Chanatip Tatiyakaroonwong argues that the many freedoms enjoyed by the Western world are a “white lie” (the title of his op-ed) — a “different, yet equally appalling, form of violence” compared to the overt homophobia of his native Thailand.Tatiyakaroonwong laments how he had to perfect “passing as straight” to survive the “homophobic social pressures” of his homeland, yet, in New York City — where he admits he can “shamelessly walk into a gay bar or upload [his] photo to online dating profiles” — he is subject to “racial microaggressions and misogyny” from his gay peers.Johnson staffer Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who coauthored the Howard University address with speechwriter Richard Goodwin, told me in a 1995 interview, “It always seemed to me that you would take care of this race problem in the context of the class problem.” In September 1965, Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 calling for federal contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, , King called for a “Bill of the Rights for the Disadvantaged” as the proper response to centuries of racial discrimination.Because of the effects of racism, blacks would disproportionately benefit from class-based efforts, but, King wrote, “It is a simple matter of justice that America, in dealing creatively with the task of raising the Negro from backwardness, should also be rescuing a large stratum of the forgotten white poor.”King was also deeply concerned that racial-preference policies would divide America’s progressive coalition of working-class whites and blacks.
Now here we are in 2011, living in this multiethnic country and still throwing around terms like “yellow fever” and “asiaphile” whenever we see a white man with an Asian woman.
Therefore, we may unconsciously incorporate dominant political ideologies such as racism and misogyny into our desires while relegating them to the realm of the personal.
For instance, we “prefer” white guys because they are ideologically constructed as more attractive, while Asians and other non-white groups are made undesirable.
Over time, I began to find solidarity with my singularity and difference.
Yet the one joke that still hurts, the sore spot that even my closest friends will press, the one stereotype that I still mistakenly believe at the most inopportune bedroom moments — and I know Joe and Steve do as well — is that women don’t want Asian men.
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