The Yoga Debate:
An Existentially Challenged Desi Chimes In
By Kirti Kamboj, January 16, 2012
On mainstream media stories questioning the authenticity of yoga: The position that experts seem determined to hold is that I, along with hundreds of millions of desis worldwide (even those among us who regularly twist ourselves into the sweaty asanas of real yoga!), don’t exist. Perhaps we are too regrettably ethnic, too poor and male and old; perhaps it's that the majority of us can’t distinguish Lululemon gear from wheatgrass facials and Jazzercise videos, much less afford these things.
Does Childish Gambino Have an Asian Problem?
By Victoria Yue, December 29, 2011
In “Kids Keep Up,” [rapper Childish Gambino, above] preemptively defends himself against having an Asian fetish by saying:
You made a mistake/These dudes, man, you bathing in apes/ Finding you is like finding Asians I hate/But they say I got a fetish, nah, I’m skipping all of it/Black or white girls come with a set of politics/That’s all I was saying
Oh, I see. Totally okay! Asian girls are politically neutral, and therefore that makes him exempt from accusations of racism or fetishism! Why didn’t I think of that? I must have missed the memo somewhere about Asian women having less agency than women of other races.
Hyphen TV: Never Went to Kindergarten
By Dianne Choie, November 28, 2011
On the TV show Top Chef Texas: Before we got to the results, there was an odd little moment before the judging when the exhausted chefs got to attend a rodeo. At one point during the show, Beverly got teary, wishing that her husband could share the rodeo experience with her. Uh, Bev? I was with you on the quinceañera tears last week, but this is just sort of weird. Nyesha clearly agreed with me, awkwardly trying to comfort Beverly and then interviewing, “There's no crying in cooking.” I wouldn't go quite that far, but I would suggest that there's probably no crying in ... rodeo viewership?
Jean Quan and the Death of Asian America
By Chris Fan, November 21, 2011
[Oakland Mayor Jean Quan] is the best evidence of what I want to call, polemically, “the Death of Asian America.” The idea of the “Asian American” was born in the Sixties with Quan and her Third Worldist comrades. If it still had any life in it, it died this fall, along with her political career. To use a clunky sociological term, Quan has become a symbol of Asian America's broader “embourgeoisement” over the past 40 years. Rather than despair, I believe that, at this moment, we should gauge our optimism against the endurance of the Occupy movement itself. We need to risk it.
Race-ing Occupy Wall Street
By Tammy Kim, November 8, 2011
While I believe the space must be diverse to succeed, I also appreciate the white occupiers who, in a brave exercise of genetic prerogative, put themselves at the front lines of interactions with police and the wintry elements. To be sure, Zuccotti Park would have been wiped out a long time ago if the encampment were all brown and black radicals. More people of color need to lay claim to Occupy Wall Street, as do the immigrant rights and anti-war movements — and here we East Coasters can learn from Occupy Oakland — but it's important to remember the real, disproportionate threat posed by law enforcement to racial minorities and non-US citizens.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!