Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Who's The Minority? Is There Racism Here?

Silicon Valley.

Whites and Asians.

And schools:
In my hometown, tiger parenting could be seen as a sort of litmus test to see which culture you were most familiar with. For a long time, Saratoga, my hometown of 20,000, was almost entirely white. And then the tech revolution brought new-money immigrants like my Chinese-born parents into the tech sector. After a stock market boom or two, they could afford a house in Saratoga, in all its suburban glory, with pristine lawns and an allegedly pristine school system.

Around me, I noticed that almost all the parents or students complaining about the policies were Asian.

To say that whites resented Asians or Asians resented whites would be a gross exaggeration of a largely utopian merger. Youth soccer leagues were run by parents of multiple ethnicities: Indian, white, Chinese, Korean. Often, they were co-workers in their fields. Parental involvement was unified in activities spanning from musicals to the Parent-Teacher Association.

But it was in academics where one could smell the distinct coded scent of a split. There’s a nearby high school called Lynbrook, which by now is probably upwards of 90 percent Asian. I had a friend there who used to joke that they called the white people “the few five.” Everyone knew the one black student by name.

The Wall Street Journal came out with an article in 2005 documenting “The New White Flight,” a twist on the term used to describe the phenomena of white people moving out of poor neighborhoods, taking their tax dollars with them, and often leaving largely black schools derelict and underfunded. At Lynbrook and nearby schools, the Journal writes, whites weren’t quitting schools because the schools were bad. And they weren’t harming them academically when they left; more Asians just moved in.

“Quite the contrary,” the article read. “Many white parents say they’re leaving because the schools are too academically driven and too narrowly invested in subjects such as math and science at the expense of liberal arts and extracurricular activities like sports and other personal interests. The two schools, put another way that parents rarely articulate so bluntly, are too Asian.”
The article presents an interesting view on things.


Left Coast Conservative said...

The racism here is displayed ny the Whites. By definition non-whites are NEVER racist.

Ellen K said...

My school's top ten graduates could easily fit in at that school. Except for one Anglo girl-who's a prodigy-the entire list of students are from Pakistan, Korea, India or Vietnam. More astounding is that many of these students did not speak English when they arrived and some didn't arrive until middle school. What is sad is that many of our Hispanic kids were born here, received special educational support from the age of 4 through senior year and still struggle to graduate on time. I will say my Asian students are largely driven by parental expectations. And those standards are very high. As one of my former students (now in medical school heading to be a surgeon) explained to me "If you can be a doctor, you're a doctor. That is the highest status. If you can be a dentist or pharmacist or engineer or other such jobs, that is what you do. There are no other options." This girl was one of the most talented artists I have ever had. But that sort of demand made on students demonstrates that if someone expects a student to succeed, they can find a way to do it.