A Japanese American veteran of the Second World War told me a story that always stuck in my head. He said that while he was training in the South, he and his fellow Japanese American soldiers went into a restaurant to go to the bathroom. Of course, the bathrooms back then were segregated. Having grown up on the West Coast, he wasn’t sure which bathroom he was supposed to use. He eventually decided to go into the “colored” bathroom since he didn’t think of himself as “white.” But when he emerged from the bathroom an angry crowd had formed and he was informed that he was not “colored” and that in the future he was to use the “white” one instead.
The reason I’m telling you this story is that I’ve always been curious to see how racists saw Asian/Asian Americans. Unlike other people of color, it isn’t always black and white – excuse the pun. Instead it’s very complicated. Because unlike other racial minorities, many of the stereotypes associated with Asians – hardworking, nerdy, quiet, demure – can be seen as “positive.” And because historically the percentages of Asian/Asian Americans have been low, it has been a non-issue. But as the number of Asian/Asian Americans increases in the coming decades and as the world becomes more and more global, I have a feeling that much of how racists see Asians will have to be re-evaluated.
Recently, I was lurking on a white supremacist forum (while researching a screenplay) when I saw this fascinating discussion: They were debating whether they should hate Asians or grudgingly respect us.
(Please note, I won’t link to the site because I don’t want to drive traffic there, but if you’re interested I’m sure you’d be able to find it all on your own).
The title of the thread is “White Vs. Asian.” In the first post, the person uses pictures (he found on the Internet) to compare “white” architecture, food, musicians, art, sculpture, “beauties,” ships, athletes, “average commoner,” and “medics” to their “Asian” equivalents. I’m not going to go into how idiotic these categories (and I use that word very loosely) because they defy logic but needless to say in every category the “white” one is clearly “better” than the Asian one. Let me give you an example of one of the “fair” and unbiased comparisons. When comparing “beauties” of each race he picked these two women as exemplars of each race:
However, this is not the interesting part of the thread. The interesting part is the ensuing conversation about Asians. Readng it confirmed that the white supremacist’s feelings toward Asians/Asian Americans is complicated.
So here are some of the “positive” comments:
- I’m not trying to be pro-Asian on a WN site but parts of Asia (mostly Japan & China) are still civilized and intelligent. Try researching real Asian art and culture instead of using stereotypes from “Bugs Bunny Nips the Nips”.
- While your post did give me a good laugh, we must be fair and acknowledged the achievements of some Asian cultures.Their achievements do not equal those of the Aryans, but one must give them credit because they are far more advanced than africans, aborigines, mestizos and the like.
- I’m not in love with the Asians but I do respect them as a civilized culture.
- I don’t hate asians, or really, even dislike them. I respect many of their cultures as disciplined, hard-working, and educated.
- … agree that post was pretty funny, but lets not forget that Hitler made the Japanese/Asians the honorary race during world war 2. They have made substantial achievements similar to us, not on the same level but they have been a very civilized people as a whole nonetheless. The Japanese, Koreans, and Chinese are all respectable people while the Vietnamese, Indonesians, Cambodians, etc are not known for their contributions. The Asian people especially in our own country face the same problems with their own people and youth like whiggers, “yellow trash” etc.
- I never said they were stupid, I said they are a danger DUE to their intelligence. The Chinese would crush us in an instant if it were in their best interest.
- Plus who suffered the worst during the LA riots. It was the Korean business owners that had their businesses destroyed and things stolen by the blacks. Some Asians do love “black culture” but compared to whites the number is low. In fact every Asian I went to HS with would sit with the white students and didn’t want anything to do with blacks. I’ve heard ni**er from Asians before and it wasn’t meant to complement blacks. Also Chinese civilization has been around longer than Northern European civilization. Read up on Emperor Qin whose acheivements predated Christ.
What’s most fascinating about all these “positive” comments are that they seem to be based on some level of respect for (at least some) Asian countries and of course the model minority stereotypes. But what most impresses me is that they are able to differentiate East Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
Of course, not all the comments on the thread are “prositive.” Here is a sampling of some of the “Asians are evil” comments:
- who is destroying our nations
b) blacks, mexicans, muslims, Zionists
- Asians are scum, the most treacherous of scum next to Jews, they don’t steal your bike, like Tyrone or Jose, they steal your intellectual property and use it against you. They are much more treacherous due to their intelligence, but they are just as jealous of white culture and achievements. The Chinese couldn’t get their ICBMS into orbit until they stole the technology from us. Who let them get it? It wasn’t the ‘evil’ Russians, it was Bill Clinton and Al Gore. They are the globe’s leaders in copyright infringement. They don’t respect other’s work because they are incapable of thinking in the way that created it in the first place.
- A)Who are we in debt with. They are not the “Yellow Peril” for nothing. Who was wrecking our nations back in the day, and who doesn’t need a [racist word here] to do so?. The mongols. The Chinese will become a threat to our race.
- Asians are given far too much credit and are disgusting. Even the most affluent and intelligent ones have dietary habits that can make a hog gag and the most repulsive and bizarre sexual fetishes.
Where do I begin? I’m not going to go into detail about these but it seems that copyright infringement is very important to this crowd.
In the end, I wouldn’t want to be on a dark street with any of these people – even those that wrote semi-positive comments about Asian/Asian Americans. For me, it comes down to this: If people hate other people for something as arbitrary as the color of their skin or their religion, then most likely (sooner than later) they’ll find something to hate about me. Maybe it’s the shape of my eyes. Or the color of my skin. Or the way I talk. But I have no doubt they’ll find something.