Monday, May 09, 2005

In the Maroon

The most recent Maroon has it all: nudity, controversy, beer, and, best of all, an editorial suggesting that nudists be physically fit and travel in groups. Nothing wrong with that.

But something is amiss in this op-ed. While I certainly agree with Gary Lee's point, which is that discrimination against Asians exists and ought not to, there are better ways of making this seemingly obvious but still-worth-repeating argument. The very real problems--hum profs telling kids to go back where they came from, apparently--get obscured by phenomena being presented as offensive that are really just descriptive. Referring to an individual's (usually a white male's) "Asian fetish", if he indeed has one, suggests he might be someone Asians would find objectionable, but attributing this preference to someone, if it's a fair attribution, isn't racist in the least. And referring to Asian-Americans as a model minority is a positive stereotype, not, as Lee claims, a negative one, but "positive" doesn't mean it's helpful, wise, or inoffensive, but simply that the attributes being (however unfairly) placed are positive ones. While broad, sweeping generalizations are generally unfair (how's that for a generalization!) to many individuals, these will be made; better to target the lame-o folks who'd send their Korean students back to Asia than to criticize those who point out, with neither admiration nor distaste, that their buddy over there only dates Asian girls.

1 comment:

Joe said...

I hate Asians. They killed Jesus.