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Kind of Blue

Kind of Blue's Journal
Kind of Blue's Journal
September 11, 2020

The real reasons the U.S. became less racist toward Asian Americans

There is a video called The Myth of the 'Model Minority' at the WaPo link that I can't figure out how to post. But the one below is also a good precursor of the article. It's a long read but worth it, in my opinion.

Between 1940 and 1970, something remarkable happened to Asian Americans. Not only did they surpass African Americans in average household earnings, but they also closed the wage gap with whites.

Many people credit this upward mobility to investments in education. But according to a recent study by Brown University economist Nathaniel Hilger, schooling rates among Asian Americans didn’t change all that significantly during those three decades. Instead, Hilger’s research suggests that Asian Americans started to earn more because their fellow Americans became less racist toward them.

As historian Ellen Wu explains in her book, “The Color of Success,” the model minority stereotype has a fascinating origin story, one that’s tangled up in geopolitics, the Cold War and the civil rights movement.

To combat racism, minorities in the United States have often attempted to portray themselves as upstanding citizens capable of assimilating into mainstream culture. Asian Americans were no different, Wu writes. Some, like the Chinese, sought respectability by promoting stories about their obedient children and their traditional family values. The Japanese pointed to their wartime service as proof of their shared Americanness.

African Americans in the 1940s made very similar appeals. But in the postwar moment, Wu argues, it was only convenient for political leaders to hear the Asian voices.

These stereotypes about Asian Americans being patriotic, having an orderly family, not having delinquency or crime — they became seen as the opposite of what “blackness” represented to many Americans at the time.

Daniel Moynihan, the author of that report, was a liberal trying to figure out how to solve this huge problem — the status of African Americans in American life.

If you look in the report, there’s not really any mention of Asian Americans. But just a few months before the Moynihan Report came out in the summer of 1965, Moynihan was at a gathering with all these intellectuals and policymakers. They're talking about how Japanese and Chinese Americans were “rather astonishing” because they had thrown off this racial stigma. Moynihan points out that 25 years ago, Asians had been “colored.” Then Moynihan says, “Am I wrong that they have ceased to be colored?”

I would say it also costs the majority less to allow Asian Americans, who were still a very small part of the population, to let them play out this saga of upward mobility, rather than recognizing the rights and claims of African Americans during that same time.

I’m not saying somebody sat down and did a cost-benefit analysis. But in some ways, there seemed to be a big payoff for little risk. Even with the overturning of the exclusion laws, it’s not like large numbers of Asians were coming into the United States at the time. Asian Americans at that time were still a pretty marginal part of the population.
September 10, 2020

So far in reading about masqueraders, imo, the general conclusion

- from undercover journalists Ray Sprigle, John Howard Griffitn and Grace Halsell to Profs. Dolezal and Krug - is that no matter their righteous intent, they are basically self-serving, ultimately harmful to members of the appropriated community and therefore to that community as a whole.

An interesting analysis is that they are at an extreme level of white guilt, "Guilt implies a self-hatred that is destructive and, in an unexpected way, an expression of superiority. The person who outwardly displays white guilt seems to be degrading himself, but, in the act of contrition, he morally elevates himself above his fellow white people. The self-abasing act of contrition is not really about fixing a problem; it’s about establishing the moral superiority of the demonstratively penitent." Here, I think, that this elevation applies not only to white people but to their object as well. Halsell thought black women she encountered in Harlem were "acting white" for wearing pantyhose and living "regular" lives not in abject poverty/depression went looking for "authentic" blacks in Mississippi. In their charade, and besides taking scholarships intended for PoC, Dolezal and Krug denigrated black and Hispanic colleagues and students (women) as basically not as "woke" as they should be.

The author explains historically how "White Guilt Never Helped Anyone" https://www.spiked-online.com/2015/06/16/white-guilt-never-helped-anyone/

My opinion right now is inconclusive about conservative republican Sprigle who I found no account, though he could and ultimately did, as with Griffin and Halsell, took breaks from whiteness when overwhelmed by the pressures of blackness. It seems to me that Sprigle was about uncovering the truth in winning the Pulitzer Prize in the 1920s revealing that newly-appointed SC Justice Hugo Black was a Klan member. He had donned disguises and used the pseudonym James Crawford many times before to write first-hand accounts of conditions in state mental hospitals and coal mines and to investigate illegal gambling operations. His expose of Pittsburgh's thriving black market in meat during World War II, for which he posed as a butcher and bought and sold meat for a month, won him another national prize, the 1945 Headline Club award. And he wrote of the variety of black lives from introductions to the impoverished as well as prosperous farmers and other professionals. http://old.post-gazette.com/sprigle/sprigleintroduction.asp Some say he was simply trying to get another prize.

Back to Krug:

“Krug is way worse than Rachel Dolezal. Krug not only pretended to be Black, but purposefully caused tension between Blacks and whites—trying to get Black people to hate white people as much as she did, when she really just hated herself.” A friend describes her “persistent negativity and jealousy.” A GW student describes her showing the class a photo of “the white woman who won an award over her.”

She terrorized Black and Latina women, panned their work and politics, and made many of her colleagues take on additional labor under the pretense of having to deal with her imaginary family saga. Krug was particularly cruel to US-born Puerto Rican scholars, who she often accused of lacking the insider knowledge and cultural fluency that she reveled in.

In addition to the position and resources Krug stole from academics of color, she also stole from the many students who viewed her as a trusted authority to help them make sense of the world and their own identities within it. The Cut spoke to four of Krug’s former students about reckoning with her deception in the wake of her Medium essay, and how they are coming to terms with her betrayal...
From the blog University Diaries https://www.margaretsoltan.com/?cat=30

More links https://www.thecut.com/2020/09/students-on-fake-black-professor-jessica-krugs-classes.html#comments






https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.13110/criticism.58.1.0035?read-now=1&seq=12#page_scan_tab_contents Black Like Malcolm: Grace Halsell’s Rewriting of Black Like Me (1961) in Soul Sister (1969)


September 3, 2020

Well, I'm glad that you posted it here.

The other one seemed largely about whether she looks black or not that, to me, is not the point of the OP. I wish Krug had gotten into, even a little, her reasons for assuming black face instead of "abuse," "trauma," and "non-belonging in a white community." I'm sure lots of white people have experienced all three but never thought of appropriating and benefiting from PoC culture. It sure seems to be a thing though.

So I'm listening to this now to get some answers The Limits Of Empathy at https://www.npr.org/2020/03/06/812864654/the-limits-of-empathy. The interviews includes Alisha Gaines, associate professor in the Department of English, part of Florida State University's College of Arts and Sciences. She wrote Black for a Day: White Fantasies of Race and Empathy.

In 1948, journalist Ray Sprigle traded his whiteness to live as a black man for four weeks. A little over a decade later, John Howard Griffin famously "became" black as well, traveling the American South in search of a certain kind of racial understanding. Contemporary history is littered with the surprisingly complex stories of white people passing as black, and here Alisha Gaines constructs a unique genealogy of "empathetic racial impersonation--white liberals walking in the fantasy of black skin under the alibi of cross-racial empathy. At the end of their experiments in "blackness," Gaines argues, these debatably well-meaning white impersonators arrived at little more than false consciousness.

Complicating the histories of black-to-white passing and blackface minstrelsy, Gaines uses an interdisciplinary approach rooted in literary studies, race theory, and cultural studies to reveal these sometimes maddening, and often absurd, experiments of racial impersonation. By examining this history of modern racial impersonation, Gaines shows that there was, and still is, a faulty cultural logic that places enormous faith in the idea that empathy is all that white Americans need to make a significant difference in how to racially navigate our society.

September 1, 2020

Yes, indeed the story has been good and I didn't know it was a book!

A few years ago, Prof. Nnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American author and winner of the World Fantasy Award, a prestigious literary prize for fantastical fiction, wrote in her African-futurism blog of her conflict of receiving the WFA trophy modeled after Lovecraft himself, "I knew of Lovecraft’s racial issues, anti-Semitism, etc., but I never knew it was this serious. How strong the sentiment must have been within his soul for him to sit down and write that poem. This wasn’t racism metaphorically or abstractly rearing its ugly head within a piece of fiction, this was specific and focused.

Anyway, a statuette of this racist man’s head is in my home. A statuette of this racist man’s head is one of my greatest honors as a writer. A statuette of this racist man’s head sits beside my Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and my Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award (an award given to the best speculative fiction by a person of color). I’m conflicted.

I too am deeply honored to win the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel. It feels so so so right and so so good. The award’s jury was clearly progressive and looking in a new direction. I am the first black person to win the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel since its inception in 1975. Lovecraft is probably rolling in his grave. Or maybe, having become spirit, his mind has cleared of the poisons and now understands the err of his ways. Maybe he is pleased that a book set in and about Africa in the future has won an award crafted in his honor. Yeah, I'll go with that image."

Yes. I'll go with that, too. It's just too delicious knowing Lovecraft basically inventing the disturbing horror genre is used to reveal the very meaning of horror by awesome writers helping to upend racism I Love it!

August 19, 2020

Yes, indeed. It was so cool that there were movies in 1970, 1971, 1991, 2004, 2012

and sequel in development now for 2020. I forgot about the 2019 documentary Master of Dark Shadows.
Long Live Barnabas Collins in all of his incarnations.

August 15, 2020

I'm basically immune nowadays from comments like yours but this

is breathtaking especially on a democratic board that's come a long way in understanding systemic racism.
Please consider deleting your comment that's whitesplaining blackness to black people and PoC here. To me, your comment rivals if not surpasses many of your conservative brethren's attacks of Sen. Harris.

June 23, 2020

"While we cannot make excuses for the rhetoric...

made by Mrs. Schott decades ago, we can ask you to learn from Mrs. Schott’s mistakes as well as her great love for Cincinnati," the Marge & Charles J. Schott Foundation said in a June 11 statement. "We appreciate what these great organizations bring to Cincinnati and we fully support the decisions made by the organizations who have received grants from the foundation. We will continue to support the Cincinnati community and the important work of our charities and nonprofits."


June 19, 2020

"I think that black women are divine."

"There's nothing more beautiful. Brave. Un-bossed. Loving. Strong."

(In)Visible Portraits shatters the too-often invisible otherizing of Black women in America and reclaims the true narrative as told in their own words.

Watch the feature documentary directorial debut from Oge Egbuonu in virtual cinemas June 19th.

Oge Egbuonu is a filmmaker focused on disruptive inspirational storytelling. By creating compelling content that entertains, educates, and inspires, she aims to support the healing of the individual and the collective.

June 9, 2020

Not according to the United Nations' Genocide Convention of 1948

The Contracting Parties,

Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world...

Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:
(a) Genocide;
(b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
(c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
(d) Attempt to commit genocide;
(e) Complicity in genocide.


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