*[UPDATE] Well, lookie here. We did it.
As of January 17, 2012, the ‘Make Me Asian’ app is no longer available on the Google Play Store. And thankfully, so are the other offensive apps created by the same person. According to the NPR blog:
“Make Me Asian,” a smartphone app that drew the ire of Asian-American activists for what they say are stereotypical depictions, is no longer available on the Google Play Store.
The “Make Me Asian” app let users alter photos to turn faces into stereotypical Asian caricatures —- think Fu Manchu-style mustaches and rice paddy hats. Its creator, “KimberyDeiss,” developed similar apps, like Make Me Indian, Make Me Russian, Make Me Frankenstein and Make Me Fat. Those apps are no longer available, either, and KimberyDeiss’s Google Play profile has been deleted.
I want to sincerely thank everyone who read my initial blog post, engaged it (whether you agreed with it or not), and chose to act by signing the petition on change.org. Special props to Peter Chin for bringing it to my attention and initiating the petition.
Again and again, people often respond with “Aren’t there more important things to fight for?”
Absolutely, there is. There are. Always. But it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t pursue these convictions too.
Let me calm myself first. [Breathe in. Breathe out.]
There are a lot of other words I can say right now but let me refrain from the choice words and spell it out with other words.
What in the Hades is this? Have you heard about this “Make Me Asian” app on the Google Play Store?
- Who in the hell made this?
- Why did Google allow this to get through their application and filter process?
This is racist. Blatantly racist. Like crazy racist.
But then, why is this allowed to even happen? Again?
For a second, just imagine if this was a “Make Me Black” app? The world would go crazy as they should. That would be damn racist! But oh with Asians – hee hee. Those passive, quiet, and docile Asians…hee hee.
Or imagine if there was a “Make me Indian” app? Think I’m stretching too far here? Nope: the app is already there.
The Make me Asian app self-describes itself as:
Have you ever wondered to present himself as a person of another nationality? You can imagine, for example, Chinese or Japanese? No? Then immediately take your phone and download it amazing Android-application called «Make me Asian».
This is just a fun app lets you indulge you and your friends! You can for a few seconds to make himself a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asian
Someone please punch me in the face. Really? Are you serious?
I already told you to not dress up as blackface, brownface, redface, or yellowface.
So, why does this keep happening?
For one, we’re all broken, sinful, broken, and sinful. And no, I’m not repeating myself. Some things are worth repeating. Part of that brokenness rears its head through ugly expressions of racism – sometimes direct and sometimes subtle.
Another reason might be the possibility that Asians have lived into the stereotypes of passivity and quietness way too long. Stereotypes are wrong to begin with but they’re also very dangerous because this allows folks to get away with lots of crap. Or with lame excuses – the best being…”I was trying to honor your culture.”
Or we pass the blame to those we’ve offended.
There are times we need to get angry.
On numerous occasions, I get flack from people because they disturbed that as a Christian and as a pastor, I exhibit anger – or as I like to put it, “Angry Christian Asian Man” syndrome.
Wait? I can’t get angry – especially is there’s cause to be angry? Or is perhaps that folks have stereotypes that Asians are quiet and passive and me functioning outside of that box makes them uncomfortable? Isn’t that why folks are afraid of the “angry black man?” Asians – through traditional culture – have been encouraged to endure suffering or humiliation; We’re inculturated to keep things inside; not rock the boat; don’t bring attention…but I’m tired of this stuff – especially if it lets others get away with junk.
I’m tired but I’m also angry.
I’m angry for myself. I’m angry for my parents. I’m angry for my wife. I’m angry for my children. I’m angry for my multi-ethnic church. I’m angry for people – all that are demeaned and degraded.
As an Asian-American, let me say that I have heard ‘ching-chong’ many many times in my life. I have had random people slit their eyes as they pass me by. I thought it would end with me but the fact that my kids experience this bullsh*t is infuriating.
I’m not suggesting we be angry for the sake of being angry but there are times you need to get angry. Turn tables. Confront people.
And to be honest, there are times we need people to get angry with us. Turn tables with us. Confront others with us. Please remember this when you hear or see something that demeans and degrades another person, culture, orientation, or gender.
Practical Action: Sign this petition.
Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil”, which makes it difficult to fathom why they support the “Make Me Asian” app on their Google Play Store, an app which overlays dated and racist stereotypes on your photos. Now you too can be Asian by putting a rice paddy hat and fu manchu mustache on your profile picture, complete with slanty eyes!…because that’s all it takes to represent the four billion Asians in the world, a stupid hat and facial hair. Tell Google you want this app, as well as any like it, removed immediately from Google Play.
You can go here and we need to get the Make me Indian app removed as well.
Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
To the app developers who created this stupid app and to others who think it’s no big deal:
Fool, these Asian eyes are real. They are fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator. You can’t fabricate or app these eyes. Stop the racist bull. Learn to respect others.