'Too Asian?' Article in MacLeans: Do You Think it is Racist?
An Article in MacLeans Magazine By Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler is Causing Some Controversy
The article is called 'Too Asian?' and was briefly taken down from the MacLeans website, but has now been reposted with some edits. You can view the MacLeans article here and the original version here.
The article discusses how two girls deciding what school to go to did not even consider applying to the University of Toronto because "The only people from our school who went to U of T were Asian." The girl 'Alexandra' said "All the white kids go to Queen’s, Western and McGill."
The article goes on to talk about how an 'Asian school' has the reputation of being one that is so academically focused that other students feel they cannot compete with Asian students and they can't have fun.
According to the article, describing something as 'too Asian' is not racist, but it is a belief that white students believe competing with Asian students just "requires a sacrifice of time and freedom they’re not willing to make." Apparently some Asian students have felt resented for 'taking white student's spaces' in some Canadian universities. The article describes Asian students as those that "tend to be strivers, high achievers and single-minded in their approach to university."
The Chinese Canadian National Council has now issued a statement about an article in the Toronto Star called Asian Students Suffering For Success, and the MacLeans article, saying:
“I can find you white parents who are pressuring their kids to go to university too — Canadians all tell their kids, ‘Don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, stay in school’ and they encourage them to go to university; what’s wrong with that?” asked the Council’s executive director, Victor Wong. “What really bothers me is the Maclean’sheadline, ‘Too Asian?’ What does that mean? Not Canadian?”
The Council called the Star article 'fear-mongering'.
Andy Mark, executive director of the council in Toronto, noted “the trouble with this article is that is portrays Asians as academic-based automotons, learning machines that won’t interact with anything but a book. But no one is capable of that in four years of university.
“Is there pressure from parents (on kids to go to university)? Probably. Is it at a higher rate (among east Asians)? Maybe — but some of the commentary in this article is definitely racist.”
What do you think? Is the article too racist?