Internalized Racism Among Asians

One can look Asian — but if in the end, if you like being fetishized , you are okay with being racist against men of your race, and you believe in racist lies about your own ethnicity , does that really make you Asian?


Internalized racism, first, is not some biological or cultural characteristic of those who possess it. It is neither a consequence of weakness, ignorance, inferiority, psychological defect, gullibility, or shortcoming of those who possess internalized racism. It can not be reduced to one form or be assumed to affect similar individuals or groups in the same way. It is a condition of all the structures of oppression. But what does that really mean? It means it is the result of all the institutions , whether it is media , government , social narratives , that affect the very way a person thinks about themselves, and others. Have you ever thought about why you might harbor racist thoughts against African Americans, or why you think white people are much more attractive ? It’s not because you are inherently racist , nor are white people more attractive then the rest of us. It is the result of living under a society where social narratives, media instructs your thinking.


Internalized racism is the result of the implantation of racist stereotypes, values, images, ideologies, and ideologies by white society about one’s racial group. The result of this implantation leads to feelings of self-doubt, disgust, and disrespect for one’s race and oneself. Most of this implantation, or brainwashing, starts from the media but is repeated by society at large.

The result of this implantation of these ideas is self -hate. A typical result is mocking your own accent [Various Asian youtubers], perpetuating stereotypes about your own race [small penis, misogyny, short height, lack of creativity]. Height for example, is a trait that is not inherent to Asians as much as those who stereotype to be think it is. Short height is caused by the decades of war and starvation caused directly by western imperialism in Asia [1]. However, do those who make these stereotypes mention this?

The gross implication of Internalized Racism are often the unconsidered consequences of Asian immigrants who arrive in western countries: unaware of the brainwashing that occurs, they believe the west to be egalitarian, free, peace loving, non-racist, you know, all those lies.

Internalized racism starts young.

The dominant group [whites] control the construction of reality through the production of ideologies or “knowledge” (Foucault 1977 [1975]) that circulate throughout society where they inform social norms, organizational practices, bureaucratic procedures, and common-sense knowledge. In this way, the interests of the oppressors are presented as reflecting everyone’s best interests, thereby getting oppressed groups to accept the dominant group’s interests as their own and minimize conflict (see also Pyke 1996:529).

Construction of reality is created by using tools, such as the Media, stereotypes, and false narratives. Overtime, these tools become default knowledge, not to be criticized. Such is the nature of stereotypes such as the model minority. We aren’t all rich, educated, and hyper intelligent. However, everyone believes us to be so due to this construction of this idea. Therefore, those who believe themselves to be the model minority also harbor internalized racism. Neither do all Asian men have small penises. But why has that become a unquestioned lie?

Gramsci’s notion of an ideological hegemony is evident when the subjugated inculcate[brainwashed], seemingly by cultural osmosis, negative stereotypes and ideologies disseminated as taken-for-granted knowledge. One need not experience discrete, identifiable instances of overt discrimination to internalize racial oppression. White racism can infiltrate the world view of the racially oppressed without their conscious consent (Osajima 1993) in a subtle process some refer to as “indoctrination” and “mental colonialization” (hooks 2003).

Negative stereotypes, when repeated, eventually become ideologies and knowledge that is taken for granted. i.e. Small dick, Asians are short, Asians have no creativity. These lies have been repeated by Hollywood. Over the last 25 years, many films that create caricatures of Asians have been produced such as:

  • Perpetual Foreigner
  • Model Minority
  • Gendered Racism: Sexualized female, Asexual male
  • Inferior
  • Willing/Deserving targets of open denigration
In the movies, Asians are frequently subjected to open slurs and discrimination, and either portrayed as deserving of or highly tolerant towards such treatment. These scripts and scenes are often so completely inconsequential to the storyline that the only plausible explanation for their incorporation into the final edit is that it must be of great importance that Hollywood consistently remind audiences that it’s perfectly acceptable to take a dig at Asians. [4]

The repetition of these themes, has overtime been coupled to the casual racism that Asians experience from society at large. Does anyone wonder why Asians often experience so much casual racism? Hollywood has repeated this so often, it is now the reality.

INTERNALIZED RACISM — The concept of the Asian Uncle Tom (Uncle Chan)

In his study of Jewish “self-hatred,” Sander Gilman (1986:2–5) describes how ideologies win compliance by inspiring a desire among the subjugated to be like the oppressors. He uses the example of the liberal myth that social categories marking difference, such as race and ethnicity, are mutable and all can join the powerful if they abide the rules and behave like the dominant group. The more the subjugated identify with the powerful, the more they accept the ruling values and structural arrangements that keep them down. Gilman calls this a classic double bind situation. The empty promise that the oppressed can escape their “otherness” by shunning their difference lures them into supporting the very rules that define them into existence as the “other” — as those who are not allowed to share power. “Become like us and you will be accepted into our group.” But they never are.

Often Uncle Chans and Anna Lus, those with internalized racism are led to believe that by shunning their Asianness, and supporting White supremacy, they will be allowed to share power. To Asian men, this might mean by kowtowing to the white man, you’ll get to touch “his” women. And to Asian women, this means by shunning Asian men and all that’s Asian, they’ll become accepted as a white woman in yellowface.

What happens when those with internalized racism come to believe their subordinated identity as real? Those who believe their subordinated identity as real, come to believe themselves to be inferior. They repeat this inferiority by repeating the lies that whites have created. When they try to attempt to construct an oppositional identity [i.e. woke], any attempts to do so are done per categories and meanings dictated by their oppressors [5]. What does this mean?

This occurs in a phenomenon called defensive othering by those with internalized racism by attempting to become a part of the dominant group or distancing themselves from those who are the same as them. When it comes to Asians, the most obvious example of this includes those who call other Asians as FOBs, to distance themselves from other Asians by pretending to be Assimilated, and therefore part of the dominant[white] group.

These terms are used to “other” members within the subordinated group, deeming them inferior to mark oneself or one’s co-ethnic peer group as superior. By attributing the negative stereotypes and images that the dominant society associates with the racial/ethnic group to “other” members within the group, the subordinated can distance themselves from the negative stereotype. Furthermore, intra-group othering allows the oppressed to present themselves as like the oppressors. By demonstrating that they share the same attitudes and disdain toward co-ethnics who fit with the stereotypes, they attempt to join the dominant group. This is the double bind of oppressed identities, as previously noted, for the subjugated cannot so easily escape their “otherness” (Gilman 1986).

This phenomenon is exactly what happens to Asians who proudly claim to be bananas, white washed, hate immigrants or claim to Only date white guys, Asian men are gross, “ Just like dating my brother” or “Hate Asian men.”

Another example of this is the use of the term FOB — which reiterates anti-Asian stereotypes. In an analysis of interviews with 184 young Californian adults who grew up in immigrant Korean and Vietnamese families (Pyke and Dang 2003). Respondents

Strategically used FOB to ridicule co-ethnic “others” for displaying the same characteristics associated with anti-Asian stereotypes and, in so doing, distance themselves from those stereotypes. Although an adaptive response to oppression, this strategy of distancing oneself from negative stereotypes by suggesting they are true, just not true for oneself, is a form of internalized racial oppression
Dynamics of “distancing” are not only an individual response to oppression but also can shape collective practices within an ethnic group. Several respondents described how their entire co-ethnic peer group avoids social contact with other co-ethnic social groups identified as consisting of FOBs. In so doing, the peer group can collectively distance from the derogatory stereotype. To maintain the peer group’s identity as non-FOBs, reprimands are given to any member who engages behavior regarded as fobbish, such as socializing with co-ethnics who do not speak English. Violators risk expulsion from the group. The social boundaries between peer groups identified as FOBs and non-FOBs are so strict that intergroup dating is prohibited and fights between the two groups are not uncommon

Applied to Asian women, this behaviour can be taken as a refusal to date or associate with Asian men. By doing so, they can distance themselves from the derogatory stereotypes of Asians/Asian men. These types of thinking are White supremacist Thinking. Therefore, those that behave like this are adeptly called White supremacists.

It must be stressed however, that this behaviour is a normal adaptive response to racism, and not a cause of racism itself. Therefore, it is extremely important that Asians do not call eachother names, even if they are itching to kill eachother. The real enemy is white supremacy for breaking down our unity and souls with racist hate. When you call an AF, who hate all Asian men as a “sellout whore”, it only serves to divide the community. Always callout this behaviour, however always link it to white supremacy. It is vital to link racial self — hatred to white supremacy when relevant; Do not bash victims because you only protect the source of evil and harm your own community.

Ignorance about internalized racial oppression benefits White folks who are largely unaware of its existence. This is due, in no small part, to the model resistor stereotype that casts non-Whites as especially adept at resisting racism. Thus, White folks are not held accountable for the problem of internalized racism.

An example of this is Michael Jacksons’ physical transformation his physical features, such as the width of his nose, as well as his skin color. Although such behaviour spurred anger and criticism from African Americans who viewed him as “trying to be White” (Clarke 2009) and a “traitor” to his race (Braxton 2009:A10). By focusing on Jackson, this discourse deflects attention from the larger racist society and the way that the imposition of White beauty standards can cause some racial minorities to feel unattractive and to desire more White-like features (Kaw 1993;Russell et al. 1992). Blaming the victims serves to mystify and protect White racism. It is important to educate those without the community that suffer from internalized racism.

By investigating internalized racial oppression and focusing our lens on how it supports White privilege, the blame will shift from the victims to the structure of racial inequality and those who are its beneficiaries.


Consider the case of women of color and non-Western women who pursue White, Western men as romantic partners. Feminist scholars find that many such women who describe a romantic preference for White Western men commonly reiterate a globally circulating discourse that exalts White Western masculinity as more egalitarian and superior to that of non-Western/non-White men. Some interpret this as resistance to the “patriarchy” of co-ethnic men (Nemoto 2009; see Pyke 2010:5). I argue, however, that such “resistance” is limited. While this discourse and the romantic relations with White Western men it encourages might improve the life chances of some women,this form of resistance relies on the reiteration and internalization of an ideology of White Western men’s global supremacy. That is, this resistance to gender oppression rests firmly on the internalization and reproduction of racial oppression.

When Asian feminists rationalize their preferences for white men, or attack those for criticizing their preference in white men, it only serves to uphold White supremacy. It is, in other words, just another form of internalized racism. Thus, by preferring white men, it is not a form of resistance to patriarchal structures, but a form of subordination.


Tangentially related to the topic of Internalized Racism is the gaslighting of people who possess internalized racism. Gaslighting is a form of manipulation by one person to erode another’s reality, by telling them that what they are experiencing isn’t so — and, the gradual giving up on the part of the other person. [3]. Now how is this related to white people? When white people try to place the responsibility on minorities to solve the problem by suggesting it is of their own making, it easily leads to blaming the victims for internalized racism.

An example of White gas lighting is Hollywood and Asian representation. Whites like to tell Asians that the reason that there aren’t enough films with Asians is because there have been zero successful films with Asian actors at the helm [A]. However, this fact does not negate the reality that most if not all directors in Hollywood are white — and therefore control who gets to be in their movies [B].

To further dissect this, in A whites try to place the lack of Asian representation in the media, by blaming it on Asians themselves. Where B is the actual reality of the situation.

Another example of gas lighting is when Asian men criticize Asian women for being white worshipping, but are replied with “Love is Blind [A]. You’re are a sexist Pig”[B]. A is the reality, whereas B makes one look “angry”, “Whiney”, and “Misogynistic”. Hence gas lighting is very effective as a psychological weapon when trying to eliminate criticism.