Tag Archives: racism

at the Hong Kong airport (my total travel time is just shy of 48 hours).

It’s refreshing to finally be in a place where my height is considered average, for once. Except for the stray Caucasian visitor, of course. But then I realized that everywhere I turned, the advertisements seemed to place me in New York City, not Hong Kong. They feature white models. Of course, I thought at first, all these brands are European. Why would they change their ad campaigns from continent to continent if ad campaigns are such an iconic part of a brand? But then I passed a whitening lotion advertisement, whose model was still white (despite the fact that white people generally don’t want to whiten their skin and these products are nonexistent in the Western world) and then I ran out of excuses.

It was interesting to note that one brand kept their black model.

Also, I almost missed Vogue Nippon in a bookstore because they segregate by culture – Western and Eastern (basically: English and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese). I just looked in the fashion magazine part of the bookstore – too bad I gravitated towards the English side of the store first. Silly me.

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fugues aren’t just for music.

Death Fugue

Paul Celan, translated from German by Michael Hamburger

Black milk of daybreak we drink it at sundown
we drink it at noon in the morning we drink it at night
we drink and we drink it
we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined
A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete
he writes it and steps out of doors and the stars are flashing he whistles his pack out
he whistles his Jews out in earth has them dig for a grave
he commands us strike up for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink in the morning at noon we drink you at sundown
we drink and we drink you
A man lives in the house he plays with the serpents he writes
he writes when dusk falls to Germany your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith we dig a grave in the breezes there one lies unconfined

He calls out jab deeper into the earth you lot you others sing now and play
he grabs at the iron in his belt he waves it his eyes are blue
jab deeper you lot with your spades you others play on for the dance

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon in the morning we drink you at sundown
we drink and we drink you
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith he plays with the serpents

He calls out more sweetly play death death is a master from Germany
he calls out more darkly now stroke your strings then as smoke you will rise into air
then a grave you will have in the clouds there one lies unconfined

Black milk of daybreak we drink you at night
we drink you at noon death is a master from Germany
we drink you at sundown and in the morning we drink and we drink you
death is a master from Germany his eyes are blue
he strikes you with leaden bullets his aim is true
a man lives in the house your golden hair Margarete
he sets his pack on to us he grants us a grave in the air
he plays with the serpents and daydreams death is a master from Germany

your golden hair Margarete
your ashen hair Shulamith

The originial German here.

I love how Margarete and Shulamith are the cadence. And the different “voices” – ahhh beautifully done in a powerful poem. thank you to André Aciman for an introduction to Celan!

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do I look like a shopgirl?

Yesterday, I did some shopping. As I was leaving a store, leaving the store, two white women walked in. As I stepped over the threshold of the shop, one turned around and said, “Do you work here?” I turned around, propping the door open with my shoulder. “Nope,” I replied, and left.

Yeah, all the people with a little melanin in their skins must be the employees, or something. Jeez. Isn’t that racist?

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Eyes Wide Open (Epicanthal Fold)

Click on the image for a larger version.

Eyes Wide Open (Epicanthal Fold). April 2008. Approx. 14″x14″, block print.

A lot of derogatory remarks are made towards E. Asians (the ones with epicanthal folds) because of our small eyes. Just because I have smaller eyes doesn’t mean I can’t see.

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good for Vogue (maybe).

So it’s official. Vogue Italia is having an all-black issue.

Let’s hope they get it right, and not wrong.

I find it interesting that the Vogue UK blurb first calls it an issue that will “feature only non-white models” and then says the issue will be “featuring black models.” Non-white = black?

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I hate days like today.

Blatant racism, immaturity, physical harassment, annoyance, further disturbance of my already-damaged ears. Oh, the joys of public education. Wait, and I thought I was in a good school system? This city/town is nationally ranked for a good education system, and the school has repeatedly won national awards and has an obscene number of Presidential Scholars. And good girls don’t get physically harassed, of course. I must have been asking for it. I’m just “acting the victim.” Oh, and nevermind that it wasn’t a guy, or several guys, who were bothering me. Girl on girl hate crime. How silly. Those women can’t even band together. Who can expect them to possibly fight the patriarchy?

Basically, I got my head and hair knocked around for 50 straight minutes. (A white teddy bear was involved.) It was very aggravating, as you can expect. I was too PC and afraid to call them out because of their sex and their race. Too pacifist to stir up more of a fight. It was a public space, after all, and I didn’t want to create more disturbance.

As a result, I was crabby. It was almost like I had PMS, except I don’t ever get PMS, or cramps. Those damn emotions that women have. I must have been swayed by them, because women can’t think straight and make rational decisions. </sarcasm>

Anyway, some examples of sexism from today:

  1. Hillary Clinton sexism: During the Quiz Bowl assembly, the two teams were asked, “Who are the four remaining leading presidential candidates and what states are each of them affiliated with?” The losing team didn’t know where Mike Huckabee hailed from (the question was written way before last night’s results) and the winning team answered, “Barack Obama, Illinois; Hillary, New York; John McCain, Arizona; Mike Huckabee, Arkansas.” First name basis with Hillary, now, I see. Where’s the respect?
  2. Presenting misogyny as a joke: During the same assembly, the two male MC’s joke about ignoring women when they speak. They improvise a scene with the two guys talking about baseball and the female MC is trying to get in a word. Finally, she throws up her hands and declares, “Guys never listen to girls!” The two guys laugh. A lot of people in the audience laugh. It’s ok if nobody listens to girls and women, this laughter says, it happens all the time. Live with it. Your opinions aren’t worth listening to, during baseball season. The two guys even said, “Just wait a couple more weeks!” Until season is over, of course. Baseball > women.
  3. Girls suck at anything sports-related: The dancing from clips of the school musical (Damn Yankees, whose Wikipedia poster is another objectification of women) showed the manly boys swinging their baseball bats with vigor and heart and the women hopelessly muddling it up. In fact, their weak arms swing the bat in tiny, wavering circles, and they have to hand it off to their men. Girls suck at sports, anyway, this dancing declares. They have to stand in the bleachers.
  4. “Shut the fuck up, bitch,” addressed to a guy: Feminization of men is still the best insult these days. Sissy, pussy, you cry like a girl. (What’s up with crying? As a man, you can’t do it. As a woman, you are frigid and inhumane and not womanly if you don’t, yet too emotionally and not level-headed if you do.) This happens because women are seen as weaker, not just physically, but mentally, socially, economically, and in terms of humanness.

Are some of these sexist events unavoidable? Perhaps. Do their existence promote and reinforce stereotypes? Yes. And if you want to eradicate those stereotypes, these things need to stop.

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Ridiculousness? You bet.

[Edit] <start sarcasm> Or, Free Speech: It Really Sucks. [/edit]

“That’s ridiculous,” I turned away from my computer screen, lips curled in a sure-to-be-disgusting snarl. Like so many Americans, I depend on my computer to escape from every day worries. Too much homework? No problem, I’ll just go surf through some blogs to take my mind off of impending doom, and when I’m sufficiently ready to tackle on the latest homework assignment, I close the browser window. At least, I minimize it. However, today, I’d caught hold of yet another “angry” blog, Angry Asian Man (AAM), pushing a false example of oppression into my face. The man was expressing anger over a poster that said, “Come Get Slant Eyed @ The Goat (No Offense)”. Can’t he see the “No Offense”? Obviously it’s not racist if it wasn’t meant to be racist.Anyway, isn’t there something more important AAM should be doing? Like telling the Chinese government to stop using so many children in their dirt-cheap factories and then sending the kids over to the U.S. to be adopted. The irresponsible Chinese are causing the U.S. to get poorer because Americans are trying to support the adopted Chinese kids. Outsourcing can probably also be traced back to these shifty adoptions. Hell, even global warming is China’s fault, if you think about it. Anyway, honestly, even if the man is just showing how racism is prevalent in glorious American society, thus convincing me to help stop this racism, he forgot the glorious part of glorious American society. The U.S. is the most powerful country in the world. Nothing could possibly be wrong in such a glorious country, and so there’s no need for blogs and other mediums to express anger over imaginary offenses.

Who is Angry Asian Man, anyway? Does he have a college degree in racism? In the “About Angry” part of his website, he doesn’t even state his real name. How do I know this guy is to be trusted? Apparently AAM is hugely influential in the Asian blogosphere. What dopes, those Asians, blindly following some random guy who probably lives on the streets. It doesn’t matter if he reaches a larger audience than just the Asian population, on account of the Internet being free and all that jazz, or even if he points out real cases of racism on a national scale – Americans aren’t racist anyway. If AAM just ignored racism, it’d go away.

Seriously, this identity problem is huge. Random people with no credentials can get on national T.V. and say whatever they want. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have no political experience whatsoever, yet millions of people pay, (pay!) to see their late-night shows. Their careless jokes will destroy the foundation of society with their pretentiousness. People say they know that those Comedy Central shows are satiric and ironic, but do they really? They’ve already followed AAM. I can’t count on normal people to differentiate between the real and the false to show the hypocrisy and frivolity of the world.

Furthermore, does anyone remember Wonkette and Washingtonienne? Washingtonienne was a completely anonymous lady involved in politics at Capitol Hill who exposed the lurid sex lives of politicians. Or a politician, it doesn’t matter. She posted too many incriminating details on her blog, and then Wonkette picked up her story, and the whole thing was blown into smithereens and chaos, which is what happens when anyone can say anything they want. Oh, never mind that Washingtonienne was correct and also exposed political hypocrisy to the public eye. All the T.V. stations and radio shows picked up on the story, bombarding me with ceaseless messages of D.C. sex and politics. I’d rather live with dis-honesty and deception than face such shameless displays of obscenity. Oh yeah, and they revealed Washingtonienne’s real name for the sucker she is.

Speaking of irresponsible individuals, Don Imus truly exemplifies the harm in individual free speech. His “nappy-headed hos” comment was the deranged thinking of one sexist, racist individual (he didn’t say “No Offense” after “hos”, so it’s offensive). His attitude, obviously not reflected by American society on a whole, nevertheless will surely be adopted by the listeners of his radio show, and then passed onto their neighbors, and the neighbors of the neighbors, and ignorant blog readers, and stupid, mindless T.V. show listeners, and so on and so forth. Thus, Imus will transform Americans into bigots, because we weren’t racist and sexist in the first place. And all that media uproar following his comment? No matter that the media tried to bring focus to and address those grievances, because, as I said earlier, the U.S. was a glorious society and didn’t need fixing before Don Imus came onto the scene.

There is so much useless and harmful drivel on the airwaves, whether it’s transmitting via wireless to my computer or through the air to my T.V. or my car radio, as seen with AAM, Stewart and Colbert, Washingtonienne, Don Imus and the gaggle of media. One last example. Just look at the nonsense the Bilerico Project, a major political LGBTQ blog, spews out. “Why Are So Many Gay Guys So Mean?” Because they read blogs, clearly. This is even sillier than AAM and “Slant Eyed.” Maybe AAM needs to get surgery to remove his epicanthal fold. Then he wouldn’t be slant eyed anymore and would be able to see past his foolishness. He’d be able to ignore the little details that make up his life and form the cage of his “oppression” (because racism doesn’t really exist, remember?). In order to return American society to its original glory, we need to band together and take away the “right” of every individual to speak freely, because it is utterly and totally annihilating our values. Long live freedom and equality!

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