April 27, 2017

"Am I taking this too seriously? The casual racism of the Asian salad stems from the idea of the exotic — who is and isn’t American is caught up wholesale in its creation."

"This use of 'Oriental' and 'Asian' is rooted in the wide-ranging, 'all look same' stereotypes of Asian culture that most people don’t really perceive as being racist.... [T]he language of the Asian salad is revealing of the dangers of bland, disembodied generalization: When you fail to see countries and cultures as discrete entities, what kind of consideration could you be expected to give to individual people?"

From a NYT column titled "Why Is Asian Salad Still on the Menu?"

In the comments over there, a lot of people are answering that question "Am I taking this too seriously?" They're all saying yes. And the highest-rated comment is:
I'm just going to go out on a limb here and credit the "white audience" with the smarts to know that the Asian salad isn't any more Asian than the Ortega tacos are Mexican or the SpaghettiOs are Italian. I'm pretty liberal and Asian, but this is the kind of crying wolf - whining wolf actually - that makes people tune out when we complain about actual racism. Gimme a break.

199 comments:

Susan said...

If everything is racist then nothing is.

Michael K said...

Racism is the dog whistle for the left.

eric said...

A buddy of mine is half asian and half white. His father is white and his mother is Vietnamese.

He has two brothers. His name is Vernon Cook. His brothers are Vincent and Victor cook.

He once told me he couldn't figure out why his white father gave all of his half Vietnamese children the initials VC.

clint said...

"If everything is racist then nothing is."

What if everything is racist when a white man does it, but nothing is racist when anyone else does it?

John Tuffnell said...

German potato salad
Swedish meatballs
French fires
Russian dressing
Irish coffee
and of course Spanish Fly

just to name a few food based Euro-aggressions.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I'm so tired of these perpetually offended assholes.

Yancey Ward said...

I guess if I had to churn out a column to be able to eat tomorrow, I might be tempted to stick my head up my ass and ask why it smells in here.

EDH said...

When you fail to see countries and cultures as discrete entities, what kind of consideration could you be expected to give to individual people?

Yet, on a national level, among Asians themselves there's a lot of historical animosity.

The Economist: How Asians view each other

The latest report by the Pew Research Centre on public perceptions in countries in the Asia-Pacific region bears this out. Historic grudges continue to colour the views East Asians in particular (in China, Japan and South Korea) hold about the other countries. Seventy years after Japan’s second-world-war surrender and the end of its occupation of much of China, very few Chinese see Japan in a favourable light. Correspondingly, as China has been increasingly assertive in pursuing its territorial dispute with Japan over the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, the number of Japanese with positive views of China has fallen to similar levels.

The end of the second world war also marked the end of Japanese colonial rule in Korea. Many South Koreans, like many Chinese still believe that Japan has not apologised enough for its militaristic, colonial past. Today just 25% of South Koreans view Japan favourably. Elsewhere, however, although many other parts of Asia suffered Japanese aggression, much of the region holds a generally positive image of Japan. In Malaysia for example, also occupied by Japan during the war, 84% of those surveyed view Japan kindly. So too in South Asia, both Indians and Pakistanis hold favourable views of Japan (and reserve their deepest resentments for each other).

Original Mike said...

Blogger Yancey Ward said..."I guess if I had to churn out a column to be able to eat tomorrow, I might be tempted to stick my head up my ass and ask why it smells in here."

Ya gotta eat.

Static Ping said...

I suppose "Asian salad" could be misleading in that what a Japanese salad and what a Korean salad and what a Chinese salad would be different things. For that matter a Chinese salad may be different depending which area of China we are speaking about; China is huge. And then an Israeli salad or a Lebanese salad or an Indian salad or even a Siberian salad would technically qualify as "Asian" even though we do not think of it as such. So the writer has a point in that sense. The wording is imprecise.

The whining is not appreciated.

DanTheMan said...

> why his white father gave all of his half Vietnamese children the initials VC.

Because Charlie don't surf.

buwaya said...

They are crying about "Asian Salad"?
Fools.
They need something real to cry about, the little twits.

I'll give them bagoong.

D.D. Driver said...

Great Caesar's ghost! This settles it: people should stop eating salad. It's just not that tasty and it's probably racist.

Etienne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hyphenated American said...

And yet liberals like to use the term "Anglos" to describe all white Americans.

Comanche Voter said...

French dressing
Welsh rarebit
Irish Stew
Italian, Hungarian, Polish salami
Vienna sausage
Hamburger
Wiener
Swiss cheese
Swiss chocolate
Greek salad
Sicilian style pizza
Neopolitan style pizza
Winerschnitzel



There, I've given this twit columns for the next month.

Michael K said...

"Many South Koreans, like many Chinese still believe that Japan has not apologised enough for its militaristic, colonial past."

The Japanese are probably originally Koreans. I think there is considerable belief that Japan was colonized by Koreans way back in pre-history.

The Japanese also are very racist, as are the Han Chinese, and resent the connection with Koreans.

n.n said...

Actual racism: [class] diversity

Gahrie said...

Ask Chinese, or Vietnamese, or Koreans about White people....we all look the same to them too.

Bay Area Guy said...

Mmmmm. German Chocolate Cake -- my favorite.

It's good for normal folks to see how the Left operates:

1. They've been taught "to empower the victim."

2. So they go about trying to find little trivial problems everywhere so as to claim "victim" status.

3. Hey, Mr. Astronaut, you can't say "One small step for MAN, one giant step for MANKIND!" That's sexist against women!

4. Hey, you can't say "I'm doing fine, Mom and Dad" -- that excludes people with 2 Moms or no Moms!

5. Hey you can't say, "Asian Salad" -- that's racist against Asians.

Wash, rinse, repeat often.

At some point, you have to have a "Leftwing Nonsense" tag, and use it frequently. It's like "wack-a-mole" with these people. It takes too much time to swat down all the leftwing madness.



rhhardin said...

There's round face and narrow face Asian.

Michael K said...

An interesting discussion of the Korean-Japan connection.

Achilles said...

Mostly it is ok because it is ok to be racist to and denigrate asians. They tend to be industrious and hard working and independent. The SJW's don't really like them as they don't do the victim for life thing well.

Gahrie said...

Japanese are genetically the same as Koreans. The original inhabitants of Japan, the Ainu, are discriminated against.

Darrell said...

America is a melting pot. Don't like it? Leave.

Darrell said...

If you come here, come here legally.

art.the.nerd said...

I want to lodge a protest against White bread, Russian dressing, and JEWelry.

dreams said...

I worry about the crazy world that the children and young people are going to have live in.

Rene' Saunce said...

It's about the flavors. Geeez.

Rene' Saunce said...

It's FOOD. Regional cooking is named... often .... by the region.

Mexican, Asian, American, Russian, Czech, French, English (oops - scratch that last one)

Is that all racist too? Unreal. Do these people have lives?


Leftist progs are ruining everything now.

tcrosse said...

This casual racism is a chink in our armor, a slippery slope, at which one looks
aslant.

C Stanley said...

A big part of her complaint seems to be about the inauthenticity of it. And she does concede a couple of other ethnic knock offs that are similarly inauthentic, but really it's like EVERY other ethnic food in America.

I also got really confused when she started blaming the Jews for popularizing this.

Rusty said...

Making America Great Again means not dwelling on the stupid shit.

Rene' Saunce said...

Will the democrats demand all signage that labels a restaurant by its regional cuisine as triggering and racist - and demand we scrub it clean? Are these the same idiots who attend Berkeley? It Asian salad hate speech?

Do we need riots? omg - Asian Salad is hate speech! Die fascists die!


Bob Boyd said...

Why are we still calling them Transfats?
We can do better.

Rene' Saunce said...

White people should be attacked for enjoying Asian Salad. Beaten, by brave masked progs.
The white male patriarchy must suffer and die. No ginger for you.

Hari said...

"When you fail to see countries and cultures as discrete entities, what kind of consideration could you be expected to give to individual people?" Is it also wrong to say "black lives matter," without distinguishing countries and culture?

traditionalguy said...

Oh, yeah. The Nipponese ( Japs to you) are the most totally rascist race on the planet earth by a factor of 10.

MathMom said...

I think calling everyone Asian instead of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc., is saying "they all look alike". I can tell them apart. Why do they all call themselves Asian?

Asia also includes India, Pakistan and many Otherstans, Russia (where real Caucasians come from)...WTF?

JaimeRoberto said...

I had a Korean roommate in college who said that all us roundeyes looked the same to him and that Asians had less body hair than whites because Asians were more highly evolved. I'm pretty sure he was just joking with me though. I certainly didn't feel microaggressed against.

Bob Boyd said...

I 'd say they jumped the shark here, but that would be ableist.

Inga said...

Everyone seems outraged that people are getting outraged....funny.

DanTheMan said...

So, now that we've identified the harm caused by salad names, I'd like to move on to something less important.
I'd like to, but I can't think of anything less important.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

MathMom, that's why Pakistani immigrants to the UK are called "Asians." There do exist HK immigrants to the UK, but their number is small.

JaimeRoberto, I've seen "roundeyes" only in a novel by Orson Scott Card.

Michael K said...

"The original inhabitants of Japan, the Ainu, are discriminated against."

There is a theory that they were Polynesians.

The genetics are mixed with Koreans and Japanese and there may have been an earlier ancestral group that gave us both Koreans and Japanese. There is about 50% overlap.

Michael K said...

"Pakistani immigrants to the UK are called "Asians.""

South Asians, that's to avoid the M word.

buwaya puti said...

For the sake of education and the rectification of personal character, any such complainers about Asian food related inauthentic ethnic microaggressions should be force fed some authentic ethnic East Asian Macroaggressive eats-

Durian
Chinese snake wine
Balut
Natto
Bagoong

Ref thread below, in these cases it may help, but not always suffice, to lack a sense of smell.

Michael K said...

buwaya, if you tried to feed that to ARM, you would be in some deep kimchi.

Drago said...

Inga: "Everyone seems outraged that people are getting outraged....funny."

Inga takes time out from being perpetually outraged to falsely accuse others of being outraged when in reality all those folks are doing is simply noticing that Inga and pals are perpetually outraged.

Which is outrageous.

AlbertAnonymous said...

American cheese? Racist A holes.....

Inga said...

Drago,

Now I'm newly outraged over your outrageous accusation.

Michael K said...

Inga needs some time with The Sisters of Perpetual indulgence to see what real outrage looks like.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Rene' Saunce said...
It's FOOD. Regional cooking is named... often .... by the region.

Mexican, Asian, American, Russian, Czech, French, English (oops - scratch that last one)"

It's OK to call English cooking cooking. Just don't call it cuisine.

You'll offend the French.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I also got really confused when she started blaming the Jews for popularizing this.

4/27/17, 6:06 PM

Aren't the Jews to blame for everything?

Actually, I think it used to be common for Jews to go out to Chinese restaurants on Saturdays and on Christmas Day.

Not only Jews, of course. Think of how many microaggressions this scene would cause today:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=christmas+story+end+chinese+&view=detail&mid=6332EA416BF9BDA881D06332EA416BF9BDA881D0&FORM=VIRE

Rene' Saunce said...

exile -- It's OK to call English cooking cooking. Just don't call it cuisine.

lol

pacwest said...

Just so you know Inga, I'm outraged by the outrageousness of your outrage.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Bay Area Guy said...
Mmmmm. German Chocolate Cake -- my favorite.

Invented in America in 1852 by a chocolate maker named Samuel German.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_chocolate_cake

But keep it quiet, we don't want Angela Merkel feeling microagressed!

Inga said...

Donald Trump's first 100 days in office from The Simpsons

Here's something to be outraged over...or to give you a laugh.

J. Farmer said...

MathMom, that's why Pakistani immigrants to the UK are called "Asians."

That's just a difference in colloquialisms between the US and UK. In the UK, most of the immigration from Asia has been from South Asia, which is unsurprising given the British colonial history. Conversely, most immigration from Asia to the US has been from East Asia. Hence, when a British person hears "Asian," they are more likely to think of a South Asian, whereas "Asian" in the US is often a shorthand for East Asian.

But in any event, it's pretty lame when you are squaring off against the white, cismale, heteronormative patriarchy, and Exhibit A for the prosecution is an inapt salad name. I'm surprised Ms. Tsui did not bring up the "model minority" meme, but given her resume (magna cum laude in English and American Literature and Language from Harvard, University of Sydney, adcliffe Fellowship to New Zealand, has raced in two triathlons, and climbed Australia’s Mt. Arapiles), it's probably best not to try to demolish a stereotype when you are a walking talking embodiment of said stereotype.

p.s. It's also worth mentioning that Ms. Tsui lives and works in San Francisco, a city that probably 99% of the world's population could not afford to live in. But whose got time to contemplate that kind of ultra privilege when there are salads to be outraged by.

exiledonmainstreet said...

I don't know that I'd call Czech cooking cuisine either.

Pork and dumplings. Lots of dumplings. I have many childhood memories of staring miserably at doughy, soggy dumplings.

Great beer though.

Food-wise, the Czechs are the Brits of Eastern Europe.

pacwest said...

"Here's something to be outraged over...or to give you a laugh."

Chuck and PaddyO's stuff from the other day was better. (The poodle hairdo was funny though.)

Anyway, I'm outta here in a rage. I think I'll go outside and kick the dog or something.

Lem said...

to be able to successfully be understood when choosing from the myriad of choices available today. You grab whatever is handy... and in some cases Dominican cake is handy as well as tasty.

Lem said...

#TIL there is such a thing as Asian Salad.

hawkeyedjb said...

"I don't know that I'd call Czech cooking cuisine either"

Anyplace east of there doesn't win any prizes either. I think it was Mel Brooks who said, on his only visit to Bulgaria, "They served us fried chains."

tim in vermont said...

"Is it racist when you like a race?" - Seinfeld

J. Farmer said...

@tim in vermont:

"Is it racist when you like a race?" - Seinfeld

He. Larry and Jerry already tackled this issue famously in The Cigar Store Indian.

Money quote: "You know, I don't get it. Not allowed to ask a Chinese person where the Chinese restaurant is! I mean, aren't we all getting a little too sensitive? I mean, someone asks me which way's Israel, I don't fly off the handle."

buwaya said...

For anyone brought up in the US, racism is the least of your problems, automatically irrelevant in the moment, if you are confronted with a balut.

Balut even overrides misogyny, and sexuality itself. The challenge of the moment, the fact of the need to eat the balut, renders moot all other concerns, and puts them in their context.

We must feed this woman balut.

MathMom said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson -

When I lived and worked with "Asians" in Saudi Arabia, they were called Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Yemeni, Kuwaiti, Nepali and Kashmiri and Egyptian.

A Brit friend of mine called them "black".

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

exiledonmainstreet,

Chicken tikka masala is the British national dish. Just sayin'.

That doesn't mean that there's literally no British cuisine that hasn't been imported. Still, I lived there most of a year, and didn't discover any.

Rene' Saunce said...

Exile -
Czech can be delicious.

I had some vegetarian Spaezle last week at a Czech restaurant. It was excellent.

chuck said...

"Asian salad isn't any more Asian than the Ortega tacos are Mexican or the SpaghettiOs are Italian."

Maybe so, but moon pies are the real thing. Deny it, and the loonies will come after you.

J. Farmer said...

@MathMom:

When I lived and worked with "Asians" in Saudi Arabia, they were called Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Yemeni, Kuwaiti, Nepali and Kashmiri and Egyptian.

A Brit friend of mine called them "black".


What is your point?

I can tell them apart.

Really? Well, perhaps you can explain to some of us how to tell a person of, say, Vietnamese ancestry from someone of Thai or Khmer or Burmese ancestry?

Rene' Saunce said...

Plus it's fun to say schnitzel.

...although probably racist.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Somewhere there is a Eurotrash dude sitting in a cafe with his Aussie service dog drinking an Americano while listening to Afropop on his headset and reading the New York Times who has just sent back his Asian salad.

Freeman Hunt said...

And here all us backwater fly-overs thought you could go anywhere in Asia and get an Asian salad. Dern.

Rene' Saunce said...

The Vietnamese make tasty sauces and dressings.

I know - I'm a racist.

D. B. Light said...

My Chinese relatives are quite certain that people from India are NOT Asian.

Rene' Saunce said...

The news media turn all Middle Easterners into Asians after acts of terror are committed.

The real racists = "news" media.

MathMom said...

My point? Just chatting with the lady who said Brits call Pakistanis "Asian". Maybe now, not when I lived and worked with them.

Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are easy. I have never been around Khmer or Burmese, so you have got me there.

When you work with them and hear their different ways of speaking English, it becomes quite obvious with enough experience. When you learn what they like to eat, it narrows it down, too. When you watch how they walk, it can give clues. Mannerisms, such as how they use hand gestures and head gestures, also help.

And, I think it's rude to take everyone with non-white skin who isn't Mexican, and call them all "Asians", as if there are no differences. I like it when someone can figure out by my accent where I have lived - it means they are paying attention. I think if you care about people, you want to know what their experiences and lives are like, how they think, and what they do in their home countries, what are their customs, what matters to them, what makes them tick.

Or, I could see brown people and call them "Asian".

Rene' Saunce said...

It's just a salad.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Really? Well, perhaps you can explain to some of us how to tell a person of, say, Vietnamese ancestry from someone of Thai or Khmer or Burmese ancestry?

4/27/17, 8:52 PM

The differences are not readily apparent to Westerners. A Japanese roommate was shocked when I told her I could not tell the difference between Chinese and Japanese people. She thought it was obvious. She said the Japanese have sharper features and narrower faces - she called the Chinese "moon-faced."

MathMom said...

There you go! See? Not that tough. :o)

Rene' Saunce said...

I like it when someone can figure out by my accent where I have lived - it means they are paying attention.

Agreed.

But, you gotta be careful or some American progressive will assume you are a racist.

Danno said...

"Leftist progs are ruining everything now."

Actually, I think they are beclowning themselves. Just think what would happen to our nation's restaurant industry if these idiotic views were to prevail. McDonald's would be lovin' it.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Rene' Saunce said...
Exile -
Czech can be delicious."

Perhaps that is true, but not the stuff I got growing up. My best friend's parents were born in Italy and the glorious smells in that house, when her mom had a pot of ragu cooking for hours - ah, I was jealous. I was always delighted when I got invited over there for dinner.

Spaezle and weiner schnitzel are good, but I don't think of them as Czech dishes.

MathMom said...

Rene' Saunce -

I guess they'll have to assume that. I think their lives suck, because they can't just hear a joke and laugh, and can't enjoy an Asian salad! Can you imagine having your brain full of all that prog shit, crowding out important things, like what your tire pressure should be, and whether you need to stop at the store and pick up laundry detergent?

A while back an American prog commenting on a blog said something about me being racist - I said, you made the claim, back it up with facts. Funny...no answer.

:o)

Rene' Saunce said...

Exile -
***Nothing compares to Italian food - made by Italians. I'm a racist for saying that.

Ambrose said...

I read the column at NYT, but I did not appreciate the sheer beauty of the sentence Ann quotes until reading it here. "...Asian salad stems..." Was the choice of the verb stems intentional? It's brilliant.

Rene' Saunce said...

MathMom - You are right - they are miserable. They are consumed with finding a racist under every bed. It's sad.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is this regional? Our grocery stores have "Asian salad," but I don't think I've seen it offered at restaurants.

Inga said...

Math Mom, progs also engage in the mundane side of everyday life. They even hold jobs and have families! Yikes, maybe they're not so different from you as you think.

MathMom said...

Rene' Saunce -

How very true.

I'm outta here! Early day tomorrow.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Sauerkraut was another dinnertime ordeal for me as a child. I like it now on brats, but when I was a kid I just detested cabbage and all cabbage products.

When I was a teenager, I asked why, just because we had relatives behind the Iron Curtain, was it necessary to eat like them.

Mom said, "Shut up and eat."

I guess the real problem that that, mom, God bless her soul, was just not a very good cook. A fine baker, but a lousy cook.

Inga said...

I think it must be awfully tiring to keep worrying about progs happiness quotient.

J. Farmer said...

@mathmom:

When you work with them and hear their different ways of speaking English, it becomes quite obvious with enough experience.

Okay, but this is what you said earlier: "I think calling everyone Asian instead of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc., is saying "they all look alike". I can tell them apart."

I presumed from that sentence you meant you could tell them apart based on looks. But now I know you are basic it on the sounds of their English accent, which seems odd without taken into account their background.

And, I think it's rude to take everyone with non-white skin who isn't Mexican, and call them all "Asians", as if there are no differences.

And who is doing that, exactly?

@exiledonmainstreet:

The differences are not readily apparent to Westerners.

They are not readily apparent to Easterners, either. I lived in Southeast Asia off and on for over 10 years, and I had a very polyglot circle of friends, all of whom were invariably confused for locals at least once during any outing. And the reason for that is rather simple: you cannot tell their ethnic origin just by looking at them. And if anyone doubts me, there's a simple test. I have a photo with five friends in it, each of whom comes from a different Asian nation. I would defy anyone (western or eastern) to correctly identity the nations of origin based just on the photo.

MayBee said...

The easiest way to get positive attention is to be outraged or upset about something.


Grew up as a high achiever but can no longer out perform others? Easy. Just get outraged. You'll get the same praise.

MathMom said...

Inga -

I'm sure they do. The progs to which I refer are busy at the mo, crapping in public and throwing it at the conservatives who are defending free speech at Berkeley.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Good God, MathMom, could those people be any more disgusting?

Remember, a lot of them are middle class college kids from "good" families. They're crapping on the street like dogs and WE'RE the "deplorables?"

MayBee said...

The first place I ever had the Asian salad was in Tokyo- from Wolfgang Puck. I think that was actually Chinese Chicken salad.
The fried noodles, mandarin oranges, and soy ginger dressing were Asian inspired, I suppose.
Lately I've been having salads called "Michigan Salads" because they have cherries in them.

Do Californians get offended at Californian cuisine?

exiledonmainstreet said...

You can get arrested for spitting on people. Throwing your own shit at people like you're a monkey in a zoo ought get you locked up.

But - it's Berkeley. So the cops and the media will ignore it.

Be proud, progs. This is what you've sunk to - literal shit-flinging animals.

Inga said...

Math Mom, I know no such progs. I'm not denying they exist, but there are a whole lot more progs who don't protest by defecting on things. Also progs don't spend every waking moment outraged by every damn thing under the sun, we actually work, marry, have children and do the same sort of things conservatives do, worry about the same things, love the same things, eat the same things, etc etc etc. This notion that progs are so different from conservatives is an artificial construct that only serves to divide. Most of the commenters over at the article in question actually said it was an overreaction to be upset over naming a salad an "Asian salad". But if one would read the comments here, one would think the majority of commenters over at the NYTs were outraged over it.

Fernandinande said...

When you fail to see countries and cultures as discrete entities, what kind of consideration could you be expected to give to individual people?

Last I heard, "Asia" is a continent, most Asians are members of the Mongoloid race, and the racism they practice is called "Mongolism".

AReasonableMan said...

MathMom said...
the conservatives who are defending free speech at Berkeley.


Shouldn't they be doing this at the college where they got their own degrees, Podunk community college.

J. Farmer said...

AReasonableMan:

Shouldn't they be doing this at the college where they got their own degrees, Podunk community college.

Speaking of "podunk," here is Richard Dawkins at Liberty University. Strange, there seems to be a civil dialogue and no need for a security detail. And that's from students of an evangelical university. Good that there are the brave, intelligent, worldly, diverse crowds of Berkley to show us all how civics is really done.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Shouldn't they be doing this at the college where they got their own degrees, Podunk community college.

4/27/17, 9:47 PM

As opposed to the highly cultured shit throwers at Berkeley?

Rene' Saunce said...

I had no idea my own mum was a racist for feeding me canned chipped beef and powdered milk.
we was poor. and racist. Coodunt aford any Asian salad.

ARM wants speech segregation. You proles need to shut up. The masked brown-shirts and Berkeley have it all figured out. Hear no evil!

AReasonableMan said...

J. Farmer said...
here is Richard Dawkins


Interesting to compare Dawkins considered demeanor and statements with Ann Coulter's own statements.

Inga said...

Canned chipped beef and powdered milk is cultural appropriation of some sort? What culture are they from? Why ever would it be racist??

exiledonmainstreet said...

ARM said:
"Shouldn't they be doing this at the college where they got their own degrees, Podunk community college."

You're right. How dare they invade a highly cultivated place like Berkeley, the serfs. Why don't those blue collar types know their place? They deserve to be screamed at and beaten and have shit thrown at them by their obvious superiors.

And don't tell me they have any right to defend themselves. They should take their punishment for having the gall- the nerve! - to bring their unwelcome ideas into such an oasis of enlightened thought.

ARM and Bull Connor= brothers under the skin.

Rene' Saunce said...

Wisconsin. A cesspit of racist cheese eaters.

Inga said...

ARM,
Ah yes, who could forget about the "self obsessed widows" of 9/11?

C R Krieger said...

The Old Gray Lady. Aren't they the ones who think everyone in the interior of the United States is the same?

Regards — Cliff

BN said...

I have a hard time understanding exactly what "Asian" means. It's a big continent. I guess "Oriental" was even worse though, since it just means eastern, and therefore could just be Coloradans--if you lived in Utah.

I'm tired of thinking about it.

Dan Hossley said...

The explanation is pretty mundane. Today, virtue isn't sometime that accrues based upon your conduct, it isa product of your outrage and if you can't rail against racism, then you have nothing, except this great empty space where your soul should reside.

Inga said...

And Jews would be "improved" if only they were to become Christian, words that should be forever remembered when thinking of Ann Coulter. Her golden words of wisdom will now not be heard over the Berekely campus, what a loss.

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
Ah yes, who could forget about the "self obsessed widows" of 9/11?


After this atrocity I just assumed that no statement was disqualifying for wingers, if you just hated liberals enough. But, then along came Milo with his enthusiasm for 'relationships' with 13 year old boys and I was proven wrong.

Steverino said...

Thank goodness we have the Times to tell us that our Asian salad is a Chernobyl of racism.

Inga said...

Those Berkely students surely did miss out on the finer points of sex between a young teen and his Priest. Milo could've educated them.

Anthony said...

Pineapple on pizza is racist.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Goodness, Coulter said not-nice stuff! Well, we can't have that! The 1st Amendment doesn't apply to her! Let's throw shit at people to keep her from speaking!

There are people who were born and raised here, speak with American accents and yet they don't have the slightest clue as to what this country is about. They are totalitarians.

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
Those Berkely students surely did miss out on the finer points of sex between a young teen and his Priest.


It's a touching story, I have been told.

Known Unknown said...

"Shouldn't they be doing this at the college where they got their own degrees, Podunk community college."

Your wit is eternally underwhelming. Also, your smugness is showing.

exiledonmainstreet said...


Inga said
Those Berkely students surely did miss out on the finer points of sex between a young teen and his Priest"

Yeah, but they get straight A's in Sidewalk Shitting and Feces Throwing 101.



Inga said...

"It's a touching story, I have been told."

Yes... an oral tradition.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Well, I see Eva Braun and Bull Connor are having a little love fest here tonight. Perhaps they can go to a "protest" together and take a dump on the sidewalk. They've had a lot of practice shitting in these threads.

Michael K said...

then along came Milo with his enthusiasm for 'relationships' with 13 year old boys and I was proven wrong.

ARM seems to be obsessed with adolescent boys. Oh well. To each his perversions.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Eva, were you raised fascist by your parents or is it something you picked up along the way?

BTW, when I saw Francisco D. in the threads, I asked him about your diagnosis of me. His reply:

Francisco D wrote:

Inga, the retired psychiatric nurse, knows bedpans a lot better than she knows psychiatry/psychology. Psych nurses are usually the dumbest ones in nursing school. I would not trust one to accurately take my blood pressure.

4/26/17, 2:25 PM

AReasonableMan said...

Known Unknown said...
your smugness


Smug would be insisting that Podunk community college give me a forum so I could lecture them on how gun ownership is a pathetic cover for their failing manliness and how only pussies need guns.

Steverino said...

What about my taco salad? Can I get a PC judge to make a ruling on it before I dig in? What about Chinese chicken salad or German potato salad? More and more, the whole salad course is a racial minefield, particularly the black olives. And, really, isn't it cultural appropriation to eat these foreign dishes, but, then aren't we just reaffirming the white male capitalist oppressive patriarchy if we stick to American food? Isn't a bite of cheeseburger a thumbs up to Trump?

The bottom line is that everything is offensive under the microscope of political correctness. And, really, if you are seeing racism in your salad, that must mean all the serious problems are fixed so isn't America great?

Inga said...

That's nice 💩

richard mcenroe said...

Best hope the fascists don't embrace chop suey or we're in real trouble.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Awwww, ARM is upset because the serfs have guns and might just shoot his little shit-flingers.

As Drago said, the only problem with the woman who shot that piece of offal in Seattle is she didn't fire at his empty head.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Inga finally shows us a picture of what exactly lies between her ears.

Inga said...

I love Hungarian sausage. Hope that doesn't make me a cultural appropriationist sexual predator. Sheesh so much to worry about.

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
Yes... an oral tradition.


Maybe they can still get it through the backdoor.

exiledonmainstreet said...

The pussies are the ones who can't stand to have a conservative speaker on campus.

exiledonmainstreet said...

ARM's highly refined geniuses are letting it out through the backdoor tonight in Berkeley.

Inga said...

"Maybe they can still get it through the backdoor."

It'll be a tight squeeze, but it's possible.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Sorry, you two, but when it comes to anal jokes, you're not in the same galaxy as Laslo, although both of your heads are stuck firmly up Uranus.

David said...

Better question: Why is NYT still publishing articles as silly as this?

exiledonmainstreet said...

David said...
Better question: Why is NYT still publishing articles as silly as this?

4/27/17, 11:07 PM

Because they need to come up with a Microaggression of the Day and anything will do. Next week, we'll be hearing about the sexism and homophobia implicit in the term "manhole covers."

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@AReasonableMan:

Smug would be insisting that Podunk community college give me a forum so I could lecture them on how gun ownership is a pathetic cover for their failing manliness and how only pussies need guns.

You left out that part where she was invited by a student group, not just throwing darts at a campus map and demanding to be given a forum. So, apparently some people there were interested in hearing her speak. For people that have no interest in hearing her speak, they have a very easy solution...don't attend her talk. Or, at the least, they could go, hear what she has to say, and then utilize the Q&A portion to make counterarguments. But wouldn't that be entirely too mature and rational? Probably best to just stick with the fingers-in-the-ear "lalalalalalala" strategy.

Segesta said...

Aside: someone above mentioned "Swedish meatballs." But I've been to Stockholm a couple of times, and they really do serve meatballs in Sweden, and they really are the bland blobs just like you get at the IKEA cafeteria.

If the NYT is looking for racism, maybe they should ask some random black folks how they feel about Asians. And vice versa.

David Baker said...

Here's her revised Berkeley speech: "A failure to build the wall IS a government shutdown." - Ann Coulter

Inga said...

"Then it will be a bloodbath. Not only Trump, but also the entire GOP, is dead if he doesn't build a wall. Republicans will be wiped out in the midterms, Democrats will have a 300-seat House majority, and Trump will have to come up with an excuse for why he's not running for re-election.

No, at that point, Trump will be the worst of everything.

It would be an epic betrayal -- worse than Bush betraying voters on "no new taxes." Worse than LBJ escalating the Vietnam War. There would be nothing like it in the history of politics.

He's the commander in chief! He said he'd build a wall. If he can't do that, Trump is finished, the Republican Party is finished, and the country is finished."

Oh heck, I'd pay to hear her bash the GOP and Trump. Let her speak.


AZSteakGuy said...

I don't know if this observation has been made yet, but back in the 1990s we added an "oriental" salad to the menu at our restaurant. That resulted in pushback for being politically incorrect, so we changed the name to "Asian salad", which was deemed a more acceptable moniker. You can never win with these people-they just keep moving the goalposts.

wildswan said...

Salad is a French word anyhow so "Asian salad" is double cultural appropriation as are "Caesar salad", "ranch salad", "Southwest salad" which all just made me sick as did "Italian dressing", a quadruple appropriation, because "dressing" was culturally appropriated from the Latin by the French and then from the French by the English and then Americans dare use the same word - though many of those Americans are not English.

It made me sick to think I'd eaten all of those cultural appropriations. Sick, because I was cultapproping snowflakiness from Gen Snowflake. So I had some "cinnamon" toast to calm myself but sadly that turned out to be an octuple cultapprop, since "cinnamon" is a Malay-Greek-Latin-Old French-Middle English word being said by an American of Celtic and Swedish background. So I gave up, picked up my pajamas (Persian, Urdu, Victorian English)

Lewis Wetzel said...

Is it cultural appropriation if I use the term "Asian salad" as a code word to refer to homosexuals? As in "look at that 'Asian salad' over there! "

Lewis Wetzel said...

Michael K. wrote:
" . . .
ARM seems to be obsessed with adolescent boys. Oh well. To each his perversions.

4/27/17, 10:44 PM"
A few days ago ARM was on this kick about Milo, and got schooled by Exiledonmainstreet and myself on the huge number of pederasts who are members in good standing of the Dems.
Puts ARM in a stuff spot. He's either got to say that pederasty isn't so bad, which blunts his criticism of Milo, or that it is bad, which makes the Dems look like shit because so very, very many child-raping pederasts are Democrats.

Cliff said...

Nothing I could say would surpass the automatically generated ad for products from Amazon appearing to the right of this column: Taylor Farms Asian Chopped Salad and Gardein Teriyaki "Chik'n" Strips.

Known Unknown said...

"Gardein Teriyaki "Chik'n" Strips."

Gaijin Teriyaki Chik'n Strips!

Xmas said...

The only Swedish food I like is Swedish pickles herring, which tastes like gherkin pickles, and not like bad fish.

I do like durian though,it is tasty. The burps afterward made me cry. Literally belching up durian made my eyes water.

I never got the nerve to try fermented tofu. It smells like a campground outhouse.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"Oh heck, I'd pay to hear her bash the GOP and Trump. Let her speak."

How nice of you to grant permission - but only if she says things you want to hear.

Yep. It's official. Inga has no more understanding of what the 1st Amendment means than my dog has of calculus.

She and ARM just can't seem to grasp that it doesn't matter what she says, she still has the right to say it in America, whether it offends radical shit throwers or Trump supporters or not. That's why quoting some of her more controversial stances means nothing. Nobody is saying she or Milo should get to talk because they are always right about everything.

It's a point that is apparently tough for mindless serfs to get.

Bad Lieutenant said...

J. Farmer...
I presumed from that sentence you meant you could tell them apart based on looks. But now I know you are basic it on the sounds of their English accent, which seems odd without taken into account their background.


Why do you feel the need to push back on this? The fact that you palled around with some well-blended Asian mongrels is very nice, but the physiognomy of races is a thing.

I understand some people get upset when you use the word race like that but apparently there are distinguishing features between ethnic groups even at the level of Serb versus Croat. Arab vs. Persian. This applies to Europeans as well as Asians, Africans, Latams. Facial hair, gait and gestures, size, the shape of eyes, ears, lips, noses, their coloring.

By the way, the people who have done this analysis are aware of mixing and will tell you that someone looks, say, 60% Chinese and 40% Korean, or Russian and Polish with a Lithuanian nose. Certainly Eurasians can be told at a glance. Why is it obvious that Asians are visibly different from Europeans, but some Asians are not differable from other Asians?

Jack Sherman said...

Imagine how productive people could be if they weren't obsessing over makey fake believe racism BS

AReasonableMan said...

Lewis Wetzel said...
got schooled by Exiledonmainstreet and myself


I have yet to see any evidence that either of you two pathetic nitwits have ever received any schooling.

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exiledonmainstreet said...

ARM, that's because you simply ignore posts that prove you're wrong. Like the ones about the present Mayor of Seattle and revered Democrat saint Harvey Milk - and all those teachers who have diddled both male and female students and been protected by their unions and the Dem Party.

Rusty said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
"Lewis Wetzel said...
got schooled by Exiledonmainstreet and myself

I have yet to see any evidence that either of you two pathetic nitwits have ever received any schooling"

And every day we witnesss how you have been failed by yours.

Tarrou said...

This is such bullshit that Asians are so discriminated against. This would never happen to Europeans.


Except that right now I could drive to the north end of my town, to a little "Italian" diner and buy a Wop Salad. And I do, periodically, even though it's not "authentically" Italian, and I'm part Italian, because Italians aren't vast whining bitches.

Paco Wové said...

I'm somewhat heartened that at least some lefties, like Bernie Sanders and Elisabeth Warren, still understand what the First Amendment says. It's unfortunate that the younger ones seem to have no idea.

Tank said...

Things that puzzle Tank:

1. Why did it take Asians so long to figure out that they too could benefit from playing the race/victim card?

2. _________

3. Profit !

AReasonableMan said...

When even Rusty feels the need to step in to provide some support you know things have not gone well.

sparrow said...

ARM,
Are you aware of how your elitist attitude undermines your commentary? It's just pointless abuse (not that that's rare on this forum, to be fair about it). If you really are as superior as your tone and handle implies, make a substantive reasonable statement.

sparrow said...

FWIW ARM I appreciate you and the other lefties for sticking it out given the majority of us are on the right. It's the cross-party food fight that makes this blog worth reading.

JAORE said...

"And, I think it's rude to take everyone with non-white skin who isn't Mexican, and call them all""Asians".

Does it piss you off when people lump all the "white" people into a single group? Are the English, the Poles, the Italian, the Germans.... all just "white" to you rude people of color? Wow, how "rude" of you not to recognize the clues as to ethnicity.

Do you rude people lump all Native American Tribes into one group? (There are certainly distinguishing visual clues for many.) Or is that not "rude"?

Would the effort to try to observe and analyze each "white" individual to deduce where he or she came from by (at least) a region of say Europe or Tribe be a waste of time you could spend getting to know an individual?

Magic 8-ball sez:

Signs point to yes.

MadisonMan said...

In a World where I like to guess the gender of the author based on the headline (Yes, you should read it in the Movie VoiceoverGuy Voice), this one was one of the easiest ever.

AReasonableMan said...

sparrow said...
Are you aware of how your elitist attitude undermines your commentary?


This is not an unfair criticism and I generally avoid this tack, but temptation lurks.

I appreciate you and the other lefties for sticking it out given the majority of us are on the right.

Because there is a lot of incoming flak on this forum when you are a moderate, like me, you are forced to pick a battle every now and then just to avoid turning into Alan Combes (may he rest in a very quiet and modest peace). Those decisions are not always made wisely.

bagoh20 said...

Maybe "racism" is the word and the concept that is really in need of examination and updating.
Maybe it's the one that's spread around too easily and used so inaccurately.

Inga said...

"It's a point that is apparently tough for mindless serfs to get."

Apparently elitists have no sense of humor. I said she had little of value to say, not that she should be prohibited from saying it. You assumed that I meant she should not be allowed to speak, I didn't say that. Provide a comment of mine that indicates that is what I meant. You can't.

Angel-Dyne said...

MathMom: When you work with them and hear their different ways of speaking English, it becomes quite obvious with enough experience. When you learn what they like to eat, it narrows it down, too. When you watch how they walk, it can give clues. Mannerisms, such as how they use hand gestures and head gestures, also help.

And, I think it's rude to take everyone with non-white skin who isn't Mexican, and call them all "Asians", as if there are no differences. I like it when someone can figure out by my accent where I have lived - it means they are paying attention. I think if you care about people, you want to know what their experiences and lives are like, how they think, and what they do in their home countries, what are their customs, what matters to them, what makes them tick.


You're really over-reacting here. And dare I say, posturing a bit, too.

Yes, when you get in-depth experience of people who were once unfamiliar to you, you can begin to distinguish them. But if you're, say, a Chinese who's mostly seen other East Asians most of your life, Europeans really will "all look alike". I know, because when I lived and worked in Asia I was always getting mistaken for other white women, even white women of markedly different height, build, hair and eye color. (I declined to get butt-hurt about this.) So I just laugh when some SJW starts ragging on whites for "thinking all Asians look alike", as if that were some characteristic "white devil" manifestation of racism, instead of normal human stuff.

And even with experience one can't always distinguish all the different flavors of any particular region "just by looking", with great accuracy. As you yourself point out, you need other kinds of information as cues. If you don't have that experience, you start with larger categories.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"I didn't say that."

No - you simply declined to criticize the Berkeley shit flingers at all, while pointing out controversial things Coulter has said over the years.

Forgive me for thinking you don't come across as a strong proponent of the first Amendment.

I Callahan said...

I guess if I had to churn out a column to be able to eat tomorrow, I might be tempted to stick my head up my ass and ask why it smells in here.

I am so stealing that...

I Callahan said...

Those Berkely students surely did miss out on the finer points of sex between a young teen and his Priest.

It's a touching story, I have been told.


Nice little circle-jerk you got going there...

C R Krieger said...

Steverino said…

Well, actually I write to say I like the photo of Double Ugly.  Nice picture.  Nice airplane.  I know I enjoyed it.

Regards — Cliff

n.n said...

From the perspective of [class] diversity, we do look the same... colorful clumps of cells that are selectively worthy of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. It's not until we judge people by the content of their character, which requires an assumption of intrinsic value, that racists, sexists, and others of peculiar and often Planned prejudice enjoy a conservation of morality.

furious_a said...

It's racist salads, all the way down.

furious_a said...

ARM: Podunk community college.

Downtown Berkeley was a dirty, dangerous shithole 20 years ago when I worked in Emeryville. SFO co-workers (some of whom lived in not-yet-cool SOMA and Valencia) did not want to hang out there for TGIF.

Good to see nothing's changed.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

Why do you feel the need to push back on this? The fact that you palled around with some well-blended Asian mongrels is very nice, but the physiognomy of races is a thing.

First, I wouldn't some "palled around with some," when I in fact lived there for 10 years. As for the "physiognomy of races is a thing," point to me where I have denied that.

Why is it obvious that Asians are visibly different from Europeans, but some Asians are not differable from other Asians?

When you are talking about continent-wide differences, it's obviously very easy to tell a Dane from a Congolese from a Korean. There are obvious differences of skin color, hair texture, and facial shape. But you cannot distinguish, phylogenetically, between a Ghanian and Gambian; they are members of the same race. Race is much more rooted in biological reality than ethnicity is, which is basically just a creation of culture. And I stand by my original stance: given photos of individuals from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam, you would be unable to distinguish them based on physical appearance, anymore than you can distinguish by looks an Anglo-Saxon from a Frank.

exiledonmainstreet said...

J. Farmer: I recall reading that during the Rwanda genocide, Hutus claimed they could tell if someone was a Tutsi by the shape of their noses.

I noticed a certain "Brit look" when I was in England (and no, I'm not talking about bad teeth). Long jaws, thin lips, gray eyes. Either pasty skin or really beautiful complexions (all that rain helps). And there's a "Irish look" too - red or dark hair, blue eyes, snub noses, long upper lips. No, you can't overgeneralize too much. Of course there are Brits and Irish who don't fit that template (like Jagger with his massive lips), and other Europeans who do, but speaking very generally, I think you can notice a difference between nationalities. It's easier for a Caucasian to notice the differences among Europeans but there are physical differences that are more subtle than the differences between say, your average Swede and your average Sicilian.

buwaya said...

"And I stand by my original stance: given photos of individuals from Thailand, Burma, Cambodia, and Vietnam, you would be unable to distinguish them based on physical appearance"

I suspect though that given a crowd of each, anyone familiar with these places could identify them, quite as easily as a European could place a French, British, German, Spanish crowd. All of them have a certain common set of "looks". Of course any given individual could and would be possible in any of these places.

Antonio Banderas from Andalusia could, with the right accent, pass as an Englishman. But not a crowd of Antonio Banderas.

buwaya said...

It is no problem at all telling most (native) Filipinos or Malays from Chinese btw.
The edge cases and overlaps are most likely to be mestizos.

J. Farmer said...

@exiledonmainstreet:

It's easier for a Caucasian to notice the differences among Europeans but there are physical differences that are more subtle than the differences between say, your average Swede and your average Sicilian.

If I gave you a photo of 5 Europeans, how confident are you that you would be able to match them to their nation of origin? A German to Germany, a Frank to France, a Dane to Denmark, a Pole to Poland, and a Romanian to Romania? I'm guessing not very. And that is my only point.

And if you recall, I was replying to this statement by MathMom: "I think calling everyone Asian instead of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc., is saying 'they all look alike'. I can tell them apart." I don't, in fact, believe that she can "tell them apart."

J. Farmer said...

@buwaya:

It is no problem at all telling most (native) Filipinos or Malays from Chinese btw.

When I lived in Bangkok, I made regular trips to Boracay in the Philippines. When friends would travel with me, locals would invariably approach them and begin speaking Tagalog, having to be told that they are not native to the Philippines. Eye shape is probably the proxy most frequently used; Japanese and Koreans have a reputation for much narrower eyes.

exiledonmainstreet said...

But not a crowd of Antonio Banderas.


4/28/17, 11:51 AM


I volunteer to be the judge. Please, please put me in a crowd of young Antonio Banderases. I will study the matter thoroughly. :)

MC227 said...

Lefties are perpetually offended by everything. It's really getting annoying. Of course what they are not offended by is abortion, selling baby parts to the highest bidder, Muslims raping women, genital mutilation, blacks committing crimes as long as it is not them that are the victims, violent Antifa that hate free speech and everything else that is anti-white.

BJM said...

"wolf whining"

The only worthwhile words in the article.

buwaya said...

"Please, please put me in a crowd of young Antonio Banderases."

I would say go to Malaga (his hometown), but these days you are more likely to end up in a crowd of elderly Englishmen.

Unknown said...

How about this: I can't tell asians apart, so I treat them as individuals. I also lack the information to use stereotypes so again I treat them as individuals. But progs get upset if you can't stereotype them by nation.
Who has the knowledge or energy to deal with every ethnic group in the world in the victim olympics? Of course progs ignore asians because they don't act helpless and don't whine, they just go out and become successful.

Sigivald said...

I am led to believe there is a - rather large - place called "Asia".

Further, there is an entire class of foods called "salad".

One might think that "Asian salad" would be a salad either from or in the style of some part of the aforenamed place.

How this is related to racial bigotry is unclear.

(Also, complaining about "Secret Asian Man" salad?

Does he actually not know that's an ancient joke about "Secret Agent Man"?

And that some actual Asians use it as a joke, themselves?

[I know the latter, because I've seen it done in real life.])

TL:DR; "Lighten up, Francis."

MathMom said...

Fundraiser done, back home, time to answer some comments. Probably too late, though.

Re: Inga

Math Mom, progs also engage in the mundane side of everyday life. They even hold jobs and have families! Yikes, maybe they're not so different from you as you think.

I would love to understand the difference in the way I think from the progs to whom you refer, those who were not out hurling poo at Berkeley last night. In my experience, it's difficult to get them to sit down and just talk, though. My stepson is one, my sister is one, my brother-in-law is one.

With my sister, we just have to give many topics a wide berth. She has been prickly all her life, on every subject. She's always right, everyone else is stupid, so when you start there, where do you go?

With my stepson and bro-in-law, its difficult because some things that I think are as accepted as gravity seem to be in the realm of fiction to them. I'd like to discuss, for example, Economics, and learn from them why they think differently than me, when we have all come from America, with essentially the same chances and experiences (never lived under a dictator who sliced out tongues, for instance).

So far it has been fruitless, and I've been unwilling to ruin a family holiday by trying too hard.

It seems that you might be a person up for the exercise. This isn't a great way to discuss one-on-one, though. Some of the things I posted last night really rankled some people, and I haven't a clue why. I was just talking about things that I find interesting about people from everywhere.

Oh, well...

MathMom said...

@J. Farmer -

I presumed from that sentence you meant you could tell them apart based on looks. But now I know you are basic it on the sounds of their English accent, which seems odd without taken into account their background.

Does it really matter? And, how would I interact with them, if not in English? When people from 20 countries all come to the same place to work, they have to do something to be understood, so they speak English. It's a clue! It's a hobby! I think it's 100% uncontroversial, but it has irked you, and I don't know why.

I worked with so many Indians that I could tell from roughly what quadrant of the country they came. I spent eleven years in the Middle East with people from all over as my co-workers and friends. I think it is a natural thing to do, it gets easier after awhile, and the skill gets rusty when it's not used.

You can probably tell a New Yorker from a Texan, by their accents first, or by their attitudes and dress and walk, without even realizing it. You may find it more difficult to tell a Texan from an Okie, though. Same with telling an Indian from a Pakistani, or an Indian from Calcutta from an Indian from Mumbai.

And, I think it's rude to take everyone with non-white skin who isn't Mexican, and call them all "Asians", as if there are no differences.

And who is doing that, exactly?


This is called "hyperbole". Maybe I need to use more smiley faces?


The differences are not readily apparent to Westerners.

They are not readily apparent to Easterners, either. ...


My acupuncturist is from South Vietnam, of Chinese heritage. To confuse things further, his name is Thai. He fought in Vietnam, and was imprisoned in a North Vietnamese concentration camp when we deserted them. He spent five years being beaten and starved. He was a cardiologist, so he thinks this is why they didn't kill him right away when he was captured. Long story short, he had a massive stroke which paralyzed one side. After stabbing him and searing his skin with hot pokers and satisfying themselves that he wasn't faking it (since he couldn't feel anything on one side) they threw him out into the street. He began to crawl home. It took him four months. He said that people from the south recognized that he was from the south and would give him a ride for a few miles, or feed him. When he didn't have help, he pulled himself, one elbow and one knee.

The rest of the story doesn't need to be told here. The thing that I have never understood, is, how did the people from the south tell him from a person from the north? They evidently could.

MathMom said...

@ Angel-Dyne -

You're really over-reacting here. And dare I say, posturing a bit, too.

Wha?? You're welcome to your opinion.

Yes, when you get in-depth experience of people who were once unfamiliar to you, you can begin to distinguish them. But if you're, say, a Chinese who's mostly seen other East Asians most of your life, Europeans really will "all look alike". I know, because when I lived and worked in Asia I was always getting mistaken for other white women, even white women of markedly different height, build, hair and eye color. (I declined to get butt-hurt about this.) So I just laugh when some SJW starts ragging on whites for "thinking all Asians look alike", as if that were some characteristic "white devil" manifestation of racism, instead of normal human stuff.

I agree!

And even with experience one can't always distinguish all the different flavors of any particular region "just by looking", with great accuracy. As you yourself point out, you need other kinds of information as cues. If you don't have that experience, you start with larger categories.

Did I say you could?

I think the thing that made me start noticing, as Yogi Berra said, that you can observe a lot by watching, was when I was sitting on a bus in Singapore, saying nothing, and two rather snooty Brits got on and started making (loud) snide comments about the rest of us on the bus. They referred to "the American" in the back (me), and the Australians elsewhere in the bus. Lots of other comments, but those struck me. I thought the people they referred to as Australians were American, but I didn't know why.

I started looking for clues. (These may have been diluted in the ensuing years, because of satellite TV, the ease of travel, the ubiquity of athletic shoes, all the homogenizing things that have happened to the world since 1981.)

At that time, my observation was that Americans and Australians take similar amounts of space when they move, and in general Europeans take less space. (My theory: Australia and America were large, unexplored landmasses, with plenty of room, with space to move West if you start feeling crowded - gives a nationality an attitude. Europe is full, and well-settled).

Australians and Americans are louder than Europeans. (No theory here, just an observation.)

Australians and Americans were both likely to wear bluejeans as casual attire. But Australians didn't wear belts.

So, that was my game in Singapore, similar to riding on the Interstate as a kid, looking for license plates from other states. Watch guys who wore bluejeans without belts, and get close enough to listen to them. It was very accurate, and fun (not "posturing"). Shouldn't piss off anyone, IMHO.

MathMom said...

@ exiledonmainstreet -

Good God, MathMom, could those people be any more disgusting?

I can't think of a way, but I think they are trying to top this.

I have been disappointed at some things my lads have done in their lives, but their bad choices pale when compared to this. Speaking as a parent, if I learned that my child had participated in this sort of behavior, I doubt that any amount of explanation would make me understand.

I hope their parents are similarly stunned, because if they were taught that this sort of thing is ok, necessary, acceptable, admirable, whatever, America is in much more peril than we know.

Freeman Hunt said...

What else could you call that salad, usually characterized by ginger and soy sauce? It's not as though that very American salad is from an actual, specific Asian locale. Ginger and soy sauce are used in some savory dishes in many Asian countries. Hence, Asian salad.

Beach Brutus said...

This is probably too late for anyone to see it -- but it seems the chattering classes are becoming more hypersensitive to racism at the same time the boundaries between races are becoming more blurred. What my Southern forebearers would call miscegenation, is happening all over the place. Ethnic homogenization is accelerating. So called diversity is disappearing. It seems the only way to "promote and preserve" diversity is by policies that only racial separatist like my Klu Kluxer ancestors or the Nation of Islam would advance.

Angel-Dyne said...

MathMom to J.Farmer: It's a clue! It's a hobby! I think it's 100% uncontroversial, but it has irked you, and I don't know why.

It's also 100% uncontroversial that unfamiliar peoples do tend to "all look alike" to other humans. But you started out expressing consternation that other people, unlike you, couldn't tell individuals from unfamiliar groups apart. ("I think calling everyone Asian instead of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, etc., is saying "they all look alike". I can tell them apart.") And then you agreed that it was after all true. And then went on relating personal anecdotes about your own observations of differences in group behavior and learning to distinguish people. Which was really neither here nor there regarding the truth of the "they all look alike" reaction, which was what people were originally taking you to task for.

So I can see why J.F. was irked. Irrational rambling is irksome, regardless of the 100% non-controversial nature of any particular statement within the rambling discourse.

MathMom said...

@ Angel-Dyne,

This is what I said: I can tell them apart. Why do they all call themselves Asian?

(*Confession: I should not have said "all", because I have not polled ALL "Asians", so please bear with me. I'm from Idaho, I'm doing my best here.*)

This is Asia. It is over 17 million square miles.

When did the fashion change, from saying, "I'm Vietnamese" (which is what my acupuncturist will say, when someone asks him where he's from), to "I'm Asian" (which is what his son calls himself).

At a time when, for purposes of the Left, (my assumption, since it benefits them), Americans are being sliced and diced into ever-finer labeling distinctions, which IMHO tend to alienate us rather than build a more cohesive society, why are the people from an area of 17 million square miles being lumped into a single label, "Asian"?

My suspicion is that this "Asian" term has been adopted and pushed so that the actions of "Asians" from this particular region can be diluted, and the motivation for those actions can be obscured (but I digress...irrational rambling, you know me...and please excuse the inadvertent inclusion of North Africa on this map - I know North Africa isn't "Asia". I have mad HTML skilz, but just don't do Photoshop well.).

As to telling Asians apart? These are all Asians. Afghan man. Russian man. Pakistani man. Vietnamese man. Indian man. Chinese man. Yemeni man. Japanese man. Do they look alike? (My opinion only: No.)

Thanks for this, BTW: Irrational rambling is irksome, regardless of the 100% non-controversial nature of any particular statement within the rambling discourse. When I encounter irrational rambling, it's normally a drunk on the street, so I avert my eyes and pass by. (Full clarification: I'm from Idaho, but now live in a major metropolitan area, where one encounters this in various places. And I've been to San Francisco, where one must decide how to handle irrational rambling all up and down Powell Street.)

Maybe you should have taken a page from my book? Just acted like I wasn't there?

And now, good day.