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Bao Phi's Reverse Racism Analysis

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Orientalism refers to a social group who is seen as uncivilized, backward, and outcast people by the dominant culture. In Jenn Fang's discussion, she explains the definition of orientalism and on how today’s society still tends to share orientalist views towards the Asian American people. For instance, the American society views the Asian American people’s fashion as edgy or cool because they dress differently and show no interest in conforming to societies norms. However, this is an orientalist view already since their fashion isn’t a mark of not wanting to conform to societies norms but how their culture dresses. Many Asian American artists have challenged the orientalist assumptions through the use of art. For example, Bao Phi’s “reverse…show more content…
For instance, he uses challenges that Asian American actors have experience in the film industry such as the minimal roles they are cast for and how white actors are cast for Asian American roles. He describes this current issue by the use of powerful illustrations such as stating that the Asian American actors use white powder to play white roles. He highlights the difficulties the Asian American people have gone through here in America and how today’s society justifies their previous actions but still sustaining an orientalist view towards the Asian culture. For example, he states, “Hey, things are better for you now. You should have tried being around twenty years ago, before me and some other good Asians marched with your white people for your rights.” The irony is seen here as Bao Phi uses statements made by the white people to justify how their views are not racist since society has moved away from that. Another example is the illustration of the musical “Miss Saigon” in which he reverts the roles of the Asian women and replaces it with a white woman. This is powerful because “Miss Saigon” upholds views of Asian women as a sexual symbol and dependency towards men. Therefore, he stresses the backward views society has towards Asian women by the using the plot of this particular musical. Therefore, Bao Phi uses old experiences that the Asian American people have gone through to illustrate the views society has towards
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