Jay Chou, at the 24th Golden Melody Awards
I want that jacket. I would never wear it. Formal clothing isn’t really my thing. But yeah, That jacket.
How my Friend Destroyed my Favorite Cartoon for me
(Here’s a slightly different version of my rant on Youtube, if you’re interested in seeing my face and a video form of me venting.)
When I was a kid, I was pretty much glued to the TV screen. Spongebob Squarepants and The Fairly Odd Parents made me laugh; Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans made me want to be a superhero; Dexter’s Laboratory and Jimmy Neutron made yucky science seem ~*magical*~.
Although this wide range of cartoons provided me with mindless entertainment, I didn’t have one favorite show that I actually connected and resonated with. Until I discovered Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The first time I watched A:TLA, my immediate thought was, Is this real? Never have I seen such an amazing concept on Nickelodeon (People can control water, fire, earth, or air! But there’s only one guy who could control all four!). Or beautiful art, animation, and score. Or a seamless combination of exhilarating action, clever comedy, and even romances (that did not feel like unnecessary subplots!). And to top it all off, how the female characters were total badasses who challenged traditional gender roles. Sigh. An Asian feminist’s dream.
I think the main reason why I love A:TLA, though, is the simple fact that its lore and character designs were obviously inspired by Asian cultures. Many of the names had Asian roots meaningful to the character. The form of writing in A:TLA’s universe was in Chinese. The bending was based on types of martial arts. Many aspects were heavily influenced by anime, specifically Hayao Miyazaki movies. Even the littlest of detail was probably inspired by different Asian cultures.
As a Chinese-American girl, I finally found a show I could relate to. The fact that these characters looked like me made it easier for me to emulate, and thus were stronger role models. Sure, many other shows portrayed great female characters, but most of them were right!
So, when I heard that the first season of my beloved cartoon was going to be made into a live-action movie, I flipped out. WOAH. I GET TO SEE REAL, TEEN INUIT AND ASIAN ACTORS PORTRAY MY FAVE CHARACTERS! Which then made me realize: I’m a 12 year-old Chinese girl who’s had martial arts experience and loves acting. Hey, I should audition for my homegirl Toph if they make a sequel to this movie! Consequently, I was determined for this first movie to succeed because that would mean there would be a second one, and that would mean I could audition for Toph. So, I made a Youtube channel and uploaded Toph audition videos to get public attention. I joined an A:TLA fan forum to promote my being casted as Toph. I even was featured in a Wiki page, with other Toph candidates. So, I blocked out all possibilities of this movie being a flop, despite each piece of controversial news that was leaking in (e.g. the fact that the Gaang was pretty much white-washed).
Fast-forward to the release of The Last Airbender: I am sitting in a near-empty theater on the very first day of viewing, extremely excited. 90 minutes later, still clouded and delirious by my visions that I could be a movie star in its sequel, I declare that it was an awesome film.
I didn’t come to my senses until a week later, when one of my best friends wanted to go watch TLA and asked if my sister and I would join her. After the movie, we were walking in the parking lot. I was gushing about how awesome the TV show’s characters were and how the movie didn’t quite capture their personalities. My friend replies, “Yeah, the show was so good…But there weren’t enough white people in it.”
I was so stunned that I just said, “Oh yeah, I guess that’s true.” And then we started talking about something else.
Looking back, I seriously regret not screaming “OH, POOR WHITE PERSON. HARDLY ANY REPRESENTATION OF YOUR PEOPLE IN AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER. BOO-FREAKIN’-HOO. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME ASIANS WERE FEATURED IN POSITIVE, PROMINENT ROLES ON A TV SHOW? AND WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME WHITE PEOPLE WERE FEATURED IN POSITIVE, PROMINENT ROLES ON A TV SHOW? SORRY I CAN’T HAVE MY ONE PROGRAM THAT IS FREE OF HAVING ASIANS AS STEREOTYPICAL NERDS OR AS RACIST, COMIC RELIEF.”
I think at that moment in the parking lot three years ago, was when I first became aware of the disparity of our races. We had been friends since first grade.
Now whenever I watch reruns of my favorite show or its spinoff, I can’t help but think about my internalized, silent anger at my friend that day. I have to thank her in a small way, though. Without her one sentence, I may not be the angry Asian girl I am today.
Okay, so I had planned to write a big long review of this book, but you know what? It’s too fucking good.
You need to buy this book.
It is a fantasy novel. It is the best fantasy novel. It is in a fantasy universe populated with protagonists of color, and evil white people. There are a few good white people, but mostly evil white people who have wayyyy too much power and are evil.
You need to buy this book if only for the scene where the disabled Black woman protagonist picks up a bottle of white people shampoo, sniffs it, and just rolls her eyes and thinks, are they expecting me to use this astringent shit on my beautiful Maroneh(Black) woman hair?
It in particular is actually the second book in the series, but I accidentally read it out of order the first time (and have since read the other) and it didn’t particularly suffer from being read out of order.
You need to buy this book.
There is also a bit of sexy sex. The exact right amount of sexy sex.
I cannot tell you how much I fell in love with this book. All three, but in particular this one was my favorite.
There is also a significant amount of queer sex in the trilogy. QUEER PEOPLE OF COLOR.
This is N. K. Jemisin. She wrote this book.
You need to buy all of her books.
I plan to.
just bought this, can’t wait to read it
IT’S SO GOOD. IT GAVE ME LIFE. ALL THREE ARE SO GOOD BUT THIS WAS MY FAVE BECAUSE OREE IS SO AMAZING.
I got to ‘fantasy world with protagonists of color’ and that was all I needed to know.
seriously, it’s sooooo good. It made me go out and buy fresh art supplies i maybe can’t afford just so I can start making fan art.
As a white chick, I think I’ll pass but thanks. I’m so done with being told I’m evil because of my skin color.
Oh look a white person making it about themselves. Surprise, surprise.
Really, it’s not that simple. It’s not your skin color. It’s centuries of white supremacy and lack of (positive) POC representation, especially in Sci-fi & fantasy. Anyway…
I am definitely adding these to my reading list! Yay for more books that actually feature POC characters.
Either way, if it’s telling me my group, as a whole, obviously including me, is evil, then no thanks, I’ll pass. It’s awesome that PoC have books featuring main characters they can relate to; I just don’t want to touch it with a ninety-foot pole is all. xD Have a wonderful day!
I CAN SHOW YOU A WOOOOORLD
WHITENESS, SHIMMERING WHIIIITENESS
TELL ME WHITEY NOW WHEN DID YOU LAST READ A BOOK WITH POC
I CAN OPEN YOUR EYYYYYES
TAKE YOU WHITE GIRL BY WHITE GIRL
SO MANY SPARKLING WHITE GIRLS IN EVERY FUCKING BOOK
A WHOLE WHITE WOOOOOORLD
AN OLD AND TIRED POINT OF VIEWWWWWW
NO ONE TO TELL YOU NO!
OR WHAT TO READ!
OR SAY YOU CAN’T BE RACIST!!!!!
THE SAME FUCKING WOOOOOORLD!
THE SAME WHITE FAIRY VAGINA!
NO ONE TO GIVE A FUCK!
IF YOU READ THIS BOOK!
OR SHOVE IT UP YOUR ASSSHOOOOOOLEEEEE
this is the most beautiful song i’ve ever heard
*wipes tear from eye*
Wow… If this was any other fantasy book in the stance where people of colour were the bad guys and the white people were good there would be the usual uproar and complaint. So its a bit backwards for it to be happening again.
Showing any overall race as ‘the bad guys’ isn’t a good thing. There are good people and bad people of all races, and it shouldn’t be limited to a particular race in general. Yes its unfair of the racism in fantasy novels of non-whites being treated as the generic ‘bad guys’ but having any over-arching group being labelled as ‘bad’ is the wrong way to go about doing something about this problem.
But as a white girl obviously my opinion doesn’t matter in this regard.
“the usual uproar and complaint” over the LoTR books and the “swarthy hordes” of sauron?
ohhhh by “uproar and complaint” you meant “multibillion dollar machine driven by infinite multinational book sales and six movies”
Are you enjoying your sour grapes since you had to walk so many miles to find them, white girl?
Lord of the Rings was written in a different age, in the 1950s. I’m not saying that’s a good excuse, but attitudes were different back then, so you can’t really compare things like that to modern books who should know better than to class ANY over-all race as the bad guys.
That’s really missing the point. (And it was the 1930s but whatever). The point is that you, as a white person, do not know what this book means to POC. We white people have been THE only mainstream good guys in scifi/fantasy since it started. The idea that we should all be color-blind is bull, because to so many people, white IS the default whether they realize it or not. And so it is not unreasonable for POC, especially WOC, to be excited about this book and what it represents to them. The chance for THEM to be seen as the good ones, in a scifi/fantasy book written by a WOC? Don’t even tell them they shouldn’t be happy about it. If it makes you uncomfortable to have our race cast as the baddies… well, maybe you should think about what it would feel like to have that be constant and unrelenting. I think you need to back off this conversation and really think about what people are trying to explain to you instead of just reacting. You’re not doing anything but hurting people.
I completely understand your point, and I’m going to leave this conversation in a moment, I just think that if people wish for racism to disppear for good, people need to stop making it an issue. By making it an issue, it is instantly bringing up the subject of race. I think its great with the idea of a black protagonist, of the idea of the shampoo not being good for her hair and whatnot. There should be more black protagonists, because what race the character is shouldn’t matter. I understand that in history, white people have been dominant in the genre, and it is unfair and it is hurtful and yes it certainly needs to change, I completely agree. But simply swapping it around doesn’t do anything but keep it as an issue and discussions like everything that has been posted about it has been made. All I am trying to say is that if everyone is treated equally race shouldn’t matter.
Show how great people can be whether they’re white or black or blue by making them the protagonist as this book does, don’t paint any race as being entirely bad. People are bad. Not people of a certain colour.
lawd have mercy.
Lord of the Rings isn’t relevant? Bitch, they just made another movie. That man is good and dead but his ideas live on and that’s the thing with novels. If it’s as popular now as it ever was then it’s fucking relevant.
Blue people? Do you know some blue people? I don’t think anybody ever told the Blue man group they couldn’t do something because they’re blue.
Colour-blind white people everywhere need to stop making up races.
White people are shitty. White people celebrate books with no POC or POC villains. White people need to get over it when we get a taste of our own medicine.
"Do you have proof? Convince me that this is harmful and racist or else everything you say is invalid!"
Oh, how I fucking hate this derail.
Basically, it’s set up to put PoC on the defensive, and that’s why white folks and “colorblind” racists do it — they make us feel defensive about our experiences, our feelings, and our perceptions, which are all valid.
Yet they need to invalidate them and try to drive us insane by forcing us to give them evidence, which they usually always dismiss. They try to make us not trust our own gut instincts and intuition, saying that they’re inherently “unreasonable” and “irrational.”
Which, when it comes to racism? PoC are going to know more than white people. Automatically. We experience it, so of course we’re going to know. Racism and whiteness are the things that are unreasonable and irrational, not PoC’s perceptions, experiences, and very valid feelings with living through it.
And you wonder why a lot of PoC don’t trust white people? We constantly feel like our minds and hearts are being put on trial.
We don’t have to prove shit. If you’re not open-minded enough to at least hear about what we have to say and consider it without automatically invalidating it because you’re so afraid of your whiteness being deconstructed and your perception not being the only one that’s “right” and “true,” then the burden’s on you to prove to us why we need to give a shit about your opinions and why we should waste any of our time and energy on you.
"you hate the term “PoC”? so what. stop saying it then. easy."
This is what I think every time I see one of these “O woe upon thee and me POC is a confusing alienating useless term! we do not all share the same experiences and forms of oppression! I forsake thee, POC!” posts. Don’t like it? Don’t use it. No announcement needed. I doubt the world will shatter if somebody somewhere doesn’t use any particular expression.
It also says a lot about a person’s deluded attitude that they think that several generations of accomplished and renowned activists in the US and around the world — who have successfully engaged in political movement-building as well as scholarly analysis around the concept of “people of color” — were so clueless that they believed all persons of color have the same experiences or oppression. In fact, I’ve never seen such a suggestion anywhere.
“People of color” isn’t about specificity of experiences; it’s about political opposition to white supremacism. Moreover, two Asian people or two Black people or two Latina people can also have wildly divergent life experiences. That doesn’t negate the utility of concepts formulated to invoke solidarity in resistance to white supremacism.
Don’t like it? Don’t use it. Simple. The world moves right along.
Asian/Black relations is a conversation that pops in Philly media every so often and no one asks the right questions
There was this huge rash black kids just kicking the shit out of asian immigrant kids at southeast philly high the last few years
And it took the media so long to get to the bottom of things
These black kids didn’t hate these kids because they were Asian (as it was framed originally)
They were mad because a lot of these were straight up NEW to America, only here for a few years
And they were getting treated better in the classroom than them by white teachers
Their weaknesses (poor English for most of them) weren’t being written off as symptomatic of them as Asian people, but merely a minor bump in their learning
And black kids were not getting that same courtesy
So yeah that made them fucking angry.
When Asian folk are pigeonholed as “model minorities”, that’s white supremacy. When black folk attack Asian folk as “model minorities”, that too is white supremacy. When the media does not acknowledge that, again, white supremacy rears its ugly head.
On a related note, with the help of Asian Americans United (AAU), BPSOS-Delaware Valley, Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia, and the Asian Student Association of Philadelphia, a lot of the kids from that incident a few years ago put together an exhibit called ‘We Cannot Keep Silent’ that’s worth checkin’ out. It’s open through March 2013 at least.
More POC solidarity, less participation in our collective oppression. Onward to liberation.
I usually don’t do things like this, but I had bacon this morning and thus am in a giving mood, so. Here you go: Alex’s Guide to Being a Somewhat Decent White Person, in 30 Quick, Easy Steps! (If you can’t handle sarcasm, turn away now)
Note before we begin: This guide is nowhere near all inclusive, and my PoC followers, please feel free to add more, if you’re feeling inclined to do so.
Also note that I do not speak for all PoC.
1. First things first: Recognize that if you’re white, you’re going to fuck up. 100% money back guarantee. Even if you don’t want to, you will. There’s nothing you can do about that. You could be the most anti-racist white person ever. Great. You’re still going to fuck up. Don’t let this discourage you, though! The good news is this: Nobody expects you to be perfect and nobody expects you to not fuck up. We just expect that when you DO fuck up, you take your call-out like a fucking adult, recognize your mistake, apologize, and then move the fuck on, and try your hardest to not make that mistake again. Maybe learn something in the process. That’s it. No, really. That’s it.
2. Recognize that as a white person, you have white privilege whether you want it or not. You have it. Recognize that you benefit from your white privilege, whether you want to benefit from it or not. It’s not a choice. Recognize that because of your white privilege, you benefit from the oppression of PoC, regardless of whether you think that’s fair or not, regardless of whether you want to or not. You don’t get a choice in it any more than we get a choice in not having those same privileges. That’s not something to feel guilty over, it’s something to be conscious of.
3. People of Color are human beings. With actual feelings! And actual lives, and concerns! We feel physical pain! We feel joy! We break our arms, and do silly things, and do serious things, and like leisurely activities! W O W Z E R S
4. Racism is privilege plus power. White people can’t be victims of racism. You have the most power. PoC have no power over you whatsoever. We can discriminate against you. We can be prejudiced against you. We can’t be racist against you. We don’t have the power to oppress you. The end.
5. Approach everything critically. Nearly everything is built upon white supremacist ideals.
6. If you find yourself calling out PoC for how they handle racism, yet have nothing to say to the actual racist, it’s time for you to go the fuck away.One thing I’ve noticed both on Tumblr, and in real life, is that when a white person starts acting racist, other white people will remain silent, but the second a PoC says something against that white person, other white people will come out in defense of that white person’s racist behavior (“You’re being so harsh!” “Strong language like that will get you nowhere!” “How are they supposed to learn if you won’t educate them?” etc etc etc) . That’s unacceptable in ways that even Lemongrab can’t articulate.
7. When your skinfolk are acting out, it’s on YOU to call them out, especially when you see them harassing PoC. If a PoC wants to speak up, let them. But there’s a difference between collecting your folk (always welcome) and flat out talking over us/speaking FOR us (big no-no). Learn the difference.
8. It’s not our jobs to educate white people on their racism, so don’t expect us to. There are PoC who do like to educate, paid or unpaid. Go see them. For an alternate option, open Google and you’ll have all that shit at your fingertips within seconds. But when a PoC is calling you out, they might not feel like giving you an in depth history lesson on the background of that particular act of racism, and to act like they owe it to you is entitlement. If we feel like educating, we will. In fact, there are plenty of Tumblr blogs created with the sole purpose of educating you on racism. Racismschool is a perfect example.
9. That being said, listen to PoC when they talk about racism. If you prefer listening to white people talk about the racism PoC face, rather than listening to PoC, there’s a problem. Tim Wise and other white people say something about racism, and y’all act like this is brand new information and omg he’s BRILLIANT wow so insightful. No, bitch, we’ve been saying this shit for CENTURIES, and white people are just regurgitating what WE said. It’s just that when PoC talk about our experiences, we’re seen as ~reverse racist~ and emotionally biased, and somehow, white people are able to talk about racism objectively even though they have no experience with racism aside from fucking people over with it.
10. If it seems to you that “no matter what white people do, there’s no way they can interact with a PoC without offending them,” then that says a lot about how you view anti-racist discourse, and it’s time for you to take a step back and try again. Instead of reading it as, “white people fuck up everything” try reading it as “I’m frustrated with white people/white supremacy, and here is why…” Most of the shit you read from us flat out GIVES you the answers you’re looking for in one way or another. It’s really not that hard. Stop looking too far into shit.
11. Instead of getting defensive and trivializing issues because you don’t think it’s a big deal why are you so offended by this you’re being over sensitive the world is so PC omg bawwwwwwwww …… LISTEN. And even if you don’t get why what you did/said was offensive, understand that it WAS offensive, period, and just don’t do it again. Sometimes, understanding isn’t necessary, and sometimes you won’t be able to understand, no matter how hard you try. You don’t have to; just stop.
12. Stop saying “nigga.” This goes for white people AND non-Black PoC alike. It’s not cool for you to do it. Black people say it to reclaim it. White people say it, why? Y’all have nothing to reclaim with that word. Non-Black PoC have no business using it either.
13. Yes, that means in songs, too. Y’all can’t sing it just because it’s part of the lyrics. Either mute yourself for half a second, or stop listening to the song until you can gain enough self control to shut the hell up for one word.
14. Seriously, if you aren’t Black, you can’t say it. Ever. EVER. EVER.
15. While we’re at it, when you use a racial slur and PoC who fall victim to that slur call you out on it, for god’s sake, stop saying it.
16. Recognize that the world doesn’t revolve around white people, despite the ways in which the world will try to tell you it does. (For instance, don’t call us non-white, because that makes, once again, white people the default human and everyone who isn’t white becomes a niche or subtype. You probably didn’t even realize that’s what you were doing, did you? Which is what I mean when I say that this shit is subtle, and engrained in us to the point where it’s hard to detect. Which is fine; sometimes, you just don’t know. It happens. Just be aware that you can only use “I didn’t know” as an excuse once. After you’re informed, you have no excuse. By the way, for future reference, “PoC” will work just fine.)
17. PoC don’t owe you shit and it would behoove you to not act like we do; when you’re ignorant, we don’t owe you niceness. If you did something that dehumanized us, why would you expect us to be nice to you anyway? That’s abuser logic, racism, and fucked uppedness all rolled into one disgusting package, and if you expect us to swallow it either whole or in pieces, you need to get slapped with a cactus, to be frank.
18. Don’t appropriate. If PoC walk around in our own things, we get harassed, assaulted, told to go back to our countries, viewed as suspicious, and at worst, killed. But when white people wear them, it’s cute, trendy, and omg, you’re so worldly. Our cultures are not costumes, fashion trends, or objects to be picked over, the pretty parts taken and the rest discarded. Even if you’re wearing it to appreciate our culture? Don’t. Appropriation isn’t appreciation, it’s disrespect. Period. (And if you think that “Well then maybe you should take off your jeans since those are from white culture and you’re appropriating har har” is an intelligent response then please dip your lips in hot wax, because no no NO.)
19. “NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE—” Shut the fuck up.
20. Just because one PoC doesn’t find something racist to be offensive, doesn’t mean that it suddenly isn’t offensive, and that it’s okay for you to continue on with whatever you’re doing. For examples, see 15.
21. If you’re being called out for something, recognize how much energy this person is out right now. Seriously, calling people out isn’t fun, because we KNOW how it’s likely to be received. We KNOW what people are likely to think about us. We KNOW how people are likely to take a call out.We KNOW that nine times out of ten, we’re just going to be shut down. We have to pick our battles; if we called out everything, we’d be calling shit out every second of our lives. (And it’s not fair that we have to let some things pass silently, because that gives the impression that what was said/done is okay and not problematic, which isn’t true) It’s not fun. It’s not something we look forward to doing. So when we DO do it, please just listen. Please recognize that it’s not us trying to kill your fun or ruin your day, or us hating you or thinking you’re a terrible person. We’re just trying to gain back the piece of our humanity that you put your foot all over.
22. Being called a racist isn’t worse than whatever racist act you just committed/racist thing you said. So save your boo hoo hurt fee-fee tears for somebody who gives a fuck because I guarantee it won’t be us. Also, being called out for doing something offensive doesn’t mean we called you racist. It doesn’t even mean we think you’re racist. It means you did something problematic and we’re trying to correct you on it so that you won’t do it again.
23. So you got called out and it upset you. Go cry me a god damn river. Guess what? Being called out isn’t SUPPOSED to feel good. It’s not supposed to feel like a pat on the back. Expecting a call out to feel good is like denying somebodies humanity and then expecting them to give you hugs and cookies in return. No, it’s not LIKE that, it IS that. In the same vein, if you get called out by more than one person, and choose to listen to the one who you think was nicer about it? Then fuck you. Both are people expressing their hurt and both are valid, and for you to ignore one in favor of the other—and especially to praise them via “Thank you for being polite/carrying on an intelligent discourse rather than screaming incoherently/etc etc etc” is tone policing as well as trying to set up a Good PoC, Bad PoC dichotomy, and fuck you very much if you engage in that.
24. Whatever racist thing you did or said, you’re not the first white person we’ve dealt with who has done/said it. You’re probably somewhere in the thousands. Know what that means? We’ve dealt with others exactly like you, several times over. That gets annoying the second time around. By the time you strike, we’re fed up with it. So if we just tell you to fuck off, please respect our wishes and do so. We deal with micro-aggressions and blatant and subtle racism day in and day out, every single day, from the day we are born until the day that we die. So if we aren’t the nicest to you, don’t get mad at us for not being polite enough. Be mad at yourself for having done/said something racist and making our day just a little bit shittier with your ignorance. Your racist acts are your fault. You did em. Don’t get mad when you have to deal with consequences for them. If we’re old enough to deal with racism at fucking two years old, then you’re old enough to deal with the consequences at 15, 16, 20, 30,56, 89, 314.
25. Keeping all of the above in mind, remember that we’re all individuals. The best way to deal with PoC is by treating us like the human beings we are, and being constantly aware of your privilege. When you fuck up, apologize, try not to do it again, and move on. It’s not that hard.
26. Cracker isn’t a racial slur. Neither is honky. Neither is curdled milk, cottage cheese, mayonnaise, or white bread. Let it drop. Sorry you aren’t oppressed for your skin color, white people. It must suck not having to deal with racial oppression. Truly. I’m sorry for your misfortune.
27. Intersectionality or shut the fuck up. PoC come in all flavors. We’re queer. We have mental health issues. We have disabilities. We deal with sizeism, misogyny, ableism, and so on. If you think bringing up race in conversations about other oppressions is inappropriate, then take a long hard seat and stay down until summoned.
28. “It’s just a word, it only has as much power as you give it.” NO.
29. Having a PoC spouse, S.O., family member, acquaintance, co-worker, doesn’t mean you can’t be racist or do racist shit. You can, you have, and you will again. And if you make that argument and use them as your get out of jail free card, you’re being racist in that moment because you’re turning them into an excuse to combat being called out for acting like a fucking fool.
If the above is too difficult or too much for you, then there is an alternate solution:
1. Stay away from all PoC, and don’t engage with a single one until you’ve changed your attitude because the last thing PoC need is to be exposed to your ignorance and lack of consideration for their humanity.
Remember that there’s way more than what I’ve listed. Anything here that upset you or made you feel uncomfortable, you should go back and read again, and question very carefully why it made you upset, and then confront your issues. And if I somehow pissed you off, just remember… you asked.
Why “People of Color” is offensive:
It lumps all races together, ignoring separate cultures and erasing the separate heritages of different races—i.e. Asian cultures are vastly different from African cultures (though both are worthwhile).
It’s often used solely to exclude white people, in order to diminish their humanity or harass them in other ways.
It’s typically a very patronizing term, as in “PoCs deserve separate scholarships because they’re not smart enough to earn academic scholarships.”
There’s almost never any pride associated in being “of color,” hence its usage instead of that of a specific culture—Vietnamese and proud, African and proud, Brazilian and proud. In this sense, it also diminishes the individual humanity of “people of color.”
“It’s often used solely to exclude white people, in order to diminish their humanity or harass them in other ways”
“It’s typically a very patronizing term, as in “PoCs deserve separate scholarships because they’re not smart enough to earn academic scholarships.”
And here we are again with the scholarships even though their less than 10% of all scholarships nationwide.
Why does it feel like network TV has unspoken rules for POC characters?
Here are some I kinda feel are out there for the past 4+ years:
- No more than half of the cast may contain POC
- These people may only exist as a support for the storylines of their white peers. Any spotlight on their characters must be a very special episode or hastily conclusion to a story arc that barely gets any attention
- The home life and family of POC are almost completely non-existent
- Family members may be cobbled together from mismatch ethnicities and nationalities without protest
- If POC characters are anything but submissive, stand up for their mistreatment or defy stereotypes, they will be demonized by fandom (fandom in general can be a bitch for POC actors) and their actors with receive hate mail.
- The writing staff must have less diversity than the actual cast. Many cultural mannerisms seem to present themselves either from thin air or prevailing stereotypes rather than actual research or even asking the actor involved
- The world that the POC live in must either be Kumbayahville where everyone pretends that there is no racial tension or that race-based incidents don’t happen or a metaphysical war-zone where racial jokes are lobbed at them nearly ever possibility with no reaction.
- Traits that other characters have automatically become negative when a POC has them. Confidence becomes bitchiness. Headstrong leadership is arrogance. Sexiness or sex-positivity opens the door for slut-shaming. Intelligence has to be know-it-all behavior. Any display of anger must be linked to militant demeanor or savagery even when completely justified.
- Under no circumstances must race ever be addressed with any kind of gravity, just passing jokes.
On September 7th, 2012, 20-year-old Bronx Resident and father Reynaldo Cuevas was shot and killed by an NYPD officer outside the bodega where he works. According to witnesses, Cuevas had tripped while attempting to escape an armed robbery inside the bodega. Immediately after, a 42nd precinct officer shot his gun, killing Cuevas, who was later dragged by the officer some 20-feet along the sidewalk.
The shooting occurred just one block away from where unarmed 19-year-old Jateik Reed was recently beaten by a team of 42nd precinct officers.
— Take Back the Bronx
Whitey on the Moon
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face and arms began to swell.
(and Whitey’s on the moon)
I can’t pay no doctor bills.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Ten years from now I’ll be payin’ still.
(while Whitey’s on the moon)
You know, the man jus’ upped my rent las’ night.
(‘cause Whitey’s on the moon)
No hot water, no toilets, no lights.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
I wonder why he’s uppin’ me?
(‘cause Whitey’s on the moon?)
Well, I wuz already givin’ ‘im fifty a week.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Taxes takin’ my whole damn check,
T junkies makin’ me a nervous wreck,
The price of food is goin’ up,
An’ as if all that crap wuzn’t enough:
A rat done bit my sister Nell.
(with Whitey on the moon)
Her face an’ arm began to swell.
(but Whitey’s on the moon)
Was all that money I made las’ year
(for Whitey on the moon?)
How come I ain’t got no money here?
(Hmm! Whitey’s on the moon)
Y’know I jus’ ‘bout had my fill
(of Whitey on the moon)
I think I’ll sen’ these doctor bills,
(to Whitey on the moon)
— Gil Scott-Heron
On why a non-Asian person saying “Asian women are hot” and me saying “I am Asian-American” are two very different things.
1. If a non-Asian person says “All Asian women are hot” they are making a stereotypical generalization based on the historic homogenization of Asian appearance. I.e.: All Asians look alike, meaning short, skinny, pale skinned, and black hair. This is wrong. Not all people from Asia look like this. It’s also rooted in weird Western exoticism of Asian women, because we’re all so “delicate” like “lotus flowers.”
2. If I describe myself as Asian-American, it’s because I find it an accurate representation of my ethnic/cultural background. Quite frankly, I have family that is located in SEVERAL different countries in Asia. I may be ethnically Chinese, but most of my family was born in the Philippines. I also have ties to Malaysia and Singapore. I, however, am an American citizen. If one can identify as Chinese-American because of being ethnically Chinese, but an American citizen (and by the way: American is NOT a synonym for “white”), then I think one should be able to identify as Chinese-Filipin@ etc. Given my pan-Asian background (and, really? the sheer amount of languages I grew up exposed to is ridiculous), I prefer the term “Asian-American.”
3. Which means all the people bitching about how I’m a hypocrite for pointing out the incorrect usage of the word “Asian” for “Asian fetish” can STFU, right now.