exgynocraticgrrl:

Gerda Lerner (1920-2013) , former Robinson Edwards Professor Emerita of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gerda Lerner (1920-2013)  Women and History (excerpt)
-- A Thinking Allowed DVD w/ Jeffrey Mishlove

This is so, so important and ultimately applies to race (and all other minorities/secluded groups) too.

lonernekonin:

cassandracaindesiresstuff:

weareallwintersoldiers:

sherlockismyholmesboy:

this just in: white actress offered the chance of a lifetime to whitewash a japanese character in live-action adaption of hit anime that will also be subsequently whitewashed for our tender american minds

I like how this has - naturally, because it’s Tumblr - turned into a thing to attack Scarlett Johansson, rather than the casting director or the studio pushing to make this more ‘American’, even though it hasn’t even been stated she wants or is accepting the part. 

lol, who the fuck did that? “this just in: white actress offered” doesn’t attack her. None of this attacks her at all. Please actually try to  r e a d  what people are saying and not just mindlessly defend someone who’s not being attack rather than getting offended that whitewashing is still a common practice in Hollywood, especially when the things that they have decided to adapt is produced by the very race of people they are trying to eliminate from appearing.

Just so you know if you haven’t notice in many Japanese Anime/cartoons/shows they make their characters white, look like us and kind of act like us. Just like we admire their beauty they admire ours. They get facial reconstructions to look like us. So maybe, just maybe, the creator of Ghost in the Shell who is of Japanese blood, has OK’d this movement. Do not start attacking an actress for a role she had been chosen for. It is her job and her passion to be an actress and I am sure she will do her best to bring the best of the characters she portrays out to the best of her abilities.
Although I do believe that there are more suitable actresses out there for this role, do not attack her, she had done nothing wrong to you nor has she done anything to this production.

It sounds like you need to read this: 
"A common misconception about anime cartoons amongst uninitiated audiences in majority-English-speaking countries is that anime characters are drawn to look ‘White’ rather than ‘Asian’. First of all, neither of terms are factual fixed categories - they are social constructions. That is, the meaning attached to race, whether ‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Asian’ and so on, and the groups classified under these labels, change from one society to another, depending upon culture, time and place.
In an excellent exploration of the social construction of race in popular culture, sociologist Julian Abagond shows that Japanese animators do not, in fact, draw anime characters to personify their aspiration to be ‘white’. Instead, these characters reflect the animators’ own cultural biases - which is that Japanese people are the prototype model of the ‘default human being’. Abagond writes in Sociological Images:


If I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being. For them to think it is a woman I have to add a dress or long hair; for Asian, I have to add slanted eyes; for black, I add kinky hair or brown skin. Etc.The Other has to be marked. If there are no stereotyped markings of otherness, then white is assumed.Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters “look Asian”. They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.You see the same thing in America: After all, why do people think Marge Simpson is white? Look at her skin: it is yellow. Look at her hair: it is a blue Afro. But the Default Human Being thing is so strong that lacking other clear, stereotyped signs of being either black or Asian she defaults to white…
When you think about it there is nothing particularly white about how anime characters look:huge round eyes – no one looks like that, not even white people (even though that style of drawing eyes does go back to Betty Boop).
yellow hair – but they also have blue hair and green hair and all the rest. Therefore hair colour is not about being true to life.
small noses – compared to the rest of the world whites have long noses that stick out.
white skin – but many Japanese have skin just as pale and white as most White Americans…
Some Americans, even some scholars, will argue against this view of anime. They want to think the Japanese worship America or worship whiteness and use anime to prove it.  But they seem to be driven more by their own racism and nationalism than anything else.


As Abagond’s analysis shows, perceptions of race and gender influence how people ‘read’, understand and draw meaning from animation. For Japanese animators, their characters reflect their view of normality - that everyone in their creation is Japanese (or Korean or Chinese or wherever the anime is produced). Audiences that have an uncritical view of race and Whiteness presume that ‘Asian’ drawings should look ‘Asian’. Yet this term - Asian - means different things to different groups. In Japan, the category of Asian is not very meaningful. Instead, mainstream Japanese culture portrays the Japanese people as the ‘default human being’. Gender and class also affect how this default human being is imagined (usually male, affluent and lean).
Just all art forms embody the biases and taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about the world, what audiences see in anime drawings are mediated by the ethnocentrism of the animators and audiences. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s group is superior to others. Viewers who think Japanese anime characters are trying to look ‘White’ are therefore viewing this artform through ethnocentrism. “
[ CreditQuotation originally from Abagond’s blog, via Sociological Images.
Image of Jubei from Ninja Scroll from Jinni.]

lonernekonin:

cassandracaindesiresstuff:

weareallwintersoldiers:

sherlockismyholmesboy:

this just in: white actress offered the chance of a lifetime to whitewash a japanese character in live-action adaption of hit anime that will also be subsequently whitewashed for our tender american minds

I like how this has - naturally, because it’s Tumblr - turned into a thing to attack Scarlett Johansson, rather than the casting director or the studio pushing to make this more ‘American’, even though it hasn’t even been stated she wants or is accepting the part. 

lol, who the fuck did that? “this just in: white actress offered” doesn’t attack her. None of this attacks her at all. Please actually try to  r e a d  what people are saying and not just mindlessly defend someone who’s not being attack rather than getting offended that whitewashing is still a common practice in Hollywood, especially when the things that they have decided to adapt is produced by the very race of people they are trying to eliminate from appearing.

Just so you know if you haven’t notice in many Japanese Anime/cartoons/shows they make their characters white, look like us and kind of act like us. Just like we admire their beauty they admire ours. They get facial reconstructions to look like us. So maybe, just maybe, the creator of Ghost in the Shell who is of Japanese blood, has OK’d this movement. Do not start attacking an actress for a role she had been chosen for. It is her job and her passion to be an actress and I am sure she will do her best to bring the best of the characters she portrays out to the best of her abilities.

Although I do believe that there are more suitable actresses out there for this role, do not attack her, she had done nothing wrong to you nor has she done anything to this production.

It sounds like you need to read this:

"A common misconception about anime cartoons amongst uninitiated audiences in majority-English-speaking countries is that anime characters are drawn to look ‘White’ rather than ‘Asian’. First of all, neither of terms are factual fixed categories - they are social constructions. That is, the meaning attached to race, whether ‘White’, ‘Black’, ‘Asian’ and so on, and the groups classified under these labels, change from one society to another, depending upon culture, time and place.

In an excellent exploration of the social construction of race in popular culture, sociologist Julian Abagond shows that Japanese animators do not, in fact, draw anime characters to personify their aspiration to be ‘white’. Instead, these characters reflect the animators’ own cultural biases - which is that Japanese people are the prototype model of the ‘default human being’. Abagond writes in Sociological Images:


imageIf I draw a stick figure, most Americans will assume that it is a white man. Because to them that is the Default Human Being. For them to think it is a woman I have to add a dress or long hair; for Asian, I have to add slanted eyes; for black, I add kinky hair or brown skin. Etc.

The Other has to be marked. If there are no stereotyped markings of otherness, then white is assumed.

Americans apply this thinking to Japanese drawings. But to the Japanese the Default Human Being is Japanese! So they feel no need to make their characters “look Asian”. They just have to make them look like people and everyone in Japan will assume they are Japanese – no matter how improbable their physical appearance.

You see the same thing in America: After all, why do people think Marge Simpson is white? Look at her skin: it is yellow. Look at her hair: it is a blue Afro. But the Default Human Being thing is so strong that lacking other clear, stereotyped signs of being either black or Asian she defaults to white…

When you think about it there is nothing particularly white about how anime characters look:huge round eyes – no one looks like that, not even white people (even though that style of drawing eyes does go back to Betty Boop).

  • yellow hair – but they also have blue hair and green hair and all the rest. Therefore hair colour is not about being true to life.
  • small noses – compared to the rest of the world whites have long noses that stick out.
  • white skin – but many Japanese have skin just as pale and white as most White Americans…

Some Americans, even some scholars, will argue against this view of anime. They want to think the Japanese worship America or worship whiteness and use anime to prove it.  But they seem to be driven more by their own racism and nationalism than anything else.

As Abagond’s analysis shows, perceptions of race and gender influence how people ‘read’, understand and draw meaning from animation. For Japanese animators, their characters reflect their view of normality - that everyone in their creation is Japanese (or Korean or Chinese or wherever the anime is produced). Audiences that have an uncritical view of race and Whiteness presume that ‘Asian’ drawings should look ‘Asian’. Yet this term - Asian - means different things to different groups. In Japan, the category of Asian is not very meaningful. Instead, mainstream Japanese culture portrays the Japanese people as the ‘default human being’. Gender and class also affect how this default human being is imagined (usually male, affluent and lean).

Just all art forms embody the biases and taken-for-granted cultural assumptions about the world, what audiences see in anime drawings are mediated by the ethnocentrism of the animators and audiences. Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s group is superior to others. Viewers who think Japanese anime characters are trying to look ‘White’ are therefore viewing this artform through ethnocentrism. “

[ Credit
Quotation originally from Abagond’s blog, via Sociological Images.

Image of Jubei from Ninja Scroll from Jinni.]

sherlockismyholmesboy:

cassandracaindesiresstuff:

lonernekonin:

cassandracaindesiresstuff:

weareallwintersoldiers:

sherlockismyholmesboy:

this just in: white actress offered the chance of a lifetime to whitewash a japanese character in live-action adaption of hit anime that will also be subsequently whitewashed for our tender american minds

I like how this has - naturally, because it’s Tumblr - turned into a thing to attack Scarlett Johansson, rather than the casting director or the studio pushing to make this more ‘American’, even though it hasn’t even been stated she wants or is accepting the part. 

lol, who the fuck did that? “this just in: white actress offered” doesn’t attack her. None of this attacks her at all. Please actually try to  r e a d  what people are saying and not just mindlessly defend someone who’s not being attack rather than getting offended that whitewashing is still a common practice in Hollywood, especially when the things that they have decided to adapt is produced by the very race of people they are trying to eliminate from appearing.

Just so you know if you haven’t notice in many Japanese Anime/cartoons/shows they make their characters white, look like us and kind of act like us. Just like we admire their beauty they admire ours. They get facial reconstructions to look like us. So maybe, just maybe, the creator of Ghost in the Shell who is of Japanese blood, has OK’d this movement. Do not start attacking an actress for a role she had been chosen for. It is her job and her passion to be an actress and I am sure she will do her best to bring the best of the characters she portrays out to the best of her abilities.
Although I do believe that there are more suitable actresses out there for this role, do not attack her, she had done nothing wrong to you nor has she done anything to this production.

OH MY GOD
1) Does anyone even read what I write
2) I literally can’t right now, can someone take over and deal with this shit?

i made this post so let me step in here
1. “maybe, just maybe, the creator has OK’d this movement” you might want to retract this statement because it sounds like something you know nothing about.
2. “do not start attacking an actress for a role she has been chosen for” she hasn’t been chosen. she’s been offered the role. r e a d w h a t i w r o t e.
and finally
3. “Just so you know if you haven’t notice in many Japanese Anime/cartoons/shows they make their characters white, look like us and kind of act like us. ”

your ethnocentrism hurts my soul
in approximately 99.99999% of anime the american is so PAINFULLY OBVIOUS because they’re throwing around english words while wearing a cowboy hat hiding their blond hair. i’m not even exaggerating. getter robo had that. g gundam had something similar. i could rattle off more examples but i’d be here all day and night and i’d die of exhaustion at the end of it.
basically what you need to take away from this is that don’t assume so much, and maybe take a step back and consider some things

sherlockismyholmesboy:

cassandracaindesiresstuff:

lonernekonin:

cassandracaindesiresstuff:

weareallwintersoldiers:

sherlockismyholmesboy:

this just in: white actress offered the chance of a lifetime to whitewash a japanese character in live-action adaption of hit anime that will also be subsequently whitewashed for our tender american minds

I like how this has - naturally, because it’s Tumblr - turned into a thing to attack Scarlett Johansson, rather than the casting director or the studio pushing to make this more ‘American’, even though it hasn’t even been stated she wants or is accepting the part. 

lol, who the fuck did that? “this just in: white actress offered” doesn’t attack her. None of this attacks her at all. Please actually try to  r e a d  what people are saying and not just mindlessly defend someone who’s not being attack rather than getting offended that whitewashing is still a common practice in Hollywood, especially when the things that they have decided to adapt is produced by the very race of people they are trying to eliminate from appearing.

Just so you know if you haven’t notice in many Japanese Anime/cartoons/shows they make their characters white, look like us and kind of act like us. Just like we admire their beauty they admire ours. They get facial reconstructions to look like us. So maybe, just maybe, the creator of Ghost in the Shell who is of Japanese blood, has OK’d this movement. Do not start attacking an actress for a role she had been chosen for. It is her job and her passion to be an actress and I am sure she will do her best to bring the best of the characters she portrays out to the best of her abilities.

Although I do believe that there are more suitable actresses out there for this role, do not attack her, she had done nothing wrong to you nor has she done anything to this production.

OH MY GOD

1) Does anyone even read what I write

2) I literally can’t right now, can someone take over and deal with this shit?

i made this post so let me step in here

1. “maybe, just maybe, the creator has OK’d this movement” you might want to retract this statement because it sounds like something you know nothing about.

2. “do not start attacking an actress for a role she has been chosen for” she hasn’t been chosen. she’s been offered the role. r e a d w h a t i w r o t e.

and finally

3. “Just so you know if you haven’t notice in many Japanese Anime/cartoons/shows they make their characters white, look like us and kind of act like us. ”

image

your ethnocentrism hurts my soul

in approximately 99.99999% of anime the american is so PAINFULLY OBVIOUS because they’re throwing around english words while wearing a cowboy hat hiding their blond hair. i’m not even exaggerating. getter robo had that. g gundam had something similar. i could rattle off more examples but i’d be here all day and night and i’d die of exhaustion at the end of it.

basically what you need to take away from this is that don’t assume so much, and maybe take a step back and consider some things

jesrever:

sagaltesfaye:

atane:

This is happening

*is white* *takes off my ugly wireless framed glasses* *breathes on them and wipes them on my lacoste polo* Well, you see, its not about race per se…

fuck you by lily allen plays in the background,america,

allblackerrrythang:

a collage I made of all the recent “columbusing”. Like when white people “discovered” du-rags, Timberlands, cornrows and big butts. lol

gross

allblackerrrythang:

a collage I made of all the recent “columbusing”. Like when white people “discovered” du-rags, Timberlands, cornrows and big butts. lol

gross

ghesquieremuse:

don’t tell me its not about race when james holmes can kill 12 people in a movie theater and still be taken into custody alive. don’t tell me its not about race when lance tamayo can point a gun at children and cops but still is alive today. don’t tell me its not about race when jordan davis, trayvon martin, oscar grant, michael brown, john crawford, and vonderrit myers all were unarmed but are no longer here with us today.

it is about race.

spaceshipyoshi:

this thing happened on my dashboard and it makes me happy

spaceshipyoshi:

this thing happened on my dashboard and it makes me happy

sandandglass:

I don’t think Bill O’Reilly understands the concept of white privilege. 

Does anyone here have any experience with having a POC parent that married white to "improve the race"? I grew up with a lot of self-hatred because my mother is Chinese and experienced endless racism since coming to the states, she believes my life will be easier than hers if I fully embrace my white side and abandon my Chinese ancestry and constantly talks about how "white is better". It's really difficult for me because I know this is her reaction to the pain and injustice she received.
Anonymous

tlmunderground:

thespoopiestsquirrel:

cannelledusoleil:

weareallmixedup:

It sounds like she’s trying to help you survive. It may not be the best way to go about it but again, it’s about survival. You probably aren’t going through as much she did so you’ll just have to do your thing and hopefully lead by example. We can try to be as white as we want but we’re still not white and unless you’re white passing, we won’t be treated as White.

Is the effort really worth the suffering and falsehoods?

— Jay

My family did this as well. The trauma and racism my grandfather suffered as a Japanese American during and post-WWII left him with a legacy of self-hatred that he passed down to my father, and both tried to breed the Japanese put of the family in an attempt to assimilate. My father completely abandoned his culture and didn’t teach me anything about it, and when I’ve tried to learn more I’ve always been so disgusted and turned off by the weeaboos that invade Japanese American spaces. White people destroyed my family for being Japanese but then have the balls to turn around and steal the same culture they imprisoned us for, and not only that, but tell me I’m not really Japanese because I don’t know things their grandparents and parents forced mine to abandon in order to survive.

Same here, my grandmother survived the bombing of Nagasaki and grew up during the reconstruction, which impacted my mom growing up as about as much of an Anglophile as you can get. She refused to teach any of us Japanese as children, citing that it would be too difficult and ultimately pointless since we are half-white and living in America. She refused me a Japanese name on the grounds of my own protection (and because of her own fondness for European/Western culture- settled on French names for my sister and I). The amount of times that I have experienced white people using that against me as “proof” that I’m not “really Japanese” is something that I would love to forget, but instead will always remember and be pissed about. It’s better as an adult, but there’s still always the chance when you meet someone new…

I can’t say for sure that my mom’s intentions were to “improve” anything since I know I was an accident but I know that my mother has no problem what-so-ever with buying hardcore into the glamorized, false bravado of the West. There’s a reason that I was a high school weeaboo…

It hurts when you have no other access into your own identity, and particularly when it is being so deliberately withheld from you. But, yeah, I’m with the WAAMU mods, unpacking white supremacy is the greatest step that you can take, even though it is a long and tough (and very emotional!!) process for most people. You can only love your mother, you can’t force her to change her mind. Maybe being able to see you live a more self-actualized life through reclaiming your identity will help bring her back to appreciating her own? 

I think many families feel the pressure to assimilate and embrace white culture as a means to protect themselves. 

My family was torn apart during WWII and Japanese internment in the US as well. There was a lot of bitterness in my family towards both America and Japan. My father says nobody would talk about the war or about being Japanese when he was younger. Him and all of his siblings have only western names and they were never taught Japanese. My dad doesn’t talk about it much but I think he was probably teased a lot at his completely white school.

But I think as time passed and more people in the Japanese American community began to speak out about their time in the camps or about being a Japanese-American serving in the Japanese military and having to keep their nationality a secret and other experiences, my family began to embrace our culture more. Recently my grandmother and all my aunties and uncles have all been very involved in teaching the younger generations about our family and our culture. I firmly believe that positive things in the community are what allowed this change in my family! Don’t give up anon, it may take a couple generations but an active and supportive community can be really important to changing they way our families are seen and how we see ourselves. Best of luck!

And a shout out to WAAMU for being a part of the positive change. <3

night-catches-us:

kb-saransar:

"According to the FBI, there have been 129 confirmed white Christian terrorists in the last 20 years. That includes Timothy McVae, the uni-bomber, the Atlanta Olympics bomber and dozens of family planning centers and abortion clinics. Muslims? 19. Which would make white people the most likely demographic to commit a terrorist attack. So watch your mouth before you call me a terrorist or I’ll knock your fucking teeth out.

image

shoorm:

The East Asian women + colored hair trope
(An extension of extraextraex’s post.)
Looking at the pictures above, it’s pretty easy to find the similarities. East Asian women with dyed purple/blue/red hair, usually in a streak. No matter how you look at this, this is an uncomfortably specific trend in media. Yeah, it looks cute, but after seeing this over and over again, it becomes a boring, racist trope. This originated from a variety of possibilities: the creators trying to “Americanize” the East Asian character, make them more “exotic”, or to show how unique this character is. She’s not a giggling schoolgirl or a delicate lotus flower, she’s different! See, she has a streak of purple hair (god forbid she dyes it any other color), look how radical that is, look at our modern Dragon Lady!
And yes, Knives dyed her hair to look like Ramona, and yes, Somni-451’s hair is like that to mark her as a clone, but these characters do not exist in a vacuum. You can justify why a character has a specific appearance, but in the end, this character was created, and contributes to stereotypes no matter the intent.
So the moral of this story is that your Asian character with a strip of purple hair isn’t original. It isn’t unique. No matter how innocent this appears to be, it can be detrimental to East Asian girls, since the characters that look like them have the same exact traits. It’s time to explore different ways of designing East Asian characters, instead of just slapping on some purple and calling it a day.

shoorm:

The East Asian women + colored hair trope

(An extension of extraextraex’s post.)

Looking at the pictures above, it’s pretty easy to find the similarities. East Asian women with dyed purple/blue/red hair, usually in a streak. No matter how you look at this, this is an uncomfortably specific trend in media. Yeah, it looks cute, but after seeing this over and over again, it becomes a boring, racist trope. This originated from a variety of possibilities: the creators trying to “Americanize” the East Asian character, make them more “exotic”, or to show how unique this character is. She’s not a giggling schoolgirl or a delicate lotus flower, she’s different! See, she has a streak of purple hair (god forbid she dyes it any other color), look how radical that is, look at our modern Dragon Lady!

And yes, Knives dyed her hair to look like Ramona, and yes, Somni-451’s hair is like that to mark her as a clone, but these characters do not exist in a vacuum. You can justify why a character has a specific appearance, but in the end, this character was created, and contributes to stereotypes no matter the intent.

So the moral of this story is that your Asian character with a strip of purple hair isn’t original. It isn’t unique. No matter how innocent this appears to be, it can be detrimental to East Asian girls, since the characters that look like them have the same exact traits. It’s time to explore different ways of designing East Asian characters, instead of just slapping on some purple and calling it a day.

My Dad's response to his white co-workers making fun of his accent
White Co-Worker: That's not how you say it.
My Dad: But you knew what I meant so why do you have to make a big deal out of it.
White Co-Worker: Aww come on man, it's funny, lighten up will yah Nestor?
My Dad: You know I speak 5 languages, right? How many can you speak?
White Co-Worker: Just English
My Dad: Tell me something. What does a cow say?
White Co-Worker: Moo?
My Dad: That's right, the cows in my country say that too. You know why? They can only speak one language *walks away*
White Co-Worker: *sheds white tears*
greenteashawty:

deebott:

wocinsolidarity:

shmurdapunk:

the-goddamazon:

extraextraex:

pretty tired of seeing this hair trope on asian characters
EDIT: because three examples wasn’t enough for some of you:


OH WOW.
Why is this a thing?


As soon as I saw this post I thought about Mei Melancon as Psylocke in X-men: The Last Stand

but really. why is this even a trope?anyone know the origin of this?

dont forget


Where did this come from?

greenteashawty:

deebott:

wocinsolidarity:

shmurdapunk:

the-goddamazon:

extraextraex:

pretty tired of seeing this hair trope on asian characters

EDIT: because three examples wasn’t enough for some of you:

OH WOW.

Why is this a thing?

As soon as I saw this post I thought about Mei Melancon as Psylocke in X-men: The Last Stand

but really. why is this even a trope?anyone know the origin of this?

dont forget

Where did this come from?

inkedpitch:

I was never American, I could never call myself American and when I did it was at the end of the word Asian. When I’d say what I was I’d say Chinese, but I’m not Chinese, am I? Born in the states, raised in the states, I’m American right? Right? But I’m not because they call me Chinese and the Chinese say I’m American and people wonder why I get fucked up?

Because I’m “Chinese” in America, “Asian” before American, and apparently that makes all the difference because the earliest thing I can remember about my race is kids pulling their eyes up at me and singing that silly little thing that goes “ching chong ching chong”. Only its not silly because that’s not kids being kids, it’s kids making a girl hate the way she looked because ching chong ching chong and tiny eyes, which is okay to say because it’s the truth, isn’t it?

The first thing I remember about my name, something my parents made up, a mishmash of “white people” names, is the way teachers would say it, interchanging it with that other Asian girl, or pronouncing it like a foreign word, and it used to make me so angry because I looked nothing like that other girl and all we had in common was our black hair and brown eyes and also because how hard was it to pronounce my name and did you just look at my last name and assume it was some mystical Asian name that you had break and bend your way through? That was why I had the “American” name in the first place, so I could go through my life easier, because don’t you know that when you have an “ethnic” name it’s so much harder to get a job and you’re automatically something else that is not American, but I guess I can’t escape the meaning of my last name that screams not white.

And whenever I think about Chinese food, something I had every week, every day, almost every meal because just because I was born in America didn’t mean my parents abandoned our culture and our food, I remember kids on the bus holding their noses and asking what stinks? What smells? Ew, it was me and my Chinese food, gross. There’s a commercial for a new show called Fresh Off the Boat, where the white kids look at the Asian boy’s lunch and say ew you’re eating worms, and when he goes home he demands to his parents that they buy white people food. Do you think that’s crazy? Because I don’t, and I can remember people staring out my lunch asking what it was and after that my parents bought my lunch from the school because I was too scared of being called smelly and being asked what I was eating for lunch in that disgusted voice, like if those kids had the vocabulary of a teen you knew they’d be saying what the fuck. The craziest thing about this is now when I watch TV or any kind of media, people are saying I love Chinese food, it’s my favorite takeout food and the child me is just staring at that and wondering where the fuck was that when I was a kid bringing my dumplings and buns to school.

And then the first thing I remember about school was that I was Asian and Asians do well in school and if you didn’t do well in school then you weren’t Asian. And when I didn’t do well I had to shake it off and do that weird laugh that didn’t mean you were amused and say, oh, no, I’m a stupid Asian, not only Asian tacked in front of American but also stupid. But see, Asian was all I had because I certainly wasn’t American, that Asian tied to the front with it’s little hyphen to make it something different, yes I’m Chinese but not all Asians are, and if I wasn’t Asian than what the fuck was I? So I had to do well in school or else I wasn’t Asian or I was a “white” Asian? But I’m not white and I’m not American and Asian is the only culture I can hold on to and are you going to take that away from me too?

But then it’s ironic because the first thing I remember about my “American–ness” are the words of my relatives in China, first one born in America, brought back to meet “my people”, and the words went something like questions and whispers in Chinese because can she use chopsticks, does she even speak Chinese? And yes, I can use chopsticks but it’s easier to use forks in America and yes, I understood what you were saying because Chinese school since kindergarten. It’s funny that in America I can’t escape Asian but in China I can’t escape American, ABC, American Born Chinese, not Chinese.

What’s even funnier was that I was told once that I’m not really Chinese because I was born and raised in the States, my blood and my race somehow muddled by the very place that couldn’t see past it. So what the fuck am I? Not American enough for America, not Chinese enough for China–

I’m just a balancing act, one hand taped by the fingertips to American and the other to Chinese, dangling over a precipice of what the fuck are you and where the fuck do you belong.