Thursday, February 20, 2014

Is Amy Chua a Race Traitor?

Husband and Wife Author Team Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld
Amy Chua, infamous for her memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother where she writes about her strict no-nonsense parenting, has released a new novel, this time in partnership with her husband Jed. Chua's new book The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America details how three traits (an ethnocentric belief in their own superiority, a simultaneous inferiority complex, and a dogged commitment to the value of delayed gratification) that have caused certain minority groups to succeed in a world designed for them not to. These groups include Mormons, Jews, and those of Chinese, Indian, Cuban, Nigerian, Lebanese and Iranian descent (Chua and Rubenfeld happen to fall into two of these categories). Just like her last book, The Triple Package has caused a huge backlash in the Asian American community due to its perpetuation of the Model Minority. Critics claim that the book's ideas are nothing new and that race has less of a part of how successful you are in life than it is the neighbourhood you grew in.

If there's one thing I believe, it's that the media loves Amy Chua because no one else can extend the legacy of the Model Minority myth than her. Chua is a polarizing figure that isn't afraid to tell you what's wrong about your life and how you need to change it. Her bluntness is something to be admired; however, she has set herself up to be a pawn of the media. Having read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother in full, I can say that the media has never mentioned any part of the book besides its inseam and its first chapter. These areas focus on Chua's parenting rules such as not letting her daughters have playdates and forcing them to play their respective instruments for hours. I assume this is the case for this book. I'm not going to lie and pretend I've read the book like many of the people who have written articles, but I believe Chua has been manipulated by the media to continue writing on the topics that gave her such infamy.

In recent years, Chua has became the scourge of the Asian American community. Because of her, Model Minority stereotypes have lasted longer than they should have in mainstream media. Some may argue that Chua is simply being misinterpreted by the media and if she stopped at Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, I would have believe that. But now that she has released a second book revolving around the same issues brought up in the last, I believe that Chua is now in it for the fame. Chua could easily continue writing about economics, the subject she teaches at Yale, but she has veered her course in history to be the woman that is the embodiment of the Model Minority stereotype. And because of this, I argue that Chua has done much more harm than any intended good for the people she is trying to raise.

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