Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mind of Mencia on Asians and America

Like Dave Chappelle, Carlos Mencia has a show which is similar to a one-man comedy show. But I believe this clip is from one of his live performances at a location I do not know. But is this portion of the skit, Mencia talks about how intelligent Asians are. He begins the skit with stating how easy it is to get a degree on-line because you can cheat your whole way through since there is no one there to watch you. Says when it comes time to take a test all you have to do is call up one of your Asian friends to come over. Mencia says Asians love to take tests and they are some of the smartest people in this country. He says that even though people complain about the school system being bad; it isn’t the problem because it is in that same school system that Asians kick our butts in. He says the problem is parents because when American children got to school for the first day we tell them to have fun and do their best. Yet, when Asian children go to school for the first day their parents tell them this is the most important day of their lives and if they get one “B” on their report card they [the parents] are going to kill them [the children]. He goes on to refer to Asian’s driving experience on the roads here in the United States and how he doesn’t understand how they can be so smart but become so entirely stupid once they get behind the wheel of a car. He also makes reference to how good of a work ethic Asians have. Mencia then ends this segment of the skit by explaining how America is a big game of tag. He says that somebody, referring to races, is always it; someone is always at the bottom being screwed over by everybody on the top. The days before the September 11th attacks African Americans, Latinos and Chicanos were at the bottom but since then Arabs and those of Islamic decent are at the bottom.

I chose this skit because it is not that often that a skit about stereotypes is done on Asians and I wanted to bring this across especially after having read both Frank Wu and Takaki and watched A Challenge to Democracy in and for class. It brought to light a very important fact that I never paid much attention to before. That fact is that in America someone is always tagged and they are being screw over by everybody on the top. Before World War II with the Japanese and the invasion of Mexican territories, black people were at the bottom or “it” during the times of slavery. After that it was the Mexicans turn of being “it” when they had to fight for the land and rights as mentioned in Takaki chapter 7. They were picked on by big bullies, America, because they eventually became “Foreigners in Their Native Lands” as mentioned in the title. In lands that once belong to them they no longer had any rights because “political restrictions lessened the ability of Mexicans not only to claim their rights as citizens, but also to protect their rights as landowners.” (179) After the Mexicans were the Asian’s turn to be “it.” It was after the attack on Pear Harbor by the Japanese that caused the United States to feel the need to evacuate the Asian of all descents to a camp according to A Challenge to Democracy only because to reduce a military hazard. In the video, the narrator makes reference that these individuals are not prisoners but they are enclosed in an area surrounded by wire fences and guarded by military police. The people have to work hard to feed themselves and the other families of their ethnicity. These people had to change their current occupations in order to work. Takaki chapter 10, like Mencia mentioned in his skit, states that Asians were smart individuals and went to school obtained their degrees but preferred to become teachers even though their degrees were in other areas. Also, Takaki mentions that Asians especially the Japanese are hard working people and were more willing to work when the had their families with them instead of being across seas. See, here in America, we can not just live life without someone being “tagged it.” Because whatever group of people is currently “it” stays that way until the people on top decide to pick on someone else or in other words become “it.”

I found this skit to be very entertaining and informative. Although I think stereotypes are wrong I still find them amusing. Also, I believe minorities should be the only race able to make fun of the stereotypes places upon us. I know that sounds like one-sided but if you really think about it, we all know what we had to experience to obtain the freedom we have today. We all had to fight and struggle for this freedom and to be claimed as American citizens. Only we can laugh out our own pain to help us make it through the next day. If the “majority” or rather white people, to be blunt, were to joke about the stereotypes they placed on us would belike them classifying us all over again.

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