An emerging half-Chinese, half-Ghanaian artist in Singapore has shed light on her own experiences of racial discrimination in the country — including from her own relatives.
Keyana, 17, first appeared in the public eye as a model three years ago. In May, she released her debut song “Save It”.
Minority communities were left outraged and heartbroken on Monday after a video of Minnesota police officers violently detaining and eventually killing African American man George Floyd went viral.
(Warning: The video below includes graphic and disturbing content.)
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this piece are solely of the author.
We are living in an unprecedented time, a time in which I believe will be the defining moment of many of our lives. At this point, many experts believe that coronavirus will ravage the country, with heavy human costs exacerbated by economic ones. However, while most Americans have to be concerned about not getting the virus and how they are going to survive economically, Asian Americans have to wage war on another front: the growing threat of hate crimes and violence. More troubling and confusing is the fact that many of these crimes are committed by people of color. However, the rift between Asians and other minorities is not a new phenomenon. It can be traced back centuries to how colonization, eurocentrism, and white supremacy has played a role in creating and fostering the conflict between marginalized groups.
A heartbreaking viral video posted on Sunday, Feb. 23 has sparked widespread outrage after showing a group of African Americans attacking an elderly Chinese man.
The group can be seen making racially-charged remarks and physically attacking the man with a stick as he was picking up cans for recycling in a San Francisco neighborhood. By the end of the video, the elderly man is in tears.
An African-Chinese teen is making a stand to urge Singaporeans to never use the n-word – unless they are black.
Melanie Kasise, a 16-year-old teen model, urged other Singaporeans to stop using the racial slur. Kasise, who is of African and Chinese descent, further admitted that she hates using the word even though one could argue has a claim to it as a black woman.
Biraciality makes people uncomfortable. In society, we communicate narrow ideas of racial identity, as if identity can fit into distinct, narrow pockets. Biracial public figures like Naomi Osaka prove it cannot. Osaka is a tennis star who represents Japan in competition; she is Japanese and American with dual citizenship; she is ethnically Haitian and Japanese.
Monoracial Asian nations, like Japan, often respond to mixed-race people with hesitation at best and out-and-out bigotry at most. The fact that a Japanese star, featured in Japanese ads and winning sporting awards for Japan, is not only mixed-race but Black, shows an important amount of progress in Asian race relations. So there is something empowering about merely calling Naomi Osaka Japanese, whether it be in headlines or advertisements. And it’s a correct assertion: she is Japanese. Her biraciality does not make her less so.
Certain things shouldn’t have to be explained. When our friends ask us to respect their boundaries, to avoid doing things that play with scars they’ve built over time, we tend to oblige them. But despite members of the Black community in America constantly expressing discomfort and disdain for non-Black people using the controversial word, non-Black people still seem to insist.
Maybe it’s because there are also members of the Black community who seem to take no issue with it. Maybe it’s because these non-Black people don’t seem to know any members of the Black community. Or maybe it’s because people haven’t read works like this Twitter thread:
A foreign family of six visiting a famous lake in eastern China became the tourist attraction themselves as locals swarmed to get their pictures.
The family, composed of a man, two women and three children, was stuck in the awkward encounter as strangers heckled them from all directions in the West Lake area of Hangzhou on Tuesday.
A disturbing video of a Black woman being punched in the face in front of an Oklahoma beauty store has outraged many after going viral.
This is at Juns Beauty Supply in Tulsa, OK. The one of North Peoria. This is the 2nd time an Asian owner of a Black beauty supply shop has physically attacked a Black woman in the past week. A small child walked out w/ a keychain – she took it back. He followed her out of the store harassing her and telling her that she needed to keep a better eye on her kids. It was a simple mistake. Everybody’s kids have done this. She then tried to walk away. He punched her in the face as she walked away mind you – bloodying her mouth and requiring stitches
A Black Youtuber has recorded videos of himself surprising Chinese speakers once they learn he speaks fluent Mandarin.
In one video, which was posted on the YouTube channel laoshu505000 last month, a man enters a Chinese restaurant and places a few orders. It started off as like a pretty regular clip, but as it hits the middle mark, things began to shake up a little when he casually started speaking Mandarin.
It’s a common thing for people of color visiting or working in Asian countries to attract stares from locals. While staring may be considered rude in Western culture, it’s different in Asia. Sometimes people stare out of curiosity, sometimes it’s out of fear, but for the person being stared at, it’s normal for it to feel awkward nonetheless. It still makes you curious about what Asian people are thinking about when they do stare.
A recent video by Mamahuhu, a comedy group based in Shanghai, attempts to answer this question.