So a British Invasion is okay, but when it comes to Asians, it’s PERIL?
I grew up being called ‘gook’ and ‘chink’ and giving back as good as I got. Hey, if I’m a ‘chink’ what are you? Yeah, I thought so. But isn’t there something incredibly awful about a grown up calling a kid such a hate-filled name?
Because of the advances made by civil rights warriors with the help of an oftentimes morally ineffectual government and because being politically correct was au courant for a time, we are a better country now than even a mere half century ago. But then again, better for whom? It may be 2014, but the plantation system hasn’t gone anywhere––look at our nanny state where white children are still being taken care of by women of color and our prison population is the blackest in the world. America’s enslaved population never went anywhere.
As with many of the world’s population, I am descended from a learned culture rich with artisanship and political prowess (okay I don’t really get K-pop, but that’s a topic for another time) so I wonder at how my ethnic tribe has been so demagogued and dehumanized by virulent stereotypes in the popular culture––when not being completely overlooked.
The impulse to represent people outside of one’s race and culture in a way that projects our particular narrow mindedness and unwillingness to go beyond preconceived notions is what stops us from really engaging in an honest dialogue on race matters.
I am aware that demagoguery is an effective tactic in taking away a people’s power and good standing in the world-at-large, in order for the status quo power structure to remain in tact. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just read Frantz Fanon and Edward Said. You’ll see.
The Met recently had an exhibit of Korean artifacts dug up from the tombs of kings and queens of the Silla Kingdom. This ancient kingdom crushed rivals to wield power for nearly 1,000 years. Most of the stuff on view were jewels the royals wore, glassware (some from the Italian merchants who travelled the Silk Road!), and relics of Buddha’s influence on Korea.
I was there the week public schools were closed and there were some kids at the exhibit with their parents. I remember thinking how good it was to start learning your kids young so they could start developing an understanding about other people based on real time exposure and history. My history.