Monday, November 12, 2007

Race man, Race

So I'm watching the Amazing Race last night, which I haven't in years because it gets kind of tedious when they play out the same old story lines over and over again ("we're dating--are we really right for each other?") with the same inevitable ending ("he's abusive! get away!!").

This season looks interesting because it features all sorts of DIFFERENT stereotypes like "goths!" and "hippies!" and Chris even notes, "granolas!" which are like hippies with money.

Immediately we notice the Asian-American team, Ronald and Christina, (ethnicity unknown apparently?), and all their Asian fervor. In my search for their ethnicity I come up with this link to Rice Daddies, a blog about being an Asian-American father or perhaps father to an Asian-American and all the stereotypical media confrontation we AAs deal with. Now I'm not a powerhouse in this community, having majored in WOMEN's studies versus ASIAN studies, but I thought his blog was linkworthy.

In this blog, I saw he accepts pictures of babies for his banner, and it said "Hapa babies are more than welcome." What are Hapa babies? They're half Asian-half Caucasian--Hapa babies are Gideon! Gideon is a Hapa baby. That's when the race thing really came out for me. There is a category for my child, one that is fettered with the many connotations of race in America (many not good, some just plain weird.) I'm not finished with my thought process yet, but I would recommend everyone read this article from this weekend's Post. My Favorite part of the article is about how "Whites"--are we allowed to say that now?--don't believe racism still exists, or that is as pervasive as it still is and because "white people 'control the discourse on what constitutes race in this country," says Paula Rothenberg, a senior fellow at City University in New York and author of "White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism."

I better put that on my goodreads list.

Anyhoo the whole point being that the reference to "yellow fever" sent me into a tizzy from which I have not recovered. More thinking on this will occur, no doubt.

Many cool blogs have been discovered from this initial interest in Ronald and Christina's ethnic background, and this conversation with self and others must be said (I believe).

Blogs to read later:
Rice Daddies

Kimchi Mamas

Note I have not read all the blogs above so if one is a crazy fascist group posing as a blog, please disregard.


Angela said...

but the Post article and so many others only talk about race in white/black terms. I feel like that's lacking.

happy bunny said...

i haven't read any of those articles or blogs that you linked to so i'd like to say this strictly from my viewpoint.

mr. giddy is a blank slate. don't shackle him to the burdens of race. if anything, he has the opportunity to ignore race. race is not an identity. hapa? half asian-half caucasian? it gives you no relevant information about what kind of a person he is and the family he represents. just like saying you're asian gives no real information about what type of person you are.

maybe it's just me and because i get sick of people asking me what my "nationality" is (american) then being probed for the "real" answer. even when you offer "korean," the questions predictably turn to be about chinese and japanese cultures - as if being of the same continent makes one somehow qualified to speak on all things relative to asia major.

gideon deserves more than a stupid category. gideon's korean and american but more importantly, he's awesome. no need to complicate it beyond that.

periperijane said...

hey you crazy. "blank slate" is a myth. Race is not a shackle, but it is a reality. besides, i have korean pride! It's a part of me, whether I like it or not, and it's a part of how people see me, as well. I have definitely grappled with the things you note in your comment; at this point in my life I know race is relevant regardless of my opinion. Gideon is definitely awesome but his race will probably play a major factor in his identity, and I want to help him identify what that is instead of realizing it on his own years down the line.