Asian-Americans take high road in response to racist music video

There’s a new music video out that’s extremely insulting to Asian/Pacific-Islander women.

Filled with sexually explicit lyrics, the video poses a dilemma for artists who want to decry it. That’s because of the Catch-22 of the Internet; by looking at something, you ultimately are supporting it. On social media, any attention is good attention.

The online magazine Hyphen – Asian America Unabridged tackles the video in a post that (warning: this is something you might not want to open at work) includes a screenshot “from your worst Orientalist nightmare” and an excerpt of the obscene lyrics. But it also  describes efforts to counter such messages, including a decision by some artists to posts videos of Asian-American female musicians.

Among those taking the opportunity to change the conversation is Twin Cities poet Bao Phi,  one of the first people to decide to respond to the bile by directing his Facebook friends’ eyes and ears elsewhere. He wrote:

So there’s this video by a racist, sexist, no-talent band that’s been making the rounds…  instead of posting that horrible video by that no-talent racist/sexist band (which would rightfully call out their ignorance but would also unfortunately give them hits), I’m going to post a video featuring independent musical Asian American women as an act of solidarity and resistance.

Phi’s post followed with a link to this video:

Others have joined in, adding their own videos featuring female APIA musicians. And there’s now a YouTube playlist and a Spotify channel.

Frankly I had a blast checking out the music – some familiar, but much of it new to my ears.  And no sexism to be found.

Here’s a small sample of what’s on offer:

 

 

 

 

  • Asians Art Museum
  • stevchipmunk

    I completely agree that the video was offensive (albeit, mildly so). But, hey, this is a Free Country, right? They are allowed to, or should be allowed to, make mildly offensive videos, right?
    And, remember, over 40% of Asian American girls marry whites. So… maybe there might be a significant number of Asian American girls who don’t identify as much with being Asian American as much as being the “exotic” Asian Girlz of American white-male fantasy. The model appearing in the video said she regretted doing the wiggling and dancing and carrying-on in the video… after she heard the complaints (before she heard the complaints, evidently, she was cool with doing it). But, hey… More Power to her! Free country, right?
    Playing other videos by Asian Americans to protest this lame video, I think, also is not a good idea. Because complaints about this video should be made based on the merits (or demerits) of this video. Presenting the other videos only invites comparison… and, truth be told, while some of the other videos were wonderful, some were… very lacking. Which shouldn’t be applause for this lame video (which, actually, was OK… if it weren’t for the message of the lame lyrics).