One of my readers sent me this video couple months ago because well, I somehow and mysteriously got on this video.
Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to create a viral video and tried with this one but no luck. But God answered my prayers (sarcasm here) and somehow, Kim Jong-Il (the notorious North Korean dictator) and I star in the same video that has been viewed at least 3 million times (and that’s just on YouTube).
Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure how or what to feel about the video initially because I was shell-shocked. The video was created as a parody to basically make fun of Asian and Korean culture. You can bing the creator of the video, Rucka Rucka Ali, if you want as I’m in no mood to send any traffic to his site. Yes, I admit that I chuckled once but then realized this was basically a video getting people to laugh at your expense. [Anyone remember that scene in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story where BL is on a date watching Breakfast at Tiffanys?]
It’s discouraging and makes me angry.
First of all, how in the world did I get on this video?
It was because of this blog entry, My Slanted Eyes are Beautiful, and yes, I got plenty of angry emails for that post.
But I’m not backing down. They are beautiful.
“But why discouraging and angry?”
Some folks will think this is funny or good comedy and even scarier, some may think this is a quasi-reflection of Asian culture. It feeds the machine of stereotypes, prejudice, racism, and blah blah blah.
Heck, 3 million+ views just on YouTube.
“Grow a backbone and thicker skin.”
Yes, that’s what I heard from several during the Deadly Vipers fiasco. I suppose there’s some legit truth there but when Asians generally feel there’s a limited exposure to Asian culture and expression and it’s hawked in videos like this and other stereotypes, we can’t help but try to defend our culture, expressions and people.
And I would throw this back at others as well: “You get thicker skin.” Don’t be so used to the stereotype of Asians being passive and believing in the model minority myth. We get angry, too – especially at injustice and prejudice.
“But our ultimate identity is in Christ.”
But for us to deny the uniqueness of our identities including our ethnicity would be deny the sovereignty of God’s creation. God – with purpose – created me to be Korean with a Korean-American experience. This doesn’t supersede my identity as a child of God – created in His image // lost, wicked, and depraved // but redeemed by the grace and beauty of God. But it is nevertheless, an important part of my identity…
A Changing World
Most folks don’t know or care to learn about the stories of “others.” Don’t worry: I’m guilty of this as well. Just too darn busy or too into myself and my peeps, my tribes, my agenda…
But maybe it’s good and actually necessary for us to take a step into learning the stories of others particularly since our neighborhoods, churches, cities, country, and larger world is becoming so much more connected and diverse.
Here’s a few previous posts that might be worth checking out:
- I am More than a Stereotype
- Why You Need to Know Vincent Chin
- Race and Reconciliation: Why is it so Hard?
- I’m Taking down all my Posters of Miley Cyrus and Jonas Brothers
My point is this:
Diversity is the new normal. Don’t just get used to it, embrace it. Learn to thrive in it.
Finally, welcome to the month of June.
Did you know that May was Asian-American Heritage Month? Don’t feel bad…most folks don’t know either (or don’t care) but here’s an opportunity to learn 10 important dates in the narrative of Asian-American history.
Your choice to read it or not.
10 Facts You May Not Know About Asian-American History:
[read full article & list] Most of America isn’t aware that May is Asian-American Heritage Month. It’s a celebration that started in 1978, when Congress urged President Jimmy Carter to declare the week of May 4th “Asian-American Heritage Week.” (That date was chosen to coincide with the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on May 7, 1843, and with the completion of the first transcontinental railroad — built largely by Chinese laborers — on May 10, 1869.) More recently in 1990, following another vote by Congress, President George H.W. Bush expanded Asian-American Heritage Week to encompass the entire month of May.
Sadly, Asian-American history and heritage is rarely taught in U.S. public schools. So for those of you who’ve missed such curriculum, here’s a list of 10 factoids you may not have known about the history of Asian-Americans in this country: [read the list]