White Americans earn as much as 79% more than their Chinese American counterparts.

Major Study Of Chinese-Americans Debunks ‘Model Minority’ Myth:

ScienceDaily (Nov. 12, 2008) — Chinese Americans, one of the most highly educated groups in the nation, are confronted by a “glass ceiling,” unable to realize full occupational stature and success to match their efforts, concludes a new study from the University of Maryland.

The returns on Chinese Americans’ investment in education and “sweat equity” are “generally lower than those in the general and non-Hispanic White population,” says the report, A Chinese American Portrait. It adds that, on average, Chinese American professionals in the legal and medical fields earn as much as 44 percent less than their White counterparts.

(emphasis mine)

If Chinese Americans earn 44% less than their White counterparts, then they earn 100% – 44% = 56% of their White counterparts’ earnings. The earning ratio of Chinese Americans to that of their White American counterparts is 56:100. If we flip the ratio, White Americans’ earnings are 100/56 of that of Chinese Americans, or about 179%. This means that White Americans earn as much as 79% more than their Chinese American counterparts in the legal and medical fields, on average.

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19 Responses to “White Americans earn as much as 79% more than their Chinese American counterparts.”

  1. theboxman Says:

    Thanks for putting this up Restructure. Given what the study has found, I can’t help but think that it demonstrates the futility of a more liberal weak “anti-racism” (if you can even call it that) which seeks only inclusion, that is, participation in a white hierarchy, as is symptomatic in certain calls for media representation, for instance, without dismantling the larger structures at work.

    Can there be a North American based anti-racism that does not address the global dimensions of colonial Othering? Or, more concretely, is asserting one’s Canadian (or American as the case may be) identity as a person of Asian descent be a dead-end strategy unless it is also coupled with the argument that it (i.e., CBC vs. FOB, Canadian-born or immigrant) should be irrelevant as far as anti-racist practice is concerned.

  2. Restructure! Says:

    I know that as a CBC, I’ve been trained with an anti-FOB bias that I need to get over, as a lot of it is internalized racism. However, it’s hard for me to shake the sense that being CBC is part of my identity, and that I view race differently as a CBC. I’ve been told by some foreign-born Chinese that I am lucky to be CBC because I “don’t know what racism feels like”. WTF? Clearly, those individuals have no idea what I experience, have no idea that even CBCs experience racism, as whites do not really make the distinction.

  3. theboxman Says:

    > Clearly, those individuals have no idea what I experience, have no idea that even CBCs experience racism, as whites do not really make the distinction

    That’s an expression of ignorance indeed, and it certainly indicates the need for stronger alliances that doesn’t center one or the other. After all, as far as the experience of racism goes, there’s more that is shared than not, and as such, any kind of anti-racist action by one group cannot be at the expense of the other. To put it another way, the infamous “where are you from” question is offensive not because the addressee is not from somewhere else per se, but that it presupposes otherness and makes the otherness a point of significance, regardless of the nation of origin of the one whom it is asked.

    But before going any further, I should emphasize that none of this is meant as a criticism of your writing in any way. I think you’ve done a great job here as a matter of fact. A better example of a problematic staking out of a position might be your arch-nemesis (as you noted in a different thread previously).

    (I think it’s only fair that I disclose my own positionality here — FOB male normally in Toronto, but not at the moment)

  4. theboxman Says:

    In addition, although to a lesser extent, I can’t help but think that in certain instances, Racialicious with its occasional expressions of an unexamined American-centricity is symptomatic as well.

  5. Restructure! Says:

    For me, the alliance we need to make is among all POC. However, as POC experiences cannot be generalized (contrary to Macon D’s hope), we should also allow for making distinctions between different identities. I find that I have a lot in common with second-gen POC (non-Chinese) that foreign-born Chinese do not understand. I think race/racism is interpreted differently by something as simple as where you believe you were born.

    To me, “Where are you from?” is offensive because of what you described, but if I’m actually born here, there is an extra layer of wrongness. So if you wanted to correct that person, you would answer by saying, “Firstly, … ; secondly, …”

    I think it was atlasien or someone who commented that second-generation Asians have more mental problems because we have more cognitive dissonance coming from a greater gap between who we are and what people assume we are. Even the fact that people assume we were born in a different country and we know that we are not causes mental anguish.

    Co-sign with the unexamined American-centricity at Racialicious.

  6. theboxman Says:

    Great points. The challenge it seems would have to be the building of these alliances without demanding a generalization, that is, a flattening out of the experiences of various POC groupings.

    >So if you wanted to correct that person, you would answer by saying, “Firstly, … ; secondly, …”

    Yes, indeed. It sort of reminds of the necessary response to the whole “Obama is a Muslim” smear. Indeed, he’s not a Muslim. But at the same time, it shouldn’t matter even if it were true.

  7. Kathy Says:

    Restructure!

    Thanks for this post, I think Frank Wu touches on this as well.
    I hope Obama appoints Frank Wu to the Supreme Court.

    On the immigrant issue vs born , I had always thought that a person who did not grow up under the weight of white racism might have better self-esteem, but be more likely to not be able to recognize or deal with the situations that their children would face in America. Any thoughts about that would be appreciated.

  8. jwbe Says:

    what does CBC and FOB mean please?

  9. Restructure! Says:

    jwbe,

    Basically, CBC = Canadian-Born Chinese. FOB = Fresh Off the Boat, and refers here to recent Chinese immigrants (to Canada). “FOB” is a pejorative.

    Normally, CBCs hate FOBs, and sometimes call non-recently-immigrated, foreign-born Chinese (Canadians) “FOBs” as well to designate lower status. Normally, many foreign-born Chinese also hate CBCs for some reason that I don’t fully understand, probably because they think we’re snobs, self-hating, ignorant of Chinese culture, and Chinese in appearance only but white inside. Sometimes foreign-born Chinese call CBCs “jook-sing”, which is also a pejorative.

    Other second-generation POC call recent immigrants “FOBs” and hate them as well, like desis.

    So I laugh when white people think that non-white people have a sense of community and belonging, because it’s based on white people’s perception of homogeneity of a non-white ethnic group.

    I normally wouldn’t explain this to someone who doesn’t already know what those terms mean, as I’m worried that Macon D will read this blog comment and then make some kind of generalization without understanding the whole context (which so huge that I don’t think it can be captured in a book). Basically, he’d read what I wrote here, message x, which would be interpreted correctly as x only by theboxman and chinesecanuck and people like that, but which would be interpreted as y, z, or ? by others.

    However, you are more careful than he is, so I know you’d interpret it as ? instead of interpreting it as y and then making a blog post about it to explain it to whites as expert knowledge.

  10. theboxman Says:

    But but how else would you generalize the experience of POCs?

    Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.

  11. theboxman Says:

    Above comment is meant to be snarky, incidentally. Sorry if that wasn’t clear. My bad.

  12. jwbe Says:

    Restructure, thank you.

  13. Lxy Says:

    Normally, CBCs hate FOBs, and sometimes call non-recently-immigrated, foreign-born Chinese (Canadians) “FOBs” as well to designate lower status. Normally, many foreign-born Chinese also hate CBCs for some reason that I don’t fully understand, probably because they think we’re snobs, self-hating, ignorant of Chinese culture, and Chinese in appearance only but white inside. Sometimes foreign-born Chinese call CBCs “jook-sing”, which is also a pejorative.

    Other second-generation POC call recent immigrants “FOBs” and hate them as well, like desis.,

    Sounds like there is a lot of destructive division between first and native-born generations of Chinese Canadians. The primary beneficiaries of this will be the White majority, as they can always play the divide-and-conquer game.
    It reminds me a little bit of Frantz Fanon and his analysis of the psychology of the oppressed/colonized and the pathologies of self-hatred found in these communities.

    I’m from the USA, and there is the same division between so-called FOBs and native born Asian Americans, but I wouldn’t describe this relationship with such a strong word like hate.

  14. Nquest Says:

    But but how else would you generalize the experience of POCs?

    roflmao!!

    You and Restructure have got to stop… I’m going to laugh myself into a hernia.

  15. Restructure! Says:

    Lxy,

    Are you Asian American? Are you Chinese American?

  16. Lxy Says:

    Are you Asian American? Are you Chinese American?

    Yes, I am a second generation Chinese American.

  17. Restructure! Says:

    Okay. Maybe I should have wrote, “CBCs ‘hate’ FOBs” and “foreign-born Chinese ‘hate’ CBCs”. I don’t think it’s literally hatred, but that’s the word people use. People say things like, “I hate FOBs,” and I have overheard “I hate CBCs,” but didn’t get to hear the reason why.

  18. theboxman Says:

    Restructure:

    A thought crossed my mind. While I’m sure certain immigrant generational dynamics are shared across POC groups, to what extent do you think that the CBC/FOB relations are particular to Chinese immigration to North America, given how the various waves of Chinese immigration are complicated by the Cold War geopolitical history of Hong Kong/Taiwan/PRC (and how North America is implicated in this)?

  19. Restructure! Says:

    I don’t know. What do you think? I thought HK CBCs ‘hated’ HK FOBs in particular, etc.


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