Fu Man “Who?” – Understanding The Complex Emotions Of Being An Asian-American Man

In a lot of ways our computers, video games, and homework have all been a great distraction for us Asian Men. A porcelain tub we lean back in with eyes closed, dunking our cold and pale bodies as the water blurs our vision and capsizes our eardrums till we can’t hear or see the outside world’s bullshit. We log in, check out, and let all the voices of society silence themselves to sleep while we level up our way to emotional bliss. We escape the pain.

Asian guys are nerds who stay on the computer all the time.

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I hate watching American sitcoms, they so rarely reflect the families us Asians grew up with. Most of us Whiz Kids were crafted in a factory that churned out star children; PhD machines who studied and calculated their way to an American dream that wasn’t even ours, but our parents’. It isn’t the dream we wanted but we still did it. Robots aren’t trained to think or decide for themselves. If you aren’t taught to value your own opinions and aspirations then what use is there in having feelings of your own? Feelings get you in trouble because feelings get in the way of The American Dram. You can’t do that.

My Asian ex-boyfriend never opened up to me.

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Asian American boys: the bastards of America. Our fathers are off on different shores in distant countries with wives and kids we never met, or up to their necks in TsingTao till their eyes turn red, or buried under a hundred other “gook” bodies that litter the the soils of the Korean and Vietnam War. So you take these fatherless children and expect them to become men yet you deny them the opportunity to see any Asian father figure on the T.V screen they’re cemented in front of. The screens they spend hours and hours in front of. To America it’s a mirror but to us it’s a screen that doesn’t look back. We keep looking but we still can’t find ourselves.

Why are Asian guys so weak and timid? They need to man up!

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What happens inside those tiny glowing screens? Like the sight of a thousand Chinese railroad workers hammering a steel nail into the ground the American message is simple and repeated over and over through caricatures and violent acts of racism: your father was no man, you are no man, and your kids will never be a man. Go home, little boy. You do not belong in the land of giants. Your voice does not matter because your voice isn’t loud enough.

This Asian guy I like won’t tell me if he likes me back. Why isn’t he speaking to me?

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The problem with being an Asian American Man is that you are stuck at a fork in the road but you’ve been told to stay still: while America tugs on your sense of identity and masculinity you want to push back and voice your concerns. But how do you teach a group of men to SPEAK UP when they were raised to politely raise their hands? How do you untangle these robot wires and let these men feel? We may ace and code our way to a middle-class but given the open floor beneath our feet where no one is willing to see us– not Asian women, not other men, not even Asians from Asia – what difference does it make what we think? It’s like we’re still on that railroad pounding away at the ground. This is our life.

I give up on Asian Men. 

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Asian Men are a complex and intricate group of individuals. Our own mental and emotional struggles are folded under our pillow by our unrelenting desire to succeed. To prove our worth to our parents that we can do it. That their efforts to cross those seas were not in vain. Dad, I can do it. Mom, I’ll make you proud. But when the the duty of your family pulls us to the right, the hunger to find our own identity yanks to the left, societal pressure drags us down, and the women who love us want us to stand up, we are bound to rip apart like a paper doll being fed into a room with paper shredders on all four walls.

I don’t understand Asian Men.

And you never will…

Because we don’t understand either.

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K-Pop Changed My Life: How K-Pop Taught Me How To Be Asian American

In many ways, K-Pop has changed my life.

HOW

You see, K-Pop isn’t just a plate of abs that look like inverted ice cube trays or ridiculously stylish dudes singing god knows what. To me, it means more. To us, the Asian American community, it means much, much more. The arrival of K-Pop on American shores serves as a watershed moment in which Asian Americans were finally able to look down into a puddle of airbrushed idols and superstars and ask themselves…

Is that… me? Is that what I look like? Is that… who I really am?

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Growing up I never had Asian action figures. Mine were always beefy White men with marble sized eyes and noses shaped like arrowheads. I idolized the manliness of Don Draper from Mad Men and wished I were as tall and beautiful as Adam Levine. But I never thought about it from a racial point of view. I didn’t have to question it because I just accepted it. Because that was just what men looked like. That is what the hero looked like. That is what a masculine, sexy man did: he rappelled down a building, all 6 foot 2 of himself, and saved the day with his super White self. And I loved it.

So when K-Pop came around I was confused. I wasn’t used to seeing Asian people in such high production videos and films. I wasn’t used to them taking off their shirt, or kissing other women, or acting sexy. That’s not an Asian Guy! Where’s the Kung-Fu? Where’s his calculator? He’s the sidekick of some taller White guy – where that guy? Is this a mistake? It must be a mistake! To see nothing but effeminate Asian Men growing up was quite damaging. I saw it all and wondered if I was destined to be half a man, but what made it worse was the rest of the country seemed to agree.

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It’s funny. If you look at this blog and go back far enough, you will arrive at a place where there are no photos of Asian Men or K-Pop stars. You know why? That’s before I knew about K-Pop. And why did that suddenly change to a bright splash of yellow? Simple: When I discovered K-Pop and realized the endless supply of people who looked like me, in non-stereotypical ways, with emotions and expressions and styles that represented who I was, I made a promise to use nothing but Asian Men in my photos. I don’t plan on going back either.

"Go back? BISHHH, SWERVE!"

“Go back? BISHHH, SWERVE!”

In all honesty, I actually dislike most K-Pop music. Not because of something inherent about Korean Pop, but I just hate most Pop in general. I’m more of a Jazz Man. Nevertheless, I will be forever grateful for those dancing and singing machines half-way around the world because for the first time in my life, they made me feel like I was something more. More than just a side-kick, more than just an owner of a Dry Cleaners, more than just a caricature. I can be the hero who rappels down the building, all 5 foot 7 (and a half!) of myself to save my girlfriend from a sneezing cold or my career from spiraling into an expected heap of Nursing, Engineering, or Accounting.

K-Pop changed my life, and the lives of many Asian Americans, not because it gave us a new standard, a new identity to aspire to…

K-Pop changed our lives because it wiped the white tile clean, painted it yellow, and said, “here… now it’s your turn.”

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A Message To My Biggest Fan: Rest In Peace, Jason Kinnison-Holmes

At 8:34pm this morning I received an email from Ama Yawson with the title: The article is live. Please share it. Ama is a writer for the Huffington Post and she interviewed me as part of her series highlighting the gift of individuality as presented in her children’s book, Sunne’s Gift.

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Minutes after sharing, my Facebook notification bar blew up with cheers and congratulations. My family, high school friends, and blog readers came in unison to pat me on the back. My girlfriend, Livi, asked me, “how do you feel?” “I don’t know, I’m excited. I’m still digesting it.” As blessed as I felt, bathed in this giant pool of compliments, I felt something was missing. Hours later I found out why:

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Jason Kinnison-Holmes was a long-time blog reader of mine residing half-way around the world in Runcorn, UK, age unknown, cosplay expert, and one prone to seizures. We first spoke in 2011 when he messaged me out of the blue:

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Since then, Jason had always been that fan who would message me and ask questions that I would always try and avoid. Not because I thought he was annoying, but because his questions were. Even though my response would take days, sometimes weeks, he would still be there, eyes peeled to the screen to hear my next bit of rushed advice. Most of his inquiries were in regards to Asian women since that was his interest. As an interracial dating writer that focuses on Asian Male centric dating, I found it quite interesting that this random Black Man from the UK saw me as trustworthy.

“Can I ask a question? How can I deal with her mood swings?”
“How do you and Livi make things work?”
“I need your help! She’s pissed off bigtime because I showed her a quote on my phone’s lock screen saying “Love is… Wonderful!” and she started going crazy at me because I had a innocent picture of a girl in a Gothic Lolita dress instead of one of her, the problem being that I don’t have one of her.”

I don’t even write for this guy’s demographic! I have nothing to say about Asian women! I’m not that blogger! Still, he continued to message, seek advice, and follow my every word. One day, he messaged me with excitement about a woman he had met: Aya, a Filipina girl from Japan. I could tell he was finally happy, and so was I. But even outside my blogging, Jason had always been a pro-Ranier kind of guy.

Any time I posted anything, he would always pop up with encouraging words. “I agree!” “Great post!” “Another awesome blog!” One day, he asked me for my address and a few weeks later I received a postcard. Months after, I received another. A couple months after that, another.

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Perhaps I have a soft-spot for things done the old fashioned way, but there’s something so romantic, thoughtful, and caring about a post-card stamped, written, and sent by hand. I didn’t expect anything less of him.

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I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this is you can’t underestimate the weight of someone’s heart just because your only connection with them is online. Be it my friendship with Jason, or Jason’s love with Aya all the way across Japan. And although I can embrace the likes and shares and comments from my dearest fans, my heart is really missing one of those comments from Jason. I know he would be proud of me. I know he would re-post it and say something cheesy. But I don’t care. He was always a much better friend to me than I to him. He would have been such a great boyfriend to Aya, or even a great father. He would have made her so incredibly happy – with or without my advice.

As I sit back and scroll through the images of his face, with those eyes full of thought and curiosity, I can’t help but let the soft roll of tears crash loudly on my lap.  I miss you, Jason… I should have responded faster. I should have taken more time giving you the advice you deserved. I should have written back. I would have written back.

 

I can’t write back…

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I haven’t been active on this blog in quite some time and had intended on not doing so, but just for you, knowing how much you appreciated me and how much you supported me, I will go back. For you. To help someone who might be just like you. Because the Jason’s of this world deserve the time of day and, of course, their very own postcard.

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Be well and may your soul dance freely among every hall of every comic-con and anime convention your heart desires.

With great Love.
Your friend and fan,

Ranier Maningding

This Is Why You’re Single: “I Can’t Date Someone Outside My Culture – They Won’t Understand Me!”

You know that strange sixth sense you get when you can feel all the eyes in a room watching you? Like a giant spider peering into your soul, the room grows silent and all you can hear are a thousand eyeballs moving as you think to yourself, “goddamn, what the HELL are you all looking at?!” I knew I was the only Filipino in that Vietnamese restaurant, but damn, did I look that out of place? Then I realized something: they weren’t looking at me – they were looking at my girlfriend…

My Black girlfriend.

But I’ll get back to that story in just a minute…

One of the laziest excuses I hear from people uninterested in interracial relationships is their need to satisfy their culture. “How can I date a non-Indian man? What about my culture? How will he like my food?” “But, I’m a Black woman! There are things that only a Black man can understand about being Black and I need that in my Black life! How the hell can an Asian man understand what I’ve been through?!” “Aye dios mio! Yo soy Mexicana! Esta chino? PORQUE, NO!”

I get it. I really do. You value your heritage and your connection with your culture is so tight not even a TSA agent with a latex glove and a bottle of Astroglide can get through. You know your religion and interests are important so you feel like dating someone of the same background will be easy. A stress free relationship where you don’t have to explain why you do the things you do to a person who, in your mind, simply cannot understand “your people.”

“OMG like how can I date a guy who won’t understand my passion for corny Bollywood films? I AM NOT WATCHING IT WITH SUBTITLES!!”

But you’re wrong.

Since when have ANY of your damn relationships been easy? Most of the shittiest relationships I’ve been with were Asian women themselves who I shared the exact same culture and heritage with. The problem with the culture argument is that it assumes all relationship problems exist for culture reasons when truthfully, it’s almost always a personal issue.

Many moons ago I dated a Filipino girl who had a Filipino mom, Japanese dad, she ate rice and liked listening to R&B slow jams – basically your standard Asian girl. Unfortunately, she cheated on me and my 14 year old self was overly jealous. It was an epically disastrous relationship equivalent to Satan shitting on the Hindenburg just as it fell from the sky. But guess what? All of those reasons had nothing to do with our culture, it had everything to do with her infidelity and my insecurity.

“It’s OVER, Tyler! I don’t care if you slept with my grandmother! How could you NOT like the Red Sox and Mayonnaise as much as I do?!”

Now ask yourself this: does the success of a relationship truly hinge on whether or not your boyfriend likes Salsa dancing? Will your relationship crumble if he doesn’t know how to properly roll a Pierogi and shop for deli meats for your Russian family? Is he less of a man because he can’t fully understand the struggles of being a Black woman in modern society? Will you care for and love him less because he can’t speak your native language?

No.

“I’m sorry, ridiculously chiseled and immaculately styled Asian Man that is making me hot and heavy, I can’t date a man that hasn’t even attended a single Barmitzvah! GO AWAY, COMMIE!”

Believe it or not, culture can be taught. We as humans can learn to adopt and learn to understand and learn how to cook the way your grandmother does. Those are things you can teach a man. But honesty, loyalty, a sense of humor, a taste for an unexpected road trip or a passion for corny scary movies? THAT is something you cannot teach. Those are the beliefs that make your relationship great. Those are the true values that erect the foundation for a healthy love that lasts. If you can find those key qualities in a man and he just so happens to be Asian, or Black, or Sri Lankan, why not go for it? Why let that ONE thing get in the way of an amazing relationship?

When I sat in that Vietnamese restaurant earlier today, with all eyes on my girlfriend as she masterfully rolled and ate Banh Xeo with all the veggies and fish sauce intact, I completely forgot that she was Black. All I cared about was, damn, my baby got skills. She may not look Asian or have experienced life as an Asian, but she’s willing to understand my life and my interests while also teaching me hers. Because at the end of the day I didn’t choose her for her culture or heritage, I chose her for her heart, her mind, and our shared love affair for trying something new.

Culture does not define you – you define it.

 

Asian Guy Confessions: I F*CKING LOVE My Black Girlfriend’s Natural Hair!!!

Oh, me from 2010. So young, so inexperienced yet so full of optimism.

I remember three years ago I wrote a blog called “Asian guy speaks: I think Black Women have Sexy Hair!” which became an instant hit. Black women from all over the internet came flooding my way to thank me for speaking my mind and being so candid about my feelings towards their natural hair. So what do I think now, now that I actually am with a Black woman who has natural hair? Are my opinions still the same or do I have any hidden secrets woven in between?

My Natural Haired Goddess

LOOK AT HER GORGEOUS HAIR! Now look at mine! Don’t our hairstyles make a cute couple? HELLL YEAA THEY DO!

This is my extraordinarily gorgeous girlfriend, Livi.

Livi has been all natural for most of her life and as her boyfriend I couldn’t be happier. I love the way her hair catches the light in the sun, the fruity smell from the products that she uses (well, most of the products at least) and I especially adore the variety of styles that she manages to pull off. You see, some guys don’t have the patience for the whole ‘girls spending hours and hours on their hair’ kind of thing. However, I’m an Asian guy who actually cares about not looking like William Hung so I devote my sweet minutes to curing and crafting my head of hair. I blow dry it, comb it, add product, style it more, add more product then top it off with hair spray. In many ways, Livi can actually be faster at doing her hair than me — which she teases me about.

Unlike me and my sacred hairdo ritual before school, Livi spends most of her time preparing her hair the night before. Jojoba oil this, argan oil that and a host of creams and butters that would make Paula Deen salivate. Sometimes it can get a bit messy with her products all over the counter but it’s not a big deal, I’m used to it. She truly does spend a good amount of time on her hair but I get it — natural hair is far more high maintenance than Asian hair and I actually respect the fact that she knows what she’s doing. Living with a natural haired woman might seem like it would eat up the time you share together but in reality, it’s no more than an hour each day.

Touching, Feeling And Playing With Her Hair

Livi enjoying a cup of “expensively rich and decadent” hot tea from IKEA.

Prior to dating Livi I was under the impression that I would be put into a headlock had I touched or THOUGHT ABOUT TOUCHING a Black woman’s hair. Hey, that’s cool! Back when I had Asian spikes, if you so much as grazed a single spike by accident, LORD HELP YOU because I would have dragon punched your spleen out. But with Livi, she made it clear from the beginning that she didn’t mind me touching her hair. Hell, I could even play with it if I wanted.

I‘d like to think I’m not alone on this but honest to god, I LOVE playing with my girlfriend’s natural hair. I love how soft her hair feels, the way the curls slide through my fingers tugging softly at my fingertips and the sensation I get from it. When we’re watching T.V together on the couch I’ll occasionally turn her back towards me and massage her head with my fingers, making her neck tingle as her shoulders relax and drop. This, to me, is incredibly sexy and is even relaxing for myself.

“Baby, your kitchens are like a lily pad floating on an ocean of happiness on a river bank…err…something like that…”

Though, my favorite thing to do is play with her kitchens. Apparently, kitchens are the smaller hairs on the very back of a person’s natural head that tend to grow in random directions, much like a cowlick, and are often shorter or more curly than the rest. This is my playground. It’s like I’m a child again as I curl, uncurl and even smell the damn thing. Kitchens are damn cute and curse you if you ever try to make them go away! LEAVE THE KITCHENS ALONE, DAMMIT!

The Straightening Of The Hair

It’s an unfortunate reality that the American job market is biased against Black Women. Livi has been on a number of job interviews and although it isn’t scientifically tested, we’ve noticed that most of the interviews that went well were when her hair was straight while the not-so-stellar interviews happened when she wasn’t. Now, we can debate the validity of straight hair vs natural in a job interview but when you’re trying to find a new job to pay for the things you need, hell, you’ll do anything to give yourself that edge even if it means frying your hair under a flat iron (no, she doesn’t relax it — thank god.)

It makes me sad that she has to straighten those beautiful curls and when she does, I feel like a part of her physical identity is temporarily removed and a more “family friendly” and “socially accepted” version is replaced. I know it’s still my girlfriend but I just can’t help seeing it a bit differently. It saddens me even more knowing that deep down, she doesn’t want to do it either.

On her 21st Birthday we went to Bouchon, a Michelin starred restaurant just north of Napa Valley.

On the other hand, there are moments when stylistically, she wants to straighten her hair. Moments when she’s going for a certain look — maybe it’s 60’s themed or perhaps she wants to sweep it to the side — and in those cases we’re not so sad. I still prefer her natural hair but luckily, she actually styles her hair damn well so I’m always a fan.

My Love And Hate Relationship With “The Bonnet”

Shower cap or bonnet? THE WORLD WILL NEVER KNOW!…. nah, jk, that’s a bonnet.

The Bonnet. Most call it a bonnet, I call it: a chef’s hat, an ice cream cone or a Princess Leia. The first time I saw her wear one I was like, “Waddahayl? Why do you have a shower cap on?” to which she replied, “It’s a bonnet! Black girls wear it to bed to protect their hair.” And when she says she wears it to bed I’m saying she wears it to bed EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. Some days I think it looks like a silly little hat, other days it looks like a cute cupcake head and other nights, as in, those nights I feel a bit more strongly.

My girlfriend has gorgeous hair and seeing it tussle and move is a turn-on. So when we’re getting intimate, the last thing I want on my mind is a damn ice cream cone let alone Princess Leia with an ice cream cone on her head. It’s too damn distracting! Worse yet, bonnets seem to come in only three colors: black, hot pink and some ugly ass butterscotch color. How can I focus on you when I’m starting to think about some damn sweets?! Although, the most important reason why I dislike bonnets during these moments is that to me, bonnets signify that you’re done for the day and that you’re sleepy. So there’s competing messages between the actions being made and the bonnets being worn — catch my drift?

So yea, tip of the day: bonnets are cool except during intimate times.

But THIS is okay during intimate moments :oD

Natural Hair Is Beautiful Because?

Natural hair isn’t beautiful on Livi because of the style or the texture or the even color — even though they are. To me, natural hair is beautiful on Livi because natural hair is… (brace yourself)… NATURALLY HOW HER HAIR LOOKS! It appears exactly as it should and despite being hard to maintain and moisturize and style, she does it. She cares for her hair and it is a symbol of who she is, what she is and how she wants to be seen. And yes, her hair texture is very different from other black women but according to Livi, her hair used to be more fro-like when she was younger before it became color damaged. So her hair is part of her identity and history and if it means that much to her, if it means spending hours taking care of it and wearing bonnets and applying tons of product then HELL YES, it means that much to me too.

You see, I don’t have anything against Black women who relax their hair, straighten or dye it, wear wigs, weaves or braid it, I have no problem at all because I GET IT. I get that society has a fucked up expectation of beauty that has been developed over the years and unfortunately, natural Black hair isn’t always a part of that ‘blonde and beautiful’ story. So when I see a Black woman with relaxed hair or a Black woman with a weave on, it makes me sad. It makes me sad knowing that she has to do that to herself. She has to change part of WHO SHE IS and what is a part of her own genetics in order to feel beautiful, to feel accepted and to feel like herself. It truly does make me sad.

I see it no differently than Jewish people who try to remove the bump on their nose, Asians who pay for double eyelid surgery, pale White people that spend hours tanning or dark skinned brothers and sisters that try to bleach their skin. Sure, these are all things that can make you feel better and less insecure but the question isn’t about, “does it make them feel confident?” but rather, “why do they feel insecure to begin with?” And in my eyes, no one should have to feel like who they truly are and how they are born is anything less than perfect — especially Black women struggling with accepting their natural hair.

So to the 2010 version of myself, I congratulate you for writing that awesome blog and (hopefully) leading the way to more Asian guys falling MADLY IN LOVE with Black women and their natural hair. As for the 2013 version of myself, the one head-over-heels for a beautiful Black woman with luscious, delicious, beautiful, cute, sexy and perfect hair? What lesson should I give to myself? Well.. perhaps I’ll save my words of wisdom till Livi and I have cute little Blasian kids and I’m the one hunched over the couch combing my son or daughters hair as I cheerfully play with their kitchens.

After uploading an image of myself and Livi to this website, the site generated an approximation of what our future child “might” look like. I KINDA see it, yea?

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.