Whenever I turn on the TV, it seems that I always see black people. Black people are absolutely dominating American media. Look at America now.
Our president is Black. (Obama)
Our top female talk host is Black. (Oprah)
Our top music artists are black. (Rihanna, Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Lil Wayne, Usher)
Our top athletes are black. (Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Reggie Bush)
Just a hundred years ago, America had Jim Crow laws that were specifically discriminating against Blacks. Another fifty years back and the American white man had been using Black people as slaves.
And look at where Black people are now. Kicking America’s sweet ass.
And why aren’t Asians making the same progress?
We can make one argument that there aren’t nearly as many Asians in the United States as there are blacks. To be precise, there is one-third the amount of Asians as there are blacks.
But are we gaining one-third of the media attention? Hell no. We are getting almost none of it. And until we start earning some respect it’s going to stay that way.
If you’re an Asian, why should you care? Perhaps you’re okay with your life. Maybe you’re a doctor or an engineer and you’re making great money. You live a great life.
Why do Asians need to start realizing that media presence is very important?
Asian Americans are losing their identity – Asian Americans have begun to identify with other races. We now have terms like “white-washed” or “changsta” or “banana” to describe our dual racial identifications. Asian kids want to look white or act black because that’s what TV tells them “is cool.” We are losing our pride of just being Asian.
Asian Americans have no strong role models – When on TV does the Asian guy ever get the girl? When is the Asian girl more than just a slut or simple eye-candy? When I was growing up, Jackie Chan movies were my favorite because it was “someone like me” who was the hero. Now even he can’t fulfill that role anymore because his Hollywood movies are terrible (The Spy Next Door… really?). Why would Asian kids want to be Asian if all the strong protagonists in movies or TV are white?
Asian Americans are getting no respect – When Asians are portrayed on TV, men are portrayed as weak, mumbling, effeminate men. Asian women are seen as submissive, slutty, or unable to properly speak English.
Do we really want to be seen as this?
Asian Americans are being subject to racism – The little presence we do have on the media is largely a negative one. You know what I’m talking about. Asian kid is always a math nerd or science geek. Because of those stereotypes, Asian American kids resent their race. The last thing I need is to hear my son come up to me and say, “Daddy, why aren’t I white? I want to be white.”
Asian Americans are going to continue having no media presence – Simply because there isn’t anyone in the business right now.
Asian Americans are losing ambitions – Even if an Asian kid has great athletic skills, he might be discouraged to pursue them because he believes that “It’s impossible for me to excel in sports because I’m Asian.” I don’t know about any of you, but when I was a kid I always wanted to be an actor, but was dissuaded by my parents because that’s simply too “risky” of a job. I was supposed to be “realistic.” Is it so great to be realistic? What if Obama decided to be “realistic” and say that it’s impossible for a Black man to be president? What if Michael Jordan decided that after being cut from his high school basketball team, he would quit trying to be a professional athlete? Realistic makes you ordinary. Unrealistic makes you extraordinary.
So what can we do about it?
Rise above the norm. Stop thinking about just fitting in to American society. Think about what you can do to become a leader. Get the word out. I wrote this article in two hours. If it reaches 1000 people I’ll be happy that I potentially influenced 1,000 Asians.
Dare to defy your parents. Sure they may know what’s best for you, but do they really know what’s best for you? Are they really caring about you or do they just care about how much money you make?
And is money really the key to happiness? Definitely not. Some of the richest people in the world are also the most miserable. A homeless bum can be totally satisfied with his life.
Take risks. Perhaps go into a career in the media industry. Try journalism. Try music. Try film. Audition yourself for a role in a movie. Don’t worry about what your parents think and try to launch your singing career. Spend a couple thousand bucks and shoot a documentary film. I think it’s time that Asians have their own Harlem renaissance.
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