Linsanity and Obamamania go hand in hand, in that while uniting, inspiring, and igniting some people over here, they unleash a bunch of racist haters over there. Jeremy Lin, gods bless him, has gotten more people calling out racism against Asian Americans, and has gotten folks talking about it - overall - more than ever.
Lin has really uncorked whatever racism towards Asians in general is usually bottled up, and considering how openly racist Americans are towards Asians anyway, that's saying something. I'm remind now about an article about The Help (2011) in which the writer makes a reference to 21st Century white people. Problem is, Jeremy Lin and the Obamas have shown us that there's no such animal.
Aside for a tiny minority, white America hasn't changed. 21st Century white America is no different from 20th Century white America, which was no different from 19th white America. Oh sure, certain bad behaviors toward POC were outlawed, but it took an all-out Civil War and years upon years of international pressure. They didn't start to behave themselves (somewhat) simply because they wanted to. It took force. It took boycotts, lawsuits, and the rewriting of laws.
So just because outward behavior improved, it didn't mean what was inside automatically improved as well. For those in denial, the 21st Century has revealed this to us more plainly than ever before. It's shown us that time does not heal all wounds and racism most assuredly doesn't just "die out" on its own.
But it sure can lay dormant. *snaps fingers* Shucks darn.
Blogger Philip (with whom I'm officially in love) of You Offend Me, You Offend My Family asked in a post, "Why is it Always the Asian American Saying We Shouldn’t be Offended at Racist Slights Against Asian Americans?" In his post, he stated:
Once again, it is the one Asian (Hoppes) who goes out of his way to make the point that Asian Americans shouldn’t be offended, we’re being too sensitive,To answer the question, it's damage control, pure and simple (which of course Philip already knows). It's the Rented Negro situation all over again; after all, rich white dudes shouldn't have to lose their jobs for something so innocuous as racism. Hoppes is there to prevent lawsuits. And if you're wondering what someone like Hoppes is thinking, it's easy enough to guess: his
we should be happy sucking on white dick, yadda yadda bullshit while the non-Asians are the ones calling out the racist shit for what it is.
Look, I totally think some Asian Americans are too sensitive and don’t have a sense of humor about things they should have a sense of humor about. But if a whole segment of the community is genuinely upset about something and want to take action against it, fuck you for calling that into question. And don’t talk about how these other Asian Americans don’t speak for you and then go on to bring up your own Asian American-ness to make your point. And by the way, Hoppes, Yao Ming is Asian not Asian American, and yeah, there is a difference.
Meanwhile, blogger Christina on Cracked.com wrote a great article entitled, "4 Things the Jeremy Lin Story Reveals about Modern Racism" in which she beautifully writes:
A lot of racism is fueled by fear, and this is by far the worst for the people being targeted by it. People who are afraid of the "natural violent tendencies" they imagine black people to have, or the insidious plan Hispanics supposedly have to secretly take over our country by outbreeding whites, can be driven to do terrible, drastic things to people of the feared race, far worse than just some tired MSG jokes.She touches on a lot more, of course, and the comments on her post are predictably vile. One caught me eye in particular; the commenter talked about Christina's alleged "self-loathing" (she's Asian American, by the way) and how it was obvious in her writing.
Fear of Asians has had its day, some examples being the Yellow Peril era, where America's beloved author Jack London suggested the only way to be safe from the Chinese was to exterminate every last one, or World War II, when they locked Japanese-Americans away in case their genetic loyalty to Japan kicked in, creating a bizarre world where American icons George Takei and Pat Morita spent their childhoods behind barbed wire.
Ah...dronespeak! How not lovely to see you again!
Black people are very familiar with this up and coming code word; it's the first cousin of "you're the reason racism is still alive; you keep talking about it." So when Christina sees something with Jeremy Lin's head coming out of a fortune cookie, or a sports commentator referring to him a ch**k in the Knicks' armor, or historic and current racism against Asians overall, or the common POC fear of physical assault, well by golly...she must just hate herself sooooooooo much.
In what universe does that even make sense?
I guess the point I'm trying to make is this: Philip, Christina, Jeremy, Lucy the-new-Watson Liu - Asian America overall - the Bar has your back. We've already been there, done that and we've got a ways ahead of us, so you might as pull up a bar stool and order a shot. It's the 21st Century, and it's going to be a long, bumpy ride to progress. It's best we ride together.