Standing in Support of the AAPI Community
Stop AAPI Hate, an organization standing against Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) discrimination, hate, and xenophobia, reported 3,795 AAPI hate incidents over the past year. This is a drastic increase compared to 2,600 incidents reported last year, and there is no doubt that this trend follows the ignorant and appaling rhetoric used to blame and stigmatize the AAPI community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to these assertions being factually incorrect, they point to the larger issue of cultural racism against AAPI and other immigrant populations in the United States.
The Model Minority Myth establishes a false narrative regarding AAPI individuals, characterizing "Asian Americans as a polite, law-abiding group who have achieved a higher level of success than the general population through some combination of innate talent and pull-yourselves-up-by-your-bootstraps immigrant striving." Perpetuating such stereotypes is incredibly harmful by acting as though racism against AAPI is nonexistent. In addition, it homogenizes all individuals and ignores the rich diversity in Asian cultures.
While it is important to acknowledge that AAPI individuals have not been disadvantaged by structural racism in the same way Black and Indigenous populations have, the cultural racism against them is a large issue and is ever present in the healthcare industry. Healthcare providers that are innexperienced in working with AAPI patients may play a role in perpetuating the model minority myth by making uninformed assumptions about their diets and lifestyle. Also, physicians may incorrectly correlate high education attainment to high health literacy. However, many AAPI individuals face language barriers which prevents them from fully understanding their health and taking action. The model minority myth also equates economic successes to overall wellness, when in reality, this is not the case. For example, in 2010-2011, 19.5 percent of Asian Americans were uninsured compared to 15.3 percent of Whites. The ACA has been instrumental in alleviating this disparity, but this reveals that a large number of Asian Americans rely on Medicare/Medicaid, compared to the expectation that such individals have high paying jobs and are on corporate-sponsored private insurance plans.
Caralyst is commited to fighting racism, implicit bias, and sterotyping in healthcare and aims to support the AAPI community in having culturally competent and respectful medical experiences. Our product invites individuals to share their identities while acknowledging that everyone has unique needs and characteristics. Our team and mission operate under the principle of cultural humility and is working towards an inclusive, respectful, and understanding healthcare community.