Nothing gets me more upset than people like Bill O'Reilly trying to play Blacks/Latinos/andAsians against each other... If you haven't heard the segment, Buzzfeed has an ill recap. But, I just want to put a few FACTS out there for this mouth breather and anyone else who tries to dispel white privilege by playing Asians against Blacks. Without even addressing the fact that privilege can't be defined solely by median income, graduation rates, single parent homes, and unemployment. Privilege rears its head at the bar, at central booking, on OKCupid, etc. White privilege permeates every single layer of American life. I'm gonna spot this biscuit 10 points and assume that you can define it with these identifiers because... as a person of color in this country, that's how we do. We spot you 10 points and THEN yam it on you. If you never read Mcintosh or heard of the invisible knapsack, peep game.
But here we go, if O'Reilly is intent on playing the barbarians against themselves, here are my reasons why I refuse, why you can't, and why this isn't even a logical conversation to be having. To take certain aspects of Asian American "success" in the eyes of dominant culture and compare them to African American progress in those same fields has NOTHING to do with white privilege. It is actually further evidence of white privilege that the conversation is even framed this way on AMERICA'S NUMBER ONE CABLE NEWS SHOW.
1) Asians were never enslaved ... besides internment camps. Let's just get that out of the way, unpack that on your own time, you don't need me for that.
2) Asians have history. Many of us can trace our families back to China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Sanrio, etc. and we're connected. SLAVERY BROKE THE BRIDGE TO HISTORY. Imagine living without knowing your history, your language, your culture, and YOUR FAMILY. This is like comparing unseasoned chicken to brined chicken naw mean? Through SLAVERY, blacks were torn from their families, their homes, their countries, and forced to create new ones. Even when they did start new ones in America, they were still torn apart, re-sold, and forced back down to zero like they got tipped in playing Utah (21 in Brooklyn).
3) Asians are NEW SERFS to the matrix. Many asians are first and 2nd generation in this country and coming over daily. My parents faced hardships as adults, but they didn't get exposed to the systematic cultural conditioning and discrimination that you face as a person of color growing up in this country. They know who they are, they have their identities, and their self-confidence was fostered in an environment where being Chinese didn't automatically mean you were going to get dunked in the trash can after school.
When my Dad read my book, he had no idea that I had been forced to use my right hand, forced to eat soap for not believing in Jesus, held out of class until I let Jesus into my heart, and told to sit in the back of the class, be quiet, and do math like the other Asian kids. This all happened to me. This probably happens to all people of color in America in some way, shape or form. We are the other and it is made very clear to us early on.
If you compare fresh off the boat first generation Asians to 2nd or 3rd generation Asians that grew up in America like myself, Jin, Cory at MSC, or any other kid at the Polo Store, we kinda look like lost members of the Wu-Tang. Dudes that were on the Killa Bees album or feature on Cilvaringz tracks. We see how we are viewed in the American matrix and assimilate "downwards" because the other team never wanted us. We engage African America and its value system because it's the number one contender to THE MAN. It is the community that has laid the foundation for a lot of our issues and there is common ground. We are not the same, we won't ever be the same, nor would that be productive, but there is solidarity because we all get played. Being black and "blackness" are two different concepts and while this is again a concept that is too big to unpack for a Chinaman on blogspot, what I'm saying is that there is solidarity amongst 2nd/3rd generation Asians and African Americans who find themselves under the thumb of dominant culture. This is a result of conditioning and cultural scarcity (lack of communities to turn to) so when you try to compare Asians to Blacks look to 2nd and 3rd generation Asians, you'll find a lot of unemployed drop outs in single family homes.
Further, if you go watch any documentary about China such as Up the Yangtze or Heavyweight, you'll see Chinese families pulling their kids out of school to work the land, work construction jobs, and work on cruise ships. It's a necessity for poor Chinese families, poor Native American families on reservations, or poor black families. There is not a race or culture or gene that selects for and promotes being unemployed or uneducated. That's fucking ridiculous.
4) WE ALL WANT TO BE EDUCATED. Why do people like me or Dead Prez or the founders of Skillshare eschew "schools"? Are we against education? Absolutely not. But if you've gone through the American school system, read the MAN's history, then get hit upside the head with Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States of America in 10th grade, you feel lied to. When you see Michael Brown shot dead and then Bill O'Reilly on Fox 2 weeks later claiming that white privilege is a myth, you KNOW you are being lied to. So why would you go back to learn from these mother fuckers? Why would you trust them to educate you? You don't, so you try to learn on your own, but ain't nobody handing out GEDs for writing book reports on videos we watch on World Star even if I can break down all three acts and identify elements of Greek Tragedy in the YG "Bicken Back Bein Bool" video.
5) To make money, we usually have to sell our souls. To join the corporate white shoe world, we have to basically forgive the fact that we've woken up every day of our lives spotting the other side 10 points. I find it hard to do as an Asian American but IMAGINE how hard it is as an African American to go through high school, college, law school, get a job at a top 50 firm and then be told that you need to change your appearance, not shape up your hair, and be constantly reminded that you speak well? I have no idea. I will never know because I'm not black, but ALL of these things happened to me and I'M FUCKING CHINESE. Nobody watches the end of Braveheart wanting William Wallace to sell out and bow to England, so WHY do we expect people of color to do it in America EVERY DAY?
Lastly, this isn't to say that I agree with not going to school or not working corporate. I did it. I have a JD, I worked at a top 50 firm, and I'm glad I did. I learned a lot, but I swallowed my pride every day and felt like a sell out. Whether that's logical or not, it's how I felt. I went to school with people that walked, talked, and looked like the people who shit on me all through my adolescent years. I'd sit in class listening to them claim that we didn't need Affirmative Action... ESPECIALLY FOR ASIANS. I'd sit in class listening to them defend case law that denied equal opportunity for gay people seeking employment in Colorado. I did it so that I could learn because Kumon Math and Ranch Market 99 unfortunately do not offer courses on jurisprudence.
Bill O'Reilly, to be as privileged as you are and use your platform during this critical time in American history to kick black people when they're down is disgusting. And I know that if you were able to do to black people what you did to Native Americans, what you're doing to Mexicans, I know that Asians would be next. You're just going down the aisle, checking items off your grocery list, denting all the cans in the ethnic food aisle. I SEE YOU DOGGY. So FUCK YOU and FUCK FOX NEWS.