People who look like me are praised for making innovative electronic devices, and we are also blamed for the “China virus.” We are celebrated for achieving the American dream, and we are regularly told to go back to where we came from. In the eyes of some of our fellow Americans, we are a living contradiction. This is the essence of the model minority myth, and for a long time, I believed it.
Growing up, there was a huge municipal park within walking distance of our apartment in Huntington Beach. Most nights after dinner, my father, sister, and I walked the winding concrete path around the park, stopping at the blue, rusty garbage barrels to look for aluminum cans. My father would fetch and hand them to us. We would flip them over, dumping out the last drops of cola or beer before giving them back to our father, who