Tags: stereotypes

cookie monster: 'me gotta be blue'

Yellow Fever

They got it bad, and that ain't good.

Born and raised in La Habra, California, Dan* didn't see many Asian Americans before college. Now 22, he attributes his Asiaphilia to UC Irvine, where he's a studio art major and an astounding 58 percent of students claim Asian descent.

But his Asian fetish actually originated in high school, in trig class, where he met a Vietnamese American girl named Ann. Although born in the United States, Ann was raised in Indonesia until about a year before Dan met her. She spoke English well, but not perfectly. They shared the standard high school dating experience: dinner-and-movie dates, study dates, boba dates, kung fu lessons, meditation with the girlfriend's Buddhist monk uncle. The relationship ended in a pretty standard way, too: Dan suggested sex, Ann resisted, things spiraled. There was an ultimatum and then a breakup, and then—classic—threats of suicide.

Later, Dan sought answers on Ann's blog, where she labeled him a "standard American boy" and called him out for pressuring her into sex. She ended the entry with a note of disgust: "Get over yourself."

Perhaps it was the pain of that rejection and the desire to overcome it, but Dan says Ann's rejection changed him. When he began dating again, he found himself looking for Asian girls. He went through a string of them—one-night stands, flings and friends-with-benefits. He frequented places like Club Bang in Hollywood, which attracts a number of Asian patrons—and Asiaphiles like Dan. Collapse )

The Onion: poignant once again

Racial Harmony Achieved By Casting Of Black Actor As Teen Computer Whiz

January 12, 2005 | Issue 41•02

BURBANK, CA—The long-standing economic, political and social divisions between blacks and whites in America at long last ended Monday with a TV producer's casting of a black actor in a bit part as a teen computer-whiz archetype.

Actor Darrell Goodwin, who was recently cast in a bit part as a teen computer whiz on a new NBC series, ending racism in the U.S.

Though racial equality had, throughout U.S. history, been seen as little more than a distant dream, TV producer Fern Blochner—co-producer of such popular daytime teen "dramedies" as Crestwood Daze and Chillin' Out In Study Hall—made that dream a reality when it came time to cast her newest series, My Home Ate My Dogwork, airing Saturday mornings on NBC.

"You wouldn't normally think a black kid would be running a high-school computer lab, but we have one doing just that," Blochner said of her show, whose uplifting and dignified portrayal of black youths in America is being widely credited for the sudden flowering of racial justice and harmony across the nation. "Our casting decision boldly defies the societal stereotype that black people are not smart enough to run high-school computer labs."

Shortly after the airing of the premiere episode of My Home Ate My Dogwork—in which the computer-whiz character is clearly visible in the background in no fewer than three separate scenes—the barriers of poverty, crime, and lack of equal access to education that have kept America's blacks at a disadvantage came crashing down.

"I'll admit, I was a bit shocked when I found out I got the part," said Darrell Goodwin, the 17-year-old actor who plays the computer whiz. "I thought to myself, 'The computer lab... run by a black kid? How could this be?' Then I realized that the casting decision deliberately defied society's racist expectations, expectations that I myself had bought into by doubting myself."

Though Blochner and her associates said they had reservations about the controversial casting decision, particularly regarding how others in the traditionally white entertainment industry would react, they held fast to their conviction that the teen computer whiz should be black.

"We were worried that institutional, internalized racism on the part of industry executives might manifest itself in the form of opposition to our casting decision," Blochner said. "But we stood our ground, and, as a result, such closed-mindedness is now a thing of the past."

Blochner said she came up with the idea to make the computer-whiz character black while doing background research for the show.

"We wanted our show to be as accurate as possible, so we spent some time at New Trier High School in the affluent Chicago suburb of Winnetka to ensure authenticity," Blochner said. "But after a few days at the school, we noticed a disturbing and unfair aspect of the upscale high school's student demographic: There were no blacks."

"We were very concerned that the high school had no black students, and that none of the students at the school had ever known any blacks, and that there were no blacks living anywhere within the neighborhoods zoned for the school," Blochner continued. "We said to ourselves, 'This is unfair!' and were determined to change reality for the better. So we decided that in our fictional version of the school, we would put in a black kid, and we'd make it seem like he's smart, too."

Noted sociologist Edwin Hull explained how the producers of My Home Ate My Dogwork were able to bring about racial equality in the U.S.

"By boldly envisioning a world in which African Americans possess the socioeconomic wherewithal not only to attend a high school like New Trier, but actually to run the computer lab therein, this television program created a 'positive media portrayal' of African Americans," Hull said. "This proactive portrayal of a positive African-American role model boosted the collective self-esteem of the nation's African-American community, thus establishing racial harmony at last."

Hull noted that this strategy was similar to the one used by the 1998 Environmental Media Awards, at which episodes of Baywatch and The X-Files featuring pro-environment themes were credited with last year's spontaneous healing of the ozone layer and the return of several dozen long-extinct species to the global ecosystem.
kiss my ass baboon

(no subject)

So I bought my daughter the book "Skippyjon Jones" by Judy Schachner copyright 2003 on the recommendation of 2 clerks at Barnes and Noble. They were telling me how hilarious it was and the cat thinks he's a chihuahua and I"ll LOL reading it etc.

Then I took it home and started to read it and I was pretty shocked reading it to to my daughter, I should have probably stopped. It was so overtly racist. The at one point the book reads, "using his best Spanish accent, he said, "My ears are too beeg for my head, my head ees too beeg for my body...." Then he goes to old Mexico and meets a bunch of chihuahuas called the "Chimichangos"- all who have names that end in -ito like "Poquito Tito" "Pintolito" and "Tia Mia" and "Rosalita" that are looking for the bandito that stole their frijoles. The author also changes a bunch of the words that are English into "Spanish" to be cute like, "buzzito" and "bumblebeeto".

For one thing, the accent that the author claims is "Spanish" is a stereotypical Mexican accent, not Spanish. And adding "ito" to the end of names and words is very disrespectful to the language (this is how ppl make fun of Spanish, duh). The frijoles part..... I'm not even going to go there.

I could not find ONE THING on how this book is racist online so I am emailing the author myself. After I get ammo from all of you, or if you'd like to email her yourself the email is Judy@judithbyronschachner.com. I just thought it was horrible. I am a Spanish teacher and a person of color (not Latina/Spanish). I would never ever read this to my class or any child.
Athena

The Secret Life of Bees

I just re-read The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. The story takes place in South Carolina in the 1960's, and is written by a white author that grew up in The South during the same time period.

I bought the book a couple of years ago, and the first time I read it, I saw it as a wonderful story about a young woman discovering the universal feminine divine. I recommended the book to my friends, and time passed.

Picking it up and re-reading it last night, I came to the conclusion that the book is actually very racially problematic. Lily, the protagonist, who is white, talks a lot about coming to a place of "colorblindness." August, the woman that takes Lily when she runs away from home, seems to embody the "magical negro" stereotype. I came away from my re-reading of the book ashamed that I had told friends of mine how great it was.

I just wanted to mention what a great tool LJ is for social change. If it wasn't for feminist and debunkingwhite, I don't think that I would even have picked up on the racial stereotyping present in the novel.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think about it?

(x-posted to feminist and seekingsartre