Tag Archives: asian

To Gloria: Ching Chong. Love, Amy Sedaris

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally Angry Asian Man

A reader named Gloria sends in this juicy little scan… She informs me that actress/author/comedienne Amy Sedaris did a show last week at Haverford College. Gloria’s brother (who happens to be Chinese American) got a copy of Sedaris’ book I Like You: Hospitality Under The Influence signed for her.

The above scan is what she apparently inscribed on the inside of the book. Yes, you’re reading that right. As if “Ching Chong” wasn’t enough, the rudimentary buck-toothed chink-eyed caricature is sort of icing on the racist cake. Continue reading

Asian American Employees Underreport Discrimination

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

My fellow Asian Americans, stand up for yourselves in the workplace! According to a new report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Asian American employees are underrepresented in the senior ranks of federal agencies, and likely are underreporting instances of discrimination on the job: Asian-American employees underreport discrimination, report finds.

The report, which was released earlier this month, says that Asian Americans face a number of misperceptions and stereotypes, factors that have become “the framework of barriers establishing glass or bamboo ceilings which present [Asian American and Pacific Islanders] from moving into the upper tiers of an organization.”

A 2005 Gallup poll found that 31 percent of Asian respondents said they had experienced discriminatory or unfair treatment on the job. But the EEOC noted in its report that enforcement actions reveal that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders file only 3.26 percent of discrimination.

Say what now? We already have enough problems with people thinking we as Asian are passive, good little citizens who do what we’re told. It does us no good to let people walk all over us. It’s one thing to be discriminated against — it’s another thing entirely to stay quiet about it. And we wonder why we’re so conspicuously absent from executive and senior management levels…

Blog Scandal in San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

Some intriguing news out of the San Francisco public defender’s office… A MySpace blog entry written by former intern Carrie Wiplinger has prompted the superior court and Public Defender Jeff Adachi to investigate whether a lawyer in Adachi’s office was once told to keep Asians off a jury: Intern Blog Alleges Juror Racial Bias.

In the blog entry, posted September 3, Wipplinger wrote about a case involving a drunken man whom authorities found receiving oral sex in a car:

“I got to listen in on a conference regarding jury selection,” she wrote. “My bosses gave the following advice to the lawyer …don’t pick any Asian jurors, because (and I quote): ‘Asians don’t drink, they love Jesus, and they’re creeped out by everything.‘”

She wrote that the lawyer followed that advice, and the client was acquitted. But the attorneys who worked her deny making such a comment, and say Wipplinger got several other facts wrong: the jury hung and the defendant was not acquitted; there was no testimony or evidence that the man was drunk; and there were at least one or two people of Asian descent on the jury.

Adachi said the deputy public defender assigned to the case, Lateef Gray, and his supervisor, Kwixuan Maloof, both denied that they or anyone else made the statement about Asians. Well, of course they denied it. The question is whether or not the blog’s claims, even if she got some of the facts wrong, is based on something that actually happened, or if she just made the whole thing up.

One thing is probably for sure. Everyone involved, including the intern, is not happy that this damn MySpace blog has suddenly received so much attention. And if what she says happened is indeed true, and the lawyer did give this advice, well… that’s racist!

Director Danny Boyle Offered Lady Vengeance Remake

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

With the huge breakout success of Slumdog Millionaire, director Danny Boyle is crazy hot right now. Not that he wasn’t already a great director — I’ve been a fan for years. But I just came across this very interesting bit of news… Boyle recently revealed in an interview that he’s been asked to direct a remake of Park Chan-wook’s Lady Vengeance: Danny Boyle Asked to Direct Lady Vengeance.

Whaaaaaaa? I had heard a remake of the South Korean revenge thriller was in the works, with Charlize Theron’s name thrown out as a possible star. But Danny Boyle as director… that would be really interesting. However, the interview doesn’t give any indication whether or not he’s actually going to do it. Just the offer.

If this remake has to happen (and in Hollywood, you can probably count on it sooner or later), I’d definitely prefer this combo (Boyle/Theron) over Steven Spielberg and Will Smith doing the Oldboy remake that was announced a few months back. In the meantime, I recommend checking out the cool, creepy original Korean version starring Lee Young-Ae.

Avatar: Get a tan, become asian

by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man

There was a lot of uproar last month when it was announced that M. Night Shyamalan’s movie adaptation Avatar: The Last Airbender would star a lot of pretty white people, with no Asians in sight. The animated Nickelodeon show takes place in an Asian-inspired fantasy realm. Hollywood, of course, is a Caucasian-inspired fantasy realm.

The controversy hasn’t really died down. Avatar fans are still angry. And one of the movie’s actors, Jackson Rathbone, who will play Sokka, seems to think he can easily pull off playing Asian with just a new hairstyle and a tan: ‘Twilight’ Star Jackson Rathbone Hopes To ‘Show His Range’ In ‘Last Airbender’.

Due in theaters in summer 2010, “Airbender” has already begun to face a bit of controversy over the casting of white actors like Rathbone, Ringer and McCartney to play Asian characters – a concern the actor was quick to dismiss. “I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan,” he said of the transformation he’ll go through to look more like Sokka. “It’s one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit.”

Continue reading

Avatar: The Last Airbender Culture Comparison

Note: This video was created by Chaobunny12 in response to the ongoing Avatar controversy. In the beginning slide for the video, she writes:

This video is for those of you who argue that the Avatar characters look white, not Asian or Inuit. It’s for people who claim that he culture of the Avatar world is essentially American and don’t see any Asian culture in Avatar.

The video has no sound, but the images speak for themselves.

For those of you who can’t see the video, this is a great visual essay that does the same thing.

(Thanks to readers JSConnect and ali_wildgoose for sending these in!)

Update: For the readers that haven’t been paying close attention to the links, Avatar: The Last Airbender is a popular cartoon that is heavily influenced by Asian/Inuit cultures (see above.) A movie was recently announced based on the anime, featuring an all-white cast. Hence the ensuing controversy.

Damn You, Sleeping Chinese

by Guest Contributor Jen, originally published at Disgrasian

One thing I did not get for my birthday yesterday was sleep. Despite having a pasta-tasting menu for dinner (five buttery pasta courses = sleep, right?), I found myself awake at 5 a.m.–again–drinking scotch out of my new birthday tumbler (I got two, one for me, one for Diana), catching up on my interwebz, commiserating with our friend Edana on Facebook, who was also awake and asking all of the pertinent questions one has at that twisted hour (namely, what’s wrong with us and why has alcohol failed us), and cursing this dull, repetitive, unceasing misfortune of mine.

So the last thing I wanted to see this morning was a website devoted to sleeping Chinese people. Because it’s like, How dare you. But the truth is, watching people sleep is fascinating, particularly when they’re not actually beside you in bed, taunting you with their sleepfulness. And the pictures are all taken of people asleep in public places, which suggests that these sad sacks probably have more in common with someone like me than I would think.

You’d think that the website’s premise would be kind of offensive, like sleeping Chinese people are no different than animals at the zoo, especially since the photos are taken by some German dude living in China, but the idea endeared itself to me after I read the photographer’s welcoming statement:

    “They talk about ‘The Sleeping Giant’. About ‘The Birth of the New Super Power’ or ‘The Awakening of the Red Dragon’. Often with a strange kind of undertone, which is supposed to frighten us. The reality definitely looks more peaceful.”

Fighting Chinysteria one picture at a time? That’s one thing, at least, that’ll help me sleep better at night.

To go to sleepingchinese.com, click here.

White American Culture is General Tso’s Chicken and Chop Suey

by Guest Contributor Restructure, originally published at Restructure!

Finally, somebody summarized the myths that non-Chinese Americans have about Chinese food. Most of what White Americans consider “Chinese food” is mostly eaten by white people, and would be more accurately described as “American food” (and perhaps even “white people food”).

Jennifer 8. Lee has a great video on TED Talks titled, Who was General Tso? and other mysteries of American Chinese food.

Here are some important points from the video:

  • Fortune cookies are almost ubiquitous in “Chinese” American restaurants, but they are of Japanese origin. Most people in China have never seen fortune cookies. Fortune cookies were “invented by the Japanese, popularized by the Chinese, and ultimately consumed by Americans.” Fortune cookies are more American than anything else.
    • General Tso’s chicken is unrecognizable to people in China. It is the quintessential American dish, because it is sweet, it is fried, and it is chicken.
    • Beef with broccoli is of American origin. Broccoli is not a Chinese vegetable; it is of Italian origin.
    • Chop suey was introduced at the turn of the 20th century (1900). It took thirty years for non-Chinese Americans to figure out that chop suey is not known in China. “Back then”, non-Chinese Americans showed that they were sophisticated and cosmopolitan by eating chop suey.
    • Continue reading