Has Society Grown More Openly Racist? – When Racism Turns Into Hatred

As much as I can, I try to refrain from cursing too much in person and on this blog. But few words can explain how I feel at this moment but: what the fuck…

Perhaps it’s my recently heightened interest in social and political matters that has made me notice all this racism, but is it just me or do people seem extra racist nowadays? On a scale from Ghandi to Adolf Hitler the racism three years ago was at a cringing “Michael Richards” whereas now, we’re entering Neo Nazi territory. So my question to you and the rest of the world is, what the hell happened in these last few years? What particles are flowing through the faucets of America to ignite such horrific racism?

You see, it needs to be noted that the racism we’ve been seeing is not just a matter of comedians trying to be funny or individuals who accidentally/unknowingly make a racist remark (ex: “Wait, is it true? Do Asians really eat dogs?!) No. The racism we’ve been seeing is boiling at such a high magnitude that it’s entered the wake of pure hatred. Just as you would differentiate a killer who stabs a man out of self defense and one who knowingly plots a murder scheme, we also need to magnify the fact that none of these racist acts are an “accident” of any sort. They know what the fuck they are doing and they’re trying to communicate a very clear message.

When we look back at our history and examine the moments that have illustrated clear cases of racism, the element that seems to be a consistent friend of racism is fear. Not just any fear, but the fear of something or someone foreign taking over you and your people, i.e. Xenophobia. This is the underlying fear that caused the Chinese Exclusion act, current anti-immigration policies and this is the same fear that I believe to be the root of all this racism we’ve been seeing online.

I also need to note that a high percentage of people who have been making these tweets are remarks all seem to be young White Americans. Now, I could easily (and foolishly) arrive at a conclusion that white people are just racist fucks who are the cause of all this hate. I could, but I won’t. I know this isn’t true because for every racist white person you see, there are probably an infinite number of white people who would gladly punch them in the face. White people aren’t racist, just THESE White people are racist.

So what exactly is going on in society that might incite this Xenophobic fear? I mean, it could easily be anything. From the re-election of Barack Obama and him being accused of his nationality, the growing strength of China and our massive debt towards them, the war in the Middle East, nuclear scares from North Korea, increases in immigration and the list goes on. I think Bill O’Reily said it best during his interview with Fox News:

“The White Establishment is now the Minority.”

Can we read that again? The White Establishment is now the Minority. The “Establishment” part is what really juts at my side. It almost brings rise to a question of whether or not Bill and others like minded view the White “Establishment” as some sort of business with a plan in mind. But in some aspects, it sorta makes sense… With Xenophobia, there are two parties in play: the foreign group and the local group. The foreigners in these cases are Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, etc etc while the local group includes – based on the people who are displaying these racist behaviors – a majority of White Americans.

Ironic, isn’t it? Since White/European nations have  imperialized country after country, you would think they would welcome outsiders with open arms. Okay, so maybe these kids aren’t exactly scared of an Asian invasion or a Mexican wave coming in to convert all the Whole Foods Markets into Mi Pueblos. Let’s face it, our generation didn’t go through the wars our parents endured so their sense of nationalism may be different. In that event, I’d like to suggest that it’s plausible that Xenophobia is an effect and the cause of some individuals is actually the fear of White identity slowly eroding.

It doesn’t take a social scientist to notice that some of the most privileged people on this planet are heterosexual, Christian, White Males. That being said, most modern movements challenge every single one of those things: we’re fighting for same-sex marriage, there’s a large rise in Atheism, most ethnic minorities voted for Obama during the election, and Women are gradually chipping away at the glass ceiling above them. These identities are being protested against and the power of the straight white male identity is shrinking smaller by the day.

So then what’s up with all the racist Tweets? Think of it like this: When America wanted to keep its army bases in the Philippines in the late 1890’s, the Filipinos reacted by protesting and engaging in war. When Pearl Harbor was attacked by the Japanese the Americans reacted by dropping an even bigger set of bombs. My guess is that, since much of today’s fears exist on conceptual realm – no one is mass murdering White people, they’re just moving next door and working at their job –  the reaction has to be greater or equal. So it doesn’t make sense for waves of White people to go off and kill Asians because Psy performed at the American Music Awards, instead they just yell “CHINK!” on Twitter. To them, this is a logical equivalent. It’s a form of protest that fits the problem they see.

The bare bones reality is that all of their fears really do exist. Asians are the highest paid ethnic group in America. Gays can marry in Maryland and Maine. More Women are being elected into top-tier political positions. Mexican immigrants are establishing homes in the states . Things are changing and although you and I see this as a good thing, others do not. And that’s okay. That’s actually understandable. The straight white male has long dominated this world and our country has benefited from the minds of many of these men. But the new generation needs to understand that Blacks, Gays and other immigrant groups don’t have some agenda to take over. We simply want what they want: a chance to succeed and make something happen in their lives. It just so happens that we’re doing fucking amazing things and we’re giving these men a run for their money.

Racism in America will always exist – I’m sure of it. There will come a day when a new majority is created and perhaps they will behave just as poorly. All we can do is sit back and watch this thing unfold before our eyes. We can change things. We can prevent some of this racist behavior by voicing our opinions. By writing blogs and sharing articles we can highlight that this thing exists. Racism is getting incredibly nasty nowadays and its abundance has been growing quicker than spoiled milk under the sun. So stand the fuck up and post something. If you feel what I feel, even just a little, then do something. Now take that hand of yours, craft a message, and throw that wrench into the cogs. We have work to do.

Who Cares About Asians? Why Racism Towards Asians Still Exists

Whether you want to admit it or not, times have changed. In some states gays can get married, pot is finally legal, and (spoiler alert) our president is Black – again. It feels good, doesn’t it? The ability to step onto the wet cement, take a whiff of the cool air and not even catch a flicker of prejudice dancing in the wind feels relaxing, liberating even. But is that really the case? Oh wait…

The picture above is from a movie that just came out called ‘Cloud Atlas’ and it stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and that dude from the Matrix. But what’s interesting about this movie is the fact that it showcases a blisteringly bad case of yellow face. What is yellow face you ask? Ask Miley Cyrus or Joe Jonas. So when Jim Sturgess (the actor shown above in yellow face) was asked and criticized for being in yellow face, he said in a mind blowingly stupid manner:

You see, it’s so fucking easy for American media to pull off racist shit towards Asian Americans because so much of it is masked and disguised as something else. Oh, a bunch of actors are in yellow face? No worries! It’s all in the name of art! Oh, we made an Asian penis joke on national television? No worries! The Asian actor we made fun of was laughing with us! Oh, the Republican party doesn’t give a shit about ethnic minorities in this country? No worries! They only represent a small percentage of the U.S population!

And in all honesty, Asians and other ethnic minorities do represent a small percentage of the U.S population and, yes, Whites are still the majority. We cannot escape that reality. But we have to still ask ourselves this question: why do we keep seeing racist media after racist media? Why are Asians continually bashed and made fun of? Why do the Asian characters of Glee encapsulate Asian stereotypes and the model minority myth? WHY?!

I‘ll tell you why.

First, we need to accept the reality that a large population of America consists of conservative Whites. Second, we also have to understand that in being a conservative White American, often times (not always) you will encounter people who are very pro-America and very anti-foreigner. Are you still with me?

Third, we have to realize that compared to Caucasians and African Americans – who will almost NEVER be confused as being non-American – Asians are more often mistaken as being from “somewhere else.” Even if an Asian can speak perfect English, they can still be mistaken as a foreigner or some sort. Next, we need to digest the notion that because Asians are so frequently viewed as Aliens from another planet, they will be viewed as non-American and ultimately, NOT WELCOME.

And Last but not least, it is understood that from a marketing point of view, if you are trying to sell a product (in our case, a T.V show or a movie) you need to cater your product to your target market. In other words, if you are creating a new television show for White people (who are your primary audience  members) you need to mold and create a television show that will interest Whites and allow them to connect with your story.
So lets wrap this all together:

Uhhh…. sorry guys! Not that type of wrapping!

Due to the primarily White conservative audiences of America that oppose the notion of foreignness, we can begin to understand why we often times see racism against Asian Americans. Glee cannot make Mike Chang be the lead character just as much as American Idol won’t let an Asian win the finale. If an Asian wins at any of those things it almost becomes a symbolic message to America that “THE ASIANS ARE HERE! THEY WILL SOON TAKE OVER!” We may be eons away from Pearl Harbor but the concept of an Asian communist takeover/Red Scare is still very much alive.

That’s why America loves Psy, Long Duk Dong, William Hung and Ken Jeong: they allow us to see Asians in a non-threatening, comedic manner. In the same way that turning on the lights makes the monsters under the bed go away, making Asians look stupid and foolish is also a way to cope with the threat of the Asian Invasion by diluting their image and making it seem like they’re nothing. By stripping away any power that Asians may have, by making them look like wimps and morons who dance around speaking broken English we transform this Red Devil into a meager, defenseless child.

And in regards to the Yellow face bullshit in Cloud Atlas, if you are of the belief that it isn’t racist then please answer this question: would America still find it acceptable if Jim Sturgess went not in yellow face, but in BLACK face? To make things more worse, because the yellow face in Cloud Atlas was done so horrifically, what if we had Jim Sturgess and the Matrix Guy do a BAD version of Black face? Like this:

Could you fucking IMAGINE the kind of shit they would stir?! If that happened, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NAACP marched to the studio and shut the movie down. It would happen and the people of America would be okay with that because to America, that kind of black face is representative of a time when Racism was not okay. It represents a time when White people really fucked up. But now it’s okay! They don’t do that kind of stuff because apparently they know better. So then what makes it okay for actors to go in yellow face and not black face? Is it because Black people are more American and we just don’t do that kind of thing to our people? Hmmm…

Look, all I’m trying to say is that if we can bind together to fight for the equality of Women and the equality of the LGBT community, we need to understand that race related issues are not a thing of the past. We might not be lynching Asians in the street but lynching a mannequin of Barack Obama? That’s fucking racist. Writing “Chink” on the receipt of an Asian customer? That’s fucking racist. Denying Women the right to control their bodies? That’s fucking sexist. There’s a lot of work we need to do and the only way is for us minority groups – ethnic, gender, sexual, etc – to come together and vocalize our concerns and the concerns of others. I may not be a woman but I can fight for them. And you may not be Asian but we would be honored if you come fight for us too.