Editor’s Note: Ranier Maningding is a copywriter and mastermind behind the social justice page “The Love Life of an Asian Guy”. The opinions expressed in this piece are solely his own.
When you think of freak shows, you think of people with uncommon physical characteristics.
A strongman who can pull a monster truck down the street with his teeth, a women towering at eight feet, or a boy so flexible he can contort himself into a suitcase. But what about people with freakish personalities? What about men and women so vile and hateful their existence can only be described as a freak show attraction?
That’s exactly how I felt when I met Hank Yoo. “This boy belongs in the fucking circus.”
With his durian-shaped head and translucent skin, Hank looks like your average LARP enthusiast. But underneath his squishy exterior hides a rotten personality engorged with explicit anti-semitism, Islamaphobia, and sexism, all wrapped in Eugenics-era racism.
To call Hank Yoo a racist would be an understatement. Hank believes in scientific racism, a branch of pseudoscience that uses incomplete scientific evidence to support racist ideologies. Throughout history, scientific racists have been responsible for spreading toxic stereotypes such as “Blacks have small brains but big muscles” and “Asians have big brains but small penises.”
Why would Hank, an Asian-American, believe in the same stereotypes that have been used to dehumanize him? Why is he supporting White supremacy, a system of beliefs that has never, and will never, give a damn about Asians?
Simple: Hank Yoo is insecure as fuck. Hank created this exaggerated Asian cowboy personality to help assimilate into the predominantly White neighborhoods of Tyler, Texas, and to conceal his insecurity about being ethnically Asian and a victim of sexual abuse.
No One Likes Hank. Especially White People
As an Asian person, I could never live in a small town like Tyler. With a population that’s 50% White (80% in the 1990s when Hank was born) it’s easy to see how any person of color could be pressured to assimilate and lose every trace of their ethnic identity.
Even though this yellow monkey dances to entertain his White peers, the people who denigrate and harass him on social media are almost always White. Hank’s friends and fans are quick to call him a gook, chink, or a little dick Asian.
And Hank takes it. In fact, I think he likes it.
Scroll through the public posts of Hank Yoo’s Facebook profile and it’s clear that he’s desperate to compensate for his Asianness by pandering to White supremacists. He constantly praises White people as the “master race,” hanging onto his 8% German ancestry (lol) as if that microscopic Whiteness is enough to overlook his obviously Asian face.
Hank is every White supremacist’s wet dream: an Asian boy toy who will uplift White supremacy and downplay people of color. And for what? A seat at the table of Whiteness? The same table of White people who called him a “chink eyed lil fuckboy”? To add to the cringe bonanza, Hank wears a straw fedor– cowboy hat to distract you from the fact that he’s the son of Korean immigrants.
I’ve been trying to figure out where all this racism came from. Who hurt him? I wouldn’t be surprised if he was born a piece of shit, but something had to be the catalyst for his 24/7 teen angst and fragile machismo. The only question is, what is responsible for all this?
Or rather… who?
Understanding Hank’s Obsession with Single Mothers
In addition to his Islamaphobia, racism, and anti-semitism, Hank Yoo has a bizarre fixation with shaming single mothers. Sandwiched between his daily dose of racism are paragraphs and one-liners about single moms who he labels “whores” and “degenerates.” But a quick scan through his shitposts and you’ll see exactly where this sexist mentality came from: his own mother.
“I was raised in a single parent household. They were never married. I was constantly abused by my dad and neglected by my mom. My [mom] is a coward and a slut. My dad is a fucking psychopath.”
Hank is the president of his own fucked up world. A world where all single mothers are abusers responsible for the men who abandon them. In his world, Hank isn’t a sexist, he’s an activist for children and nuclear families. Hank is a patriot who would never do anything to compromise the integrity of the law.
On December 2, 2016, Heon Jon Yoo and three Texas men were indicted for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities on the scene found “a tactical vest, three magazines, a handgun, two rifles, a machete, and a shotgun.”
That One Time in Band Camp
I’ve spent hours sifting through Heon Jon Yoo’s posts and I’ve had to take 15 minute breaks to wash the taste of tap dancing from my mouth. But the most revealing information throughout my research came from Heon Jon Yoo’s own mouth (literally.)
As part of a fraternity initiation, Heon Jon Yoo allegedly gave two White males oral sex.
I relish the moments when Heon gets berated by his White peers, but I would never — even in the case of someone as racist and toxic as Heon — wish for sexual assault or rape upon someone else. What happened to Heon, even if he gave full consent, sounds like blatant sexual coercion. As much as we want to demonize every inch of Heon’s life, we can’t escape the reality that in college, Heon Jon Yoo’s initiation experience may have shaped his dangerous, racist ideologies.
Heon was emotionally abused by his mother, physically abused by his father, culturally dehumanized by his friends, and sexually abused by his “friends.”
I will never understand the pain of prolonged abuse and the toll it takes on one’s mental and emotional health. But one thing is for sure — no amount of abuse could ever justify Heon Jon Yoo’s history of violence, racism, anti-semitism, and Islamaphobia.
Hank is a piece of shit because Hank is a piece of shit. He is responsible for his own hell. He resorted to racism and abuse as coping mechanisms. Heon did this on his own. He bottled it up and unloaded his aggression and pain onto Muslims and black communities.
Maybe his constant uplifting of the White and aryan race is a strategy he uses to justify the horrific acts of college. In Heon Jon Yoo’s mind, perhaps he didn’t experience sexualized hazing but instead, recognized the supposed greatness of Whiteness.
You can also see this White-worshiping behavior when he talks about his dating preferences. Heon, like Ling Anderson, ranks White people above all else, and he’s eager to showcase all of the White women he has been intimate with.
It’s embarrassingly obvious what he’s trying to do. Heon wants Asians to believe that his sexual history with White women has transcended him above the average Asian, and he wants White men and women to take his Asian masculinity seriously because “see? I can get White women so I must be a real man!”
“Heon” Is The Loneliest Number That You’ll Ever See
Abandoned by his parents and abused by his peers, Hank Yoo is at peace with his worthlessness. He’s comfortable wishing death upon Black and Brown people because deep down, he has nothing to live for, so why should anyone else?
Disqualified from the Army for his political views (the Army doesn’t want pro-Nazi soldiers) and fired from his previous job, the only thing left in Heon Jon Yoo’s life is the freakshow personality he created. A sideshow attraction for White trash racists and White supremacists. All Heon can do now is put on his cowboy hat, and dance for racist White people in hopes that he’ll get something in return to soothe his self-inflicted wounds.
Dance, monkey, dance.