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People Assumed I Was A Tech Whiz Because Im Asian

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Topic: People Assumed I Was A Tech Whiz Because Im Asian
Posted By: ragincajin
Subject: People Assumed I Was A Tech Whiz Because Im Asian
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:08pm
http://www.npr.org/2014/01/23/265239095/people-assumed-i-was-a-tech-whiz-because-im-asian" rel="nofollow - People Assumed I Was a Tech Whiz Because I'm Asian

What do you think?

From NPR:
Philip Guo was on the fast track with his computer programming career. But he says that's because he's Asian and people assumed he was a whiz. He talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about benefiting from racial profiling.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Racial profiling has been blamed for everything from unnecessary police stops to perhaps a lack of job opportunities. But our next guest says racial profiling helped build his career. Computer programmer Philip Guo says he was given more credit and better jobs in his field than his skills merited, all because he's an Asian-American man. And people assumed he was a hotshot programmer, even though he was just so-so at the time. He wrote about that experience for his blog, and the essay was later picked up by Slate. Philip Guo joins us now. Welcome to the program.

PHILIP GUO: Hello.

HEADLEE: So you your piece begins with, I guess, what would be a stereotypical bio for a programming prodigy, right? You start working on the computer at age 5. You're creating your own programs in high school and then spending weekends at the keyboard. But that's not your story. So how did you get into this field?

GUO: So I actually - I was always sort of interested in computers like a lot of kids were growing up in the '90s. But I never had any programming experience beyond just one small class in high school. And I was fortunate enough with my academic background to have gotten in at MIT, which is very well-known for training programmers. And it was really during my freshman year at MIT as a computer science major that I really started getting deeper into the field - so really starting in the beginning of college.

HEADLEE: Do you think that you got special preference getting your very first job out of college because of your race?

GUO: I think that - see, my very first job was my first summer internship. This was after my freshman year. It was my first programming job. And I don't know if, you know - I don't know if race was the only thing, but I think definitely I sent out a bunch of resumes to various companies. And I had very little experience at the time, but definitely as an, you know, Asian-looking name from MIT that - I'm sure that gave people the benefit of the doubt. And I was offered an internship back in California where my family was really without much actual programming experience.

HEADLEE: And yet, as you say, I mean, MIT has its own recommendations as well. When did you first start to suspect that maybe you'd gotten preference or gotten a leg up because you're Asian-American?

GUO: I think that, you know, there was two factors, right? There was being Asian-American and also being male because computer science and, you know, computing in general is very a male-dominated field. I think the first time I really started to notice was in various summer internships and research jobs I had in school. It always seemed like during meetings, for example, even though I was just an undergrad. it seemed like people assumed that I knew what I was doing. You know, during meetings, people would talk to me in a very positive and respectful way as though I had a lot of experience. And I have peers who did not fit my demographic as much, and they were, you know, I would say implicitly looked down upon without, you know, much prior evidence.

HEADLEE: Well, let's be more specific about that because in your essay you say you saw other young programmers, and especially women, who were actually discouraged by either their professors or by their bosses, even though they were fully qualified. Can you, like, relay without using names? Tell us about one of those incidents.

GUO: Sure. So in my article, I described a friend of mine who, after her freshman year, she was looking for research opportunities on campus. And she got a research job that - where she would be building graphical applications. And at the same time, a male student, also with the same experience level - they both had the same resume because they had both just taken the introductory class. As far as I knew, he did not have a ton prior experience. But the manager - the research manager gave him the job that was the actual programming job, and he kind of put her on the more mundane sort of menial task of transcribing notes and other sorts of non-programming tasks. And as a result of that, she got fairly discouraged because she saw throughout summer that her male counterpart was actually learning a lot and improving and feeling very satisfied with his job and she was not. She was really doing something that she didn't sign up for.

HEADLEE: Did you ever talk to people about - your fellow students or colleagues - about these things?

GUO: I have. And, you know, throughout both my undergrad and grad school, this topic kept on coming up again and again. And as this article has come out, lately, I've been discussing it lot because after this piece came out, my blog got kind of spread virally on Twitter and also then Slate picked it up, and it got even wider exposure. I've gotten - my inbox is filled with over a hundred e-mails from people all around the U.S. and even around the world who've talked about their personal stories of implicit discouragement and discrimination in both school and the workplace. And a lot of those e-mails, you know, make me very frustrated and sad. And so I've been e-mailing people, and I'm hoping to write a follow-up piece about that.

HEADLEE: But, I mean, I imagine the immediate response might be, look, it's worked great for you. Why complain?

GUO: Yeah, so, I mean, my - I'm of two minds in this, right? Of course, I've been a beneficiary of this sort of - these sorts of implicit stereotypes, so I feel lucky in one regard. But on the other hand, there's sort of a bit of guilt as well, right? That I feel like I've gotten a lot of opportunities that others have not as much. You know, other people of my similar sort of technical skill level just did not get the encouragement that I did. And I wish that we lived in a world where these sorts of inequalities just didn't exist.

HEADLEE: You know, I wonder if you really should be feeling any guilt, or maybe you can describe to me how that guilt works for you inside your head. I mean, you're not responsible for someone else not getting an opportunity. You're not responsible for someone giving you a job, and maybe they just felt honestly, without regards to race, that you might be better qualified. So why would you feel guilty?

GUO: That's a great question. Yeah, so maybe guilt was a bit strong of a word. I think maybe part of it is that, you know, I think as people - especially, I've been trained as a computer scientist and as a scientist - kind of coming from a science background, you're always kind of trained to question yourself and question your beliefs and your technical abilities and the merits of your work. And so maybe a part that stemmed from the fact that I questioned, oh, wow, if I had, you know, looked different, if the color of my skin had been different, if I had been of a different gender, I might have not gotten as far as I have in my career so far.

So, you know, part of that is good and part of it is just feeling fortunate as well. And I feel like the thing I would say to younger people kind of who are looking up to me as role models who are in my demographic is that you should feel very fortunate and make the most of the opportunities you've been given. And also, at the same time, kind of pay it forward and not - and try your best not to, you know, show these sorts of biases against younger people.

HEADLEE: And you're going to be an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Rochester in New York, right?

GUO: Yes.

HEADLEE: So what will you tell your students? If you have African-American students or Latino students or especially women students, how will you prepare them to deal with this if racial profiling is going to be part of their work life?

GUO: That's a great question. And it's something that I've read - I've started reading a bit about. And it's a delicate issue to deal with, especially because I am not of the demographic, right? So I don't feel like I have a true understanding of what they might've gone through and what they may be going through. So it may be presumptuous of me to try to, you know - it may be kind of a paternalistic tone if I make statements that are too broad.

So I think what I would say is - I would really be encouraging in class for people to come talk to me, for students to talk to me at office hours. And then privately, if they have concerns, I'll be very candid about it. Another thing I might do is share stories or refer them to role models that I know who are, say, African-American or women in computer science. So I feel like a big part of my contribution is actually connecting students to my colleagues and friends who have been successful in overcoming these challenges and hoping that they can kind of talk to them as role models.

HEADLEE: Well, I applaud you for being so open and honest about a topic that remains unspoken so often. Philip Guo, computer programmer. He joined us from the studios at MIT. Thank you so much.

GUO: Thank you so much.

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Replies:
Posted By: newdiva1
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:13pm
I promise you I was either reading or watching something over the weekend and this topic was brought up....or actually...*slaps leg and points empatically*u know what it was?  I was on soundcloud. hyphenated radio station was talking about this.


Posted By: bindy
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:14pm
Cry me a river......


Posted By: yurika975
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:20pm
People do assume they are the model minority. 


Posted By: ragincajin
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:36pm
Originally posted by bindy bindy wrote:

Cry me a river......


Ha-ha! But you gotta marvel at his candor. Will wonders never cease?!


Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:39pm
People have been assumed to be worse things...


Posted By: ragincajin
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:42pm
Originally posted by liesnalibis liesnalibis wrote:

People have been assumed to be worse things...




Zero sympathy for the Asian MIT grad??



Posted By: liesnalibis
Date Posted: Feb 24 2014 at 10:46pm
Girl I didn't even read...


Posted By: OrriannaRose
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 12:05am
Oh, how terrible to be automatically seen as a genius vs a criminal.  Ermm


Posted By: Lady ICE
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 12:16am
Originally posted by bindy bindy wrote:

Cry me a river......
Originally posted by OrriannaRose OrriannaRose wrote:

Oh, how terrible to be automatically seen as a genius vs a criminal.  Ermm
i came in the thread with this attitude.LOL


Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 12:56am
Oh BHM...


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 1:26am
Oh you silly people

Don't you know that "positive stereotypes" are on the opposite side of the same coin as negative ones

They work both for and against "minorities". Stereotypes only benefit one group wholesale, the White one


Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 1:35am
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

Oh you silly people

Don't you know that "positive stereotypes" are on the opposite side of the same coin as negative ones

They work both for and against "minorities". Stereotypes only benefit one group wholesale, the White one
Did you just say what I said but smarter?


Posted By: bunzaveli
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 1:37am

People/cops Assumed I Was A Criminal Because I'm Black





Posted By: BBpants
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 1:52am
Originally posted by Mixer Mixer wrote:

Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

Oh you silly people

Don't you know that "positive stereotypes" are on the opposite side of the same coin as negative ones

They work both for and against "minorities". Stereotypes only benefit one group wholesale, the White one
Did you just say what I said but smarter?

Is the sky blue?


Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 1:59am

Originally posted by <font color='#0000FF'>http://www.racefiles.com/author/scot/ rel=nofollow</font> - S  <font color='#0000FF'>http://www.racefiles.com/author/scot/ rel=nofollow</font> - cot Nakagawa http://www.racefiles.com/author/scot/ rel=nofollow - S http://www.racefiles.com/author/scot/ rel=nofollow - cot Nakagawa wrote:

]


The Problem With Asian American Racial Privilege

February 5, 2014 1:30 am

http://dm6f2h6auoj7u.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Asian-diversity-image.jpg" rel="nofollow">Asian diversity image

If you do a google search of “Asian privilege” you’ll see that the subject is generating a lot of chatter, both on the http://takimag.com/article/tackling_asian_privilege_gavin_mcinnes/print#axzz2sTtnS01K" rel="nofollow - right and the http://www.hyphenmagazine.com/blog/archive/2012/03/there-privilege-being-asian-american" rel="nofollow - left . But, much of the online discussion concerning Asian privilege ignores a couple of really important things.

First, “race” is a political category, invented to serve the interests of white supremacy. Second,  the http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oriental" rel="nofollow - Oriental “race” (what we were called before we became Asian) was conceived of in this context. When you consider these facts, it becomes clear that Asian privilege may be more complicated than we imagine.

On the first point, race is neither biological nor cultural. In the words of Northwestern University Law Professor, http://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/assets/documents/cv-RobertsDorothyE._v2011-08-17;051530.pdf" rel="nofollow - Dorothy Roberts , “Race is not a biological category that is politically charged. It is a political category that has been disguised as a biological one.”

And politics has consequences. It is through our political system that the rules of society are made, and by those rules that the wealth of society is distributed.

So when we talk about Asian Americans, we’re talking about a subjugated political category as much as we’re talking about the people that category tries to contain. We aren’t all alike and don’t all fit together. In fact, Asian America includes ethnic groups that are among the most successful in terms of income, and groups that are among the most unsuccessful by that same measure. Even most so-called Asians don’t identify as such, preferring instead to identify by ethnicity.

Add the notion of http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/privilege" rel="nofollow - privilege to all of this and things get even more complicated. Why? Because privilege doesn’t necessarily equate to real political power, and not all privileges are racial. On the other hand, privileges that don’t start out racial often get concentrated in ways that benefit certain racial groups because of the very real political power of race.

Confused yet? Here’s what I mean.

Many Asian immigrants come to the U.S. on special visas that are granted to those who have skills the U.S. is short on. For instance, South Asian Americans include a disproportionate number of doctors, specifically because the U.S. didn’t have enough doctors to serve the new market for health care created by medicare and recruited them from South Asia. Today, many Taiwanese are being recruited to address shortages of workers qualified for high wage jobs in the tech sector. This kind of targeted recruitment skews statistics concerning Asian educational attainment and income upward, creating the impression that Asian Americans as a whole have a racial advantage that results in a disproportionate number of us becoming doctors and other high wage workers.

But the first wave of South Asian doctors, like the current wave of Taiwanese tech workers, weren’t educated in the U.S., and not all Asians come here on special visas. Some of us arrive as impoverished http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2012/11/undocumented-asian-immigrants-in-the-united-states/" rel="nofollow - undocumented immigrants, and others as war refugees. The apparent race privilege indicated by the median incomes and educational levels of Asians overall is about as relevant to these groups as the high median family income of whites is to white people living in the abandoned coal camps of Appalachia.

Moreover, while special visas are certainly a form of privilege, Asians aren’t getting them because they’re Asian. They’re getting them because they have skills U.S. industries aren’t finding enough of at home. There’s a difference.

But the privilege of getting a special visa is undeniable. And in a society organized by race, concentrating that privilege among some Asians makes a difference to all of us because it contributes to the stereotype of Asians as model workers and citizens. And, as dehumanizing as it may be, this kind of http://www.asian-nation.org/model-minority.shtml" rel="nofollow - model minority stereotyping is a form of privilege in the context of racism, which is nothing more than the logic of race.

I know some Asian Americans are uncomfortable with that idea, but the privilege of model minority stereotyping is made evident when you consider the obvious disadvantage of being labeled a “problem” minority. This disadvantage is represented in the http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/page.cfm?id=122" rel="nofollow - racially skewed composition of our prisons and the widespread practice of http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/04/the-blackwhite-marijuana-arrest-gap-in-nine-charts/" rel="nofollow - targeting of black men for petty crimes like marijuana use that are committed just as frequently by whites, who also present the problem of constituting a much larger percentage of the illegal marijuana market.

That privilege may not benefit us all equally, but even white privilege doesn’t benefit all white people equally (I again offer those white Appalachians for your consideration). People with the power to confer privilege tend to do so in order to concentrate benefits for themselves, so most of what is gained through racial stereotyping isn’t really being spread around, and even to the extent that it is, the distribution is hardly even. Moreover, in the case of Asian Americans, that privilege is conferred upon us by whites, making Asian privilege a form of conditional white privilege.

So, as we argue over Asian privilege, we should keep in mind that Asian is less effective as a descriptor of people as it is of a political category created to serve the interests of white supremacy. And because the Asian political category is a subjugated one by definition, just like special visas granted to address labor shortages, Asian privilege can be revoked if we don’t play by the rules.



lol @ Mixer



Posted By: Alias_Avi
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 2:02am
Quote

The Origins of the Asian American Model Minority Myth

February 21, 2014 8:59 am

http://dm6f2h6auoj7u.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/color-of-success.jpg" rel="nofollow">color of success

Historian Ellen Wu’s http://press.princeton.edu/titles/10134.html" rel="nofollow - The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority just might be the best examination of the roots of the model minority stereotype in print.

More than just a connect-the-dots documentation of the rise of the model minority myth, The Color of Success succeeds at putting the myth in a much broader social and political context, positioning the model minority as a critical, even necessary, lever of white supremacy, resting upon and taking drawing its power from the fulcrum of anti-black racism. What’s more, it succeeds at making this history feel personal and present in contemporary social relations. For me, a person who lived through or in the immediate aftermath of the events documented in the book, The Color of Success felt like a piece of personal history.

During the 1960s, the formative years of my youth, model minority myth making was so ubiquitous that nearly everyone around me, and most especially Asian Americans, just accepted it as the truth. No doubt the enthusiasm among many Asian Americans to accept model minority stereotyping was a reflection of the fact that the menu of choices where stereotypes were concerned appeared to be restricted to either “ http://www.asian-nation.org/model-minority.shtml" rel="nofollow - model minority ” or “ http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3401804636.html" rel="nofollow - yellow peril. ” And the stakes were high. The “yellow peril” stereotype had been used to justify wars in Korea and Vietnam, the http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/lesson_plans/japanese_internment/index.html" rel="nofollow - mass internment of Japanese Americans during WWII,  http://www.lgjf.org/2011/10/untold-stories-of-mccarthyism-chinese-americans-and-the-red-scare/" rel="nofollow - anti-communist persecution of Chinese Americans under the http://www.writing.upenn.edu/%7Eafilreis/50s/mccarran-act-intro.html" rel="nofollow - McCarran Act , and no small amount of racial exclusion and terrorism.

Growing up in Hawai’i only made matters worse. I didn’t just see the telecasts from Vietnam on TV, I lived in the staging site for that war, surrounded on all sides by military bases full of soldiers who looked at us like we were every bit as much the enemy as the Viet Cong. Moreover, winning statehood for Hawai’i’ in 1959, just a few years before I was born, required no small amount of myth making concerning Hawai’i's “Asiatic majority,” not to mention the intentional marginalization of Native Hawaiians for whom statehood was yet another demoralizing chapter in a centuries long history of illegal and near genocidal colonial domination.

In order to assuage racist fears of a yellow peril takeover of (white) American culture and politics, statehood advocates presented Asian Hawai’i residents as bi-cultural brokers between east and west who were, nonetheless, as American as pizza and chop suey, and ironically equipped by our indelibly foreign cultures to be ideal Americans. The contradictions, though obvious, were mostly ignored, not just by white Americans but by many Asians.

The Color of Success provides a detailed account of where all of that confusing, contradictory, and ultimately dehumanizing myth making came from. It presents a critical swath of Asian American history, from WWII through the 1970s, during which some Japanese and Chinese American leaders tried to secure citizenship for members of their communities by engaging in P.R. campaigns and sponsoring  research designed to convince the public that they, and by extension Asians in general, were less prone to delinquency and promiscuity, and more committed to family, education, and country than others by dint of culture. Japanese Americans in particular were so successful in this effort that by the 1980s, during the U.S.-Japan auto wars, the notion that Japanese culture made adherents better, more industrious workers, especially on mass production lines, inspired a craze for all things Japanese, from ancient samurai codes to flower arranging.

But the model minority stereotype had a downside. The myth of the model minority painted Asians as decidedly not black in the American mind, inadvertently promoting the idea that blacks were Asian Americans’ opposites; a “problem minority,” spoiling the American dream by refusing to simply ignore racism and quietly pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Today, the myth is more popular than ever, and as important to the reproduction of racial injustice in the 21st century as the 19th century “rags to riches” novels of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horatio_Alger,_Jr." rel="nofollow - Horatio Alger were to the suppression of dissent against extreme gilded age class exploitation and 1% excesses in the beginning of the 20th century.

This book is a must-read for all who are interested in Asian American history, critical race theory, and the roots of color blind racism in the U.S.





Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 2:03am
Originally posted by BBpants BBpants wrote:

Originally posted by Mixer Mixer wrote:

Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

Oh you silly people

Don't you know that "positive stereotypes" are on the opposite side of the same coin as negative ones

They work both for and against "minorities". Stereotypes only benefit one group wholesale, the White one
Did you just say what I said but smarter?

Is the sky blue?
Yes it is. I see Naruto marathons made you forget the sky color again. Go get some sunshine.


Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 2:05am
Alias, you really did break it down well.Sleepy As for BHM, oh boy...


Posted By: BBpants
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 2:14am
Originally posted by Mixer Mixer wrote:

Originally posted by BBpants BBpants wrote:

Originally posted by Mixer Mixer wrote:

Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

Oh you silly people

Don't you know that "positive stereotypes" are on the opposite side of the same coin as negative ones

They work both for and against "minorities". Stereotypes only benefit one group wholesale, the White one
Did you just say what I said but smarter?

Is the sky blue?
Yes it is. I see Naruto marathons made you forget the sky color again. Go get some sunshine.

Says the negro who lived in the porn basement lol




Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 25 2014 at 3:03am
You were my roommate. You'll remember after you untighten that ugly headband.


Posted By: ragincajin
Date Posted: Feb 26 2014 at 10:25pm
Originally posted by Alias_Avi Alias_Avi wrote:

<h1 ="title">The Origins of the Asian American Model Minority Myth</h1>

Your breakdown was great. Just great.


Posted By: ragincajin
Date Posted: Feb 26 2014 at 10:26pm
@ Bunzzveli- Yup and thanks!


Posted By: Midna
Date Posted: Feb 27 2014 at 12:49am
Can we stop invalidating benevolent racism, y'all?

This is still racism. Let an Average Joe be an Asian and people will ignorantly assume that he's not average, but plain stupid because he's Asian and average.

Anything amazing he does will be severely downplayed because he's Asian. Maybe these stereotypes aren't as blatantly harmful as other more antagonizing beliefs, but the fact of the matter is this thinking is still a part of a system that oppresses people of color- even Asian people.


Asian women are stereotyped to be docile and subservient little creatures with sideways vaginas and as "appealing" as that is supposed to sound, there are blogs like http://creepywhiteguys.tumblr.com/" rel="nofollow - CreepyWhiteGuys compiling the bullsh*t Asian women receive just for being themselves. These "compliments" they receive are still harmful as hell because in the end, it is racism.

Let's not try to place racism on a hierarchy. We're living under the harmful entity that is racism and the hierarchy it places on race is damaging enough already.


Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 27 2014 at 1:18am
ClapMidna.


Posted By: Sang Froid
Date Posted: Feb 27 2014 at 3:23am
Too bad they don't like us. 


Posted By: Mixer
Date Posted: Feb 27 2014 at 3:31am
Originally posted by Sang Froid Sang Froid wrote:

Too bad they don't like us. 
Confused


Posted By: Midna
Date Posted: Feb 27 2014 at 4:51am
True.. antiblackness doesn't only exist in white people. :\



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