Sundays are for Dim Sum
July 5th, 2011
09:15 AM ET
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Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more. World-renowned chef, author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain visits Los Angeles' Koreatown in the next episode of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," airing Sunday, April 21, at 9 p.m. ET. Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook. This story ran in 2011, and we're sharing it again as Bourdain explores the role of food in Asian-American identity.

Eddie Huang is the chef of Baohaus in New York City and is working on a memoir which will be published by Random House. Follow him on Twitter @MrEddieHuang

Sundays are for Dim Sum. While the rest of America goes to church, Sunday School, or NFL games, you can find Chinese people eating Cantonese food. As a kid, there were a lot of Chinese traditions I couldn’t get into, but Dim Sum and Johnnie Walker were okay in my book. We’d wake up, put on our hand-me-down Polo shirts, and as Dad did his best Bee Gees on the Karaoke machine, we got ready for Dim Sum.

Chinese food in general was an everyday thing, but Cantonese food was special. My Father’s side of the family being from Hunan and my Mother’s from Shandong, we didn’t make Cantonese food at home. Hong Kong was wealthy due to the ports and trading so their food was refined and contained exotic ingredients like giant oysters, abalone, razor clams, or sea cucumber. Compared to the food of Hunan, which revolved around river fish, pork, offal, and whatever peppers they could get their hands on, Cantonese food had style.

Although we ate Chinese and spoke Chinese on the weekdays, we were Americans for all intents and purposes. We couldn’t help it. Between work, school, and the three major sports, there wasn’t much time for Chinese culture. Despite my parents’ best efforts, we strayed from our core. It wasn’t conscious or intentional, but it was definitely sad.

Every once in a while, my Mom would say something to me in Chinese and I’d have to ask what it meant. I could see her face turn. Sometimes she’d yell at me and other times, she’d just internalize her disappointment. I looked like her, I sounded like her, I had a temper like her, but there was a chasm. I’m an ABC, American Born Chinese. Even after being here over 15 years, they’d talk about moving home to Taiwan.

“It’s not too late, Louis. They can still learn to read and write.”

“Ahh, what’s the difference? They still speak Chinese, eat Chinese, what’s done is done. Nothing wrong with being American.”

“But they are Chinese! They don’t look American. They’ll never be equal here. In Taiwan, their kids can be politicians or CEO! Here, no matter what, they don’t look American!”

The issue becomes: are we Americans with a full deck of cards? The question seems to have a very obvious answer: “Yes, of course! You have all the same rights and freedoms.”

But, any astute and honest American knows my Mom is posing a very real question here. Yes, I can vote and I have the right to bring suit if I feel someone is infringing on my freedoms, but am I an American in the Jerry Maguire sense? Can a Chinese brother obtain “the kwan”? Furthermore, how do we deal with duality? Are we Americans in the way that other people are?

First, my mother’s question about the bamboo ceiling and “kwan” is irrelevant to me individually, but extremely important to Asian America as it was to Italian and Jewish America before us. I mean, what was the Godfather Trilogy about? There may never be a Senator Corleone or Honorable Eddie Huang, but the world has enough politicians. It could use a few more opera singers and pork buns.

Fighting the ceiling is something we face as a community, but not something that bothers me as an individual. I live within it and don’t deny its existence. This experience is something America has seen the Kennedys, Corleones, and now Huangs face: a social salary cap.

Then, the more personal question, can I be Chinese and American? As immigrants in the DMV (that's D.C., Maryland and Virginia) and then Orlando, we literally led two lives: there was the society and culture that awaited us outside the home in classrooms or after school programs, but there was another world too. There was the community at Dim Sum, the Chinese School we went to on Sundays after lunch, and the bi-weekly pot lucks and karaoke parties.

My parents and their friends tried hard. Just through grassroots organization, they rented space at the University of Central Florida and hosted Chinese School every Sunday. We’d have speech practice, writing, reading, and even some cultural lessons. Our parents fought hard so that we could maintain our culture and identity. They never let us forget where we came from and I thank them for that. I’ll always be Chinese first. It probably isn’t politically correct to say or something that the majority understands; I can change my shoes, I can swap my passport, but, I’ll always have this face.

I’m proud to say I’m Chinese, and I’ll always be Chinese in the sense that I prefer soy over dairy and beer makes me fart. This is who I am; I can’t change it nor would I want to. It’s been a strange experience growing up in a place where you’re constantly reminded that you’re different, but I’ve accepted it. No matter what, at least in my lifetime, I will always be the “other” in this country. When I go back to China/Taiwan, I’m different there as well and realize that it’s an immigrant, not American, thing to be this aware of self.

But, with all pain comes progress and I’m thankful for this awareness. Maybe in a few generations when we’re all mixed up like Cuban-Jamaican-Chinese house special fried rice, we won’t be able to tell the difference.

I’ll always be American in my world view and allegiance. American in the naïve way I go to other countries and tell them how they should treat their poor or clean their water. American in the way I prefer goopy, thickly breaded, deep fried General Tso’s over the watery, authentic, Taiwanese version. But most importantly, I’m American in my choice to be around “difference”.

Whether you realize it or not, we choose to be here and it says something about us. We choose to live in a country of immigrants and beside a few out-to-lunch people who still want an official language, we choose to have a country that doesn’t technically belong to one “peoples.” Economically, politically, and in reality, it’s a different story, but at least on paper and in theory, it belongs to all of us.

We just hope that one day we live up to that piece of paper called the Constitution because it’s still just an empty promise for now. I firmly believe we’ve made progress the last 3 years and I hope it continues. I choose to be American, I choose to live in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I choose to have Puerto Rican/Jewish neighbors, and I choose to maintain my Chinese identity.

As much as my parents love Taipei or China, I’d never meet people like Rafael Martinez, Jonathan Marks, Captain Jason Morgan, or Kenzo Digital across the water. Arbitrary lines demarcating cities, states, countries and continents aside, I love America for the people. These are my homies, this is my country, but Sundays? Sundays are for Dim Sum.

Read all Eddie Huang coverage on Eatocracy

Read more:
Los Angeles food trucks are in it for the long haul
Bridging generations and cultures, one blistering bowl of bibimbap at a time
Sundays are for dim sum
8 things to know about L.A.'s Koreatown
The ever-changing flavor of L.A.'s Koreatown



soundoff (140 Responses)
  1. AleeD@Kat Kinsman

    Is this worth moderating?

    July 12, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
    • Jerv@AleeD

      Totally with you on that. Way out of line username and comments.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
    • Truth@KAT, AleeD, Jerv

      You can tell that kids are out of school for the summer...

      July 12, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Reply
    • Jerv@Kat, Truth and AleeD

      Out of school and no jobs, so they are making horses azzes out of themselves on the internets.

      July 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • AleeD@Kat, Truth & Jerv

      School's out and unemployment is up. Got it. BEWT and that crowd posting childish comments out of boredom is easy to ignore. This, as Jerv said, is way out of line.

      Shock value's over. The more you post, the more you make yourself look stupid. Good job!

      July 12, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    • Jerv@AleeD

      Spot on!

      July 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  2. Matt

    We were all having such a great time until you showed up. Totally not cool username and comments.

    July 12, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
    • Truth@Troll

      Go away Troll.

      July 12, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  3. jessicaber

    Some one replied on here that they "hate dim sum food fried in disgusting oil". My uncle created Cape Cod potatoe chips. McDonald's changes their oil through out shifts, so that it is always clean. vegitableoil, canola oil, olive oil, hemp oil, sesame oil, eccetaera are not bad for you. Cape Cod Chips are fresh potaoes fried in canola oil or another equally ok oil and were immediately considered a health food because they are thick maybe take a little more conscieciousness to prepare. There is not reason to hate food fried in oil, it just depends on whether or not you can keep your frier clean and always use clean oil is how I look at it.

    July 10, 2011 at 8:42 am | Reply
  4. Dylan

    Pretty damn talented writer for being unemployed...

    July 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
    • jim

      Thanks. You don't know how flattering that comment is to me. That's like crack for my ego, I know I shouldn't indulge though... I'm just a failed student turned restaurant-and-warehouse worker-bee... WAS a worker-bee, now a workless-bee... only WISH I could get something published...

      July 6, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  5. Dylan

    Jim's right.

    I am deeply offended by the "empty promises" remark regarding the Consitution. Isnt it those "empty promises" that gives you the right to write articles like this and post them to world?!? Did I miss something here??

    I thought this article was going to teach me something new about dim-sum, because I LOVE dim-sum! Instead I got one minute of dim-sum and and four minutes of what I interperated as an asian guy's story of his 'struggles' with being a Asian guy in America.

    Weak article Huang.

    Im team Jim.

    July 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
    • Dylan

      by the way Jim, whats with the 3a.m. 4a.m. posts?! Get some sleep man!

      July 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Reply
      • jim

        haha... I'm unemployed... been catching up on some reading, and then ran across this ridiculous article...

        July 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
    • Eddie

      Deeply offended? Gives me the right? The Constitution doesn't "give" me the right to write articles. We give governments the right to infringe on our freedom through the social contract, not vice versa... #Locke. This is the primary problem with a lot of the people reading this article. We are so far removed from understanding the social contract that you guys are now blindly sucking on the teet of the boob you created through the exchange of ultimate freedom for group protection. Now, for proof of a broken constitution, look no further than Bush v. Gore and the inability to pass laws like the banning of Blue Fin Tuna simply because of lobbyists and private interests. I'm glad we banned shark fin, but you're telling me there is sound legal reasoning for banning shark's fin and not blue fin? #Politrix

      And Jim, hilarious. You contradict yourself. You say, "People aren't born free. It's an active pursuit of freedom that allows people to remain free." That's exactly what this article is. An exercise and pursuit of freedom, it just doesn't coincide with your snow globe vision of a global utopia spawned by the American Revolution. LOL. I'm bringing up a lot of issues in America that immigrants feel may infringe on their lives, but you don't want to hear it because you feel it is "pro-race". We have the right to come here, maintain our identity, and live within American society. You don't want to accept that, you want us to bow our heads and leave our culture at the door and be "American" in your way. That's not the only way and that's what the article is about. Maintaining identity and culture in a society where people like you constantly try to chip away at it because you see foreign culture as threatening.

      You may read a lot of history but clearly you haven't read the ones you should. As Will Hunting said, peep that Howard Zinn...

      July 9, 2011 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • jim

        Eddie,

        I’m glad you responded, not that I somehow warrant a response from you b/c I’m special or something like that; but if there’s anyone I was hoping to hear from, it was you, as you’re the author of this material. It’s why I kept checking back. So, firstly, after re-reading my posts, I would like to apologize for ridiculing your “talent” and “substance.” I concede that that’s beside the point. And you refer to me as “hilarious” and you toss one of your ridiculing “lols” in there, and that quip about ‘not having reading the history I should.’ But my guess is that you’d like to say worse, but you can’t b/c you’re on record, and CNN would probably monitor you... vs... me being anonymous. So if what I write here will make you angry, I’ll use my imagination when reading your insults about me. Fair? But if you’re not the kind of angry person that I am, you’re the better man for it... as far as the anger part goes.

        Okay. However, without the smallest doubt in my mind, I genuinely think you’re as biased and racist as any of the other prejudiced groups out there (maybe not violent like the KKK or anything like that, but definitely ideologically). In fact, I think you’re so biased that you truly won’t be able to see it, even if it’s pointed out to you; and that the only way you might see it is if people constantly tell you that you’re biased... because the bias has been a part of your life for so long. I feel like you may have convinced yourself that the bias (the bias that I see in you) is actually only a cultural perspective/activism/etc. Moreover, I think you’ve indulged in the classic “victim” school of thought. So I hope that you continue to write on the topic, and I hope you will read all the feedback after each article. And I mean this matter-of-factly, without any intent of insulting you- even if it does. And here’s why I say that you’re prejudiced:

        (By the way, have you read all of my previous responses? Just to catch up on background, b/c I feel like you may have just sped through some of it, or read only some of the comments. Would you re-read them all, I know it’s a lot, but I’d like us to be on the same page for this dialogue to move forward- so you know my background info which I’ve stated several times... not to mention some of the other interesting posts which I will refer to later. If you won’t re-read it, or you don’t want a dialogue with me, oh well, no hard feelings).

        1. I think we can both agree that the central thesis of your article is summarized in this quote:

        "...are we Americans with a full deck of cards? The question seems to have a very obvious answer... but, any astute and honest American knows my Mom is posing a very real question here... but am I an American... Can a Chinese brother obtain “the kwan”?... deal with duality? Are we Americans in the way that other people are?"

        So. Let me point out some of the bias in even this central premise. By “seems to have a very obvious answer” you are implying that the obvious answer (which you imply is ‘yes, you are an American’), has less significance or is just flat out wrong. You’re statement is weighted to infer that there is a more important answer. A different answer, maybe/maybe not... but more significant? There’s a real bias there. And again, by “any astute and honest American,” you’ve built into that statement a conclusion, inextricably. You assume that “if you are astute and honest, you will see my dilemma/ if not, you’re not astute and honest.” It’s not an open question you’ve put to your audience. Again, you’ve weighted your statement with bias. And lastly, you say, “Are we Americans in the way that other people are?” The bias here is very subtle, and this is why I feel that you need it pointed out to you, so if you haven’t caught the bias in that statement... here it is... your statement comes prepackaged with at least two ideas of “Americanness.” It doesn’t question what “Americanness” is, or the nature of Americanness, and it doesn’t allow the reader the option of asking is there only one “Americanness.” Rather it EMPHASIZES that there ARE different versions of American, and that there is a premium and an economy tier. “... American in the way...” is a way of STATING that there are already differences in Americanness. Again, it’s not an open question you’re posing; you’re feeding your readership an idea that you’ve already cooked with your bias... which is that as a person of Chinese ethnicity, you’re a victim (solely b/c of your “Chineseness.”). The fundamental conflict here, is that you have already interpreted your experiences in the form of a victim(b/c of your ethnicity)- and then you pose these questions as if your perspective is unbiased.

        **I will write more, b/c I want to get to the bias I see even in your most recent response. But I have to take a break. I’ll post a continuation later.**
        **I hope you read this and keep the dialogue open with me**

        July 10, 2011 at 1:02 am | Reply
      • jim

        2. You spoke of a “ceiling.” You wrote, “Fighting the ceiling is something we face as a community...I live within it and don’t deny its existence.” You don’t deny it, means you accept it as true right? Well, here are some stats from Wikipedia regarding per capita earning as it correlates to race:
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_income_in_the_United_States#Over_time_-_by_Race_.26_Sex)

        Before you knock the statistic for being from Wikipedia, please note that it comes from the U.S. Census Bureau. If you look at the chart and compare the average white American vs Asian male income:

        2004
        White- $31,335
        Asian-$32,419

        2000
        White-$29,797
        Asian-$30,833

        1990
        White-$21,170
        Asian-$19,394

        So according to those stats, the last time Asians were recorded to have made less than Whites by Census Bureau was in 1990. How old were you in 1990, did you even have an income to claim that there was a “ceiling?” Moreover, Asians made more, albeit marginally, in 2000 and 2004. I bet if you do a statistical test the difference in income over those three data sets will be marginal. And EVEN MORE interesting, is the HUGE income gap between women and men... not between Whites and Asians. So where’s your ceiling? Can I refer you even to a previous post by Bruce? He says about your ceiling thesis:

        Bruce posted, “You've told your story, and it is interesting, but to imply that ABCs face and fight the ceiling as a community is an overly broad statement. As I said, you are certainly speaking for some, but not all.”

        Bruce is another person pointing out your unaware bias. Don’t listen to the people who pat your back in passing... they don’t care enough to analyze what you’ve written b/c they don’t know the real issues or your background the way Bruce or I do. And if you extrapolate Bruce’s statement... many people face such a ceiling (ie: women and their income gap as demonstrated above)... but it’s not about a “bamboo ceiling.” What’s even more interesting about that income chart, is that Blacks DO show a statistically significant income gap- by $THOUSANDS. And why is that? Do you still think it’s about race? Here’s the low down... When the Whites came from Europe, they brought with them infrastructure (ie: culture, technology, social order, money). In ADDITION to those things, they never cut ties with Europe. They always had access to foreign markets and trade. Money and infrastructure. So the comparison here is that Asians coming to America in late 20th century and onward, brought that infrastructure with them, too. But when the Chinese came to America practically as slaves to build railroads in the 19th century, they did not have that infrastructure... therefore, they DID have an income gap vs Whites. The Blacks faced the same challenge. As freed slaves, they had no infrastructure, AND they had NO TIES to any other society except for the poor society that they grew into... assimilated into... and that TOTAL cut off of infrastructure resounds till today in poorer, inner city Black communities. Money and infrastructure.

        The Whites, arriving in America when they did, have more than a two hundred year head start on the Blacks in terms of building infrastructure. The Blacks, even after Emancipation Proclamation, did not have an infrastructure (not that they couldn't be a part of the White infrastructure by virtue of race, but to be a farmer you have to have farm equipment, or money to buy a farm in the first place. *I'll mention this again shortly). Blacks didn’t SUDDENLY have money... as hard as the Freedmans’ Bureau tried... not until more recent times has the Black community begun building such an infrastructure. So where is your ceiling? No where. The ceiling isn’t about race, as you suggest by “bamboo”-ceiling. The ceiling is about socio-economic structures being built out of the very history our predecessors lived through. That’s your ceiling, exclusive of race. Looking at the income disparity in the Black community vs the Whites, and suggesting that Blacks are poor b/c they’re Black or b/c Whites are keeping them down... is a correlation, not a causality. It’s the superficial answer. The underlying causality of the “ceiling” isn’t race, Eddie. It’s not. Immigrants will always have to catch up in terms of money and infrastructure, b/c that’s what they’re leaving behind when they emigrate- BUT that doesn’t mean they have to catch up in racial terms... they have to integrate into the existing infrastructure... that simply takes time the way it takes a drop of ink in a bathtub of water to dissolve homogeneously. As for discriminatory racism in the workplace, ie promotions... does it happen? I bet money it does. It happens to women, why not ethnics? But to hold an ENTIRE demographic down by their race... do you realize how many people would have to be racist, then? You’re talking about an ENTIRE social order, united with the singular purpose of keeping a certain minority down... how much money do you think that costs in terms of turning away talent b/c they’re of a certain race? In the end, in a market capital system, MONEY DECIDES THE ULTIMATE OUTCOME. Corporations, companies, money-makers of any business structure, can’t resist people on the basis of race if it’s business they’re after. *now back to Blacks after being freed in 1863... they were still part of a country were there was a population set against them... so arguably there was a "Black" ceiling at that time... but when is the last time the entire American population has set out to arrest a population at an income tier? There's no ceiling, Eddie, at least not based on race.

        ** there's more I will post... need another break...**

        July 10, 2011 at 3:00 am | Reply
      • jim

        To clarify on the infrastructure comment I made... there is no “Black” or “White” or “Asian” infrastructure. There is only one infrastructure defined by commerce and the laws of the land. When I wrote “black” infrastructure, etc, the idea I was trying to convey was that infrastructure is something that you integrate into, not that Blacks had built a separate infrastructure apart from the White infrastructure. So... I should have said that Blacks didn’t have the materials and means to integrate into the American infrastructure after the Emancipation Proclamation... ditto for the Asian immigrants coming over. And in addition to that, for the Asian immigrants, there is now a larger Asian demographic in the USA (not as huge as the Mexican base)... and that those Asians arrive in America with access to Asian communities that have already been established... and of course that gives them opportunity to earn the materials and means to integrate into the American infrastructure. That does not mean that by virtue of their “Asianness” they have a harder time integrating... should they face difficulty in integrated into American, it’s not b/c they’re Asian. It’s b/c they’re immigrants. Materials and means gives someone the ability to integrate into the American infrastructure, regardless of race/sex/etc. There are rich White, Black, and Asian people... and there are poor White, Black, and Asian people... What separates the rich and poor is not race, it’s money, which gives access to infrastructure.

        **more to come**

        July 10, 2011 at 3:19 am | Reply
      • jim

        Eddie,

        More on what I view as your unconscious prejudice... (sorry for the delay, if you've been waiting)

        In your article, you express how you identify with being American. And you also show how you identify with being Chinese. I want to put into context your statements of "American" and "Chinese." I will demonstrate that you're actually promoting a divisive comparison between the two cultures; a contrast, not a convergence of culture and acceptance.

        First off, in your article you go as far as to say that, "I'll always be Chinese first. It probably isn't politically correct..." Well, if you knew that it was an intrusive statement, then why did you write it? There can be only one reason... b/c that's the way that you truly feel, unredacted. "I'll always be Chinese first..." doesn't sound like a search for identity, Eddie, it sounds like a conclusion. You've put your Chineseness on one platform... and by the direct comparison, "FIRST" set Americanness on a separate one... a lesser one, AKA "not first." So can you "be Americans in the way that other people are?" According to you, no, you can't. B/c other Americans aren't Chinese first. In fact, NO ONE can say that except the ethnic Chinese. Do you see the biased polarity? What if, instead, you posed the question along the lines of "can Chineseness be reconciled with Americanness?" It's a question that doesn't point to a divergence. It points to a convergence. When you say things like 'being American in the way "OTHER" people are'... You've just lumped all Americans outside of the ethnic Chinese into one group. More on that?

        Let's take another quote for example:

        "...we literally led two lives: there was the society and culture that awaited us outside the home... but there was another world too. There was the community at Dim Sum, the Chinese School we went to..."

        You say that you "led two lives," that there was a "society and culture that awaited [you] outside the home," and that you also had "another world," the 'Chinese world.' You're expressing the plurality in your own life b/c of your cultural background, and by comparison, it sounds like you're painting the "American" life as singular. America has a culture, too! A multi-dimensional culture, even without any other world cultures! The American west, the south, the New Englanders, even Texans emphasize their uniqueness within the American culture... and the midwest vs either coasts... there are lifestyles, and customs and traditions, fashions, foods, and even dialects that are all indigenous to those regional demographics of Americans. That sounds plural to me. And now add to that the additional diversity that the world cultures bring. Just because Americans don't "come" from somewhere doesn't mean they don't have a cultural heritage. But you don't see that diversity, in the same exact way that you accuse "Americans" of not seeing yours, at least not favorably. If you do see that diversity, you certainly didn't acknowledge it in your article. You grouped the Americans into one collective bucket... "those Americans." There's a lot more going on in everyone's life than "seeing" Chinese people. Everyone's got that stuff going on in their lives, not just the ethnic Chinese (as I said earlier about women in the corporate world, and the blind, and the little people, and the obese people, etc). Your perspective is centered around "I'm not like any of the other Americans b/c I have a cultural history that reaches back thousands of years... and those Americans set me apart b/c of that." What I'm saying is, even white Americans aren't like other white Americans... that's not a Chinese-ethic-immigrant thing. It's not even a race thing. And YOUR article hammers on how race decides your fate for you in this country. It's so UTTERLY, UTTERLY one dimensional... and before you say you didn't say it... "Economically, politically, and in reality, it's a different story." Remember that?

        Of course racism happens, and there are racial stereotypes. I'm not being diminutive about that. Just to show how one dimensional your "struggle for Americanness" is, let's take a look at some crude stereotypes...

        -the near-east/Indian cabbie in New York who decorates his cab a certain way, and always smells a certain way
        -the Mexican guy whose only expertise is landscaping and playing loud mariachi music as he drives by in his 80's smoky Toyota
        -the short eastern Asian guy who also smells a certain way, who wears his pants above his belly button and plays chess and does math for fun
        -the European guy who runs a secret brothel, trafficking under-aged girls in the sex trade, not to mention his name is always "Yuri"
        -the inner city black guy who peddles drugs and whores, and has a list of felonies longer than the east coast

        That's what I feel like you see when you look out into the world of discrimination. What I feel like you're missing is...

        -the fat guy in the cafeteria that everyone stares at as he eats his lunch
        -the woman who expresses emotion, and all the men who tie that to her gender's weakness or her always-hilarious "time of the month" (doesn't that ever get old?)
        -the white guy whose dating an ethnic, who gets comments like "he's got jungle fever" or "yellow fever" or "he's slummin'"
        -the old man driving on the highway, who everyone assumes is senile and shouldn't be allowed to sit far from the bathroom on a plane b/c he has incontinence

        and so on and so forth. In other words... Think of every dimension of discrimination... but for some reason, discriminating against an ethnic minority is unholier than discriminating against a fat guy?... and that SOMEHOW that has something to do with "Americanness?" What's more, all of these prejudices, race or otherwise, occur in EVERY country... doesn't that say something bigger about the human race as a whole? Bigger than race? Your perspective is tiny. You're looking through a sheet of paper that's been pricked with a pin.

        You're not discriminated against b/c you're ethnic Chinese. And it sure as hell isn't about Americanness. Connecting that to Americanness is like saying, "Obama's constituency and Clinton's sure went at it during the 2008 primary. Must've been b/c Obama's black. And only black people support Obama." ??? there are other factors.

        If you're discriminated against (and you haven't substantiated that you have been), then it's because human beings discriminate. That's it. For whatever reason. If you wear a Sox jersey to a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, I promise you... you will taste some flavor of discrimination. If a man with mittens meets a group of men with gloves, the mitten-man will be discriminated against. Nazis vs Jews... Poles vs Russians... Sunni vs Shiite... Islam vs Christianity... Roman Catholic vs Eastern Orthodox... East hip-hop vs West coast hip-hop...

        The thing about discrimination is, it can take the form of anything, even as ridiculous as "are you a Backstreet boy fan or N'sync?" I remember reading something about how their respective fans were starting hate blogs about the other... But what's the motivation behind it, then? I can't remember what movie it's from, but it was about discrimination... and at the dramatic, emotional climax... the protagonist asks the antagonist something like, "Why do you hate us so much?" And the antagonist answered with something so anticlimactic and hollow as, "I don't know! We just do!".. That screenwriter pawned off that scene as some profound revelation, like he had solved racism...

        the but answer should have been something like this... (maybe more cinematically said, though)

        People are social creatures. To survive in nature, they require a specialization of functions, whereby a society is formed. That society is synonymous with a system, and it takes on a momentum. Any threat to that system (even to its momentum) in the form of security or in securing resources (ie: threat by an outside system), creates conflict (between the two systems). The caveat, though?... once that conflict passes, the prevailing system doesn't lose that prejudice for the defeated system. Instead they keep that prejudice in the way that our immune systems keep a memory of antibodies for the different pathogens we've been exposed to (ie: the whole point of inoculation)... b/c the prevailing system expects that their first solution to the threat, will be a solution to the next threat. So the momentum carries them through to the next prejudice, and the next generation... (ie: circa 30C.E. the Jewish and Christian systems butted heads... fast forward to medieval Europe... the Christians remember that they're not supposed to like the Jews... but don't remember why... and that mutates, until it turns into the HIV of regimes, the Nazis (HIV b/c they self destructed)... then the Nazis are told to hate the Jews but they don't know why!!! They gave all sorts of reasons, but that's because they forgot what the original ones were... if they had remembered, then they would have realized that that prejudice was anachronistic.. the Jewish "threat" had passed during those formative years of Christianity, centuries earlier... there was no Jewish "threat.").

        And the thing is, the little people caught up in the prejudice, they never get an overhead understanding of why the system behaves in the manner that it does... they're just too small, in the way that you can't see how big the Pyramids of Giza are if you put your face to the stone. So, one man who sees "this" much stone says to the other who sees "that" much stone, "Hey, what're we looking?" and the other responds, "I don't know, but the last guy told me it was a mountain." What needs to be done is... people need to stop answering with what they "think," and start taking a step back to see the entire system for what it really is... And how do you take that figurative step back? Learn history. Learn culture. Learn math. Learn science. Don't learn religion (history of? yes. Indoctrination of? No.). then you WILL widen your perspective, and progress as a society, instead of swimming in the same ol' same ol'. So Eddie, take a step back...

        July 12, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Reply
      • Dr. Phil@jim

        Wowgetalife.

        July 13, 2011 at 6:56 am | Reply
      • jim

        @Dr. Phil:

        Get a life? You're the one who read my posts... back at you.

        And tell you what... I'll start clubbing and going to keg parties... if you'll start reading non-fiction books. Deal?

        July 14, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Reply
  6. Vito

    I hate dim sum. Food deep-fried in disgusting oil.

    July 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
    • Evil Grin

      What dim sum are you eating? Most of it is steamed.

      July 6, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Reply
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