A Question of Identity: Being Yellow in a Black and White World

Topics: Race and Ethnicity, Ethnic group, Racism Pages: 3 (918 words) Published: April 22, 2012
“A Question of Identity: Being Yellow in a Black and White World”

In “A Question of Identity The headline, the tweet, and the unfair significance of Jeremy Lin” by Jay Caspian Kang, racial prejudice and stereotyping in society is brought to light. People of different ethnicity are ostracized in the United States because Caucasians and African Americans make up the majority of the population in the United States. Racial prejudice is influenced by the society around us. Culture can be seen through similarities and differences that unify and differentiate groups, for example: race and ethnicity. However, this black and white categorizing of groups leave out people of different ethnicity. Individuals are classified by socially defined and influenced structures based on physical characteristics that socially group people into categories based on shared norms. People of different culture and ethnicity are disregarded in a largely black and white society as seen in Kang's article, “A question of identity.” In a nation of equal opportunity and political correctness there are glaring prejudices against people of different culture and ethnicity. The author reveals several nicknames he gave to himself such as“the Mental Oriental, the Raging Asian, Chink-opotamus, Chinkletoes, and so on.” These nicknames are ridiculing of his ethnicity and show he is ashamed of his cultural background. In order to fit in with his friends he feels the need to mock himself so that no one else can make fun of him. As much as Kang tries to fit in being, “the token Asian celebrating "ghetto" things in the most condescending manner possible” with his friends he is reminded of his ethnicity shown as Kang says, “My white girlfriend and I were once chased out of an ice cream parlor by the owner, who called me "filthy." The author ignores these events and imagines it happens to everyone, shown through the author saying, “I didn't read too heavily into the fact that some kids got punched a bit more...
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