China as New Foreign Threat to America + “Evil Chinese Professor” Contest
Part of this class is a discussion on how foreign Asians are portrayed in America. A lot of the class has discussed the “Yellow Peril” theme of the past. Today in terms of foreign enemies, it looks like the Chinese are the new Japanese for Americans. Where once America saw the Japanese as foreign threat (WWII, 1980s economic warfare) we’ve now apparently reached the point where China is the new threat.
It makes sense. Even though we aren’t fighting a physical war with China, we are involved with increasing economic tensions (China owns most of our debt! China is keeping their currency artificially low! China may cut off our supply of Rare Earth Metals!). Add to the fact they are “Communist” and most of our manufacturing is done over there and you can probably see why some people feel threatened.
Case in point, check out this YT video by the Citizens Against Government Waste Coalition:
It’s a new Red Scare! I especially like the comparison of America to the British and Roman Empires. And how you can tell you are in Beijing in the opening shot because of the huge Mao and Communist imagery posters. Also the cool classroom technology of the future is great. Indeed, digital effects are put to great use in this.
DISGRASIAN, in conjunction with 8Asians, Angry Asian Man, and Reappropriate are running a contest where you can re-subtitle the video for hilarious results. There is a prize though they don’t specifically state what it is. Still, your resulting video will get some serious views if it wins which can be worth something.
Campus Progress Action has apparently already entered this contest. Check out their video here. (It’s vimeo so I can’t get it to embed in wordpress.)
There’s also another one here, which was done for an NPR piece on this whole issue.
I’m also reminded about the upcoming remake (featuring Chris Hemsworth aka Thor) of Red Dawn. For those of you too young to remember (or avoid cheesy 80s films), the original Red Dawn told the tale of a Soviet & Cuban invasion of the Mainland United States. The film centers on the experiences of a bunch of teenagers in Colorado who are caught in the middle of the invasion. The opening scene is of Cuban paratroopers taking over the high school the kids go to. (Obviously high schools are a high value target.) Lead by Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, the teenagers soon wage guerrilla warfare against their new Communist oppressors under their high school mascot “WOLVERINES!”. The remake updates the enemies to the Chinese as they are the only threatening Communists left I guess. I’m not going to lie, I love the original Red Dawn because it is so ridiculous (high schoolers waging guerrilla warfare against Communists) and has some great scenes (invading forces uses lists of registered gun owners to round people up, establish re-education camps, etc.). I’m sort of looking forward to the new one. Maybe the Chinese Americans in the new Red Dawn will be like Manchurian Candidates and have genetic triggers that cause them to betray America! That would be hilarious.
-Written & posted by Jonathan Soon