“A white guy, a black guy, and an Asian guy are walking down the street…” What follows almost is sure to be un-PC, but funny… right? Maybe not. Sure, you may laugh, but we laugh for a number of reasons: you might be amused, maybe you’re uncomfortable, or you just feel like you’re supposed to laugh. Either way, many students aren’t altogether sure it really is a joke.
Enter Facebook: an all encompassing element of life at IU. Certain individuals have decided to bring the non-stop laughs of racial jokes to this forum by creating groups like “We Hate Asian Drivers,” “Asian Girls have Sideways Vaginas,” and “Asian Girls are Devious.” Hilarity ensues–as does the outrage.
Many of you know, from the experience, that the members of the Asian American Association received a rather heinous e-mail message on Thursday, January 30, 1997. The message, from the header reading “Bad-Ass-Mother-Fucker,” stated the following:
“All you fucking chinks, japs, gooks and other fucking overbreeding, country takeovering asshole, complaining foreigners…get the fuck out of this country before we deport your ass!”
Immediately following this incident, AAA initiated some security measures that would impede future incidents, as such. Thus, with the exception of those who read the IDS story on Friday, February 28, by Linda Yung, you had no idea that AAA received two more e-mail messages following. And since you are members of AAA, BTG is going to give you the inside scoop!
On February 3rd, AAA received an e-mail that was sent directly to the “” account. This message was a forwarded message of the original, with some “alterations.” That message read:
All you fucking chinks, japs, gooks and other fucking overbreeding, country takeovering asshole, complaining foreigners…you are invited to a candle light dinner on February 9th at 10:00 pm. Dress formally.
P.S. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Sincerely, Bad-Ass Mother Fucker
This message seemed completely ambiguous and stylistically different than the first. But apparently, AAA later found out that this second e-mail message was in fact someone’s “idea” of a joke. We did not laugh! (The identity of the sender of the second e-mail will not be revealed.)
And then, there was the most recent and third message (with the same header as the first) which read:
I am still here and so are you. Didn’t you understand my last message or do you just not understand english.
Now this sounded like the same dirt-bag we were used to dealing with. The header of the sender read “Bad-Ass Mother Fucker” as did the first, both instances seemed to be “hi-jack situations,” and the message was sent directly to the mass distribution list, which, unlike the second message, was not sent directly to the aaa-account. By this point, IUPD finally got around to contacting AAA to give us the revelation that “we just don’t know. Do you know–we don’t know.”
So what can we defer about this “culprit” whose throwing some threatening blows over this new “wave of technology” we call the internet? Should we take it seriously–is it as detrimental as some say it is? Does the accessibility of fiberoptic communications present challenges that we are not capable of dealing with or ultimately devising a solution for i.e. security of technology and “freedom of speech” in cyberspace.
Well, to to sum up the sordid reality of the situation–there is nothing you can do! In essence, the only security you have is your ability to not be absentminded when closing your e-mail account. And even that is not safe-guarded from “hackers.” Furthermore, whenever you get a harassing e-mail message, the sender can deny ever sending it. He/she can simply state that their e-mail account was broken in to, and UCS and IUPD have to leave it at that. A grim outlook, I know–but that’s the price we pay for freedom of speech.
The Asian American Association will continue to follow its leads on the story, but the question is — even if we do catch the culprit, what can we “really” do?
It’s always a frustration of mine when someone approaches me and wants to chat about Asian pop artists. My personal knowledge is limited, so conversation about the topic at hand dies out faster than my family can finish a kettle of tea. Then the conversation shifts back towards the artists in the Western Hemisphere. Therefore, this month I thought I’d shelf the ordinary album review and talk about Asian artists and where their present position in the world.
Going back to my trip at Taiwan this summer, I recall the first time I ever became interested in Asian, primarily Chinese, pop music. I was in a club, and some silly song about a guy looking out a window and seeing a lemon tree, was being played. I thought to myself that Asians have spent way too much time gardening. Maybe if the artist, a she, had sang about lemon tea, I would’ve held back this idea. The lyrics were not incredibly comprehensible, but the melody stayed in my head for eight weeks. It was the kind of melody that made you play it in a discman and hit “repeat” whenever it was about over, while walking to that class at Ballantine Hall (for me it is a tedious long walk.) Then the next song was played, it was a rap/R & B song, with an Asian male’s voice in Mandarin. He rapped about what he liked to do with his personal time. I will not go into detail about this song’s lyrics, because at a later date this publication may be distributed to families. Well, the underlying assumption after hearing these tunes was that Asia had adopted many themes of the West, and also have had their own unique identity as well that makes their music uniquely attractive.
Why is it that Asian artists are not more well known throughout the world. I believe its because Asians see music as an art, not an industry. The industry in the U.S. has many groups with songs of uniform themes. I heard at least forty songs about how much some guy hates his life because he’s not loved or special. U.S. artists claim that they want to write lyrics then perform, because they love it. Many times they forget about an essential ingredient. That ingredient is simply melody, so many songs of theirs have a vacuit, nonexistent melody, and the lead vocalist sounds like he or she is on the verge of suicide, verbal assault, or battery of himself or another.
Instilled with the philosophy that the melody is the heart of all music, the Asian artist, when adhering to their own styles not Western, focus on the philosophy that if there is no melody, regardless of your lyrics, there is no song. My mom always told me that you can’t sing a song when the melody sounds like you’re killing a rooster. I take this adage as advice to not bother with the many alternative bands in the U.S. today. Actually in some cases, killing a rooster may actually sound better…I think.
Now that the melodic foundation is clear, nevertheless I’m still disturbed why original Asian artists are not better known. I guess its because Asian people have yet to become noticeable of the most important key in music: marketing. We’re too busy learning the foundations of music. So, to all you budding Asian artists out there, be relentless in music and marketing. You’ll get your turn.
“If all of us were gone, Shawn, you’d be the only one sitting here.” said senior Khai Troung at the now historical minority protest held on Martin Luther King Day.
During the course of the next few days, these words haunted my mind.. Toward the end of the protest, I sat with the few Asian Americans remaining. Unfortunately, I was the only non-senior in the crowd.. Quickly a make-fun-of-the newbie session turned into a ugly realization: I was the only “young generation” Asian American there.
I came to realize that the younger generation seemed almost nonexistent during the latter course of the protest. I began to wonder if my generation of Asian Americans actually “cared” about any of the issues presented. In fact, I pondered if they cared about issues of diversity at all.
The older generation of asians has had the experience of actually watching the creation and uprising of many of the asian student groups and their ideals. Among them was the creation of an asian culture center. This became their passion, their dream, while my generation of young adults seem to overlook the meaning behind all of their efforts. In essence, the younger generation Asian Americans do not have a conscious sense of ownership in these organizations and these issues.
I think that my generation should wake up and take a good hard look at what they now have in their hands. A legacy is now forming. The older generation has provided a dream, and we must carry out their dreams. We must stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, so we can materialize the dreams of tomorrow. Who of you will carry the torch of student activism into the future?