Christine Morris stimulates, provokes, and challenges some fundamental axioms about culture and literature in her intriguing essay. The absolutism of her position forces readers to critically examine their own ideas about the transmission and preservation of culture. Ultimately, I have some skepticism about the absolutism of her position, but her paper moved me several steps towards her position and caused me to evaluate my ideas on other issues as well.
In much of the U.S. media today, Asian-Americans are being hailed as the new “wonder group.” Local newspapers seem to be filled with articles about how this student from Pakistan won the spelling bee and that student from Japan won the math contest. Weekly news magazines carry articles extolling this phenomenon, and many liberals and conservatives alike enthusiastically promote the stereotype: liberals because it combats the racist myth that people of color are intellectually inferior to Euro-Americans (“whites”) and conservatives because it can be used to promote the idea that any ethnic group can make it if only they work hard. Therein lies one of the negative aspects of this media campaign.