Always count on F C to come through! I did a quickie search of my past as a poster king on USENET. I love some of these quips from an angry, egotistical, smartie-pants.
Background Note: We had a lot of threads devoted to identity and terminology. As you can imagine, the two are intertwined, can’t talk about identity without talking about terminology/names. Talked about “oriental” vs “asian american” vs “american” vs “
Some gems of mine from a 27 post thread:
“Finally, not to start another flame war on terminology but I appear to
be the only one who finds something irksome with the term Asian
American.” (March 12, 1991) Prior to this there were some posts about “Asian American” and I stated I found it to be insulting to me to be labeled such. I argued that I was an American, without the descriptive qualifier “Asian”.
From the same post:
“….what does an Asian American have to do with Western culture given
the person’s roots are Eastern? An interesting corollary question would
be: what is the heritage of an Asian American?”
In the same thread, responding to A. H from Stanford, I again railed against the term “Asian American”!
> All the more reason to have Asian-American studies.
> At least then there would be *some* information opposed
> to the traditional stereotypes.
Yes, that’s the argument. A counter argument is that the effectiveness
of “studies” can not and do not overide the stereotypes and incorrect
perceptions that people who have not been in contact with different
ethnic groups. Books that seek to “bring” reality to ignorant people
are not real so therefore the effect is diminished. I also would argue
that the effect of media (ie. television and pictures) are more powerful
that than words in shaping the ideas of people.
> >[YC wrote:]
> >Finally, not to start another flame war on terminology but I appear to
> >be the only one who finds something irksome with the term Asian
> I’m not that fond of it either. How ’bout “Yellows”? 🙂
Heh heh. The term Asian American fails the “diversity” test if you
will. Those PC people who trumpet the ideal of “diversity” and use the
term Asian American fail to recognize that diversity can not exist when
you try to cram so many different ethnic Asian groups under “Asian
American”. Not only are the experiences between Korean Americans,
Chinese Americans, Japanese Americans, Indian Americans, Philipino
Americans, Vietnamese Americans etc as a whole but the individual
experience within each group is different depending on generation and
geographical location (ie. West vs. East and MidWest or North vs. South).
It does an injustice to these individual differences (aka diversity) by
lumping everything together into some term that hardly describes what
exactly it is to be an “Asian American”. The term implies a paradigm
that everyone exists under and follows but that is hardly true. And
it’s quite ironic.
Here’s another one, rather prescient hmmm:
> Now here’s a question for all you out there in net-land: what should
> replace “minority” in the language? I’m not too crazy about “person
> of color” either, since a) white is a color too, and b) it’s really close
> to “colored person,” which carries extremely negative connotations.
Why should there be a change? Are we going to create yet another
arbitrary “politically incorrect” term? You confuse the way “minority”
is used *in context* to describe American society, not the world.
Asians in this country are indeed minorities for they make up a small
percentage of the total population. However, using the word “minority”
has had an implicit comparison to the “majority” group (white in this
case) but with the continuing influx of ethnic groups, there may be a
time where “minority” and “majority” will become meaningless.
here’s another gem where I rant against the enforced separation of Asian Americans:
Some kind poster asks SCAA group what they thought of Asian greek organizations. I flamed back:
“I understand the need for such ethnic organizations. However, it merely
enforces a premeditated separation which defeats the very purpose that
these organizations were created in the first place.”
What I really meant was that creating these types of organizations, and not just fraternities/sororities but Asian whatever group doesn’t help bring integration and color-blind society. Back then I was a vocal and ardent supporter and speaker for the color-blind society in America and this put me in somewhat of a “minority” among my Asian American “activist” types. Often was labeled, banana, twinkie, sell-out, self-hater, conservative blah blah blah. I constantly railed against “ethnic” identifiers. The only one that I would accept as it defined me was “Chinese American”, not “Asian American”. I often used the liberal “diversity” petard against the misguided liberals championing “Asian American” terminology by saying that “Asian American” is actually limiting diversity by grouping possibly (dis-) similar ethnic groups under a single umbrella. In a true diversity environment, we ought to celebrate and acknowledge all our different ethnic backgrounds hence, “Chinese American” “Korean American” etc was much more in the spirit of diversity than “Asian American”. They didn’t like my argument :-). They didn’t like it because they knew I was right hehehe!
Anyways, I’m all pooped from reminiscing about my hot-headed past. So flame away :-)!