An interesting piece of writing by a Hapa theologian (though not entirely sure her educational background other than the fact that this is, or was, her program of study).

It is not rocket science to extrapolate how and why Hapa males, who look distinctly Asian, will have a hard time adjusting to a society that laughs at them for being Asian – and within their own household have their Asianness degraded by their Asian mothers and White fathers, and yet see only Asian women pairing up with White men in popular media, as well in real life.

Archived Link Here.

(The original was taken down – not surprisingly, because as the /r/Hapas movement grows, many people looking to “save face” will try to distance themselves from a highly politicized movement.  The most relevant excerpt is below; below which is the entire piece.)


I remember the first time I saw more than one person who looked like me in the same room at the same time. I was a freshman attending a meeting of my college’s Hapa Club, and I felt something like the shock I felt on Saturday when I saw the photo of Elliot Rodger. I and my cousin aren’t the only people who look like this? There are enough of us that we could be an “us”?
And as I soon found out, we had certain things in common. Almost without exception, our white parent was our father. Our Asian parent was our mother. This led to endless misunderstandings growing up, with people assuming that we were white because we had white last names, waiters bringing us forks instead of chopsticks and giving us the stink eye when we asked, “Could I have chopsticks, please?” It was funny and felt nice to know that I was part of a broader social pattern, an identity shared by more than just a few random people. But it was also a bit uncomfortable. It weirded us out when we thought about why so few of us had Asian dads and white moms. White guys like Asian women, was the obvious conclusion. And according to the images that saturate our media, they like them because they are considered hyper-feminine, exotic, and subservient. (Let me tell you folks, if I had a dollar for every time someone called me “exotic,” I’d have paid off my student loans long ago.) Asian men, on the other hand, are hardly paragons of masculinity. As a magazine spread on men’s fashion asked my sophomore year, “Gay or Asian?”
The entire piece:

“Gay or Asian?” Race, Masculinity, and the UCSB Shooting

May 26, 2014 by Sonja
The first I heard of the UCSB shooting was on Saturday, when I saw a Facebook reference to a “massacre” in Isla Vista. I’m from northern California, went to college at a UC in SoCal, and so I know that Isla Vista is the town right next to UC Santa Barbara. I googled “Santa Barbara killings,” fully expecting to see a photo of a white male suspect pop up–”massacre” is a word our media tends to reserve for white men. At first, there were no faces, just headlines and pictures of cop cars. One of the hits on Google News used the word “drive-by,” which made me cock my head–”drive-by,” at least in California, is usually reserved for non-whites. I clicked the next link, which spoke of “mass murder”–OK, this must be a white guy, I thought as I scrolled through the story.
And it was a white guy. Sort of.
Before seeing his name, the number killed, his age, I saw his picture. And I heard myself say out loud, “What the fu–? He’s hapa?”
That was a new emotion for me. I–can I say “we”? “we half-Asians”? “we mixed kids”? we “mutts”?–am not used to seeing people who look like me in the news, accused of murder (and that right there is a definition of privilege, if there ever was one). Once in a while we see us in movies, on the covers of entertainment magazines, on faculty pages writing awesome books, but “half-Asian-half-white murderer” is not a cultural object in America the way “black thug” or “Mexican gang banger” or even “white serial killer” is. (And notice that of those three constructions, the white one is the only one that includes a reference to cognition–white killers get to have psychological motives for their actions; black and brown people just act out of their base natures).
“He’s hapa?” I wonder how many other people had that reaction. (I’m willing to bet that most hapas did.) As Emil Guillermo noted, “That the killer, Elliot Rodger, was half-Asian (Chinese on his mother’s side) probably wasn’t the first thing you heard as people analyze[d] root causes for his actions over this Memorial Day weekend.”
Which raises the complex question: Was Elliot Rodger white?
Normally, I bristle when people take it upon themselves to identify a hapa as “white” or “asian.” Many hapas I know, myself included, spent most of their lives wishing they looked a little more Asian, wishing they didn’t pass so easily for “100% white”–and it’s probably not a coincidence that many of them were women. But plenty of my other hapa friends spent much of their childhoods wishing they looked “whiter”–again, probably not entirely a coincidence that many of those friends were men. As a disturbing study showed last year, in online dating all men (except Asians) preferred Asian women, and no women preferred Asian men. In our society, femininity and Asianness are often thought of as coterminous.
I remember the first time I saw more than one person who looked like me in the same room at the same time. I was a freshman attending a meeting of my college’s Hapa Club, and I felt something like the shock I felt on Saturday when I saw the photo of Elliot Rodger. I and my cousin aren’t the only people who look like this? There are enough of us that we could be an “us”?
And as I soon found out, we had certain things in common. Almost without exception, our white parent was our father. Our Asian parent was our mother. This led to endless misunderstandings growing up, with people assuming that we were white because we had white last names, waiters bringing us forks instead of chopsticks and giving us the stink eye when we asked, “Could I have chopsticks, please?” It was funny and felt nice to know that I was part of a broader social pattern, an identity shared by more than just a few random people. But it was also a bit uncomfortable. It weirded us out when we thought about why so few of us had Asian dads and white moms. White guys like Asian women, was the obvious conclusion. And according to the images that saturate our media, they like them because they are considered hyper-feminine, exotic, and subservient. (Let me tell you folks, if I had a dollar for every time someone called me “exotic,” I’d have paid off my student loans long ago.) Asian men, on the other hand, are hardly paragons of masculinity. As a magazine spread on men’s fashion asked my sophomore year, “Gay or Asian?”
I bring this up not to detract from the misogyny that was at the heart of the killings, but to show how deep it goes: Rodgers’s hatred for women was inextricable from his hatred of Asianness, which he considered a mark of effeminacy, a lack of masculinity:
I came across this Asian guy who was talking to a white girl. The sight of that filled me with rage. I always felt as if white girls thought less of me because I was half-Asian, but then I see this white girl at the party talking to a full-blooded Asian. I never had that kind of attention from a white girl! And white girls are the only girls I’m attracted to, especially the blondes. How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them?
And Rodgers’s disdain for this supposed Asian lack-of-masculinity included a hatred for blackness, and other non-whiteness as well:
I passed by this restaurant and I saw this black guy chilling with 4 hot white girls. He didn’t even look good.
Then later on in the day I was shopping at Trader Joe’s and saw an Indian guy with 2 above average White Girls!!!
What rage-inducing sights did you guys see today? Don’t you just hate seeing these things when you go out? It just makes you want to quit life.
[Edit: As the first commenter on my post noted, Rodgers showed a special hostility toward “Mexicans” and “Hispanics” in his manifesto. I thank that reader for drawing attention to this. For instance:
When we sat down at our table, I saw a young couple sitting a few tables down the row. The sight of them enraged me to no end, especially because it was a dark-skinned Mexican guy dating a hot blonde white girl. I regarded it as a great insult to my dignity. How could an inferior Mexican guy be able to date a white blonde girl, while I was still suffering as a lonely virgin?]
The hierarchies in all these excerpts run parallel: white–>black; masculine–>effeminate; deserving–>undeserving; attractive–>unattractive; desirable–>undesirable; sexually dominant–>sexually pathetic; powerful–>weak. Critical race theorists refer to this as intersectionality, a term coined by Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to refer to the composite nature of prejudice and hatred, and the synergistic effects they have: it is never “simply” misogyny, but rather a combination of misogyny and racism; never “simply” hatred of folks of color, but rather a hatred of black and brown bodies as “hypersexual” and “savage”; never “simply” an admiration of whiteness, but rather an admiration of whiteness understood as the embodiment of masculinity. The blogosphere is starting to wade into the race issue in this story, and I’m hopeful that there’ll be more essays in the next few days.
So, was he white? I think Chauncey DeVega is correct in answering “yes.” Rodgers, while half Chinese and half British, seemed both to enjoy and to expect all the privileges that come with male whiteness, and so it makes sense to speak of him as displaying “aggrieved white male entitlement syndrome.” As Katie observed with respect to George Zimmerman, “Although ‘whiteness’ and ‘Hispanicness’ remain separated by a slash, they operate in allegiance, standing united in self-defensive violence against the black male body.” The same was true in this case with “whiteness” and “Asianness.” Rodgers seems to have allied himself with whiteness, over against effeminacy and non-whiteness.
The point, anyway, is this: We will have failed to learn from this tragedy if we ignore the ways in which racism and misogyny came together in a deadly way on Saturday at Santa Barbara. It is completely true that Rodgers’ actions were the logical culmination of the patriarchy that infuses our society, but it is not the complete truth: white supremacy was just as foundational.