Imagine how hard he would have flopped if that cup of water had landed on Blake Griffin instead
Love this so much.
The Gallatin Philosophy | New York University
So much love for my alma mater, a place that embraces all the misfits.
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Marked passage from Despair by Vladimir Nabokov, page 117.
Literature is Love.
“Fiction here is likely to contain more truth than fact.” —Virginia Woolf
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this man’s voice is unbelievable!
I’m starting to understand the real failings of multi-cultural education growing up in K-12 schools. We gave everyone access to the “fun” parts of culture. Let’s sing the dreidel song! Now we understand the Jewish experience. Let’s talk about segregation. Wasn’t that wrong. Aren’t we glad it’s over? Let’s take turns reading parts of the “I Have a Dream” speech. We had access to the easy stuff without having to really examine the hard stuff. And we were giving easy access to things that aren’t “ours” and shouldn’t be “ours.” So you can’t just pick up the “fun” stuff and put it into your party theme or Facebook pictures. I’m using simple terms like fun because that’s how multiculturalism was given to us as children. And while it may have served a purpose at the time, it gave us too much access to claim things that aren’t ours.
I honestly, honestly think that is some of the reasons why the race parties are such a horrible fad on college campuses. They are carrying on what we did in elementary school. Let’s make culture a party! Everyone bring your cultural food and put on a costume! The racism is present and good percentage of the participants are really expressing deep rooted racism. But some truly don’t want to “understand why it’s wrong” when they are re-enacting what we used to do with culture in elementary schools. Culture was supposed to be fun. “I don’t understand why you are mad now? I thought culture was a party!” Party’s over kids. Put down the head-dress.
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That said, stereotypes aren’t so much about people totally projecting things that completely aren’t there but about people having a framework with which they interpret things that actually are there. It’s not that racism causes people to see (for example) belligerent teenage boys where there are none, but that a white belligerent teenage boy is just seen as himself while a black belligerent teenage boy is part of a pattern, a script, and when people blindly follow the scripts in their head that leads to discrimination and prejudice. So yeah, it is a fact, I think, that I was a bit off-putting in my Jeopardy! appearance—hyper-focused on the game, had an intense stare, clicked madly on the buzzer, spat out answers super-fast, wasn’t too charming in the interviews, etc. But this may have taken root in people’s heads because I’m an Asian and the “Asian mastermind” is a meme in people’s heads that it wouldn’t have otherwise.Look, we all know that there’s a trope in the movies where someone of a minority race is flattened out into just being “good at X” and that the white protagonist is the one we root for because unlike the guy who’s just “good at X” the protagonist has human depth, human relationships, a human point of view—and this somehow makes him more worthy of success than the antagonist who seems to exist just to be good at X. So we root for Rocky against black guys who, by all appearances, really are better boxers than he is, because unlike them Rocky isn’t JUST a boxer, he has a girlfriend, he has hopes, he has dreams, etc. This comes up over and over again in movies where the athletic black competitor is set up as the “heel”—look at the black chick in Million Dollar Baby and how much we’re pushed to hate her. Look at all this “Great White Hope” stuff, historically, with Joe Louis. So is it any surprise that this trope comes into play with Asians? That the Asian character in the movie is the robotic, heartless, genius mastermind who is only pure intellect and whom we’re crying out to be defeated by some white guy who may not be as brainy but has more pluck, more heart, more humanity? It’s not just Flash Gordon vs. Ming the Merciless, it’s stuff like how in the pilot episode of Girls Hannah gets fired in favor of an overachieving Asian girl who’s genuinely better at her job than she is (the Asian girl knows Photoshop and she doesn’t) and we’re supposed to sympathize with Hannah. Okay, here’s one more comment from the Internet that kind of encapsulates it. The kind of un-self-awareness of what someone is saying when they say they’d prefer I not win because I try too hard at the game, work too hard at it, care too much about it, and that they’d prefer that a “likable average Joe” win. This is disturbing because it amounts to basically an attack on competence, a desire to bust people who work very hard and have very strong natural gifts down in favor of “likable average Joes”—and it’s disturbing because the subtext is frequently that to be “likable” and “average” you have to have other traits that are comforting and appealing to an “average Joe” audience, like white skin and an American accent.
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