Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When "Smart" Is a Bad Thing for People of Color

[image source]

By Sharon H Chang

Nowadays it's on the table. And let me be clear I think that's a VERY good thing. We ruminate, debate, question, call out, piece apart and break down this pervasive stereotype - this idea that Asian/Americans are somehow a magic "model minority". The thinking goes: if you have to be a person of color, at least be an Asian one cause Asians are smart, they'll listen, work hard, won't act out, blah blah blah.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Yea 'Aloha' is Super White, But What's Up With the Way We're Talking About It?

From left to right Aloha stars: sovereignty activist Dennis "Bumpy" Pu'uhonua Kanahele (as himself), Bradley Cooper (as a white guy), and Emma Stone (as a white person playing a mixed-race Hawaiian/Chinese/Swedish person) [image source]

by Sharon H Chang

Okay first let's just get this out of the way. Aloha is a really, really bad movie. Like REALLY bad. It's getting horrible reviews (as it should) for lousy directing, a terrible script, mismatched A-list actors, poor production etc. It's boring as hell to watch. I'm not going to even bother giving a a story synopsis here because the plot is so pointless and uninteresting, it doesn't matter anyway. If you want or need a synopsis, it's easy to find one online. Just do a web search.

No all you need to know, if you don't already, is this: Set in Hawaii where Native Hawaiians continue to be besieged by whites and the military, the movie centers white people and the U.S. military anyway, all of which is supposedly made better by the conceit of a military-serving mixed-race Hawaiian/Chinese/Swedish character, who is actually played by a white actress.

Yup. Pretty much.