Saturday, March 2, 2019


How Anti-Anti-Blackness Failed Asian-America.

In the hours and days following the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001, President Bush was quick to separate Islamic belief from the actions of Muslim terrorists. Perpetrators of terrorist acts carried out in the name of Islam were, it was, and is, suggested, not acting in accordance with the true tenets of the faith. Additionally, the mainstream media largely supported this sentiment. The aim here was to guide society away from reprisals against Muslims and stave off anti-Muslim sentiment. Given America's history of racism, this political and media approach was quite remarkable.

It might be naive to think that our political/ruling classes simply and suddenly developed a conscience about racial and religious minorities that prompted this response. More likely, a combination of successful activism/lobbying by Muslim-American activists along with the need to avoid offending our oil-rich, Muslim allies around the world, led to this progressive-seeming reaction.

From an Asian-American perspective, these responses reveal what is possible for minorities to achieve politically. At the same time, it lays bare just how far Asian-Americans have yet to go to be considered an integral part of America. It is at times when America's other phobia - Sinophobia - rears its casual and normalized head that this contrast in attitudes becomes most starkly apparent.

Sinophobic sentiment is an issue that all Asian-Americans of East and South-East Asian descent need to be concerned about since casts a shadow of suspicion and hostility on Asians of all backgrounds and not just those of Chinese descent. Although politicians and the media scramble to assert the "American-ness" of Muslims in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, few, if any, take the time to reassure the Asian minority or the American majority of our Americaness during times of Sinophobic sentiment that is typically focused on alleged unscrupulous Chinese trade practices, claims of sneaky spying, sly intentions of conquest, as well as theft of technology.

So, how can we account for this disparity in the relative political and social empathy displayed by politicians and the media towards Muslims that is largely absent in its dialogue on Asians? The clear answer is that Muslim advocacy has embraced and pushed the interests of the Muslim community, succeeding in a relatively short period of time in positively changing how politicians and the media engage with, and describes them. By comparison, Asian-American advocacy has embraced a different strategy that leaves our community as a largely invisible non-entity who are given scant political consideration, and practically zero media empathy.

During the radical sixties, Asian-American activist groups were roundly criticized by Asian feminist factions for ignoring sexism within Asian organizations themselves. Many such feminists felt aggrieved at, apparently, being told that these issues should be placed on the back-burner and that feminists should "wait their turn" in the interests of the greater Asian-American good. Fast forward fifty years, and the Asian-American community faces a similar problem today: the "greater good" for Asians, we are informed, is in supporting the strategy of "centering anti-blackness" whilst placing Asian interests on  the back-burner.

Centering anti-blackness is a somewhat nebulous and - deliberately, perhaps - intangible notion. Not really comprised of many concrete, measurable goals, it seems to me to be more of an allusion to a kind of virtue ethics consisting simplistic, ad-hoc acts of "virtuous" centering anti-blackness behaviour, emphasizing the development of virtuous thought to this end.

This strategy places Asian interests on the back-burner by essentially denying the significance or severity of anti-Asian racism with the implicit reminder that "African-Americans have it worse!" Asian "advocacy", thus, pushes Asian-Americans into a falsely dichotomous position of either shutting up about Asian interests or be labeled as an unvirtuous anti-black racist. In other words Asian-American advocacy attempts to uphold the long defunct and never accurate notion of a black/white narrative to explain America's race woes.

Awkwardly, America has beaten Asian-American progressive racial trailblazers to the punch by several decades since the "righting" of anti-black wrongs has been central to much of American social policy since the nineteen-sixties. Securing the black vote is the priority of politicians at every election cycle, ensuring a commensurate black presence in all aspects of our society is considered a moral goal, and shooting of unarmed black men by the police is roundly centered in the media. That short list is indicative of a good degree of centering of black needs and the obstacles faced by black people.

This essentially means that Asian progressivism has been flogging a dead horse - the idea that we are achieving something that has already gone a very long way to being achieved (by black people themselves) and that to push Asian interests will, by definition, be an unvirtuous act of anti-blackness. Unfortunately for our virtuous friends, the success of Muslim activism in bringing Islamophobia to the social and cultural fore has obliterated the very premises of Asian progressive moral grandstanding.

Muslim advocates' success in bringing the concept of Islamophobia to the forefront of our political discussions, such that politicians are careful to clearly separate terrorist acts from Islam and Muslims, has expanded the scope of America's race dialogue beyond the archaic black/white narrative that Asian-American progressives insist upon. Even though "Muslim" is not a race, to all intents and purposes it is discussed in our society as though it is a race. This defining of Islamophobia in terms of race, itself, shows further evidence of how successful Muslim advocates have been in making the issue as relevant and significant as the issue of anti-blackness. I would even go so far as to say that America's race dialogue now, effectively, consists of a black/white/Muslim/Hispanic polychotomy with Asians silenced by their own activists.

Asian progressives have shaped our contribution to the race dialogue so that Asian voices are largely irrelevant except as mouth pieces screaming support safely from behind the dynamic activism of these other groups. Asian-American progressivism has largely undone the good work of previous generations of Asian-American activists by pushing an agenda of Asian submission to the black/white narrative that no other minority group seems to act in accordance with. Evidently, these other minority groups accept that the reality of America's race issues is that it has never - ever - been a black/white issue.

Even worse for our grandstanding friends on Asian-America's progressive left is that there is no indication that the success of Muslim advocacy has, or does, in any way detract from the interests of the black community - as has been suggested by the "centering anti-blackness" Asian activists who castigate other Asians for daring to speak for Asian interests. Surely, expanding the scope of America's race dialogue only weakens the power of white supremacy because it leaves less room for any outsider groups that can be harmed by it? Isn't the weakening of white supremacist power and thought a success for all people of colour?

Yet, it seems to me that this is exactly the place where Asian progressivism has led Asian-Americans. After, all, who would argue that anti-Asian stereotypes and mockery are still largely normalized in American culture, and that anti-Asian/China rhetoric is a significant detrimental factor in our society's conception of us as potentially treacherous permanent outsiders and foreigners? This represents an abject failure on the part of Asian progressivism.

Even as Presidents defend, propagate, and represent positive attitudes towards Islam and American-Muslims, at every opportunity, there are few, if any, equally glowing defenses of Asian-Americans in general, and Chinese-Americans in particular coming from any US politicians, at any level during times of high tension between the US and any Asian power. Just think about that for a minute: US Presidents are contributing to positive attitudes and media representation towards the Muslim minority - something that they don't even do for African-Americans. This is a clear indication that Muslim advocacy has succeeded in ways that Asian-American progressivism has not begun to conceive of as even a possibility.

Asian-Americans and Muslim-Americans share many similar experiences, such as originating from countries that have been on the receiving end of US military aggression, being subject to xenophobic ignorance, poor media representation, and being seen as potential fifth-columnists for foreign powers. Yet whilst Asian "advocacy" utilizes liberal media platforms to attack other Asians for being anti-black, privileged, misogynistic, and generally "in the way" of black advancement, Muslim advocacy seems to have actually striven to advocate for the interests of Muslims.

The result is that a Muslim minority of under 4 million are being positively represented in the media by US Presidents, in a surprising number of culturally popular TV shows, as well as a number of high-profile films featuring complex characters who challenge stereotypes. By contrast, Asian-Americans number nearly 20 million, and only two years ago, Hollywood racially mocked Asians live at the Oscars. An article from the "The Whisp" describes sixteen Muslim characters from film and TV who have been represented positively. I can barely think of a handful of positive, complex, representations of Asian characters in American film and television.

Asian progressivism's hegemonic appropriation of Asian-America's voice in order to push an anti-anti-blackness agenda - which black activists have already been in doing, successfully, without our help - has failed our community. It has been replaced with a delusional Asian progressive narrative that asserts that Asians are willing and sneaky beneficiaries of white anti-blackness, and those who speak up for Asian interests are labeled as implicitly anti-black. Thus, Asian progressivism has set our community back decades, and been successful only in marginalizing Asian interests from the mainstream.

The success of Muslim advocacy has exposed the absurdity of these Asian progressive claims. It has shown that America's race dialogue has changed forever beyond the archaic confines of the black/white narrative. Furthermore, the success of Muslim advocacy has shown that moving beyond the black/white narrative and pushing the interests of any group that is not black, does no harm, whatsoever, to black interests. This means that the entire dialectic of Asian progressivism of the past few years has been based on rhetoric alone with no meaningful epistemology to support its claims.

Asian-America has been Macguffined.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Celeste Ng And Trumping The System

Asian Women's Get Out Of Jail Free Card.....

In the years following the end of the Second World War, thousands of Japanese War Brides were admitted to the United States as the spouses of American GIs returning from the Pacific War. Most of these women were married to Caucasian GIs - a phenomenon which spawned an unusual racial dynamic that saw many of these Japanese War Brides slot into a unique ethnic category that set them apart from other racial minorities but also from other Asian-Americans.

A dissertation by Masura Nakamura of the University of Minnesota explores how these women integrated into their new husbands' lives, society and culture, and reveals some intriguing insights into our present-day, Asian-American gendered racial experiences. Most significantly for this post, is the relationship between these War Bride newcomers to America and the existing Japanese-American community.

For the most part, this relationship was a fraught one - either largely non-existent due to War Brides being geographically isolated from other Japanese-Americans, or due to simple lack of commonality between the experiences of the two demographics if, or when they were living in proximity. According to Nakamura's dissertation, Japanese War Brides lived unique "de-racialized" lives when married to white GIs which saw them idealized as "proto-model minorities" for their acquiescence to unquestioning integration into white society. So thorough was this process, that many even adopted racist attitudes towards African-Americans and the Japanese women married to black GIs, often having nothing to do with them because of the race of their partner.

Prominent amongst these War Brides was an attitude of disdain for Japanese-Americans, whom they derided for not being more "Americanized".....
Some war brides, such as Mrs. F-19, criticized the Japanese Americans in Hawaii for more than their use of Japanese over English and generally condemned them for not being more American. She was in favor of Americanization, and like Mrs. F-17 thought Japanese Americans were backwards for not Americanizing more fully. (p.229)......As Mrs. F-19 succinctly stated, “I am married to an American and I want to become Americanized. When Iwas married to my husband, I made up my mind that I was going to be an American. I am willing to give up my Japanese background.” 
The severe racial discrimination experienced by earlier waves of Japanese immigrants that saw them racially segregated, blocked from integrating into mainstream American society, and marginalized them as second class citizens seems to have gone unnoticed by some of these War Brides. Even the internment of thousands of Japanese-Americans seems not to have given pause to consider the possibility that Japanese-Americans were not more Americanized due to America's efforts to keep them in a state of separateness. In short, Japanese-Americans, unlike "Mrs. F-19" were not given the opportunity to choose to achieve "Americanization" through their personal partnering with whiteness. 

This "privilege" of being able to choose American whiteness was only available to Asian women married to white men. Nakamura calls this process "racial coverture" - a reference to old English Common Law in which the rights and identity of a wife are subsumed by those of the husband. In this case, the Asiatic race of Japanese War Brides was subsumed by the whiteness of their white spouse, granting them rights and opportunities not available to any other racial minority group.

Thus, at a time when racial minorities were still criminalized under draconian Jim Crow era anti-miscegenation laws, thousands of Asian women were enjoying the privilege of full integration by "choosing Americanization" due to their marriages to white men. Even prior to this post-war mass migration of Asian War Brides, Asian women enjoyed privileges if they partnered white men.

Celeste Ng's recent article in "The Cut" echoed this same privilege induced tone deafness. While I share Ng's condemnation of the harassment she has experienced, her miscomprehension of a racial minority's experience other than her own - in this case Asian men - comes through loud and clear. Unlike other minority demographics, Asian women have historically had the option to "overcome" racial disadvantages through partnering with white men, so it seems natural that some Asian women may struggle to truly understand the nature of the "no-win" situation that some Asian men might feel. This would be especially true when it might directly challenge the implicit privileges their choices in life and love may offer them.

When Ng writes....
Asian men face long-standing stereotypes that they’re socially awkward, unmasculine, or sexually unattractive, and these perceptions often put them at a disadvantage, from academics to work to dating apps. From their posts, it’s clear that Asian men like those on AZNidentity believe they’re fighting a constant battle against a culture that’s out to get them.
.....she has revealed her lack of familiarity with Asian men's experiences. Some of Asian-America's most successful men have written about experiencing this feeling of unremitting cultural hostility that Ng casually dismisses as the domain of "Asian men like those on AZNIdentity". Here are some examples.....
.......there were times I thoroughly believed that no one wanted anything to do with me. I told myself that it was all a lie, but the structural emasculation of Asian men in all forms of media became a self-fulfilling prophecy that produced an actual abhorrence to Asian men in the real world. (Eddie Huang.).....
We’re simply interested in finding our identity, but when we look out to the world, all we can find is the lazy portrayal of the uni-dimensional, kung-fu fighting, smart, obedient, emasculated man or hyper-sexualized woman. The Model Minority. That sucks. (Ricky Yean - CEO).... 
No, I was a “chink”: A trope of an Asian man, a character I knew little about but had internalized, like many other Americans, as an emasculated nerd. I remember sitting in the back of my dad’s car one night crying and shaking as I told him that “no girl will ever like me because I’m Chinese.”.......In a place where Asian manhood had been obliterated, what I needed was someone to look up to. Someone who could understand my struggle and set an example. And my dad was not that person.......A white man couldn’t teach an Asian man about masculinity. Nor could the media, with its tokens and stereotypes.....(Zachary Schwartz, Journalist)
Last year, I read a book by Alex Tizon called Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self..... In the book, Tizon laments the representation of Asian men in popular media—or really, the lack thereof. He writes of Sex and the City: “Something like 2 million Asians live in the New York metropolitan area, but Asians hardly appear in the show at all—symbolic annihilation at its best.” Symbolic annihilation: the under-representation of a group of people, usually in media. Asian men rarely show up in TV or film. And when they do, they often are at best sexless nerds, and at worst offensive stereotypes.(Kevin Nguyen, journalist)
We realized that for all of Jeremy Lin’s accomplishments, we as Asians are still different, are still seen differently than other races by the vast majority of Americans................The truth is, racism toward Asians is treated differently in America than racism toward other ethnic groups. This is a truth all Asian Americans know. While the same racist may hold back terms he sees as off-limits toward other minorities, he will often not hesitate to call an Asian person a chink, as Jeremy Lin was referred to, or talk about that Asian person as if he must know karate, or call him Bruce Lee, or consider him weak or effeminate, or so on....(Matthew Salesses, author)
There are many more such testimonies in which successful Asian men describe this sense of being under siege by a hostile and racist culture. Surely, men such as CEO, Ricky Yean and well-regarded authors, like Matthew Salesses are not "bullies" like those "Asian men on AZNIdentity"? Clearly, Celeste Ng is wrong in her insinuation that these notions of a hostile culture are the delusions of unhinged Asian men.

Despite Ng's acknowledgement of the discrimination and dehumanizing stereotypes that Asian men face, it seems like mere dismissive lip-service. She writes...
These harassers frequently brand me “self-hating” and accuse me of “hating Asian men” — because I have a white husband, and because of a tweet I posted years ago in which I acknowledged I wasn’t always attracted to Asian men......They have a valid complaint here: My tweet fed into those stereotypes that Asian men are unsexy, and when people pointed this out, I rethought my own biases. 
Ah, that tweet! The problem from my perspective is not that Ng's tweet revealed her lack of attraction to Asian men, or that she bought into stereotypes about them. The issue is the casual, off-the-cuff expression of racism. Ng finds that all Asian men look the same and that their "look" negates any curiosity about their personal qualities.

This sentiment plays into more sinister stereotypes - Asians as droll automatons, lacking any significant quality of character to differentiate any one individual from another. Ng seems unconscious of her unconscious propagation of a foundational dehumanizing stereotype that has existed in American culture as a by-product of the need in times of war to dehumanize your Asian enemy. Her lack of attraction for men like me is not a problem for me. Her clueless propagation of racist sentiment is.

Like some Japanese war Brides before her, Ng can't seem to understand why there is such a fuss about interracial marriage. Nor can she seem to gauge why it is such an issue for some racial minorities. The reason, I submit, could be that interracial partnering is something that Asian women have never really had to struggle to achieve. Despite the fact that modern-day Asian women fancy themselves as martyrs for the cause of interracial love, in truth (as herstory shows), Asian women have long been afforded the privilege of crossing the racial barrier to partner white men, while other minorities (including Asian men) have been criminalized for their interracial love choices. Anti-miscegenation laws have been ignored, and immigration laws perforated and changed to enable this to happen.

Far from being the heroic struggle for interracial love against all the odds that modern-day Asian feminists would like us all to believe, Asian women partnering white men is, in fact, one of the most glaring examples of the power of white male supremacist privilege. How else can we explain the ease with which harsh laws devised to inhibit racial mixing could so easily be ignored? The answer of course is that the racist white men in power at the time decided that they could ignore their own laws to their own benefit. Such is the power of white supremacy.

Of course some Asian women can't understand the anger that some Asian men might feel about interracial out-marriage - they have never really had to fight for the right to it and have had any obstacles to it waved away by those in power. This lies at the root of Asian-American inter-gender issues when it comes to out-marriage.

We are living in a kind of residual culture, an aftermath of a period in American history of cultural and legal white racial supremacy. Asian-Americans seem not to have explored how the effects of gendered historical racism affect our community for one very good reason. As partners for white men, Asian female cultural leaders have effectively become the voice of the Asian-American narrative. From that perspective, not much has changed for Asian women. Jim Crow and immigration laws were changed and bypassed to permit Asian women to marry into whiteness. This is why "Asian narratives" are largely dominated by depictions of Asian women and white men whilst Asian men are marginalized. This is also why the "Asian narratives" often seem more sympathetic to historical white power structures than to the Asian experience.

Our present-day culture reflects this history. The naturalness of Asian women with white men is the social and cultural by-product of this history. By the same token, the normalcy of casual dehumanization, emasculation, and marginalization of Asian men derives, ultimately from the draconian anti-miscegenation legislation and sentiment strictly applied to Asian men who have always been conceived of as irredeemably foreign threats. No surprise that some Asian women are left scratching their heads trying to comprehend what it is like to be marginalized culturally, socially, and sexually. They have always been afforded an avenue out of that. Asian men still live under the shadow of residual cultural anti-miscegenation sentiment.

The existences of Ng's article is itself an expression of this privilege. Asian men are long accustomed to Asian women spouting racist sentiment towards us, yet, how often do we see a mainstream publication giving Asian male writers the opportunity to call it out?

In summary, the root of the gender conflict in Asian-America derives from the vastly disparate histories and racial experiences each has faced, particularly on the subject of miscegenation. Whilst Asian men were strictly held to account for anti-miscegenation, Asian women were exempted in tens of thousands of cases. The repeal of draconian immigration and anti-miscegenation laws merely meant business as usual for Asian women who had long been allowed to circumvent them due to their white partners. White supremacy itself has been a get out of jail free card for Asian women.

Sadly, Ng's experiences of online bullying, are a reflection of this historical chasm in experiences, and probably explains why awareness of it seems lacking in her piece. Quite simply, the "Asian narratives" of the post anti-miscegenation/exclusionary immigration period ignores this disparity of historical experience and instead focuses on the happiness of Asian women and their saviour white partners. Asian men are invisible in their own historical narratives, and the discrimination they experienced erased. This is why Asian women seemed to have been able to more easily "move on" past the history of racism that affected Asian-Americans in the past. The groundwork for this was already laid for them, thanks to the power of white supremacy to define race according to its own needs and desires.

The question is, how do Asian men "move on" from this history and its continuing cultural aftereffects without an honest acknowledgement of it?

Friday, October 12, 2018

Asian Progressives Shooting Themselves In The Foot.....


As readers will know, I have come to view our recent crop of Asian progressives as tragically comedic bumblers who stumble through political and social issues with tired and worn rhetoric that achieves little for the cause of progressivism in general, and absolutely nothing for Asian-Americans in particular. Asian progressives are the model minority for liberal racism, given over to attacking other Asians (typically Asian immigrants) in "liberal" publications whenever white racism rears its ugly head in our communities. They also strive to promote policies of institutional racism that target Asians only.

One of the main areas where Asian progressives are most virulently anti-Asian is on the issue of affirmative action. More specifically, Asian progressivism has taken the stance that there are simply too many Asians in American colleges and that it is morally doubleplusgood  to use any means necessary to get them replaced by African-Americans. Strangely, many of these champions of college diversity seem to have received Ivy League educations themselves, but conveniently didn't realize that it was racist for them to do so until after they graduated. It's only racist for other Asian-Americans to attend the Ivy League after Asian progressives have reaped the benefits of these institutions.

A recent article written in "Vox" magazine by Alvin Chang investigates Asian-American migrants' attitudes to affirmative action, and how hapless Asians - gormless Chinese migrants specifically - are being "used" to limit black enrollment in America's colleges. The spirit of the article is that Asian immigrant outsiders are having their gullibility and Asiatic, self-serving single-mindedness taken advantage of by white supremacists in order to keep blacks out of America's universities.

I say "white supremacists", but I'm at a loss when it comes to understanding why white supremacists in higher education would strive to maintain a college admissions system that doesn't seem to particularly ensure that whites remain supreme within the system. Rather, Asian-Americans have become a dominant presence in America's colleges, making this generation of white supremacists some of the most inept extremists the world has ever seen.

Chang tries - and fails - to disprove the charge that there appears to be anti-Asian bias in the college admissions process. Whilst - insidiously - downplaying anti-Asian racism in general, he makes an assertion that seems to put him at odds with other Asian progressives who are pushing for greater limits on Asian-American advancement. In support of his feeling that anti-Asian bias should be permitted in the admissions process, he says this...
This story, of racial bonuses and penalties due to affirmative action, has created an internal tension for Asian Americans: Many of us know race-conscious policies are necessary to remedy systemic racism. 
Here, Chang asserts that getting Asians out, and Latinos and African-Americans into elite colleges is necessary to remedy systemic racism. It goes without saying that as an Asian progressive, Chang avoids substantiating his claim. Yet, worse still, a new study by progressive Asians, Jennifer Lee and Karthik Ramakrishnan, as explained in this LA Times article, destroys Chang's assertion. Citing their own research, the progressive duo reveal their findings.....
Our research has shown that Asian Americans often define success as being the high school valedictorian, attending an elite university and pursuing a career in medicine, law, science or engineering. And there is at least one clear reason for the emphasis on prestige: Elite credentials are seen as a safeguard against discrimination in the labor market.
So, just like progressives, Asian-American immigrants view a college education - particularly from an elite college - as necessary to remedy systemic racism and discrimination. Yet, both progressive Asians and their Asian immigrant nemeses are wrong since according to Lee and Ramakrishnan....
.....there is also growing evidence that this faith in elite credentials may be misplaced.
Sounds bad for blacks and Asians. Maybe both groups should abandon higher education altogether since a college degree - apparently - doesn't actually remedy systemic racism? It gets worse for Chang whose downplaying of anti-Asian racism get destroyed by facts....
A recent report on leadership diversity at top technology companies found that Asian Americans are the racial group least likely to be promoted into managerial and executive ranks. White men and women are twice as likely as Asians to hold executive positions. And while white women are breaking through the glass ceiling, Asian women are not.......Asian Americans also fall behind in earnings. College-educated, U.S.-born Asian men earn 8% less than white men. Although Asian American women are likely to earn as much as white women, they are less likely to be in a management role.
Seems as though Asian immigrants aren't being as shrilly irrational about anti-Asian discrimination as Chang would have us believe. Yet, even though an elite college education should predict certain life outcomes (but doesn't if you are Asian) Asian progressives - as should be completely expected - see this as the fault of Asians themselves.....
But our research also indicates that Asian Americans are less likely than white and black Americans to engage in civic activity, which is strongly correlated with corporate leadership........According to the Current Population Survey, 17.9% of Asian Americans engage in volunteerism, compared to 26.4% of whites and 19.3% of blacks. Our analysis of the 2016 National Asian American Survey shows that only 59% of Asian Americans make charitable contributions, compared to 68% of whites and 65% of blacks. This lack of engagement outside of work is handicapping Asian Americans in their careers.
As you can see, what we have here is Asian progressive "framing" at work. Although, the nine percentage points difference between white and Asian charitable contributions is not really that significant, our Asian progressive researchers "frame" the findings as a "lack" of engagement on the part of Asian-Americans. No, really, a difference of nine percentage points in charitable contributions does not explain the significant discrimination Lee and Ramakrishnan acknowledge Asians face in the workplace.

More problematic is that there is no reason to believe that this statistic is connected to issues of discrimination in pay and leadership disparities described by the LA Times piece. How do we know that those who face discrimination are those who are the ones who are also not engaging in civic volunteering? Despite the juxtaposition of findings with the facts of anti-Asian bias in the workplace, Lee and Ramakrishnan have "framed" the article to insinuate Asian civic inertia as causation. But that's how Asian progressives roll.

Funnily enough, the difference between Asian and black/Latino volunteer rates is negligible, but of course, our researchers do not seem to conclude that college enrollment of these two groups is affected by this as it supposedly affects Asian enrollment. This is because blaming minorities for their own apparent inability to get ahead is racist...except when you are talking about Asians.

Of course, Lee and Ramakrishnan ignore the most significant ramification of their study: if an elite education does not remedy systemic racism, then affirmative action is a pointless and meaningless policy goal that merely discriminates against Asians, and offers no discernible institutional benefit to Latinos and blacks.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Racism With Benefits.....

Chloe Bennet And Logan Paul.

Recent revelations that one of Asian-America's high-profile critics of Hollywood anti-Asian racism is in a relationship with a media figure whose work has been criticized for its anti-Asian racist content have come as no surprise to me. It's hard to ever be surprised by Asian-American progressive ludicrousness. Of course, I'm talking about Chloe Bennet and her dreamy, blonde bombshell beau, Logan Paul.

Having gained some publicity for decrying anti-Asian racism in Hollywood, it came as a bolt from the blue when Bennet rekindled her relationship with Paul, whose YouTube content has been criticized for being racially insensitive, and, sometimes outright racist, towards Asians. There is some mystery around why Bennet would date someone whose work exemplifies the kind of casual media depictions of Asians that propagate popular racist stereotypes which contribute to the limited scope of Asian roles and representation that she has publicly decried. When people inquired - via Twitter - why she was dating Paul, Bennet's response was......
“Cause he’s kind, creative, funny, vibrantly curious about life, weird as fuck in all the best ways, a big dork, and he’s one of my best friends. It doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, but it doesn’t have too. He’s changed my life for the better and I’ve done the same for him.”
....also known as...."he's dreamy!!"

If only the purveyors of racist content looked more like Hitler and less like Hitler's Ubermensch. That being said, the way things seems to be heading, I'm not entirely sure some Asian women would not be able to find the good qualities in a Hitler look/act-alike and date him anyway. Maybe the phenomenon is an Asian feminist version of the Christian sentiment of "hating the sin, NOT the sinner!" in which Bennet hates the racism but not the racist, although I haven't seen much evidence of Bennet actually hating on the racism.

All of this aside, Bennet's dating choice brings to the fore the decades-old Asian-American gender conflict - specifically the matter of disparate high out-marriage/dating rates of Asian-American women, and how that plays into gender-specific anti-Asian racism in America.

In previous posts I have illustrated the gender-specific nature of anti-Asian racism in America, highlighting the unique place of privilege that Asian women seem to have been given in white society. History tells us that even as US immigration laws severely restricted - to a mere handful - general Asian migration into the country, tens of thousands of Asian women were allowed to by-pass these restrictions by virtue of being "war brides" of, largely, white G.Is. During the early part of the 20th Century, white women who married Asian men were forced to forego their citizenship status whilst white men who married Asian women were not similarly disenfranchised.

During the internment of the Japanese during WWII, white women with Japanese spouses were forced to enter the camps with their husbands or be separated from their children and face the break-up of their families. Japanese women with white husbands were not required to leave their homes, or families and were permitted to remain outside the camps. Finally, famed African-American activist for the repeal of anti-miscegenation laws, Mildred Loving, was dragged from her bed by the Virginia police  in the middle of the night and jailed because she broke the law by being married to a white man. Yet, Asian war-brides in Virginia were free to live openly with their white husbands.

As these examples suggest, Asian women have been afforded a unique place of racial privilege throughout Asian-America's history. The magnitude of this privileging is such that we could reasonably say that they had been afforded their own racial category separate from, and above, other Asians and minorities. Laws and racist social norms had been put aside to permit the existence of this privileged racial position in which your race is basically altered to circumvent racial restrictions. That is, as long as you are partnered with a white man.

Like these many thousands of white-partnered Asian women before her, Chloe Bennet has the opportunity to ignore racialization and racism by partnering with a purveyor of it. Even her own stated principles of decrying media racism that limits roles for Asian actors seem to have gone out the window since she is dating someone who propagates the very popular racist stereotypes that the media wants to disseminate.

This is why the gendered racism that characterizes the Asian-Americans experience needs to be at the centre of our dialogue on race. This unique racial category afforded to Asian women precludes any attempts to forge an Asian-American political identity since it seems impossible to do so when large segments of your community choose partners who promote, or who are sympathetic to racist Asian stereotypes. Some of these women are even open about their own racist attitudes towards Asian men and seem to view us as a different species, let alone a different race.

Interestingly, Logan Paul's racist content seems to mainly target Asian men which may be why Chloe Bennet is able to be more forgiving of it. Regardless, Bennet's dating choice is merely more evidence of the chasm in racial identity between Asian men and women, but also of the privileged status enjoyed by Asian women who seem to see no conflict between the racist beliefs of their white male partners and their own racial minority status.

Friday, March 30, 2018

When Racists Love You More Than The Liberals.

The SPLC And Eliot Roger.

It's been a good few years since white/Asian mixed-race mass-murderer, Eliot Roger, went on a killing spree that resulted in the deaths of six people. Known as the Isla Vista killings, the tragedy exposed some of the deep-rooted schisms that have long divided Asian-Americans. Despite the fact that Roger had disdain for Asian men, the incident was co-opted by some Asian feminists who pushed the assertion of an implicit sickness with "Asian masculinity" as one of the causative factors for his actions

In the real world, Roger's primary role model for masculinity was his Caucasian father, and his thoughts on Asian masculinity were derisive. How these factors turned Roger into an example of Asian male misogyny is a mystery. 

What became clear in the aftermath of the case is that Roger's racist attitudes towards Asian men were downplayed by both the mainstream, and our own largely, useless, twitter/blogger Asian "activists". This is unsurprising as I have always maintained that Asian progressive activism seeks to stifle Asian progress, limit race dialogue to a black/white binary, and stigmatize Asian men as implicitly racist upholders of white supremacy. No wonder mainstream America is empowered to maintain its racist representations of Asian men since even our own activists obfuscate the facts to push an agenda.

It came as no surprise to me, then, when an article recently appeared in the journal of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that defined Eliot Roger as the first "Alt-Right" killer whose actions were driven by an adherence to white nationalist ideology. The SPLC  is a legal organization, started in the early nineteen-seventies, that advocates for victims of racial prejudice. One of its tasks is the monitoring of hate groups and extremists. Despite its credentials as a bulwark against hate crimes, the SPLC's report on Roger's "Alt-Right" leanings is, ironically, itself an example how liberals and leftists incubate anti-Asian attitudes.

Of course, I did not personally know Eliot Roger. I never met him, and I have no idea what it feels like to have the kind of embarrassment and shame about being Asian that he apparently had. I have no comprehension of Roger's hatred for other Asian men, nor have I had difficulty interacting with the opposite sex as Roger is reported to have experienced. Despite all of this, I know Roger very well because I know what it is like to be an Asian man whose cultural identity is erased from the society you live in.

Roger would have grown up in an American cultural setting in which Asian men are depicted as pathetic losers who fail at romance due to our physical repulsiveness, and fail as men because of mental and physical weaknesses. Asian men almost always lose - because we are the bad guys - and if we win, it is mostly as peripheral characters in a team of much stronger white men. At every turn, Roger would have been met with negative portrayals of Asian men. Television, film, literature, news media and even children's books would have shown Asian men in extremely negative ways. If not as absurd caricatures, then as the subject of xenophobic white fantasies of brutal beatings or mass killings of Asian enemies.

Roger, like all Asian men, lived in a culture in which he was taught through casual media racism that being an Asian man made you worthy entirely of violent aggression or relentless mockery. It is, largely, the left-leaning liberal media that propagates this dehumanizing anti-Asian male racism, although some of these negative portrayals would have originated with other Asian-Americans whose creative output marginalizes Asian men or offhandedly demeans them.

The liberal SPLC's report takes none of this into account. In fact, it completely erases this experience by, literally, white-washing Roger so that his motivations can be neatly shoehorned into the umbrella of the black/white race dichotomy, and the left/right narrative. It says this about Roger...
But Atchison wasn’t the first to fit the profile of alt-right killer—that morbid milestone belongs to Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who in 2014 killed seven in Isla Vista, California, after uploading a sprawling manifesto filled with hatred of young women and interracial couples...Including Rodger’s murderous rampage there have been at least 13 alt-right related fatal episodes...
It goes on....
Rodger left behind a sprawling 107,000-word manifesto titled, “My Twisted World: The Story of Elliot Rodger,” which contained passages lamenting his inability to find a girlfriend, expressing extreme misogyny and various racist positions including disgust for interracial couples (despite the fact that he was multi-racial himself).....“How could an inferior, ugly black boy be able to get a white girl and not me? I am beautiful, and I am half white myself,” Rodger wrote. “I am descended from British aristocracy. He is descended from slaves.”
We should recall that Roger stabbed his three Asian male roommates to death and mutilated their bodies in an act of savage hatred, railed against "ugly" Asian men being with white girls, and saw himself as superior to full-blooded Asian men. Yet, the SPLC report saw fit to view Roger's racism solely from the perspective of his anti-black tirades. What the SPLC has done is to whitewash  the anti-Asian racism Roger would have been subject to, and blackwash his racism so that his actions can be neatly defined in terms of the black/white dichotomy. The experiences of anti-Asian media racism that may have informed Roger's alienation and fueled his hatred of Asian men have been erased by the SPLC.

In its zeal to paint Roger as just another killer driven by white nationalist fervour, the SPLC has absolved liberal racism of its culpability in creating the monster that Roger became. In fact, I would suggest that Roger found himself pushed to the fringes of society - and into the sphere of white nationalism - precisely because casual liberal media racism denies Asian men a positive American cultural identity. There was no celebrated and beloved cultural Asian-American figure that Roger could look to and say to himself, "that is the Asian-American who best represents my aspirations, inspiration, and character". Asian men don't fit into America's cultural narratives except, largely, in the most demeaning and dehumanizing ways. Perhaps the casual violence that the liberal media likes to depict being inflicted on Asian men fueled Roger's violent fantasies - his mutilation of his three Asian roommates merely mirrors pervasive film and television images of Asian men being brutally killed en masse by white heroes.

Roger's case raises some difficult questions about how media representation of Asian men affects our community. Some Asian-American anti-blackness reactivists chide their own community for over-inflating the issue of poor media representation. Yet, the Isla Vista killings raises the intriguing possibility of a line of causation between racist stereotypes of Asian men, and an act of violence in society. If media racism is creating a sociocultural environment in which Asian men are marginalized and alienated to the point of murderous nihilism, then that is surely a major social issue?

By ignoring Roger's hatred of Asians the SPLC renders it invisible, diminishes its significance, and, in the process, is complicit in the propagation of a dismissive attitude towards casual anti-Asian racism. Yet, the organization defines a hate group as follows....
The Southern Poverty Law Center defines a hate group as an organization that – based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities – has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.
This definition describes the liberal media - particularly the liberal "creative"media - that routinely, and casually produces depictions of Asian men that dehumanize, and malign us for our supposed immutable characteristics. If Eliot Roger hated Asian men to the point of murder, it is because our society and culture fosters such attitudes. Roger shows that cultural emasculation of Asian men can have tragic real world consequences.

There is an important distinction that has to be made here. Roger's actions were not the product of his Asian-ness, they were the product of our racist culture's representations of his Asian-ness. His alienation and murderous rage should be viewed as the outcome of casual anti-Asian racism that has become the normative manner of conceptualizing Asian men. I would agree that participating in white nationalist ideology was a factor in Roger's actions, the question is, how and why did he end up there?

The SPLC suggests that he was merely seduced by white nationalism. Asian progressive activists and feminists suggest that he was the product of a toxic masculinity unique to Asian-American men. Both groups ignore the likelihood that gendered, Asian male targeted media racism alienated him to such a point that he grew to hate being part Asian and chose to adopt the most extreme white nationalist culture. There was simply no cultural narrative that he would have found sympathetic to his racial background, so he chose one that would. Ironically, he seemed to have found more acceptance for his Asian-ness amongst a bunch of racist losers that would have done from mainstream culture. That, to me, is indicative of a major social ill.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Whoops They Did It Again!

Same Ole Same Ole.

Yes, it has happened again! Asian-America has experienced yet another Groundhog Day moment in which we are once again treated to what amounts to an Asian-American progressive deflection of attention away from white supremacist violence onto an imagined culpability of Asian immigrants.

Following the events in Charlottesville last year, in which a white-supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of left wing protesters, killing one of them, I knew that it would only be a matter of days before an Asian progressive supporter of white supremacy would show up, making the world safe for white nationalism.

Of course, a mainstream liberal publication provides the platform for this transparent deflection of attention away from white racism. Writing in the Huffington Post, apparently progressive, and possible useful idiot, Jezzika Chung penned this  remarkable piece that seems to play on xenophobic suspicions of incomprehensible Asian languages spreading malign ideas to the detriment of white liberalism.

The piece starts as follows...
Anti-blackness in the Asian American community is not a discreet, whispered sentiment. It’s a blatant belief that’s been engrained into many immigrant minds —  something force fed to us as children of immigrants as we attempt to integrate into American culture, where anti-blackness and white supremacy ideals are also rampant.
This is news to me. But, maybe the piece will provide substantial evidence for this dramatic claim? Let's see....
When Asian immigrants leave their home countries to come to America, often to escape poverty or tyrannical regimes, they’re often faced with the concept of race for the first time. 
Really? During the pro-Peter Liang protests by Chinese immigrants, they seemed to show a far more nuanced comprehension of America's racial issues than the "woke" progressives who maligned them. Well, maybe the piece will provide substantial evidence for this dramatic claim? Let's see....
Growing up, I often attributed my mom’s erratic behaviors to her being naive and gullible. She treated articles she read as holy scripture, shunning anything that was forbidden by the obscure newspapers she got at the Korean market. Many times, the literature she read perpetuated problematic ideas of other minorities, especially black people. As I became older, I realized that this impressionable mindset comes from an intense desire to survive in a country that functions on rules and customs unfamiliar to the ones in their former cultures.
Well, no, no evidence so far. Maybe I need to read some more? Hmmmm....
As Asian immigrants work toward building successes in a foreign environment, they begin taking cues from the people they see as most successful. Because America’s historical oppression of people of color, these people are usually white. To many Asian Americans, whiteness often becomes equated to success, and all the elements that have been conditioned to come with the paradigms of whiteness. 
Was that a bait and switch? Did Jezzika just set me up for an avalanche of new, never before seen evidence proving these dramatic claims, but then change the subject? I think, yes, that is exactly what happened.

Maybe it's obvious that taking "cues from people they see as most successful" in order to work towards success is implicitly anti-black? Not to me. There happen to be quite a few successful liberals that Asian immigrants could be taking cues from, yet Jezzika's article suggests that it is apparently primarily successful white racists that Asian immigrants choose to learn from. If this is true, it is a point that raises all kinds of awkward questions that require investigation. Of primary interest is, why are "anti-black" sentiments from successful, and apparently, racist, white Americans filtering through to Asian immigrants with poor English, rather than those values of successful white liberals that are so beloved of Asian progressives?

One clue to this dilemma might be gleaned from an industry that is one of the most unashamedly liberal bastions of whiteness: the film and television industry. Now since the entertainment industry seems to have one of the highest saturations of white liberals espousing white liberal values who are pervasively visible and accessible in propagating their views, one might expect that RACIST(!!!) and gullible Asian immigrants would to some large degree adopt these liberal values in their own lives. According to Jezzika and several other Asian progressives, this isn't the case. The question is why?

To me, the answer seems pretty straight forward. Asian immigrants are the minority that liberals - particularly Asian liberals - love to hate. Asian immigrants are the minority whom liberals have decided it is okay to hate, mock, ridicule, and deride in any number of ways. Accents, food, mannerisms, and racial characteristics are all fair game for the extremely influential - and largely liberal - media machine that is the film and television industry. What is it about these racist, anti-Asian attitudes that would inspire new Asian immigrants to adopt them? Thankfully, Asian immigrants don't seem to carry the same self-denigrating shame about themselves that Asian progressives exhibit.

Furthermore, Jezzika implies a lack of liberal reading material available to Asian immigrants in their native languages that could, perhaps, sway their thinking to a more liberal persuasion. The problem here is that, contrary to the apparent sentiments of Asian progressives, Asian immigrants are not stupid, and do not lack agency. Most likely, they, like most human beings (they are human after all, aren't they?) have the capacity to recognize when they are being held in low esteem by the people they are being urged to learn moral lessons from about racial tolerance.

After all, why would anyone waste their time reading materials from people whose most high profile, and self-righteous, representatives are complicit in a culture of anti-Asianism? It could well be that Asian immigrants are gravitating to the side of the political spectrum that appears slightly less hypocritical about race and tolerance. Of course, if there is a lack of liberal reading materials available to Asian immigrants in their own language, it could simply mean that liberals have no interest in reaching out to Asian immigrants. If the Right is reaching out to Asians, but the Left is ignoring them, even as the liberal media machine mocks them, is it any surprise that Asian immigrants might choose the options that appears to be the friendlier face?

Of course, this all presumes that there actually is a significant pattern of behaviour amongst Asian immigrants that veers towards "anti-blackness". These claims are never reasonably substantiated by grandstanding Asian  progressives.

In short, Jezzika has written a hit piece in which she targets Asian immigrants who will probably never be given a chance in a liberal publication to answer any accusations leveled at them. She has made completely unsubstantiated claims about racist attitudes within an entire immigrant community, has implied a studied knowledge of deep psychological states of Asian immigrants, most of whom she cannot possibly know, and has asserted a knowledge of a common pattern of behvaviour and motivation amongst a diverse number of individuals. All of this based on the alleged actions of her mother and not on any reasonable study carried out under customary standards of academic rigour.

In effect, Jezzika has dehumanized Asian immigrants, and represented them as unthinking followers of a powerful outside stimulus, incapable of reasoning to the contrary, or learning directly from their environment, and who are all driven by exactly the same goals.

It doesn't take a genius to notice the pattern and timing that is going on here. As I have written before, every single time there have been high-profile incidences of anti-black racism perpetrated by white Americans, the liberal media always produces an Asian progressive who will deflect the conversation away from white racism and onto alleged racism in Asian-American communities. It is one of the few opportunities that Asians are afforded for  mainstream media exposure, and most often, it is used to attack Asian immigrants.

Perhaps Asian progressives need to take note of this and stop providing the escape route for American racism in the popular media? This is by and far a more potent assistance for the perpetuation of white supremacy than any anonymous, broken English Asian immigrant could ever provide. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

White Racists, Asian Women.

Asian Women's Complicity In Anti-Blackness

The human psyche is an amazing thing - the more reality slaps you in the face with facts that challenge your worldview, the more intellectual back-flips you perform to avoid recognizing it. A great example of this can be found in an article that appeared in the New York Times a few days ago. Written by freelance journalist, Audrea Lim, the piece seems to explore every angle of its subject, except for the actual crux of the issue.

Titled "The Alt-Right’s Asian Fetish", the article explores the explosive and bizarre niche subject of white supremacist men and their fetish for Asian women. The rambling piece demonstrates the chimeric nature of Asian progressive thought and perfectly illustrates how Asian progressives talk a lot but say very little.

Describing alt-right, white nationalists as "confused", Lim goes on to explain away their attraction for Asian women by citing the two catch-all phenomena that progressives use to define the Asian experience: the model minority myth and the subservience and hypersexualization of Asian women. With the former, Lim suggests - without evidence - that model minority assimilation has made Asians acceptable to white racial purists, even though there is little evidence of a pattern in which white people who embrace the model minority stereotype are also likely to be racist towards other minorities.

What Lim is trying to say with the latter argument is unclear - she never really shows how stereotypes of Asian women's subservience and hypersexualization relates to the issue at all. Most likely, Lim is merely trying to suggest that Asian women who choose complicity in white nationalism are actually victims. More on that later.

The main issue here is that if Lim has to dredge up and regurgitate the model minority myth myth and hypersexualization of Asian women to explain white supremacist thought and action, then she has most likely not understood the meaning of "white supremacy". At its most simple, white supremacy is the belief that white people are superior such that they have the right to dominance over other races. That in itself explains why there is no confusion in white supremacists having an Asian fetish - it is right because white is right. Thus, white supremacists' Asian fetish can most appropriately be explained by the ideology of white supremacy itself, not by some fanciful allusion to Asian racial stereotypes. No racial myths about Asian need apply here.

Where Lim goes even more horribly awry is that she fails to ask the most important question of all: why are Asian women choosing to partner with racists? Why are they choosing complicity in white nationalism and anti-blackness?

Lim deals with this awkward fact by ignoring it. Rather, she implies that Asian women who support white supremacists are somehow victims who just can't make the right choices for all the confusing things that society believes about them. Implying a lack of agency on the part of Asian women, Lim infantilizes them - they simply can't act right because it's just too hard to make a decent moral choice about a dreamy white supremacist and their oh, so forceful racial theories. Lim seems to view Asian women as confused bimbos who can't distinguish a racist from a white Silicon valley tech nerd.

Oddly enough, infantilization of non-whites was one of the core concepts of white supremacist thought that justified slavery and colonialism. It's hard to argue against white supremacy when you seem to be reinforcing their core beliefs.

At least Lim did not try to blame Asian men and their patriarchal cultures for producing women too dumb - or morally bankrupt - to understand the ramifications of racist thought. But, maybe the problem is that Asian women that partner white supremacists are seldom held accountable for their choices by other Asian women. Lim certainly doesn't seem to think they are accountable, and I'm yet to see any of the usual Asian twitter progressives issuing even perfunctory condemnation of said women. What we are witnessing here is Asian female privilege in action in which, just like white men, they are afforded every possible excuse to justify racist behaviour.

No other minority demographic is afforded this privilege. The uncomfortable truth here is that white nationalists pursue and attain Asian female partners simply because they know they can, and that there are some Asian women who are very willing to partner white racists. There's no mystery about it.