This was a touching piece from writer Christie Jiang’s own life. It was heart rending to hear her talk about her little bro internalizing all of the self hate broadcasted to him as an Asian American male.
A less scientific study decided to tackle the question of representation more broadly: What would the U.S. look like if it mirrored the main characters on prime-time TV? Well, for starters, an estimated 57% of the population would be men. Accordingly, white men would make up more of this hypothetical population than white women (50% compared to 34%) as would black men than black women (5% compared to 3.8%). However, there would be fewer Latino and Asian men than women – 1.9% compared to 3.8%. In fact, this television-based US population would have just as many supernatural creatures or robots as Latino and Asian men.
Considering these reports together, I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised last year when my then 11-year-old brother told me that the reason why he wasn’t cool – and why he would never be popular – was simply because he was Asian.
There is some heavy shit in that article. Recall the sociological study that moved the SCOTUS to abolish racial segregation in public places? The result of that study purported to show the effects of internalized racism and self hate… in children.
That’s where we drew the line as a country, when it was clear that the adults’ fighting were fucking up the kids. When they grew up thinking their race made them inherently worth less. We said that’s it, this is too far. That’s when we mobilized the National Guard, that’s when toxic racial barriers began their gradual recession.
What Christie wrote about isn’t an isolated incident, and it’s the same internalized racism. It’s how Asian boys feel as a matter of common occurrence – daily. It’s plain to anyone who would care to look.
Only no one cares to look – so no action, no SCOTUS, no National Guard… just some shitty blogs trying to sway public opinion. I looked at the end of the article to see her comment count – 2 comments. The author’s other article (about hair styling) garnered 8 comments with a week less time. No one cares to look, or no one cares to comment.
So Christie Jiang’s little bro – this post is for you. Hopefully you and my other little Asian homies won’t have to feel like a nobody before you even start.
In 2012, a study examined the correlation between TV watching and self esteem in children, and came up with some not-so-surprising results: white boys who watched television had higher self esteem, while white girls, black girls, and black boys who watched television had lower self esteem. Both lack of representation and associations with undesirable behavior contributed to the low esteem outcomes, while, on the other hand, white male characters were far more often associated with strength, logic, and accomplishment, as well as a more varied set of character traits.
A less scientific study decided to tackle the question of representation more broadly: What would the U.S. look like if it mirrored the main characters on prime-time TV? Well, for starters, an estimated 57% of the population would be men. Accordingly, white men would make up more of this hypothetical population than white women (50% compared to 34%) as would black…
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