Monday, July 31, 2006

Road rage and racism

I'm sure you all know what road rage is. It's when you get mad when someone cuts you off, or just when you generally get angry while you're driving. This anger sometimes leads to insults towards other drivers, and what better way to insult someone than by using racism. You might even be guilty of it. Have you ever been annoyed by a car in front of you, and as you drove past it, you looked at the driver's face? And by doing so, you probably noticed what race they were, and your first instinct in all your anger might've been to insult them based on their ethnicity.

Obviously there's always going to be a case of mistaken identity in situations like this. While you're driving, someone might yell at you and call you a "terrorist" thinking that you're Middle Eastern, when you might actually be Latino. Like I've mentioned here and here, a case of mistaken racial identity can always potentially determine if you're murdered or not; because someone could kill you after they mistake you for an ethnicity that they hate.

One real-life example of this is 25-year-old Thanh Lam, who was a victim of the 1992 Los Angeles riots. Lam was murdered in his truck when he was stopped at red light, and someone pulled up next to him and fired. His killer was reported to have yelled a racial slur at him before shooting. His killer was also reported to have been African-American. During the riots, there were tensions between Blacks and Koreans. So it is very likely that Lam was killed because he was mistaken for Korean. Lam was Vietnamese.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Black doctors or death?

This is an interesting picture. It shows African-Americans doctors operating on a Ku Klux Klan member!

For those who don't see the irony in this photo...a White supremacist (who hates Black people and usually wants to kill them too) is being saved by Black people!

How awkward would it be if you were an African-American paramedic and then you had to treat a clansman? This is just so tragic and funny, I don't know where to start. If the doctors failed and the clansman died, how would the KKK community react?? If you were the clansman (not that I want you to be) would you rather die than be saved by Black doctors? Or do you think something this traumatic would make you put aside your racist ways--permanently?

This picture is a perfect example of how absurd racism can be. Whether it's a real picture or not doesn't matter. Something like this could always happen in real life; someone dedicates their life to hating a group of people, and then their life ends up being SAVED by that same group of people! It's just sad that some racist people in this situation will continue being hateful; even the threat of death might not be enough to make supremacists renounce their bigotry. What if the clansman in the picture was saved? Would he commit suicide later, because his life from this point on was made possible by African-Americans? I hope he would at least thank the doctors.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Does this girl look Asian?

I was browsing around on Flickr when I saw these pictures, and I noticed one of the tags the photographer put on these pictures was "Asian". Meaning: the photographer is saying "this girl is Asian."

But I thought to myself, "this girl doesn't look Asian."

Maybe this girl is mixed Asian with another ethnicity, but the other tags don't indicate that. It only says "Asian." Maybe the photographer knows this little girl and her ethnic background? Or maybe he or she didn't know the girl and just guessed? Why did the photographer tag these pictures "Asian"? If he/she didn't know her, did she really look Asian? I'm not saying: "this girl is definetely not Asian", I'm saying, she doesn't LOOK Asian TO ME. To me, she looks more Latina or South American, so it surprised me when I saw she was tagged as "Asian." If she's only part Asian, why isn't the rest of her heritage tagged?

Ok, you're probably wondering, "what's the big deal?" "does it matter what her race is?"

Unless I am completely wrong and this girl happens to be full-blooded Asian, this girl is either part Asian and part another race...or she isn't Asian at all. If she is part Asian, did the photographer know that? If he did, why didn't he/she tag the rest of her heritage? If not, why was she tagged "Asian"? If she isn't Asian at all, then the photographer was probably just guessing her race, but does she really look Asian?

My point is two things:

1. People have different perspectives of what an ethnicity looks like; I'm not saying the photographer was wrong and I'm right. I'm saying, if he/she was guessing her ethnicity, then it shows that people have different visual perceptions of a racial group.

2. Multiracial people are usually lumped into just 1 category. If this girl is mixed-race, then why weren't all of her ethnicities tagged? If she's Asian and another race, why is "Asian" the only one that's mentioned?

Many people are unaware that a human being can belong to more than one race. We aren't all just White, or just Black, or just Asian, just Latino, etc.

I know all of this is just random, harmless pictures on the Internet, but what if it were something worse? What if, instead of a photographer matching a race to someone's picture, it was a White supremacist matching a race to a potential victim? I might sound like I'm exaggerating, but we can't escape the reality that hate crimes still exist. Like I mentioned 3 days ago, this seemingly harmless process of guessing someone's ethnicity can potentially determine if you are murdered or not.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"Americans" are NOT White!

"American" does NOT mean "White person"

Have you noticed when people talk about Americans, they're usually thinking of White people? This is an insult to people in the USA who are NOT European. I noticed a lot of people ouside of America use the word "American" is if it's an ethnicity. As in: "are you half American?" or "are you full-blooded American?" or "I'm 1/8 American!"

Can people PLEASE realize that there is no such thing as "American blood" and that Americans can be from ANY race, because "American" is not an ethnicity!

I notice many people think this way:

1. African-Americans are "Black"
2. Asian-Americans are "Asian"
3. Latino-Americans are "Mexican"
4. Native Americans are "Indian"


Euro-Americans (White people) are "American"

C'mon, I mean, a man who just came here from Europe last month will "look more American" than a woman who's a 3rd or 4th generation Japanese-American. Why? Because he's White and since most people think: "American = White", the American of Japanese descent will look like a foreigner to most people, even though her family has been in the United States for a century!

I wish people would realize that nobody "looks" American, because Americans don't HAVE a "look". We're diverse. We're not all White. You can't tell if someone is American just by looking at them.

And American people who are mixed-race? Don't get me started!

Monday, July 17, 2006

She's probably not "immune"

About 2 months ago was the 79th annual National Spelling Bee and I was browsing through YouTube videos, and there was this one video that showed these people watching the spelling bee on TV. In this video, they're watching the very end of the spelling bee where it's only 2 contestants left. One of these contestants was a girl named Finola Hackett, who is half White (Canadian) and half Chinese.

Anyways, in this video, one of the people who was watching made a comment about the Asian kids in the spelling bee. The first thing I thought when I heard this comment was "what about Finola?"

Finola is half Asian, but I am PRETTY sure that the guy who made that comment about Asians wasn't referring to her. Not just that, but earlier in the video, that same guy was cheering her on. But when some of the FULL-Asian kids showed up on the screen, he automatically saw that they're Asian and commented about it.

What made me sad was that all of this made Finola seem "immune" to racism, because her presence onscreen didn't trigger any racial comments, but the presence of full-Asian kids DID trigger them.

This goes to show you how the average person thinks of race; they assume everyone is full-blooded (and that multiracial is somehow impossible). Of course, Finola could always be mistaken for something she's not, and then get insulted for that. But in that YouTube video, she was immune to some ignorant guy's comment against Asians, even though she IS Asian.

What if this were more serious than a few comments? Like a hate crime? This kind of thing can potentially decide if you are murdered or not.

Sunday, July 16, 2006


I suppose I should introduce myself here. But I think I'd rather introduce the blog.

So...with this blog, I plan to write out random observations I have about race, ethnicity, and other related issues. If you're wondering about the title, Race Shall Slur, it's a play on words (obviously) and I'm using the word "slur" to mean "become unclear" or "become indistinct" rather than "to insult". And what "race shall slur" means, is that the concept of racial identity will become more complicated (and slurred) in the future. This is already happening through the growing presence of people who belong to 2 or more ethnicities.

One reason I started this blog is because I am TIRED of people assuming that all human beings belong to only one ethnicity. Whenever you hear people talking about race, it's almost always under the assumption that nobody is multiracial, and that everybody only has one ethnicity in their heritage. A really good example is the golfer Tiger Woods. I bet you think he's Black. Well, he's actually only 1/4 Black, and not only that, but most of his heritage is Asian. But since he LOOKS Black, people just call him Black. Most people think he's just African-American and NO OTHER RACE, and it's assumptions like this that annoy me.

Also, if you are reading this, I am impressed. Blogspot has millions of accounts, so I'm actually wondering if anyone will ever read this. If you do read this, please leave a comment! (You don't have to say something about race, you can just say "hi" or something!)