Stereotypes are common when it comes to a person’s race. Most commonly, people would assume someone who’s white is a yankee, and someone who is Asian to be “fresh off the boat” and smart, or someone who is black to be ghetto and from the “hood”. But what happens when an Asian person is ghetto? Are they acting black? Or are they just being themselves? Are we supposed to behave in the matter that is assumed of us and what does this say about our culture?

I watch a lot of youtube videos and I am subscribed to a few Asian Americans who make videos for comedy. These Asian Americans just so happen to speak with slang and talk ghetto. The videos are usually followed by comments from some viewers  that address the issue about these Asian Americans “acting black”. A good example of this is from watching most of the videos by ‘Timothydelaghetto2’. He’s racially Asian, he looks Asian, but most people would say that he doesn’t “act” Asian. Some may even go as far to say that he’s a wanna be Black person.  Even if he does act black (whatever that means), what’s the problem with that? Why does the way a person act have to be affiliated with a specific race which then, creates a norm on how people should behave? Here’s an example of a video,

(Before watching the video, know that there may be inappropriate language involved and jokes that may not be funny to some viewers. This is all for comedic purposes but I’m showing this as an example for my perspectives on the effects of race.)

I think this is a perfect example of how race gets tied into prescriptive identity and causes stereotypes because of a person’s race. Are all Asians smart? Are all blacks ghetto? If a Black person was smart and good at math, would they be accused of acting Asian? Why does it only work one way and not another? Maybe these stereotypes are so informed into our society that people start to feel uncomfortable when others act out of their racial norm.

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2 responses

  1. Wow, this is definitely true! I always see it myself! Once someone “acts black” its brought into recognition. But the same also falls for “acting white”, or “acting Spanish”. There are constant stereotypes circulating in society and its really sad how so many people categorize certain races under their stereotypes. It’s almost something that you can’t avoid within our society, let alone in any other society where stereotypes exist. The youtube video posted definitely caught MANY “black” stereotypes. I agree that people do feel uncomfortable once someone is out of their racial norm, so much to the point where they are said to be “acting”. These strong stereotypes always go one way sadly, and I feel no matter how bothersome, they will exist for a very long time.

  2. zhulander89 says:

    I think labels exists everywhere and can be used interchangeably for pretty much every race. I’m Asian and I can’t count the number of times I’ve been called a “twinkie” (For all those who don’t know it’s an Asian person that “acts white”. Actually it’s very similar to black people being called “oreos”). And for the record, the ignoramuses make that kind of decision about me just after a conversation. They don’t even know the slightest thing about me or my family life.

    Curiously, there is almost never a negative connotation to labels that defines a person for “acting white”. I’m not sure if I’ve ever heard of someone being labeled as acting Asian or Spanish…I mean, you either are or you aren’t. Perhaps there is a a greater amount of awareness of stereotypical “black culture” and stereotypical “white culture” so that it’s easier to say someone is acting black or white?