Model minority

Model minority by McKayla Tan

I am the model minority

Meticulously missing the misfortune of minority

By pleasing the people with my passivity and perception and pliant perspective

And my silence.

The silence that it is expected when others rise,

And when others roar and remonstrate I am relied on to rest restrained and remain relieved and

Grateful that I am the model minority


Model minority

I am the model minority,

Until I am not.

Until I am condemned for conflicting the China Virus,

And until I am close to conquering my Caucasian competitors and accused of cheating instead of creating change

Until I am not silent.


Silence is a weapon worn by whites to withhold the weakness and to pile the power which they already hold.

Silence is a bomb waiting in an unexpected building, ready to shatter the captives.

Close your eyes as you hear it stand by.

Tick, tick, tick and


I swear!

I swear I only shot the boy on the bridge because he was pointing the gun at me,

And I am the victim.

Believe me. Listen to my words.

See, he’s holding the bomb.

Can’t you hear it?

Tick, tick, tick and


It was a bad day!

Bad days are the reason these people go rampant with weapons and shoot these innocent people.

Stop making everything about race.

Look at me.

You’re holding the bomb.

You’re making this a racist act.

Look at your hands.

Can’t you hear it?

Tick, tick, tick and


And no noise.

No sound because we are still all so silent.

And we still say silence is a solution

That to solve the situation

We must suppress the press

Ignore the gore

Forget the threats, and pretend that that is an end.


Maybe it was never about the model minority.

Maybe model was a method to motivate the minority and manipulate the masses but maintain the might

Maybe model minority was a supremacy in the guise of being glorified

And being the model was a lie

The respect you had to buy

The cost of consideration was to comply

And live a life where your labour could never be amplified


A world where you had to work to be white

For your eyes to be wide

And your accent to be right

And even then you won’t be respected before you’re exploited and fetishised


Where being told you’re not like the other Asians is a praise

And being called chink or yellow is just a phrase

Just another word you have to deal with for days and days

Wondering when you will think it’s okay

And stealing our eyes and pulling them back is just a craze

And God forbid if you’re gay


Because that is too much

Too much political correctness if you’re more than one minority

Better to keep your head down and join the majority


Model minority

But not a model, and not a minority.

Just a crowd of guilty Christian Halls and oriental Chinamen and Chinagirls trying to take your jobs

Trying to take your spot in the top maths class

And all these insults, these accusations,

they begin to choke.

The chink has been choked.

And isn’t that poetic?


Model minority isn’t a choice

It’s a set of chains expecting us to chant your cheers

To command your congrats

And you have no clue

That we are chalk and cheese

Because you think our nationality is the disease

And believe that our expertise can be squeezed to appease your decrees

But you are wrong.


Because we will be free

Fly away from your supremacy

And you will see

the absurdity

Of model minority

I am not model minority

My people are not your mistakes to be modified

They are people who don’t need to earn not being denied

And our decisions are not yours to decide

Because we are not your models

And we are not your model minority.


A Stop Asian Hate rally in Detroit on March 27, 2021, part of a nationwide protest against hate crimes directed at Asian Americans.

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