Last week, I asked what exactly it meant to be White. Today, I’d like to step back and show you what it was that brought up this question in the first place.
It was this image here:
Now that got posted by a friend of mine. Good guy, but with a habit (in my opinion) of reposting whatever liberal dreck pops into his FB feed without taking the time to question it. Allow me to break down why that image is such festering garbage.
First and foremost, it’s unbelievably racist. Not white-hoods-and-burning-crosses racist (we’ll get to them in a minute) – we’re talking the condescending, insidious racism of White liberal elites.
“Because I’ll endorse Obama and speak at the Women’s March, but **** Asians and Palestinians.”
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Tagged African-American, Allegany, Amernian Genocide, Appalachia, Armenian, asian, Asian-American, BET, bigotry, black, Bosniak, classism, Cletus the slack jawed yokel, Deliverance, environment, gay, Hick, Holocaust, identity, Infrastructure, irish, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Italian, jewish, McPoyle, Meryl Streep, non-white, People of Wal-Mart, Polish, poverty, privilege, Redneck, Roma, Rural, Scandinavian, Srebrenica, The Beverly Hillbillies, Todd Berry, Trump, white, White trash
FACT: All Asian Americans are Asian by definition, but not all Asians are Asian Americans. The truth is that most Asians aren’t. While they may share an ethnic heritage, as well as many cultural similarities, Asian people who were born and raised in and reside in an Asian country have vastly different wants and needs and priorities than those who were born and raised in and reside in North America [and other non-Asian countries].
I wanted to start out with that quote for two reasons.
First, because it’s stolen from my co-writer’s post last Friday, which was a really good post you should read.
Second, because I think it does a good job of establishing the complicated and sometimes uncomfortable nuance that goes into addressing identity politics. Which is what we’re going to be talking about today and in the weeks to follow.
More specifically, we’re gonna be talking about White people.
We’ll probably cover my use of this specific gif sometime later…
Before we dive in, I just wanna make something clear.
Race is a social construct – a series of categories that we’ve made up and ones we’ve made up only very recently in the scope of history. The fact of the matter is that there’s no actual place you can draw a dividing line when it comes to human beings and there’s no good reason you’d want to.
Not that it’s ever stopped us.
For better or worse, we have divided the world up into so many arbitrary categories, and those divisions have played and continue to play a major role in today’s culture. In spite of what some folks might suggest, ignoring racism doesn’t make it go away, and if we want to end the unspeakable hassle that is identity politics, we’re going to need to start by actually addressing them.
And here at Culture War Reporters, I think we’ve done a decent job. Continue reading
Posted in Africa, America, Asia, bizarreness, Europe, history, race, Sociology, south america
Tagged Arab, Australia, Benjamin Franklin, bigotry, black, Dean Obeidallah, Desi Arnaz, England, english, ethnicity, French, German, hispanic, HP Lovecraft, I Love Luce, immigrant, India, irish, Italian, jewish, Latino, Native American, Poland, Polish, race, racism, Russian, skin, Spanish, white, Whiteness
So right off the bat, I want to say that Arthur Chu of Jeopardy-winning fame has already done much of the groundwork for me with his [spoiler-filled] article “Not Your Asian Ninja: How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Keeps Failing Asian-Americans“. In it he recounts his primary disappointment with the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil, namely that the Asians presented in that show are generally villains across the board.
Not only are they of an evil persuasion, they’re also, as the title of his piece implies, mostly ninjas. In terms of sheer volume the vast majority of Asians seen on screen during the season’s 13 episodes are that particular brand of martial artist. The rest are, in terms of representation, gangsters, white collar criminals, and crime lords. It is, as Chu says, “Not a good look.”
He picks the Kitchen Irish, a gang of an obvious ethnic background, as his primary example of the show using nuance with a people group. Matthew Murdock, the titular crimefighter himself, is of Irish descent, and another character nicknamed “Grotto” is a former member of the mob who elicits sympathy from both the show’s cast and its audience. While I understand that Irish heritage is unique and distinct from many others, and that people of Irish descent suffered extreme racism in early American history, what shouldn’t be ignored is the fact that on the surface they are White. As are the members of fellow gang the Dogs of Hell. As are Murdock’s friends Karen Page and Foggy Nelson. As is Frank Castle, the Punisher, as well as newspaper editor Mitchell Ellison. Television is full of White people, and with Daredevil being no exception simply stating that there are varied roles within even one subgroup feels like a given.
Unfortunately, Asians fail even when stacked up against other racial minorities. Continue reading
Posted in Asia, comics, crime, race, television, writing
Tagged Arthur Chu, asian, black, Daniel Yang, Daredevil, Dilton, inscrubtable, irish, martial arts, netflix, Ninja, race, racism, Reggie, representation, Riverdale, Ross Butler, stereotype, token, villain, white