Realizing the Role of the Asian man in Get Out: An Asian Girl’s Review of Get Out

So I recently watched Get Out.

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And HOLY SHIT.

It was one of the most brilliantly crafted movies of all time. The symbols and metaphors in every single scene were amazing. I want to watch it again, just to catch every single part. It told such an amazing story about the struggles of being African American and the fear of what it means to be black in a white world.

So I’m going to discuss the movie so this is your

SPOILER ALERT!

If you haven’t seen it, GO SEE IT. It’s amazing and stunning and important and just everything. Seriously, stop everything you are doing and go see it.

One thing stuck out to me the most. It was subtle and people might’ve missed it.
But I am an Asian woman and I could not ignore it and I think that was the whole point. I think when that Asian man came into the shot, Jordan Peele (the director, creator, producer, all around amazing person) was calling out and reaching out to the Asian population. I think he did it so subtly as a way that it would only hugely impact the Asian people watching. He was 100% correct. I was shook but my other friends weren’t as much. It really got me thinking. Seeing that man, in the crowd of white people who were definitely up to no good and then seeing him again as such as weird question, and then finally seeing him at the creepy ass silent auction made me realize something.

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I will fully acknowledge that as a whole, Asians are seen and are at times “have it better” but that in no way means that we are not discriminated against. However, Asians are known for assimilating better and have stereotypes, as people have literally told me, that are “not that bad.”

So to other POCs, it makes sense why an Asian man, not a Middle Eastern or Latino person or any other race, is hanging out willy nilly among the evil white people.

To me, it meant more than that. It made me reevaluate my own racial status, which I think was the intention. I don’t think it was meant to bring down Asians but to let us view our roles in society.

But another thing that really caught me was the question that the man asks, “Is the African-American experience an advantage or disadvantage?”

Now this, just elevated everything to a whole new level. This is where I fully understood why Jordan Peele is probably one of the smartest guys in Hollywood right now.

Asians are immigrants. So many of my Asians friends are first generation Asian Americans. I’m not even the first generation Asian American. My children will be. We are still outsiders. I am still an outsider. I am still an immigrant. When people yell, “Go back to where you came from,” it makes more sense than yelling at an African American person who was born in American and have ancestors rooted in America.

So while African Americans are discriminated against and racism between whites and blacks are still so rampant, an Asian man understands that being black is more likely to be a part of the American society than being Asian. The Asian man, unlike the other old white people, is not concerned with Chris’ strength, youth, or abilities. He simply wonders about Chris’ experience as a black man and tries to evaluate whether that is better than his own experience as an Asian man in America. 
One part that this movie got wrong was making the Asian man completely side with the scary ass white people in the movie. He was viewed as if he was never belittled for his race. I have had racial slurs and racist remarks thrown at me by people of all races. However, there is a difference in the racism that I experience opposed to a black man. I don’t fear for my life when I see a cop. I do not fear physical harm but that does not mean I don’t experience discrimination. I understand that the fearing for your life is more detrimental than being called racial slurs and told I’m a cultural experience for non-Asian men to have (“I’ve never been with an Asian girl” Yeah and you never will, you asswipe).
Okay seriously side note: I literally had someone tell me that Asian women are more disregarded because people who fought in the Vietnam and Korean war had Asian prostitutes in the Asian countries so now people equivocate Asian women as more sexual beings, so like if I find a prostitute here in America, do I go back to Korea and regard all white men as prostitutes? What the fuck man? That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. Like because of what happened YEARS and YEARS ago, it’s okay for you to think that I am more willing to have sex with you? Also if you seek out prostitutes in a different country, you will most likely get a prostitute of the race of that country so you cannot come back to your own country and then tell your children, “all Asian women are prostitutes.” You bigoted sociopath.
ANYWAY,
I have been disregarded as a human because of my race many times. My parents experience it more simply because they have an accent. They are viewed as lesser. We do not understand white privilege but for some reason, other races think we do.
I mean remember when Miley Cyrus did this and then said that she was just making a “goofy face.” Sure Miley, SURE.
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We also ignore Chris Rock’s shitty use of those Asian children during the Oscars. How am I supposed to applaud a man that talks about being discriminated against while he discriminates another race?
Why is it more acceptable to discriminate against Asians? Why?
If you are so upset about discrimination, then stand up for other people discriminated against too. Don’t say, “Well I got discriminated against so it’s okay for me to discriminate other people who don’t look like me. Let’s bring some Asian children up here and put racist stereotypes on them and make everyone laugh, what a great idea.”
I, personally, will always stand up for anyone who is being discriminated against. I will defend the rights of every human being if I can. I will not stay silent. I will march alongside people of all races. I will not use other people’s pain as a punchline. I will show up. And I would like everyone else to do the same.
So yeah, Asian people do need to do more but other NBPOCs need to do more as well. All POCs need to do more for one another. Along with that, everyone, as people, need to do more. We cannot just sit on the sidelines and watch other people get discriminated against. We all need to stand up for one another because we are all humans. We cannot keep categorizing one another.
This movie is a call to action for us NBPOCs. The movie calls us to do more. It wants us to stop being silent. We cannot sit by when an entire group of people is being discriminated, belittled, and attacked. We need to do something. A wake up call.
And to all people, this is a reflection of our society that we need to change. We need to step up.
This movie is so important. It is one of the most important movies. I will forever stand by that statement.
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Whitewashing in Hollywood

Okay, take a good long look at the title of this post, buckle down, and let’s get started because this is a big one.

If you know me in real life (I’m sorry) or you follow any of my social media (even more sorry), you might know of my strong hatred towards the continuous whitewashing in Hollywood. While I know that this applies to all different races, I am going to mainly focus on the whitewashing of Asian culture because I am Asian and that’s my only reasoning. This, however, can apply to all whitewashing out there.

Whitewashing has been prevalent in all of Hollywood. It has been ignored and “justified” by almost everyone. Going all the way back Mickey Rooney, the whitest guy to ever exist, playing an Asian landlord to comes off as the most racist thing towards Asian I have seen happen. This was just one of the many examples of yellowface that appeared.

Hollywood realized that it was probably racist (no duh) since blackface didn’t get the best reviews (for the most obvious reason in history) but they didn’t want to stop casting white actors to play Asian parts (for whatever ridiculous reason). So the best solution was to just put well-known white actors to play Asian parts without disguising them and just kind of look the other way. Okay, makes perfect sense, thanks. They leave the excuse of “well if we cast actually Asian people, no one will watch it” and then pretend that that statement isn’t a blatantly racist. EXCUSE ME? What kind of shitty excuse is that? That’s basically saying, “Asian don’t sell, white people are better.”

But of course, being racist against Asians isn’t the same thing as, say being racist against African Americans as I’ve been told, which just made me sit there in silence and wonder if these people have actually been in an accident that permanently damaged their brains.

Some people say that it’s up to interpretation much like popular animes getting turned into live-action movies with white actors. For example, Dragonball Z and Ghost in The Shell.

Let me explain why it is wrong to cast white actors in these movies.

Dragonball:

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  1. Dragonball is one of the longest, most popular animes in history. It started in 1984 and continues to run today. The story was inspired by a CHINESE novel called Journey to the West and the “West” in the novel was referencing the Western Regions which mainly consisted of Central Asia and India, NOT EUROPE OR AMERICA. I REPEAT NOT EUROPE OF AMERICA.
  2. While the races of the characters are not specified, the anime stems from (surprise) JAPAN. The characters were created and generally speaking drawn for a Japanese audience.
  3. Now, yes the movie was directed by an Asian person so it CAN’T possibly be racist. But MAYBE the director also thought that the movie wouldn’t sell in America if the main character was Asian which brings us back to Asian trying to cater to white people because of being told that as a race, we are inferior and not important.
  4. Only the main characters are white. While Goku, Bulma, and Piccolo are played by white people, the rest are Asian. This immediately puts Asians in the background of a franchise that was created and made popular by Asians. Do you see what’s wrong now? It’s like Asia taking Star Wars and making Luke Skywalker, Leia, and Han Solo Asian while everyone else is white. (Also Star Wars was racist too but whatever moving on).
    Or let’s take a popular western cartoon: Batman and turning him Asian while everyone else is white. DO YOU SEE WHAT I’M SAYING NOW? Also an Asian Batman would be awesome so shut up.
  5. Also the movie was terrible.

Ghost in The Shell:

  1. Okay so many things. A lot of the reasons are basically the same as the one above except for the fact that the series is literally SET IN JAPAN. The main character’s name is Motoko Kusanagi. Give me one white person with that name. TELL ME that is a viable white person name.
  2. Again only the main characters are white, everyone else is Asian.
  3. People even talked about how they wanted to make Scarlett Johanssen look more Asian and was like “oh too far, I guess.”
  4. Now getting into the concept of the series as a whole, yes the main character is technically a robot (in the simplest term) and can be interpreted in many different ways. That is totally understandable. Maybe the movie can be seen as a more futuristic take of it, not making it be set in a specific part of the world. Sure that’s fine but here’s the problem with that. The reason why this is insulting is that is the definition of whitewashing. It’s changing a prominently Asian franchise and saying “yeah but what if it was white people instead of Asians?” It’s saying that it will be better if white people were in it. This series is HUGE in Japan and anyone who likes manga/anime. It started in 1989. It’s pretty huge. That’s why when a big live-action movie comes along, it’s insulting to see a white woman play a character has been written as inherently Asian. Because we are systematically told that being Asian is ugly and not pleasing in Western culture. It’s insulting and annoying.

Changing long-standing originally Asian franchises and replacing important, main characters with white people is so insulting. It dashes the dreams of Asian children by telling them that they aren’t worthy. It dashes the dreams of Asian adults that we are also not worthy to play these roles. Some of us dream of becoming the live embodiments of these characters. Take example: Mulan. I’m not Chinese but I always looked up to Mulan because that was the one relatable Asian princess in the Disney franchise. I saw these characters and they looked a little like me and it made me feel important and special. Seeing Scarlett Johansson take on the role of a character who is supposed to be Asian is defeating. It opens doors for other big anime series that I enjoy to be whitewashed. Hollywood and entertainment cater to the biggest consumers, which brings Asian directors, writers, creators to make their characters look a little bit more westernized so that it will sell in Western culture. It tells Asian that our small eyes are not beautiful, that our dark hair is undesirable, and that we are not important enough. I used to hate being Asian. I thought I was the ugliest person in the world (now I only think I’m the second ugliest). I hated my small eyes and my overall Asian face. I hated my culture because I so desperately wanted to be white and American. I was fed through media and underrepresentation that my race was not important and ugly. Now I’m proud of my heritage and race. But it took years of self-affirmation and climbing out of the “white people are better” hole that was created for me by this massive underrepresentation that was occurring.

I’ve even been told that “being racist towards Asians wasn’t really racist.” Think about that for a second. I’ve been told that “being racist towards Asians was totally an okay thing to do because we didn’t have “negative” stereotypes.” You can take that bullshit and throw it right out the window because no, that is not okay.

Trying to justify the entire belittling and mockery of a race is fucked up and makes you a terrible human being. Just because our “stereotypes” aren’t negative, I’m supposed to be okay with you putting me in a box and labeling me?

I’m not good at math so people tell me, “wow that’s so not Asian of you.” Or when a math problem occurs, people turn to me and is like, “here you go, you’re Asian, go for it.” What kind of fuckery is that? Do you not know how insulting that is? How shitty that makes me feel? Being good at math is not an inherently Asian trait. We aren’t born knowing our multiplication tables and we don’t spend our time, solving math problems in the dark.

The reason why Asians are seen good at math or education in general is because it’s our culture. We are raised to believe that being smart and intelligent is the way to success. I remember my dad telling me that I had to get good grades and I had to be good at everything so that I wouldn’t get made fun of for being Asian. Let that sink in. My parents were so afraid that I would be mocked and ridiculed for my race that they pushed me to be intelligent. I don’t know if this is true for other Asian families in Western culture but it was true for me. We try so hard and we push ourselves in education because we know that being smart is a way of success because our skin color won’t do that for us. We don’t have the same privileges that white people do. Also the importance of being smart and intelligent is so big and SO stressed in Asian culture that it’s actually not a good thing. Students push themselves so hard that it becomes dangerous. I know people who killed themselves because they couldn’t get into college and was so filled with shame that they didn’ see any other way. I know the pressure of being pushed to the limit. You need to understand, family is everything in Asian culture and people laugh at the fact that we say “we are trying to bring honor to our family” but it’s true. Everything I do is scrutinized and reflected upon my parents in Asian society. If I mess up a little bit, my entire family is shamed. That’s why succeeding as an individual is important because it means your family succeeds, not only you. Sure that’s not the whole case and not every family is like that but it’s very cultural and I feel like a lot of different Asians understand this.

Now let me take this back to why whitewashing in Hollywood is a shitty thing to do. Also just the fact that I have to explain this is fucking ridiculous. Because movies like these exist:

Replacing characters that are supposed to be Asian with white people is just plain shitty. Also the white messiah complex in certain movies is ridiculous too such as The Last Samurai and The Great Wall. It shows that white people are superior to Asians. It shows us that we need white people to save us from whatever. It makes Asians watching feel slightly inferior. Like the Chinese can’t even defend their most well-known infrastructure, the Great Wall of China, without a white man swooping in and being like, “don’t worry, lower race, the white man is here.”

I think Constance Wu says it best here and here:

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While The Great Wall was directed by a Chinese man, the message still resonates the same. Asians are not important enough. Seeing that happen is heartbreaking. Considering Asians make up 60% of the world’s population, I still have to sit around and watch Emma Stone play a basically half Asian character or Tom Cruise restructure the Japanese Army for the “better”. I still have to be told that being Asian means not being seen as an equal to white people, that being Asian is basically equivalent to “not important enough to represent accurately.”
I’ve been told that I can’t take a fucking joke when people slant their eyes and tell me to say “Herro” instead of “Hello.” I can’t slip up a little bit without people mocking me for being Asian. I apparently become people’s definition of the Asian culture and have to “hold up my end” of their “Asian friend.” I am not token Asian so if you’ve ever said, “I have an Asian friend so it’s okay.” Go fuck yourself and we aren’t friends anymore.
I find it everywhere. I had someone ask me if I spoke English. Yes, I speak English. Probably better than you can. I had people judge me because I majored in English by saying, “shouldn’t you be majoring in math or trying to become a doctor or something?” They belittle me for what I want to do as an individual based on what they know about the stereotypes of my race. I had someone ask me if I was Japanese and I said that I was Korean and they had the nerve to tell me that, “Oh okay but it’s all the same, isn’t it?” NO. IT’S NOT because they are very different countries and we don’t even speak the same fucking language. I get it, we look similar. Sometimes I get confused but I don’t go up to them and start speaking Korean because I assume they are Korean. I don’t go up to white people and ask if they know this other white person because they are white. And no, I don’t know your Japanese classmate from your hometown of farawayville. BECAUSE THAT IS A SHITTY THING TO ASSUME. And for the last time, I don’t know Jackie Chan. WE AREN’T FROM THE SAME COUNTRY, YOU ASSHOLE.
They make fun of Asian immigrants who can’t speak English well enough while they only know one language. You try and learn another language at the age of 40 and come back to me. If I ever see you come for my parents, who literally lived in two countries that spoke two different languages that were not their native language and THRIVED, or any immigrant parents, I will fucking end you.

So to summarize, whitewashing is a big fucking problem in Hollywood and we need to acknowledge it now and change it.

Thanks for reading.

Peace out.

-jl

Common Sense: It’s a thing

Last night someone asked me what feminists wanted.

I was a little confused about this question. I thought it was kind of obvious. Equal rights between humans despite gender. Right? I mean I dunno maybe other feminists want different things. People are different. I also read articles and watched videos on sexual assault and how it’s a bad thing. Well, that’s an obvious one too.

I don’t really know if I am a feminist or anything. I just fully believe in the idea that every single person in this world should be treated equally and should never be treated poorly because of their gender, race or sexual orientation. Common sense. A person should be able to pursue whatever dream they have as long as they are qualified and a qualification shouldn’t be “You have to be man” or “you have to be a woman.” If a woman can do a job as well as a man, then by golly gee wilikers, she should be treated as an equal to the man and be given equal pay. Is that a really hard concept for people?

Common sense, people. It’s like the common sense of NOT raping people. Don’t rape people. Like Jesus Christ, if they say no then it’s a no and move the hell on. No means no. No does not mean yes because it means no. Did you fail 1st grade? The fact that such things as rape culture even exists makes me question everything. Excuse me what? Victim blaming? “What was she wearing?” “He was asking for it.” Um…what? No no no no no no no. What is wrong with people? JUST DON’T RAPE PEOPLE. DO NOT SEXUAL ASSAULT PEOPLE. IT’S COMMON SENSE. IT’S CALLED BEING A DECENT HUMAN BEING. Why is this even a topic of discussion? Why is society so messed up that the freaking president of the United States of America had to make a video about NOT SEXUALLY ASSAULTING people? Why are there campaigns and organizations for awareness and to stop sexual assault? SEXUAL ASSAULT JUST SHOULDN’T HAPPEN. Teach your children to be a decent human being and it’ll be fine. Also sexual assault isn’t directed just towards women. Like I said, YOU JUST SHOULDN’T RAPE PEOPLE. Men, women, children, animals. JUST DON’T DO IT. OH MY FREAKING GOODNESS. If you need reminders that these men and women could be your daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, boyfriends or girlfriends, I have to ask why because it doesn’t matter if they are related to you or not, IT JUST SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. I mean for sure, I wouldn’t want my daughter, son, brother, sister, wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend to be sexually assaulted and discriminated against BECAUSE IT IS COMMON SENSE. OMG. Do people really have to spell in out for you? I mean we will spell it out for you. We will make you emotionally connect with this if need be but you shouldn’t have to. Just treat people like people and we’ll be fine.

Be a decent human being. You don’t need a reason or examples on why you should stop sexual assault. You shouldn’t need to be lectured and taught. It’s called not being a moron. I am a strong believer in equal rights for everyone because it’s common sense. I was raised to view every single human being as human beings. I was taught that it was wrong to view people as objects or treat people less than me because of how they look or where they are from. I was taught that race, gender and sexual orientation should never define a person’s character.

I shouldn’t have to go out and worry about whether I’ll be able to buy a decent house because of my race or gender or sexual orientation. Redlining, it’s a thing. Why? I don’t know. I shouldn’t have to worry about my children getting picked on because of the way they look. I shouldn’t have to worry about my children getting picked on at all because bullying is terrible and should not be allowed. That’s a different post but seriously. I shouldn’t have to give up my right to marry someone just because it’s not a man. Marriage isn’t about gender, it’s about love. LOVE. If I am madly in love with someone whether is it a male or female, I should be able to marry them. My love should not be called an abomination or disgusting. Love in general should not be called any bad names because love is a wonderful thing. Do not take away my right to call someone my wife or husband because of a verse in a book written thousands and thousands of years ago. Also read the whole book. Plot twist, the Bible isn’t just a damn verse but an entire book. I’m getting religious here which is something that I shouldn’t be doing because our government has that one thing called separation of church and state so your religious argument is invalid in lawmaking. JUST SAYING. Did you pay attention in American Government class? BECAUSE YA SHOULD’VE.

To summarize, BE A DECENT HUMAN BEING. Like damn. It really isn’t that hard of a concept. Don’t rape people. Treat people like people. Don’t be assholes. Also do not ever EVER try to justify rape. That is disgusting. COMMON SENSE PEOPLE. COMMON SENSE. Ugh. Over it.

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But all of this is my opinion, of course. Believe whatever the hell you want to believe. JUST DON’T RAPE PEOPLE OR HURT PEOPLE. Damn.

-Jonny