The most fucked up thing about racism is this. When you talk about it with white people, they always make the discussion about their feelings. About how they personally aren’t racist. All of these atrocities are happening to my people and the first thing you think about is YOU? And you expect me to believe you aren’t racist?
— (via cyb3ranthy)
The door is closed. There is a black woman at the front of the room, near the blackboard. She is facing a black man who is sitting down and talking fast. He keeps talking for a long time, as if he has been waiting a while to say this to someone. The police, but not only the police, treated him like he was a criminal. His parents, who are white, didn’t believe him when he told them this, or if they wanted to believe him, they still just didn’t know what to say. Why would they? They were adopting a black child, they thought—not a black teenager, not a black man.
— Black Kids in White Houses by Jen Graves (via brandx)
There’s a new stereotype of Asian women that I’m troubled by. It’s the image of the Asian female competition seen on these shows - Glee, Community and New Girl.
Exhibit A: Sunshine Corazon (played by Charice) on Glee Sunshine comes to the McKinley High and proves to be a worthy replacement for some of Rachel’s solos. Rachel retaliates by sending Sunshine to some abandoned, sketchy house for a fake audition. I don’t really remember what the deal with her was, but basically, Rachel took her down.
Exhibit B: Annie Kim on Community Annie Kim is Annie’s high GPA/overachieving nemesis in their Poli Sci class and is a threat in their model UN. White Annie’s team beats Annie Kim’s after White Annie’s team suggests a union of their UN’s, gets rejected by Kim and Kim is painted as the ruthless competitor who only wants to win.
Exhibit C: Asian Jess on New Girl After Jess backslides and hooks up with her ex Paul, the experience makes him realize that his current girlfriend, “Asian Jess,” is the one for him, and Jess helps him propose to her. Both Asian Jess and Paul are also ugly criers. Clearly made for each other.
So, the first thing I will say is that all these Asian women look pretty much the same…big, plastic frames, “cute hair” (a.k.a. infantilized) with bangs and pigtails…and a not so happy white, female rival. They all have short/minor roles, and at least with Annie Kim and Asian Jess don’t have an identity of their own. The writers have clearly written them to rival their white counterparts. They don’t even get their own names.
The white women characters are threatened by these Asian women, not so much with Asian Jess, but she has taken something that was once Jess’.
These representations depict Asians as threats to the success of white women or just a joke, not real characters. None of these 3 women could have stood on their own in a scene, and were not given an opportunity to turn into someone to empathize with. Maybe Sunshine Corazon…but anyways, this is a harmful representation, especially given China’s crazy economic growth in the past couple decades, and the possibility of becoming the next superpower of the world. Couple that with the model minority myth, and how Asians are stereotyped to be smart, good at math, taking up all the spots in elite universities, these characters are a way of saying, “You can try to beat me, but I’ll still find a way to win.” After all, Jess takes the higher ground of putting Paul and Asian Jess together, because clearly she is so mature, and Annie proposes a compromise; what a team player!
I also feel like there may be an element of white fear of Asian women taking all the white men (i.e. Barney Stinson says in one episode of How I Met Your Mother that his type is “Asian”). All these representations can be seen as a fear of the loss of power of the U.S. empire and white women’s sexuality being threatened.
In conjunction to this, many Asian men in tv and movies are emasculated and are turned into awkward characters easily turned into comic relief (i.e. Ken Jeong in Community). Again, characters are not complete people, lacking the depth that makes a really compelling character. Yes, you can argue that Christina Yang’s character on Grey’s is a strong, empowering figure, but she could easily be white. Her character isn’t race-specific, and she’s within a whole class of competitive, cut-throat doctors.
This post could delve deeper into the implications of these representations, but for now, I’ll keep it simple, and maybe analyze more later. For another post, it’ll be interesting to factor in the rise Asians in commercials, to explore the disconnect/exploitation of Asians as a good economic demographic to market to, but aren’t represented in popular culture in the same way.
This is overwhelmingly accurate and shitty.
Personal anecdote on the subject of Asian Annie/Jess: there is another (white) Lauren on my improv team and when I joined certain white people thought it would be a great idea to exclusively refer to me as “Asian Lauren” to tell us apart. Not my last name or initial, not a new nickname entirely. They immediately went for the racial identifier. I shut that shit down quickly because referring to me as “Asian Lauren” framed my friend Lauren (who is actually wonderful and did not participate in or condone this) as the default and me as the “other” and created a competitive relationship where there shouldn’t have been one. I don’t see why I had to be “The Other Lauren” when I am just another Lauren. It’s frustrating and telling that white folks were so quick to other me and place us in unnecessary competition with each other over something as trivial and common as sharing a first name. This could so easily have been a non issue, but of course ignorant white folks were so quick to turn it into something racially isolating for me.
crystali3s said: Thanks for protesting racism by being racist.
I’m not racist my toilet is white.
Aug. 31 10:28 am
- Ferguson protestors plan to halt highway traffic on Labor Day (x)
- At least 6 other Ferguson officers have been named in lawsuits alleging the use of excessive force
- Why taxpayers will get stuck with the bill for the Ferguson lawsuit
- Ferguson isn’t about black rage against cops. It’s white rage against progress.
- Between the world and Ferguson
- Teaching and talking about police violence