9.03.2010

Why is "Blasian" so Relevant and Powerful?

Just not that into you....

For a country which looks down on black women, America seems to be doing everything possible to make us want to date/marry interracially.

Of course, in America, black women dating/marrying interracially only means one thing.  Hollywood actually did unleash a string of films featuring black women and white men, mostly to lukewarm and even downright frigid responses from black women (Guess Who?, Something New, August, Wonderful World, etc.).  I often asked myself,  Why the lack of excitement?  I thought this was what many black women in America wanted.

Granted, it wasn't what I wanted, but America had - if only for a moment - made me believe this was what black American women wanted.  I'm an African girl; I thought maybe my American sisters thought differently from me.

Not really.

The truth is, black women (as a group) still don't want white men.  After all these years, even now, in the 21st Century, that particular connection's still not clicking, and Nita "Jade" Hanson hasn't helped one bit.  She's not the first woman of color to be in her situation; we've all seen, met, or heard of other WM/WoC combinations in which the WoC puts up with her man's racism.  He doesn't change; he doesn't feel he needs to change.  After all, in his mind, she's the lucky one and thus should be grateful for him.  So when change doesn't come, the WoC tries to tell herself the hideous, sickening feeling eating her from the inside out on a daily basis is all in her mind, and that even if it's "real", it doesn't matter.

Most black women, of course, do not co-sign.

If we are to consider "Abagond's Law", I would say the "Wall of the White Self" is one the main Walls of Racism which deters black women (again, as a group) from seriously considering white American men as potential mates.  When a white guy sits down across from a black woman on a first date, she gets the feeling he's not sitting down "by himself".  He sitting down with decades of media hype and centuries of institutionalized and socialized privilege.  He's been "advertised" to her every day of her life via white actors and musicians and the magazine covers they've graced.  His face, or some variation of it, is everywhere she goes, so much that she sees his face far more than she sees her own.  He sits down, assured that his worth and his viability are vouched for; after all, his desirability is expected to be assumed, not proven.  When he talks about all the things he can do and how well he can do them, he expects his date to automatically accept it - now and later when she finds out his self-assessment is gravely inaccurate.  She's not supposed to challenge all these wonderful qualities of his which are often presented to her without any proof whatsoever.  She's supposed to be feeling insecure and unworthy; after all, no one important has vouched her worth for her.

Thus, while on the date, the white guy feels he can fully be himself, but the black woman knows she cannot do the same.  Because the moment she talks about things which feature prominently in her life - ancestry, spirituality, history, racism, culture, language (in some cases), and such - her white date is going to 1) not know what she's talking about, 2) fall to the age-old knee-jerk defenses and derailing if he doesn't like what he hears, and 3) shut down if she asserts herself and corrects him on these issues.

Some of you are probably thinking, "Well, duh," at this point.  You have to understand that black female interest in Blasian unity is still a bit of a pleasant surprise to me.   I know why I have an interest; my father's a professor and while I was growing up, he brought many male students home for dinner - black, white, and Asian (very few Latinos in Appalachia).  When the students left, he discussed each one's behavior thoroughly.  In the end, the Asian students always got his vote.  His reasoning was this: for the sake of growth and experience, it was good to find someone different enough for you to learn something new, but similar enough to already understand.

Problem is, even if a white American guy wants to understand, and is willing to open himself up to understand, he cannot ever fully understand.  He's simply not equipped to.  Strange as this may sound, this is where biology and centuries of white privilege have finally come together and rendered him communicatively, comprehensively, and culturally impotent.

To combat this impotence, we see his overcompensation via media overexposure, the quick dismissal of complex cultural concepts like ancestral ties, and the perpetuated ignorance of very crucial (and very lengthy) history.  And when black women don't "fall in line" like other women; when we still call the white American male out on this impotence, when we expose and analyze its source, we're told we're just jealous, unworthy, undesirable.

And yet...the overcompensation goes on.

Symmetry

Meanwhile, a non-white-worshiping Asian/Asian American man on a date with a black woman isn't going to blink when she brings up the notions of ancestry, history, culture, language, and certainly not racism.  She's not telling him anything new.  So he's not going to tell her she's paranoid, or overly sensitive, or imagining things.  He's not going to tell her to lighten up, or "get over it".  He's going to 1) mostly likely understand - on a personal level - a good ninety-some percent of what she's saying, and 2) tack on whatever observations she may have left off while discussing an unpleasant experience.

I've said this before, but I'll quickly discuss it again.  When I released Folklore, and Other Stories, I was testing a theory I'd read in an Asian forum: black women and Asian men have similar experiences in America.  The black female critics who reviewed my three stories didn't question the Blasian pairings.  They acted as though that pairing was the most normal scenario in the world and instead critiqued structure, artistic merit, and such.  While I was pleasantly surprised by this reaction, the invaluable information I received from the experience still didn't fully register.

My next hint came in pieces, spread over the course of several months: first, the racist circus surrounding the Spock/Uhura pairing of Star Trek (2009); second, the release of Ninja Assassin (2009); and third, a comment by Cinnamon about readers finding this site via Google while searching for info on Raizo and Mika:
It's extremely heartening to know that almost a year after the movie was released, people are still highly interested in this couple. Are you listening Hollywood?! 
Fun fact: black female fans considered S/U a racial triumph; this seemed to be its most powerful allure to us.  Decades after their romance was branded forbidden, two iconic characters finally locked lips.  But the euphoria of this triumph fizzled out fairly quickly.  See, many white fans (especially the female ones) weren't too keen on S/U .  The movie came out June, 2009, and by December, 2009, black female interest was rapidly waning.  Boards and forums were hostile towards us.  We quickly grew tired of defending our beauty and femininity all the time.  The continual whitening of Uhura in fanfiction repulsed us even more.  By the New Year, when we were drowning in racist venom, we seriously started getting over S/U.  Spock, despite his iconic nerd status, just wasn't worth it.  He was like a white husband silently complicit with his family's racism, and we deserved much better.

Almost a year after the release of Ninja Assassin, however, black female fans still find Raizo and Mika hot, and this time, no one's backing down.

We find them even hotter than S/U...and S/U had actual kisses.  It is very important that readers pay attention to this part, because in absolute defiance of Hollywood physics, a full-blooded Asian man, with an Asian accent, won the heart of every black woman in the audience - without even getting to kiss the leading lady.

It was Sharon Cullars' work that finally convinced me the Blasian world is serious, whether the American mainstream acknowledges it or not.  Sharon has been publishing books since 2002.  As far as I can tell, they're all interracial, with a black female/white male combination.  Only Gold Mountain (2010) is Blasian, and I couldn't help by notice right away that when I began to type "Sharon Cullars" into Google, Gold Mountain pops right up with her name three times, while her second most famous book, Again (2006), pops up only once.  Again featuires BW/WM romance, but only a very stunning black woman appears on the cover.  Naturally, it would attract our attention (hell, I used the tiniest excuse I could find to put the book cover in the interview). Her other books feature BW/WM, have higher quality book covers, are longer and more detailed than Gold Mountain, but Gold Mountain's getting all the attention from us.  This is no accident.  This is not a fluke.  Cullars' series of books eerily mimics the pattern of Hollywood's movies.

And just when Hollywood thinks it has effectively neutered Asian men and made them invisible, it gets a bitter slap: in just a few years, Asian men have accomplished what white American men could not in the last four hundred.

Checkmate.

27 comments:

  1. I have never ever, not once, in my entire life considered dating, marrying and/or screwing a "white" man (i.e. American guy). There are few things in life I find more puke-inducing. Maybe it's history. I come from two, not one, races of dark-skinned people. With slavery and genocide on the table, I'd rather kill myself than let one of them touch me intimately.

    In truth, I prefer Hollywood NOT jump on this wagon train. I don't want to see them interpreting us. We need to write our own books, write our own screenplays and distribute our own materials. I'm perfectly fine with "white" folks boring themselves to death. Just leave us out of it.

    Recently, I sent a copy of Unbowed to my German friend. I'll be damned if she isn't as in love with Cleola Banks and her awesomeness as I am. She's into the character for all the right reasons. The gods know it was tough getting past Jay Tavare's hotness to embrace the real story...

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  2. In truth, I prefer Hollywood NOT jump on this wagon train. I don't want to see them interpreting us. We need to write our own books, write our own screenplays and distribute our own materials.

    After all, any time Joel Silver goes near a Blasian flick, the leading two don't get laid or even kiss.

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  3. @Ankhesen

    the leading two don't get laid or even kiss.

    This is so wrong on zillions of levels. How can they argue we're animalistic and oversexed when they never see us engaging in lust on screen? As per Ninja Assassin, there is always, always, always a gratuitous sex scene in action movies. It's mandatory. Joel Silver should be tarred and feathered!

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  4. I simply find stories involving POC more intriguing and interesting on a personal level. I've had white male pals, but never more than that. Too many negative experiences and many of them drunken (on their end).

    One of the things that bugged me about "Something New", was a scene in which "Brian" complained about Sanaa's (character) issues in dealing with racist white folks.

    Her character couldn't even talk about the legitimate beef she had, with the professional double standards and the constant slights. He just wasn't trying to hear it.

    However, the film acted as if she was being this complainin' ass Black Woman, when all she needed was the love of her White Man in Shining Armor to make it all better. Gag.

    I mean, why should a little thing like institutionalized racism (which he refused to get) stop their romance? Such a crock of shite.

    Mika/Raizo is one of the most intriguing pairings I've seen on the big screen in forever. Hollywood gets the gas face for its continued racism.

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  5. @Lenoxave

    Thank you. I'll never watch Something New.

    Mika/Raizo is one of the most intriguing pairings I've seen on the big screen in forever.

    I second this. While I'm not as enamored with Mika/Raizo as I am with my all time favorite couple (my biases run to the extreme), I adore them all the same. Without a doubt, they are #2 on my list of TWO couples. I bought a Blu Ray player just to watch Ninja Assassin and to date I haven't bought another BR disc. This is telling...

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  6. @Hateya

    wouldn't it be cool if there was a blasian magazine or something like that? i think it would be pretty sweet to have some kind of POC magazine that focused on ALL POC and not just specific races (i.e. essence, jet, latina, asian week, etc). *^_^*

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  7. That would be nice....less links on the right....

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  8. @Avastacia

    It would indeed be cool for me. Like I said, I'm all about the colors. The magazine of your dream probably isn't far off. If we stay focused and stay true to our goals, we will overcome. We can work and interact with the others professionally without allowing them to put chains on our minds or our souls.

    Opps... gotta run to the airport and try to get an earlier flight to the City of Woods (Sendai), which is arguably one of the least inspiring cities on the planet. :( I'll catch you again in the middle of the week.

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  9. I think that for most women when you meet a guy and there is a mutual attraction then the only thing that stops us from following through is him putting his foot in his mouth. This is where most white men come up short when approaching black women. They say something that reveals just how racist they are and any woman with sense runs for her life.

    One of the things I've noticed from lurking on blogs written by American's working in South Korea is how angry the white men are about their treatment. It just blows their minds that they are not given the star treatment with access to the best of everything including Korean women. Delusional bunch.

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  10. @Modest-goddess

    HA! I live here and I see it with the ... stuck up white people, the cool ones are ok ( I know 2 of them (great guys))and the other one I don't think he is even thinking about a girlfriend at the moment because he is busy exploring Korea different towns and things and having a good time, especially when we ( 2 of us and usually our co worker (Korean-American friend) go "adventuring" -- we don't know where we are going we just go and find delicious food and cool things.

    Stuck up ones (ex. C - see my What's wrong with people post if you don't know who that is) get mad when Koreans treat them like nothing special , but when Koreans see me it is a whole different story. I get treated very nicely here and have even been given extra things and been given many compliments by random Koreans (mostly men but also women). They treat a person on how they come off to them, come off like an a**hole and they will treat you accordingly, come off nice and they are nice to you. I seen C try to fake it but they seem to see under that.

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  11. I think black women are getting tired of the current meme being pushed that the only viable option for us besides black men are white men. Hell, even the damn news is trying to tell us who we should date...you know...for our own good. (Washington Post article)

    This was the money quote for me:

    While the discussion includes men of all races and ethnicities, the focus is primarily on overcoming taboos against dating white men.

    Uh-huh. I thought we were undesirable, over-sexed and too "pushy." And now this? So...what? White men now want us all of a sudden? (They always have, but you know what I'm saying...)

    You never used to see IR books with BM/WM and now that's practically all you see. (Just go to any e-book website or even Amazon for a hefty sampling.) Tell me there isn't an agenda going on here.

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  12. @ Cinnamon

    Uh-huh. I thought we were undesirable, over-sexed and too "pushy." And now this? So...what? White men now want us all of a sudden? (They always have, but you know what I'm saying...)

    You never used to see IR books with BM/WM and now that's practically all you see. (Just go to any e-book website or even Amazon for a hefty sampling.) Tell me there isn't an agenda going on here.


    Exactly. And now every movie or TV is dropping some "plug" in which they make sure at least one white person describes the occasional black female supporting actor/guest star as "beautiful." Seriously - it doesn't matter what you're watching.

    I wonder: is it a subtle, preemptive strike against Blasians? Is the "black girls get to play too now, in public, so ignore all other avenues"?

    Because America has worked to make damn sure Asians stay invisible - or at least, asexual - in mainstream media.

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  13. You never used to see IR books with BM/WM and now that's practically all you see.

    Oops...I meant BW/WM. :)

    @Ankh
    I wonder: is it a subtle, preemptive strike against Blasians? Is the "black girls get to play too now, in public, so ignore all other avenues"?

    Blasians and others, I think. You don't often see Hispanic men (any race), Native American men, or even black men paired with black women either. But...

    Because America has worked to make damn sure Asians stay invisible - or at least, asexual - in mainstream media.

    ...you're right. When a Hispanic man or black man or the very rarely seen Native American man manages to even get some decent screen time, they at least get some play. Asian men can't get any, no matter what race the female lead is.

    Pfft! If John Cho didn't dispell that nonsense by the oh so hot way that he was slobbering down Gabrielle Union in FF, people are just stubbornly refusing to see what's right in front of them.

    What is Hollywood so afraid of? Oh...right. They're afraid that sexy Asian characters like Raizo will flip the script on the asexual Asian man stereotype and get all the women's panties in a bunch. To be honest, I'm surprised they let Raizo be as sexy and masculine and flirty as he was. I don't think anyone would have batted an eye if he and Mika would've kissed. At least not for that reason...

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  14. Funny thing is that I get more play here than I ever did living in the states.

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  15. OMG! I agree with everything you ladies have said. And Ankh, your comment:
    'I wonder: is it a subtle, preemptive strike against Blasians? Is the "black girls get to play too now, in public, so ignore all other avenues"?' ...is SPOT on.

    I personally think that 'white folk' are gettin' a little antsy about the fact they aren't as much the shiznat as they originally thought. PoC are slowly being deprogrammed from believing that 'white folk' are to be idolized/superior.

    Teh unification of PoC is very threating to 'them' and their feeling the need to do something about it. Lets not worry too much tho, they are aware that we ain't actually buying what they sellin' ;)

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  16. Cinnamon, I wanted to read that Washington Post article but couldn't get past the first few lines. So when a black woman can't find any "good" black man (don't get me started on that subject), the only option left is white men?
    We know better than that. It's high time people noticed that the categories they tried to put us in have never fitted.

    Coming back to the original post, it made me realize for the first time that I had never had the same quality of friendship or intimacy with white men. Black men, Asian men, Middle-eastern... yes. Now I start to see why.

    And I'm no longer surprised that during my first week at university (new school), the people who were nicest to me were Black and Asian. I see an unspoken bond here...

    Thank you for this blog. I have quite an interest about Blasian relationships and will definitely try to add my two cents, I apologize in advance for my poor English...

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  17. @ S.

    So when a black woman can't find any "good" black man...the only option left is white men?

    Don't even get me started on that.

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  18. Moi:

    "His reasoning was this: for the sake of growth and experience, it was good to find someone different enough for you to learn something new, but similar enough to already understand. "

    You know we had this conversation in the car, and it stayed with me. I love the idea of exposure in this manner (and you know I'm using it). But Pops is dead right. There are few, if any, positive commonalities between BW/WM. I admit that I have openly lusted after some WM, but hey, lust is what it is. Meaningful connection is what matters, and I seriously doubt that 99% of us can legitimately make that claim if we are with WM.

    Most WM (99.5% of them, and I'm being liberal) aren't interested in true growth or experience because here, there is no need for them to have it. How in the hell could any WoC compete with that? We understand them and their unflinching sense of entitlement because of our growth and experiences, but never in a million years could they ever truly understand us. For them, what's the point? We should be grateful if we do get one of them.

    As we say where I'm from, "F*ck that sh*t."

    Nita Jade Hanson needs a good old-fashioned Southern beatdown. I wish I could say I feel sorry for her, but I can't feel sorry for grown folks who bring that kind of drama on themselves.

    And to hell with "good" black men. I don't even know what that sh*t means. Bring on a good man, one who is willing to go through the fire for us. We already know the ones who aren't. Reason enough to be happily single.

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  19. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  20. @Anon
    It's funny how you say that white men won't want to talk about racism-that statement in itself is a little racist.

    How?

    Not bashing you-just want to say , look at these issues without color.

    Why?

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  21. ***comment moderation***

    Anonymous said...
    I find men in general attractive.A man is a man. They all come from different backgrounds, and have different views of the world because humans are really complex,wonderful creatures. Whether the man that comes into my life be "white","black","asian",I will love him for him-really.I want a guy that is my best friend, and my lover-someone who won't close up when "touchy" subjects emerge. We shouldn't paint everyone of a certain cultural background with one brush.It's funny how you say that white men won't want to talk about racism-that statement in itself is a little racist. Not bashing you-just want to say , look at these issues without color. Find a man without looking for color, or heritage in mind-you are more likely to find your "soulmate", or what have you.


    @ Anonymous and anyone else would get on my nerves today by posting as "Anonymous" and not reading the goddamn comment/blog policies

    This is a BW/AM blog. If that's not your thing, that's cool; I hear Elsewhere is nice this time of year.

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  22. I hear Elsewhere is nice this time of year.

    HELL!!!NAW!!! ROTFLMBO!

    I'm straight stealing this line. Second funniest thing I've read all week!

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  23. Forgive me if, I'm getting a little off the topic,but while Rain's name was brought up, besides being a serious hottie, I also see him in another light: a hero.

    As an African-American woman, I wasn't always aware about some of their attraction for Black women and vice versa,nor our deep connection to each other. Before anything Blasian related came out, I was under the impression that some of them had no interest in us.

    It wasn't that long ago that Ninja Assassin was made. To some people,it was another action flick, but to folks like us it's one of those iconic movies that will always be dear to us. I admire Rain in more ways than one. First, defied media's idea of sexiness. Secondly, as you have mentioned on here on more than one occasion, he is his own man.As he mentioned on his interview he's not Justin Timberlake..he's Rain Bi( I still laugh at that when I see it). Lastly and importantly, he has helped open the door to the truth about Blasian couples and other histories connected to them and the world as a whole.


    What you said about Black women not reacting to IR Black women/White men scenes had me to do a light comparison of two of Tyler Perry's past flicks, I Can Do Bad by Myself and The House That Prays. When I went to watch the THTP, I noticed how I was able to easily get a seat in the theater. Like you, I expected for more Black women to be interested in the lust scene that Sanaa Lathan had playing the role of the lover to her married White boss. Maybe it was an matinee..or a drama without Madea in it that kept more of Tyler fans at home,but the three Black women that was in there with me seemed indifferent about it.

    With ICDBBM, it was a far different story.Same matinee,but I had to find a movie theatre 30 miles away from me because of no vacancies. This time Adam Rodriguez was paired with Taranji Henson as lovers. As I recalled, he was the star attraction to Black women. They loved it when he kissed Taranji,married her and they especially seemed to like it( along with the men) that Adam defended Taranji. Maybe I was seeing too much into something but that is what it seemed like at the time.

    Black and Latino men are currently seen as White society's threat,but Asian men are a triple threat to them. The clock is ticking and they know that you can only keep a man down for so long. I find it rather ironic how they used media against us. Slowly, the same very tool that that they used to put Blacks and other minorities in their place is beginning to backfire on them.

    No, Raizo/Mika didn't lock lips in NA,but the movie created something far better than we could have imagined.Now that Rain has been exposed, there is no way that the effects can be stopped no matter how hard media is trying.

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  24. I think I heard somewhere that they were going to include a kiss/shower seen between Raizo and Mika but it was scrapped after being screened before the release because some people didn't like watching it. I think that's why there was so much tension between R/M. There was a romance scene in it and they only took out that part.

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  25. They took it out just 'cause. No audience ever actually got to screen the shower scene.

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  26. Has anyone tracked down the footage of the kiss? I would LOVE to see it.

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