I think I’ve come to a point in time where racist tweets, journalism, and overall bigotry isn’t just common, it’s expected. I’ve learned to accept the fact that as an Asian-American in the 21st century we are not welcome at the table of America. We do not sit at the same table, we do not eat the same food, and we certainly don’t go back home and share the same stories. Our narrative is different because our experiences are different. We are different because America makes us feel like we are.
But one of the beauties of being a minority is that although we sit on different sides of the room, away from the rest of white America, we can relate to the struggles of our Asian brothers and sisters from afar: UK, Canada, Germany, Australia, and anywhere else we’ve managed to call home. And although our problems may be different in many ways (job discrimination, racially motivated violence, racist media) we all feel a connection of pain.
So when I read the news about James Lowe, boyfriend of New Zealand singer-songwriter Lorde, being the target of racist tweets, I felt compelled to say something. “So…” you may ask, “what’s the big deal?”
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re a non-Asian woman that has a penchant for Asian Men. You love us when we’re nerdy and awkward, and you swoon when we’re ripped and sophisticated. So how should you feel about this Lorde/James Lowe issue?
You see, interracial dating is actually much easier than people think. The problem is rarely you or him. The biggest problem seems to be other people. If you’re dating an Asian guy now or look forward to finding one in the future, you need to understand that you will eventually come across racist shit like this. You will walk down that street and people will shout, “you need a real man!” or “why are you with him?!” Your boyfriend will be passive-aggressively teased by relatives who say, “are you Chinese? Can you do Kung Fu? Haha!” And even if you’re big and famous like Lorde, your boyfriend will not be off limits. If anything being popular will encourage more of that bigotry.
So my advice to you is this: expect the oblivious men and women that will make stupid comments about you and your relationship. Know how to deal with it by standing up and shouting, “YEA, my boyfriend is Asian. We’re also sleeping together. WHAT ABOUT IT?!” I’m not too sure if Lorde has addressed the racism but I can only hope that she does. And if it ever happens to you, you need to prove that you’re a woman worth fighting for by being the woman that fights for him.
It’s bad enough that Asians don’t get any breaks or support from the public when we are ridiculed and harassed, but you? His girlfriend? His fiance? You need to fill that gap. And if you can manage to be this brave, this loving, this supportive, I can assure your Asian boyfriend will always have a seat for you at his table.
Please, especially if you’re a non-Asian WOMAN, you need to speak up against this shit. You need to be the counteractive voice to these idiotic children. Write something, post something, or share this. You say you like Asian culture? Then voice your opinions.