Tag Archives: asian-american

Whites stereotype Asians, Asians stereotype blacks

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Check out this old Jell-O ad from the sixties that mocks an Asian baby trying to eat Jell-O with chopsticks. It has just about every offensive stereotype you can think of: the dreaded Asian font and a presumably white dude narrating with an awful fake accent and dropped words: “Chinese motha bling baby Jell-O. Famous western delicacy!”

And then on the flipside, check out this (by the looks of it, fairly recent) Japanese (possibly Thai?) toothpaste commercial, featuring a big black guy who helps a Japanese child retrieve her balloon, only to have her mother snatch her baby and run away, screaming. He’s just misunderstood and uh… somehow ends up sleeping on a giant toothbrush and morphing into dark toothpaste. You kinda have to just watch it.

Props to Adrianna for finding this site!

Yellow Trash: Jimmy Wang Yang

by Michael Park, originally published at Tripmaster Monkey

jimmy wang yang wwe wrestler asianAfter decades of racist characterizations, World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly the World Wrestling Federation) has finally broken its own mold—by merging two stereotypes into one. Meet one of the WWE’s newest faces, Jimmy Wang Yang, the Asian Redneck, played by real-life Georgia boy James Yun.

“He may look ‘Asian,’ but in reality he is one certified redneck,” the WWE Web site assures viewers. “If any Yankees slip up, Jimmy Wang Yang is sure to culture them with a good ol’-fashioned country-style whippin’.”

Yes, this counts as progress in the pro-wrestling world.

Consider the starting point: Against good ol’ boys like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage, foreign-born and non-white villains like sneaky Oriental Mr. Fuji, Cold War automaton Nikolai Volkoff, snobby French pouf Rene Dupree and mustachioed Middle-Eastern strongman Iron Sheik were caricatured (and eventually dispatched) with comforting certitude.

Asians fared especially badly—Mr. Fuji, the perennial “heel” manager, was infamous for creeping up to “faces,” or “good-guy” characters, and throwing salt in their eyes when his wrestlers were losing. That is, when he wasn’t threatening to ruin the U.S. economy by selling us affordable cars with good mileage.

Okay, so what to make of Jimmy Wang Yang?

“Ain’t no yeller about me,” the 205-pound, 5’9” cowboy-hatted Yang drawls into the camera in WWE promos. You could read this statement in several ways:

1) He’s a self-hater who equates being Asian with being un-American, or even wimpy.

2) Group affiliations can overcome racial differences, i.e. red-state trumps yellow skin.

3) This isn’t your daddy’s Model Minority.

We vote for three. As the Asian Redneck might say, “Ain’t we got enough docters and lahyers and folks what can count?”

Hey Hollywood, Black, Asian, and Latino Men Do Fall In Love!

by guest contributor Rachel Sullivan, originally posted at Rachel’s Tavern

empty bedI saw this great post on the All Things Considered Blog about love scenes in the top grossing movies. The author, Steven Barnes, reviewed love scenes in the 350 films that have earned more than $100 million dollars. Barnes found that 50 of these movies had loves scenes, which he operationalizes as scenes that insinuate sex, but not one of those scenes included a male actor who was not white.

From PG through R, from Bond through Basic Instinct, you’ll find such scenes in about 15 percent of the most popular films ever made. And every single one features a white guy.

If you scan the same list for American films with non-white leads (again, there are about 50), you’ll find love scenes in zero percent. That’s right, zero. No blacks. No Latinos. No Asians. Hollywood makes such films; you can find them further down on the list. But America won’t watch them.

Barnes goes on to make an argument that I don’t agree with. He says that the problem is about “male territorial behavior,”

I’m convinced that the problem is not just “Hollywood executives.” They’re no better or worse than the rest of us. They simply try to keep track of what the audience wants and rejects, as measured by box office receipts.

And I don’t believe there’s something especially twisted or limited about the white majority. I think this little statistical blip has to do with human perception itself — and most specifically, male territorial behavior.

When confronted with this statistic, some people ask why I don’t count movies such as Will Smith’s delightful Hitch. Simple: There are no love scenes. Hugs and kisses don’t make babies. I suspect that it’s the depiction of specific reproductive behavior, even at a genteel When Harry Met Sally level, that triggers the most powerful negative response, especially in male alpha-warrior types.

This is where he and I part ways. This can’t just be reduced to male on male competition, and better analysis would incorporate the structures of race, gender, and sexuality.

I think one of the primary ways that groups are marginalized is through control of their sexuality. The control can be exercised directly through sexual violence (i.e. rape), forced breeding, and coercion. It can been done indirectly through stereotyping and erasure. I think one of the primary ways that Black, Asian, Latino, and American Indian sexuality is controlled today is through what Patricia Hill Collins calls controlling images. Popular movies, TV programs, music, and almost every other major form of popular culture contribute these controlling images when they avoid showing African Americans in intimate, loving relationships. Not only are people of color not shown in loving relationships, we also rarely see intimate family relationships. Continue reading

Impress your inscrutable Japanese boss with Jimmy John’s sandwiches

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Oh boy. First we had Burger King depicting Asian men as freaky slithery snakes who culminated their burger-stealing with a round of kung fu moves. Now along comes this Jimmy John’s commercial, featuring a Japanese office tool trying to impress his inscrutable boss in the boardroom. Are they even really speaking Japanese? Can any of our Japanese-speaking readers let us know?

And check out the other commercials that make up this series, including a Latino family with 5 out-of-control kids, and one spot that revolves around a European (?) woman taking a shower.

(Hat tip to MultiCultClassics.)

Time machine: October 2005

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Here’s another installment of our Time Machine series… when we take a look back at what we were blogging about a year ago this month.

Terrence Howard’s real-life “Crash” moment

crashWhen Oprah interviewed the cast of Crash, she asked each person to tell their own “real-life Crash moment.” No, not a moment in which they were embroiled in a completely unrealistic situation with two-dimensional Asian caricatures and absurd dialogue, but a moment in which they personally experienced the effects of racism.

Terrence Howard told the story of how his father got into a fight that ultimately put him in jail and landed his family in poverty. But according to some of the comments that were left in response to our post, some believe he took a bit of artistic license in his interpretation of the story. Here’s the beginning of Terrence’s story:

“I’m the product of a mixed marriage: My father’s actually mixed and my mother is mixed but my father looks more white than my mom,” Terrence explains. “We’re at a department store in 1972, right before Christmas, and my mom’s taking us all around to go get clothes and my dad’s standing in the Santa Claus line. … My dad is 5-foot-8, weighs 125 pounds. There’s a guy standing behind him [who is] 6′-4″, weighs about 260. The man said, ‘Why did you let those niggers cut you?’ And my daddy said, ‘This is my wife.’ … The man turned around and my father turned back to talk to us…

National survey on interracial relationships leaves out Asians

yellow missing piece of the puzzleAsians? What are those? I guess we were all too busy getting good grades and doing kung fu to take time to talk to The Gallup Poll about interracial relationships:

The Gallup Poll published their findings from their annual Minority Rights and Relations poll. Part of the survey questioned Americans on how they feel about interracial relationships — specifically between blacks and whites. Not surprisingly, they didn’t bother to survey people’s attitudes on any other couple configurations! :| Next, they surveyed people on their own dating trends. Apparently, Asians and Native Americans (if we are going by the usual 5 category “racial” breakdown) are not important enough to figure into any of this. The survey asked white, latino and black correspondents whether or not they had ever dated other races, including Asian, interestingly enough. But then Asians were not included in the questioning at all. Strange to say the least.

Continue reading

Would you like a nunchuck with that spicy tuna roll?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

ninja new york restaurantIf the whole New Demographic thing doesn’t work out for me and Jen, it’s good to know that we have backup options. Like working at Ninja New York, for example, a (I kid you not) ninja-themed restaurant here in the city. Yeah yeah neither of us are Japanese, but we’re yellow enough to contribute to the super-authentic dining experience of the losers who would dine there. From Grub Street:

Nina Cha found her calling when she answered a Craigslist ad that read, “WANTED: Ninjas who do magic.” We asked her about her qualifications, and she told us about her brushes with Frank Bruni’s wrath and Tara Reid’s posse.

Nina Cha
Ninja New York
25 Hudson St., nr. Reade St.; 212-274-8500

What kind of training did you get?
There were two months of extensive training before we opened. The first week they gave us the history of ninjas and what’s thought to be myth and legend. We had magic classes once or twice a week. And tastings.

Do kids get scared?
Some do, because it’s very dark and we have ninjas popping in and out.

YouTube Wire: rednecks, white nerds, hebrew crunk and more

by guest contributor Luke Lee, Racialicious’s senior YouTube correspondent
Check out Luke’s own blog at real men are not

rednecks tvDespite nearly a week of constant videos of or concerning the now infamous Bill Clinton interview, the folks at Rednecks TV clawed to the top spot of This Week’s “Most Viewed” with their latest episode, episode nine. The first thing you notice, of course, is the glaring Confederate flag that Rednecks TV uses as background and illustration which for now doesn’t seem to have anything to do with their show despite their association of the Confederacy and the south with being a supposed redneck. Now, basically this is a show where two guys sit at a table and talk and do various “tests” and “product reviews.” They don’t seem to talk about race at all beyond saying “redneck” a few dozen times and for the most part, it’s just an assortment of fratty phallic-humor jokes…

weird al white and nerdyAs previously touched upon on Racialicious, Weird Al Yankovic has a new video out where the chorus line is “White and nerdy” and that pretty much says it all. What’s important to note, however, is just how popular the music video is and how well it’s received in user-ratings and comments. There are a few versions of the video floating around and in total there must be well over 500,000 views so far and not to mention a solid 4/5 stars rating. People love this stuff…

hebrew crunkAnd speaking of Blackface-Without-The-Actual-Blackface type humor, one of the things that really clogs my toilet is when people try to make jokes by pairing two things that are supposedly “completely opposite.” In this case we have a cartoon of Lil’ Jon and a Rabbi in “Hebrew Crunk!” Cue the rush of people running to the local Halloween store to buy fake dreads, sunglasses and gold teeth just so they can say “Yeaaaaah,” drink lots of alcohol and act like an idiot to “play the part” in a few weeks… And as you’ll notice is a recurring theme on YouTube: some idiot doing blackface. Continue reading