Tag Archives: spoken word

Mailbag – February 20, 2012

Arturo spotted some disturbing news from the K-pop world on Twitter: Jenny Hyun, songwriter for groups like SNSD and Chocolat, went on a long racist tirade about African Americans. According to Asian Junkie (which has the full tweet stream, but it’s a lot to deal with this early in the morning):

Yes, you read that correctly, she actually did call for the genocide of black people, which I don’t even know how to explain in words because it’s so fucking insane. Frighteningly, that’s only one of many out-of-this-world racist statements that she makes throughout the tirade. […]

So what sparked this rant?

Floyd Mayweather‘s tweet about Jeremy Lin.

    Jeremy Lin is a good player but all the hype is because he’s Asian. Black players do what he does every night and don’t get the same praise.

So yeah, she suggested the genocide of black people because a fucking boxer who is black suggested that Jeremy Lin is getting hyped more because he’s Asian and not black.

What Floyd Mayweather said is wrong, and his dislike for Asians is well documented, going back to his racist rant against Manny Pacquiao. However, being racist back (and disturbingly so) certainly isn’t the answer.

We checked in with contributor refresh daemon, who pointed out that Hyun is actually Asian-American, from California – she knew damn well the impact of what she was saying. The internet has also dredged up Hyun’s own stated history of mental illness, which may have led to her public outburst. At some point, I’m going to finish that piece around cultural appropriation, j & k pop, and the violence of revulsion, but until then, Asian Junkies is having an interesting debate in their comments section.

Reader Wen sent in a tip on a public conversation on racism and Australian television. Two prominent stars took to television and twitter to speak out against tokenization, marginalization, and underrepresentation. The Sydney Morning Herald reports:

Firass Dirani, who stars in new ABC drama The Straits, yesterday told Fairfax that major networks did not create roles for people from a broad range of cultural backgrounds.

And that prompted New Zealand actor Jay Laga’aia, recently cut from the cast of long-running soap Home and Away, to rail against perceived racism in Australian television, making his rage known in three angry tweets that included an attack on Channel Seven.

Jay Laga’aia, who is known outside of Australia for his role as Captain Typho in the Star Wars franchise, aired his displeasure on Twitter:

Ah, if only.

Reader Caroline sent in a poem from Chastity Gunn about racial microaggressions:

Reclaiming Pocahontas: Once Tongue Tied

Via Sociological Images, student Samantha Figueroa created an awesome mash-up of Adriel Luis’ Slip of Tongue, and images from Pocahontas.

You can read Luis’ full piece here, but my favorite excerpt is:

“Fine. I’ll tell you bout my ‘ethnic makeup.’
I wear foundation,
not that powdery shit,
I wear the foundation laid by my indigenous people.
It’s that foundation that makes it so that past being globalized,
I can still vocalize with confidence that i know where my roots are.
I wear this foundation not upon my face, but within my soul,
and I take this from my ancestors
because I’ll be damned if I’d ever let an American or European corporation
tell me what my foundation
should look like.”