Larry Lee: A New Racist Trope

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A recent local instance of anti-Asian stereotyping has left Larry Lee fuming at never-ending racism.

I was hoping that anti-Asian American racism and hate would gradually diminish with the vaccines and the number of cases of COVID decreasing. Sadly it still seems that AAPI racism continues.

Most recently, a white male YouTuber went after a local female newscaster saying she had an “aggressively Asian face”. What does this even mean? It’s not even grammatically correct. He made himself perfectly clear when he added how most Asian newscasters were more “Americanized.” This is wrong on so many levels.

This is an old racist trope, as well as a misogynistic judgment of a woman based solely on her appearance. Sending the oft-given message to people of color, that one needs to act and look more white and less ethnic to be acceptable.

Sadly, many Asian Americans have had cosmetic surgeries to Europeanize their features to be more acceptable. The reality is that Asian Americans, in spite of being citizens for multiple generations, are still perceived as perpetual foreigners, no matter how impeccable your English may be or how you look.

Then his cohort adds his two bits, “I wish she woulda kept her fan.” You can’t make this stuff up. Who made this Youtuber the arbiter of how an Asian American female newscaster should look like? It’s insulting and unfair to reduce the efforts of this reporter who has had to struggle through the ranks to attain her position in a highly competitive profession. I feel sad for our daughters who may have to ask themselves what an “aggressively Asian face” is and struggle with whether they are perceived this way.

Part of me doesn’t even want to dignify small-minded comments like this. Once again, this is an example of the false choice people of color face when targeted by a racist comment, to confront it or try to let it go and walk away. At this point in my life, I’ve intentionally decided to voice my disgust, because unexpressed outrage becomes in-rage. I feel it is important for me as a man to say I find this unacceptable and am outraged. I stand by this reporter and all other women who are mistreated like this.

I have your back.

With a Perspective, I’m Larry Lee.

Larry Lee is a San Francisco psychotherapist.