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Esoterica: The other thing that hurts about this Jenny Hyun thing



I know I was gonna go all STOMP THE BITCH and UGH EAST ASIANS WHY U SO RACIST LIDDAT and RARR DIAF but the other Big Thing about this is that

there is already so much tension between black and East Asian communities, and black and Asian communities in the first place. I’m thinking anti-black bullshit like the horrid racist against Lou Jing in 2009 and other personal things I’ve seen people say on the ground, like an aunt in England criticizing black people during the London riots and my mom reacting really negatively against the idea of my dating a black (and NDN) person. 

Incidents like these hurt anti-racism. How can Asians ever expect black people to trust them when so many Asians are willing to spout anti-black racism? And without that trust, what, really, is the potential for a black-Asian alliance to fight racism? 

And when everyone else just keeps silent, from corporations to Asian k-pop fans, it’s just another message to black people that our yellow skins are more important and we really didn’t care about this anti-racism thing after all, because fighting it in our own communities by ourselves is just too damn difficult. Because omg we can totes do it ourselves right? We can totally find our own theory of resistance and enact it, and totally ignore the long Asian-black history of sharing resistance modes. We can disavow our histories of racism that’s intimately intertwined with blackness because we are Asians therefore have Our Own Unique Historical Experience with white supremacy and we can totes do it ignoring what black people have done for generations. 

But of course when we’re accused of anti-black racism, we Asians also have our own black friends right? Those friends are only there when we’re accused of racism, OH NO, WE DON’T HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING WHEN SOMEONE DECIDES THAT IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO ERADICATE OUR FRIENDS FROM THE FACE OF THE PLANET.

But hey, assimilation, it is awesome, we can prove that we can consume black culture and cast aside black people along with the best of ‘em (whites).

Except, we never had to prove that. The way racism is set up, we never had to prove that this was doable at all. All we have to do is just participate in it, and it doesn’t prove diddly-squat except to reinforce the idea that the world thinks black people are inferior. So here we are scraping for attention and the embrace of white supremacy and waiting for accolades and the money to roll in for being the Model Minority, good Asian, good! and the only satisfaction we can possibly get out of this? Is that we managed to prove ourselves just as genocidal, just as colonial, as the white people we complain so much about and yet whose ranks we would desperately like to join. 

Well that’s great Jenny Hyun. I’m glad that you managed to get yourself some new friends and followers who adore you for being “so brave” in “expressing your opinion”. 

Thanks for eroding further the trust black people could have had for Asians in fighting racism, thanks for taking a shit on any solidarity we could have had, thanks for kicking aside the long history of black-Asian alliances, thanks for participating in white supremacy efforts to divide POC.

In short, thanks for nothing, you racist little fuck. I hope you get cast aside and drug in the dirt and insulted like you just did AN ENTIRE RACE OF HUMAN BEINGS. 

This is the response that I wish I had had the time and energy to write. 

Indeed, thanks for making it so that those Asians who don’t hate Black people will have to work harder to prove ourselves trustworthy. 

Black people deserve so much better than this. 

[TLDR; My story rant of seeing and hearing black hate while growing up in an asian family]

Vietnamese person here. My parents immigrated from Vietnam to America to escape the rampant communism over there. They are literally boat people. What I noticed since I was young, was that my parents distrusted a lot of colored people who didn’t have stereotypical asian slanted eyes. You know how parents would sometimes give meaningless threats to get us to do stuff? Such as “buckle your seat belt or the police will get you!” or “If you don’t eat your vegetables you’ll never grow up!” Well my parents use to tell me that if I did something bad a  mỹ đen would get me.  Mỹ đen is usually a derogatory term for an american black person. Which is weird as shit considering the a lot of south east asians are dark or tan.

Seriously, they would tell me shit like “If you don’t take a bath a black person will get you” “Don’t talk to that black person over there!”

They treated black and hispanic people so different to how they treated white people.

Little white girls party? Of course you can go!” “Staying at your white friend’s house? That’s fine!” “Little black girl’s party? No you can’t go! You don’t know what those people will do!” “You’re at your hispanic friend’s house? Come home right now!”

Even my older sister is openly racist. If she wants to say something bad about a colored person she usually says it to me in viet so that they can’t understand. It’d range from making fun of a person’s nappy hair to how much darker their skin is compared to lighter skinned black people. While watching a movie a light skinned black person was one of the supporting characters and she turned to me and exclaimed “Why can’t all black people look like that?!” I wanted to slap her, but instead I was just like “Are you fucking serious?” 

I confronted my mom (my dad is a lost cause) about it when I was a preteen. She had another kid with my step father. I have a little brother named Daniel. He’s 6 now and I know he’s soaked up some of the racist bullshit spouted by my mother because she didn’t know any better. I remember him asking me to show him the spider-man comics I bought. They were the ones with Miles Morales, a hispanic/black super hero. After I let him see it he turned to me and said he didn’t like it. When I asked him why he told me “I don’t want spider-man to be black!” I was shocked. After he saw my reaction he tried to assuage me by smiling and saying “Just kidding, just kidding! Spider-man can be black!” Now my mom uses the word stranger to scare my little brother from doing things, but I can’t be with them always to monitor my mother’s words.

Fuck all this asian/black hate. Fuck Jenny Hyun. 

Anyways I also wanted to say that if you are black and you ever hear asian people saying a word that sounds like me-dang then they’re probably racist assholes.

#asian people against Jenny Hyun

It’s an on-going effort, and good for you to start your little brother on it young. Don’t give up. Ask him difficult questions on why he doesn’t want Spiderman to be black. Make him think really early. Get him out to get used to non-Asian POC. It won’t confuse him. It’ll give us a hope of one less Asian racist later on when he grows up. 

But don’t individualize this issue. Jenny Hyun isn’t just some random racist asshole; she’s a product of a whole system and culture of racism that affects our world. She’s hired by a big corporation that tolerates her hatred because they see no way her racism could hurt them, like it hurts black people. In fact, I’d say her employers (and everyone who willingly associates with her) accept her hateful bigotry, because it’s damn acceptable to hate black people generally. Your family members aren’t just random racist assholes either. They grew up thinking hating on blacks and Latinos are acceptable, and they’re living in a country openly racist towards them so why should they change? And it takes constant effort and constant education to challenge them. 

But we gotta start at home whenever we can.

Intra-POC racism is pernicious.