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The idea of the “model minority” is known as a “myth” because it is based on a number of stereotypes which have little basis in reality. The vast difference between those prejudicial imaginings and the complex reality of peoples’ lives is one reason that the myth has negative consequences. People who tend to view the behavior of other people as a result of conformity to a category often have difficulty relating to individuals; as a result, they fail to develop empathy for the qualities they share with those people.
For children, the burden of the model-minority image can be very harmful. One common element of this stereotype is that Asian children are seen as more studious than other children Often, these prejudices are summarized with the idea that Asian children “good at math.”
A distinct, but related, negative stereotype is that Asian parents push their children to excel academically. Often, this is accompanied by a negative gender stereotype of the “Tiger Mom” and related denigration of the father’s participation. Negative consequences can be the unwillingness of educators to provide the necessary support, as they imagine that the children receive it at home, or even to publicly shame children who do not conform.
Another negative perception is that model minority people are complacent and do not make waves in the political realm. This is often expressed in contrast to the advocacy of African Americans toward achieving civil rights. Both stereotypes can have negative consequences if used to justify opposition to political activism.