Sun 14 Jul 2013
Here is why the recent newscast snafu matters and is part of a bigger picture:
- The biggest problem facing our current generation is people not taking us seriously and seeing us as nonconfrontational, passive math/science nerds that lack social skills.
The media portrays us as either: kung fu masters who can’t speak English (Jackie Chan/Jet Li), weak/submissive characters who are not to be taken seriously (Ken Jeong), or the nerdy/quiet book smart kids whose parents beat for getting B+’s.
- Fair or not these roles in the media are reflected in how the general population views Asians. We represent a tiny minority (~5%) of the US population, and most Asians are concentrated in California/NY, and from there just a few areas from there.
Therefore very few of the 300 million Americans have had much interaction with Asians, much less had them as friends in order to break these stereotypes. Compare this to say the Arab population, and the ignorant population that gets nervious getting onto planes with them after 9/11, all because of their perception in the media.
- ACTS LIKE what the newscast did play into the stereotypes that Asians are simply mockable people with silly, non-WASPy names.
- Combine this with my first point that there’s a perception that Asians aren’t seen as leaders, and there’s no Asian kid who grew up as a minority that didn’t get the “Ching chong”/slant-eye/”Chinaman” treatment as a kid, and this IS a recipe for offensiveness.
It’s hard to understand from an outsider this plays in growing up, but this is a microcosm of the issues we’ve had in our lives. An outsider can dismiss it as non-racist, but try to understand the perspective of someone in that position before saying that no one should treat it as racist. Sources used: Being Asian