posted by missmsian
I feel like I’ve blogged about skin lightening before. Oh, wait … I have.
posted by missmsian
I’ve been putting off a recap of Azns in North American media for November because I know I’ll have to bring up the ‘too Azn’ controversy and, frankly, I’m tired of it.
In case you missed the whole shebang, Maclean’s published a story on Nov. 10 that Azns (they meant Chinese) were taking over campuses, creating ethnic ghettos (their words, not mine) and destroying fun for boozy white kids.
The article said elite U.S. schools like Harvard use unofficial race quotas to keep ambitious students of Azn descent out, in order to maintain their white heritage, and essentially suggested Canada do the same. The magazine published a second piece on Nov. 25 claiming they actually meant they wanted Canadian campuses to maintain merit-based admissions. Durrr.
The only good in this is that many groups committed to anti-racism have mobilized against not only Maclean’s (and the Toronto Star) but a lot of the discourse on Azn presence in Canada. Victoria city council passed a resolution condemning the Maclean’s article. Vancouver city council is set to vote on a motion demanding media accountability and ethical reporting in relation to the Maclean’s and Star pieces this week. Toronto city council is voting on a resolution that Orientals work like dogs next week. Just kidding. Or am I … ?
West Vancouver, how ya enjoying Osaka Supermarket? Recently opened by T&T Supermarket Inc., this store boasts 80 kinds of Japanese noodles … yum! The only slightly confusing part of the Vancouver Sun‘s story: “Osaka Supermarket will provide the ethnic Chinese food that has made its parent T&T Supermarket chain so successful, but it’s character will be Japanese-themed, as befits its name.” Huh? Do all Azn foods look the same too?
Soft white people
Edmonton now has an anti-racism program aimed at white people, teaching them how to recognize (and presumably choose to give up) their white privilege, much to the distress of, well, white people. Don’t call them racist, okay?! Their feelings are hurt. Boo hoo.
Celebrating David Lam
You may remember him as the first Azn-Canadian lieutenant governor, a highly successful real estate businessman, a philanthropist or founder of Vancouver’s dragon boat festival. But to Tung Chan, he was a friend and hero, and so we use Chan’s words to describe this powerhouse, who lost his battle to prostate cancer on Nov. 22:
“When he became LG, he showed the way to all of us, that you can maintain your cultural identity, you can continue to promote the good values of your heritage while maintaining and not compromising your Canadian-ness.”
An Azn Cosby Show?!
In a similar vein to ‘Azn Jersey Shore,’ U.S. producers are working on a show tentatively titled “The Chin Chens,” about a Chinese-Vietnamese-American family a la Cosby. Errr … thoughts on this?
posted by jroselkim
I’ve been thinking a lot about growing up lately, especially growing up as a minority identity after watching Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” project unfold. If I were influential enough to start a similar campaign for young girls of colour everywhere, would I be able to confidently tell them that it will in fact get better when they get to be 18, 22, or 35?
The truth is, life gets more complicated as one’s racial consciousness awakens, and the burden of being a visible minority never gets lighter.
In a way, perhaps it has the potential to get worse as we learn the ways of the world, about concepts like institutionalized racism. How can I express the feeling of betrayal and hopelessness I felt when it became crystal lear that racism is so embedded, so naturalized within society that we are trained to not see it, to self-hate and hate others for not being a blank slate?
How can I describe the fear I felt at reading about hate crimes targeted towards interracial couples that happened in Canada as recently as this summer?
How can I articulate the shame I felt about having an egg-and-ketchup sandwich at the age of 12, when these things mattered all the world, and couldn’t help but hate my own mother for trying, trying so hard, but failing to be “Canadian” like other mothers? How can I express my guilt and sadness for hating my parents for where they came from for so long?
So how should I go on, and how should we all go on? I have no answers, and I cannot, with good conscience, look at a camera and say confidently that life will get better.
But I can say this.
Dear young woman of colour,
I apologize that I have no real words of comfort for your future.
But please know that I understand:
every ounce of shame you’ve shed for feeling different
even though that person only was curious,
only had good intentions when he or she reminded you of your otherness.
that you may question your motive for being attracted to someone who is
outside of your race
because if you may wonder
does he/she like me for me?
or my skin colour?
(and you’ll never know, or at least, never trust the answers)
And your friends and family may wonder out loud:
is she a traitor to her culture?
does she just want to move “up”?
And maybe you just want to give up because it’s easier
to follow everyone’s expectations;
you may not know what makes you happy anymore,
amongst mixed messages that say you should be both
obedient and integrated
I don’t know if it gets better
as you grow older, as you grow into the othered consciousness
that you express mostly through self-deprecation,
And I’m sorry that we may fail you in battling racism
that difference is (still) more or less a dirty word.
But please know that there are allies. Others who feel the same way as you do.
Of course, nobody feels the exact pain that you had. Do not let anybody tell you that they know exactly how you feel, and prescribe a solution.
More importantly: do not let anybody tell you that your emotions are not real. Never ever succumb to those that want to rationalize your legitimate hurt. Because if they succeed in doing that, they succeed in taking your history away. They succeed in quashing the uniqueness that makes you powerful, just so they could sleep better at night.
And please know that while life may not get so much better, it does get better when you can find your voice, and others like yours.
I still make do because other stories from women of colour opened my eyes to tell my own.
And your stories will inspire others that come later to continue fighting, and hopefully exist in a society where our skin colours, our cultures, and our languages are no longer a burdern
but just a part of you.
posted by theinvazn
are you an azn in toronto? were you offended by maclean’s “too azn?” article?
rogers owns maclean’s and has refused to properly respond to the inflammatory piece, so we’re gearing up to give ’em a big surprise.
CAN SOMEONE SAY FLASH MOB?!
something more like …
see you there!
posted by jroselkim
Yesterday, North Korea bombed South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, killing two soldiers. The clip shows the site at the time of bombing. Here is an English article from the Times, with video footage. This is a serious threat to the two Koreas, especially after North Korea expressed that it is going ahead with its very illegal nuclear program.
When does this stop? How is it that a land that is smaller than a province in Canada can have so much grief and tension? Will my grandparents have to live through not one, but two civil wars in their lifetime?
I’ll write more when I gather my thoughts. But right now, all I can think about is my family and the residents of Yeonpyeong as well as the other Koreans, who can only wait helplessly in this extremely uncertain state of tension.
posted by andrea
It pains me that this submission is purely a rant. A straight-forward rant with few complexities and structure. But here goes …
Not long ago, there was, and possibly still is, a pretty heated debate on this year’s Nobel Peace Prize award receiver, Liu Xiaobo, for his long and non-violent diplomatic struggle for fundamental human rights in China. He is, however, put in jail by the Chinese government for “inciting subversion of the state power”. Many criticize the Chinese government for violating human rights, and generally the lack of free speech for residents in China. I’m sure one can find tons of information on this issue on the world wide web, so I don’t wanna get into this. But today, I am not ranting against this, instead, I am ranting against the delusion Canada is creating to citizens, residents, and immigrants that similar violations don’t happen in this “democratic” stolen land.
Throughout my years in Canada, I have definitely heard many people saying they like residing in Canada because it is a liberal, democratic country. Well, here I am, saying “bullshit”. Numerous G20 activists have been arrested. Alex Hundert and others were discouraged from speaking to the media. Aboriginal issues are constantly being ignored by the government. Hate crimes, including racism and homophobia are still prevalent. Murder-by-suicide rates on queer youth is a fact in Canada (and don’t begin the “but gay marriage is legal in Canada…”, because if you do, you miss the point).
In my humble opinion, Canada government is engaging in similar levels of human rights violations and information control to the public as the Chinese government. So, my questions are: why do most people hold different perceptions regarding equity and human rights towards China and Canada? Why are people more reluctant to affiliate with the Chinese than the Canadian government? Because, to me, they are both, fucked up.
All I want to say is, back the fuck off. If I see another “Free Tibet” shirt or if some white dude comes over to hand me a “Free Tibet” flyer, I might blow up and engage in very violent behaviour. Somewhere along the lines you’re sticking your head in places where it shouldn’t be. Because, if you are going to criticize, do it locally. Don’t point fingers at countries you don’t know shit about.
posted by jroselkim
I read about Black Out Korea on Racialicious the other day and had to share this. A group of foreigners (English teachers) takes pictures of drunk, passed-out Koreans and post them for all to see and mock. I’m so glad that the Korean government and agencies pay these people to make fun of us so incessantly.
I plan on writing an angry email to the anonymous writers of this website today. It’d be great if you can too.