Quantico: Where the Brown Boys At?

I get it. Quantico is a pioneering show in multiple ways: most notably it’s the first American primetime drama to feature an Indian (and female) lead. Priyanka Chopra is indubitably the Mayor of Babesville, and I’m all for any show that has strong, kickass women of color — including Muslim hijabi twins who aren’t complete stereotypes (although this has been called into question). And complicated, tough gay characters who aren’t just planning weddings and snapping their fingers around – we need more of those too.

DOUGRAY SCOTT, AUNJANUE ELLIS, PRIYANKA CHOPRA, JAKE MCLAUGHLIN, JOHANNA BRADDY, GRAHAM ROGERS, YASMINE AL MASSRI, TATE ELLINGTON

But c’mon y’all — WHERE are the men of color? Granted, I’ve only seen a couple episodes, and maybe new characters were introduced, but the “top billed cast” on IMDb shows no men of color. Zero. And the optics of that bugs the hell out of me.

Indeed, Chopra and Yasmine Al Massri and Aunjanue Ellis and Annabelle Acosta provide plenty of eye candy, but I’m sick of all these Captain America Wonderbread types abounding. Four out of the five female leads are women of color, can’t we get ONE hot brown man for me the characters to lust after and have sexual tension-filled exchanges in the co-ed bathroom and get freaky with in the front seat of an SUV? Or will this go the way of The Mindy Project, with no men of color ever entering the fuckable orbit?

Oh wait, there’s this guy(?):

helloinback

Hello? Can someone tell me where the craft services table is at?

It’s only Season 1, there’s still time to assemble a proper hottie special agent dream team. Get it together, Quantico!

 

 

Racially Diverse Emojis, Now with Oriental Yellow!

True, emojis have been sorely lacking in the melanin department, and even borderline racist (the only current “ethnic” emojis are a dude with some sort of turban-thing, a guy with a mandarin cap, and one wearing a cossack hat)…so having the option to add pigment is definitely positive (as well as same sex couples and families).

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.33.57 AMBut Gawddamn, why the Asian emoji gotta be so YELLOW? Like, not even a tawny, golden, mellow-yellow hue…but fluorescent HI-LITER, jaundiced Hep C (shoutout to Puj D!), Pantone Yellow 108. Dude straight up looks like Pac-Man.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.34.16 AMApple countered by saying the yellow tone is intended to be “ethnically neutral” and apparently there’s a precedent for it this “default, non-ethnic” color (more on that here). Yeah ok, that may make sense in techie-speak, but this attempt at multicultural inclusion seems ridiculously naive and wack in the face of social and racial reality…sound familiar, tech industry? Oh, the irony.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 10.47.35 AMvia HuffPo

*Thanks to Puj & Noms for the emojinspiration

BCB Hoebags: Amy Chua & Jeb Rubenfeld

Welcome to the first inductees of 2014 into the BCB Hoebag* Hall of Shame: Amy Chua & hubby Jeb Rubenfeld!!

Shudder.

Shudder.

In all honesty, Amy Chua should have joined these hallowed ranks in 2011, when that Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother aka Chinese-moms-are-better-because-they (ALL OF THEM)-brutalize-their-kids-emotionally-physically-and-spirituality-WHAT-COME-AT-ME-AMERICA sensationalist mess that spawned a household meme no one in their right Asian American mind could stomach.

Well, fetch me a switchin’ stick, Fame Whore Mom Tiger Mom and her husband are back and classy as ever. With an (if you can believe it) even more trollish, race-baity, and offensively ridiculous message: Some races oh I mean ethnicities oh wait cultural groups yes that’s the ticket…are better than others! Because of three “unlikely traits”: Superiority Complex. Insecurity. Impulse Control. Yep.

And these successful, uh- risen groups? Cuban exiles, Nigerians, Mormons, Lebanese, Iranian, Indian…..and Chinese and Jewish (oh looky there! Obviously explains how these two were able to write such a magnum opus).

No better way to cash that publicity check ring in the new year than pseudo-scientifically exploiting stereotypes, ignoring virtually everything about American history and context, and hawking a 300+ page cunt punt to race relations with their new book: The Triple Package: How Three Random BS Traits Explain Why Some Groups Rule the Skool and Why Other Groups Suck at Life and Deserve What They Get (I’m paraphrasing, but basically). Eugenics always got a bad rap, am I right guys!? Model Minority, woof woof raise the roof!

Sure, Chua will backpedal and qualify, dodge and charm all throughout her high profile book tour, just like her last go-round. Semantics-shimmy all you want, the racial shit is implied; the damage is done. Book sales, speaking fees, and media hits, however, are over the moooon! LOL XOXO suckers!

Please Amy Chua. Just take a seat. You don’t speak for Asian Moms (#NotYourAsianTigerMom) and your bootstraps crap sure as hell doesn’t speak for the rest of us. Let’s retire this nonsense…to the BCB HOEBAG HALL OF SHAME!!

Check out some great takes on this horseshit at Changelab’s Race Files (YAASS), YOMYOMF and NY Post (really).

*We at BCB consider Hoebaggishness to be an equal opportunity quality across sex and gender(s).

Okay, Chris Brown: “Fine China”

So “Fine China” — the new single by Chris “Forever (Flared Nostrils)” Brown — dropped last week. Which apparently, involves him stealing off with a triad boss’s daughter and gallivanting through the underworlds of Chinatown — rather than delicately sipping Lipton while getting hollered at by Mo’Nique on VH1’s Charm School, as I had hoped.

Because being romantically involved with an Asian girl always entails breaking her shackles of Asian male oppression, Chris the Fist also beats up an entire tong of Asian dudes. Just watch:

Uh, okay gurl. And what in Mongolian Izaac Mizrahi for Target hell is Ling (?!?) wearing? Is she really getting in the car with him? Best wear some shoes you can run in, girl.

The Difficult Brown can dress like a twink ventriloquist newsie all he wants, but “it’s alright, I’m not dangerous” is just not convincing me. And I’m normally a big fan of dance-fighting, but we’re supposed to believe a gold bowtie-wearing agitated beaver can whoop a whole Chinatown gang without even using his teeth?

The only redeeming quality about this video is Ling’s poopface at the 0:32 mark. That really says it all.

UPDATE: OK, I lied. The other redeeming quality about this video is the Octopus move at the 3:47 mark. I’m obsessed with it and have been consistently practicing in front of the mirror and loved ones since this posting, so I can bust it out at the club this weekend with my cousins (see you at Tia Lou’s!).

ALSO, the song has annoyingly been stuck in my head for days, and I’m gonna blame that on the blatant MJ rip-offs. It’s like they just took ‘Billie Jean’, threw it into a derivative remix app for iPhone — and donezo.

 

And I Slowly Fall to My Knees: ABDC Canceled

Look what the evil MTV overlords hath wrought: the cancellation of the all-time most swagtastic reality show of ever (besides RuPaul’s Drag Race, duh): America’s Best Dance Crew! Nuhuhoooo!

It’s terrible, and it’s true. After 7 glorious seasons, BCB fave ABDC will light up our lives no longer. Along with mourning the loss of stereotype-busting, positively superfly Asian American representation on TV, I’m also shedding a nostalgic and grateful tear for the show that spotlighted so many of my future ex-husbands and fap fodder (notably Quest Crew’s Victor Kim and Ryan Feng, ya big smexy galoot).

We salute you, Jabbawockeez, Kaba Modern, Quest Crew, Poreotix, and all the other b-girls, b-boys, and APIA crazy leg shitkickers.

And I hate to admit it, but I’ll even miss Mario Lopez’s corny ass, with his singularly unique brand of teeth-grinding awkwardness combined with inappropriately tight jeans.

You will be missed but not forgotten, ABDC.

Thanks to Keith Chow!

Friday Fuckery: Chinatown/LES post-Sandy

So my flight into New York this week was cancelled, and with my old roommate also out of town, I don’t have a solid idea of what state our Chinatown building is in (except that there is definitely a freezer-full of sausage and shrimp lying in wait). Like much of the country, I’ve been obsessively monitoring the news and interwebs this whole week, trying to get a grasp of the scale of mayhem (or for those Uptown, lack thereof).

What has become painfully clear is that not only were some areas devastated beyond recognition (Staten Island, Breezy Point in Queens, Lower East Side, Coney Island), some have also been virtually ignored by authorities in the relief efforts. While it certainly hasn’t suffered the same structural damage and loss of life, one community that has experienced gross inequities in post-Sandy recovery includes — SURPRISE! — Chinatown.

While lower Manhattan has been without without power all week, Chinatown and the LES have also suffered water shutoffs in public housing, food shortages, and a huge vacuum of information from officials about just what the fuck to expect next. While people wait in endless lines for help, FEMA and city officials have for the most part been conspicuously absent.

Thank effing goodness for CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, which has been the only organization to address the dire and immediate needs of the community. CAAAV became first responders by providing phone charging, in-language information, food, batteries, and mercifully — a system to check up on elders and the disabled in high rise buildings who are cold, hungry, and in the dark — stuck in their buildings without working elevators. Meanwhile, just next door, Wall Street has Xmas lights lit up in the streets.

As CAAAV leadership well understands, this isn’t the first time Chinatown has clearly not been a governmental priority for recovery efforts (9/11), and it likely won’t be the last. Thankfully, many volunteers have showed up to make donations and drop off supplies. Check out updates from CAAAV on relief efforts and needs here, and if you can’t go in person, please consider making a donation.

Let’s demonstrate to the people of Chinatown and LES that we care about them, even if Bloomberg and the NYC hypercapitalist, profit-driven agenda don’t seem to give two shits about immigrants and people of color, the working class, and New York’s most vulnerable residents.

Friday Fuckery: Chinatown “Gambling Raid”

photo by Michael Appleton for the NYT

The illustrious NYPD, in partnership with the equally humanitarian Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), recently raided a building in East Chinatown — which houses many hometown associations, shops, and even medicinal practitioners — in what they called a “crackdown on a hive of criminality”. Read the rather ridiculous details here.

Although they claim that the cash confiscated is proof that the laborers and retired workers mainly from Fujian province are linked to a Chinese criminal gang and part of “one of the largest illegal gambling operations uncovered in New York City’s recent history”, maybe these folks just like some down time between grueling jobs to play some social low-stakes games of mah jong, cards, and pool. Y’know, like Christmas at yo auntie’s house.

Some real shady, hardcore criminal activity right here. That Pau Pau is just LOADED with nickels.

In addition to confiscating mah jong tables, the authorities took a few thousand dollars from a safe and off of folks playing in one hometown association’s small office. They reason that cash found in this raid, along with similar raids, just goes to show that that illegal gambling is goin’ down. But among a population of immigrants who are often unbanked, get paid in cash, and may operate mutual assistance-type lending circles for those down on their luck, you’re not going to find a lot of checks and platinum cards. Which means that some of these folks may have just been carrying their day’s wages on them, which then got snatched up by the authorities as evidence of their criminality.

Authorities also raided the building because of “illegal medical care:”

In the recent raid, officials arrested two men in an office behind an unmarked door on the fourth floor. The men, Qiu Jiaxi, 67, and his son, Qiu Lu Hui, 38, were “examining and treating patients by injecting them with unknown substances and giving them a variety of unidentified pills,” the New York attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said in a statement. They “lured unsuspecting patients into their office and put their greed before the health and safety of their victims.

Why does this read like a pulpy fiction from the ’40s featuring a jaundiced Chinaman with long queue and fingernails on the cover? THEY’RE COMING AFTER YOUR WHITE WOMEN NEXT!!

“The Qius were charged with unauthorized practice of a profession, a felony, and face up to four years in prison...but he said that he had studied acupuncture and Chinese traditional medicine in China and in New Jersey, and that his father had been trained in China. Both, he said, had excellent reputations in the New York diaspora as well as in Fujian Province…“Coming to see us is the only option for them,” he said. The Qius stopped practicing after their arrests but returned to their office. During the interview, a stream of patients stopped by, but the Qius apologized and turned them away.”

It’s called fucking Chinese medicine, dipshits! Folk remedies, homeopathy, alternative medicine…whatever you want to call it. While it may not be offered at Beth Israel, hippy white people pay a lot of money to study it in naturopathic school, so just chill out let these poor people without health insurance get the type of care they’ve consented to and have probably been familiar with their whole lives.

Unfortunately, federal officials are continuing to investigate these “gangs”, and the US attorney in Manhattan has sued for forfeiture of the building. While the leaseholder doesn’t believe there was any wrongdoing in the building, he still plans to clear out the hometown associations because of all the attention they’ve received from the authorities.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all a front to kick residents out and take over the building to build condos in what is fast becoming highly sought-after real estate. I can’t believe in this day and age, and in a city that prides itself on being the most diverse in the nation, stretched taxpayer dollars are going towards harassing old immigrants playing mahjong, confiscating their meager wages, and denying limited English speakers their traditional medicinal practices. You don’t see NYPD and ICE swooping in on old Jewish ladies in Forest Hills playing American Mahjong, or busting in on Wall Street types playing cards and betting on fantasy football in cigar rooms.

The NYT article is tepidly, diplomatically titled: “Chinatown Gambling Raid May Reveal Cultural Divide”. No shit. How about: “Dick Moves All Around, With Racial Fuckery At Its Finest”.

via NYT