Friday, July 23, 2010

"You are NOT Eurasian" - the weirdest email I've ever received

Occasionally I get negative comments or email regarding my what I write, or what I choose to write about. Sometimes these criticisms are valid. Other times it appears that some people have a preconceived notion of what this blog should be, and how I should think, and they are disappointed when this blog fails to meet their expectations.

In the latter category, this is perhaps the oddest of the lot, sent to me today by someone named Kiera (I won't mention her surname). I assume she is from the US and fancies herself as some kind of spokesperson for all Eurasians, and thus seeks to expose me as some kind of fraud and liar.


You are NOT Eurasian


I came across your blog while looking for websites geared towards Hapa/Eurasian people. I don't know why you're trying to pass yourself off as a Hapa/Eurasian person. It is very evident by your physical appearance and by the topics you discuss that you are part Black (African), and not Indonesian/European as you are purporting to be. Eurasian/Hapa is a term for people like myself who are of European and Asian descent. Just because you are a half Black (African)/half European, who is perhaps now living is Asia, doesn't mean you are Hapa/Eurasian.


I can see that you pepper your blog with Asian topics, so as to appear that you are part Asian and interested in "your" background. But it's clear that most of your blogging is geared towards topics about Blacks, and one of their favorite pastimes: racism. That is typical of someone that is Black (African) or part Black (African), as most of you have serious complexes.


Hapas/Eurasians deal with many different issues than you have. You will never understand what we go through. Please stop trying to pass yourself off as one of us. To do so shows that you have serious issues, or an underlying agenda: to create animosity between people of Asian descent, and their European/White side. That's warped! If that's what you're doing, you've got serious issues!

No sh!t, someone did actually take the time to send that to me. Apparently the idea of me writing what I write on this blog is so mind-blowing that she had to conjure up some kind of bizarre conspiracy theory just so it would make sense to her. You can scan my blog and make up your own mind about whether my blogging is mostly "geared to topics about blacks"; and whether there would be anything wrong with that even if it were true.

So just to summarise her complaints as I understand them:

* I don't look stereotypically Asian enough, therefore I must not be an actual Eurasian.

* Apparently I am black now! Yet I so loathe my "blackness" that I must pretend to be Eurasian.

* No one would possibly be interested in issues affecting black people, unless they were black themselves.

* Only black people are interested in studying racism, perhaps because no other race is affected by it.

* Most black people have serious complexes.

* By frequently talking about white racism, I possibly have a hidden agenda to make Asians and Eurasians hate white people.

* When I do mention things about Asia on this blog (which is most of the time), it is actually a "ruse" to perpetuate the misconception that I have an Asian background.

* Because I am "black", I do not understand what it is like to be Eurasian.

This is how I replied:


Kiera,


My first thought when reading your ridiculous email was "WTF?!?" and I had the instinct to reply with an abusive email calling you all kinds of things. But after 30 seconds I calmed down, and so I'll refrain from being rude and will stick to the facts.


Why would I feel the need to pretend to be Eurasian if I wasn't one? To make it extremely clear: I am Indonesian on my mother's side, and white Australian on my father's side. I'm no mathematical genius, but that equates to being half Asian and half European, or Eurasian.


I am not, and have never been, black or African or anything like that. If you think I look like a black person, that is just coincidence. I would also contend that you have a very limited perspective on what an Asian or Eurasian should look like. If you've ever met Indonesians, you'll know that they are darker-skinned than most other Asians, and don't always have the same features that people from Northeast Asia have.


You can even see a picture of my mother and other relatives at this post:
http://eurasian-sensation.blogspot.com/2007/04/jakarta.html


If you wonder why I sometimes cover issues affecting black people as well, it's because I believe that non-white people in Western countries have a commonality of experience. If black people are affected by racism, for example, then doesn't that also have repercussions for Asians as well? Aside from that, I happen to have an interest in African diasporic culture. Why should that offend you?


I do not set out to write a blog "geared towards Hapa/Eurasian people". Nor do I ever claim to speak for all Eurasians. Ultimately I am a Eurasian person who writes what is interesting to me. If you wish to only read about things that pertain to Hapas/Eurasians, I'm sure you will be able to find it somewhere else.


Your claim that my focus on racism is some sign that I must be a black person is one of the strangest things anyone has ever said to me. Your sentence "That is typical of someone that is Black (African) or part Black (African), as most of you have serious complexes" indicates that is you who have the "serious issues", Kiera. One might even call it racism.


So again, I find it extremely odd that someone who has never met me has the gall to not only tell me what ethnicity I am NOT, but to claim to speak for all Eurasians when you say "Hapas/Eurasians deal with many different issues than you have. You will never understand what we go through."


I clearly do not understand what YOU go through Kiera, because you are clearly a fairly confused individual.


But thank you for sharing with me your extremely narrow pigeon-holed view of what a Eurasian person should think, look like, write about and be interested in.


Have a nice day.

Btw, I am well aware that I don't look particularly Asian (in a sterotypical sense), and there have been numerous people who have asked me if I am Brazilian or South African, for example. But really, if anyone has an issue with the way I look, they should take it up with God. It's not something I can really help.

26 comments:

  1. Im sorry but I laughed the whole time I was reading this. Especially when "Kiera" insisted on putting African in parentheses after Black.

    This is very bizarre indeed. Looking at you I kind of see why she thought you may be part black but thats besides the point. even if you do look part black to her that does excuse her elitist attitude with regards to what Eurasians are suppose to look like.

    Its also quite sad that any calling out of white racism on your part is automatically perceived and trying to "create animosity" between Asians, HAPAs and Europeans. LMAO this is too rich!

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  2. @ Y:
    I'm no stranger to the "you look part-black" thing. But indeed it is quite funny that she would think I would not only lie about my ethnicity, but write a blog for 4 years and counting, just to keep this charade going.

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  3. No-one has ever said I look black but I've been accused of "pretending" to be half numerous times too. WTF is wrong with people? What would even drive a person to WANT to pretend such a thing in the first place and what business is it of anyone's to tell another person that they don't fit the stereotype they have of what anyone should look like. Kiera should fuck off and die. Well, that might be a bit harsh, but she should at least grow a brain.

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  4. Wow man! I think you should take it as a sign that your blog is f*&^%n' awesome! Why else would people have such powerful reactions to your words. You write well and speak with a powerful voice. That said, I'm sure there are many confused people out there...

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  5. Eurasian Sensation, I've seen you dance and lay down the funk. Are you sure there isn't a little bit of black in you? Would you like some? ;-)

    As far as I'm concerned, the only people who can call truly themselves Eurasian ares those weirdy folk in the 'stans. Tajikistan. Kazakhstan etc. ;-)

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  6. @ bonoboboy:

    I can only respond by quoting what my friend Andi once told someone about me: "He has the soul of a black man, but the genitals of a Chinaman."

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  7. Oh Chris, this is hilarious! I have met you and been to your parents' house and all this time you were really 'black' or 'African'? Too, too funny!
    Kiera, I can attest to the fact that Chris is definitely Eurasian and he does indeed have a mother from Indonesia.

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  8. I must admit I never thought you might be part black. Maybe that's because I don't have a clear idea what black people look like, or (probably) because you clearly stated you're Eurasian (and Australian, male, etc). It was enough for me to believe you. ;)

    I think Kiera showed some strong racism towards black people. She is part Asian so I assume she is not seen and treated the same way as white people- and she really, really want whites to accept her, Eurasians and (probably) Asians- but NOT black people.

    But one thing is evident: there aren't many non-black people who blog about problems black people face. That's because people generally don't care about the things that don't affect them or their group.

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    Replies
    1. That is hilarious...I found this blog from a mate's facebook page. I'm also "eurasian" however I appear white to the general population. Most asians can't tell I'm half asian until I ask for something in Chinese. So I guess there's lots of 'us' out there that buck the stereotype. Keep it up!

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    2. I detected a lot of anti-blackness in the post. Anti-black racism is everywhere, even in non-white countries. I was reading a blog about an African American teaching in Taiwan. He wrote about the racism he experienced there. Also writes about how Asian Americans were not considered American because they were not white. They equated Americanness with whiteness.However, white people were catered to and people went out of there way to be helpful. Whites had access to more white privilege than they did in their own country and some found it hard to adjust when they went back to America. I guess it was because they were treated as regular white people and not VIPs. Here is the blog http://blackinasia.tumblr.com/ if anyone is interested.

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  9. chris, this is gold! has she responded?! what an utter nerfherder!

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  10. Eurasian, not sure if you were offended by the letter or not, but I find it hilarious.

    On another note, when I first saw you, I thought you were a light skinned black dude, or part black. But, I guess that's due to Southeast Asians having similar features to some blacks.

    Anyway, I like your response.
    But, maybe you should've asked that Kiera person is she was Eurasian.

    PS. You mom looks pretty young.

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  11. @ ad:
    no, she hasn't responded. I wouldn't either if I were her. Maybe she's come to her senses.

    @ Mel:
    Believe it or not, my mother was about 65 when that photo was taken.

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  12. Salmon pandaranggaJuly 29, 2010 at 11:18 AM

    hi kiera, i am living-witness that chris is half Indonesian, from mother side, and half Australian from father side . I think, chris is "perfect-mixture" of both races, so no wonder he is really proud of being euronasia. Another thing, i stayed in his parents'house for couple days so i know well his parents, as a very nice, kind and generous people and of course, his mother is Indonesian and his father is Australian.

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  13. really, was any justification needed , in the first place? But it was hilarious !!

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  14. How weird and hilarious!

    I think I may have encountered something a bit similar a couple of times. One that sticks in my mind is a conversation with a young Japanese Brazilian woman, who was at pains to point at me - with her finger I might add - that in Brazil even though I was 'mixed' I was 'still' Black, and in a lower class, and not 'like' her.

    So, I asked her if she was white, and she said:
    "Can't you see what colour I am?" I suppose this meant yes, or at least higher up the food chain or something!

    Maybe Mira hit the nail on the head in her comment that perhaps Kiera really wants White people to accept her, and when a person thinks like that they just want to create as much distance as possible between them and anyone 'too' black.

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  15. I ran across your blog just looking around the web. What a great response! You have such a great attitude. Your parents must be so proud of you. Maybe one of these days we'll be so mixed up race wise that we'll have to find another reason to hate each other - and they say we're superior to animals - I'll believe that when we start acting that way. "People, I just want to say, you know, can we all get along?" Rodney King.

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  16. My girlfriend linked me to this blog - hilarious. As a side comment, I'd like to mention to you that your writing style is good and I appreciated the subtleties of your humour. Yet, there were some simple spelling mistakes etc. in this post and others you have written; a flawless piece of writing is more poignant! I'm a writer and blogger myself, and want to encourage you to go that extra mile - I think it would really put your blog over the top!

    Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. @ Ian M:

      for the life of me I couldn't seem to locate a single spelling mistake on this post. But I grant that I frequently make them elsewhere. I only just realised blogger had a spell check function. Thanks for the tip and encouragement.

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  17. Interesting. I just typed in eurasian mistaken for black and this came up. You are not the first eurasian i have seen that looks like a light skinned black guy...sort of. It throws people off...I'm a similar combination and have been looked at that way...but my daughter was born looking white and people are really confused now, haha.

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  18. OMG wow i just read this and thought "REALLY" first of all i've never heard anyone tell me that im not a certain race or ethnicity and im like a brown color i was born to a Black, Arabic, and Sri Lankan mother and a Filipino, Chinese, and Koreanese Father and i speak some asian languages and arabic ones too.... And just because you look like that dosent mean your not what you so you are hell some people get East Indian people confused as black because their so dark.... and obviously kiera has no life lolz and your very handsome by the way!!!!!!!!

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  19. Some white people were madderer n' tipped over hornet's nest when I (a black kid) moved from England to North America with my British accent. Because black people don't have British accents, you know?

    Yeah, you heard me: Madderer!! In case you didn't know, that means Super Fucking Mad! LOL!

    Oh Kiera, God is gonna keep you waiting on that appointment for a long time honey!

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  20. I came across your blog through the Bigwowo. I read this post and my mouth just fell to the floor. I find it highly amusing when other try to define your 'race' / ethnicity. So what if you want to write about black people in the diaspora its your blog and you can write what you want.

    It saddens me when people of colour who have a history of oppression and discrimination are prejudice against other minorities. As a black British person it pisses me off to read/hear other people of colour looking down on us and think we are at the bottom of the racial hierarchy. Richard Pryor had that famous sketch about the first word new immigrants learn on arriving to America is the N word.


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  21. I am sorry, keira just thought you are black but to me, you look like some random indonesian..i know this is hard for you..emang nya lu sama sekali gak kelihatan pan asian/hapa gaya luna maya

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  22. This Kiera person obviously has "issues". She must never have been in Asia, or in parts of Asia where the population isn't homogenous. I am SE Asian, light-skinned, constantly mistaken for Chinese, even by my own countrymen. But ... a black American once told me I looked like his sister, and I totally understood that. Some Asians look like they could be mixed black, some blacks look like they could be mixed with Asian,even when they're not. It isn't just skin colour. And whether they just look it, or they are mixed, so what?

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