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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Little Race Notes

posted by on September 25 at 11:03 AM

I’m sure this happened:

While brushing my teeth in my mother’s bathroom, I spot an artificial breast on the shelf above the sink.

That really happened. Where there is some confusion is the color of the artificial breast: was it pink or brown? My memory sees pink, but there’s enough resistance to this image to make it murky. If, however, my memory is picturing the truth, then it is a very sad truth. The picture of my mother fitting a pink breast against her brown flesh is not a happy one.


No long ago, my daughter while watching a comic anime for children:

Can you fix the language on this DVD? I’m tired of watching white people speaking Chinese.

I corrected her her about the language (“There’s a big difference between Japanese and Chinese”); later, however, it struck me that my daughter’s problem was not watching a film in a language she did not understand but the watching a mismatch between the language and the people speaking it. What is her problem? What caused to have this problem?

A white American person to me:

It’s weird that I feel this way, but while I was in Africa I couldn’t help think that some of the Africans looked like apes. Particularly because of their flat noses.

Me to the white American person:

It’s so strange you say that. Africans tend to think Europeans are very much like apes because of the amount of hair they have of their bodies. Africans distinguish themselves from animals by their lack of human hair. European men, on the other hand, have all this hair on their legs and chest and so Africans think they are closer to the apes.

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Hmmm...I LOVE me some chest hair. What does that say about me? Besides the fact that I'm a Tom Selleck fan...

Posted by thecandyqueen | September 25, 2007 11:07 AM

Hmmm...I LOVE me some chest hair. What does that say about me? Besides the fact that I'm a Tom Selleck fan...

Posted by thecandyqueen | September 25, 2007 11:07 AM

1) Then you should buy her a brown one.

2) You shouldn't let your daughter watch Anime. Period.

3) Chest/Arm/Leg/Belly hair is fucking sexy. Back hair...not so much.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 25, 2007 11:12 AM

@3: Butt hair, also not so much.

Posted by Gloria | September 25, 2007 11:26 AM


Posted by Rotten666 | September 25, 2007 11:27 AM


This is true. While we're on topic, excessive ball hair is pretty gross. I want to lick some nuts, not a fucking critter.

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 25, 2007 11:35 AM

Very interesting! Always good to get a different perspective on race relations. But of course, I'm gonna go off on a tangent.
I for one, think everybody looks like monkeys. Remember that face recognition fad on the internets a while ago? If you put in monkey faces, you'd get results. Baby rhesus monkeys apparently all look like a specific old white guy.
I'm a big fan of animals (not in the "Zoo" sense), so I have no problem with human monkeyness. What weirds me out is when other humans don't notice the closeness of our kinship with other primates and eat them. I could understand eating monkeys if you're starving, but otherwise, tooooo creepy.

Posted by christopher | September 25, 2007 12:04 PM

Is she disturbed by Asians speaking English or other European languages?

Posted by Gitai | September 25, 2007 12:32 PM

Hmm, I find it absolutely believable that your daughter would say that, since you are constantly telling us how people of certain races or genders must behave a certain way in order to retain some sense of authenticity or rightness. White people certainly shouldn't be speaking Chinese!

Or maybe there should be an explanation that people of any skin color can speak any language, that nothing is set in stone, and then maybe a history lesson around Japanese anime and how it was directly influenced by American Superman comics and cartoons of the 50s?

Posted by NaFun | September 25, 2007 12:33 PM

@9- Technically, Spongebob Squarepants is anime... in Japan. It's just the Japanese word for cartoon. It may have been "directly influenced" by this or that at its inception, the way "Ned Kelly and His Gang" ( was influenced by Monkeyshines {,
but it very quickly became its own thing. Whatever that thing is worth...

Posted by christopher | September 25, 2007 12:44 PM

When I was in South America I thought it was very weird to see people of Asian descent speaking Spanish or Portuguese. If you think, it makes just as much sense as them speaking English, but just seemed ... odd.

Posted by Anglocentric | September 25, 2007 1:51 PM

Right there, Anglo. There's an Asian American standup guy (named "JB," but I don't recall the last name) from Tennessee whose main mode of humor is: "Look at me! I look hella Asian but talk like a country boy!" Ashamed to say, it totally worked. Very funny dude.

Posted by christopher | September 25, 2007 2:09 PM

Honey Bucket certainly is no howard bryant, in regards to putting forth a coherent dissection of race in the US

Posted by Bellevue Ave | September 25, 2007 3:44 PM

@12: I believe it's Henry Cho, unless there's a new guy that does it; his friend was JB ("It doesn't stand for anything. So on his driver's license application he wrote J only B only.... It came back "Jonly Bonly Steward" --probably total misquote)

Posted by Anglocentric | September 25, 2007 4:34 PM

I lived in rural Korea for many years, one of the few European-Americans there, and it always startled me to see another caucasian and realize I stood out just as much as that person. Also, after not very long the Koreans stopped blending into each other and became very distinguishable to me--I'd see a Korean that I swore looked just like my Uncle Dave or Aunt Betty, then realized that if I told that to any other caucasians they would think I was fucking nuts.

Posted by whitey | September 25, 2007 4:42 PM

@4 & 6:

A hairy butt can be pretty hot. Particularly on the right latino guy.

Posted by Hoyt Clagwell | September 25, 2007 10:09 PM

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