Shelbi

Archive for October, 2010|Monthly archive page

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.

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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. 😛

That was racist! Or was it?

In Uncategorized on October 10, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Is this racist?

What about this?

If you said yes to any of these you may be right or wrong, depending on your experiences with racism. For me, I could argue reasons why both of these instances were and were not racist.

Racism has been described in many different ways in our own American history. What one may think is a deliberate way of demeaning another race, someone else may think is just pure happenstance. But the issue with that is many people oftentimes cannot tell the difference, and that is when horrible things can happen to good people (and vice versa). More so, there is never anything more ignorant than someone throwing the race card out in vain.

The lack of understanding of what racism really is makes it very difficult for conversations on race between different races to truly exist. It seems as though we will forever skim the surface because of the fear of being labeled a “racist”. But if we were secure in our beliefs and understanding of what racism was we could eliminate that fear. In my research paper, I hope to help the people who read it do just that.

Dictionary.com defines racism as “hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.” In that context, then would be the first two (possible) examples of it be wrong? It is a question to ponder while you watch this hilarious (or not) joke by Whoopie Goldberg. And while you watch, answer her question and then ask yourself, “Is this racist?”