In light of the recent racial tragedies at IU…

In Uncategorized on November 30, 2010 at 9:36 pm

I’m not sure if you have heard of the tragedy that happened here at IU when a group of students of Asian decent were attacked by a group of African-Americans of the same age group (but not students at IU) during Halloween weekend. The students were robbed of their electronic belongings (iPod, iPad, cell phone, etc.) and a host of racial slurs were exchanged between the two groups, as many articles say. It’s just a sad, sad event that, unfortunately, does not sound hard to believe. Call me internally racist, but I have certainly seen situations like this happen before, just never to this magnitude.

I went to the emergency meeting that was held on campus in response to the attacks and I was not surprised as to how divided the room was, a kind of  mock of what the campus looks like on any given day. Everyone seemed so surprised at what had happened, and honestly, I was a bit shocked that it had elevated to violence, but considering the lack of cultural connection on campus, it was easy for me to quickly understand how the situation escalated.

Primarily, some people are just ignorant.

If you’re from a town, where everyone looks like you, everyone worships the same God you worship and everyone has the same economic struggles as you, it is easy for you to become unaccustomed to the rest of the world. It’s almost like you’re trapped in a bubble that limits your cultural exposure. What becomes detrimental to the rest of the world is that one person who steps out of the bubble, with their lack of cultural awareness, and opens their mouth. In this situation, their words were “Hey here comes Chinatown”.

Now, because of the seemingly bias reports that I have witnessed overtime, I wont go into my assumptions on whether the media inaccurately reported a type of sensationalist story that described the Asians as helpless victims and the African-American men as ruthless robbers, but I will say, that when I returned on campus to hear of the horrible tragedy, it seemed as though IU was looking toward the black community to explain their behavior and in turn I feared the worse.

Of course I am ashamed of my brother for lashing out at some strangers with racial slurs and violence, but he isn’t my brother because he’s black, he’s my brother because he exists, which is the point I’m trying to make. This issue is not a Black vs. Asian thing. It affects us all. It shows America what America looks like, and this is an issue that we all should conquer together. Shame on the news stations who made this a race issue! Shame on those who separated themselves from the issue because they were not a part of the two racial groups involved. These men were your friends, your classmates, your local citizens of Indiana, and they need you to help them help themselves.


Three Woos! for Shelby Woo

In Uncategorized on October 25, 2010 at 10:12 am

When I was little, like in elementary school, I was always teased about my name. Mostly because I was the first and only black Shelbi that any of my classmates had ever seen, but also because I shared my name with a television character by the name of Shelby Woo. Her television show aired on Nickelodeon, starting in 1996 for a short period of two years. She was a sort of Nancy Drew of my day, with a passion for solving crimes. She was a high school girl, maybe 16 years old, and she was Asian. I am not certain if watching her show as a child was one of the first times I had ever realized that there was more to race than just black and white, but to me, Shelby was more of a girl who shared my name than an Asian girl who shared my name.

I loved her television show, because she made all “Shelbys” look good. She was smart and determined and very independent, often going against her grandfather’s wishes to solve crimes and help people who were in need. She had spunk, and a personality much different from the media generally portrays Asian Americans. Her grandfather (played by Pat Mortia of The Karate Kid), however, had more of a meek and humbling spirit that is more common in the media. However, it had not dawned on me that her role on the show was so much different from other Asian roles of that same decade. I can remember no references to karate chopping or geisha mimicking. Her and her grandfather’s english was perfect, with still some hint of their Asian accent. Shelby was your typical, all-American super sleuth.

After learning of all the different stereotypical portrayals of Asians and Asian Americans in the media, I was so happy to be able to remember a time where we weren’t so ignorant and racist. So three Woos! to Nickelodeon and Shelby Woo for making such an imprint in the media with race by not dwelling so much on it.

Why I gotta be the purple grape?

In Uncategorized on October 17, 2010 at 11:09 pm

You ever noticed how racist the media is? No really. Have you noticed? I have. And I have a few questions:

Why are black people the purple grapes? Now, doesnt that sound stupid? Like, on some, “This is such an ignorant observance” but no, really, we are always grapes. Still dont believe me? Ever heard of the Singing California Raisins? I saw this when I was in the 5th grade, and even then I knew that there was something wrong with it, though it didn’t upset me very much back then. It still doesn’t really upset me; its  more funny than anything, but in a “this is so sad and wrong” kind of way. And to add insult to injury, then Fruit of the Loom decides to personify their fruit underwear, and of course, the purple grape is black. I may have not been as upset with this fact if there had not been two bunches of grapes, with the green grapes (which is used to make white grape juice) being the white person. Even the purple Fantana is black! Wtf?!

Why was the Yellow Ranger Asian? In an attempt to discuss another racially misconstrued group, have you ever paid any attention to the first Power Rangers Setup?

Why the hell is the yellow ranger Asian? Like, does anyone see anything wrong with that? Did the same person that wrote the hymn “Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World” make up the racial color wheel? I mean, who the hell said that Red constitutes for Native American and Brown constitutes for Latino? Furthermore, why the hell would anyone with a brain actually play on this obvious generalization of a race? And it doesn’t help that these colors alone all carry their own stereotypes. So now, not only does yellow make you a coward, but it makes you Asian too. And not only are black and brown colors that signify things that are dirty, but they also make you African American and Latino as well. Sucks to be us.

PS: I am aware that these observances sound incredibly ignorant, but they’re observances nonetheless. 😛