The idea of “privilege”—that some people benefit from unearned, and largely unacknowledged, advantages, even when those advantages aren’t discriminatory —has a pretty long history. In the nineteen-thirties, W. E. B. Du Bois wrote about the “psychological wage” that enabled poor whites to feel superior to poor blacks; during the civil-rights era, activists talked about “white-skin privilege.” But the concept really came into its own in
Remember the Asian F episode of the TV series Glee? Given it’s name, I definitely caught it. In it, the character of Mike Chang (Harry Shum, Jr.) get’s a A- on a chemistry test and his father loses it, demanding that he quit his girlfriend and the glee club. Apparently, A- is an Asian F. Mike’s girlfriend is also an Asian American burdened with Tiger parents demanding nothing less than perfect grades and money machine career aspirations.
The Glee writers deserve a little grief for this episode, but I’d go easy on them. They are, after all, no … Read more “Challenging Asian Privilege”