Racist Michigan Rhymes

Rhymes collected from Michigan State Normal College students in 1914-1915.

Eenie, meeny, miny, mo;
Catch a nigger by the toe;
When he hollers, make him pay
Fifty dollars every day

Chink, chink, Chinaman,
How much are your geese?
Chink, chink, Chinaman,
Fifty cents apiece.
Chink, chink, Chinaman,
That’s too dear.
Chink, chink, Chinaman,
You get out of here.

Did you ever, ever, ever,
In your life, life, life,
See a nigger, nigger, nigger,
Kiss his wife, wife, wife?

I know something I won’t tell,
Three little niggers in a peanut-shell;
One was black, one was blacker,
One was the color of chawin’ tobacker.

Nigger, nigger, never die;
Teapot nose and china eye;
Kinky hair and crooked toes,
That’s the way the nigger goes.

Red, white and blue;
Your mother is a Jew;
Your father is a Dago;
So are you.

SOURCE: Gardner, E. 1918. Some Counting-out Rhymes in Michigan. The Journal of American Folklore 31(122): 521-536.

Repost: The Metamorphosis of Irwin Tang

Growing up Chinese-American in College Station, Irwin Tang experienced the challenge of being a minority among minorities in a small Texas town. After struggling to define his identity, he began to channel his frustrations and confusion into writing, first in the form of hip-hop lyrics and later as journalism and fiction. Tang has written for Asian Week, The Nation, and National Public Radio. He’s also been a longtime political activist, working with César Chávez and the United Farm Workers and leading student political coalitions. In 2000, he published The Texas Aggie Bonfire: Tradition and Tragedy at Texas A&M in response to the 1999 bonfire collapse that killed 12 students. Five years later he self-published How I Became a Black Man and Other Metamorphoses, a collection of autobiographical short stories that explores racism, Asian-American history, and existentialism. A revised edition was published in February. Currently he is working on Asian Texans: Our Histories and Our Lives, which will be published by University of Texas Press.

Recently the Observer spoke with Tang. The following is an excerpt of that conversation.

Texas Observer: In the title story of your book, you describe your struggles growing up as an Asian-American in College Station, struggling to identify yourself when you weren’t black or white. The story describes your metaphorical “metamorphoses” and how you grew to accept and embrace your identity. How do you define yourself now?

Irwin Tang: I am an American, an Asian-American, a Chinese, a Chinese-American, a modern-traditional mash, a multiculture clash … a misplaced yellow man, a slave to desire and consumption, a microbe of the market, and a rebel against every aspect of colony.

TO: What is the most autobiographical story in this collection of short stories?

IT: It is all autobiographical. Every story is based on some very important aspect of my life and my personality. The story about the law student and the gang banger. That has so much to do with my conflict, my sort of moral dilemma being the friend of someone who I thought was doing wrong things, and also, at the same time, my wanting to be that gang banger, that gangster, that’s “Two, One.” “Burials and Upheavals” is straight family history. The other stories are often told in the sort of poetic or frantic or over the top or circuitous and obtuse voice. “Burials and Upheavals” has a much more relaxed tone with just a slight reverence towards my parents and my ancestors, which is so very Chinese of me.

TO: So what was it like growing up as a Chinese-American in College Station?

IT: I think the worst part of it was the constancy of racism, ostracism, harassment, violence, and the complete, utter alienation of what seemed to be the entire world. I was born there, born in downtown Bryan—which is kind of a ghost town now—and lived there my first 22 years.

One image that really haunted me and haunts the stories in the book—even though a lot of the stories are funny—is the image of the noose that was hung on the tree in my front yard when I was 12 years old.

I also grew up in the small, tight Chinese community in College Station. It was constantly growing during my time there. My father was the second Chinese professor at A&M, and it just grew from there. But there were very few kids; there were mostly graduate students and professors. When I was growing up, the vast majority of kids were black or white. I was the only Chinese kid in my class, so I would deal with the taunts and stuff. One of the things I always noticed—maybe in middle school—was that the black kids weren’t picking on me. So my identification with black culture began in sort of a very negative sense—in the sense that I liked the black kids because they weren’t trying to beat me up; they weren’t ganging up on me. Once in a while, one of them might stand up for me, and so I was very open to black culture. It didn’t seem weird to me that—as my sister had put it—I had become one of the “brothers” in high school. But it seemed weird to other people.

TO: What do you think has been the biggest breakthrough for Asian-Americans in American media?

IT: The biggest breakthrough? That’s really hard to say. The sad part of it is that America has a history of separating Asian-American men and women. The greatest breakthroughs for Asian-Americans in the media have all been for Asian-American women; they’re much more easily accepted by the American public. The greatest breakthroughs would be like The Joy Luck Club, both the book and the movie, where it’s all about Asian-American women, mothers and daughters, with white men and negative portrayals of Asian-American men.

I would tell people to go see movies that really capture our humanity. Go see two recent releases, which might be considered breakthroughs. Go see Americanese. And Lane Nishikawa just made a movie about the Japanese-American 42nd regiment and combat team, Only the Brave. Those two movies are very different from anything that has been made for the mainstream. Better Luck Tomorrow also, I guess. Those are all extremely recent movies. But of course there’s more in literature, but it’s predominantly Asian-American women. American publishers feel a lot more comfortable with [Asian-American women writers] because they know that Amy Tan was a great commodity. You know, even though Chang-Rae Lee, who’s a man, might be a great writer or Ha Jin might be a great writer, they’re not as sure of a thing as Amy Tan.

TO: Why did you establish your publishing company, the It Works?

IT: I established it first in the year 2000 when I published a book about the Texas A&M bonfire. I didn’t want to write a book about the bonfire. I wanted to publish other people’s essays about the bonfire, but I realized after researching and starting to write that I had a book on my hands, and it’s probably the most honest book ever written about Texas A&M because it incorporates both the reverence for the Aggie Spirit and the actual history of Texas A&M and some of the more disturbing aspects of the culture at A&M.

The reason why it’s called the “it works” is because “it” is the most generic thing that there is, and the most American thing that there is, is “it,” a pronoun possibly meaning anything. And “it” is also my initials (laughs).

TO: You’re also doing a book, Asian Texans: Our Histories and Our Lives.

IT: It’s a history of Asian-Americans in Texas, and it’s being published by the University of Texas Press. It will be out between 2007 and 2008. I’m the principal author and editor; there are other writers who contributed chapters to the book. It’s a straight-up history, but it stresses the voices and lives of certain individual Asian-Americans, or Asian Texans rather, and it’s just a fascinating, fascinating history because our history is so closely intertwined with the African-Americans and especially the Mexicans and Mexican-Americans of Texas and war and all sorts of wild events. The Chinese were willing to do all sorts of stuff to survive in this nation. Just in those first few decades, I don’t know how many thousands or tens of thousands died violently—either killed or as a result of their working conditions. The Japanese were sending the boys off to fight World War II for the United States, even as they themselves were being interned in prison camps. There’s so many moving stories because so many people had to go through so much. Even my parents, when they first moved to College Station back in 1967, there were people writing letters to the editor because of the growing Chinese population, [telling us] that we should all take our sperm back to China, so I imagine that this was the attitude that so many Asians encountered when they came to Texas, the first ones especially. Unusually, one of the first places around which the Chinese settled in Texas, was just north of College Station, in Robertson County. It’s where the very first large groups of Chinese settled because they worked on the railroads, and they ended up settling within the black community in Robertson County, back in the 1870s.

TO: How long have you been working on this book?

IT: Since 2002.

TO: What’s the most compelling information you’ve discovered about the history of Asians in Texans?

IT: In light of the current immigration debate, one of the most compelling aspects of Asian-Texan history has to do with the immigration of Asians into and through Texas after the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Because of anti-Asian immigration legislation, Asians were the first (and for many decades the only) illegal immigrants of the United States. The Border Patrol was formed to stop Asian immigrants, and the Department of Labor deported Asians caught without residence papers. As a result of this, the El Paso Chinatown became one of the most important Chinatowns in the nation, as illegal Asian immigrants crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico into the United States and attempted to hide at first in the El Paso Chinatown.

From El Paso, the immigrants would often hop on a box car to other places in the nation. El Paso was most likely the most important stop on what was known by immigration officials as the Asian “underground railroad.” Many of these early Asian immigrants—almost all were men—married Mexican and Mexican-American women. Similarly, many of the very first Chinese railroad workers in Texas married African-American women. And so these very early biracial communities were formed. A biracial young woman named Herlinda Wong Chew helped about 200 Chinese-Mexicans escape from Pancho Villa and into El Paso during the Mexican Revolution. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chinese were treated terribly in Mexico. When the Mexican Revolution began, the Chinese were natural scapegoats. Hundreds of Chinese—and even their Mexican wives—were killed by the revolutionaries.

Some of them helped U.S. General John J. Pershing hunt in vain for Pancho Villa, and they tried to return to the United States with Pershing. But they were at first blocked at the border because of the Chinese Exclusion Act. With the help of General Pershing, these Chinese, who became known as the Pershing Chinese, were allowed into the United States. They worked for years for the U.S. Army until Congress passed what was essentially the first political asylum law in U.S. history. The Pershing Chinese settled in San Antonio, El Paso, and Houston, found Chinese, Mexican, and white wives, and established grocery stores and restaurants.

TO: What has influenced you to focus on Asian-American issues in your writing? What are your goals as a fiction writer and as a journalist?

IT: As a writer of nonfiction, I like to seek out what has not been written; I like to write what hasn’t been written. And there’s such a huge sort of void when it comes to Asian-Americans. There is so much that has not been written about our history, about our lives, about our points of view, our humanity. It’s like a big pile of gold sitting there. It’s also extremely compelling to me because the stories of immigrants and their children are always exciting. Sometimes you can’t not write about something—like when Shaquille O’Neal was taunting Yao Ming with those racial taunts and no one was saying anything, no one was writing anything about it.

I tried to get the Los Angeles Times, AP, Sports Illustrated, all these people to write about this, and no one would—they didn’t think it was a story. So, I had to write it, and luckily it became a compelling story within the sports culture, and as a result, the sports culture in America has changed in its attitude toward Asian-Americans. You know, since then when Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said that the Cowboys had “Jap” plays, meaning “sneaky” plays, he was immediately censured by the mass media, whereas before the Shaq incident, that sort of thing would have just been accepted.

Former Observer intern Sofia Resnick is a freelance writer based in Austin. To learn more about Irwin Tang, visit http://www.irwinbooks.com.

[ https://www.texasobserver.org/2251-the-metamorphosis-of-irwin-tang/ ]

Hollywood Roundup XXI

quantico-s02e01 quantico-s02e01-1Quantico S01E01: Afropean US president and European wife, European and Afropean male kissing, multiple muscled European male upper chest nudity, one East Asian male (not muscled), one muscled Afropean male, one muscled Euro-Latino male, Euro-Latino male lusts after Afropean female.

Criminal Minds S01E05: Afropean female flirts with Afropean male while two European females giggle in lust.

Superstore S02E01: Afropean male in wheelchair plans to sex an European female six times but only six times so as to teach her a lesson in transgender acceptance (oversexed Afro stereotype).

MacGyver S01E01 (2016): Heterosexualized Nordic male (sexes Nordic female, upper chest nudity, flirts with girlfriend), 3 shouting Arab males with guns … shot dead, Eurasian female with European surname, East Asian male baddie, token Afropean male sidekick to Nordic male, Euro male dated Euro female, Chinese ex-military baddie plans to detonate biological weapon to kill millions in San Francisco, Chinese baddie is blown to bits, Afropean sidekick lusts after European female (i.e Afropean male is heterosexualized but subordinate to Nordic male aka Nordic = alpha male, Afropean = beta male).

high-maintenence-s01e01High Maintenance S01E01: Effeminate African male, muscular Afropean male with Latina girlfriend who breaks up with him.

Designated Survivor S01E02: Eurasian female with European male partner, Arabs and ‘Asian’ Indians profiled in the aftermath of a terrorist bombing.

Hollywood Roundup XX

Suite Life of Zach and Cody (2005-2007) – Paris Tilton’s (Brenda Song) boyfriend is Hebrewpean lifeguard Lance Fishman (played by Hebrewpean Aaron Musicant).

Bonanza S01E09: Little Joe lusts after Native girl princess Sarah, elderly Ben Carwright beats up a younger Englishman in a fist fight (transl: Europeans become superior when Americanized), S02E34: drunken, elderly, Euro-American male Mr. Hill (Sam Hill’s father) while trying to impress a prostitute, insinuates that on his travels to ‘the Orient’ he met a Polynesian/Melanesian princess who vigorously sexed him.

Without a Trace S01E13: Afropean male Chet Collins was married to an Asian female and his son was kidnapped. There is an Afropean-East Asian child adoption issue where European males kidnap Afropean-East Asian children to sell them for adoption to Afropean-East couples. Two Afropean male-East Asian female couples are shown even though such pairing are extremely rare.

Star Trek (2009): Indian male Captain Robau (Faran Tahir) is killed by aliens (dead token – no character development), newly appointed captain George Kirk sacrifices himself to save his spaceship even though seconds before his wife gave birth (the brave, logical, self-sacrificing European saviour), James Kirk (played by a Hebrewpean) as a pre-adolescent child drives a car off a cliff just for an adrenaline rush (the free, rebellious, independent-minded, not afraid of danger or consequences European male), even the half (European) human/Vulcan male Spock is independent and not afraid of consequences when he spurns acceptance to the Vulcan Science Academy, Kirk wants to sex an Afropean female and picks a fight with three European males and one East Asian male over said Afropean (sexually suave, proud, self assured, violent European masculinity), Kirk is said to be very intelligent, Kirk sexes green female alien with scenes of upper chest nudity (sexually potent and confident European male), Afropean female catches Kirk in an affair yet is only playfully disgusted with him (non-European females and even alien ones, desperately desire European penis), token chinks and niggers scattered throughout movie to give the illusion that the future will be equitable to everyone inclusive of aliens, even when sick, Kirk tries to pick up females, Afro-Latina Uhura kisses and comforts Spock, Kirk violently challenges Captain Spock’s authority (independent European male motif), European and European/Vulcan males save Earth from destruction. Hebrew affirmative action: Chris Pine, Leonard Nimoy, Anton Yelchin, Winona Ryder, Jacob Kogan, J. Abrams (dir), Alex Kurtzman (prod), Damon Lindelof (prod).

Bull S01E01: Alyssa Yang sexes homosexual European male (Brandon Peters), she ends up dead on a beach. Brandon’s girlfriend is Hebrewpean but he’s in a relationship with her Hebrewpean father. Jason Bull (name implies sexual proficiency and unbridled strength) is a cocky, intelligent European male PhD psychologist previously married to a Latina, homosexual Afropean male stylist, Alyssa was a straight A student (model minority) and drug dealer (beware those sneaky chinks). Steven Spielberg (executive producer), S01E02: Dr. Bull has 3 psychology PhDs, East Asian female Mary was married to European Ken Fowler who was having an affair with a Nordic female (notice that East Asian female trend).

Hollywood Roundup XIX

Guilt S01E06: Irish male sexes Irish female in last episode, European male upper chest nudity [x2], Irish male and female sex, European female seduces an European male, English prince sexes Irish female, S01E08: Afropean male with European female girlfriend, Eurasian male (actor has an European father and Chinese mother), S01E09: Token East Asian male, East Asian female, Indian female, Afropean female and Afropean male jurors, S01E10: European male recalls that he sexed an European female, English male sexes Irish female, ‘Indian’ female finds out her father is European, Afropean female was sexually involved with Irish female.

Dark Matter S02E07: Effeminate European male was scheduled to go on a date with an East Asian female, S02E08: In an alternate reality, Eurasian female and Nordic female are romantically involved with the same European male, S02E09: East Asian prince finally heterosexualized with Afropean female to offset the whoring of an Eurasian female

Mr. Robot S02E02: European male heterosexualization (upper chest nudity, nude buttocks, sexing European female), Afropean male and European female have sex, S02E04: cross-dressing Chinese minister, European male and female have sex, European female snuggles up to European boyfriend, Latino male dies, S02E06: three Chinese baddies, S02E07: European male and female have kinky sex with European male upper chest nudity, S02E08: European female on a date with Afropean male, European male upper chest nudity, S02E10: European male refers to the Chinese as “chinks” after the Congo is supposedly being being sold to China (the so-called Chinese economic imperialism of African resources).

Superstore S01E01: Cocky, fun-loving, considerate, heterosexualized Hebrewpean male who wants to date a Latina and has an European female lusting after him, sassy Afropean male, hyper-effeminate homosexual Filipino male, Eurasian female (Japanese mother) is pregnant for an unattractive European hick male, S01E02: Continuing heterosexualization of Hebrewpean male (makes out with blond European female, goes to her apartment for sex), Hawaiian female Sandra (Kaliko Kauahi) sexes retarded, balding European male, S01E03: Afropean male says he’s dating a female, S01E04: Latina claims to be married but flirts with Hebrewpean male, S01E07: Latina is married to an European male, S01E08: South Asian male going to marry European male.

Criminal Minds S04E05: Afropean heterosexualization (flirts with Afropean female, said to have had multiple sex partners), S04E06: East Asian male pathologist, S04E09: four females offer their phone number to Afropean male, S04E13: female African medical doctor, Roma/Sinti families that kill parents and abduct girls for marriage.

Hollywood Roundup XVIII

KatanaSuperman/Batman: Public Enemies (2009): Katana (no speaking lines thus no character development thus no credits) is easily beaten by a kick from Batman (stereotype 1: Europeans are better at martial arts than East Asians). Hiro or the Toyman [Calvin Tran] is a Japanese (lives in Japan) genius (stereotype 2: East Asians are super intelligent) childish behaving boy (stereotype 3: East Asians as infantile, not fully developed like Europeans) who is into toys! (stereotype 4: East Asian males don’t like sports, they like programming and robots since these are impersonal) who worshiped Superman (stereotype 5: East Asian males want to idealize European masculinity) and is a pervert who used x-ray glasses to sneak a peek at Power Girl’s breasts [Allison Mack] (stereotype 6: East Asian males, even at 13, are sexual perverts). CTRanHe is trying hard to be Americanized (stereotype 7) and his “Que Pasa?” becomes “Que Pasta?”. When Batman and Superman are flying over Japan (Mt. Fuji in the background), we see a delivery man with the rising sun on the back of his shirt (stereotype 8: East Asians are ethnocentric). Batman saves the Earth (not America alone!) from a kryponite meteor (the Euro saviour motif). Token sidekick superhero Black Lightning [LeVar Burton]. Multiple upper chest nudity for Euro males (usual normative sexualizing of Europeans).

Guilt S01E01: European male and female have sex, token Afropean female, Afro and Euro detective team, female Afropean prosecutor, same Euros sex again, European female sexes her European lecturer, English prince sexes an European female, Afropean female sexes European female, European male heterosexualization (upper chest nudity, implied sex) for multiple males, S01E02: Afropean prosecutor sexes European male detective but not his African male partner, detective recalls the multiple sexual partners of a married European lecturer, implied sex between European male and female, European female in a sex club going to have sex with an unseen male, sexy, violent Irish male, S01E03: European male upper chest nudity [x2], English prince with Afropean servant, impregnates Irish female, Afropean female and European female sex, S01E04: European male upper chest nudity, European detective sexes European female, S01E05: European male upper chest nudity [x3].

The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016): European male impregnates European female, token African boys in an European fairytale where the European actors have Scottish accents, European male and female lovers, one of the token African boys grows up to be the chief adult bagger vance to an European female witch, female European dwarf sexually desires European human male, sexual tension between male and female European dwarves.

yogiAgatha Raisin (UK) S01E01: Homosexual naked Indian guru (Diljohn Singh), boyfriend to an European male, speaks French, European female says he is “hung like a hoover” (hyper-exotification with simultaneous feminization and masculinization), eurasianEurasian (Matt McCooey) plays a Chinese detective, European female hot on European male, idiotic, overweight, uncouth, African male detective, European male and female have sex, European female and another European female have sex, S01E02: African bishop with European wife, European female hot on Eurasian male.

New Blood (UK) S01E01: Hebrewpean director/creator. Opening sequence focuses on Anglo-Europeans and an Anglo-Afropean female in India, Indian male doctor gets killed, Iranian male police officer (played by an Italian?) aspires to be a detective, edgy, non-conformist rock music plays when focusing on a heterosexual blond Polish male bicycling to work, Afro male head detective, Polish male likes Iranian’s sister, S01E05: Chinese company underpaying employees and importing cheap product, S01E06: Actress Indira Varma plays yet another wife to a non-Indian male while sexing an African male.

Hollywood Roundup XVII

vlcsnap-2016-07-16-19h21m38s389The Five (UK) S01E06: European male and female co-workers have sex, Afropean male detective had an European mother, East Asian male homosexual (Christopher Goh) in a relationship with a probable Welshman (named Glyn) and looks homoerotically at the vlcsnap-2016-07-16-19h18m56s668Afropean male detective, insinuated that he is effeminate (wants children unlike his partner), S01E10: European male chatting up responsive Eurasian female (Helen Russell-Clark, mother from Hong Kong) hoping for sex

Code Black S01E03: Indian female doctor has an European girlfriend, S01E04: Afropean male doctor, Anglo-Indian male doctor has an European father, Indian female doctor had a previous European female girlfriend, S01E06: Afropean male homosexual and Latino homosexual, S01E08: East Asian male dermatologist who can’t recall how to use a defibrillator, S01E09: insinuated sexual tension between European male and female, S01E14: Indo-European male and European female have sex, European female patient flirts with European male doctor, S01E15: Afropean male doctor (chief of surgery) sexing European female doctor, Latina doctor dies, S01E16: Indo-European male doctor was in previous relationship with an Afropean female doctor, asked her to marry him. Series is another affirmative action serial for Afropeans, just like Grey’s Anatomy

Animal Kingdom S01E05: European male heterosexualization (upper chest nudity [multiple times], sexing Mexican Latina, kisses teacher, violence), European male married to Afropean female detective and has Afropean son, European homosexual males have rough sex, S01E06: European male heterosexualization (upper chest nudity [x3], sexing European female, two other males with European girlfriends)

vlcsnap-2014-05-12-23h35m08s72Ben 10: Yet another European saviour of the universe, older European male romantic with green alien female, S04E03: short, accented, elderly, male East Asian herbalist/potion Ben 10 S03E06master retro-dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, S03E05: European Ben is instantly infatuated with Navajo female Kai who lives on a reservation, S03E06: Sumo warrior Ishiyama has slits for eyes.

vlcsnap-2014-05-17-20h52m15s161Superman E10 (1942): “Japoteurs”, The Japanese are portrayed as a threat to European womanhood, physically deformed, nationalistic and violent. The US creates a giant bomber which is hijacked by the Japanese and is being carried to Tokyo, vlcsnap-2014-05-17-20h54m21s136Lois Lane calls them “Japs”, Clarke Kent calls one a “little man”. The Japanese are slit eyed and with large rat-like teeth. They tie up Lois Lane and try to drop her from the plane, when the Japanese realize that Superman is near, they sabotage the plane and try to crash it into a city.

vlcsnap-2014-05-17-20h30m44s36vlcsnap-2014-05-17-20h33m54s162Superman E12 (1942): “Eleventh Hour”, In Yokohama, Superman destroys multiple Japanese ships, multiple Japanese males with teeth deformity, Japanese capture Lois Lane and state that they will execute her if Superman continues his sabotage.

vlcsnap-2014-05-17-20h47m16s245vlcsnap-2014-05-17-20h46m53s18Superman E15 (1943): “Jungle Drums”, The Germans use African native savages (with elongated simian-like faces, thick lips, spears and shields) shown dancing to capture Lois Lane and burn her at a stake. Nothing stereotypical about German physical features.