You know, because... pink on the inside, pink on the outside. Also, AWESOME.
Yesterday I had a long conversation about race with a young man who grew up in the affluent North Shore community I did after he referred to himself as "a banana"... he explained this meant he was "Asian on the outside, white on the inside". I've been grappling with this since then... because... what does that mean? Is it meant as an insult?
Surely that type of definition requires "Asian" to be a certain stereotype and "white" to be a certain stereotype. I'm not going to even try to figure out what the Asian stereotype is supposed to be because whatever I think it is I'm sure I'm wrong and would get in trouble for speculating. But "white"? I assume that means "White American" So... there are 250 million white Americans in the US. Do we all act the same way?
I mean, coming from someone of self-reported Eastern Asian descent, does that refer to something like this?:
...because those were all the same stereotypes I heard growing up from my Jewish mother about Gentiles. (although they forgot the stereotype about Gentile people being frequently drunk and getting arrested...)
Maybe "banana" really means "Asian" (whatever that really means, isn't Russia and India in Asia?) on the outside, North Shore Reformed Jewish on the inside? Would that be like a blintz? Or like a Kosher Szechwan fusion cuisine... OH MY G-D I just thought of the best idea for a restaurant ever.... [...does a google search...] ...never mind they already exist.
Or maybe the White stereotype is more like this one:
...and that video... I do find that one pretty offensive. I don't think I've ever heard any fellow white folks seriously say anything that stupid... so I am assuming these are quotes from only incredibly stupid or young or ignorant people.
I did notice the "Where are you from?" thing in both videos. I find that interesting. I ask that of my white friends all the time. As in, "Oh are you guys Irish or Italian or Polish or Swedish etc.?" Maybe folks of "Asian" descent take it as an insult not realizing European-Americans are interested in country of origin in general?
Anyway, the point is, I didn't remember hearing the term "banana" used that way before. I find it confusing and upsetting as it sounds derogatory rather than endearing. On the other hand, I have had a long-standing blind spot about white-"Asian" relations. In med school there was a horrible dangerous awful student who put patients in danger just to get ahead in class but when the school tried to kick her out she threatened to sue the school for being racist and at the time I was completely puzzled by this because, "Who is racist against Chinese people?" And... then I found out that it's a thing. My med school BFF is/was Korean-American and she thought I was a moron for not having realized this before then.. But, you know, I was raised by hippies. You have to be taught these things.
Norwegian word of the day: banane
Use in a sentence: Min kjæledyr rotte Ticktock elsket å spise en banan.
Translation: My pet rat Boo loved to eat a banana.
PS: I like what President Obama had to say in this interview: It's an interview about race and don't get all over me about politics I just like this interview sheesh you people are so touchy...