A Man Slams Down A Bigoted Question So Hard He Brings Down The House

People of color are often asked, "What kind of ____ are you?" in relation to their ethnicity. It's quite a different question than "Where are you from?"

Example: An American is asked which country in Asia they're from. Or they're asked, "What kind of Asian are you?"

Doesn't that kind of sound like someone is asking what brand they are? Even if it doesn't to you, it's quite a loaded question — one that Alex Dang ponders below.

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So he said to me: "What kind of Asian are you?" And I said back

That's a loaded question.

What kind of Asian do you EXPECT me to be?

Because any way you slice that egg roll,

I'm still pretty much whatever you want to see.

I've played many a Far East stereotype:

awkward math genius,

cold and calculated Kung-Fu expert,

assistant to "Dr. Jones, you crazy!"

You want me to drive? How so?

I can give you

Tokyo Drift,

Jeremy Lin

Mario Kart,

Tiger Woods,

and Blinker left on for about half a mile

I am the foremost expert on

all things Asian.

The Mejii era and the ban of the Samurai?


Confuciusism versus Daoism? I'll give it to you with no slant!

What's the difference between Asian stereotype

1 and 2?


Let me tell you anything YOU

want to know about my culture

Let me tell you in a Mulan-esque soliloquy

of me staring in the mirror asking

Who IS that girl staring that I see?

Let me tell you about Jackie Chan

and Bruce Lee and how they are related

BY BLOOD to me

Let me tell you about being so marginalized

it's to the point of "I really CAN'T believe

that's Asian!"

Let me tell you about derogatory terms

and origins of words such as chink and gook

Let me tell you about the struggle

of Asian parents not knowing the language

so we ate pet food because it was cheaper

Let me tell you about the job of interpreter

when you're still playing with LEGO blocks but

you're English is already that much better

than your guardians

Let me tell you about honor and dignity

Let me tell you about a society that

projects us as nothing but the secondary role

and never the leading man.

Let me tell you all the things you don't want

to know.

Like how chink comes from

the clanking of metal to railroads

as the slaves built train tracks for

this country to be connected.

Like how the zipperhead down the street

is called that because of the way our heads

split open when struck with assault weapons

or how the Jeeps ran over and left marks

across corpses and someone clever thought

that we were only good to unzip.

Like how every time you lump an Asian person

into one culture is systematically making us

assimilate into an America we thought was

better than our war torn home and every time you confuse me

with some other nationality that I might share similar

features to is stripping away my individuality

And I still feel the shame of being Asian

the heat and pious dedication

of June 11th 1963

the envy of blonde hair

and blue eyes

And I still remember thinking where all the

boys that looked like me on TV were

the broken words

of my mother and father stage diving

off my tongue

the anger I felt when those

kids thought I'd get them sick

And I still feel the ash of the incense burn

my hands

when I prayed for my family

And I still remember thinking my skin

was what I was worth

And I still feel the ironwork of my bones

grow stronger with every train of thought


passes by

And I still feel pride

And I still feel heritage

And I still feel Chinese

And I still feel Vietnamese

And I still feel American

And I still feel

There may be small errors in this transcript.

Original by Alex Dang for Button Poetry. In case you missed it, you really should like him on Facebook, cause he's pretty swell.

Feb 28, 2014

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