Being a child of immigrants is pretty darn hard. Your parents may have gotten you across the border, but now it’s your turn to put in that elbow grease and finish off the American Dream thing they started. In this video, Salutationsandgoodvibrations and, I will explore some of the challenges first-generation kids will have to face as they try to find the American identity for themselves and their family.
We will also talk about some of the biases in the news when it comes to reporting crimes, the chaos of having a multicultural family, and cultural appropriation with the Asian community. I’ll tell you what, trying to find your identity as your growing up between two different cultures isn’t gonna be an easy one. But I think we owe it to our parents to give it the ol’ immigrant try, eh.
If you have a story about being a child of immigrants or some kinda wonky cultural appropriation story, share with us down below…..and if you like it (sigh, I hate saying this) like, subscribe, comment, the whole jazz. . .please.
Before I even start, I want to say !!!TRIGGER WARNING!!! We will be talking about racism, hate crimes, recent attacks, sexual assault stuff, and other sensitive but real matters at hand.
Well, anywho, I got a new episode for you. . .but this time, it’s not gonna be a comedy thing. My friends Xtina, Jerome, and Erin will be joining me to talk about the recent hate crimes against Asian Americans Pacific Islanders.
In this episode, we talk about the “What about me?” mentality, racism within the AAPI community, try to figure out why there’s so much tension between other people of color and Asians, BLM vs AAPI, dealing with friends and family members who might not be so . . . nice, and everything else I mentioned or didn’t mention in the beginning.
I was super nervous about this recording because the subject just hits so close to home. I was so worried that I forgot to check my mic and lighting settings. I know it doesn’t excuse the shitty audio quality, but I’m sorry. I tried to fix it and spent almost 10 hours listening to the same 10 seconds repeatedly. Despite the recording being three hours long, I trimmed some stuff (which I will release as small clips).
So I hope y’all will, I guess, enjoy the show. Some stuff I want to mention: AWA was started in the Bay Area, I was wrong. And the importance of empathy and realizing the enemy is not one race but a system within America we have to change. We have to be careful not to weaponize our cause against anyone else; everyone’s experience is valid and their own. Below I linked a bunch of resources for more information. There are also sites where you can report hate crimes and get legal help.
If you have a story you would like to share, leave a comment down below….and you know, do the like and subscribe thing.
Timestamps 00:00 – Intros 01:23 – Xtina and Jerome’s Thoughts on the Rise in AAPI Hate Crimes 05:30 – Who are the Asian Americans? Asian Identity Crisis in America 12:12 – Hate Crimes vs Crimes of Opportunity, Daniel Wu and W. Kamau Bell Interview 17:10 – Anti-Asian Redoric (Kung-Flu), Model Minority Myth Division, and Colorism within AAPI 30:00 – What About Me? BLM vs AAPI: Trying to Understand the Divide 39:00 – AAPI Identity: What does it mean to be Asian Asian American? 46:38 – Growing Up Asian American in Visalia/Central Valley and My Experience with Racism 53:45 – You Can’t Just Blame White People or Black, Brown, Whatever People for Problems 1:00:30 – Maybe AAPI Deserves This Hate, We Brought This Upon Ourselves? 1:04:47 – Education and Exposure to Different Races and Cultures are Important! 1:12:37 – Modifying Our Language for Racists and Sympathizers, The Spectrum of Racisms 1:22:09 – Combating AAPI Conservatism: Without Empathy, People Won’t Change 1:31:00 – Standing with the AAPI Community: Who is the Enemy of the AAPI Movement? 1:38:45 – What if You’re a Bystander Witnessing a Hate Crime? Asian With Attitude 1:44:16 – Erin Telling Us About His Experience at the Stop Asian Hate Rally in Oakland 1:51:42 – Touching on the Discrimination/Racism within the Asian American Community 1:54:26 – Fetishization of Asian Women (Incel Culture) and Emasculation of Asian Males
1:58:21 – The Fetishization of Asian Males (Twink Stereotype) in the LGBQ+ Community 2:06:29 – Asians With Attitude and Stop AAPI Hate Organizing and Rallying People 2:08:00 – Closing Thoughts and Saying Goodbye
So this was supposed to come out last Friday, and I couldn’t post it because I was working on a farm. No Internet and knuckles deep in three different types of manure…not fun.
On this ep, we got ourselves a foursome. Kevin, Chris, Andrew will be joining me to talk about some of the stupid things we did growing up in Visalia, CA. Spoiler alert, we did them because we were bored, so we drank a lot. We also talk a little about playing high school football. Not that we were good or anything….we sucked, so now we’re just laughing at ourselves, talking about how it was growing up in Visalia.
If you want to laugh at some kids being dumb @$$ or hear of what we think of our hometown today, give us a go…pretty, please. Also, share your “legal” stories too. If you got them.
PS!!!! I just now realized I forgot to add a title to my last video….Yes, I am a dumbass.
On this segment of SorryAsianParents, Kevin Chang will be joining me in my tiny apartment to catch up. He is one of my longtime friends from high school. We played football together and raised a little hell: disappointing our Asian parents one party at a time.
In our conversation, Kevin will tell me what he’s been up to, a bit of Hmong history during the Vietnam War, and about his family. We will gingerly touch on his relationship with his father….and you know how we Asian kids be with our Asian fathers. I want to thank him for sharing his family’s history with me, and now with you. Despite how many of us (first-generation Asian Americans) share the same story as Kevin and I, we are reluctant to talk about these small incidences that have shaped our lives. So let’s try and normalize it!!!
I’m honored he agreed to share his story with me and allowed me to post it on my passion project. If y’all have any stories to tell about Laos, people from Southeast Asian, immigrant stories, or any tales of trying to live up to an Asian father (or mother), feel free to comment below and tell us. I know Kevin would love to hear other people’s experiences.
ps. I’m sorry for some of the framerate dropping here and there. I am in the process of getting new hardware soon so fingers crossed the next videos will run smoother. Bye, bye!!!
***NOTE: This is meant as a humor piece with some facts, contains strong language.***
It’s only been a few months in the year 2020, but (!) there’s probably a strong argument that this year has sucked lots and lots of balls. So far, the world lost basketball legend Kobe Bryant, Brexit finally went down in January (after years of teasing to pull out like the British Lads they are), and, currently, America is running out of toilet paper. Coronavirus fever has finally hit the States, and it’s causing a flurry of commotion at grocery stores across the nation- resulting in robberies and physical clashing of every Chad and Karen known to man. Are these toilet paper hoarders crazy? Yeah, they probably are. But, who knows? These people might actually need the ultra-softness of Charmin’s mega roll after their assholes explode from eating a Costco worth of ramen noodles and canned beans.
So, why is this Coronavirus making people so crazy? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19, or its street name: Novel Coronavirus, is causing such a ruckus because there currently isn’t a cure, and it’s hard to contain. Seems more like a Novela Virus with all the drama it’s causing. Compared to its cousin Influenza, which only kills less than 1% of those infected, COVID-19 has already killed about 11%. This virus hops onto the next person faster than a contestant on The Bachelor.
World leaders have taken drastic action by placing their citizens in a state of quarantine. The economy has also taken a nosedive, causing massive lay-offs. With major music festivals like Ultra and Coachella being canceled or postponed, even Instagram THOTs are feeling the burn of unemployment. And there ain’t no cream for that.
Yes, things are pretty fucking crazy right now.
But, do you know what’s spreading faster than a Bachelorette’s legs on ABC? I mean, Coronavirus? Racism! Aside from having to worry about getting a virus that makes you cough blood and post memes all day because of having to “Shelter in Place,” people of Asian descent now have to, also, worry about xenophobia and discrimination from idiots who thinks that every John Chinaman is spewing out COVID-19 like NBA star Rudy Gobert at a press conference.
Mmm, touch dem mics
Nothing says quarantine like a classic mic stroking, eh?
France was perhaps the first country out of China to warn its citizens of COVID-19. But for one local newspaper, Le Courier Picard, the print decided to go full Fox News when they labeled the crisis “Alerte Jaune” or, in English, “Yellow Peril.”
You might ask, “Why is this color-metaphor racist?” Well, my non-yellow friends, it’s because this phrase was used in the early 1900s as propaganda against people of the East. So, is it racist? Maybe we should ask the Chinese woman wearing a protective mask in the picture the print decided to use for their piece. She must be thrilled to be the face of French Coronavirus propaganda. Awkward.
Though the newspaper apologized for their mislabeling and bastardization of Chinese people, the damage was already done. On Twitter, the hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus, which translates to “I’m not a virus,” started to flood social media as a means to raise awareness of the rising discrimination against French Asian citizens. I think this whole story is nuts; Asian people in France, actually existing, like in Rush Hour 3, nuts!
As Coronavirus fever made its way to Harry Potter world, stories of Asian students getting their asses beat like it’s the 1840’s were starting to make headlines. One of the first cases involved a Singapore man named Mok on the streets of Oxford. While being assaulted, Mok heard one of the four assailants say, “I don’t want your Coronavirus in my country”. A statement that probably doesn’t sound good in any context. And a month later, four Chinese students wearing medical face masks were harassed at Vincent’s Walk in Southampton. With immigration playing a key role for Brexit, Asian people getting their asses beat was inevitable. I guess having free education doesn’t stop assholes from being arsehole.
I think the sign and hat aren’t bad. But that girl in the back, too far, bro.
Even in the land where weed and hookers are legal, the Netherlands, there are cases of racial discrimination. A Korean woman was almost assaulted by two men while riding her bike, Meghan Rajagopalan reports on BuzzFeed News. The victim, Jiye Seong-Yu, said she heard one of the men yell out “Chinese” as he swung. Rajagopalan’s piece also mentions a Korean American woman living in Amsterdam who was harassed online. The woman was called a “Chinese bitch” on Facebook and received other hateful comments.
And the COVID-19 World Tour doesn’t stop there. America may be late to the party, but we are currently putting all the other country’s racist games to shame.
Starting from the East Coast in NYC, a woman named Min, who goes by @princessmin_c on Twitter, said that a woman sitting across from her moved when she coughed. Min said the woman also covered her face before she decided to play a game of Runawayfromtheasian.
Mind you, these are just a few accounts from an overabundance of many. Every time I’m on NextShark, I can’t help but feel a little overwhelmed with all the new stories flooding in, gangbanging my faith in humanity.
When talking about big media covering the Coronavirus, we, of course, have to talk about the elephant in the room: Fox News.
On an episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, the comedian jests about how one Fox News correspondent really felt about China. (It’s at the 16-minute mark of the episode/link). Spoiler Alert: Donald Luskin doesn’t think they are civilized people. Though, it’s not surprising with similar past segments on FOX taking the piss out of Asian people who (literally) can’t defend themselves. Just between you and me, everyone at Fox kinda looks like your average neighborhood racist that hates the “Chine-knees” but still jerks-off to oriental porn when the wife’s at spin class.
Haters gonna hate. During these trying times, people would usually look to their leaders for pluralism and guidance. But, this is “Trump’s America” we’re talking about.
Between the tariffs and political ass-kissing, President Trump has a complicated relationship with China. Unlike with Russia, where the leader is literally Putin it in his mouth, Trump’s relationship with Jinping is more of a
Yeah, he said it.
will-they-or-won’t-they kind of situation.
However, the president of the United States made his feelings pretty clear when referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” in a tweet. An unfortunate choice of words would probably be a gross understatement. Of course, Trump being Trump didn’t stop his White House staff from using the term “Kung-Flu” at a press dinner. CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang had the honor of being the “Asian person in the room” for the staff to throw down their new slang. The amount of professionalism here is equivalent to, “If I say it to my Asian friend, then it must be ok.”
Just like the time your white friend asked your black friend if it’s ok to use the “N-word” if he uses a soft “a” and not the “er,” it’s a hard fuckin’ no! Especially at an official White House event filled with reporters, you fucking idiots.
You might be thinking, “The president and these officials aren’t being PC, who cares?”
I guess it would be ok . . . if we were in our 20’s and at a fucking frathouse. But these are public officials who are held to a higher standard!
Just because Trump can’t use big words, we can’t have the president of the US demonizing an entire race by personifying a virus as Chinese. There are already stupid people who can’t tell the difference between Chinese people from China and Asian people from other countries . . . in Asia . . . that isn’t China. I know this isn’t exactly rocket science, but sometimes I feel like it is.
Honestly, I can keep going on about shit people doing shit things, but let’s start wrapping this up. I know I’ve given a lot of examples, but, like a child asking for a toy a hundred times, I feel like I have to annoy you till you feel pissed off to do something about it.
I actually got a taste of this Coronaracism last month when I was called a DIRTY CHINESE, CORONAVIRUS, and a ZIPPERHEAD. This happened in the locker room at the 24 Hour Fitness in Koreatown by a Latino guy. In fucking Koreatown! Full of Asians, I know, the balls on this guy.
Truth be told, I was taken by surprise. This was one of those “I hear about it online, but it never happens to me” kinda deal. So, I did what any millennial would do: write about it on Facebook.
I was actually surprised by how many people responded to my post with support. I was even more surprised how some of my non-Asian friends were unaware of the current Yellow State of Affairs. Though I shouldn’t have been surprised since racism isn’t new.
But why now? Why is it currently “ok” for stupid people to Trojan Horse their chauvinistic feelings against Asian people during Coronapocalypes?
Anna Russell tries to answer this question in her piece for The New Yorker, “The Rise of Coronavirus Hate Crimes.” Her article points out that dumbasses feel it’s ok to attack Asian people because “lots of people agree” with the attacker’s emotions. In millennials words, because it’s fucking trending. I’m just paraphrasing here.
A lot of people’s lives have been affected by this virus, and some of those people feel the need to blame someone. And it’s not gratifying blaming a virus because a clump of RNA can’t react to someone’s grievance (unless it’s the anime Cells at Work).
You’re probably wondering, how can we stop this intolerance against Asian people? Well, it’s easy, really. But the fact that I even have to say it is absurd; DON’T BE A FUCKING RACIST!
What if you’re in a situation where an Asian person is being bullied, and you’re not the one being racist? Well, Josephine Harvey tells us precisely what to do in her piece for the HuffPost. If you see something, say something.
It could be as simple as saying, “Hey! Not cool, bro.” If you’re more of an action person, then you can just stand next to the victim. Just a sense of solidarity goes a long way. If bystanders show support for the victim, then the perpetrator might realize it’s not normal to be a racist dick. Be like this guy standing up for his fellow American citizen on an NYC train.
For all you racist out there, all I’m asking for is just some basic things: read a map and figure out the difference between a Chinese person and another Asian person; stop assuming every Asian person has the Coronavirus because we probably all have it by now; maybe educate yourself about the virus and how it isn’t in every Asian-looking person’s DNA (you uneducated swine); and, most importantly, you should stop punching Asian people in angry mobs then running away (you fucking coward). If you think an Asian person has the Cough of Death and you run towards ‘em, then you definitely deserved to be coughed on. Unless you’re Stretch Armstrong, punching someone isn’t exactly social distancing.
Right now, the Coronavirus isn’t just a Chinese problem; it’s a global epidemic. Even if you think this corona thing is a hoax, this problem will affect your life, whether you like it or not. The circumstances have changed, and we need to band together if we’re going to survive. I know being in quarantine is driving you mad, and you’re probably playing around with the idea of starting an Only Fans/Patreon, but we gotta stop stabbing Asian people at grocery stores. If we can’t do that, then at the very least, stop buying more than one mega roll of toilet paper. Because if people run out of to-go napkins to wipe their butts with, then we’re going to have a pinkeye epidemic next.
I would like to share a letter I wrote to my friends after someone shared with me some words to remember after the death of a loved one:
Someone who I had worked with recently passed away; her name was Judy. I didn’t work with her much, but I knew the fun person she was and the energy she brought to the room.
One of her close friends, Mark, gave me some wise words that have been lingering in my mind since last Thursday. While drinking a few Titos and soda with a Titos back, he told me to cherish the people who bring joy to my life because you never know what’s going to happen or when they will leave this world.
What Mark said made me think about all the times I have shared with everyone (my friends in the ZipperSquad) in and out of this group. All of those euphoric, blurry nights at music festivals (especially at the Electric Daisy Carnival) and beyond. For some of y’ all, it was like beyond, beyond.
I’m starting to realize that we are all living our life, growing into the spirited person we are all meant to be. And, of course, with life comes death. As we continue to grow from stupid teenagers to even sillier Adults, our encounters with lost will become more frequent as time continues to do its natural thing.
Sometimes our paths in life don’t always run alongside another or intercepts often, but that doesn’t mean the time we have shared was for naught. We have shared moments of joy and, of course, we were together in times of need. The company we each provided was the foundation of happiness I felt as I attempted to mature through my 20s.
In the grand scheme of things, all the hiccups and mistakes we all have made doesn’t really matter. What does matter is the bonds we forged through nights filled with side-aching laughter alongside those grey days showered by our tears. Life is short and we never really know what’s going to happen. I wish for everyone to appreciate the friends and family you keep and hope for you to enjoy their company to the fullest.
This could all be a bunch of gibberish from a man with too much time to think. But I would be lying if I said I don’t daydream of partying with everyone from dusk to dawn, or if I forgot about those times where we would sing offkey on our way to a burrito spot, or if I did not value the countless nights where I drunkenly shared a piece of myself. However, I did tell a lie. When I felt the distance between our friendship begin to grow, I reflected a cold manner where I did not care. Though some of y’ all saw through my facade, I was selfish to do so. My memories with everyone are endless, and so is my sincere affection for everyone.
I hope this message sparks a nostalgic stroll in that beautiful mind of yours. It could be tomorrow when hearing that one song causes your brain to malfunction, looping the same memory as the music teleports you to the past. Or it could be when you spontaneously burst in laughter and can’t stop smiling at some stupid meme that uncovers a forgotten moment. If you have missed your bus stop because you couldn’t help looking at festival pictures suggested by Facebook Memories, or any other moments like these, then I implore you to reshare that memory and tell them how much you appreciate the impact of their friendship.
(TL;DR) Sorry for rambling on. Just so I can sound like a broken record, just make sure you appreciate one another and cherish those bonds that you have formed with your friends, current or past. If someone is on your mind make sure you tell them that they have a special place in your heart and that you will always remember the times you have spent with one another. If you ever find yourself where you need a friend to talk to, reach out. Depression and social anxiety in our generation are common, and your friends are there for you. Being vulnerable is ok. Just being there to listen can be all someone needs. Life is too short for pettiness to come between love for another. Remember, friends are the family you chose; there is a reason why you selected them to be a part of yourself and your journey.
(Jaaaackkiieee gots jokes as he post a hipsterized pic of himself on Facebook)
By Airec Sype.
Action comedian actor director singer Jack-of-all-trades Jackie Chan celebrated his 61st birthday earlier this month. So I have to mention it; how can I have a blog that celebrates my Asian American weirdness without talking about one of my heroes JACKIE CHAN!!!
Growing up in America, there were not a lot of Asian heroes for this cute little Asian baby, who was lucky enough to be born in this great nation (MURRICA!), to look up to. Most of the heroes I (or we) had were from the relic VHS tapes that translated kung-fu movies onto giant heavy television boxes.
When I talk to some Asians and Asian-Americans about Jackie Chan, I get the conciseness that you either like him or hate him. Some Asians dislike Jackie Chan (I know this is going to get annoying but it doesn’t feel right just using his last name; there is more power and status if I just keep saying Jackie Chan) because they don’t see him as a martial artist despite him having training in multiple of different styles. But then they’re Asians, like I, who loves this man.
The legacy of Jackie Chan is his ability to combine comedy and action. There is a sense of authenticity to his work because he does almost all of his stunts himself. Uproxx has compiled a list of his notable injuries. This is because he was originally a stunt man in old martial arts films. In fact, he got hit in the face by Bruce Lee himself in a failed attempt of a sneak attack.
However, behind all the action and laughter, Jackie Chan also has a sensitive side. During a press-conference, Jackie Chan reveals how he wants to do a movie about love. Knowing that this might not be the Jackie Chan we all know, he said, “I love to produce movie which I love where I can speak what I want to speak and do what I want to do. It is not all about making money.”
Getting hit in the face by Lee and breaking almost every bone in his body all in the effort of entertaining us, that is the man behind the legend. My favorite movie will probably be Legend of the Drunken Master. That movie has the perfect combination of comedy, action and Asian boys with daddy problems . . . Oh did I forget to mention that this man can SING!!!
Oh yeah, this man got it all.
Let’s go back to this idea of Asian or Asian American heroes. Growing up there really wasn’t much for us to look up to besides these kung-fu flying, fist punching, ass-kicking action heroes. Growing up in the 90’s, the idea of an Asian American in the mainstream media was not feasible.
I’m not saying that there wasn’t any Asian heroes when I was growing up, I just didn’t know about them nor did I have the mature mental capacity to appreciate them (not saying I’m mature, I still act like a frat-boy at times). I was introduced to Yo-Yo Ma while watching an episode of PBS Arthur, but I didn’t really know who that was. There was obviously Michelle Kwan who can literally fly on ice, but I didn’t like ice skating as a kid.
Growing up, I wanted an Asian Arnold, or an Asian James Bond. These were men that I could look up to! I didn’t want the Asian henchmen in the Rambo films who gets gunned down by starving POW to be my heroes. Fu*K those guys, they were WEAK! Or I wanted a swavey Asian guy who can come into a room and swoop the girl, not the creepy four eyed Japanese pervert that the white hero was saving her from.
That is one of the things I was envious of as a kid, these white little boys had someone they could look up to; they were able to picture themselves as the hero and mainstream media reenforced that dream. So if I followed what the 90’s told me, I was bound to be a fu*king four-eyed henchmen who is perving on white woman while getting my ass-kicked by some white guy or just some nerdy sidekick who does all the math homework and robot stuff.
Blacks and Latinos were also lucky. Of course black kids had . . . well they had the whole NBA and hip-hop industry in the 90s to look up to . . . and Malcolm X and MLK. I’m not a complete racist here. And Latinos had Oscar Dela Hoya and Ricky Martin (before he came out). But there I was, thinking that my future can do no better than Mr. Miyagi. And he wasn’t even the main hero of the Karate Kid! THE KARATE KID WASN’T EVEN ASIAN! Thankfully Community fixed that.
I guess that’s why when Al from City Guys first appeared, I hung onto that character. He was one of the first Asian looking males on TV that I saw swooping girls off their feet. The same feeling of inspiration arose when I first saw John Cho in American Pie. Despite their small roles in the show or movies, their presence on the show gave me a light of hope that an Asian American male like me could one day exist in a mainstream American world where my role isn’t the nerdy foreign exchange student . . . and that I too can get cute white girls (but that’s not the point of this conversation.)
Of course now when I look at the Asian American, or just Asian in general, heroes of today, I can think of Jerry Yang, the creator of Yahoo!, or Margret Cho, or the Chinese who left their homeland and built the railroads/gold mines. I can think of people like that who risked their lives or did amazing feats instead of solely relying on action stars like Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa or any other yellow-skinned karate master. But lets not forget those two, they’re pretty badass. Oh, and that Asian kid from 21 and over, his chill-to-pull ratio was 5:5.
That is probably why when shows like Selfie, which has an Asian American male as a lead actor, gets cancelled I feel a little hurt inside. Or actions like replacing the Asian characters in movies like 21 and Dragonball: Evolution hurts the young Asian American community. I feel for the lost of an easy hero for young Asian boys to look up to, to picture themselves as a possible version of their future. Some say that the media is evil, but it was the quickest way for young minority boys like I to picture themselves in the American world. School and books and Asian doctors, pff. That didn’t matter growing up in the rough side of Visalia. Movies was our salvation for a potential better life. In a way, that sense of living vicariously through a fictional character allowed us to be hopeful of becoming a real American. It’s what the media told us.
Despite the lack of Asian males in the media, we still have mix-martial art fighters. But sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s fighting when two Asians are going at it.
Now looking at it in hindsight, we kinda all had a hero with us growing up. I didn’t realize it until I reached college and was able to think like an “adult.” My father kinda is a hero. Any minority kid can call their father a hero, a man who risk his life leaving his old country for a better life for his family, a man who slaves away at work so his children can have an American life/education. Well unless your father was a bastard, then this doesn’t apply to you.
Sure my dad was an SOB at times, but he was there for me and had my back. He didn’t know kung-fu or built robots, but he got his yellow ass over here and fertilized me on the great soil of America so that I didn’t have to make shoes for Nike.
I guess heroes are everywhere, it just took me a little while to realize it. If you’re Asian American, try to be a hero for the kids of tomorrow. Oh and I love you Jackie Chan.
One of the many phrases that I’ve heard in my life that opposes my ethnicity as an Asian-American. That disclaimer lingers in my mind; are they trying to flatter me and what attractive features I actually possess, or are they trying to sneak an insult about the lack of attractive features my ethnicity at large possesses?
If I’m cute, then why need to add a qualifying clause. Why the need for a justification!? I’m flattered, but what about all the other Asian boys? Dose she (and others who utter this phrase) think that the majority of Asian males are ugly, or weird-looking, or perhaps strange anime characters who belongs in J-pop bands?
Other statements like, “You’re not that smart for an Asian,” or, “You probably know some form of martial arts,” also resonates with me. Despite the last statement being pretty badass (cuz we AZN kick ass), it seems clear that there are plenty of stereotypes (positive and negative) thrown at my face constantly.
In fact, recently I’ve learned that these kinds of statements that includes an Asian qualifying clause, is a form of microaggression. Hell, I wrote a whole blog post about it a month ago.
It’s sometimes difficult determining which form of microaggression to praise and which to reject in an angry-minority-blogger-kind-way. Sure I’ll gladly accept the fact that you think I’m cute, but I will revile this common unholy standard of attractiveness for Asians and this belief of a small penis!!! (>.<) !!!
So how do we determine what is OK to say and if the person who spoke the offense, if any, is at fault?
My buddy, Daniel, 25, of San Francisco, says, “Sometimes the person who committed the microaggression may not be aware of it, and yet it happens all the time when people use generalization based on race, gender, or use stereotypes.”
What does that mean? If I say that all Asians are good at math, then does that mean I’m a little bit racist? Or if I say that all Jewish people are good at saving money, does that mean I secretly think Jews are cheap? Or if I open a door for a random girl, then does that mean I’m secretly a misogynist? (Actually true story, some woman on my first week of college got upset at me for opening the door for her, pff. She should have walked faster if she didn’t want me to give her a taste of my gentlemanly qualities!)
This is all confusing, I’m sure. I, too, am also at fault for spewing negative racial, sexual, cultural and many other -als out there. Especially during a heated game of HALO! But I don’t think I’m a racist; I think I’m just a jackass in the nicest way possible. This does not stop me from using microaggressive Asian stereotypes as jokes or joke about other racial (or any other class of people) stereotypes.
Can an Asian make racial jokes about Asians? I’m sure I can; I’m Asian.
. . . don’t lie you P.C. America; we all do it . . . it could be in a subtle-behind-closed-doors form or in a vulgar matter . . . we’re (well a large sum of us) idiots, which is why half of the world hates us . . .
The Mexican is strong in my friends cooking
Here is an example of me exercising my microaggressive urges. A friend of mine, Martin, 28, a college educated man of San Francisco, made carne asada fries and I comment: “The Mexican is strong in you.” Did my comment imply that my friend is now a better Mexican because he can make these south of the boarder fries . . . hell yea. I won’t shy away from calling my statement a little racist. Like how I would post on my black friends Facebook wall, “Happy Martin Luther Kings Day.”
Martin returned the joke by saying, “My parents would be proud, Airec Syprasert.” Our banter is one that implies that he is a better “Mexican” because of his skill to cook a dish with a Latin flavor, instead of his career. This is the kind of relationships that me and many other people in the world have with their friends. We share a racially open alliance where one could use racial stereotypes to aid or hurt one another, all for a good laugh . . . or a stinging burn!
Comedians like Dave Chappelle and Kevin Shea also uses racial stereotypes in their jokes, but the general public views them as comics rather than racists.
Was it racist when Shea says, in the video, that black people have white people to “worry” about, or that the last Asian man on Earth would be chasing his dog for dinner? Yeah. But it’s funny! The comedy of truth. Even today the internet is popping up with numerous of blogs and vblogs ranting about how white people are oppressing blacks in America.
Here is Jimmy O. Yang with some more Asian stand-up. It’s funny but borderline racist.
In the name of microaggression, the blanket word that shines an ugly racial light onto everything American, it does seem like everything is a tad-bit-sometimes-always-a-baby-racist. But if everything is racist, then that’s bad right? If everything racist is bad, then why do comedians make racially profound jokes/commentary, or why do best friends throw offensive hay-makers and maybe an occasional n/c-word or two?
My Jewish friend, lets call him J-Friend, 24, graduate student at USF, believes that the people who uses the term microaggression are hyper politically correct people, claiming that everything is racist.
“Microaggression is one of those terms I can’t help but roll my eyes when I hear it,” he says. “I’m more callous than others but I think racist jokes, and even antisemitic jokes, are hilarious.”
So now with this new generation of “minorities,” we are faced with this racial line that divides actual racism and comedy.
Also, if someone refuses to see comedy in microaggression, then does that mean that person is a little bit racist? Can a person be so politically correct that subconsciously their mind is being microaggressive?
“In some ways though you are right; some people who proclaim to be the most non-racist are basically gentle racists,” J-Friend said. “Like the white Social Justice Warrior(s) f*cks who runs around being every ethnic minorities white knight calling racism everywhere. Like if you’re more pissed off than the supposed victims then it seems like you’re doing it more for mental masturbation than actual justice.”
I will admit that I dislike some of the white SJW at SFSU. I understand that some Caucasians have “white guilt,” but you don’t have to be the forerunner for every minorities battle. This eagerness to jump to a minority defense is what caused some whites to be accused of “march-jacking” the police brutality protest in the Bay Area.
I also cannot stand the minorities that claims that everything is racist. Even some people think Chappelle is a racist. This feeling was ever so true in my Asian American studies classes. Not everything is racist . . . Well let me rephrase that, not everything that can seem racist is meant with malice or harmful intent.
I guess this is why we have terms like microaggression . . . oooppp . . .
“I think racism just is the negative stuff that no one actually inherits or passes down or is proud about, while the positive stuff being cultural tradition type stuff that people are proud about and want to pass on,” Broscobar says, 25, graduate of UC Berkeley. “Jokes are a different matter though. Sincerity goes out the window and it’s all entertainment. Laughing at a racist joke is the goal because it exists in a vacuum; it’s not supposed to be passed on and no one is supposed to want to pass on or inherit the negative stuff.”
Intent seems to be the key factor when it comes to microaggression, everyday human interactions and comedy. When it comes down to it, it’s really hard to say what is right and wrong when friends are throwing blows at each other or when race, and other nouns of oppression, is used as a comedic trope. Race is a touchy subject and will continue to be one as long as there are ignorant people in the world.
However, this and the blanket term “microaggression” shouldn’t hold you back from making a joke, as long if it’s without malice intent (that word again). Comedy is just tragedy plus time right? So is it ok to laugh now? I also don’t think that my friends who says that Asians have small penises are all racist (I’m average when I’m not drunk, fyi), nor do I think they harbor secret racist feelings. They are idiots, but I guess they’re my idoits? Unless you’re like this Asian girls ex-boyfriend, then you’re just a f*cking racist and gets NO pass! So lighten up, throw some microaggression around . . . an intelligent person should be able to determine what is harmful or not: respect each other out there. Don’t be a jackass.
-Till next time, Sype.
-ps, I do think there is still racism out there, I’m just talking about a little bit of diet racism.
The internet has always been a hub of good ideas: if you’re into stuff like DIY’s or trying to find a non-trendy-but-trendy-hipster place to brunch, or trying to gather up magical tips to help you lose your virginity for the first time. (Porn isn’t a reliable source for educational virgin tips for getting women or losing your virginity btw. Not everyone is lucky enough to just stumble into a threesome). But if you troll the internet a lot, like I do, you will notice that it is a Wild West of ideas with raw-uncensored thoughts. Which, of course, without filtration, the internet is saturated with a lot of racist (but sometimes hilarious) comments.
Instead of me calling it “internet racism,” lets ground this phenomenon in the scholarly world. First coined by Harvard professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970, psychiatrists have described these light “insults and dismissals” as microaggression.
Derald Wing Sue, psychologist and professor at Columbia, defines microaggression as “brief, everyday exchanges that send degrading messages to certain individuals because of their group” that occurs subconsciously when no harm is intended, unaware of the unintentional offense.
For example if I said that all Asians can’t drive, or all Mexicans are illegal immigrants, or all Middle Eastern are terrorist, or all black people can rap, or all Jewish people are cheap, or . . . maybe I’ll stop there . . . then it’s a form of microaggression. I think.
In simple terms, it’s kinda racist but not, but still kinda is . . . like diet racism!!!
Since openly expressing your hate for another racial group, like lynching black people or sending Japanese people into not-so-fun-summer-camps, isn’t the cool thing to do anymore (because we all know how uncool it is to be judgmental and exclusive right bros ‘n hipsters), diet racism seems to be the new trendy form of hate. Especially on the internet. #newhatenowtrending
Sue also states that microaggression appears in four forms: microassault, microinsult, microinvalidation, and microrape. But if you want to explore more of her work or what all of those four micros mean then you can hit up the Wikipedia link provided above like I did. Especially microrape, it’s just as bad as it sounds.
Being a millennial, we have all been exposed to a misguided judgment powered by microaggression, either online or in real life.
One time my brothers and I tried going to a party on the North side in Visalia. Little did we know, it was a Norteños party (gangsters who bang red). The (Mexican) door guy told us that no Gooks were allowed. At that moment, we didn’t know why this guy was being a fucking racist. Then he proceeded to say that if we don’t bang then it’s ok and welcomed us to come in.
Being obviously dumbfounded by his second clause, we asked him to explain what a gook was to him. His definition of a gook was an Asian gang-banger . . . if he or his fellow gang-brothers had seen the movie Full Metal Jacket or took a simple high school history class, he probably would know that being a gook isn’t a simple street banger and that Charlies were also in the trees and not chocolate factories. So instead of embracing his lukewarm idiotic welcome, we decided to get the fuck out of there.
Now I know that not all of us have had access to a gang kind of experience, I know we have all seen this ignorance in the comment sections on YouTube or on Facebook.
While doing research for one of my blog post on A Dark Minded Giggle, I came across some over-generalizations of the African-American culture in the comment section of this YouTube video:
Long story short, LTG defeated Viscant (20-4) in a game of SF4, or as the gaming community we call it: a raping (yeah, we nerds can have a harsh choice of words).
LTG is African-American who presents a “thug” style. Or urban. I don’t really know what to call it. But in the YouTube comments, Uzumaki Naruto provides an explanation on why “ghetto blacks” are how they are.
so microaggressive bro
Now is he trying to be a racist? I don’t know. I’m not a ninja like he is. He does not state that he dislikes African-Americans but offers his own scientific-sociological explanation on why “black communities” are “like that in the first place.”
He may not have malice intent, but you gotta admit that his view of African-American upbringing is pretty fucking racist.
Now let us look at some stuff online that isn’t as harsh as Naruto comments and a little bit more of a diet racism.
Those two BuzzFeed link shows us some examples of lighthearted stereotypes, if lighthearted racism is a thing. However, BuzzFeed has also been an unintended platform of ugly unfiltered thoughts of microaggression towards Asian Americans as well.
On January 6th, BuzzFeed requested their Facebook followers to ask questions that a civilized person might have for Asian Americans in a new segment called Ask an Asian . . . you must be an idiot or super oblivious if you didn’t know what was coming . . .
I first caught this story from the blog Angry Asian Man after my friends kept posting it to my wall. Basically, along with a some questions people had about Asian culture, there were just some racist ignorant questions.
oh yeah, what do you think was gonna happen
here are some that made the cut
It looks like either BuzzFeed deleted some of the comments or they’re somewhere in the “see more” section. If you visit the Angry Asian Man link that I provided above, you can see his compilation of racist questions.
Being an avid poster on Facebook, I too have witness my fair share of internet racism on my comment sections.
. . . these are my friends
To be fair, my friends are dicks. But they’re my dicks. In a non-homo way. Not that there is anything wrong with being gay. Dammit I “microaggression” again.
But seriously? why all this online hostility against Asian Americans. Is it because Asian Americans are viewed as the “model-minority” and we’re suppose to just bend over and take it? Why does no one outside the Asian American race jump to the gun and defend our honor as often as oppose to say an African-American? I want my Social Justice Warrior white knight too! Or in this case Social Justice Samurai! Preferably female and hot like in the movies.
A friend of mine said the reason why it’s easy to ask such negative questions about Asian Americans is because we are “succeeding” in America. And the reason why this PC America takes more offense to other ethnic misconceptions is because they’re still facing a tough struggle. There could be some truth to that belief, I guess. I didn’t know that Asian Americans won the Minorities War and a seat at the WeMadeIt Table. Yay us! We’re no longer oppressed and now everyone thinks we have big dicks!!!
But we have fallen off track here with my PRO-ASIAN-AMERICAN rant. Let us return to the topic of defining microaggression.
So microaggression is this term that we use in post-racial-politically-correct America to define something (a statement, piece of art, whatever) that does not intend harm but has an underlining oppressive tone . . . yeah, that kind of makes sense. And on the internet, there are a lot of stupid people being racist, sexist, homophobic, and all the other kinds of -ist. But you know what they say: there are no stupid questions, just stupid people.
But wait? If we use the term microaggression to explain something that someone might get butthurt over, then wouldn’t that mean that everything is racist? Like comedy or TV shows? Or your old aunt and uncle who immigrated from a different country who doesn’t know better? Iono, that’s a touchy subject here. But I’ll save this conversation for next time when I explore microaggression even more and question whether there is any validity to the term and debate if everyone’s a racist or if this is just a Social Justice Warrior term that lets everyone know that there is a stick up their ass. Hmm, that last part is kinda of mean.
As I reminisce about my Christmas vacation, the overpowering memory of me sitting in my parents living room watching my six year old baby brother play Call of Duty on the PS3 underneath the 62’’ TV, as my eleven year old baby sister watched Ugly Betty on the iPad by the decorated artificial Christmas tree with wrapped presents underneath, this makes me wonder . . . where the fuck was my Christmas when I was 10 years old?
Growing up in the Central Valley, a predominantly White Christian Conservative area, the concept of Asian culture was foreign to kids of other ethnic culture in grade school. So a question I was often asked was, “Do Asians celebrate Christmas?”
Yes. Yes Asians do celebrate Christmas, you racist!
LOL, well let me elaborate on that. Yes and no, and well kind of.
For my family, it was after my spawning that my parents decided to embrace and celebrate Christmas. I am the first born, oldest of nine, so I consider myself to be the test subject of their experiment with integrating into American culture. English is my second language (now my primary language), so that meant that Lao/Thai culture came first and American culture and practices came second. And the wonderful commercial holiday that I love was no exception to this rule growing up in a gradually assimilating household.
Before we get into my trail and “failures” of the American Christmas experience, let’s have a little history lesson shall we . . . and this Asian version of Twas The Night Before Christmas.
Christmas is a predominantly Christian/Catholic holiday in America with a splash of American commercialism. So seeing how Christianity isn’t the primary religion in Asia, jolly ole Christmas came later-on when DIFFERENT Asian countries (I want to emphasize this fact, despite the whole “Asians look the same” concept, that there are different kinds of Asians) adopted the holiday after being colonized and subjugated to the oppressors religion or just simply because they were memorized after witnessing the magic of Xmas.
On a side note, Diane Severance, Ph.D, said that “Jesus was Asian” and that “Christianity began in Asia.” So HA! Take that you “White is Right!” fools. Your lord and savior was a math tutoring, kung-fu chopping son of a gun/God. The real reason why we Asians squint is so that we can see Him better through the light . . . Just kidding, but it is quite amusing to picture Jesus protecting himself from blasphemous naysayers and the devil with one karate chop at a time.
According to my understanding, the Philippines were some of the first Asians to enjoy eggnog and Lifetime replays of It’s a Wonderful Life and National Lampoon. Their privilege to enjoy this holiday early was due to “Spanish influences.” Or maybe because the Philippines were conquered early on by the Spaniard who were extremely Catholic. The power of Christ compelled them early!
Then there are Western influenced Asian countries, like Japan, who celebrate Christmas for the commercial purposes (and love I guess, pff), like gift giving and yellow snowball fights. I also know this is true because I’ve seen it in Japanese animes . . . and anime would never lie to a fellow Asian boy.
But some Asian countries, like China, do not recognize Christmas as a holiday. Whether you’re observing Dec. 25th for a commercial or religious holiday in those countries on the naughty list (looking at chu North Korea), then you’re still going to have to go to school as you watch other Asians frolic around in their Santa hats as they attempt with desperation and hope to get a kiss underneath the mistletoe.
You can read more about Christmas traditions in Asia at this Wikipedia page.
However don’t lose hope for little Lao Annie at her orphanage, Christmas is here . . . or I mean there! Why do Western countries and other mainstream Asians get to have all the fun?! It may have taken awhile but a blizzard of candy cane joy has reached the dry villages of Laos and exotic cities of Thailand. Whether this is a result of America’s commercial colonization or a Christmas miracle, it doesn’t matter because now everyone gets a Christmas.
James Zwier, Program Adviser at World Renew Laos, states that despite less than 2% of the population in Laos are Christians, “Christmas is the biggest celebration of the year.” Villagers uses this time to be with family and celebrate the farming year. It maybe a small victory, but it’s still a step forward into a global Christmas utopia!
Umm . . . so thank you European colonization and American media/commercial influences for bringing my fellow brothers and sisters overseas Christmas?
However, my parents were not lucky enough while they were in Asia to stuff stockings as they waited for jolly ole Saint Nick on December 24th; the only thing they stuffed back then were egg-rolls as they waited to go to their itty-bitty child jobs.
But after their migration to America and the start of our gigantic family, my parents got to try out their very own version of Christmas on me, which was interesting since they were (1) foreign to this concept of freedom to express love for another family member and (2) they weren’t Christians.
I am glad that I was my parents guinea pig in their Christmas experiment. When I looked around that night and saw all the things my little siblings now have, I can see how my envious tears, that I shed in grade school when I heard other kids tell their tales of Xmas victory in a form of toys, bikes and sneaky mistletoe kisses, watered the Christmas tree of joy that my siblings now have standing over them today. Compared to my first Christmas, which was with a small poorly decorated tree with some sticky rice and pork and no presents, this was a huge victory for my younger brother and sister.
My families version of a Christmas dinner
my baby brother opening his presents . . . SURPRISE YOU GET CLOTHES!!!
Although I still feel like my Christmas interactions with my parents are more of “Why don’t you get a job” and “When are you going to get married” instead of hugs and presents . . . I guess somethings never change.
Stanley, 25, San Fran., a Chinese American, also has a similar experience with Christmas. He believes that Christmas means family traditions and whether to continue with the traditions or transition into something completely culturally new with your own family as the time goes on.
“It’s this kind of freedom that is what makes me proud to be an Asian American,” he said. “Like trying to find whatever makes you and your family happier.”
Now when people ask if I celebrate Christmas, I answer “Yes, an Asian Christmas.” Not to be a smart-ass, but it’s the honest answer since my family’s version of Christmas is different than the ones on Hallmark cards. Also, I tend to celebrate my X-Mas with lots of alcohol with my friends when I’m not strapped down with my family. But I think that’s more of a traditional alcoholics Christmas than an Asian one.
-I hope y’all had a very good Christmas and have a great New Year, Sype
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