• Protesters hang a banner against racism in a police precinct in Ferguson, Missouri.

Protesters hang a banner against racism in a police precinct in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo : REUTERS)

The conviction of former police officer Peter Liang may be considered the best thing that happened to Asian-Americans since the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1960, but also showed how confused some Asian-Americans are when it comes to race, according to an article written by Jess Guh on thiscantbehappening.net.

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Guh said that Peter Liang's conviction is a wake-up call to those who believed the "model minority myth." He said it is now clear that America still looks at Asian-Americans differently and the so-called "blue wall of silence" does not include the yellow race.

According to the article, three crucial facts can be learned from Peter Liang's conviction which can help understand the racial circumstances of Asian-Americans. One, that American racism includes Asian-Americans. Two, that through legislation and campaigning, the white majority has used the educational and financial privilege of a few Asian-Americans to convince society that racism is no longer an issue. Lastly, that Asian-Americans themselves have believed this, building a wall between the Asian-American community and other communities of color.

The article said that majority of Americans were made to believe that Asian-Americans have achieved the true American dream, through hard work and dedication to academic achievement, by adhering in the model minority and that it is not systemic racism but lack of adherence to American work ethic that holds back other communities of color.

Guh said that this has led to the false belief to the model minority stereotype and its social effects are too complex. He said a key misunderstanding is the origin of stereotypes which are generalizations that cannot be applied to any one individual. They represent a generalization of a true trend in behavior or characteristic that is common among a group of people.

According to Guh, this reasoning results in behavioral trends that are not inherent but have pushed people to respond to the pressure. This is reflected in the wrong notion that it is an inherent ability of black athletes to be in the NBA similarly as there are more white athletes in the NHL. He added that under these social restrictions, many black men believed that the only way to succeed is to become a professional athlete, and basketball and football are the only sports available to them.