Retta is Rockin' My Rold (World)

(Because Asians can’t pronounce “world” properly)

My new bloggie buddy is a gal that goes by the moniker RRR/RunRettaRun. You may have heard me rave about her blog on WP, where she shares get in shape and healthy recipe tips. Retta and I have forged an unlikely alliance – we’re merely online friends. We’ll probably never meet, and our insights about one another will be limited to what we deem appropriate to share online. And for me, that means anything. And so when I found out, quite by accident, that Retta was Asian (Vietnamese), I did the typical [inappropriate] Malaka thing and made an ethnic joke. I mean, I’m Black. I’m allowed to do that right? WE get a pass on all things concerning race. To my surprise and delight, Retta not only laughed, but returned the quip. An Asian girl with thick skin?? Who ever heard of such a thing. I <3 ‘ed her immediately and threatened to write a ‘Vietnamese Expose’. She said she’d be waiting for it; and guess what? Gave me FUEL for my piece! Love it.

So here I sit, ready to pen something horribly stereotypical and mildly witty concerning all things from the far East. The only problem is, the more I’ve mulled over their stereotypes, I found that there are a startling number of similarities between Africans and Asians. This is scary, so hold on to your seat belts:

1) Not all Asians are good at math and science: Retta said she is walking proof of that. Oddly, not all Black people (Africans) can dance/rap. I’M walking proof of that.

2) Not all Asians have good manners: This was exhibited by a porpoise of a Japanese boy who rudely hit me with his flipper/leg at the pool and just kept swimming like I wasn’t standing there. Had he been Black, he would have asked my why I was standing in the pool in the first place.

3) Asian women will do your hair/nails in their kitchen/salon: Dude! That’s where we do our hair too! The hot comb shares a burner with the skillet bubbling with fish grease! Uncanny…

4) If given the opportunity, an Asian is not likely to object to marrying White (ditto for Africans): Add to that – Asian men are highly unlikely to marry a Black woman- which is just astonishing, because Black men are highly unlikely to marry a Black woman either.

5) We both LOVE hot sauce: And by ‘hot sauce’ we mean dousing our food in molten chilli peppers. Keeps ya regular, ya know? It’s how Asians and Africans stay so thin and limber.

6) You would think Asians are the only people who eat dog, right? Wrong! Check it – A couple of African tribes eat dog (and cat) meat too! Retta made a joke about eating her dog, and NO ONE laughed (but me of course). Because I get it. It’s funny. Har-har…

7) We’ve BOTH suffered discrimination in America: I realized this only when I was watching Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story this weekend. How about Jason Scott Lee (ummm) squinted his slanty eyes and mocked “Hoo…Sho sholly mister white man! You wan’ I make Chinese foo’ fo’ you mister white man?!?! Hoo..!” That’s how Asians were portrayed in the movies for decades. As bumbling, buck toothed miscreants. Their men were libido-less and their women were sex crazed. Somehow, Black women are the new picture of hyper-sexuality (or hostility) and our Asian sisters are seen as servile, sweet daffodils. Wrong! A trip to the salon where I get my eye-brows arched with dispel that notion.

7b) The US Government has done us BOTH dirty: Remember after Pearl Harbor was bombed? The government seized the homes and assets of thousands of Japanese-American citizens and moved them into camps. Right here! In America. Ever heard of Black Wall St in Tulsa, OK? I bet you haven’t, because the government sent a couple of B-52s and bombed the crap out of it. Gotta keep the yellow and brown folk in their place, you know?

8 ) They built the rail roads and we picked cotton. America would be no where without us.

But here’s what I don’t understand. How is it that with all our similarities, my Asian sister, Retta and her ilk are now seen as intelligent, motivated, gifted and valuable members of this society, and us Black folk are seen as…well… a scourge. Shoot, there are days when even I don’t want to see or be around Black folk. I mean everybody loves Thai/Chinese food. But nobody wants to have a bite of my fufu and groundnut soup. Is it in the soy sauce?

Heck if I know.