White Asians strike again

The McGill Daily - - Contents - Overly Opin­ion­ated Ed The Mc­gall Weekly

Kellyanne Con­way, an­nounced the dis­cov­ery of an en­tirely new re­al­ity re­cently. Con­way, or Con for short, was brows­ing her Webflix when she came to the “be­cause you watched Fam­ily Guy” sec­tion, and was promptly trans­ported to an “alt-re­al­ity.” In a press re­lease, Con de­scribed this new re­al­ity as one where “Paul Ryan wiped his brown nose, Don­ald Drumpf was Peo­ple Mag­a­zine’s Sex­i­est Man Alive, and the silent ma­jor­ity was ac­tu­ally silent.” Most no­table of all, though, was that lib­er­als fi­nally saw the white light, and en­joyed the Alt-asian show Iron Fist.

Iron Fist has got­ten a lot of flack from pro­gres­sive types since its re­lease, who claim all sorts of things like “cul­tural ap­pro­pri­a­tion,” “Ori­en­tal­ism,” and, “Wing isn’t even a last name—it’s just an or­der at your lo­cal Chi- nese place.” The last state­ment is a ref­er­ence to the Asian love in­ter­est in Iron Fist, Colleen Wing; these crit­ics, how­ever, fail to ad­dress the re­al­ity that Alt-asian iden­tity is con­structed in the lo­cal Chi­nese restau­rant. Rather, these are the same peo­ple who have been recorded openly dis­crim­i­nat­ing against Alt-asian icons like Gen­eral Tao, claim­ing the es­teemed war hero is “not re­ally Asian.” Who should be defin­ing the Asian ex­pe­ri­ence in North Amer­ica, though—asians, or white dudes, like Roy Thomas, the cre­ator of the Iron Fist char­ac­ter?

Thomas re­sponded to crit­i­cism by won­der­ing, “Don’t these peo­ple have some­thing bet­ter to do than to worry about the fact that [Iron Fist] isn’t Ori­en­tal, or what­ever word?” (That quote wasn’t even satire, this ar­ti­cle is writ­ing it­self—thanks Roy!) Roy Thomas is right, though, that those nerds don’t have any­thing bet­ter to do than fight for rep­re­sen­ta­tion in me­dia, and that Danny Rand, or the Iron Fist, isn’t “Ori­en­tal;” he is, proudly, Alt-asian.

Cer­tainly, Iron Fist/danny Rand is not Asian-asian: his cre­ator was white (most Asians are cre­ated by Asian par­ents) and he is not eth­ni­cally Asian. In­stead, he dis­plays all the char­ac­ter­is­tics of alt-asian­ness: he does kung fu, he has yel­low fever (prognosis: threat­en­ing), and he takes up more space than any [more buff, more qual­i­fied, goes by the name Lewis Tan] Asian-asian dude ever could.

But the Iron Fist does up­hold one long, ex­tremely im­por­tant, cul­tural her­itage: white peo­ple’s faith­ful­ness to racism. In­deed, many white com­menters have voiced that be­cause the orig­i­nal Iron Fist was Ori­en­tal­ist, the re­make is right­fully ad­her­ing to those roots. These ad­vo­cates are find­ing al­lies in other move­ments as well: one of these groups is the “Make Ve­hic­u­lar Death Great Again” move­ment, which ar­gues that be­cause pas­sen­ger ve­hi­cles did not have air bags at their in­cep­tion, they should be re­moved from mod­ern ve­hi­cles as well. An­other is the “Put Di­a­pers on Again” move­ment, which stip­u­lates that be­cause we can’t con­trol our bow­els in in­fancy, we should all wade through a quag­mire of our own shit in adult­hood. And in­deed, watch­ing Iron Fist is very closely aligned with wad­ing through a quag­mire of one’s own shit. As such, this writer is giv­ing Iron Fist one iron fin­ger up!

Dr. An­dreja Vi­ju­mic

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