05 April 2016

Guest Post 3: I am not your voice double

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"If Kissinger can let 周恩来 serve him like a child, why can't we get along with white people IN THEIR COUNTRY?"
Usually when I write for the Tribune, they don’t initiate contact with me during my pitches or the publishing of the article. It’s a good relationship of “thank you” and “ok.” As it should be. [you shouldn’t want to cozy up to these moderate white people anyways.] So it was strange when they emailed me the first time to ask if I could revise it before they published it. Or the second time and then they warned me.

Ah fuck that, we all know that the Tribune is mediocre.

Mr. Poorhomiewei:

I’m no longer going to play this game with you where you can talk for me, your supposed model minority voice double. I’m not the scared person that you can prey on. Mr. Poorhomie, I’d like to first thank you for your timely response to my admittedly uncharacteristic and aggressive threat. I would like to defend myself by saying that I was influenced by you, Mr. Poorhomiewei. I was trying to be defiant and cool and aggressive just like you. Yet, you place me in this double standard you have on us Chinese people. I also resent that I needed to resort to your debased and perverted self-hate wit the word “Chink.” That’s what makes us different. You will use profanity and unnecessary lewdness to express your point and reclaim a past that, we, being born in China, do not necessarily have a stake in.

This is why I use the term “Chinaman.” It accurately reflects us, being men of China. We don’t need to associate with those Chinese-American immigrants who had a harder life than we did when they first came, Mr. Poorhomiewei. I think it sufficient that we acknowledge the hurt of these words and let them be. Why do we need to jut out in a world that’s not ours? Mr. Poorhomiewei, would you like it if a stranger came to your house and started violently asserting his identity? No, I don’t think so. This being said, Mr. Poorhomiewei, do you really need to resort to trying to mutilate English with incorrect grammar, various obscenities, and infrequent racism?

Mr. Poorhomie, learning English is a privilege. We should do our best to respect their tradition and to beautify the language. There are enough people breaking English from the inside that we won’t need to contribute. When all is said, it may very well be us who speak the best English. Mr. Poorhomiewei, I think the best way for us to go about this is just to fit in. Why do you need to be uncomfortable the way you are Mr. Poorhomie? We are and probably will always be a distinct level from them. They’ll always be a step away from us, a step we can’t take. We know that, so why don’t we just try to make the most of what we are?

We don’t need the integrity you keep reminding me of, Mr. Poorhomie. We don’t need to yell at people like you tell us to, Mr. Poorhomie. Mr. Poorhomie, you have an integrity fetish and you are a belligerent blowhard. Yes, Mr. Poorhomie, you do get “a real, visceral response to [your] speaking out.” You harbor hate from everyone including yourself. Why do you need to hate yourself so much and hate others like me so much for just wanting to fit in?

Mr. Poorhomie, I also don’t need you to defend me with the Tribune. I don’t need you to cost me more opportunities. I don’t want you to continue with your misanthropic hate barrage if it hurts me. You can hurt yourself, Mr. Poorhomie, but maybe, people like me, the “lesser chinks” you refer to, just want to fit in. I wrote for the Tribune in a moment of weakness. I guess I just really wanted to say something and be heard, Mr. Poorhomie. I wrote the Chris Rock article in a moment of weakness because I was angry. Mr. Poorhomie, anger is so unnecessary most of the time. Why do we need to be angry? For the article that you liked, Mr. Poorhomie, I think you engulfed my voice. I think you took me in and you twisted my mind.

Mr. Poorhomie, isn’t this the same voice manipulation you accuse others of? Aren’t you just doing the same thing? It seems that for you, there is no “them/us” binary. Mr. Poorhomie, for me, you are the “them/us” that antagonizes. You speak often of a “we,” Mr. Poorhomie. Why do you think that you need to speak for other people? Why, Mr. Poorhomie?

You live in a multicultural society, Mr. Poorhomie. You’re not a multicultural person. Maybe, Mr. Poorhomie, you’re the only chink out there. Why do we need them to accept us as Chinamen if we’re no longer Chinamen. And, I do stand by the Tribune’s comment that it’s a slur and that you can’t expect them to publish it.

Mr. Poorhomie, look, I'm not going to go in circles with you, maybe the Tribune does have it out for me, or maybe not but, maybe what we need to do to move on is:
a) don't be the victim
b) so someone doesn't see things the way you do, so what
c) be happy you don’t have to live in China
d) be happy that they read us, we’re Chinese, what can you expect?

I'm not saying you should change, in fact, Mr. Poorhomie, I don't think you should (because it makes me seem more normal), but not everyone is going to accept the way you write, the way you speak. Mr. Poorhomie, maybe you should think about your audience? How can you show them anything if they don’t understand you? Right now, it seems like you’re trying to create a self-contained whine list.

Yet, through all this, Mr. Poorhomie, I agree with you that we need to change, but not the way you advocate. We may have to follow their system to change it. Why can’t we do it from the inside out? Why do we need to draw attention to ourselves?

But again, Mr. Poorhomie, I see it as a sign of respect for them to read my article, to analyze it, and to give me reasons (no matter how invalid) in accordance to their own rules and philosophy. That, Mr. Poorhomie, I see as integrity. We need to better understand their system and not consistently try to attack it. Mr. Poorhomie,
I understand why the principle angers you, but I’m not too sure why the delivery does. That they chose to respond to us at all, I think was strange. But, instead of hiding, they came out and owned up for it. Mr. Poorhomie, I’m at peace with this and I don’t know why you aren’t.

Mr. Poorhomie, we need to relent our aggression, take off our “Chinese” otherness, and forget that successful people of color are are of one type. We need to believe in the American Dream. We need to defend the honor of our obedient Chinamen. We need to respect that our parents worked in restaurants, Mr. Poorhomie. We need to fit in. We don’t need to undo all the progress we’ve made by needlessly yelling out.

I have changed my name to 党唯予. I know you appreciate that. And often, people will not realize that Dang is our last name, Mr. Poorhomie. But, I’m not going to fight them. I can take it. Because I know, Mr. Poorhomie. Because, the only person who needs to know is me, Mr. Poorhomie. You don’t need to try to speak for other people, Mr. Poorhomie. The only person you need to speak for and be comfortable being is you.

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