Educator’s TikTok video about white men who take Asian studies because of their love of anime goes viral

Educator’s TikTok video about white men who take Asian studies because of their love of anime goes viral
Michelle De Pacina
October 13, 2022
An educator has gone viral for her TikTok video about white men who take Asian American Studies classes because of their love of anime.
Bianca Mabute-Louie, a researcher and educator, received over a million views for her TikTok video highlighting her observation as an Asian American studies lecturer.  
“In every Asian American studies class I’ve taught, there’s a white guy enrolled [because] he loves anime,” Mabute-Louie wrote in her video.
In the 11-second video uploaded on Oct. 4, the educator appears to smile sarcastically before dancing next to an anime character.
“So day 1 is on orientalism + fetishization,” she writes in response to her observation.
In the comment section of her viral video, many viewers also took the opportunity to discuss Mabute-Louie’s claim and share their similar experiences.
“[I] had a Japanese history class with a weeb. He asked the prof if we were covering anime in class and the prof said, ‘I think you already know enough,’” one user wrote. 
“I took a Japanese art history class and so many people dropped out when they realized we weren’t gonna be learning about anime,” another user commented. 
In a separate TikTok video uploaded the same day, Mabute-Louie addressed her personal opinion on individuals who choose to take Asian American Studies because of anime. 
“I ultimately believe the classroom to be a site of transformation and possibility,” she says. “So if a student comes in with a genuine posture of wanting to learn and engage, it doesn’t matter to me that anime is what got them there.”
“I’d actually prefer them to be talking about anime in my classroom where we center things like race, gender history, colonization, white supremacy, so that they can understand why pop culture, including anime, is actually deeply connected to so many social structures in our lives,” she adds.
The educator believes that her Asian American studies students “certainly leave with more knowledge and perspectives” to have educated conversations relating to Asian American history.
Many viewers agreed with Mabute-Louie and praised her for enabling growth. 
“Sometimes anime is just the gateway!” one user commented. “Anime introduced me to a lot of new historical and cultural topics.”
Mabute-Louie received her master’s in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She is currently working toward her PhD in sociology at Rice University.
“I create resources, facilitate workshops, and publish public scholarship to support individuals and organizations in their pursuit of racial justice,” Mabute-Louie wrote on her website. “As a daughter of Chinese immigrants, I’m especially dedicated to helping Asian Americans embrace their racial/ethnic identities, understand their place in racial politics, and hold their stake in racial justice movements.”
Featured Image via @beyonkz
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