Sunday, January 27, 2013
ASIAN EQUALITY NOW 2013
This time of year is always exciting, what with the upcoming Oscars.
Since the 1950's, women and blacks have made significant strides in the equality arena. Yet these two groups still have an uphill climb as they inch closer to a true American Dream. For Latinos, there is progress- though at a much slower pace.
Our strengthening marriage equality movement, with strong support from Hollywood, has thrust the gay community, which includes all races, front and center. The LGBTQ community seems to have leapfrogged the Asians in terms of attention and inclusion.
For Asians, equality remains a cold wet dream. The Civil Rights Act is now how old?
Hollywood, that liberal bastion, currently creates a false reality in many of its shows and films. The most striking example-- I prefer crime dramas like NCIS-LA-- would be the casting of hospital or lab staff roles.
On the West Coast, the medical field is very diverse and, next time you stop at a health clinic, note the Asians comprise a significant number of the workers.
With racist Hollywood falling behind the rest of society, rarely do we see any Asians in the hospital scenes. These roles are reserved for whites, women or blacks. Enter a hospital or clinic in any city on the West Coast and you will find an abundance of races, including many Asians.
This is 2013 and the entire Hollywood culture continues to be stuck in 1950’s status quo racism when the visual arts did not at all acknowledge the existence of any race but white. Back then, if a role called for an Indian or Latina, it was played by a Caucasian in face paint.
In the 1960's, I watched a lot of American TV shows while I was in Manila. I dreamed of someday coming to the United States. Such a nice, clean atmosphere, America, and my family would be one of the first non-whites to come to its shores. That's the deep impression American television left on my 9-year-old brain...
... until my family landed in San Francisco, July 1970. I was stunned. Where did all these black people come from? I didn't know there were other Asians already here! I thought everyone in America was of the white race-- all the heroes on TV were white. I was unsettled but did not discuss my shock with anyone for decades.
Decades. Many have passed since the Civil Rights Act. Still, the Dream isn't fully achieved. True, we've seen major progress for women and blacks and some Latinos.
In 2013, I find it unacceptable that Asians continue to be doormats of the community. Hollywood, that liberal bastion, barely acknowledges the significant number of Asians that make up our great country. I know gay Democrats who still laugh at Mickey Rooney’s Jap caricature in “Breakfast At Tiffany’s.”
I expect empathy and unconditional support for Asian Equality from the women, blacks, Latinos and, especially, the gay community that have benefitted from the sacrifices made by people of all races. I support equality for all races, including women and gays.
We must not dismiss the fact that Asians continue to face prejudice and exclusion. We can’t waste the lives of American martyrs a second time by ignoring the reality of ongoing discrimination against Asians.
Republican racists are immediately called out.
The liberal Democrats hide behind party affiliation or their gayness as they—much like the deep south bigots of the 1950’s, continue to mock and laugh at Asians who decry racism. Democrats and Hollywood have become complacent and self-absorbed, too lazy and ignorant to hear the cries that we are still climbing. We have not reached the mountain top!
It is time for the Democrats and Hollywood to align itself with the 21st century values of social, economic and political equality.
Equality for ALL must happen now. The strength of racism in this century is a slap in the face for Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Dream and the many-- including whites—who withstood torture, humiliation and death and defiantly fought for the civil rights of ALL of The People.
After all, equality is for everybody.