Tyra and Racism
Feeling sleepless a couple of nights ago, I happened to catch a rerun of the Tyra Banks Show. No, her beauty tips do not tickle my fancies.
The topic for this episode was racism. Tyra sat with five women of different ethnicities in her quest to determine which group "has it worse."
Each woman had a story to tell.
The Muslim woman spoke of being called a terrorist by random strangers every day and recounted her nightmares with airport security.
The African American woman's teacher whom she looked up to discouraged her from seeking a career as a medical doctor and encouraged the her to opt for nursing instead despite her strong academic record.
The Hispanic woman demonstrated with a hidden camera the humiliation of being watched and followed around the store.
The white woman's black neighbors in her college student apartment complex made her life miserable purely on the account of her race.
These are heart wrenching stories which go to show the strong undercurrents of racism which we have yet to move beyond. I can't really relate to their particular woes, but I do admit to sharing some of the prejudices which contribute to them.
Now it was the Asian woman's turn to speak. My ears perked up. Perhaps she would share something which I could relate to, I thought. And besides, she was kinda cute.
When she used to waitress at a Mongolian restaurant, a white customer and her kid asked her to share with them something about the Mongolian culture. She felt insulted and humiliated because she is Korean, not Mongolian.
Uh..is there more? No, that was it.
As I said before, back when I was growing up, there were only two Asian nationalities known to Americans: Japanese and Chinese. "Are you Japanese or Chinese?" was how people phrased the typical inquiry into my national origin since most of them had not heard of Korea.
But I saw a silver lining in this. When I acted like a dork, the Chinese or Japanese reputation took a hit, but not my people's. So I considered it my patriotic duty to transgress with reckless abandon in front of white people.
I still do: ESPECIALLY BEHIND THE WHEEL.
Back to this brain donor featured in the Tyra Banks Show.
Girlfriend, after finding Canada on the map, you might want to look up Mongolia. It is only two countries away from Korea, and most of our ancestors were Mongolian nomads who migrated south in search of warmer climate.
Besides, you were working at a Mongolian restaurant, and as an employee of an establishment whose mission is to sell the culinary aspects of Mongolian culture, shouldn't you know a thing or two?
And you had to inform the national audience of your Korean ancestry. Was that necessary? And this anecdote of yours was in response to the question, "who has it worse"?
I am boycotting all things Tyra Banks including her show and Internet photos. For the next two