Racial Profiling Example: MODEL MINORITY MYTH In Action On Delta Airlines
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On a flight home from a conference I was seated in the back half of the plane with mostly Latinx, Afrolatinx, and Black students. At the last portion of the flight, a flight attendant announced congratulations for the students from San José State University’s engineering program who recently completed a successful engineering conference.
Upon boarding, the flight attendants minimally and coldly engaged with me when I made eye contact and greeted them or while snacks were distributed. After the announcement, the flight attendants made eye contact with me, smiled, and even offered me congratulations for my engineering accomplishment as the students’ chaperone.
The flight attendants unintentionally assumed I was the chaperone of the engineering program. Due to their racial bias, they singled me out as the only Asian American among the students who would most likely be the qualified science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) chaperone, despite their chaperone being present. The actual chaperone was a Latino cis man who was visually identifiable by the 6’ engineering poster he carried onto the plane.
1) Perpetuates a standard of racial profiling and discriminatory behaviors as an international airline company and professional organization.
- Deters customer loyalty due to unwelcoming transportation environments.
- Employees’ discriminatory behaviors depart from the organization’s mission “to create opportunities, foster understanding and protect our planet and the people within it.”
- Poor practice to engage with customers based on their physical appearance.
2) Excludes other races from being viewed as high achievers in STEM programs
- Perpetuates a harmful racism among folks of global majority (people of color) that specifically Black and Brown STEM accomplishments and their leaders are devalued compared to Asians/Asian Americans.
- Maintains White culture as the ultimate power of authority in STEM and others non-White individuals.
3) Enforces a false standard of generalization that Asians/Asian American are all accomplished in STEM.
- Erases and minimizes Asians/Americans who do not fit into the model myth minority, such as myself.
Comment if this resonated with you! 🙂 ✊