8.27.2010

Interview with Sam Cacas - an Excerpt

Ladies...this is what the Narrative is all about.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Moi: I’m astounded by the Blasian Movement... I’m starting to see it everywhere. Why do you think the movement is expanding so quickly? What do you think is drawing people to it?

Sam: First, I believe the movement is expanding because the new internet media (i.e., YouTube, Facebook, Wordpress, Yahoo!, Twitter) are encouraging more BlAsian interested persons, particularly Black women, to push the interracial relationships discussions beyond Black female and white male genre which is where the gatekeepers of the traditional media (news and silver screen) have wanted to keep IR over the years. Many of the proponents of our movement have created their own videos on YouTube which have drawn hundreds to thousands of hits and many more have participated in the discussions of social network sites such as Facebook and Yahoo! And they have also – like myself – created blogs on sites like Wordpress or microblogs on sites like Twitter. The resulting traffic of all these sites has created a buzz that the media and corporate America have recognized enough to create commercials featuring Black women/Asian men couples such as the Ikea commercial a few years back, a Bloomingdale’s vid on the ‘net last year, and parts of t.v. shows like FlashForward last year. We have yet, though, to see a blockbuster type of movie with an Asian man/Black female character cast on the same level that we have seen the same cast for white male/Black female character castings. It would also be nice if the BlAsian movie I keep wishing for had an Asian American guy who spoke English like a native-born American and actually fell in love with a Black women in the many ways that white and Black male actors are allowed to do so. The Asian male portrayals with Black women have too often fit into the asexual, no-emotion, unromantic stereotypes that Americans harbor about Asian men. “Romeo Must Die” was the most recent example of this; while the Asian guy wound up getting the girl in the end – and a Black girl at that – there was a stark lack of kissing, romantic dialogue, lovemaking, and other indications of a hot romance that audiences have seen in interracial movies involving white guys and Black women. ... the new media (i.e., blogs, micro-blogs, discussion boards, and video sites) are pushing the envelope and starting to burst the bubble of the traditional white male/Black female view of interracial relationships. To put it in the words of one Black woman I talked to at one of my author events, ‘We BlAsians have always been kept out of the IR discussions and media until recently when we started throwing our own party and they started listening.’

A second factor is the increased globalization due to the internet and trade between U.S. and Asian countries has brought the exchanges between Blacks and Asians to a higher level than it was previously. The result is that BWAM have come together socially on the internet or have come together because of business-related travel. The effect on Black women and Asian men who have done neither but who have seen their peers interact transracially in social, sexual and romantic ways that neither race has seen before is making toast out of that tired line that ‘East is East and West is West and never shall the ‘twain meet.’ A Black woman wanting to meet an Asian man for romance is as easy as easy a clicking to a social networking site like MeetUp or Facebook, making e-mail exchanges with a BlAsian-interested person of interest, then sooner (or later) meeting up with them face-to-face.

A third factor is the increase in the multiracial community which reportedly increased by 25% in the last decade. I don’t know what part of that are children born from Black-Asian marriages, but I have seen many of those children showing up in the sites I’ve mentioned above. Many of them have been the most understanding and avid readers of my book, “BlAsian Exchanges, a novel.” And many of these BlAsian folks want to know more. I don’t think that society knows how to deal with a Black woman who has some Filipino blood in her who could never see herself dating a white guy, hasn’t found what she wanted in Black guys but is anxious about the prospect of finding an Asian guy – the type of guy that mirrors her father phenotypically and at the same time the type of guy her mother has shared good vibes about.

...The cast of [Audrey & Dre] are optimistic about its reception in Asia. What are your thoughts on this?

I share the same optimism. Folks in Asian countries are curious about the newest trends happening in American culture including those in interracial relationships; remember, unlike many people in the United States, Asians are not as hesitant on interracial kind of matters and my feeling from talking to many foreign-based, foreign-born Asians is that they are sitting on the fence when it comes to IR, want to know more about Black people especially Black women and are not totally sold on the racist stuff they’ve heard about Black women [remember, Asian countries lack a lot of the sort of racial history that the U.S. has had] from American media. And business wise, since rates for video cellphones are more affordable in Asian countries (they don’t require two or three-year contracts like American companies do) and thus more common usage of cell phones to view videos, there is a more readily accessible market for shows like Audrey & Dre in Asian countries than here in the U.S.

This increased Asian interest in black women...is it something you've observed personally?

Yes. I do discern personally an increased interest for BW in Asia. I have no figures to back that up but I have continued to receive e-mails from Asian men after my wife and I had our picture in a Chinese Language daily newspaper February of '09 in an article about BlAsian couples in which I was quoted in many lines. They are curious in many ways, such as how to approach BW and questions about how to bridge cultural gaps and personal preferences and where to meet BW and why I had recurrently been attracted to BW and they wanted to know more about the common history of Blacks and Asians that I had touched on in the article and in my novel (to see a copy of the article go to my blog at http://blackwomanasianman.wordpress.com and scroll down to the entries for Feb. 09 and March 09).

With Sino-African relations basically picking up where they left off centuries ago, do you think they too will influence the movement?

I do believe that Sino-African relations are part of the interest as well as China's continuing influence in the globalization of trade and the economy (e.g., China took $1.25 billion of U.S. consumer debt nearly two years ago). There are also a growing number of BW who have ventured to China on their own, e.g., Jo Bai, a Florida resident who is married to an AM, has relocated to China with her husband and also there is an African journalist who after her education here in the U.S. took a job as anchor of a Chinese TV station and thus is a daily presence.

Overall, I don't discern a sea change level of interest but I do see an increased interest in BW by Asian men in Asian countries especially China.

Do you think it has something to do with male-female disparity as well?  I remember from grad school that by 2006, there were 110 million more men in China than there were women.  That was equivalent to the entire population of Mexico.

That could be a factor. Other factors could include: (1) China doing business with African countries and some Chinese men (and conversely some African women) desiring to position themselves to cash in on that business as marital partners); (2) more positive images of Black women in Chinese media; (3) the Obama factor which is changing how mixed-race children are being viewed in Asian countries since Obama spent his formative years in Indonesia which is a factor that is repeated in many Asian language newspapers; (4) the growing number of African Americans who are migrating (permanently or temporary) to China for career-related and sometimes reasons related to marrying a Chinese partner; (4) the high, burgeoning number of Chinese men and other Asian men migrating to the U.S. for business and/or educational reasons who see more positive images of Black women in this country than in Asian countries they are from [consequently they spread these broader positive images of Black women in their countries of origin to other Asian men who wind up getting their curiosity fulfilled by internet surfing about Black women].

Read full interview here.

8 comments:

  1. @Sam

    Thank you for your insightful and often delightful answers to Ankhensen's questions.

    Even in this forum, my status as a weird and clueless individual has remained, thus, I've often had to have things spelled out to me. Your interview has certainly provided me with several pieces of the puzzle. Though I can't relate to many of the issues brought forth, this is one that probably defines my relationship with husband.

    ...the type of guy that mirrors her father phenotypically and at the same time the type of guy her mother has shared good vibes about.

    Though my father and husband share many positive traits, only one matters. Perhaps owing to my status as his firstborn, my father and I have always been close and he's always made me feel as if my happiness and security has been and always will be his top priority; hence, I would have never seriously considered marrying any man who was not willing to make a similar investment.

    On the opposite end of the spectrum, apparently in the worst ways possible, I remind my husband of his dead mother. This accusation slips out during extremely heated debates. His relatives even comment on my various (frequently negative) similarities to her.

    We're old school love: pheromones, hormones, chemicals and similarities to the people we loved.

    ReplyDelete
  2. On the opposite end of the spectrum, apparently in the worst ways possible, I remind my husband of his dead mother. This accusation slips out during extremely heated debates. His relatives even comment on my various (frequently negative) similarities to her.

    Good Lord...what do they mean by that?

    ReplyDelete
  3. ...to push the interracial relationships discussions beyond Black female and white male genre which is where the gatekeepers of the traditional media (news and silver screen) have wanted to keep IR over the years.

    Yes, those gatekeepers are pushing the WM/BW IR hard, aren't they? On first glance, it seems like it's a good thing (racial harmony and all that), but it stops looking so rosy once you realize that it's all you see to the exclusion of everything else. I rarely see BM/BW pairings or Hispanic man (black or white)/BW and definitely not AM/BW.

    They are curious in many ways, such as how to approach BW and questions about how to bridge cultural gaps and personal preferences and where to meet BW

    I like this. Natural curiosity about who we are and how to get to know us better. That is so refreshing.

    Thank you...this interview was extremely enlightening.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Ankhesen
    Good Lord...what do they mean by that?

    It's not that bad. When they accuse me of being too much like ****-chan, it means I'm showing way too much of my ass when I act out. I thought I mentioned earlier that there was only one adult in our relationship. :D Seriously, the muttered criticism is definitive evidence that I'm truly a member of the family; this is the purest form of acceptance. Our love is truly blessed because we're mutually loved and accepted by all branches of our families. In many ways, it's eerie because despite the racial, language and cultural differences, we actually descend from the same kind of people.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @Cinnamon

    Natural curiosity about who we are and how to get to know us better. That is so refreshing.

    It's interesting that The Husband and the various men in his group didn't think there was any basis for this curiosity. Women are women in their minds and based on past rhetoric, this means we're evil creatures sent by demons to spend their hard-earned cash and to deprive them of everything else they enjoyed when they were single. They're adamant that the race of the woman is irrelevant. The young men in my institution and the various ones I've met during our travels make the exact same claims. On the surface, this indicates that Japanese men from Japan do not consider cultural or racial considerations when they pursue women.

    Are Japanese guys so fundamentally different from Chinese and Koreans or am I only meeting guys who have no chains on their minds? Does their willingness to even talk to me about this subject already indicate that they're far more open-minded than the norm? If they're walking to the beat of a different drum, what are the implications? Is this because these Japanese (former Koreans) were the invaders and colonizers and never the oppressed?

    I've worked out one thing recently. There are significantly fewer black American women married to Japanese men than their black African counterparts. Most of the married sistas here are, in fact, married to white men, sans those who are married to basketball players. Japanese men seem to prefer black African women with extremely dark complexions and a superior education. Let me put this in context...

    Because Japan is such a sexist country where women are generally relegated to second-class citizenship, if a guy wishes to elevate himself and his future off-spring, it makes sense that he'd seek a partner who could assist him in this endeavor. This is where it gets interesting. With the sheer abundance of desperate "white" women with varying degrees of education, why go after black women who are logically harder to get because our numbers are so few and because Hollywood has brainwashed many of sistas against them?

    Could it be a combination of love and a desire to have superior off-spring, physically and educationally? Most Japanese American children attend second tier American universities; whereas quite a few (I've heard) Japanese-African children attend prominent or reasonably respectable Japanese universities which are far more expensive and much harder to enter. And yes... the blasians are far better athletes.

    There's one group of guys who've mastered whatever the hell's going on: The JICA guys. They're shrewdly snatching up well-educated African women, both black and Arab.

    ReplyDelete
  6. interesting interview! i personally do not believe Sino-African relations will affect the Blasian movement much but then again they call me a pessimist. i say this because the Chinese i see around where i live, and i've also read about this, lead segregrated lives. they hardly interact with their African hosts.

    anyway i see the possibility of change with more Chinese entrepreneurs employing locals as opposed to bring workers from China and also with the opening of cultural centers in African countries. for example, a Korean cultural centre was opened in Abuja (the capital of Nigeria) earlier this year, i go there often but there are not that many Koreans in Nigeria. i've heard that a Chinese cultural centre will be opened next year, there are so many young Chinese men here so yeah cultural centers may help facilitate interactions and possibly Blasian relationships.

    @Hateya what is this i'm reading about African women in Japan and their Blasian offspring? it's really interesting. in my experience, the only time Japanese guys date non-Japanese girls, they are white. then again most of the guys i know are not really "men" (and by that i mean "grown up" and mature) but in their early twenties and still in university so maybe there's a difference in terms of age.

    ReplyDelete
  7. i've heard that a Chinese cultural centre will be opened next year, there are so many young Chinese men here so yeah cultural centers may help facilitate interactions and possibly Blasian relationships.

    Ohhhh...I'm sure it shall. I can't wait to hear about it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. @eccentricyoruba

    Hateya what is this i'm reading about African women in Japan and their Blasian offspring? it's really interesting.

    At least eight families (two wives are Arab) are being followed by a television network. They air segments several times a year. I've never really figured out the schedule though. We were asked to participate years ago. Thankfully my husband refused immediately. *whew*.

    I can't deny that many Japanese men date/marry "white" women; however, there is a huge discrepancy in the quality of the women. When they go "white" any ol' piece of trash will do. When they go black, especially African, they choose the BEST. Men who marry trash usually cheat with other trashy women. It's so common around here, no one's surprised when it gets out.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.