I Will Eat You Alive

070611_eatmyglobe2
I Will Eat You Alive
Globalize Into My Mouth

Cut by: Davita Cuttita

The other day I was over at Stuff White People Do reading when I noticed that Macon D had posted about food. FOOD! YAAAAY!!! I love food!!

Macon talked about having the pleasure of partaking in various foods—particularly Asian and Indian—at potlucks or other social gatherings and when he asked the people responsible for bringing or preparing the item, they seemed put-off or completely uninterested in discussing their dish. I highly suggest that post and for you to take a look at the comments. It’s all really intriguing and he goes into a lot of detail on how White people tend to “exotify” or stereotype other cultures based on their food.

So anyway, I got to thinking about all the delicious food I’ve had from people from other countries. As kids in school, “multi-cultural” potlucks were pretty commonplace as Grandpa and I grew up in an area predominantly populated with immigrants. Some of that food, I have never tasted or seen again as I was so young, I didn’t know anything much about cooking or caring for such things…and they were so good too… “and I’ll never have that recipe, agaaaiiin! OH NOOOO!!!”

I’ve eaten a lot of food from a whole lot of different people and places but I never got the awkward reactions Macon did and believe me; I ask a TON of questions:

“Do you know what people call it in {place} language?” (I will say “your language” if I know the person speaks that language as a mother tongue/second language).
“How do you make it?”
“How often can you eat it? Do you eat it often?”
“What kind of dish is this?”
“If I were to go to (country of dish) someday, where can I get this?”
“Where can I get this in Canada?”
“Does this take long to make?”
“More, please”

OK, well the last one wasn’t a question and probably should have been at the top and written out at least ten times but you get the point. I ask a lot of questions because dammit, I love food and if I can make something at home to I can eat it forever and whenever; you’re my hero.

For all my homies and homiettes who have had trouble talking to people about their cultures’ food, I just want to deliver this message:

People, there’s nothing wrong with others questioning you about food and personally, I am tired of those who seem to be “ashamed” of their culture or their ancestor’s culture and don’t want to talk about the things that make it special and unique; food being one of them.

If you feel that you’re Canadian or American and whatever and genuinely don’t know much about the ways of your ancestors or even parents, just SAY SO, that’s cool, but don’t be an asshole and try to change the subject to McDonalds or other “Western” food to try and prove your “Westerny-ness” or even your Whiteness (if applicable). If I wanted that shit I would be at a drive-thru. I am not trying to put you in a box, I am not stereotyping you and I am very, very interested in this food and what it means in your culture but if you’re not willing to be even slightly helpful I’ll just Google it and call it a day. No one is asking you to be an ambassador for your country; it’s just a fucking recipe! Relax!!

If I didn’t like/trust you to some extent, I wouldn’t even be eating it so what’s with the chagrin? Also, asking questions doesn’t make someone a jerk—if I just ate the food without a word of thanks or wonder; I believe *that* is rude. Not only is it rude, it’s dismissive. Go to any “high class” restaurant and almost all the items on the menu have descriptions detailing either the food’s history, preparation and meaning. Why? Because knowing that stuff makes the food more delicious and it also makes one more grateful for all the effort that went into it.

No offense intended, I’m just hungry and like to eat things that taste good.

HOWEVER, one thing that really, really fucking URKS me to death more than anything else is when people associate one culture with a certain kind of food.

For example, Grandpa and I really like Vietnamese a lot and will go out sometimes to get some at this kick-ass place in her town. How many damn times have I heard some ignorant people come in and start asking for chicken balls and other Chinese food? TOO MANY!  They are holding the menu in their hands, looking at it and ordering non-existent shit from it!!! I just want to punch them in the throat repeatedly screaming, “Not all Asian people eat the same thing! AAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!”

Besides, Chinese people don’t even eat chicken balls! Now that I mention it, I have never seen ANY Chinese people at a “Chinese” buffet in my life unless they were staff (which gets a side-eye from me anyhow). Maybe it’s happened while I wasn’t there, but it still URKS ME!!

“Aren’t they cooking it at home?” NO! Most “Chinese food” that you order in was invented in America anyhow. For real people, could ANY civilization survive frying and deep frying everything they ever ate? I’ve had REAL Chinese food before and let me tell you, it’s like eating blessings and the laughter of children.

All LIES, FILTH AND GREASE on a plate!!

All LIES, FILTH AND GREASE on a plate!!

Moving on…

I also have a tendency to tell the server /preparer if I’ve had the same dish someplace else and it tasted like shit. Of course, not in those words but I will ask how come theirs taste better than that garbage I bought in the grocery store or some other random place and it usually turns out the crap meals come from people who know nothing about how to truly prepare the food–no duh.

I also got to wondering why people seem so eager to answer my food questions. Naturally, I just give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re just being friendly and polite because believe it or not; there are still some friendly, open and courteous people out there. However, I can’t help but wonder if their reactions would be different if I were White…and a man.

I’m no feminist, but it’s common knowledge that women are just stereotypically the cookers and cleaners in most cultures so are people just assuming that as a woman, I would like to learn how to cook something (to please a man?) because that’s just one of my innate functions? I wish cooking skills were innate; I would totally pop a cantaloupe between my thighs for a slice of cheesecake right now. Those cantaloupes are so going to get it once I start that Pilates class (not!!).

The next thing I can’t help but wonder is if people of colour are more open talking to me about food—and other topics—because I too, am a person of colour. That also seems like a no-brainer but I think it deserves some consideration. Are you reading, White people? Will the White Westerners in the audience please stand up? I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Shh! Do you know what Coloured people say about Western food? Ok…

“It’s bland.”

I swear to you, every Coloured person I’ve met and YES even White people I’ve met from Europe have said this to my face. If you don’t believe me just go to Swiss Chalet, right now.

I’ll wait, I’ll fucking wait RIGHT HERE until you get back. Now GO!!

……
……….
…………………………..

DID YOU TASTE IT?! UGH! It’s so damn BLAND!!

Do they even wash the chicken before they cook it?! I bet you they just pull that shit straight from the package, sprinkle salt and pepper on it and throw it in the oven. I will also bet you ten thousand shiny internet dollars, that that is how they prepare every damn thing on that shit-stained folded cellophane they call a menu. Tabasco sauce? My tears are spicier than that shit! I hate you Swiss Chalet, I hate what you stand for and everyone you love.

I hate you with the passion of a thousand burning suns.

Anyway, I can’t believe I’m saying this but don’t stereotype people or cultures based on their food habits.

It is a bold-faced lie that only Black people love chicken, EVERYONE loves chicken; it’s delicious! What is wrong with you?!

Not all Asian people eat “exotic” animals.

There is a difference between an item being a “staple” in one’s diet and just ignorantly declaring that a certain group of people eats a certain thing all the time JUST BECAUSE.

And if you can’t talk about more than someone’s food at any given time as if that’s all their culture has to offer or is good for, then shut the hell up. Would you like it if you went to Europe and all they talked to you about was McDonalds? Because it’s already happening as McDonalds seems to be representin’ for America in Europe and seemingly, the rest of the world.

I’ve met a lot of people from all over the world and the refrain is always the same:
“Americans are fat because they eat too much McDonalds.”

So the next time you think about stereotyping another culture based on your own narrow preconceptions of their eating habits, or the next time you choose not to educate yourself on those habits feeling as though you have the upper-deck; remember that there are some Europeans and other cultures thinking this:

amerikaburger

McDonalds=Americans, and all they eat

This poor person was served meatloaf by an Asian family who thought that it was an American delicacy. I bet you when he saw that shit on the table, a single tear dramatically escaped his eye like that Native American Chief in those anti-litter ads from the 70s:

So don’t forget your manners and do the world a favour by choosing to either be courteous and exercise your manners while dining out or shove your racism up your ass with a broken beer bottle.

All in all, have fun and bon appétit.

~ by davitacuttita on November 20, 2008.

26 Responses to “I Will Eat You Alive”

  1. Haha! This reminds me of a Dave Chapelle skit where he says that white people don’t talk much about what they eat. No one really knows what white people eat.

    Of course, white people eat the same things that everyone else does.

    But it was funny because there really aren’t any widely realized stereotypes about what white people eat.

    And it’s true, at least where I’m from, that we just don’t talk about it much xD

  2. I read that Stuff White People Do post too and was confused by the people who were leaving sassy comments, chastising Macon D. I have no beef with people who ask about my Spanish Jewish chicken at parties. I am a Jewish person whose ancestors come from Spain. My chicken is delicious. It tastes really different from what people are used to. They feel the need to know what it is, because it is delicious. So what is the problem? WHAT IS THE BEEF, PEOPLE? I’m flattered when people bother to ask about it and I’m more than happy to answer questions about my culture, as long as the questions are respectful and not ridiculous(“So, you must be really rich, right? Because you’re Jewish?” is not an acceptable question, for example.) As long as I am not being REDUCED to the food from my culture, it’s all good.

  3. Oh, and I know what people eat, or at least ate, at some point, here in Utah:

    http://ourrecipegroup.blogspot.com/2008/09/lime-gelatin-shrimp-and-grapefruit.html

    What the fuck?!

  4. White people, at one time, ate this:

    http://ourrecipegroup.blogspot.com/2008/09/lime-gelatin-shrimp-and-grapefruit.html

    Shrimp, vinegar, mustard, lime jell-0, and mayonnaise all in one recipe? Mmm, delicious!

  5. Wow, this was interesting, Davita, and it made me hungry too! (Tho not for fake “Chinese” food.) Loopzilla really captured what I was mostly trying to say, that people shouldn’t REDUCE others to the food from their culture. It seems even worse when white folks do that to non-white folks, given current power dynamics and historical hangovers.

    Meatloaf as an American delicacy–ha! My mother did serve us that stuff, but no one in the family considered it a delicacy. Is there such a thing as a fantastic, mouthwatering meatloaf? I think it’s just one rung up from pot roast.

  6. Hi Almira! Well, I beg to differ. As a Coloured person the stereotypical “White food” I hear of is potatoes. Any kind of potato, just POTATOES. Turn on the Food Network, how much of the food on there is not “White people food”? I think White people just don’t have to talk about what they eat because it’s basically everywhere in White-dominated society. Hardly anyone discusses commonplace matters such as sunshine and buildings: they’re everywhere. The same can be said of White culture as well which is why dialogues like these are important.

    White people might not talk about White food or culture often to eachother (since it’s everywhere) but we Coloured people do take notice and we talk about it pretty frequently.

    Also, I get what you’re saying with “White people eat the same foods” but not necessarily; for example I bet you White people don’t commonly prepare jerk chicken or roti at home as dishes representative of White culture. Also, I’m certain that different White cultures eat different foods from one another because Whiteness isn’t a monolith…right?

    Oh, I miss Chappelle sooo much. ;_;

  7. Hi Macon & Loopzilla!

    Macon: I definitely sided with Loopzilla on this one, too. I completely got what you were saying. Also, what is pot roast? I think Imma google that later. I’m glad you liked the post, I’m having a mad-craving for real Chinese food like roast duck or beef in egg drop on rice. I ate meatloaf in a frozen dinner once…or wait…what is meatloaf? Googlegooglegooglegoogle!!

    Loopzilla: I was also confused by the sassy comments on SWPD for that post. Seriously, what is wrong with enjoyin food and asking for a recipe? I just think all those comments were completely off and since a lot of the time, racial “attack mode” is necessary and justifiable on most of the material he writes; I figure more or less that a few people got carried away. That lime, shrimp and jello thing gets a colder than ice cold side-eye from me.

    And yeah; as long as I’m not reduced to Jamaican food it’s all gravy, baby! That’s all I was trying to say with this post.

  8. I can make you pot roast Davita, LOLz.

    Commenting on own site. orz

  9. Hey Davita,

    You wouldn’t be offended by people asking if that’s what you ate “back home” because (1) you are actually a foreigner, (2) you actually know how to cook the food that’s associated with your ethnicity, and (3) you are personally interested in the topic of food.

    It’s not because he’s a white male, either.

    While I was cooking something in the kitchen, this person who shares the kitchen with me, a black woman, asked about what I was cooking. She asked, “Did you get that recipe from your mommy?”

    I replied, “No. I got it from the internet.”

    I was cooking/trying to cook “Thai” food, with ingredients like tamarind and palm sugar. I’m Chinese. I’m not Thai. Just because I’m cooking “Asian” food, it doesn’t mean that it’s passed down from my mother, and it doesn’t mean that the only “Asian” food I eat is the food that’s associated with my ethnicity.

    Anyway, I did not appreciate her question at all or her assumptions based on stereotypes about Asians. Her usage of the term “mommy” was unacceptably patronizing, as well.

  10. Hey Restructure!

    I actually I can’t cook a lot of Jamaican dishes just the really simple ones (did I mention my cooking skills in this article?). They’re pretty time consuming and require a lot of care and expertise so I’m still learning.

    Also, people ask my younger siblings (all born in Canada) if that’s what they “eat back home” but usually they’re flattered that someone still considers them Jamaican since they feel Canada lacks culture; especially if you’re Black like we are (Black Americans seem to have a culture while here, Blacks seem to “borrow” elements from it and don’t seem to have anything truly distinctive). I know a lot of Coloured Canadians who share this viewpoint so I tried not over to be overly-presumptuous in the article and say everyone gets offended by comments like that. I can see where some people would find offense though and I just wanted to remind everyone to not just lose their shit before completely analyzing the situation; which I feel some of us fail to do at times.

    As I said in the article, I’m a benefit of the doubt kinda person. I’m also a calculating person so I don’t just fly off the handle unless I have hard, unchallengable evidence to impale the person with. Shit happens, but I don’t just go “I’M OFFENDED!” unless it’s really, really bad I figure more or less that I can intelligently defend myself and correct other peoples’ assumptions. This doesn’t always work but when it doesn’t, it usually does a great job of exposing that person’s racism to me and I walk away; no offense taken (because if I take their offense, I feel it’ll become a part of me); whatever, fuck ‘um. I just have that “duck feather, everything rolls-off-my-back” kinda attitude which is prevalent in Jamaican culture.

    However, my article did address what you were saying in the last bit of your comment (with not Asian people eating/preparing the same kind of food). I don’t expect much from people and sometimes they make assumptions. OK, fine. Remain calm, talk it out, find out what they’re really getting at. Some people are ignorant racists and some people just express themselves how their culture dictates. If I’m cooking, other Jamaicans will ask “if I learned it from my mommy” in my language as well. I guess it kinda makes sense as most women have learned to cook from another woman if not their mothers since y’know, that’s been a “woman’s job” for thousands of years in many cultures. Things are different now but I can’t chastise people outside of that dynamic in both generation and perhaps even culture without at least correcting them first, just like how you did. I’m especially careful as someone who is learning other languages because it makes me especially aware that other cultures will express themselves differently from another occassionally causing unintentional offense or miscommunications–which seems kind of like your situation with that Black woman but who knows, I could be wrong and I don’t have the energy to be presumptous right now (never seem to find the energy to do that, anyhow).

    Anylongwindedcomment, I just don’t want anyone to use those assumptions to make an ass of themselves or belittle or stereotype my culture or other cultures; which was a main point of the article. I also don’t want anyone to make any assumptions about me without asking for clarification first.

  11. Okay, I thought this part was directed at me:

    I am tired of those who seem to be “ashamed” of their culture or their ancestor’s culture and don’t want to talk about the things that make it special and unique; food being one of them.

    If you feel that you’re Canadian or American and whatever and genuinely don’t know much about the ways of your ancestors or even parents, just SAY SO, that’s cool, but don’t be an asshole and try to change the subject to McDonalds or other “Western” food to try and prove your “Westerny-ness” or even your Whiteness (if applicable).

    I don’t think this applies to me at all, but I am often accused of being like this. I have had both (some) foreign-born Chinese and (some) white people assume that I can actually speak Chinese but that I am pretending that I don’t because I’m ashamed of “my” culture.

    Anyway, it’s not about being ashamed of your non-whiteness. It’s about accepting reality. You grew up in an area predominantly populated with immigrants, and you yourself are an immigrant, but not all POC have the same experiences as you. I’m not going to make stuff up about Chinese culture just to make the asker feel comfortable in their assumptions and entertain them for while. Some people actually do that, and I don’t agree with that, because they end up recycling stereotypes.

  12. Back on topic, this Korean friend of mine had white Canadian home-stay parents. My friend, being a student, often ate a dish of rice, seaweed, and either hot sauce or kimchi (I don’t remember). Apparently, this is considered poor people’s food. Anyway, the white home-stay mom thought it was a Korean delicacy, and invited her white friends over and served that dish to them, and they loved it.

    My friend called her Korean mom and they laughed about it. However, I think it also reveals why associating Asians with food is so offensive. Many white people seem to think that every Asian is an expert chef on the food associated with their ethnicity, as if the knowledge of all Asians is contained within every Asian.

  13. Hi again, Restructure.

    Of course, I couldn’t have directed anything in this article specifically to you as I wrote it while bored at 4AM this morning listening to digital hardcore. That comment is directed at the people it was talking about and I’m sure they know who they are and I invite them to say something if they feel the need to. It’s the same with everything on here unless otherwise specified because I’m not afraid to say “I FUCKING HATE {NOUN}” and say names and make my intentions completely and unquestionably clear.

    Also, I did say there is NOTHING wrong with standing up for yourself (the whole “SAY SO”) line. I’m kind of getting confused right now because I’m pretty sure the post addressed everything you’re talking about so…yeah (i.e. the people ordering Chinese in a Vietnamese restaurant and my consequent rage) It seems like we’re kind of talking in circles right now. It also kind of seems as though you’ve lumped my article in with Macon’s when I’m hoping I effectively illustrated that I was looking at both sides and instead of just blaming Whitey, I decided to expand and blame EVERYONE, lol. I’ll probably be doing this a bit more often because I feel as PoC, we need to examine how we fit into the spectrum and not just what is done to us but what we do to one another. Cuisine is a huge uniter and divider so I thought it would be a good route to take analyzing how we can all be racist to eachother.

    The end of the article had a link to a comment from a White person who was served meatloaf by Asians who thought it was a White delicacy.

    I’ve been served “Jamaican” food by Grandpa’s parents and was initially like “WTF?!” since I never have had problems eating anything; especially the gorgeousness that is Cambodian food. But they were going, “Here’s YOUR food, Davita! You like this kind of stuff don’t you? You should!” until I found out they just didn’t want me to feel homesick away from my family for the first time and thought it was a kind gesture (as proper nourishment of or offering of food to a guest is polite in Cambodian culture). Also, that’s just how Cambodians interpret the English language and I’m sure if they spoke English as a first language and were more familiar with the “Western” conventions Grandpa and I learned as children growing up in Canada, they probably would’ve acted differently but then again a lot of people do act/talk like that BUT not all of them do so out of racial maliciousness, is my point. If you catch my drift.

    So, none of us have secret sauce-free hands at this point and this was the point of the article too: sometimes we’re all to blame for stereotyping eachother and since I’m not Asian, I tried to avoid stacking comparisons out of respect. There are no winners when everyone is hungry whispering assumptions and really, this thing is just a circle. And it’s not always racism that’s the culprit, sometimes the villian is just manners and kindness and how a particular culture expresses that, which is why I emphasized that we should all exercise meditation before engaging in verbal tribulations.

  14. Damn straight, people still blame me for not feeding you. “They’re like, you’re not feeding [Davita].” And they say that I’m “taking you’re taking [Davita's] fat.”

    I can only speak on behalf of Cambodians, even then not so much. But we do feed our guests and try to make them at home. I’ve had only one really bad guest who is not allowed to come back AT ALL, but that’s like when you disrespect and insult the whole family.

    My experience with people offending me because of my food is when they ask me to cook Asian food and I come with poutine or fried rice after being burned so many times and receiving too many complaints when I made 100% Cambodian food. Especially when they say it smells and this one fucker told me to throw it out.

    Bitches love my fried rice and poutine. But I’d really like them to try everything, the curry, that long sticky rice + red beans thing with the banana wrapped in a bamboo and the triangle things with the coconut in the center. I know they wouldn’t like the curry, ;-;

    But my cooking is pretty awesome, the complaints come from like… Italians who only eat Italian food and hate non-Italian food. So… Like… Everyone else loves my cooking.

  15. Okay, I’m tired right now too and I might not post something that makes sense, but I don’t think good intentions versus bad intentions really matter. I also don’t think that I’m “flying off the handle” when I react coldly to such questions, as I think such questions with implicit assumptions are inappropriate in the first place. I don’t mean the questions you listed in your post, as you would make sure that I speak that language first, while other people would just assume. It’s just that your questions are appropriate in many situations, but with certain conditions, and these conditions are almost never met when it comes to me because of my upbringing.

    Also, you are going to find this appalling, but my parents LOVE Swiss Chalet. The rotisserie chicken, the Swiss Chalet sauce/gravy, the dinner roll, and the Swiss Chalet salad dressing! LOL

  16. Mmm… curry …

  17. Good intentions versus bad ones do matter–I just don’t think it’s good form to treat people actively trying their best not to offend you just as badly as the ones doing it on purpose, especially if those good-intentioned people are open to hearing your offense and are willing to apologize. Because some people do fly off the handle at the poor person who was just trying to be polite as they or their culture perceived politeness to be. No one is perfect and sometimes when we’re doing our best it happens to be our worst; no biggie. As long as it’s not murder or something. <_<

    I’m not making excuses for the people who are intentionally assholes but I’m just saying that we should at least give people the leaway to be human and make mistakes. I’m sure all of us have said or done things that were unintentionally racist (including myself) but have chosen to learn from or correct those actions. In the end, our intentions separate us from the ones who will do something out of kindness and those who will do something out of hatred. Our intentions define our actions, at least I hope they do. I hope people intend to be kind and good to one another instead of just…punching eachother or some shit just because. “It’s the thought that counts” as the saying goes.

    Lastly, Swiss Chalet is my arch nemesis and something is just dark-sided about that place; I don’t know what it is. LOL.

    OMG I am soooo excited for egg drop and har gow downtown tomorrow Grandpa!! AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!

  18. Potatoes!? OH GOD. I love potatoes! X________X In all forms! Baked, fried, squished… xD You may have something there.

    You’re absolutely right, if you’re a white gal with a grandmammy from Ireland you might eat some funny Irish dish, but at least here in the midwest US, there is a lot of just eating “normal” food as far as white people go. But more by “they eat the same thing everyone else does” I meant “edible substance.” You know? Everyone has to do it to stay alive.

  19. word, to restructure! i feel you.

  20. Good intentions versus bad ones do matter–I just don’t think it’s good form to treat people actively trying their best not to offend you just as badly as the ones doing it on purpose, especially if those good-intentioned people are open to hearing your offense and are willing to apologize.

    I don’t think intentions matter on whether or not something was racist. I don’t treat people actively trying their best the same as people who are “doing it on purpose” (whatever that means), but I would say that the action was “racist” regardless of what kind of person did it.

    For example, white college students throwing “ghetto parties” and wearing blackface are doing it to have fun as the #1 reason; the purpose of the party is not to offend. However, it’s still racist because their actions are racist.

  21. For the example you chose, I think that’s actively being racist. College students? C’mon, gimme a break. Of course they know what they’re doing is racist, they just don’t care and want people to “lighten up” about it. My little brother would be able to tell you that’s racist and he’s still in Elementry school.

    What I meant by that statement is sometimes, people will unknowingly say racist things *because* they have good intentions. For example, Grandpa’s parents serving me “Jamaican” food saying that racist things like how “I should like it,” (I know quite a few people who don’t enjoy a lot of the cuisine from their own cultures) and things like that. However, if Grandpa didn’t explain that they were just being kind (and speaking) according to what is appropriate and accepted in Cambodian culture, I might’ve come off as a gigantic asshole for just making assumptions about their actions (especially since they were putting me up for free). Of course, I tried to explain what little I could about how I felt as GD’s mom doesn’t speak much English and I think we both learned from that experience. Her parents never did that or spoke like that again–they were just trying to be nice and their English is limited. So, in that circumstance, I didn’t treat them as badly as someone who’d call me a nigger or those college party people who are obviously; doing something racist for the sole purpose of being assholes and their own personal benefit.

    Hope that makes sense.

  22. What I meant by that statement is sometimes, people will unknowingly say racist things *because* they have good intentions.

    Okay, what about this example: somebody gives you skin-lightening cream because think you will look prettier with lighter skin. . . with the best intentions.

    Would that be more like GD’s parents, or the college party people?

  23. Uhhhh…

    My dad can be OUTRIGHT racist, to people’s faces. And I card him for that shit, just because he’s my dad I don’t treat him different from no one else. BUT in that situation, it was an honest mistake made out of kindness. My dad HONESTLY CRIED some nights because he didn’t know what to cook for dinner because in my country, when in a guest is in your house you treat them like family. I wasn’t even there when he bought it, but he did it because he cared about Davita so much. What you said to Davita about MY OWN FAMILY made me very angry. I’m not saying this because she’s my friend, but as a Cambodian person, I think Davita handled the situation appropriately and you’re misconstruing what happened; I know, I was there.

    So are you saying my parents, despite their good intentions to make Davita feel at home, despite their mistakes; makes them just as racist as college boys who have ghetto parties and wear Blackface for fun, not caring who they hurt?

    How is that fair? Unintentionally racist vs. Outright Hurtful and racist. How can you compare my famioly to racist frat boys, I am so offended because you CANNOT compare these situations because the intentions are SO DIFFERENT.

    I think you need to call it by the situation.

    I think, like me, you’ve been burned in too many situations where this is a problem. EXCEPT I make a fucking scene if the PERSON IS OUTRIGHT RACIST AND DESERVES IT, when it happens I bite it in the ass because there’s nothing like the present to change the future. I have tact.

    I don’t even know what you’re taking about anymore. I’m trying to figure it out, it seems to me that you believe that a mistake without intentional harm and one with intentional racism should be punished in the same manner.

    That’s almost like saying everyone should get the death penalty. “You called me Asian?! death penalty!” “You murdered an Asian!? Death penalty!” How is that fair based on different circumstances and situations?

    If these people are people you care about, you should take them to the side and tell them they’re being foolish. “You know Dave, I don’t really eat fried rice every day. I think it’s a bit presumptuous of you to have these preconceived notions that I do eat noddles and rice. Can you… You know… Work on it.”

    It works.

    Makes them cry a little at first… Lemme tell ya, a good White person who doesn’t want to be racist is going to change. Even if it’s a little. Just let them know how you feel.

    I can be a little presumptuous that you may think the worst in people by interpreting their intents to be worse. Dig deeper.

    I think it’s a bit presumptuous when other Asian people have Asian expectations of me as well… Like I dunno…

    Like how I’m Buddhist and I celebrate Christmas because you know what, I think having Santa in our lives is a good thing, a little commercial, but good. In fact, I was partially involved and proud that my temple distributes gifts to the very poor children within my Cambodian Community. But you know, I’m Buddhist and giving is more important to me than receiving.

    Bad behaviour shouldn’t be rewarded… But you know, mistakes shouldn’t result in getting your hand cut off. A warning is fair you know, maybe an explanation of how it was wrong? How your feelings were hurt. It works sometimes and need upkeep, but I’m Buddhist and I got patience you know… I don’t know about you…

    I really don’t think the situations carry the same severity, I think they are hurtful in different ways. One is call the police, the other is call them out…

    Are you really serious in saying that? Really? The same as skin lightening cream. Really? Really?

  24. Firstly, I think Grandpa said everything better than I ever could.

    Also, with your latest examples, we are coming into complicated Black community vs. internalized racism territory that I can’t answer in a little comment here (although, I’m sure I’ve already answered this question months ago in the “Effects of Internalized Racism” post & Grandpa has already answered this question in a post of her own as well).

    I don’t understand how you keep overlooking the fact that Grandpa’s parents hardly speak English and were taking care of me as I lived away from home with them for 2 years–FOR FREE. Of course, I would NEVER treat them as badly as someone being outright racist and of course, they never meant harm to me and were doing their best to communicate and be friendly. Even if they were perfect strangers that spoke fluent English, my actions would still have been the same if their intentions were similar: to make me feel welcome according to the customs of their culture. I am slow to anger and very analytical of my situations; this is just who I am. This situation, obviously; was completely different from anything you’ve mentioned and it was resolved after we had a talk: they learned from their mistakes and never meant to offend me and no other incidents similar to this have ever happened again. This is all I’m going to say about it as Grandpa has said enough.

  25. Okay, when I said, “Would that be more like GD’s parents, or the college party people?”, I was *contrasting* the two, not grouping them together. I was asking if the skin lightening cream situation was more like good intentions (e.g., GD’s parents), OR more like “bad” intentions (e.g., ghetto parties).

    I also said above that I “I don’t treat people actively trying their best the same as people who are “doing it on purpose””.

    The reason why I thought of the skin lightening cream example was because my mom tried to give one of my relatives skin lightening cream with the best intentions. I stopped her from doing it, but she really didn’t understand what was so offensive about lightening people’s skin, even after I tried to explain it to her. I’m not about labelling “what kind of person” people are, but just her assumption that light = better is racist, even if she was trying to do something “nice” for our relative.

  26. OK, Restructure; we get it. However, the comment has gone off-topic from a post the original post: food; and how some people tend to negatively stereotype Blacks, Whites and Asians and all other ethnicities based on their narrow preconceptions or assumptions about it. Now, you’re talking about to internalized racism.

    Please refer to our Code of Conduct guidelines before making any further comments here (if you have not already done so).

    Also, I want to let you know both Grandpa and I respect you but what you said about her family, even before your clarification; really did hurt her feelings. Just look at her comment, I highly encourage you to re-read it and sleep on it; even if that’s all you end up doing with her words.

    We are not censoring you or anyone else as any further comments will be answered promptly via e-mail, our address is chequeb4wreck@hotmail.com

    Comments on this post are now closed.

    Thanks everyone! ^_^ See you around.

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