Sunday, January 12, 2020

Week1_Uyen Ngo_ASA150E

From time to time, I have heard of the "good refugee" and how it constructs Vietnamese as the group that "enthusiastically and uncritically embrace and live the "American Dream" (17). As a Vietnamese American myself, I have always been told by my parents to be obedient in regards to "white people" and that ultimately this was their country not ours. It was a narrative that I would soon realize arose from my mother's encounter and experience with American society, in which she realized that playing into this narrative would lead to personal advancement. In terms of Vietnamese Americans being deemed the new "model minority" (18), even from the point of view of a Vietnamese American, both the privileges and consequences of this have been shown to be obvious since I was a child. It had become obvious that the portrayal of Vietnamese Americans becoming the new model minority served the purpose of showing the savior complex of America and how America was the mother who took these refugees under her wings and gave them a new start at life rather than the cause of why the Vietnamese people had to become refugees in the first place.

Espiritu, Yen Le. Body Counts the Vietnam War and Militarized Refuge(Es). University of California Press, 2014.

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