Not Your Mule and Oscars So White Collide
CJ Louis

Two issues I wish to engage with are this as a person of Asian ethnicity is this:

  1. How can Chris Rock decry the exclusion of Blacks from media/Hollywood representation and the consequent lack of awards, when at the same time, he himself in his opening address excludes other individuals of colour from his narrative. Clearly the idea that Blacks should speak primarily for Blacks, Whites for Whites, Latinos for Latinos etc. is the very attitude that we all wish to challenge in the first place. Further it’s really not as simple as commentary on twitter has made it out to be — like “you go speak out for yourself. I’m not going to speak for you.” When was the last time you saw an Asian comedian asked to host the Oscars?
  2. The concept of #notyourmule bothers me in another way. The idea that Blacks singularly fought for equal rights with the White majority is one that is demonstrably false. The highly racist Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 and the consequent legal battles arising from this driven by the Chinese-American community in the late 19th and early 20th century (the most litigious in the US per capita at the time) paved the way for use of habeus corpus and similar legal precedents by individuals from all minorities challenging the authority of the state to implement and execute racist policies. I think the comparatively little education on Asian-American issues also means that many are ignorant on their contribution to the equal rights movement. The problem with the Asian community is the model minority social construction. This means that Asians are perceived as never having suffered oppression nor racism. Another social construction is the perpetual foreigner. People think that all Asians are recent immigrants and more loyal to their Asian nations of origin than to their current home. Just like the failure to recognise their contribution via legal challenges in the courts during the Chinese Exclusion Act period, very few seem to acknowledge Asian involvement with black groups during the Civil Rights era.

Just my thoughts on your interesting post.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Justin Wong’s story.