NBC Asian America recently published a video on “Where Do Stereotypes About Asian-American Men Come From?”. It’s interesting to see them publishing some awareness about this and it included a lot of things that I had researched and discovered on my own. First off, I just wanted to say that every person of gender or color has their own unique experiences and those that can be related. Some people that are outside looking in may not empathize because they never experienced the same thing or that they believe there are other issues that have higher priority. Then again, maybe they are systematically programmed to think that way because they’ve been raised more privileged than others. Let me ask you this…if you take two identical twins of the same ethnicity and place them in two different habitable countries. Will they grow up to be same? The answer is no. The recipe into who what we are as a person has some parts with genetics and some parts with our society with what we’re exposed to and who have become an influence. Like I’ve mentioned before, we SHOULD NOT point fingers and pass blame but WE CAN look at ourselves and DO something about it. Whither it is changing ourselves for self-improvement or even becoming more culturally aware of our surroundings can we progress the representation of all people of color.
Now, as a KAD (or Korean adoptee) who was raised American and grew up in a low middle to middle class part of town with Black Americans and Caucasians, I can speak from my experience alone. Over time, I’ve become more socially and culturally aware of what it is like being a Korean American and being adopted didn’t help much. I’m not looking for your sympathy but I do want you to know where I am coming from. The stereotypes discussed in NBC’s video had all applied to what I’ve experienced growing up. Although they don’t go much in detail of the development of Asian-American stereotypes since it’s short. When I was growing up, it was complicated to fit in somewhere because I wasn’t white nor was I black and it’s not like I was really surrounded by much of Korean or Asian role models. Lets be honest, parents don’t have full control over how you turn out in the end and a lot of the stuff you learn in grade school has to do with American history that deals with Caucasians and Black Americans. In addition, nearly every show has a Caucasian actor in the leading role. In Hollywood, Black Americans seem to have progressed a lot further with leading roles than Asian Americans as you have Danny Glover, Will Smith and Denzel Washington to name a few. At the beginning of the video, they survey a number of people on naming an Asian-American actor and they all failed. This would prove true with most people if you were to ask yourself or even friends.
Now, remember when I said we can’t go pointing the finger and linger in the past but today, emasculation of Asian-American men is an issue and the lack of representation for Asian-Americans is an even bigger issue. Microaggression is a theory that’s described as a subtle approach for what hate crimes used to be and is the cause of stereotypical behavior. Because of microaggression, I’ve witnessed other Asian-Americans wanting to disassociate with their own race because they wanted to fit in and become accepted and this seems to be more prevalent with KADs. We live in America and everyone has their right to representation and it’s evident that Asian-Americans are a little behind on it. But if you haven’t watched the NBC video, you can check it out below!