You go, Suey Park!
Suey Park (1990- ) is the pen name of an American writer, anti-racist activist and admitted feminist killjoy. She is best known for #CancelColbert, a Twitter campaign in 2014 to get Stephen Colbert to apologize for a racist joke he made at the expense of Asian Americans. In 2013 she did #POC4CulturalEnrichment, #BlackPowerYellowPeril and #NotYourAsianSidekick.
She grew up a token Asian girl in Lake Zurich, Illinois, a lily-white, upper-middle-class suburb of Chicago. Other children would pull up the corner of their eyes and laugh at her. Where did they learn that from? A teacher made a “ching chong” joke about her first name. Etc.
Girls at her Korean church were getting eyelid surgery. For years she suffered from an eating disorder because of unattainable White ideas of beauty common among Asian Americans. No matter what she wore or how she coloured hair, she could never be “white enough”.
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This brilliant blog article by Lavern Merriweather at Brotha Wolf talks about the treatment and double standards of Black and White female celebrities. Yes, there is a double standard. Witness the treatment of Rihanna, Star Jones, Whitney Houston a couple years ago and the ongoing crusade to trash Beyonce’s reputation by bigot Bill O’Reilly.
It’s sad but it’s all in the name of preserving the “white woman pedestal”.
Well, I actually don’t hate it so much as what it implies, and that is something very negative when it’s used to describe a black female singing star. We are all already fully aware that any personality trait seen as positive or sympathetic in a white person is automatically made negative when the person is black. Think about it. A white male celebrity or athlete who is full of himself is thought of as confident or self-assured yet a black male with the same traits is called arrogant or entitled. In the case of a black female, she is called a ‘diva’.
Now, I don’t know where exactly this word comes from or what it means necessarily. What I do know, however, is that when you hear that word associated with a black woman it’s never anything good, at least not any time white people in the media…
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