Link roundup, sort of

Here’s a link to get you up to speed.

The #We’reGivingYoutheSideEye edition.  With my commentary, since I still have a lot to say. 

Colbert’s satire isn’t particularly funny or clever,  even within its “context.”  Although he says in an interview that he never “punches up,” using racism against Asian Americans as part of the humor violates the general unspoken rule of satire.

The joke failed because it derived its laughs from anti-Asian racism  (by refresh_daemon via racialicious):

However, where The Colbert Report‘s satire fails is that a significant portion of The Colbert Report‘s audience does not intuitively or instinctively believe in their guts that saying “Ching Chong Ding Dong” or using the term “Orientals” is necessarily racist. Not everybody who laughs at “Ching Chong Ding Dong” is laughing because Colbert the character is so stupidly racist, but they are laughing at Asians. I believe this to be the case because this kind of anti-Asian dialog is still common in our society and is not immediately countered by most of society for being racist.

I told a white friend this joke as it was relayed on the Colbert Report, and he laughed.  I felt pissed off about it, so I went on to discuss some other parts of Colbert’s “humor” that I find problematic. Continue reading

Backstory summary

Because my English teacher told me I’m “telegraphic” and tend to assume everybody knows what the fuck I’m talking about.

Stephen Colbert has a television show in which he plays a right-wing conservative.  He was trying to skewer R*dskins owner Daniel Snyder, who set up a charitable foundation called “The Washington R*dskins Original Americans Foundation.”  So Colbert said he was going to set up a foundation called “The Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever.”

Many people thought it was failed satire and writer Suey Park started the Twitter hashtag #CancelColbert.  Continue reading

Take a good look

Installation by Gardar Eide Einarsson

Visibility. It’s often mentioned as one of the issues faced by Asian Americans.  Because we’re so often left out of discussions about race.

But visibility is an issue for marginalized groups in general.  Because of the white lens.  We see ourselves, sometimes, as they see us through their racist imagination.  And we see ourselves, sometimes, through the lens we have internalized.  We see ourselves through the media, which promotes Amy Chua as our representative.

But we think critically, and we try to unpack the racist garbage that has been stuffed into our heads.  And we reject the Shelby Steeles and the Michelle M@lkins.  We know that despite the brown faces, they are not our sisters and brothers.

It’s easier with the overt supporters of white supremac!st thought.  Identification is easy.  Five minutes of Chua and you’re handed a bag of shit so big you can’t easily deny the stench.

So I initially felt pleased to receive a Chinadaily article link about the hashtag #NotYourAsianSidekick (although I have some trouble with that hashtag, which I may or may not elaborate upon later) with the byline of Kelly Chung Dawson.   But then I read the darn thing.  And then the follow-up.

Because the articles are just plain irresponsible journalism.  (I should note Dawson probably isn’t a journalist.)

Continue reading

The story behind the picture

Photograph by Roz Payne

In 140 characters or less, #blackpoweryellowperil cannot be a coalition if Asian Americans see ourselves as allies.

#blackpoweryellowperil became a trending hashtag over the holidays on twitter.  It sounded like a call for unity.  It sounded like new-found recognition of power.  It sounded like an acknowledgement of a shared history. Continue reading

And it runs deep, part ii

In which resistance perseverates about internalized crap.

I am still angry with Questlove’s casual racism.  And I am upset by the reactions and non-reactions of others, which serves to inform about the state of post-racial America.

Because in post-racial America, we are still talking about how Asians are being offended rather than how white supremacy is being supported.  The former puts the blame on those pesky Asians.  So thin-skinned.  No sense of humor.  Chip on the shoulder.

The latter puts the crap back where it belongs. Continue reading

And it runs deep

Questlove is a six-foot-two black man.  So I can imagine he’s experienced his share of overt racism.  He talks and writes about it sometimes.  In the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, he wrote the following:

I don’t know how to not internalize the overall message this whole Trayvon case has taught me:

You ain’t shit.

That’s the lesson I took from this case.

You ain’t shit.

These words are deep because these are words I’ve heard my whole life.

And yet this happens.

Here’s the TLDR summary:  Questlove tours in Japan and gets into the tired old L/R jokes.  Because they’re so funny and originalContinue reading

‘Burdened by bigotry …’

This is Cristy Austin with her 19-year-old daughter, Kylie.  Kylie’s original name was Keisha Lenee Austin.  Kylie’s mother, who is white, had a specific reason for selecting the name “Keisha”:

… to her, it represented a strong, feminine, beautiful black woman. As a white woman who would be raising a biracial daughter she wanted to instill that confidence and connectivity to the culture.

“I saw it as a source of pride,” Cristy says. “I wanted her to have that.”


Kylie had her reasons for changing her name: Continue reading