Are subcontinental people "Asians"?

I came across this lil' gem lurking on YouTube. This guy apparently decided to make a video pointing out that Indians, as he puts it aren't Asian, simply because they do not look Asian, or more accurately what people in the US thinks are Asian. Even more painful is the point at 3:26 when he drags black people into the fray. This struck a raw nerve in me. No one, and I mean NO ONE, has the right to determine whose identity is valid or otherwise, especially for large groups. Only the individual themselves should do so. A good example:

This cheerful young woman is a member of the Semang people, native to my home country. Their physical appearance bears strong resemblances to the peoples of sub-Saharan Africa, but linguistically and genetically they are closer to Austronesian Asians.

You see? To me, this indicates the validity of the Out of Africa theory, as the Negrito people, of whom the Semang are a part of, are largely isolated from most human migratory patterns for at least several millennia, if not longer. But wait, there's more. When I gave my two cents supporting subcontinental folks as Asians, user johnisaacs5 decided to defend the guy, spouting the usual crud I've heard before. Best part? He's a white guy. Yes dear readers, a white man decides that he's the right person to determine who's Asian and who's not. Merciless hell, even I don't do that, and I'm as yellow as the life-giving sun! But no, listen he does not.

What this idiot doesn't realize is that there IS NO Asian race, per se. Simply peoples of Asia. The term Asian itself is somewhat unclear, due to the centuries of colonialism wreaked upon us by Western imperialism, as it did to Africa and the Americas. For example, I would consider the peoples of the Middle East as West Asians, which geographically they are. True, Asia is too large and varied a continent to be homogenous either in terms of ethnogenetics or culturally, hence the reason why I point out the inanity of an Asian race. In the minds of Westerners (which I daresay includes PoC born and/or bred there) especially along the US/UK divide, the term Asian conjures up radically different images in their minds.

True, I admit my upbringing is somewhat biased in favor of South Asians, but frankly even if that was not the case, any sane person can tell the sheer stupidity of this whole situation. And on the utterly random chance that johnisaacs5 is a troll of color (which could be possible) that makes it even worse. As Ballisto pointed out before, we face different mechanisms of racism, but essentially it impacts us all the same. Divide et impera, that's what the Romans of old used to say.

To my fellow Asians of Desi culture/ancestry, do not let these ignorami tell you that you're not Asian or otherwise. You alone as an individual are your best determinant, not anyone else. Peace out folks.


  1. Wooooow. This cat is ignorant and seriously lacking in terms of his knowledge of geography. And contradicting himself on the get go "Technically Indians are Asian, but they don't LOOK Asian." I can't...

  2. You're right this guy that you're talking about.He is a complete idiot.

    With all due respect, why would he want to get a White person to determine who we all are supposed to be? Why would he want to accept what they say instead of how he should be?

    Lately, all POCs have been wanting changes to these racial categories because they feel that they interpretation of their identity aren't accurately defined and I can't blame them for wanting that. I just find it incredibly annoying for people to go to a White person to "learn" about Black people and other POCs OMFG! Don't get me wrong, a White person can learn about us through books, live in your territory and be friends with Black people ,but they will never know what it's like to be African American-our experience, history and/or culture. Both may be from the same country but we are not the same people racially and culturally. Most times when people learn about us,its mostly based on gross unfounded stereotypes.

    Though I'm not Asian, the Indian guy that you discuss on here should be classified as Asian.You dont have to look the part to be the part.That is not.. in this case..being Asian is all about.

  3. I have no hope for those so deliberately ignorant that they can't even look at a map before running their mouths

  4. It's funny because in the UK, Asian pretty much refers to South Asia exclusively.

    1. Yup, that's why there is no clear definition of what constitutes an Asian. I humbly point out as an example North Africans, who look white-passing or even West Asian, yet are Africans through and through, as Malcolm X found out.

    2. LOL @ankhesen mié who just simply *rubs temples* LOL !!!!

      @cosmicyoruba, yeah I was going to say that.... here in the UK i have to keep making sure when I say I like Asian men, they know what I mean. HAHAHA, i actually like South East Asians a lot too. Okay....i like all men..... ANYWAYYYY The only reason I commented was cause I want to know where u, mr zydar, are getting these amazing Gifs from ?

    3. South Asians*******

  5. I made them myself, recording vids and turning them into GIFs through any GIF making website =)

    As I recall, East and Southeast Asians are usually referred to as Orientals by people in the UK. So no surprises there =p


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