Monday, September 17, 2007

The First Asian Immigrants

It is interesting to note that when the first Asian immigrants came to the U.S. around the 1850's, they were welcomed with open arms by the native citizens who were already living there. They even went so far as proclaiming that the Chinese and the whites can be united as one to making America a more prosperous nation to be. Which is also interesting because the white Americans could not say the same for the black slaves that were soon to be emancipated decades later. However, the opinion of the Chinese immigrants soon changed as more and more came to American shores and soon became a competitive threat to the white labor. Because of this threat, the white folks became scared and reacted by developing laws and treaties to expel the incoming Asian immigrants and to treat the immigrants already settled as an internal racial group only suited for cheap, efficient labor.

It strikes me that the racism and hatred that began brewing as the Asian immigrants came in by the thousands was an incredibly simple animal response twisted with human rationality. Animals are threatened by the unknown and competition and hence they do their best to drive them away. Humans feel exactly the way, but the only difference is that humans don't simply drive the strange people away with sheer physical force and intimidation (although they do this as well), but with their rational responses of degrading the different-skinned foreigners as inferiors in every facet.

But humans are capable of using their rational faculties for the betterment of mankind, instead of using it to shut off the unknown and the unfamiliar. While the animal in us makes us want to stay by our comfort zones, we are capable of going outside into uncharted territories and to shake hands with whatever is out there. However, it does not stop there since what happens when the unknown enters into our comfort zones and we feel threatened, as the white Americans felt threatened by the masses of Chinese immigrants? The answer then becomes complicated as only a naive fool can say that endless flows of immigrants can come into a space, and like any space, only so much can occupy it before it overflows. But we must not let that intertwine with the irrational fear that the unknown will take over our way of life. For if we do, we will not close off space because there really is not much to share but merely because we just don't like these strange foreign people. By doing that, we are only limiting our potentiality to truly understand life in its vast potential and only remain huddled in our comfortable shells.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Racist against the White Man?

Shortly after posting my last blog, I immediately remembered a slight argument I had with a friend back in Korea during the summer. It was a blunt sarcastic comment that I made that offended my friend and it made me realize that I have some bias of my own that I need to look into. My friend is a half-Caucasian, half-Korean, but he can definitely pass off as the former, rather than the latter. For this, I simply called him off as a white man with benefits that no Asian man can ever have. This stung him because he truly saw himself as both, no racial heritage that he preferred or enjoyed over the other.

And then I realize, in a way, I am racist against Caucasians. I look at every white man and woman and my immediate first impression is to guard myself in that he or she would see me as an effeminate/incapable/impotent Asian man. I get severely annoyed when people think I'm good or bad at something because I'm Asian. I get seriously irked when I see a white man and an Asian woman together and overjoyed when it's vice versa with an Asian man and a white woman. While simply relying on "Yellow Fever" would be a weak reason for my disgruntlement, I cannot help but look in disgust when I see a jock/army type white man with an Asian woman clinging at his side. "DIRTY WHORE" immediately jumps into my head for the woman and as for the man, well, I can only dream of whopping his ass as I grumble to myself how that's just impossible.

So it's certainly not hatred that I feel for the white man but it's certainly not tolerance either. I can only say that I indeed harbor racist feelings for white people as I have always felt that they are the prime example of a race who has embarrassed, humiliated, and victimized people like me for not being as competent and capable as they are. It may be years of white women laughing me off as a "fortune cookie" and the men who think I'm gay or have a penis in the microscopic portion (or no penis at all, as some white men seem to think Asian men are eunuchs).

My sophomore year has been valuable in redefining how I think about myself and my comfort in dealing with people's ignorance and jokes about the Asian race. While my suspicions about the White Man will never cease, I can at least grow comfortable with the ones that I call my dear friends. I think this is reflected in my willing decision to stick with the Superman musical that is happening this fall semester, even though I am casted as a stereotypical Chinese villain (with the only minorities in the play casted as my villainous sons). I've always raised hell that I'm not fucking Chinese, and here I am, highly amused of being this character because he is such a zany character to play.

I believe I've gone off on a tangent here. This new topic will be dealt with separately when I have given more thought about it.