Throughout my semester in “Asian American Race Rebels”, I received the idea that most “race rebels” in history received negative connotations. Whether they were the No-No boys or revolutionaries to social change, Asian Americans race rebels were often seen as individuals who caused trouble for the Asian American community and created more harm than good.
As the semester progressed and we learned about the later Asian American race rebels, such as those in the 20th or 21st century, I have concluded that being a race rebel is not at all about negative influence; rather, society is simply redefining what it means to be a race rebel.
I believe in the 21st century, a race rebel is defined as someone who stands out against the traditional stereotypes of one’s race and ethnicity. The Side B narrative, rather, restructures the connotation of a race rebel. Today, with the rise of YouTube and the Internet as outlets for individualism, it is easier for one to speak out against what he or she believes; thus, a race rebel in the modern age is not one who is shunned or spited – he/she is, rather, symbolic of social change. With today’s media and Internet, it is easier for a race rebel to go against the stereotypes put on by society; hence, the so-called, Side B narrative, which is not conforming to the standards of the Model Minority.
The Side B narrative, I believe, is just another way of looking at a race rebel. It promotes individuals to be true to him/herself and highlights the ways in which an individual should address others who believe in the Side A – the Model Minority Myth. It has come to my attention that the 21st century race rebel falls not just within the realm of the media, but also in the health, political, business, and educational sectors. There are countless individuals I would consider are working to create more opportunities for Asian Americans and to improve the standards that confine Asian Americans.
I do not think a race rebel ought to be blamed for his/her actions toward facilitating social change for the Asian American community as history indicates; rather, I believe he/she should be held accountable for the shift in ideologies of today’s generation of Asian Americans. Without race rebels, Asian Americans would still be bound to the stereotypes of the Model Minority Myth, and they would continue to stay silent against the social injustices surrounding their communities. The Asian American community needs race rebels who can advocate for more individuality and the Side B narrative; so all individuals can work toward improving the standards to which Asian Americans are held socially, politically, and economically.