I participated in the “not your asian sidekick twitter hashtag” but then realised there is a small problem with it.
It’s a good thing, don’t get me wrong. It dealt with American Asian issues and by which I mean the definition of asian varies. In the USA it’s Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and maybe (I don’t know if Indonesians and other South East Asians are included) other countries in the region. But it does something peculiar since it leaves out South Asia.
It’s a problem. South Asians issues are rarely considered as part of Asian ones despite having the same issues.
It also was rather puzzling since it was a purely American thing. It had very little scope for the world’s asians who face real problems. Such as the dialogue about how “rich” Asians are makes my life harder since people don’t want to donate to India unless we plaster wall to wall imagery of starving children.
We in the west are rich mainly because we have an ethos and culture of education to survive. To us nothing less matters. The same education system that makes young Black kids so good at sport also makes us so good at studying. We work hard at Education.
That’s a problem, that the voices of 1.5 to 1.8 billion Asians are not considered Asian. But then something derailed the thread even more.
See White Nationalists decided to troll the thread. They made hilarious little accounts to derail the conversation and made it about Asian Privilege. That it’s okay for all the bad things because of all the good things.
If I made you the finest bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Imagine proper hand cut bacon grilled slowly with sundried tomatoes, fresh lettuce and tangy mustard mayonnaise with a slice of fresh strong cheddar in between thick cut bread. Now imagine I added a dollop of shit to it.
The sandwich no matter the ingredients is still a shit sandwich. Likewise no matter the privilege you think we have, the reality is that it’s ignoring the real problems we face.
The ultimate joke was that the White Nationalists decided to dress up like Jewish and Black people (and in one case a Japanese person) to derail the conversation. The notion was simple. Asia is one continent, so all of Asia is effectively some bizarre anime loving, chopstick using, kawai mess that loves chow mein and kimchi. Never mind the less well known parts of geography. So all Asians had to apologise for the Empire of the Sun and the Holocaust which we allegedly started.
Now this is news to me. My family were professional soldiers who got “sold” to the army. Most of my grandmother’s side of the family perished during WW2 either grappling in the jungle or the deserts or in Italy. My grandfather’s brother never made it either. In fact I don’t have much of an extended family on my mother’s side thanks to this. So it’s puzzling to hear what appeared to be white nationalists claims that “Asians never fought on the allied side in WW2 when China and India had major armies and nearly every country suffered”. Either that or it was a genuine case of zionists derailing the hashtag because “It’s got to be about Israel”.
The strange thing is that there seems nothing racists of any sort won’t spoil unless they get their way.
It’s a progressive movement, but what it will do in the long run? I think we just have to wait and see.