American Born Chinese
Apparently we were supposed to be offended by the character Chin-Kee according to the Fuse #8 blog: http://fusenumber8.blogspot.com/2007/05/youre-supposed-to-be-offended-that-was.html which linked to this piece “Gene Yang on Stereotypes” http://firstsecondbooks.typepad.com/mainblog/2007/05/gene_yang_on_st.html. Thank you Trisha for doing some background checks on this topic.
Jolene: I know you guys didn’t care for it, but I liked it. Can’t resist the William Hung reference.
Gayle: I didn’t like the whole Chinky thing it bugged me
Trisha: You mean the cousin?
Jolene: I felt it was more like a commentary on being Asian in America.
Trisha: Well, being Asian in parts of America.
Jolene: Yeah Hawaii is a whole other animal.
Gayle: Yeah wth?
Gayle: Buck teeth, queue, yellow. That bugged me.
Trisha: The accent!
Jolene: But that’s how America viewed Asians at one point in time in history.
Gayle: How long ago was that?
Gayle: Did you ever see those Mr. Wong skits online?
Trisha: No. Where?
Jolene: Yeah, I found them hilarious.
Gayle: Chin-Kee sort of reminded me of Mr. Wong.
Jolene: It’s comedy to me like the Dave Chappelle show.
Trisha: Oh, Chin-Kee, Chinky… Totally didn’t see that before. I’m slow.
Gayle: No way. [in reference to Jolene]
Gayle: So anyway I totally hate the whole Chin-Kee thing. Ruined the story for me. I was like get Mr. Wong out of here, you biter.
Gayle: I know Gene Yang saw Mr. Wong skits
Jolene: Well I do see your point.
Trisha: Huh, the second storyline was my least favorite. When Danny was still Chinese. Like, just because you’re Asian you have to be friends/date the other Asian kids? At least we didn’t get a history lesson about China and Japan in World War II.
Jolene: I liked the whole Monkey mythology part.
Trisha: Yeah, I did, too.
Gayle: That part wasn’t bad.
Jolene: I liked the way he blended that into the story.
Gayle: I didn’t like Chinese Danny because he was uncool to the other Asian kids, like distancing himself from them would make him less Asian.
Gayle: So we like the non-original content of the book, the retelling of the folktale
Jolene: Yeah I guess so. Go figgah yeah?
Jolene: What’s wrong with us?
Trisha: We like folktales?
Gayle: We just don’t like the stereotypical Asian American characters. Bottom line is we don’t like the perpetuation of stereotypes.
Jolene: But how else could this characters be described without using stereotypes?