We Must Normalize Racism Against Asian Americans
NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: This satire article includes extensive use of ethnic slurs and references to racially charged abuse and violence, and may be triggering to some readers.
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SATIRE: It was recently revealed that American University’s Chi Omega sorority Instagram account password had been the n-word for at least a decade. I mean, I get how they got away with it—by telling their Black rushes that the sorority experience is just “not for everybody.” What ensued following this development, however, was widespread backlash from the AU community. The Chi Omega password was changed over quickly to “chink,” which most people on campus were understandably more okay with, except for the small and insignificant Asian American community of which I am reluctantly a part.
Now, I know what you guys are going to say. You’re going to say that this is unacceptable, that it’s not okay to play around with these slurs because they’re representative of real-world issues. You’re going to say that it isn’t okay to make a joke (or, in this case, a password) out of something that affects the daily lives of millions of people not just in this country, but around the world as well. Let me just say, as a reluctant member of the Asian American community, you are wrong. Why are you letting racism against your own people bother you? The stereotypes associated with Asian people are mostly positive, after all. We’re hard-working. And we’re smart. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m smart, and I enjoy being smart.
In fact, the only negative stereotypes we get are harmless, anyway. What—women think you're small down there? When you're successful and rich and educated, money will bring all the punani you desire. Not to mention, it is our own Asian girls that are constantly going for men of other ethnicities, leaving their fellow Asian men, me included, in the dust. It's so unfair, and I have no idea what motivates them to avoid me.
Another stereotype involves beauty standards. You don't have eyelashes? Whatever! Monolids are hella sexy. (Please, Vivi. I'm sorry for asking you to buy fake lashes to look more like Princess Diana. I love you. Please take me back. No white girls want me. It's not because I'm Asian. It's because I have a micropenis. Not to mention, I gaslight like a motherfucker.)
Like I said earlier, racism against Asian people is usually just a joke, anyway. And who would be racist if they didn’t have permission from their Asian friend to do so, first? My libertarian friend is happily married to his Asian wife—also known as a “chink" pass with legs and an all-cooking, zero-bitching personality. Not to mention, Asian people are plenty racist, too—yes, all of them, according to my white friend who’s living abroad in South Korea. This means they deserve racism chucked in their direction as well. Get over yourselves.
I agree that it is unacceptable to use the n-word as a password. But a slur for Asian people? That has to be a different story. After all, sororities are nicer to their Asian sisters than they are to prospective Black sisters—that’s an indisputable fact, regardless of whether you agree with me or not. And it’s not just because Asian people at AU are either international students—who the white students at AU rightfully want nothing to do with—or hella whitewashed. The hella whitewashed sorority members have already been taught to be okay with racism and already put in the courtesy to tolerate the quasi-bigotry from their fellow sisters and friends. We should extend their courtesy to the entire Asian American community—the Asian privilege of being accepted into a cultish sisterhood means that the sunken place must be permanently ingrained into the Asian American cultural fabric. It’s time for everybody to be okay with saying “chink,” not just Kynzie and Madisen from AXO.
Look. I’ve heard “chink” used just as much at AU as the n-word, if not more, but that doesn’t mean we should lend the Asian American community the same level of concern about discrimination we offer to Black and Brown people. In fact, I say that word more than anyone on campus so people know I’m one of the good ones. It’s even in my resume header. This is why I go out of my way to make the white fraternity boys around me comfortable enough to use these epithets without worry. When my boy Kayden points at a group of international students, pulls back his temples into the fox eye look made popular by Bella Hadid and Kylie Jenner, and calls them “chinks” with a giggle, I simply tell him, “Don’t worry, Kayden, I’m not like them. Say it again, but pop your scrotum in my mouth this time while you do it.” And when other Asian Americans hear Kayden in action and get offended, I’m always there to back up my boy with the classic “but I’m Asian and I said it was okay” just ‘cause I’m a real one. I do this because, as an Asian person myself, I’m totally valid in speaking on my entire continent’s behalf. However, I do have difficulties finishing the sentence due to Kayden’s scrotum being in my mouth.
And if we’re being honest here, this label shouldn’t be thought of as a slur in the first place—it’s actually the most sensible and sensitive label. Let me explain: “Chinese” is not an inclusive enough term for grouping all Asian people together—we should be using “Chinx” instead.
To put it simply, racism against Asian people should be normalized because Asians experience hella privilege in this country, just as racism against white people has been normalized for the same reason. I would go even further to argue that, sometimes, Asian Americans experience less subjugation than white people. They make more money. They’re happier in marriage because it was never for love. And also, I don’t see anyone calling Japanese or Chinese people “colonizers.” I would happily claim that title to join my pale brothers and sisters.
Now, I know there are a lot of folks out there who suggest that Asian people are people of color too and should be shown the same sensitivity as other minority groups in the United States. I respectfully disagree. We as Asian Americans are not people of color, we are white. We came to this country to be white. We didn’t come here to be Dim Sum King, we came here to be Tim Dick Swole. Being white is not a sham, it is an honor. That’s why they call me “The Triangulation Asian.” Not a day goes by that I’m not jealous of my fellow Asian people over in the Middle East for being classified as white on a census. And if you’re going to call me a bigot, just know that I, too, am Asian. How can I, as an Asian, be bigoted toward other Asians? Duh, hello?
Asian privilege is not having to worry about being pulled over and murdered by police solely because of the color of their skin. Asian privilege is when Asian people in America’s workforce make more money on average than all other ethnic groups, including white people. I mean—as long as you group all other ethnic groups together. If you don’t, that would give Nigerians and a couple other groups a professional edge over Asians, and that wouldn’t help my case. It’s just easier to group people together and conceal nuance when you think like me.
Asian privilege is automatically getting into Ivy League schools without either a legacy admission or help from affirmative action. Asian privilege is Jeremy Lin winning an NBA championship in the 2018-2019 season without having played a single minute in the playoffs. Asian privilege is when I get to sit in the back of the classroom because nobody suspects me of being a cheater when I’m actually bussing on Chegg just like everyone else. Asian privilege is when I ring up my PlayStation 5 at the Target self-checkout as a banana and the door guy doesn’t even check my receipt. Asian privilege is when Cyberpunk 2077 doesn’t crash my system. That’s good racism right there. And the laws of conservation of matter and economic equilibrium mean that good racism must be balanced out by bad racism.
All of this should convince you that spitting on Asian people because they might have COVID-19 is completely fair and probably necessary to balance the scales. We recognize the antisemitism of linking the Jewish diaspora to the country of Israel because Jewish people experience oppression around the world, and have been since the Spanish Inquisition and even before that. However, I’ve never heard of terrorist attacks on Chinese Methodist congregations—only synagogues, Black churches, and mosques. The only terrorist attacks on Chinese Methodist churches happen when I show up just to devour the agave plants they have planted on the front lawn. The Cantonese worship group thinks I speak Mandarin, and the Mandarin worship group thinks I speak Cantonese. In reality, I speak neither.
So why do Asian people get pissed off when a world leader supposes that COVID-19 is a world domination plan by the Chinese government because we’ve got a hygiene issue and we eat mice alive? We should be welcoming the acid dumping. But I know some of you leftist snowflakes out there have been brainwashed by the mainstream media apparatus and refuse to be shown to the light despite airtight logic.
And if you’re going to argue that Asian Americans should somehow be recognized for their country of origin, I got a newsflash for you, buddy: if white people in America don’t find any real value in their ethnic origins, and Black people in America were robbed of their ethnic origins, why should we care about Asian people’s ethnic origins? Hell, I’m pretty sure every Latin American person in this country is totally fine with being from Mexico. And the only record of Native American origins in this country are SUVs, combat helicopters, fossil fuel pipelines, and Elizabeth Warren. I would know. I drive a Jeep Cherokee. Of course I do.
The fact of the matter is: we already lend too much representation to “Laotian” people simply by naming them. And what does “Laotian” mean, anyway? Is it French for “the ocean”? How the hell does one come from the ocean? Moana is a fictional movie with no cultural premise. Who is “Mongolian” and why do they have beef with everyone? Who is this “Cam the Bodian” that President Nixon apparently bombed? Asian people experience institutional, economic, and cultural privilege already! And now they want us to acknowledge that they’re not from India, that they’re actually from Pakistan? How about Paki-stop? Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan? No, dude. I’m a Zendaya stan.
If we want to talk about ethnic erasure, let’s talk about the erasure of white people through the use of the word “Caucasian.” The Caucasus refers to the region encompassing Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, Armenia, and Persia. So, essentially, Middle Eastern people are Chinese. There are Asians who are classified as white, and yet somehow still claim to be oppressed? The fact that Jake Gyllenhaal played the leading role in Prince of Persia doesn’t make up for anything. We’re talking about real oppression. This is ethnic erasure, to which I am unconditionally opposed. Oppression against Asian people is just another part of the great modern phenomenon of claiming subjugation with no historical basis.
Some would say that the model minority “myth” is the result of strict immigration laws passed during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s used to diminish the struggles of other people of color in America. Some would say the positive stereotypes toward Asian people in this country constitute a weaponization of the effects of a strict merit-based immigration system by white people to put down other people of color in this country and shut down efforts toward systemic change. Some would say the classification of Asian people as white is part of the great triangulation conspiracy invented by liberal elite academics in which white people absorb any sort of excellence into their own mold to set the country’s minority populations against each other. Some people are just snowflakes who can’t take a joke because they’re too busy reading all this nonsensical MSNBC, CNN, Buzzfeed gookie—I mean, dookie. Some people just constantly live in the past, so they can feel more important in the present.
Some others would say that despite mean income metrics, Asians today experience the highest income disparity of any ethnic group in America. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they experience institutional subjugation. This simply means there are the same number of Asian American doctors and engineers as Asian American cash-only business owners.
Everyone knows that Asian people get degrees. (Again, if we group all other ethnic groups together.) In addition to engineering and medicine, I’ve heard that the new generation of Asian Americans are going into finance as well, which means they will be nabbing huge profits on Wall Street by betting on the market at the expense of the small businesses that their own people live by. If that’s not the definition of being white, I don’t know what is. And if we are going to tolerate anti-white rhetoric, we should embrace anti-Asian rhetoric as well.
However, poorer Asian immigrants using restaurants as a way of raising money to bring over their family members to live free lives as prospective white Americans? This is simply the Asian version of an anchor baby. And the fact that we care about Mexican anchor babies more than Asian anchor babies speaks to the level of privilege that the Asian American community enjoys.
Listen, if Asian people in America were truly subjugated, we’d know about it. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t learn anything in this country’s flawless education system about the lynchings of Asian people in American history. I didn’t hear anything about Asian people joining the Black-led Civil Rights Movement, much less the Black Panther Party. Hell, I was surprised there were even enough Japanese people in America during World War II to fill a single internment camp. But I still cry when President Franklin D. Roosevelt stands up from his wheelchair in the movie Pearl Harbor, because he was a true American patriot. If he was such a patriot, why would he put his own citizens in camps? There was nothing even about Asian people in that movie. All that Executive Order 9066 stuff has to be a liberal hoax, just like toilet paper.
It is clear that not only do Asian Americans experience more privilege than people of color in this country, it is also clear that they experience more privilege than white people as well. And if white people can be called “crackers” with impunity, why are Asian American slurs off-limits? And going even further, you know who has more privilege on campus than Asian Americans? Gender non-binary folks. I noticed we have a gender-neutral bathroom and an all-gender bathroom, but I don’t see why we don’t have any squatters for Asian students. I can’t even poop when I’m in China anymore because I’ve lost considerable leg strength from all the bourgeois sitting toilets in this country. You know what it’s like to sit on a crack in the ground as a passionately straight man? Gay. That's what it’s like. That's oppression.
Mark Lu is a senior in the School of Public Affairs. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Agora.