Racialicious

Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations. If you've been on the blog, you know how this Tumblr works, too. Including the moderation policy.
Recent Tweets @racialicious
Posts tagged "asian american"

prophecygrrrl:

she-hulk-smash:

bituon:

belinsky:

I actually auditioned the year before for Angel, I think for the part that Amy Acker got. I don’t think I got very far. But it was nice that they brought me in again for Buffy — my character was supposed to be an Asian girl. 

ah

sighhhh

Fucking…. Ugh. And this isn’t the only time Joss has pulled these shenanigans. Kaylee Frye from Firefly was originally written as an Asian woman.

as were both of the Tams, Detective Tanaka from Dollhouse (played by Mark Sheppard), and Dr. Lin from Cabin in the Woods (played by Amy Acker). and these are just the ones that we know of, with obvious Asian last names.

Sadder still that the only other Asian Potential in Buffy couldn’t speak English and her foreignness and inability to communicate was played off as sooo hilarious oop~

(via racebending)

[M]aybe it’s the very fact that Chinese buffets are totally not about exoticized “authenticity,” and that the food is generic, predictable, and stubbornly resistant to culinary innovation, that make these restaurants so comforting — and in a way, as American as McDonald’s — to many immigrant diners. Added to all this, too, I suspect that the potentially infinite promise of food is an irresistible draw for those like my parents who’ve endured wartime poverty and hunger at some point in their lives. That’s why I try not to judge — at least not too much — when my folks insist on getting up one more time for that seventh plate of sushi, shrimp, and soft-serve ice cream. (You know what I’m talking about.) 

There may be a high price to pay for such cheap abundance, though.  Chinese buffet workers, often undocumented and lacking in the language and legal resources needed to challenge unfair labor practices, are frequently the biggest victims of the low-cost Chinese buffet system.  Many stories of exploitation of Chinese buffet workers across the US have been reported in the past decade, including in Chicago, where the owners of fourteen Chinese buffets were sued in 2002 by the U.S. and Illinois Departments of Labor for $1.5 million in unpaid back wages to their employees.  In a horrific recent case in Countryside, Florida, the owners of a popular buffet restaurant were sentenced for “harboring, transporting, and exploiting illegal aliens” following a two-year investigation by Homeland Security that found the restaurant’s twenty-seven employees living together in three cramped apartment units and working eighteen hour days, six days a week at a rate of $3 an hour. 

Over at Hyphen, Jenny Lee breaks down the social appeal and the societal cost of the ubiquitous Chinese buffet.

Image credit: Chris Busby at TheBollard.com.

Linsanity is not a story of Jeremy Lin or even basketball but a story that gains power from the deployment of ideologies of colorblindness and racial progress. Lin, like Tiger Woods when he first enters the national consciousness, symbolizes the possibilities and the purported exceptionalism of the United States. Interestingly, Woods, like Lin, was celebrated as “America’s son” not only because of his success in golf but because of the values and ethnics instilled in him by his parents.

“Woods celebrity depends on a eugenical fantasy that stages a disciplining of the black male body through an infusion of Asian blood and an imagined Confucian upbringing,” writes Hiram Perez.

“Just as model minority rhetoric functions to discipline the unruly black bodies threatening national stability during the post-civil rights area, the infusion of Asian blood together with his imagined Confucian upbringing corrals and tames Tiger’s otherwise brute physicality. Some variation of his father trained the body and his mother trained the mind is a recurring motif for sports commentators diagnosing Wood’s success at golf.” While Lin operates through a different point of reference, the dominant narrative continues to represent his success as the result of his father’s ability to teach him about basketball, knowledge he learned from watching the NBA’s black superstars, and his mother’s emphasis on learning, school, and values. Whereas Asianness was depicted as the necessary disciplinarity to transform Tiger into a phenom, Lin, as product of family and culture, is imagined as antidote to the NBA’s ills–its blackness.

Dr. David Leonard, "Family Ties: On Jeremy Lin, "Tiger Moms," and Tiger Woods, Racialicious 2/28/12. 

Though it is unsurprising, it still stings a little to see that fans of Lin are invoking the same racist imagery to uplift him. “The Yellow Mamba” was written on a poster of the Knicks vs. Lakers game, the event that kicked off “Linsanity” to the nth degree because Lin took on Kobe Bryant – and won. Lin scored more points than the inimitable Kobe, the man who has led the Lakers to five world championships (not to mention remain a fan favorite even after facing sexual assault charges). Since then, everyone’s buzzing about this kid and generally loving him – but sometimes painfully so.

Some Americans, well-intentioned liberals, race apologists, and the privileged want to use Lin’s race as proof of how far we have come racially. See, he’s Asian and everyone loves him, race doesn’t matter anymore. But what makes Lin’s story so interestingly unique, the fact that he came out of nowhere, is how his race contributes to his path to fame. He was a star basketball player in high school and college, but was overlooked in both arenas because he is Asian, a little too light and a little too yellow for fans who see basketball as a largely black and white sport, even his high school basketball coach lamented it.

I’ve heard people say that they don’t really believe that he has the staying power, that his record-breaking start was a fluke, that a Harvard graduate with an Economics degree should head to Wall Street. Some question Lin’s love for the sport as if it is disingenuous, as if his appreciation for education [and 4.2 high school GPA] is indicative of not really belonging. Negative or positive, race is playing a major role in the portrayal of the rookie baller.

Sonita Moss, Linvicible On The Court, Not To Realities Of Race, Racialicious 2/15/12

For Asian Americans, there is often a double-bind to media representation. Increased media attention is often met with a personal, stomach-jerking reaction of giddy eagerness (like seeing two Asian American characters in Glee‘s first season) or sheepish embarrassment (American Idol’s William Hung). But that additional representation is often dismissed as being tokening, stereotypical (Han from 2 Broke Girls), superficial, unquestioning, and ultimately buttressing systemic injustice.

These Asian Americans in the media usually have relatively little agency: mainstream editors took excerpts of Amy “Tiger Mom” Chua’s work out of context, and actors generally have very little say in how they are cast in movies and TV shows (like in this Super Bowl ad). On the basketball court, however, it should just come down to how you play. And the Knicks haven’t had an Asian-American player since Wat Misaka, in 1947. The attention years ago surrounding Yao Ming, a Chinese citizen who also played for the Rockets, celebrated Asian-ness.

But the birth of “Linsanity,” exploding across both mainstream and social media, is excited about his Asian American-ness. And this I find infinitely more energizing. As another Asian American blogger, Popchef, recently wrote: “He doesn’t have a duty to embrace Asian America, speak for Asian America, or represent Asian America because right now he IS Asian America. Go to Church, drink that blue shit, but don’t you ever, ever, ever, stop being the normal-ass Taiwanese-American you are.”

Vivian Lu, Growing Up In J-Lin Nation, Racialicious 2/13/12

kimberlydelanghe:

Xuyen Pham’s Garden, East New Orleans, LA

After Xuyen Pham lost her New Orleans home to Hurricane Katrina, she turned the property into a farm to feed her community. She fled Vietnam with her husband and children at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975. After months in Southeast Asian refugee camps they were moved to Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. The family was eventually sponsored by a hotel owner in Oklahoma, but the cold proved too much so they moved yet again, settling in the “Mary Queen of Vietnam” community in East New Orleans.

This farm is surrounded by houses (we are right in the middle of a suburban housing tract in East New Orleans).

Xuyen stands amidst taro plants in her home garden. The plant stems are a base ingredient in traditional soups and congees found on most Vietnamese dinner tables. By growing taro and other vegetables, she keeps Vietnamese traditions alive in her community.

Xuyen’s definition of “food sovereignty”:The ability of community members to control food access (both effluent and influent) independent of outside food sources (such as supermarkets). Members of the community grow traditional fruits and vegetables and fisherfolk go shrimping, fishing, and crabbing to sell at local stores, the local Saturday farmers market, and most importantly, to feed their families and community members.

Xuyen is also a participant in a local New Orleans East aquaponics project. The project is being implemented by MQVN Community Development Corporation and was established originally by fisherfolk displaced by the BP oil drilling disaster as a way to create jobs and to ensure adequate food access in New Orleans East (a USDA-identified food desert). In the near future, she and her husband, with the help of MQVN Community Development Corporation, will construct greenhouses and an aquaponics growing system on their farm plot.

- Quoted From Grist’s Lexicon of Sustainability, a series of art installments that will be released weekly (on Fridays) throughout this winter. “Food Sovereignty” is only the second installment, so sign up follow this project and see each new piece as it is posted.


(via so-treu)

From blog-friend of the R Angry Asian Man:

Ling Woo Liu, Director of the Korematsu Institute, shares a short list of things you can do to celebrate Fred Korematsu Day — that’s today! January 30.

Just in case you may not know who Mr. Korematsu is, this from the wiki about him:
Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu (是松 豊三郎 Korematsu Toyosaburō?, January 30, 1919 – March 30, 2005) was one of the many Japanese-American citizens living on the West Coast during World War II. Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the Secretary of War and his military commanders to require all Japanese Americans be removed from designated “military areas” and placed in internment camps. When such orders were issued for the West Coast, Korematsu instead became a fugitive. The legality of the internment order was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States, but Korematsu’s conviction was overturned decades later after the disclosure of new evidence, challenging the necessity of the Japanese internment, which had been withheld from the courts by the U.S. government during the war.
To commemorate his journey as a civil rights activist, the “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution” was observed for first time on January 30, 2011, by the state of California, and first such commemoration for an Asian American in the US.

From blog-friend of the R Angry Asian Man:

Ling Woo Liu, Director of the Korematsu Institute, shares a short list of things you can do to celebrate Fred Korematsu Day — that’s today! January 30.

Just in case you may not know who Mr. Korematsu is, this from the wiki about him:

Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu (是松 豊三郎 Korematsu Toyosaburō?, January 30, 1919 – March 30, 2005) was one of the many Japanese-American citizens living on the West Coast during World War II. Shortly after the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked Pearl HarborPresident Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, authorizing the Secretary of War and his military commanders to require all Japanese Americans be removed from designated “military areas” and placed in internment camps. When such orders were issued for the West Coast, Korematsu instead became a fugitive. The legality of the internment order was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Korematsu v. United States, but Korematsu’s conviction was overturned decades later after the disclosure of new evidence, challenging the necessity of the Japanese internment, which had been withheld from the courts by the U.S. government during the war.

To commemorate his journey as a civil rights activist, the “Fred Korematsu Day of Civil Liberties and the Constitution” was observed for first time on January 30, 2011, by the state of California, and first such commemoration for an Asian American in the US.