12.08.2013

"They're All So Beautiful", an Intersectional Conversation

While the primary focus of these following episodes is the dreaded so-called "Yellow Fever", they do bring up other issues pertaining to race, culture, society, and gender.  Remember, in sociology, you want to look at as many variables as possible, not just the one which triggers you the most.



For example, something which really stuck out to me in this video was the obviously beautiful, coiffed, successful black woman talking about how the last three guys she dated acknowledged her beauty, her professionalism, etc., but dumped her simply because she's the wrong color.

Many black women have found themselves in this situation, which I feel needs to be discussed more thoroughly and much more honestly.  Ladies, how many times have we been told we're perfectly beautiful, and smart, and educated, and have all the ideal traits of a girlfriend/wife/what have you, but the guy's "just not feeling it"...and then we later on see him with a white or Asian woman?



What stuck out to me in this video especially was when Dr. Tong addressed the stereotypes associated with different women, namely the idea of black women being construed as "too powerful." I found this to be a particularly fascinating word choice in a documentary which repeatedly brings up the submissive appeal of Asian women.

And to answer the question I already know some of you are asking ('cause I asked too), the good-looking Asian guy who keeps cropping up with his black glasses and bedroom voice is spoken word artist Bao Phi.



I felt this video illustrates what often triggers "Totem Pole Mentality."



I felt this video inadequately addressed the concept of "White Fever." Dr. Kim came close, but her segment was brief and barely scratched the surface. Note: there are more people with "White Fever" than there are men with "Yellow Fever", yet despite being a much bigger problem, the term "White Fever" is almost never used in everyday society.



When the guy in red shirt said "culture gets in the way of relationships", I raised my glass.

Notice also most - if not all - of the couples on here portray an instance in which the Asian - male or female - appears to be dating or have married "down".

40 comments:

  1. Bao's voice….you nailed it. I can listen to him all day: http://baophi.bandcamp.com/album/refugeography-disc-1 He has no idea how sexy he is.

    I only watched the one vid with him, naturally, but I did shudder at how the white women called us Asian 'girls'. Uh huh. Really?

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    1. but I did shudder at how the white women called us Asian 'girls'.

      Telling, isn't it?

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  2. If you meant dating or married down based on looks then yeah. I consider marrying/dating down if you have a PhD and they have a GED.

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    1. I hear you Lor but folks with and without GEDs aren't less than nobody else. Conversely there are plenty of head-in-a-shithole PhDs.

      The only pairing 'down' I can see is if you're stupid enough to sign a 'til-death contract you're not willing to sell your soul for.

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    2. If you meant dating or married down based on looks then yeah.

      Oh, yes...alas, we lack intimate data on these couples' educational and financial situations. But if you think of it in broader terms, this is one of those "symptoms of a bigger problem" situations.

      I consider marrying/dating down if you have a PhD and they have a GED.

      Somebody on here actually brought up a study indicate that when Asian men marry white women, they often marry down. I bring up this idea of dating/marrying down, because "mingling down" seems to be the recurring theme of POC/non-POC relations.

      We see it in professional settings; POC working the same jobs at whites have less education or experience, sometimes even for less pay.

      We see it in TV; on the Black Girls Club we've been discussing how A-list POC actors, actors who have done films and won or nominated big awards, are used on TV to the lift the careers of unknown/unpopular white actors.

      In the relationship world, it's practically a stereotype to see a moderately to very attractive POC with an unattractive non-POC (think handsome black man with unattractive white woman, beautiful Asian women with really unattractive white men...Naveen Andrews with Barbara Hershey, etc. and so forth.)

      And some of us are so colorstruck, so happy to have a white person grace us with their presence and attention that we don't notice these patterns of "mingling down" and thus we don't have these conversations nearly often enough.

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    3. ^Sorry, that came out harsher than I meant it to. In any case the harshness is not directed at you. I'm just on shaky ground thinking about this horrible topic.

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    4. @JNggyen-I didn't take it as harsh. I didn't mean to make it sound like people with GEDs are less than other people because many go on to do great things. Its all about how much ambition a person has. I used to have a coworker (ww) who was (probably still is) working two jobs struggling to keep a roof over her head while supporting two children and a husband (wm) who had his GED finally after being out of school for years. What does he do? Nothing, but sit at home getting high. And yes a higher degree doesn't mean anything if you are an idiot. And yes why get married with the whole til death do you part if you aren't willing to go the distance.

      @Ankhesen
      In the relationship world, it's practically a stereotype to see a moderately to very attractive POC with an unattractive non-POC (think handsome black man with unattractive white woman, beautiful Asian women with really unattractive white men...Naveen Andrews with Barbara Hershey, etc. and so forth.)

      See that is tricky. I mean if you are dating someone I don't find attractive are you going to dump him? Its what YOU find attractive about that person. And yes a LOT of people are colorstruck that it sickens me. Its not just going for white people though that is the majority of what I encounter. And Lord help you if you are in a group of interracial daters (who are with whites) and you are dating a person of color. They want to know WHY you are with that person because something must be wrong with you.

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  3. I see why divorce is becoming the norm..just listen to most of these people preference in their ideal mates.They sound like me as a 21year old immature woman that had no idea what great people consisted of.Far as I'm concerned these folks want the easy, stupid way out life. Don't get me wrong, I have preferences too and there is nothing wrong with it,but as the lady in the first clip said,it becomes a problem when it becomes unhealthy, stereotypical and baseless.

    So Black women are "too powerful" eh..well those guys sound like people with no security. Frankly, I wouldn't want a man like that because they want the easy way out. These guys will run from a torrid situation, they don't live in the real world and they'll only be happy if they can control you. This is why when I hear Black and non Black men, downgrade Black women with stuff like this,I don't cry about it because the good lord would want a man to see the real me and for me to be with a man of substance which many people on here seem to be lacking.

    I don't care if, 100 guys pass me over, I wouldn't be concerned about it. They may not be for me and have the right one on guy 101. It's easy for me to look at those woe is me news articles about Black women not being married,but none of them articles never consider these things 1)not every Black woman like me want to marry 2)Sure any woman can draw guys to them but do you just want to settle for ANYBODY? 3) Just because you're not married doesn't make you repulsive. You don't need large numbers of men to prove your womanhood 4) If it's meant for marriage is meant to happen ,Mr. Right will come to you and when he does be will be a quality guy.

    My neighbor was married to her husband for 30somethingbyears before her husband passed. The things she taught me about staying married didn't come off as always being easy, being materialistic,or having good looks. It was like the mixed couple on that Oxygen clip...sacrificial, uncomfortable but worthwhile being it.I would like for my man Black or non Black to be as real and strong as them. Apparently,these people are clueless to what love is.

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    1. "they don't live in the real world and they'll only be happy if they can control you. "

      The very definition of "supremacy". You said it best.

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    2. I don't care if, 100 guys pass me over, I wouldn't be concerned about it. They may not be for me and have the right one on guy 101...You don't need large numbers of men to prove your womanhood

      Beautifully stated.

      I see why divorce is becoming the norm..just listen to most of these people preference in their ideal mates....Far as I'm concerned these folks want the easy, stupid way out life....as the lady in the first clip said,it becomes a problem when it becomes unhealthy, stereotypical and baseless.

      Precisely. This isn't about Asian women's looks, languages or cultures; most of these men clearly don't have a clue about Asia and refer to "Asian culture" as though it were Sino-Japanese monolith with cherry blossoms on top. This about the fantasy of submission. It's no surprise many of these men are divorcees (see the "Seeking Asian Female" documentary). In the SAF documentary, dude tracks countless Chinese women through the years - first through snail mail, then online - yet in all those decades he never learns a word of Chinese.

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    3. @Ankhesen-THAT is what I do not get! How can you supposedly LOVE this culture yet haven't bothered to learn the language! I had a friend that went in the military and moved to Italy. Met a girl and all that. He wanted to prove to her family that he was serious about her and he learned the language. This all in the span of a year. Plus I notice these guys who all 'love the culture' say the SAME stereotypical answers when asked what it was they liked about it. Could you narrow it down there skippy!?!?!?!

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    4. ^hahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaa

      All of that.
      And no, "ni hao ma" or "I want pho" doesn't count as learning the language.
      "Xie xie" or "cam on" is a good start tho :)

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  4. One more thing and then I'll shut up.

    Bao Phi (*shivers*) mentions that the AW/WM combination is held up as the ultimate symbol of racial progressiveness in America, as the "prize".

    The interracial factor, of course, is merely a glib justification for White & Yellow Fevers. So if you criticize it, then you're the racist, and you're hating on progress.

    Something else which bugs me: When Asian men want to be with Asian women, they're painted as conservative cultural automatons who are just blindly following tradition, and who are too weak or too inadequate to handle other women, etc. When Black women want to be with Black men, it's because they're our only/last resort due to our being soooooo undesirable and inherently inferior to all other women.

    In other words, when POC want to not only be with other POC, but specifically POC who look like themselves, suddenly there's a "problem." Something has to be wrong.

    Meanwhile, when white people prop up their multi-million-dollar vanillacentric fantasies for all the world to see, showing how they really, really, really, really love each other, it's merely the natural order of things.

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    1. "when POC want to not only be with other POC, but specifically POC who look like themselves, suddenly there's a "problem.""

      Yup. Or when POC wanna be with other POC or stand up for other POC or study about other POC's culture and then people do the "???". They try to stick you with a "Black Fetish", or decide that you-want-to-be-Black... when it's simply called learning about your friends backgrounds so you don't embarrass yourself/hurt them? Meanwhile, in white-speak they call themselves (*yuck shudder) "allies". AND they don't do the homework.

      The whole "don't do the homework" is the problem here. Eeuuaaggghhh.

      AW or BW can date whoever they want, that's their agency, to but they get no mercy when they don't first educate themselves. The desperation I see from SEAsia/SEA-Ams and their belief in the white savior has got to stop. Some Black people might treat us bad today, but ALL of fucking Hollywood and white power, white laws, white corporations continuously makes demeaning and degrading demands on us (and BW) while endlessly attacking our bodies. They MADE the war. They only want to enslave us. They want our motherlands crippled and paying tribute, and when we rise up they call us terrorists.

      Hahahahaha, we're terrorists for loving our own skin. They're so scared.

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    2. "Hahahahaha, we're terrorists for loving our own skin."

      You're damn right. Look at the ones (along with their Negro lap dogs) who slammed the Black Girls Rock awards show by trending 'whitegirlsrock' on Twitter. With the weaksauce justification that a White Girls Rock show would be considered racist (yea, like they don't have the Country Music Awards). <_< God forbid Black women and girls especially do one public thing to uplift each other.

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  5. "...yet despite being a much bigger problem, the term "White Fever" is almost never used in everyday society"

    Right? The term "fever" indicates a sickness or affliction, and while I'm not downplaying how damaging it is to fetishize people based on their race/culture, I ONLY ever phrases like "fever" attached to an attraction to POC: You think black women are attractive? LOL Jungle fever! But I guess being attracted (damn-near exclusively) to white people is "normal", so of course there's no sickness involved, even though "White Fever" is REAL.

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  6. Interesting when the white woman at the end of part three asked the question if Asian women are looking for the white men, or are the white men looking for the Asian women. I am not surprised one bit that she answered that Asian women are the ones looking for white men; how could a white man pass up a "perfectly" good white woman. Huh.

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    1. Thought I put my name?^

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    2. Sounds like the Blame Game they always play when it comes to women of colour. "Oh, that hussy did something/came on to him! Surely HE'S not at fault!".

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    3. Girl, I saw this play out with a white couple in college whom I counted amongst my numerous drinking buddies. Dude had thing for this Asian girl he'd had some classes with; she graduated/transferred/whatever to another state. But then she came back one night - not to see him or anything, mind you - and he blew off his girlfriend of at least a year (who lived with him, took care of him, paid a LOT of bills) to go track down the Asian girl.

      It was just embarrassing to watch. Like...I didn't know he could be that appalling and creepy.

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    4. Forgot to add the point of the whole story: white girl was so ticked at her boyfriend, but all she did was complain about the Asian girl.

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  7. These episodes raised some interesting points, yet I felt like the discussion was dominated by the participating white men. This was especially evident in Episode #5 with the newlywed couple. The wife barely began explaining herself before her husband interrupted and took over the discussion. If you go back to 4:24-4:33, you'll see how the camera focused on her face while her husband explained HER life. Something about her expression as she listened to her husband tell HER story hinted at frustration. I would've loved for the interviewers to delve deeper and let her voice come through, not her husband's.

    Compare them with the couple at 1:15-1:47 (also in Episode #5; the guy in the red shirt with his partner). In just 30 seconds, it was clear that this couple is in a relationship for each other, not to satisfy a fetish. They sat closely together, touching and helped to complete each other's thoughts. This stood out to me as a healthy relationship.

    That said, I feel like it's so easy to find examples of AW/WM relationships which started because of a fetish. Nothing new or surprising was said in the previous clips (as Black women in today's dating scene, unfortunately we've all heard this before). It would've been better to focus on the healthy relationships (again, see 1:15-1:47 in Ep. #5). It could help elucidate the difference between fetishized and normal relationships.

    And ditto on repeating "culture gets in the way of relationship". By emphasizing that, we easily forget how complex attraction and love can be.

    - Jolie

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    1. Excellent observations. The problem with these episodes is that they bring up very serious issues, but then just barely scratch the surface.

      This series should've continued with the professionals giving more commentary, and reviewing prior videos.

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    2. These episodes raised some interesting points, yet I felt like the discussion was dominated by the participating white men. This was especially evident in Episode #5 with the newlywed couple. The wife barely began explaining herself before her husband interrupted and took over the discussion.

      LOL - that's why they married these women, right? So they could be the ones doing the talking and being in control?

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  8. 1. The adjectives the feverish men used to describe Asian women in general were: petite, gracious, docile, caring, thoughtful, loyal, trustworthy and feminine. I can think of many black, Latina & white women who fit those adjectives, but these delusional oafs can only see what they want to see. And what’s up with that Asian dude who said that only non-Asian wives yell at their husbands. What a load of nonsense!

    2. It bothered me that they kept referring to White MEN and Asian GIRLS. That choice of words, in itself, could be the subject of a whole episode.

    3. I also really dislike that there’s almost always a wide age gap in these couples.

    4. I agree with everything M said above. Especially the part about not being upset when I see BM/AW or WM/AW pairings. These men are not the type I want for myself, so why should I care if they hook up with anyone?

    5. These weak men preferring Asian women because of the submissiveness stereotype get burnt eventually. Many of these women put on a nice little act and then become dragon ladies as soon as they pop out a baby. Insecure men being played by fake chicks is funny as hell to me.

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    1. 2. It bothered me that they kept referring to White MEN and Asian GIRLS. That choice of words, in itself, could be the subject of a whole episode.

      3. I also really dislike that there’s almost always a wide age gap in these couples.


      Ironically, #3 addresses #2. These ARE men dating girls...relatively speaking. The 60-year-old white men don't typically go after 60-year-old Asian women who most likely have already had a husband or two and racked up a few grandkids. They go after the fresh-faced college-aged girls. The pedophile aspect plays strongly into this fetish, which makes it all the more creepy.

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    2. "They go after the fresh-faced college-aged girls. The pedophile aspect plays strongly into this fetish, which makes it all the more creepy."

      shudders

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  9. Dr. Tung made me raise my eyebrows when he framed the Asian man's dilemma as "Asian girls only want whites and white girls don't want Asian guys". I think it is very telling that a professional and educated man would totally gloss over the existence of women other than white and Asian! He did later go on to describe the stereotypes of Latinas and Black women, so obviously he knows we exist.... but apparently we just don't exist for Asian men! There are multitudes of Asian men who do think exactly like that though- that all women are either white or Asian.

    I'd be interested in seeing some study of the Latina Women and Asian men dynamic. I'm not Latina- I'm half black and half white. However, many people mistake me for Latina or Filipina, and Asian guys have several times gotten on this strange trip where they try to paint me as Latina even after I tell them I am not. It's like if they can force me to be Latina, then I can fit into this immigrant parent/struggling to adapt to the US/hardworking girl kind of framework. My family is American- I'm the third generation born here. It doesn't get much more American than that. I work hard because that's who I am, not because I'm some salt of the earth downtrodden Catholic girl stereotype foolishness.

    I think this push to make me into a Latina is due to the underlying racist ideology they have internalized about black femininity. I have found this only with Asian men who were born here or came here as a small child. The cultural milieu here is just so contaminated that it's hard to find people whose minds haven't been poisoned.

    It's so much easier for me to deal with Japanese men! I meet a lot of them through work. What has happened often is that only after knowing them for like 3 months do they even figure out my race. In contrast, Asian-American guys ask for a racial descriptor instantly and they NEED to know in order to classify me as a human being. Japanese guys don't ask in part because they don't want to be rude, but also because they don't CARE either way. For example, I was dating a Japanese guy for like 6 weeks before the issue even came up, while we were talking about something else. He had no clue what my race was, but he was attracted to me physically, respected my career accomplishments and thought I was fun to be with- those were the things that mattered most.

    I really need to do some work on myself to become more tolerant of the creepy Yellow Fever dynamic. First off, I spend entirely too much time being creeped out and pissed off over it. Second, I will be hip deep in it as I am entering a graduate program in East Asian studies. It's going to be bursting at the seams with creepy gross Chewbacca looking white guys who are exactly like the losers in these vids. I need to either learn to be okay with it or learn more facial control to hide my emotional reactions (I wear my heart on my sleeve). Working in Japan I'm going to also see the sickening fawning over white men at every turn. I will also be seeing the fetishizing of white women (esp blonde hair) every time I open my eyes. I need to learn to be ok with it.

    Part of being ok with this situation is recognizing these men for their human failings. They are ugly, creepy and geeky losers who can't hack it with women who aren't infected with White Fever (or in dire need of a green card). They feel unloved and unappreciated, and I can relate to that feeling. Here are a huge cadre of women who think they walk on water for their white skin, who won't challenge them sexually, won't ever have their own opinions (lol) and exist only to please them. What guy in that position wouldn't want such a thing? (word choice intentional)

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    1. Joyful you brought up something interesting that I saw recently about a recent study on a dating app, and it showed the highest response rate: Men responding to women- Asian men looking for Latino women was the highest. http://www.npr.org/blogs/codeswitch/2013/11/30/247530095/are-you-interested-dating-odds-favor-white-men-asian-women

      The reason why I brought this up is because I was reading on tumblr and this girl was interviewing one of her Korean male friends who lives in Korea so not USA born, about interracial dating and his mom said either White or Mexican but not Black. She said Hispanic because she said they had culture. So it seems in their minds (regarding mom/family acceptance) White and Latino (And you know they talking about white looking latino's not black ones.) only can have Culture. Of course the ignorance, so maybe that's why it's so high of a preference.

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    2. This is exactly what I mean by "taking the easy way out".. guys and people who just don't want to face anything hard.

      There was a past article that Ankh had about mixed relationships and she used an example of how ...for example.. White guys who date Black women may like the idea of being with them but don't want to deal with problems that some mixed couples face. They're more worried about their families and friends will think about them, will mistake defending you for disobeying their parents or that they may not want to embrace any differences(cultural differences).

      By the sound of the mom, she could be referring to African American women. Supposedly we have no culture.. pleassse! It may not a strict traditional one, but we do have a culture and there are some African Americans who have a deeper culture. How about Africans,Black South Americans and Caribbeans.They have a unified more traditional culture.When it comes to culture, they should have a lot in common with Asian cultures.. then again the color/race isn't right.

      For some people, people use culture because they don't want to work and because they fear the unknown. Sure, Asians and Latinos do have a common denominator of having a culture and perhaps the parent may see this as a bonus because they can uphold them, or have lighter skin kids..idk but here is the thing about cultures.. it doesn't protect you from personality conflicts, it doesn't guarantee you happiness, prosperity ,beautiful kids or a solid marriage. It comes from people who knows what good marriages are. Just like the narrator was telling that man (Steven) on that clip, marriage is hard. She's right. Steven is such a man I wouldn't want to deal with because he runs away from his difficulties and prey on Asian women because of how he want to see them. People like him don't know what commitment is because soon as the Asian woman stand their ground, he'll be on to some other unsuspecting woman.

      No,Black women aren't" too powerful", we just been through a lot of hardships (and continue to )that has made is more honest, aware and stronger as human beings. I know guys who think that being a "real woman" is being voices less, unhappy and even in some extremely ridiculous cases.... being abused (Oh yeah, I actually heard a fool say that). Is that the kind of women that they want? I think not and if were not as I said before were ghetto, loud and obnoxious.

      My mom had some friends and one of them was an AMBW..in this case,he was a Palestinian Arab man who married an African American woman and he was really sexy looking. One thing that stuck out about him was the reason he married his wife. Sure, he thought that she war pretty, nice and wife material, but he said that Black women are strong willed women who..like what I said.. aren't going to run .along with him being Arab and she being Black that minorities would understand each other more in terms of struggles. It men like him that I admire and one who doesn't seem to let frivolous reasons get in the way of a good marriage.

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    3. @Meanie: I've seen this alot, I can blame the fact that you have media showing black women as non-existent. Mostly people get thier infomation of of television and movies.

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  10. It's interesting to read about this from a non-Asian POC perspective. It's very different from the convos I've had with my Asian peers and has raised a few good ideas as well as some red flags for me.

    Asian-Americans are American first. We're only Asian in non-Asian countries, including America ironically... Some of us are trans-racial adoptees with no Asian upbringing, some are 5th generation, some are mixed/biracial/multiracial, some are refugees/exiles who didn't ask to come here, and we're ALL from different countries. Korean Adoptee does not equal Blasian does not equal Bangledeshi. Asian America is not Asian alike, except when we're forced together by a common oppressor. I had my own trends in dating when young, I avoided Japanese and Korean folks from the midwest/west/nw coast, because I'd be generally talked down to as a Vietnamese. I still find that East coast folks are generally more open to inter-racial relations... unless they're from Boston.

    You may know some submissive Asian Women but I bet you don't. I don't. Haven't met one yet on either side of the colorline.

    One thing I notice that doesn't get discussed much is the idea of 'submissiveness', because no matter what an Asian Woman is to do she'll get tagged 'submissive'. If she's like "nobody got time for this", it's "oh, she has no fight." If I'm "legitimately wrong about something that we argued about and now I need to suck it up and apologize like a grown woman", it's not being a grown woman, it's "oh I beat that stupid girl into submission". It's always 'girls', because that's white gaze for you. We are supposed to be 'youthful-looking' or something but that's just white-gaze talk. Black women aren't tagged 'youthful-looking' though you don't wrinkle like white people either. It's inconvenient for the white narrative on Black bodies, just like the Asian female as Women are inconvenient (and its spawn is the disgusting musical "Miss Saigon", the ultimate white-rapes-Asian fantasy....). I'm just saying that submissive doesn't actually exist among the majority of Asian peoples, and if it does, it's about white-gaze, not our own.

    And in Amerikkka, of course there are anti-Black Asian-Americans. It's Amerikkka, where Black slavery was lawful until February 7, 2013. Finding non-racists, period, is a rare and uncommon thing. I haven't found Asian-Americans as a group any more or less racist than other Americans. I do have observations based on the history of colonization, or their own self-determined imperialism, and been able to make good guesses on their level of anti-Black racism. It's so interconnected.

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    1. This is a very valuable chance for us to talk about these issues, I agree.

      Your comment about Japanese looking down on Vietnamese made me think about my ex-husband's mom. She's from Japan and came here about 35 years ago. Anyway, she didn't have a problem with me marrying her son. (So many people automatically assume alllllll Asian parents are anti-black racists, but that's not true). What she did have a problem with is the fear that somehow, someway, it might occur that someone might think that she was Vietnamese! She was flat out horrified by that prospect, like there is something automatically and intrinsically wrong with being Vietnamese. She would literally shudder at the thought smdh. I cannot understand why she has this strong irrational aversion to Vietnamese people. She did come here right at the end of the Vietnam War, married to an American GI. So I'm guessing lots of people did assume she was Vietnamese. But why did that upset her so deeply, even decades later once Asian women became the ultimate prize of femininity? (Because when she came here, most Americans did NOT think Asian women were the world's purest beauties etc. They thought they were all C-ration prostitutes.)

      At a group for American-Japanese language exchange I used to attend, the Japanese members were usually very polite to me. I teach at an excellent university, so that definitely makes me a "respectable" person, esp to Japanese. It's great to be around people who don't seem to come pre-programmed with racist biases against me.

      I was so shocked when I brought my friend from Beijing to the meeting with me. I could not believe that the same Japanese who had been so friendly and polite to me were treating my friend like she was a hunk of dogshit. This girl is the sweetest person I've ever known. She is so open minded, generous, funny and just amazing in every way. She tolerates all my many flaws lol and I am so honored to be her friend. She speaks way better Japanese than I do, too. But the Japanese people who had welcomed me and shown me so much respect... they showed me another side to themselves. They had the racist balled up face (you know what I mean. The "something smells like shit" face) instantly upon looking at her. I was really dismayed to learn that these people actually WERE racist.... against their own "race".

      A program I was considering participating in said they were very sorry, but they would not send any Asian-Americans to the Japan offices, because the Japanese would instantly send them right back. They would not even let Asian-Americans unpack their bags first! They would literally put them on the next flight back. Damn.

      It kinda bends the idea of what racism really is. In America, we lump allllll Asians and Pacific Islanders into one "race". Well, that ludicrous plan doesn't really hold water at all in this case, does it? If Vietnamese and Japanese are all the same race, then how do we explain this (very fucked up) state of affairs?? We don't even have language to really discuss it.

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    2. We are supposed to be 'youthful-looking' or something but that's just white-gaze talk. Black women aren't tagged 'youthful-looking' though you don't wrinkle like white people either. It's inconvenient for the white narrative on Black bodies, just like the Asian female as Women are inconvenient

      *bows*

      If Vietnamese and Japanese are all the same race, then how do we explain this (very fucked up) state of affairs?? We don't even have language to really discuss it.

      If we keep these conversations going, we will soon have the language to discuss them properly.

      It reminds me of a post by blogger Abagond about African slavery myths. People say that "Africa is a continent, not a country" but they don't act like it, and they don't talk like it. If they did, most people wouldn't chant the myth that Africans sold their own people. They didn't. They sold their enemies.

      We talk about POC solidarity and how it's a byproduct of oppression; this is just another aspect of that discussion. Pan-Africanism didn't exist before the imperialists came. They didn't view themselves as "Africans" - they called themselves but whatever nation they belonged to. Africans only started to unite after they were oppressed for being Africans.

      Asian-Americans are experiencing something similar. They're oppressed in America, not for being specifically Japanese,or Vietnamese, or Chinese, or Thai or Hmong or Laotian; they're oppressed for being of Asian descent - period. Asians in Asia, of course, tend to have a...slightly different view.

      So we have to start and explore these dialogues. If we do, the necessary language will evolve.

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    3. Oh, joyful...I hate that I was smiling sadly while reading your post. Chinese and Japanese relations are UGLY because of the events surrounding the Rape of Nanking. If you wish to understand us better, I highly recommend the you read a little about it. Or watch "Ip Man", lol. It might make you feel better to know that As-Ams have to do this research too to understand why certain friends don't mix, and who you can safely date and who you can't. The anti-Blackness that occurs in Asians is only skin-deep, but the deep grudges of war and massacres runs far deeper. I was pretty much taught to hate Thai people because Thai pirates murdered Vietnamese boat people. I know a Korean woman that was cut off for marrying Cambodian. This is where the 'what kind of asian are you" comes in and why many of us today find it deeply degrading.

      Race is a construct. Racism is not. I mean, how can we call the people from India to Hawaii all one race?

      Scratching the surface:
      - Korean and Japanese relations still boil down to the fact that Jp has yet to apologize to the Krn 'comfort women' they enslaved during the Krn War.
      - Cantonese speakers are erased in favor of Mandarin.
      - Han Chinese hold all office in China.
      - Vietnamese are just considered 'below' everyone
      - as are Filipino, and generally SEAsians

      It means that if you meet a half-Vietnamese person, usually they will just say they are the other half and take zero ownership over their Vietnameseness. It's usually enabled by the Vietnamese relatives. The self-hatred is a mixture of PTSD and colonialization and has been passed down for generations. Our families are violent, our communities are poisoned. Like that beautiful Black Woman in that video, it's generational trauma that plants the self-hatred there.

      There do exists weirdos like us here at the BN who like ourselves just fine and shout it from the rooftops.

      And Ankh-
      "They're oppressed in America"
      Denny made a point recently in one of his posts....it's not just America, it's white people. Everywhere. I mean think about it, from Hawaii allllllll the way to India, we are considered one race. LOL!!!! I'm just reading a book about Afro-Latina warriors <3 and there is discussion about how their 'latina' side gets erased the moment you come into contact with white folks directly or indirectly (indirectly by meeting folks who are impacted by white-gaze).

      It's the outsider-gaze. It's certainly not how we see ourselves. We are not allowed self-determination.

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  11. Off Topic: Asking the Right Questions: Black Women in the Asian Music Scene
    Wish I could post a comment in the comment section of this article but it's disable, so I came here. I found the video of SHINee's Onew flirting with Mrs. Kenya. Wish I could discuss this topic with someone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHaWRKHDK28

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad you posted a link! That clip is one of my alltime favorites! Onew has a special place in my heart for this (I always thought he was the cutest SHINEE member anyway).

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    2. Always feel free to post stuff like this on our Facebook & Twitter (#blasiannarrative).

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    3. ^just post directly? I note that on FB it's disabled.... which is why I end up spamming you instead.

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    4. Yes, you can post directly. Anyone can. I don't know what to tell you if you're having trouble posting to the BN's FB page. Other folks - like Dulce Vita - post stuff all the time.

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