Those things are personal deal breakers. People can listen to whatever music they want, choose whatever college major they want and live however but you can’t tell me I’m wrong for being put off by shit that’s border-lining cultural appropriation. And you can’t tell me I’m wrong for choosing not to date people who think being Asian is a hobby.
And you are BLIND if you don’t think white supremacy exists. White supremacy exists as long as white privilege exists. It didn’t come from the 50s. It goes way further back, deeply rooted in our world’s history for centuries. All of these issues in our current society are echoes of our history: slavery, civil rights, suffrage, imperialism, colonialism, war, genocide… You think it all just disappeared after the civil rights movement? Do you believe in the term “post-racial america”? I think someone’s living on autopilot.
Damn. Darren Wilson’s support page raised over $235k.
I am kicking myself for not thinking of setting up a fundraiser first. That’s like two decades of rent money, and it would be coming out of the pockets of people stupid enough to donate to a healthy white man with a job so I wouldn’t feel bad about it.
Just had an annoying debate with a friend about privilege and had to write another rant…
White privilege and male privilege is something that was established after centuries and generations of oppressive domination. It’s not necessarily something people should be held accountable for or feel guilty about as long as they are aware of and appreciate the privileges they have and aren’t personally restricting these privileges from others. I lived in a sketchy area in Bushwick for six months and I’ve walked back to my apartment alone at all hours in the night without worry while my female friend a couple blocks away always had to coordinate buddy systems or have her boyfriend wait outside the door for her. That peace of mind is a privilege that I’m grateful for.
In fact, if you want to hear a scary story, here’s one that probably would have ended differently if I were female.
Anyway, I’ve spoken with people who either deny or are unaware of the existence of their racial or gender privileges. Living life on autopilot is a privilege that women, lgbt people, and ethnic minorities don’t have. Many of us have to constantly navigate around certain situations that range from inconvenient/annoying to potentially physically harmful/life-threatening.
The rebuttal “not all men” or “not all white people” is IRRELEVANT; we still live in a world where women can’t walk alone with ease in the middle of the night and knowing “not all men” rape doesn’t help. Or black men can’t not feel extra uneasy around a cop because they are disproportionately targeted… or a transgender person can’t not be be wary of getting jumped on the street or be jaded about love when, more times than not, they’re just a bedroom experiment or kept a secret.
If someone points out your privileges, it doesn’t mean you don’t have your share of disadvantages and there’s no need to get offended/defensive. You can complain about how hard your life actually is, but what you really should be saying is,
"Yes, perhaps I do have those privileges, and I am grateful; it’s too bad not everyone does."
Same deal but more concise:
Lately it seems like so many of us are so fed up and bitter about the way our world is. At this point, I am so thankful for the hand I was dealt in life, but so many people understandably are not. We all have our advantages and disadvantages. Those of us in the minority have to constantly navigate life around certain situations that range from annoying/inconvenient to potentially physically harmful/life-threatening while others luckily can go through life on auto-pilot with peace of mind.
If you’re a straight white male, you don’t have to feel like you’re being held accountable for the privileges and advantages you were born with so long as you’re aware of it, don’t act entitled to those privileges, don’t take them for granted, and don’t personally restrict those privileges from others.
Try not to let my bitterness about white privilege, or a feminist’s bitterness about male privilege make you feel like you’re personally being oppressed (not a fun place to be, is it)… Sorry to ruin the good vibes, but just try to understand where this bitterness comes from, let us be bitter, and be an ally to the cause.
but…. if you pretend like these social justice issues are illegitimate or continue living in your advantageous bubble while ignoring everything else outside of it,
you. are. the enemy.
Like “swag” or “twerk”, “heritage” is another one of those words that was ruined for me.
What’s my heritage? Does that question retrospectively even make sense? I know what the person is really trying to ask is, “what’s your ethnicity” but heritage does not mean ethnicity.
Heritage refers to property, traits and traditions passed through generations. Next time someone asks you what your “heritage” is, here are some conceivable responses:
"my mother’s eyes/thighs"
"a receding hairline"
"my father’s debt"
"our house slave"
"this family heirloom tomato."
"Animal sacrifice sundays"
So tell me what your heritage is.
Intersectionality: the study of intersections between forms or systems of oppression, domination or discrimination.
Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, especially within the context of my personal experiences as a gay Asian male in a misogynistic/homophobic, white supremacist’s world.
Strangers just assume you are submissive. When you are Asian, people just assume you would drop your pants for every white guy who wants it. You know what happens if you reject a white guy with a sexual agenda? At first they get thrown, then they get offended like they actually believe they deserve your body. After all, when an inanimate blow up doll swats someone’s hand away, it must hurt their ego, right? When you’re Asian, people just have this preconceived notion that you are submissive by nature so if you dare show signs of dominance, assertiveness, show your opinions or don’t submit to the desires of others, it is off-putting. Many will proceed to call you a chink/gook or say something presumptuous about your penis size.
Then there are the guys who fantasize about sticking their flag poles in your body to colonize it in the name of Indiana, Carl’s Jr. or wherever the hell they’re from. Almost always, the first question is, “Where are you from?”
"No. I mean, what’s your nationality?"
"No, I mean, what kind of Asian are you? Where are your parents from"
I usually want to ask if English is their first language because I am BAFFLED as to why “ethnicity” is so tricky to use in a sentence for so many people.
Anyway, regardless of if a dude is white, black, filipino, or whatever, many also express interest because they just LOVE the idea of having a boyfriend straight out of a romantic Korean drama or a Kpop boy band. It can be invalidating as a human being when you’re stripped of your identity and your ethnicity and the stereotypes that follow become the most appealing thing about you. Then there are the men who don’t even care about the cultural aspect of it; some just get a hard-on the same way a creepy stranger behind the fence does during recess.
So when I meet people, I just have to ask them certain things…
What did you study?
"Japanese" (deal breaker.)
What kind of music do you listen to?
"2NE1" (deal breaker.)
And I have to be wary of certain things like if a guy’s fb/tinder pics are of them at the Great Wall of China. Or in a restaurant with a bowl of ramen.
Yet I see so many Asian gays and girls throw themselves right back at these creeps. I’m all for interracial relationships when it’s void of fetishism but a lot of the times it’s not. Sometimes it’s out of self-hatred. In this world, being born white is supposed to be an impressive feat and it’s really disheartening to see people of color with little self-worth perpetuate that belief.
A lot of people at school thought I was arrogant, and maybe I am, but is it not justified? It’s tiring to navigate through life as a double minority (or even just be one minority or female) in a world where the privileged majority can keep their brains turned off and run on autopilot. I am sick of these basic-ass three to fives, or even the vapid hot ones with boring lives and zero substance feeling entitled to my body because I’m Asian and therefore a second-rate, submissive model-minority. It’s a form of racism that I have to deal with every. single. time. someone pursues me, and that is why I’m so quick to arrogantly remind these losers to open their eyes and take a good look at my face, my body, my résumé, whatever. This chink/gook knows what he’s worth and would rather die alone then be publicly seen in the arms of a second-rate asshole who thinks he has power over me.
I’ve been getting a lot of positive feedback from you guys every time I rant-blog about these issues and I’m really glad I could bring some awareness out there. Remember, going through life on autopilot is harmful to yourself and those around you.