Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lorde and Lowe Dismiss Racist Bullying: What Everyone Can Learn

54% of Asians are the victims of bullying, as compared to 38% of Blacks, 34% of Hispanics, and 31% of Whites. So, that means that as an Asian, there is more-than-a-flip-of-a-coin chance that I will become a victim of bullying in my lifetime!? Aww, now, ain't life pretty for an Asian?

Hot Dough: Hollywood: Take Notes From The Walking Dead

Bullying is a serious epidemic in our society, yet when Asians take the front seat of the fists and spits, bullying becomes an even more serious issue. And the recent experience of Lorde and her Asian boyfriend, James Lowe, is no exception.

Lorde and Lowe's Racist Experience
Lorde, a 17-year old New Zealand celebrity singer-songwriter, and James Lowe, a 24-year old photographer, have been on the receiving end of racially and superficially instigated cyber-bullying on Twitter. Here are some racist comments they received:
  •     Lorde and her boyfriend are so awkward
  •     ...please look at Lorde's boyfriend. Some random Asian dude!
  •     damn lorde is a lucky girl I bet her boyfriend gives her free manicures and pedicures
  •     @lordemusic your boyfriend can suck my doesnt exist d--k he's so damn ugly ew you couldnt find better?
  •     @lordemusic Your boyfriend is ugly as f--k you f--king bitch!
  •     ...Oh hell no, Lorde. You'd scored a scrawny asian sugardaddy.
  •      Lorde's boyfriend looks asian. No offence but he is ugly...
  •     Come back to us when your boyfriend doesn't look like PSY gone wrong.
My instinctual responses were: "OH, HELLL NAWW! They didn't just throw stereotypical and superficial shit at my Asian Brotha and his Queen Bee! …If he was so ugly and old, why don't you troll Wendy Deng-Rupert Murdoch, Soon-Yi Previn-Woody Allen, or Alice Kim-Nicholas Cage! …James Lowe IS NOT skinnier than that guy-who's-name-I-don't-know on One Direction!” 

But did I create a Twitter account so that I can fight the naysayers? No, I held back my inner thoughts. 

How is it my place to judge others when the only thing I know about them is their physical appearance? Are human beings nothing more than just flesh and bones? Don't Lorde and Lowe have character? Or personality? And, what if, just what if, James Lowe was Santa Claus, looking over us to put names on the “naughty” list before Christmas Day? 

"Asian guys have small penises"
Although I grew up in environments where racial discrimination occurred once every blue moon and not to the extent that Lorde and Lowe experienced, I happen to have been a victim of racial prejudice.

Here's the story: A former friend (guess what happened there!) and I were talking about our classes, careers, and girls (in that order). One thing led to another, and then…

Bob (let's call him Bob, cause he looks like a Bob): “Asian guys have the smallest penises (chuckle)…I feel bad for you, man…it must be hard getting girls.” Yet, at the time, I was, and still am, with a Black girl.

Me: “Annnd, how do you know Asian guys have the smallest penises?"

Bob: “C’mon now. Everybody knows that. There's even a study that showed that Asian guys have the smallest penises. Look at Asian porn. All the guys have small penises (chuckles some more).”
I continued to question his claims, making it quite obvious that he had no viable facts to back up his preconceived opinions. All the while he refused to believe that his thinking was faulty and antiquated.

In the end, I shook my head, packed up my binders, and left him hanging.


Stand up for yourself and for others
I feel flustered that there are still people who believe in such nonsense. But what irritates me more is the idea that many Asians still don't speak up for themselves all the while being the subject of racial prejudice and discrimination. It is quite understandable since Asians traditionally have been groomed to stay silent and to not to stir trouble when facing insulting situations. To me, staying silent is my way of telling others that I lack self-respect, self-worth, and self-confidence. These are characteristics that don’t define me. These are characteristics that don’t define many Asians. So, to the Asians who have been in mine and James Lowe’s shoes, to the men who are attracted to Asians (yes, I'm talking to you too, gay men), and to the women who have been in Lorde’s shoes (non-Asian women and Asian women), STAND UP TO THE BULLYING AGAINST ASIANS. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

"How?" you might ask. Here are two viable approaches, depending on the situation:
1. Give the offender a blank stare. Instead of feeding fuel to the fire by physically retaliating or verbally bashing the perpetrator, stare into their eyes emotion-less. It shows how unaffected you are by their naughty behavior - hopefully all they get for Christmas is a stocking full of coals. Also, it brings to their attention how naive they are, how ignorant they are, and how WRONG they are. And what effort do you have to show for it? NONE. This non-violent approach is like David to the Goliath.
2. Speak up against the bigotry. “I’ve been with all kinds of men, and my current Asian boyfriend is the best lover I can ever ask for!”, “No, my Asian boyfriend does not have a small penis. Let me ask you something. When did you develop your Asian penis fetish?”, or “I’m sorry, but what you’re saying is rude and disrespectful. It’s not appreciated here. Either stop or leave the room.” Speaking up shows that you are not OK with what they are saying. This approach tackles the issue more directly.
Last note to Lorde and Lowe
I applaud you both for challenging the social construct of how your partner should look like. I appreciate you, Lorde, for standing up for yourself and your Asian man. Even though I have not met both of you personally, I am your ally. I wish you both the best, and keep brushing off the haters.


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