Only Someone With Color Will Understand – Racism

I hate that I have to write this.

I hate it even more that I have to write this here.

But this exchange pushed me over the edge.

oblivious racism

For some clarity, Dan Slott is a writer for Marvel Comics, particularly for Amazing Spider-Man and Silver Surfer.  I don’t think he realized the two-fold racist act he (giving him the benefit of the doubt) committed.

#1.  With his comment, he openly says he embraces the whitewashing in Hollywood, so staunchly blasted against by Asians (who have only 4.4% of speaking roles in Hollywood films, as reported in August by Complex), rooting for Martin Freeman to play “Wong“, a Chinese monk in the Marvel universe.

#2.  The fact that his declaration was a joke expresses that he doesn’t feel like he did anything to offend his Asian fans.  Dude, you just said we aren’t good enough to represent our own race in both comics and in film, and please don’t say it wasn’t his intention, that’s how it came out.  It’s as good as him making a n***** comment and saying “It. Was. A. Joke.”

I react in this in the same spirit as I do with the Scarlett Johanson casting in Ghost In The Shell, the whitewashed casting choices in the live action version of the anime classic Akira, and the subsequent casting choices in Dragonball: Evolution and The Last Airbender, last Asian characters cast with male leads, both movies poorly received with the latter considered the worst movie epic ever, by TIME magazine.

Then you had last night’s MET Gala…

Generally if you’re invited to one of these things, you have someone who’s dressing you and, perhaps an outfit on loan by a designer who wants their look to be seen.  Someone need to clarify with stylists that NOT ALL THINGS ASIAN ARE CHINESE!

The MET Gala theme this year was: “China: Through the Looking Glass”

After going through David Yi’s piece in Mashable  and Fawnia Soo Hoo’s piece in Fashionista about the night, I’m surprised that so many people still don’t get it.  Chopsticks in the hair (chop) sticks are Japanese in origin.  Cats eye make up is Egyptian in origin, and please don’t get us started by George McHale’s jokes about opium and Jackie Chan.

Then you have this bit of f-ed up response to this tweet:

Responses from degenerates were: Manny Pacquaio, Jackie Chan, Chow Yun Fat, and Jet Li.

By the way, the guy is fashion designer Laurence Xu, who was the toast of this year’s Paris Fashion Week.

In a society that’s willing to go and protest injustices such as Freddie Gray’s death (Baltimore), the wrongful shooting of 18 year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, the death of Eric Garner (Staten Island, NY), and the unlawful shooting of Walter Scott (South Carolina), it’s funny everyone is willing to pass the racial buck to the next group.  And if you say everyone else’s doesn’t culminate in death, tell that to the mothers of unarmed Mexican children shot at the border by the border patrol.

Arizona’s anti-Mexican (immigration) legislation SB 1070.

Indiana’s anti-gay (Religious Freedom) law (bigotry).

(Residential) Racial segregation of American school children running between 2000-2010.

Those who have never lived under the thumb of racism have no idea what it means to be oppressed by someone else, which is why many of them are completely unaware of their racially charged actions.

The worst ones are those that know what it feels like being under the thumb of racism, yet persist the racial cruelty.

Asian Americans are not immune to this, historically.

Actor, George Takei (a Japanese American) talking about his experience in Japanese internment camps in the US.

And let us not forget the decades (dating as far back as 1541 and as recent as last year) of Asians in media whitewashed and suggesting massacre of the Chinese (Jimmy Kimmel Live), in society and racial segregation, in human rights (land ownership), et al.

And let us not forget TMZ’s racial mocking of Korean girl group EXID Jung Hwa’s accent (at LAX) this week.

Just stop for a minute.  Before you do or say anything stupid, just STOP!

If it looks or even sounds like it will offend anyone, don’t put it on social media.  Nuances are not read, they’re heard, and twitter/facebook are mainly written commentary.  Yes, do you have freedom of speech, but all things said have consequences and once its out there, it can never be taken back.  Think before you speak and if you don’t, be prepared for the backlash.

Oh, and by the way, Happy Asian Heritage Month.

– by your local Asian.