Written by: Regina Yi
With the story of the racist college student from Indiana University, I found another recent racist related story on the internet titled “Tackling Asian Privilege”. The story took form in a blog post for the website called Taki’s Magazine. The author, Gavin McInnes apparently had a lot to rant about when it comes to people of color, particularly Asians. Gavin basically talks about how Asians are privileged in society and get everything handed to them on a silver platter without any effort while the other ethnic groups have to work extremely hard to get even half of what Asians have. The story is ultimately based off of the model minority myth, hierarchy, and yellow peril.
The blog post starts off with some babble that has nothing to do with the story, but then goes on to say “While the world collapses around us and we all complain about how hard it is to get by, people of color are forced to look up to our position and say, ‘I’d give the world for your problems.’ ”
He then goes on to talk about how no one protects their belongings when an Asian is around, how Asians are warmly welcomed if they end up getting a job at a bank or a police force, how it is not even a question when Asians get promoted to be the head of the “Department of Energy” as he says, and how if an Asian commits a crime, everyone is shocked because it is something that they would never expect. Gavin also mentions how although they make up such a small percentage of the population, they make a big percentage of the doctors that we have out there. He goes back to mentioning crime and says “Thirty percent of African American men will go to jail, but only 1.6% of prisoners are Asian. Nobody sees the problem with that?” As he moves on to education and income, he mentions that Asians have the highest education level and are the wealthiest among all the other ethnic groups. Rather than having a rational answer, his excuse for this is privilege.
His logic is that although most Asians start out having a rough time with little money, they are relieved of their hardship within a generation because, as he says, “in America, Asians live a disproportionately advantaged life where things are simply handed to them.” I’m sorry…what?
That’s just the beginning. After saying that Asians are over-represented in anything that involves wealth (science, medicine, finance, law, education), he calls Asians “arrogant Orientals” and says that Asians got to where they are today by not working hard and earning what they got, but by “stepping on the backs of others.” He even goes as far to say “I’m not saying Asians should be paying the rest of us reparations, but a simple “dùi bù qĭ” would be nice.” Dùi bù qĭ is I’m sorry in Mandarin. Perhaps he was acting like a lot of other people when they hear / see the word “Asian” they automatically think “Chinese”.
He says that Asians need to appreciate and acknowledge how lucky they are and that they need to stop what they’re doing; which is, in his mind, taking advantage of others and getting things handed to them on a silver platter. Through this blog post, he is telling people to spread the word about this “Asian privilege” so that it can be stopped. He keeps talking about people of color being disadvantaged and not having any privileges, but Asians are also people of color.
Gavin also mentions Barbra Lee, a California Democratic Representative, who is “leading an initiative to ‘create a federal Department of Peacebuilding that would cultivate peace and take on the causes of violence and conflict.’ ”
He says “We pay our government to lead us to prosperity and protect us from evil. If one group is receiving privileges over another, that is a form of assault and it’s up to elected officials such as Barbara Lee to protect us.”
Evil? So now this is his subtle way of saying that Asians are evil.
In his mind, Asians are at the top of the hierarchy because they are handed everything and don’t earn it through hard work. Everyone else is beneath Asians because they don’t have the privileges that Asians have and can’t get to them.
At the end of his post, he says “We need to transform society to the point where privilege is not slanted in anyone’s favor.”
I’m sorry, but privilege has been slanted in favor of White people and men ever since a long, long, long time ago.
A week after this post was published, he wrote another post titled “Tackling White Privilege.” He said that he received a lot of intense backlash about his article on Asians and as a result, he took a few days to “check himself.” He apologized to the Asian readers and racially aware readers for his previous post, and tried to explain himself. He changed all of the “Asian” words from his previous article to “White” and turned the previous post into now, a post about White privilege. In the end, he says White people have the privilege while Asians struggle along with everyone else who isn’t white. However, there was one thing he said towards the end that irked me. “Asians face the same disadvantages all nonwhites face, especially when it comes to humor.”
So basically those two posts were supposed to be for HUMOR?
I went onto his twitter account and saw that he tweeted a tweet that had a link attached and said for Asians to use this as a cheat-sheet for humor. Clicking on the link, I was led to another article that he wrote for a different website. This time, it was a breakdown of his “Asian Privilege” post and was titled “Tackling Asian Humor.”
He breaks his “Asian Privilege” article down section by section and basically explains in all caps and using offensive words how he was joking about the whole thing.
So basically, Asians can’t take a joke.
He should have realized that talking about race is far from joking and if it is used in a joking manner, people will become defensive about it and will call you out on it because it’s not funny.
Mr. Gavin McInnes, I am so beyond done with you.
Link to the “Asian Privilege” post: http://takimag.com/article/tackling_asian_privilege_gavin_mcinnes/print#axzz2MeK44Eti
Link to the “White Privilege” post: http://takimag.com/article/tackling_white_privilege_gavin_mcinnes/page_2#axzz2O8c6X3Dg
Link to “Tackling Asian Humor” post: http://www.streetbonersandtvcarnage.com/blog/tackling-asian-humor/
Excuse the language.