A Story of the Underdog

In this video, I attempt to illustrate a progression of an Asian American experience as a result of misrepresentations of them in the media. My idea was to debunk this stereotype of how Asian Americans are expected to be the sidekick or the underdog. What the media has done is influenced young Asian Americans and their perception of how they should act in a white hegemony and give them no agency when facing injustice and a constant silencing. This video should illustrate how, as life progresses, the Asian American eventually has enough of the disrespect and has an agency to turn his situation around.

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The Fung Brothers

The Fung brothers are an Asian-American duos, specifically of Chinese descent, composed of rappers and comedians, Andrew Fung and David Fung. They are located in Alhambra, California but originate from Seattle, Washington. They are extremely popular on Youtube for their comedic and entertaining videos regarding Asian-American subjects. What I found most compelling about their work is the amount of collaborating they do with other Asian-American individuals. It adds this greater level of exposure and diversity in their videos. It also rapidly expands their audience base. They have done some notable collaborations with people such as professional Asian-American basketball player, Jeremy Lin. They are also in a rap group titled “Model Minority,” with Jason Chu, which has even been reviewed in a positive light by the Los Angeles Time. Therefore, they do great work at addressing and deconstructing the issues that the Asian-American population has to deal with in a really fun, engaging, and clearly successful manner.

While they have an extensive amount of youtube videos addressing a variety of issues, some of my favorite ones are “18 types of asian girls” and “east coast asian vs. west coast asian.” I find these videos most exciting because, not only did they incorporate the collaboration aspect with some other fantastic asian-american individuals, but they also highlighted this idea of diversity among a population of people that is so very often grouped as one.

We see that in the 18 types of asian girls, there are so many types that the fung bros describe, along with their subgroups. What’s notable is that even though all these are described, they bring about the main idea that there are so many different presented types that you cannot just pigeonhole a race or ethnicity into one way of being. The East Coast vs. West Coast Asian does that as well, with both genders. I also really appreciate that they will touch upon little historical backgrounds or fun educational facts.

While not entirely unrecognized, the Fung Bros definitely deserves acknowledgment, as well as further recognition and publicity. Keep up the good work!

Below are the links to the discussed videos:

 

Master of None Asian Women

The authorship in Master of None was definitely noticeable. Not because it was extremely horrible. On the contrary, it was extremely great at presenting an in your face and authentic representation of reality. The opening scene of the pilot episode was a sex scene between a man of color and a white woman. Honestly, yeah, threw me off a bit. But, I kept watching and do I not, Not NOT regret that decision!

It does not go unnoticed by most fans of the show that white women are predominately his love interests. The only Asian woman (Annie Chang) that went to dinner and made an appearance as a potential love interest of Dev was only in it for the free food. She definitely wasn’t the one in bed with Dev in the pilot episode. What does this say about this writer/producer’s choice? It can be interpreted in a lot of ways. From a comical standpoint, it points out this idea of dinner dates as just free dinners that can just be the main motive as to why women would give men the time of day and vice versa. And thinking of it like this, can make it hilarious. Maybe, the choice was to not perpetuate this stereotype and avoid painting an image of orientalist Asian woman in the opening scene. It can also be interpreted as a message that says that not all Asian women are hypersexual beings: and can only be either the dragon lady or the lotus blossom. It could have been the choice to make a claim that those aren’t the only two personas Asian women can have when it comes to their sexuality as well as character. Since there is an Asian women fetish in porn as well, that just made the decision speak for itself? OR MAYBE, these could be totally wrong assumptions about the possible reasons why.

What is about to be noted here does not focus on the headline, but I just want to attach it to this post, and it is that the second episode “Parents” was one of my favorites. As mentioned by Amy Lam on bitchmedia.org, “It’s a story that’s so common for children of immigrants. But the part of what brought me to tears, as a first-generation American myself, was realizing how painful and true and jarring it is to see our narratives reflected back to us on screens that have ignored our stories for so long.” Lam was able to sum up my experience with this episode in just 2 sentences and that just highlights the collective experience immigrant children have. It also says something about this show and how this particular episode was able to captivate the true realities of lived-experiences that the network primetime television shows I have been exposed to, have failed at attempting to portray.

Like Lam, I am hoping to see more women of color included in the second season as well. Of course I do not require this demand to be met. The show in itself has done so much on accurately presenting & representing realistic experiences and there are much thanks to be given to that. But I won’t deny that it would be nice to see Asian women also being represented as well as presented.

Word. Wassup. Yasss.

My writing emphasizes on giving voice to marginalized peoples and is deeply entrenched in the values of social justice and intersections of community struggle.
-Fong Tran

Last night I had the pleasure of meeting Fong Tran, a spoken word artist, youth facilitator, and all around woke homeboi. He performed a few pieces, including “Dear Young Man of Color,” and “Problem with What’s Taught in School.” Not only is his spoken word socially-politically conscious, addressing the intersectionality, trials, and tribulations of the Asian-American experience, they are incredibly soulful, inspiring, intimate, and lyrical. In addition to performing, Fong Tran was a a great MC that exuded positive, chill vibes that resonated within the audience throughout the whole night. Every now and then, Fong Tran would provide his narrative and thoughts on being a spoken word artist. Tran believes that art is a form of resistance, in that expressing our (Asian/American, minority) stories allows us to authentically represent ourselves. We have to tell our stories or someone else (the dominant culture) will. Moreover, Tran is heavily inspired by his mother, a refugee from the Vietnam War, social justice, intersectionality, and the empowerment of youth. He respected and encouraged every single one of the young performers that shared their work, whether music, story, or word, to continue and progress. It was great to see fellow UCSB and IV residents perform their talents and gifts — some for the very first time.
I appreciated that Tran really tried to engage the audience with the performers to maintain positive vibes. He taught us the power and shower clap, and phrases that reaffirm the performer’s show, like ‘mmmm’ or snapping. Tran had the audience recite “Word, Wassup, Yasss” when we were ready to move onto the next acts. Tran also had the audience engage in a collective poem, and had one member recite it at the very end. Tran started off the poem with two lines, passed it onto the next person, x, who wrote one line. Then person x covered the previous two lines so that only their line was showing. Then person y continued the poem, only based on what person x wrote. Then so on and so forth. Tran’s response to the collective poem was “Damn, Santa Barbara you go deep!” The poem was deep and thoughtful, and moreover a collective experience that we all participated and contributed to. Overall, it was great night and I definitely left feeling woke and ready to take on the world.

Meme: Debunking Stereotypes

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These memes aim to contest a number of stereotypes surrounding representations of Asian American men in the media, including: masculinity, social status and cultural (mis)appropriation. Asian men are often portrayed in a manner that insinuates inferiority due to a lack of character or physique; they are often shown acting effeminate, socially displaced or awkward, and lacking strength. It is important to deconstruct theses stereotypes in order to portray the authentic reality behind who Asian Americans truly are, and show that often times such stereotypes are far from accurate.