Amy Chua, the author known as “Tiger Mom” is back with a new book and it’s equally as arrogant and controversial as her last tome, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom.
In her latest effort, The Triple Package, co-written with her husband Jed Rubenfeld, Chua argues that some cultural groups, primarily comprised of immigrants, are just better at being successful in America than others because of three key traits: a superiority complex, insecurity and impulse control.
“That certain groups do much better in America than others — as measured by income, occupational status, test scores, and so on — is difficult to talk about. In large part, this is because the topic feels so racially charged.”
So which groups make the cut?
- Cuban exiles
Who’s left out of the “most successful” list? Americans.
Apparently Americans aren’t successful in America because “all three elements of the Triple Package run so counter to modern American culture, it makes sense that America’s successful groups are all outsiders in one way or another.” The authors continue, “Paradoxically, in modern America, a group has an edge if it doesn’t buy into — or hasn’t yet bought into — mainstream, post-1960s, liberal American principles.”
So all of the native-born Americans (black, white, or otherwise) who are out here doing awesome things? Too bad. You don’t count.
While immigrants who come to America often find success, holding them up as the standard—when many migrate to America with degrees, financial resources, and networks in tow (because acquiring Visas and immigrating is an expensive endeavor)—is somewhat disingenuous. Moreover, while many of the immigrants’ economies are experiencing a boom back home (China, India, Nigeria, etc.), Chua doesn’t explain why these groups have not repatriated their success back to their home countries (like China, which experiences high rates of poverty), or how they fare in other parts of the world.
Interestingly, Chua leaves African-Americans off the list despite the fact that we’ve managed to make amazing strides, moving from slavery to Jim Crow to the White House in less than 6 generations. Her reason? “In this paradoxical sense, equality isn’t fair to African-Americans,” because “superiority is the one narrative that America has relentlessly denied or ground out of its black population.” She also snubs Latinos who, according to demographers, will be one of the most powerful blocs in America by 2042.
In an extremely adept review, the New York Post called The Triple Package, “A series of shock-arguments wrapped in self-help tropes, and it’s meant to do what racist arguments do: scare people.”
Chua and Rubenfeld hope their work helps its readers reclaim or learn from the examples presented in the book so that “there are no longer any successful groups in the United States — only successful individuals,” but by exalting select groups over others it remains to be seen how this book can do little more than inspire people to feel either comfortable in their supposed superiority or contempt for the idea all together.