Eddie Huang wrote an article and response to Steve Harvey’s diss of Asian American men. He wrote,
“I told myself that it was all a lie, but the structural emasculation of Asian men in all forms of media became a self-fulfilling prophecy that produced an actual abhorrence to Asian men in the real world.”
First, I am thankful that someone with a platform, like Eddie, is responding to a racist incident. I am thankful because we should not remain silent on these issues. We need conversation. Second, I am thankful that Eddie responded by sharing his personal experiences with the structural emasculation of Asian men in America. This eludes to the fact that behind the stereotypes and structural racism are real people who do get affected by racism. To be affected by racism does not mean the person is sensitive. To be affected by racism means that your own identity was enforced upon you without any consideration for your individuality. And that, my friends, is hurtful. It is like if I told you all the things you are, fat, ugly, and abnormal, without ever getting to know you or giving you a chance to speak. This shaming, name calling, and labeling sounds similar to bullying, doesn’t it? And if you know anything about American society, it is that there are beautiful movements taking place to dismantle bullying in schools and social media. That’s a wonderful attitude Americans can expand to racism. We must dismantle the shaming, name calling, and labeling for all people. (Click here to read Eddie’s article).
My friend, whose name is also Jenn, wrote this in response to his article:
I’m not going to bother with Steve Harvey’s trash “joke” nor his non-apology, but I’m so glad Eddie Huang wrote this. The desexualization of Asian men has incredibly racist, xenophobic origins from the 19th century and it still hurts the Asian community to this day. It’s a shame that a man of color can’t see the disgusting prejudice in his own words about Asian men, regardless if there was no intended malice.
She has a way with words, and I agree that these stereotypes against Asian men still hurts the Asian community today. She also brings up an interesting point that Steve Harvey, a man of color, was unable to see his own racism and stereotyping of another colored group. This is an interesting point, because we would like to assume that a minority person would not be racist or would be more understanding of the negative effects of racism. However, Steve Harvey shows us that just because a person identifies with a minority group does not mean that the person will not have prejudices against other minorities. This goes to show that we all have much to learn about our own prejudices and that we all have work to do to uncover the biases and rebuild our lens on ethnic groups, homosexual groups, disabled groups, etc.
Luckily, I have the opportunity to learn more about my own prejudices and correct my own lens and view of groups of people. I just started taking a sociocultural class in my counseling program. I am nervous to delve into deep-seated issues of racism, discrimination, etc because of how messy, uncomfortable, and hurtful it is. Talking about these things will, without a doubt, stir up many emotions. However, I am thankful and excited to be learning more and talking about these issues. I’m hoping this class will equip me with the language and knowledge to talk about these issues, so that I can speak up in the face of microaggressions and racism. (Possibly even “correcting” these issues in my personal encounters with racism).
I hope you will join the conversation as well. Why? Because we are all human beings and to talk about these conversations is to care more about the person than your own comfort. Don’t forget that behind all the stereotypes and ethnic groups are real human beings.