On Yellow Fever (again!)

I’ve tried to write this blog several times but my anger gets the best of me and I end up typing out rage influenced hate letters to people who piss me off. Like the people who are searching “mail order asian wifes” (not wives, but wifes) and then coming to my blog because I wrote about Debbie Lum’s web series “They’re All So Beautiful” which centers around “yellow fever” and “asian fetish”. (however, I’m quite glad they’re coming to my blog. I just wish I could see their disappointment when they start reading!)

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I really want to write my two cents about this failure of a video, “Asian Girlz” by Day Above Ground.  (BTW–the band so graciously took the video down and recorded a whole new song about the American dream. Give me a break.)

We all understand that it’s racist, they make it obvious. I can only assume they know they made a huge error when they went to lengths to defend their song by saying that “it’s not meant to be racist” and “how could it be racist? we’re multicultural!”

Outside of the overt racism in this video the lyrics alone are violent and perpetuate rape culture. The band has made the claim that the video is supposed to be satirical. But I would like to point out that satire often goes hand and in hand with irony and humor. There is nothing humorous about rape culture when it is rooted in white supremacy, Orientalism, and colonialism. One cannot put out something, call it satire and ignore the legacy of Asian women who have been subjected to white supremacist male sexual violence. Dehumanizing people isn’t ironic, satirical, or humorous.

Come on sit on my lap (right here baby)

Or we’ll send you back

And you age so well

I can barely tell

17 or 23? 

Baby doesn’t matter to me

Congratulations to you Day Above Ground, you have successfully contributed to the masses of Orientalist based media that continues to misrepresent the lived experience of Asian women.  As Edward Said coined the term, simply put Orientalism is a way of looking at the “East” through a Western lens as backwards or distorted, this often happens in art and literature. “Asian Girlz” is a perfect example of this.

The best thing to come from Day Above Ground putting out some racist and sexually violent bull crap they call music are the reactions.

Check out Kristina Wong and her take down of Levy Tran and Day Above Ground

Also, these twitter reactions are the best.

Lastly, Joe Anselm does a Q & A and proves he has no idea what satire is and is thus using it as a crutch.

 

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on yellow fever

Yellow Fever  : The fetishization of Asian people based on Orientalist views of the culture, usually this results in stereotyping Asian folks for erotic satisfaction, that reproduces racist, Orientalist ideas about Asia.

Hey , isn’t that awesome?! The first half of my academic career in undergrad was focused on what I called, “Asian Exploitation”, the exploitation of Asian culture for commodities, either in the form of people (dating services) or easily accessible foods that are mass produced for the placement in Western grocery stores, not meant for Asian folks themselves. So, when I saw this video circulating around the interwebs, my inner “Asian Exploitation” geek was intrigued.

Debbie Lum, the director of Seeking Asian Female, a documentary about one man’s search for the perfect Asian wife (read: mail-order), has created a short web-series, about Yellow Fever entitled, “They’re All so Beautiful”. It’s worth watching–the videos are short and simple. They get down to the point– Yellow Fever is racist, and really gross.