I found the video above when Oshay Duke Jackson referenced Black Patriarch. Oshay has some very good common sense ideas on improving the welfare of the Black community, so when he recommended Black Patriarch, I thought it might be worth checking out. Let me first start out by saying I don’t buy the author’s idea that emotionality is in the genes. It sounds too much like HBD to me, and there’s no proof that that it is gene-based. He doesn’t talk enough about culture and the pull of emotional, illogical victim-focused thinking. I also need to remind everyone that his critique is an internal critique, of Black people and by Black people. But lots of the stuff he says seems right to me, namely the main idea that emotionality is enough to keep an entire group of people down.
A lot of my “liberal” Facebook friends posted about Lionel Shriver’s speech to the Brisbane Writers Festival. Read the entire speech here. Most of my friends were against the speech, basically saying that Lionel Shriver was acting like a privileged person and wasn’t empathetic enough to minorities. One commenter said that the speech was “worse than I thought.” While I’m not surprised at the objections to Shriver’s speech, I am surprised at the vitriol thrown her way. Some people even walked out of her speech. While I don’t agree with everything that Shriver said or the way in which she portrayed things, most of what she said is correct.
The Conjoined is the third adult novel of Canadian American author Jen Sookfong Lee. I reviewed her first novel The End of East years ago, and I am happy to see that she’s still writing. Too often Asian American writers write one novel before disappearing forever. I’m happy that Jen Sookfong Lee is still in the game and growing stronger as a writer. And growing she is. I couldn’t put this novel down. She has grown not only as a writer, but also as an observer and a student of life (which she describes in detail on her website). She was always a good writer, but in her new novel, she demonstrates her cultural bilingualism and keen understanding of humankind. It was truly delightful.
The fact that this whole rollercoaster 2016 year, and before, literally feels like Horseshoe Theory in action. In many ways, what are the alt-right and “sjw” left, but mirror images of each other? They’re finally meeting each other. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction :/
I’ve been spending way too much time arguing on social media with people over the Constance Wu thing. I posted about this three weeks ago, followed by a post on Cultural Attraction, which was my big breakthrough over the last couple of years. Anyway, yesterday Phil from YOMYOMF posted this: Yes, Constance Wu can have a White boyfriend and still advocate for Asian Americans. In the article, Phil says what lots of my Facebook peeps are saying, that a woman who dates White can still advocate for Asian Americans. I actually agree with them 100%. As long as there’s no logical discrepancy between action and words, it’s fine. Similarly, an environmentalist who owns two homes or drives a Hummer can also be an advocate–after all, in the grand scheme of things on a planet 7 billion strong, what’s one extra car or one extra home? Logically, it makes hardly any difference at all.
Up until my twenties, I had known only two Asian American men who married black women. One was my granduncle who was half-black himself. He was my grand-uncle not by blood, but by the fact that he and my grandmother and granduncles had grown up together. Wayne Boc spoke Cantonese fluently and knew everything about Chinese culture. I’m too young to remember, but I think he may have kicked my ass in Chinese chess. The story was that his father had opened a laundry in the middle of a majority black area in New York and had fallen in love with a local African American woman. Think about that–Wayne Boc’s was my grandfather’s age, and my grandfather was born in 1924. His father married a black woman around the time my grandfather was born, and then Wayne Boc himself, who was my grandfather’s age, married a black woman. How revolutionary is that?
1. Ben, congratulations on your new book. Finishing a book is a major accomplishment, and I think the entire Asian American blogosphere is happy for you. Can you tell us a little about your book? What is it about?
Thank you, Byron, and thank you for your interest in my book.
The Legend of Fu is a historical thriller set in the late 19th Century. The main narrative happens in the San Francisco Chinatown, but the early part of the book takes place in Mexico. The story follows the protagonist, Fu, as he survives brutal treatment aboard a coolie ship and a brief sojourn in Mexico, and finally presents the main events that take place in San Francisco.
I’ve been taking my lunch break just to hit refresh-refresh to check out the judo Olympic finals. I don’t have cable, so I’m unable to see it. It’s hard because this is the strongest American judo team ever. I really do wish they had an internet option where I could just pay for the Olympics, but…oh well.
Earlier this week, Travis Stevens won the silver. Serious congratulations to him. That is a tough field, and he’s finally won a medal and established himself as one of the top fighters in the world. From his interviews, Travis seems like a chill dude. I love what he had to say about judo and BJJ. Hard-fought and well-deserved, Travis.
Once again, IR crept into the discussion. This time it’s the same discussion that has happened many, many times over the years. Asian American feminists and their non-Asian boyfriends are using the same argument that they’ve always used to dismiss the IR disparity: “This is my body! You have no right to question whom I date! To do so is sexist and patriarchal! How dare you! Ethan (or Biff or Whitey) is an individual, and that has nothing to do with my activism.” It’s the “my body is separate from my politics” argument. It’s an argument that has been made ad nauseum since the 1970’s. I don’t think I’ve ever had a post dedicated to the argument, so here it is.
About two months ago, I was doing a podcast (which never got published and was hosted by someone else), and one of my interlocutors complained about Constance Wu, who had tweeted that she supported Asian women before anyone else (It was on Twitter and I can’t find it now). My podcast friend complained that he thought it was wrong that Constance Wu was speaking up for women before men. He told me how his black female friend also thought it was both wrong AND counterproductive. His argument was that Asian men and women go up and down together, and that it was stupid to separate the genders when it came to activism. I vehemently disagreed. I don’t know anything about Constance Wu, so I said, “What if she spoke up for Asian men and it turned out that she’s dating a White guy? Would that help or hurt Asian men?” Their answer was, “She is dating a White guy,” and “That would make it worse.” I pointed out that maybe the issue wasn’t a problem with what she said about putting Asian women first, but rather the possible discrepancy between words and actions. I said that given the trend of the Asian Female Celebrity Club, maybe it was better that she only spoke for Asian women. I said maybe it was better for ALL Asian female celebrities to only speak for Asian women.