Final Project

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Week 8

After talking about being a white ally and reverse racism in class it really got me thinking. For me I grew up in Los Angeles at a school where white people were not the majority. In this way I felt that there was some legitimate racism against whites or reverse racism. The ways that the place I grew up in and the kids I was around systematically did not like white kids felt more like a system of oppression for my existence as a middle schooler. Maybe this is simple racial tension but for me this felt like an institutional overwhelming force that made me shameful of being half white around all my Asian, Latino, and black friends. It seemed that if one’s perspective is shaped in this way I feel like racism against whites by minorities is possible and something to be aware of. In my experience I find that a younger generation of white people born in a multiracial state like California do not necessarily hold the same level of prejudices as people before. In turn I feel that limiting white people from the conversation about uplifting all races does not help minorities in that they further distance the white people who hold the power when you tell them “this important movement applies to us and not you and you can’t help.” They say by 2042 minorities will be the majority in America. I feel that if minorities are going to rightfully be upset about historical prejudices in turn one should also be aware of ways in which we as minorities can belittle others, like these younger whites who are used to seeing and accepting these different cultures growing up in the modern world. I think it’s all about bringing people together and highlighting the ways we are similar rather than argue about the differences, like differences in our struggles. If I was called a small dicked Asian, and you called a hick cousin fucking honkey white, is it really fair to say one is worse than the other?

Spencer London

 

 

Master of None Season 1 Ep. 4

The fourth episode of the first season of Aziz Ansari’s show, “Master of None”, is a tremendous accomplishment. It highlights almost every issue that is related to Asian Americans in pop culture. It addresses issues such as, accents and Asian American actors, too many Asian Americans in the same movie/show, Asian Americans getting unimportant roles etc. The issue that stood out to me the most is that too many Asian American actors in the same show is considered an Asian show and no one would want to see an Asian show. Yet, there are shows with multiple if not all white actors and there is no problem with those shows airing on television. That begs the question, why are Asians any different?

Another issue that Aziz Ansari brings up is the fact that many directors or producers would rather have white actors play colored roles instead of having actually colored people play those roles. This implies that directors think that colored people aren’t capable of portraying themselves on screen for whatever reason. That in itself is problematic; how can a white person who cannot relate, by any means to being a colored person, play a person of color better than the actual colored person himself?

While there are no absolute solutions, these are all matters that require attention and that need to be addressed now. The fact that these issues still exist today in the 21st century is completely ridiculous. We need to start talking about these topics now or we will just continue to be muted and kicked to the corner.

Is Racism not a Pseudo-Proposition?

Pseudo-proposition, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, is “A spurious proposition; (Philosophy) a sentence, etc., which is presented as meaningful but which can be shown by philosophical analysis to be meaningless.” [1] In order to examine whether or not racism is a pseudo-proposition, we can deconstruct the idea of racism from two perspectives.

First, we can use phenomenon inductive method to prove that racism exist in the society. For example, we can see Asian women are portrayed ad “Lotus blossom” and “Dragon lady” in the movies, while Asian men are always portrayed as   either asexual and quiet calculus machine or salvage and elusive Kong Fu master. Given the fact that Asian American characters are almost always supporting character in mainstream media production, I think it is fair to say Asian Americans are marginalized by the system.

Second, we can use logical derivation to proof the existence of racism. In order to maintain the legitimacy of their ruling, the dominant class has the motive to create the disparity between the ruling class and the subordinate class. Given the dominant class in the society happened to be white, the skin of color, then, becomes the boundary to distinguish the superior class and inferior class.

Even though some people may argue that racism is not a socially applicative proposition because of the existence of some counter-examples, like the affirmative action has guarantee the equal educational rights for ethnic minorities, I do not think improvements of racial-related problems could stand for the argument that racism had never exist.

In fact, racism represents the deep-rooted bad habits of human being. People who think the topic is controversial or commonplace could pretend that what we see in the media, those stereotyped Asian American characters are innocuous creative products. However, I think the resignation would eventually brainwash us and could never walk away from the spiral of silence.

So, no! Racism is nota pseudo-proposition.

But, How are you going to handle it?

 

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[1] http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/pseudo-proposition

Feature Image from: http://unfaircampaign.org/

 

Busta Rhymes

I recently just watched “Master of None” written by Aziz Ansari and so far it’s been okay. The first episode I watched was episode 4 and it gave me the impression that this show is going to get real.

Episode four was about Indians on Tv or in the Media and holy shit it was so real and by real i mean that it is literally real. They dont sugar coat their reactions or responses and everything is how i would imagine it would go on in real life. The cameo of Busta Rhymes was hilarious but gave me something realistic and believable. Busta Rhymes knows that the email was fucked up and tells Aziz to make the most of him “currying the favor”.

The issues that they face are the actual issues most Indian American actors are facing to this day. Not only Indian Americans but all Asian Americans. I hadn’t realized but what they say about the “more than two” issue is real. You never see much of two of the same ethnicities in the same show and when they are it is labeled as that ethnicity show. Such as more than two chinese main characters then it’s considered a “chinese show”. Which is ridiculous, you never hear people calling house “the white doctor show”.

I do like how they explain to the viewers another reason behind the directors choice of not having two Indian character, which is that its not what the target or “most relatable” audience will want to see. I believe that’s true and hope that in the soon future more ethnicities will pop onto our televisions and I hope that no one says anything. The best reaction i want to achieve from progress of Asian Americans in the media is no reaction. Treat us like regular characters on a show and see past our ethnicity, see us as individual and unique human beings.

Ridley Scott Criticized for “White-Washing” Roles in his new movie “The Martian”

I recently stumbled across this variety.com article: http://variety.com/2015/film/news/the-martian-white-washing-asian-american-ridley-scott-1201614155/

In the article, it is revealed that Ridley Scott, director of the new sci-fi thriller “The Martian”, white-washed many roles in the movie. According to the Media Action Network for Asian-Americans (MANAA), many of the roles that originated from the 2014 novel, written by Andy Weir, were significantly less Asian than what the book implied.  MANAA goes on to say that the movie, which has attracted Oscar buzz, should not receive any nominations for casting.

The character Mindy Park, described by Weir as a Korean-American, is played by a blonde, white actress. MANAA goes on to criticize Ridley Scott, raising the question of if he was comfortable with multiple Asians interacting on screen.

Unfortunately, this is just another prime example of Asian-Americans being over-looked for roles and replaced by white actors and actresses. Even in such a progressive time as 2015, Asian-American characters are being reworked and rewritten to be white. This anti-asian sentiment is what many Asian-American media figures have worked so hard to combat, yet still have trouble defeating. Asian-American actors NEED these roles, so they can play characters with substance and emotions and character, not just your “typical” Asian characters.

Hopefully, with the attention brought on by Variety and the criticism of “The Martian”, directors and producers in the future will not rework their characters, and give Asian-Americans the roles they were meant to play.

Racist Media Representations and How the Rosie O’Donnell’s of the World Don’t Get It

This week’s reading revolved around Asian American activism. This week’s readings tackled the misconception of how Asian Americans are often seen as a group that do not readily retaliate when it comes to injustices upon them. This model minority myth is vanquished in this week’s reading that discuss the various instances in which Asian Americans have responded to racist media representations.

What I never, will never, understand is how often the “mock Asian” stylings that are used against Asian Americans are so often used. But more than that, it is how it is deemed as okay that truly does not make sense to me. In this course I am beginning to see how these media representations of Asian Americans are truly so intertwined with them as a people. For instance, the Details magazine image was not seen as something offensive, and just like it “ching chong” speech as well is not seen as something readily harmful as well. By using this speech, it “marks racial otherness” and “overtly marks Asian racial difference.” Which then makes me draw upon another thing we have learned in class: the perpetual foreigner. All these instances are due to the nature of how Asian Americans are seen in this manner. And especially with that, Rosie O’Donnell’s first apology in regards to her “ching chong” speech basically blamed Asian Americans for not being able to handle a joke, when THEY WERE THE VICTIMS! My interpretation of Rosie O’Donnell’s apology is that she basically should have said that she does not see Asian Americans as people that should be taken seriously nor their experiences. She did not apologize, but rather shifted the blame onto Asian Americans! HOW????????!!!!! But after Beau Sia’s greatness, I think she got the message.

O’Donnell highlights how these media representations of Asian Americans are not seen as things that are harmful nor wrong. But they are. These representations are deadly because of how they seep into the public and giving them an “ok” to continue with their racist representations. And thus, people who do not realize the gravity to which this racist language is “structurally embedded within institutions”, people will continue with their everyday lives perpetuating them.

But on a lighter note, the activism that is followed after such media representations is truly so beautiful and inspiring for me. Asian American activists started targeting the networks for letting the slurs of O’Donnell go without a consequence. They were critical that these media representations are not just the responsibility of the O’Donnell’s in this world, but also of the “institutions that allow for such actions to occur.”