist! For all its faults, it manages to reward people according to merit regardless of race. Blacks need to stop complaining and grow up! Besides, how can whites be racist if they think Asians are better?

As it turns out, “Asian Americans have a higher median family income” is very carefully worded.

Change “family income” to “personal income”, for example, and look at what you get:

* $24,000 whites
* $23,000
* $22,000
* $21,000
* $20,000 Asian American
* $19,000
* $18,000
* $17,000
* $16,000 blacks
* $15,000 Native Americans
* $14,000 Latinos

Asian Americans top whites in family income only because Asian families have on average more people working. It has nothing to do with IQ.

And now break down “Asian American” by nationality:

* $26,000 Japanese, Asian Indians
* $25,000
* $24,000 whites
* $23,000 Filipinos
* $22,000
* $21,000
* $20,000 Asian American, Chinese
* $19,000 Pacific Islanders
* $18,000
* $17,000
* $16,000 blacks, Koreans, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians
* $15,000 Native Americans
* $14,000 Latinos

“Asian American” covers such a broad range that it is next to useless.

And so much for bootstraps: Most who fled Indo-China after the Vietnam War and came to America with next to nothing are still at the bottom, making less than blacks on average.

Even Korean Americans, despite their supposedly high IQs, have not clearly passed blacks, much less whites: they are the same as blacks in terms of median personal income ($16,300) and rate of home ownership (a bit over half).

Middle-class whites mainly just know middle-class Asian Americans. Unlike black poverty, they rarely see Asian American poverty on television.

Whites are paid more for the same level of education: Asian Americans, like blacks, have to stay in school longer to get paid the same as a white person.

Increase in yearly income for every year at university:

* $550
* $525 whites
* $500
* $475
* $450 Japanese
* $425
* $400
* $375
* $350
* $325 Chinese
* $300
* $275 blacks
* $250

So “median family income” was picked not because whites are simply “seeing the world as it is” but because it is one of the few numbers that supports the white stereotype about Asians as a model minority, which in turn makes it seem like American society is not racist.

That is just how stereotypes work: they are self-serving beliefs that lead one to notice the facts that fit them and overlook those that do not. It is called confirmation bias.

Like with crime statistics, whites will pick and choose and twist the numbers till they come out “right” and support what they want to believe anyway.

27 comments:

  1. Many of the people who comment on Abagond's blog are racist assholes - period. I cross-posted this here so that anyone who wanted to could discuss this in a safe space.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ Ankh - That's the primary reason why I gave up visiting his blog, which is unfortunate. It's like trying to learn in a class full of hooligans.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ leoprincess - Very well said.

    Nevertheless, some of his posts are too good to waste.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is how it is in the real world too. My history professor says that it's "juvenile" to think the civil war caused slavery even though by his own lectures he talks about how a moral condemnation of slavery was necessary(The Lincoln Douglass Debates, Uncle Tom's Cabin, John Brown)for the civil war to be started. And even if you eliminate slavery as the main cause, there was really no reason for the war to be fought. But he expects us to just ignore logic and historical evidence just so that we think but reach his conclusion. Mind you this class takes place in NY and we never learn anything about the Confederation of the Iroquois or the Native Americans even though the Onandaga Reservation is like twenty minutes away from here, whats left of it anyway.

    My sociology professor thinks that Hugo Chavez is President of Argentina.

    My English professor teaches us about Baldwin but never talks about racism and expects me to write an essay doesn't talk about it.

    Before I went to college I didn't understand how educated people could believe myths and bullshit, but they still teach the same crap at college level.

    Thats why I avoid the humanities with a quickness, they try to indoctrinate you and honestly, you don't learn anything.

    At least math and science classes grade you objectively, not subjectively if you reach conclusions that don't corroborate the teachers.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I corrected him(he's still pissed off at me). The President of Argentina is a woman btw.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My English teacher thinks the tone of my paper is "cynical." And he criticizes my use of big words like "obfuscate."

    ReplyDelete
  7. It reminds me of Orwell's "double think" now that I think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Every single declaration of succession for each Confederate state specifically mentions slavery as the reason in the first paragraph if not the first sentence. Sending your professor a long distance fuck you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is how it is in the real world too. My history professor says that it's "juvenile" to think the civil war caused slavery even though by his own lectures he talks about how a moral condemnation of slavery was necessary(The Lincoln Douglass Debates, Uncle Tom's Cabin, John Brown)for the civil war to be started. And even if you eliminate slavery as the main cause, there was really no reason for the war to be fought. But he expects us to just ignore logic and historical evidence just so that we think but reach his conclusion. Mind you this class takes place in NY and we never learn anything about the Confederation of the Iroquois or the Native Americans even though the Onandaga Reservation is like twenty minutes away from here, whats left of it anyway.

    My sociology professor thinks that Hugo Chavez is President of Argentina.

    My English professor teaches us about Baldwin but never talks about racism and expects me to write an essay doesn't talk about it.

    Before I went to college I didn't understand how educated people could believe myths and bullshit, but they still teach the same crap at college level.

    Thats why I avoid the humanities with a quickness, they try to indoctrinate you and honestly, you don't learn anything.

    At least math and science classes grade you objectively, not subjectively if you reach conclusions that don't corroborate the teachers.


    ITA. My college nearly destroyed my love for English literature in general (I'll admit it; I love some of the classics - Shakespeare and Ancient Greece, but SCREW European Lit. No, seriously!!! Screw that mess!). I had to take this class based on the 'Birth of a Novel' and got so worked up in that class because I asked the professor, "Hey, didn't China come up with the first "novels" some thousand years ago before Europeans even knew how to write?" (I was purposefully being an a-hole (but seriously, you try listening to one professor drone on and on ad nauseum as to why James Joyce was a sheer genius (IT WAS JUST A FRICKIN ROBIN!!! NOTHING SPECIAL ABOUT IT, PROFESSOR!!!)).

    Of course, all of my classmates looked at me like I had developed a third head or something. I mean, WHY would I DARE say that the Europeans hadn't done diddly squat in the course of the Earth's history? How DARE I contradict the long-standing tradition of this wonderful class that expounded on the fact that Europeans only STOLE things from everyone else and then claimed it as theirs without outright saying that they did so?

    Needless to say, I wasn't popular in that class and I quit being a English Major because they NEVER taught the other subjects of literature that would encompass a FULL understanding of being an English Major (like, say, Magic Realism, as made popular by Hispanic Authors (ever heard of Don Quixote?), poetry during the Harlem Rennaissance, Southern Literature and its use of folk lore and mythic themes (Beloved, ANYTHING by Zora Neale Hurston, Alice-frickin-Walker-gotdamn!).

    And yeah, this is totally Off topic, but I just had to express that frustration.

    I mean, one of my FAVORITE professors - this really, really, well read black man, who frequently took his students to Ghana when he could, spoke four different languages and was one of the single most competent professors I ever had under the age of 30 - was only an associate professor! WHY?! He was brilliant!

    *grrrrr

    ReplyDelete
  10. @EDGray
    Cosign about English. This is why I don't major, just minor in English because of the requirement in the curriculum that you mainly take British and American (i.e. WHITE) Literature while only having to fulfill ONE multicultural requirement.

    I am currently taking a Postcolonial Literature class: The African Diaspora and fortunately the professor is aware of privilege and ignorance that her students have about the African continent so we always get our misconceptions ("you don't have to be PC, I just want to hear your stereotypes") out of the way and then she educates us.

    Like you, I really don't have any friends in that class because the White kids are so quick to condemn Europe's colonization of Africa, and get all pissy when I point out that their damn AMERICAN ancestors practiced that same subjugation of minorities on our own soil.

    I also call out their privilege and the privilege of some of the White characters we read. We read one character who was assumed full White -but it was left up to ambiguity by the author- who dressed up as a Native American and practiced "Native" religions just for fun. I immediately called the character out on having the privilege and audacity to superficially claim Native American heritage because all because she was "just White" and essentially a cultural orphan.I claimed this was a larger reflection on elements of American society. This one girl quickly jumped to her defense and asked why we were being so mean. (literally, she almost had WWT). Other White kids also noticed this behavior but seriously I worry about them. They balked at the notion of a "Visa Lottery" and how it just so happens to negatively impact Brown people.

    Fortunately, my professor is my ally (nice German woman) and reminds people of their privilege too, so I am also seen as a teacher's pet but hey whatevs. Totally cosign about all this

    ReplyDelete
  11. This is off topic but will anybody proofread my Baldwin Paper for grammatical errors, not anybody I really trust here to do it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. My undergrad is in engineering so I avoided most of this nonsense except for when I had to take social science or humanities classes. For some reason sociology, history, and comparative religion really freed people to voice their bigotry.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Ladies...get back on topic, please.

    A great place to talk about good professors who actually teach shit is right here. Unsurprisingly enough, my professor is not American.

    Speaking of which, I'm off to his class now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. @ Modest Goddess
    Like with crime statistics, whites will pick and choose and twist the numbers till they come out “right” and support what they want to believe anyway.
    Bigots: But look at the statistics!
    I said one time in sociology class that American people didn't value education,as much as people from other countries because for whatever reason they take it for granted and he was like " That's generalizing."
    Me: Well according to the statistics-
    Him: Well why do Jamaican people have higher rates of rape?
    Me: I'm not Jamaican, and what does that have to do-
    Him: Statistics don't account for everything(complete opposite of what he says on crime or AIDS. Funny how statistics don't tell the whole story when it's something negative about white kids like that they don't like to study)

    After that lecture, I found Abagond's post about "How To argue like a white racist" I believe this is a classic example of number 8. Every time I sit in his class a few of my braincells commit suicide.

    @ Anhk
    Lucky.

    ReplyDelete
  15. On topic - This is part of the reason why I tend to turn and twist statistics from every angle to try and get what's not being mentioned. It's not always easy, but I try.

    On the Comments Topic: Ok, what kind of English teacher doesn't like when students use advanced vocabulary? O_O I have never heard of that before.

    As for them not valuing education, well...the proof is in the pudding. When education budget cuts roll around, the arts and sometimes the science programs get the axe without hesitation, but when was the last time you heard of a school cutting sports? Especially if the sports are mainstream ones, like football, basketball or baseball?

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ Leo princess
    I guess this is an entry level class, so when I don't kiss his ass or exhibit a 2nd grade level of literacy it irritates him, so he has to come up with the most bizarre types of critiques that he can think of, just so that he can find something to criticize.

    If I recall he said "this is a very simple idea, no need to use big words" "Your writing style is very sophisticated however you use language that might alienate the reader. They will sense that you are trying too hard."

    ReplyDelete
  17. @ Leo Princess
    He depresses my brain cells too.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Him: Statistics don't account for everything (complete opposite of what he says on crime or AIDS. Funny how statistics don't tell the whole story when it's something negative about white kids like that they don't like to study)

    People like "him" should be choked.

    ReplyDelete
  19. He's almost exactly like Glenn Beck. But more stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  20. If that's even possible. He looked like someone stuck a finger in his butthole when I corrected him
    Him: President of Argentina Hugo Chavez
    Me:Venezuela
    Him: Oh....what'd I say?...Argentina.

    ReplyDelete
  21. @ Ankh - You know how they say some people are black 'when it's convenient'? People are also that selective with statistics. It's like when you try to explain to some black people why having so many black children born into broken homes is a problem, they jump up with, "Hey! Non-black people have children in broken homes too!"

    That's. not. the. point! >_<

    ReplyDelete
  22. That's. not. the. point!

    Nope. it's. not.

    ReplyDelete
  23. These statistics are some bull**** and I'll tell you why:
    They don't test children in black schools or schools with high POC count for IQ. I went to many schools when I was younger(long random story)and it was only at the white schools that there were gifted programs in place. And its not like there weren't smart black children, they just don't get the support. Hell, the only person I know to get into MIT is a black girl.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @goddessmaverick--

    They don't test children in black schools or schools with high POC count for IQ.

    I bounced between a few different almost-all-white, affluent suburban school districts as a kid and they didn't administer IQ tests there, either. There were plenty of other tests, and gifted programs were ubiquitous. But my impression had been that IQ tests in particular were out of fashion, which makes me wonder how recent many of these IQ statistics are.

    ReplyDelete
  25. asians have the highest personal income as well.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.