Tag Archives: Jeremy Lin

11.15.12 Links Roundup

As I have watched “The Walking Dead,” however, I have been disappointed to discover that, while the writers occasionally take a moment to comment on the state of gender — and of race — in this new world, in the end they leave these issues to die and reconstitute a world in which white men rule. Men of color are reduced to occupying a nebulous space, and women (with rare exception) are to be protected. Even more pernicious, any power that women have usually comes to them in the old-fashioned, stereotypical way of manipulating the men in their lives into doing what they want them to do.

I’m not sure if it is a failure of the writers of the TV show (and yes, I know, the show is based upon previously written graphic novels), but surely, if the writers could take time out for the characters to constantly question and talk incessantly about how they are supposed to live a civilized life in a world that has risen from the ashes, couldn’t the characters have spent more time trying to figure out how to behave, now that gender and race should no longer be factors? Why has the world of “The Walking Dead” turned into a white patriarchy?

After Rick is rescued by Morgan and Duane, it’s as if racial reality disappears. Rick leaves to search for his wife, Lori, and son, Carl. Despite the fact that Atlanta is 54 percent African-American, when Rick arrives in a deserted Atlanta, he is swarmed by an all-white mob of walkers — in downtown Atlanta. That was my first moment of cognitive dissonance — in Atlanta, where were the black walkers? — but I let it go as I let myself get more into the story.

To be honest, the locations are not too bad. Buildings are similar to those in Iran, the houses are not that different, the bazaar is quite like the actual shopping centre in south Tehran. Banners, placards and signs are in Persian and many characters actually speak the language, although some with accents.

There are silly mistakes, however. In one scene, for example, the protagonist Tony Mendez (Affleck) says “salam” at the end of his conversation with an Iranian official. Salam means hello in Persian, not goodbye.

Minor mistakes aside, the film takes a black and white view towards Iranians, like many other western films about Iran. It portrays them as ugly, poor, strictly religious, fanatical and ignorant – almost in line with the young revolutionaries behind the hostage-taking at the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 Islamic revolution, which the film is about. The only nice Iranian in the film is the Canadian ambassador’s maid.

The whole experience is like asking an Iranian who has never been to the US to make a film (let’s say in Cuba) about the Columbine high school massacre. You’ll probably end up watching a film in which all Americans are crazy, have a gun at home and are ready to shoot their classmates.

During an interview on “Democracy Now” West criticized Al Sharpton, MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, and frequent guest host Michael Eric Dyson for “selling their souls” in exchange for insider access to Obama.

“They want to turn their back to poor and working people. And it’s a sad thing to see them as apologists for the Obama administration in that way, given the kind of critical background that all of them have had at some point.”

The activist also made a shot at the MSNBC personalities lack of dedication to black interests by inviting “them back to the black prophetic tradition after Obama leaves.”

West didn’t hold back when it came to Obama either. During the interview he called President Obama a “Rockefeller republican in blackface.”

If the move out of New York has softened the glow on Lin’s celebrity, it hasn’t softened the ferocity with which the sport comes for him. From the playground to the Ivy League to the NBA, the eyes on America’s breakout Asian-American basketball player felt the same.

“I’ve always been a target,” Lin says. “Everyone looks me and says, ‘I’m not going to let that Asian kid embarrass me. I’m going to go at him.’ That’s how it’s been my whole life. This has been different, though. Now, I was on the scouting report. People started to pay attention to what I could and couldn’t do.

“But a target? I was used to that. I’m not saying I get everyone’s best shot, but I would say people don’t want to be embarrassed by me because of my skin color.”

The Friday Mixtape – 6.15.12 Edition

Our first track this morning goes out to the sad, sad person behind this hoax:

Screencaps via Racialicious reader Lauren.

Last week, after Manny Pacquiao’s highly-suspect loss to Timothy Bradley, some goon pretended to tweet as Roger Mayweather, uncle and trainer for Pacquiao’s biggest rival (before Bradley, anyway) Floyd Mayweather, and trolled after seemingly anybody in sight, including New York Knicks player Jeremy Lin:

As it turns out, there’s either one really sad person or a number of them with the same stupid idea floating around. In short, whoever this is is a Hater. So, for whoever it is who somehow derives enjoyment from spewing digital diarrhea, Isabel Fay’s (NSFW) “Thank You Hater” is just for you:

We’re going back to the old-school for the next track, since you might not be able to hear it on the silver screen any time soon; according to Shadow & Act, while Outkast’s Andre 3000 may be working on a Jimi Hendrix biopic, the Hendrix estate is saying he’s doing so without its permission, meaning Hendrix’s music wouldn’t be cleared for use – which, given the subject, is a rather big obstacle.

Speaking of movies, the arrival of Ice-T’s documentary Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap couldn’t come at a more interesting time, for reasons I’ll get into after watching it this weekend. As a primer for anybody going to see the film, how about a little Afrika Bambaataa & the Soul Sonic Force?

Next up, a meditative tune from the great Los Lobos: “Mariachi Suite,” one of their contributions to Robert Rodríguez’s Desperado from awhile back. Not that one ever needs a reason to listen to this group, but in this case, consider it a hint as to our Crush of the Week. Enjoy!

Let’s kick the tempo up again with this track from L.A.-based electro-pop group IAMMEDIC, which has a new album, Monster Monster, due out soon. Here’s one from their previous effort, Perfect, and though it gets a little NSFW-ish lyrically in the middle, “Spaceship” is pretty fun otherwise:

Wrapping us up this week is a pick inspired in part by the #vaginamovielines hashtag, which surged after Michigan state representative Lisa Brown was barred from speaking on the state House floor Thursday. Her crime? Telling state speaker James Bolger, “Finally Mr. Speaker, I’m flattered that you’re all so interested in my vagina, but ‘no’ means ‘no.’” According to Politico, she didn’t back down from her comments after Bolger’s overreaction:

“Maybe they are banning me because I dared say ‘vagina,’ the correct, medical name of a part of a woman’s anatomy these lawmakers are trying to regulate,” she said. “I’m outraged. I’m outraged that this legislative body not only wants to dictate what women can do, but what we can say.”

This kind of silencing was on Salt and Pepa’s mind just over two decades ago. Sad to see that time hasn’t helped Bolger get the message.

Butterflies, Slumdogs, And Tiger Moms: Asian American Women And The Rescue Narrative

By Guest Contributor Sayantani DasGupta

“Can we try it more mysterious, with that mystique from the East?

… Channel a late night sex chat ad

… Maybe go back further into your heritage … A little more ethnic.”

Remember those racist-alicious ads from Michigan senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra, the ones where the docile, limpid eyed, bike-riding Asian woman thanked “Debbie Spend It Now” for spending so much American money that she singlehandedly ruined the U.S. economy while giving more jobs to China? Well, that Sinophobic Super Bowl ad promptly inspired several spoofs including this one from Funny or Die, and this clever one from Kristina Wong that I found recently on Disgrasian.

In it, Wong plays an actress obviously starring in a “Debbie Spend it Now”-type commercial. The disembodied (presumably white, male) director’s voice is off-camera, insisting that Wong play her role with more ethnic “authenticity.” At one point, he asks her to read the lines like her mother might. When Wong delivers the lines in an American accent, the frustrated director corrects, “But that’s the same as you read it last time, is that how your mother talks?” Wong nods, deadpan. “She was born in San Francisco.” Later, he reminds Wong that she is “in a rice paddy.” To which she exclaims, “Oh, I thought we were in Runyon Canyon.”

Kristina Wong’s spoof speaks to the continued conflation of Asian American and Asian identity. No matter how many years, or generations, we’ve been in this country, we Asian Americans remain ‘contingent citizens’ and ‘perpetual foreigners.’ (You’ve heard the question: “Where are you from? … No, where are you really from?”)

Wong’s spoof also speaks to the sexualized, passive tropes surrounding Asian American womanhood. In a recent talk I gave for Wellesley College’s GenerAsians Magazine, I suggested that three tropes still seem to encapsulate much of how Asian American women continue to be perceived:

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‘Chink In The Stands’: An Asian American Fan’s Notes

By Guest Contributor Jen Wang, cross-posted from Disgrasian

I sat down to write about the fallout that’s ensued since ESPN editor Anthony Federico wrote that “Chink In The Armor” headline a little over a week ago, and I ended up with a bunch of stories about myself. In some ways though, I think these notes better articulate my frustration and anger over many of the conversations that have taken place about Jeremy Lin with regard to race than explicit words to that effect would have. Or maybe I just really like talking about myself.

____

For most of my life, I’ve been a sports fan. I was born and raised in Texas, so it was mandatory. More to the point, I was born and raised Chinese American in Texas. I couldn’t look like my peers, I couldn’t be accepted as an equal by many of my peers, but I could root for the same teams as my peers. And somewhere deep down, I probably figured that if I could demonstrate the same devotion to the idols of my peers, they would eventually come around to the idea that I wasn’t all that different from them, and perhaps even accept me as one of their own.

____

My father arrived in College Station, Texas from Taiwan in 1965 on a student visa. He was one of several students from Taiwan who went to Texas A&M to pursue graduate degrees in the sciences that year. They all lived together. They all had nothing. Only two years before my dad began his studies at A&M, the school admitted its first African American students. My dad recalls that was right around the time the school shut down its campus chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. He and my mom met a few years later when she came over from Taiwan to attend a nearby women’s college. I have to think the cultural climate of small-town Texas was what put their relationship in fast-forward. They met one Thanksgiving when all of the American students from their schools were home with their families, married a year later, had my brother less than a year after that. My mother has stories from that time of being told to sit at the back of the bus; my father, who only had a bike in those first few years, used to get run off the road by other students in cars who thought it was funny to see a Chinaman in a ditch.

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Family Ties: On Jeremy Lin, “Tiger Moms,” And Tiger Woods

Courtesy Albany Times-Union

By Guest Contributor Dr. David J. Leonard

In a world that imagines basketball as the purview of African Americans, the emergence of Jeremy Lin has sent many commentators to speculate and theorize about Lin’s success. Focusing on religion, Eastern philosophy, his educational background, his intelligence, his parents, and his heritage, the dominant narrative has defined Lin’s success through the accepted “model minority” myth.

In other words, while celebrating Lin’s success as a challenge to dominant stereotypes regarding Asian Americans, the media has consistently invoked stereotypical representations of Asianness to explain his athletic success, as if his hard work, athleticism, and talents are not sufficient enough explanations.

Intentional or not, the story of Lin is both an effort to chronicle his own success in comforting and accepted terms and, in doing so, offer a commentary on blackness.

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Race Against The Machine: Jeremy Lin And The NBA’s Savior Myth

By Arturo R. García

In his own graceless way, Floyd Mayweather and his tasteless remarks about Jeremy Lin brought something new to light: maybe the best comparison point for the young New York Knicks guard isn’t Tim Tebow. Maybe it’s Larry Bird. With the link, however unpalatable, coming from tensions the NBA has tiptoed around for decades.

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MEMEWATCH: Adventures In Linsanity

As part of her column today, Sonita Moss sent us a batch of Jeremy Lin-inspired pictures. So many, in fact, that they threatened to overwhelm the actual piece.

But we thought, why let the images go to waste? So to supplement the ones she sent us, we decided to look up “Jeremy Lin” meme and see what popped up. The newest appears to be Linning, based off the bit from the picture on the right, where Lin and New York Knicks teammate Landry Fields cap off their Troy-and-Abed-like salute with a ritual donning of faux-glasses.

And like any good meme, it didn’t take long for it to spread, as you can see below in a pic taken in Australia:

Also, the pic above came from JeremyWin, which tends to feature Lin in action, but made time yesterday for some Va-LIN-tine cheer. Some of the others under the cut … well, they’re rooting for Lin, at least. How problematic are they? We’ll let you decide.
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