As a miraculously employed Asian American, I finished the article feeling frustrated by its findings. I found the statistics to be interesting, the sources diverse (shout out to C.N. Le!), and I give kudos to the writer for clearly chanting "will not write 'model minority'" to himself while drafting the article. However, I was left with concerns about the article’s claims.
For instance, although I can accept the statistical evidence that Asians, as a lumped together whole, appear "more educated" than other racial groups, the article merely glosses over the socio-economic disparities within the Asian American community. Although a Biblical-length epic can be written about the challenges within the Asian American community, reducing the struggles of low-income Asians to the idea that they "aren't well-educated and don’t speak English well" is rather simplistic.
Furthermore, the article cites Asian American familial ties, family businesses, and an aversion to risk as shields against unemployment. According to the article, it is possible that Asian Americans are both cautious and eager participants in the guaranteed financial doom that is running a business. Overall, I wished the piece had focused on the revived entrepreneurial spirit in this recession rather than reminding readers that Asian family ties are tighter than hipster pants.
Finally, I was a bit amused by the article’s final argument: that quite simply, unemployment is not accepted in the Asian American community. I question whether, in this apocalyptic economy, any one race endorses unemployment. Does race even factor into a desire to make a living? During my short stint clawing my way out of the jobless black hole, I remember the things that drove me to churn out cover letters. My anguished bank account. My colossal college debt. My desire to do something other than watch the Meredith Vieira version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. Race was the last thing to cross my mind.
If anything, a 7.5 percent unemployment rate is not cause enough to break out the Remy Martin and celebrate. The number is still well above the mythical Clinton-era unemployment rates and shows that the economy is affecting us all -- regardless of race.