My first reaction when I heard about the brawl between the Chinese basketball team and Georgetown in an exhibition match was, “Oh, there the American punk ass athletes go again causing trouble!” But, it turns out that the brawl was instigated by the Chinese team, which was comprised of belligerent military guys according to the Washington Post.
From the perspective of an Asian American, we could learn from these Chinese thugs. The mentality of these players, although belligerent, display a level of Asian pride and power that a lot of us living in white societies lack. These guys refused to take shit from anyone, and they weren’t intimidated by the fact that the Hoyas were American and black and tall and strong. Although their actions may have disgraced their team and country, it sends a message to the world that the Chinese athletes aren’t gonna take shit from nobody, especially on home court! From a racial perspective, it is actually an empowering message. I have never seen a group of Asians fighting a group of blacks or whites without fear like that. Can you think of any other examples like this?
It’s in stark contrast to how Asian Americans men act here. Almost always avoiding trouble or any sort of confrontation. Acting like model minorities and turning the cheek when people tease them with racial put-downs. That’s bullshit, and I think it’s important to fight back. Send a message that you don’t put up with it. I think the Chinese men’s team felt empowered since they were in their own country, and because there was a group of them. That is a big factor. Oftentimes, Asian American guys feel outnumbered over here, and this is one reason they don’t fight back. But, if a few individuals take a stand, the message will spread that it’s not OK to mess with Asians. Period.
Although I’m not saying we need to form gangs and start causing fights, I do feel that Asians in white dominant societies like the US need to support each other. Here in the states, Asian groups are disjointed and often compete. In fact, the Asian communities and gangs are busy fighting with themselves because they are AFRAID to fight with the white and black and Hispanic communities. This sort of shit has to stop. Although you may not identify with the generic wrapper term ‘Asian’ that encompasses Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, and Filipinos, that is how we are perceived by white people. And, there is truth to our similarities in characteristics and geography. We should embrace that, since this is really the only way for us to get the respect and equality we deserve. It is much easier for groups to create change than single individuals. That sort of sense of community and unity is very empowering, and it is something that Asian Americans have not implemented. There are a LOT of Asians here, and we should be aware of it, embrace it, take pride in it, and use it to our advantage. That’s what all other ethnic groups do. If you really feel this support and unity, I’m sure you wouldn’t hesitate to bust some teeth next time someone calls you a chink.