When Asian people say the stuff white people tell them

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      If you didn't really get the point I was trying to make in my commentary earlier this week about judging visible minorities based on visual information, you might be a great candidate for watching the following video.

      Even if you did, it can still serve as a reminder of how it feels when the tables are turned.

      It's the same idea as the video that comedian Daniel-Ryan Spalding made about what gay guys sound like when they say the kinds of the things that straight guys say to them.

      It's basically the Shit People Say meme remixed, and we can probably expect a flurry of more of these kinds of videos (if not already).

      In the meantime, here's what it sounds like when Asian people say what white people say to them.

      (By the way, I have white friends.)


      We're now using Facebook for comments.



      Jun 6, 2014 at 6:54pm

      I have a friend who is African-American and lived in Hong Kong for years, has a Singaporean Chinese wife and speaks Mandarin. Rarely does a day to by when he doesn't hear people referring to him as "monkey" in Mandarin under the assumption he doesn't understand their language. There are racists & homophobes in every race and likely in similar ratios to one another. Cultures may be different but people get marginalized for the most of the same reasons all over the world.


      Jun 7, 2014 at 12:50am

      a white guy who has lived for years in Korea, i wonder if the straight would find it appropriate to publish an article by a white writer called "When white people say the stuff Asian people tell them", or "When white people say the stuff black people tell them" (By the way, I have Asian and black friends.)


      Jun 7, 2014 at 2:45am

      politically correct racism


      Jun 7, 2014 at 3:54am

      You have to be joking. First off, white people can't say anything to Asian people because we usually just get ignored. And second; stop with the white hate and false justification of skin color. You people are no better at anti-discrimination, especially when I have chinese people calling me by derogatory terms. Hipocrites. All of you.


      Jun 7, 2014 at 8:36am

      When I was a kid, during the 1980s, I was into punk rock. Nowadays this might not be such a big thing but thirty years ago you could expect to be treated like an alien life form.

      People generally shunned us. Yeah, that probably seems strange now - over a goofy haircut and silly clothes? Yep. But the fact is that most people just had no idea what we were about and it didn't help that pretty much every single media portrayal of us made us appear like violent, ignorant thugs. We were anything but. So, there weren't a lot of "normal" people hanging out with us.

      Of course, this didn't mean that we didn't interact with them from time to time. And when we did, it was usually to answer some sort of question about the way we looked. This was a source of near endless entertainment for us. Questions like "did you dye your hair that color" (bright blue) often prompted answers like "NO! I was born like this - and that's why my parents disowned me - they couldn't take the shame of a blue-haired child". This one was always my favourite:

      "What does your father think of that hair?"
      "He's dead, so not much of anything"
      "Oh my goodness, I'm sorry"
      "Why are you sorry? Did you murder him?"

      It is true that some of these people were shallow idiots - yep, those people really do exist and they come in all shapes, sizes and shades. But, here's the thing, most of those people weren't. Yes, they often asked very stupid or invasive questions or made ridiculous assumptions but the reality was that many of them were nervous and just looking for a way to start or carry a conversation across a social barrier they didn't quite understand.

      My point? You can draw a line wherever you want and circumstance will furnish you the opportunity to mock those on the other side. I know, Craig, you didn't draw the line... nor did I. But you sure as hell ain't doing anything to help erase it... at least, not with this video. (although, to be fair, I did laugh my ass off).

      Alan Layton

      Jun 7, 2014 at 8:46am

      Since very few white people speak Asian or South Asian languages we have no idea how many conversations in our presence have racial insults directed at us. I refuse to believe that only white people have 'racist' tendencies so maybe The Georgia Straight can use their multicultural staff of top notch journalists to start reporting on it. But what are the chances that will ever happen!


      Jun 7, 2014 at 10:19am

      This is just reverse racism. If people knew about the institutionalized racism that has gone on in Asia they would shudder. Asians are no better than anyone else and often more racist in their policies than liberal whites would ever be. Ask the Tibetans, Ainu, Vietnamese, and others in Asia how they feel about Chinese aggression. This sort of thing is ridiculous. It's time to stop the hatred and blaming of Whites and get on with your lives.


      Jun 8, 2014 at 8:34am


      Craig Takeuchi

      Jun 9, 2014 at 11:30am

      Okay, kids, listen up:
      What you're not getting is that this is not about Asian people visiting North America. It's about what Asian North Americans, those born and raised here, and what they experience, conveyed through satire.
      It's pointing out how Asian North Americans continue to not be recognized as Canadians or Americans, but as the "other" while white people, who could easily be first generation immigrants, are often not.
      While Asians have historically been the butt of North American jokes and continue to be in pop culture, or remain invisible, with very limited or highly restricted positive representations, and while tons of positive representations of white people flourish, it is telling that this video sparks such a reaction.