Y’all know how much we like to joke about how hardass our people are, and how we were disciplined as children. Yeah, we were spanked with hairbrushes, flyswatters, and belts, and sometimes we got slapped in the face (Diana’s sister did for receiving a love note from a classmate…in the 2nd grade). Our moms read our diaries and punished us for our private thoughts. We were told we were failures for bringing home B’s and low test scores, and our parents rarely approved of our friends, who they tended to think were dumb, ill-mannered, disrespectful, and bad influences. Minor infractions like wearing a too-short skirt or missing curfew were judged as major flaws in our character. And the threat of disownment hung over us constantly, like a thick, sullen storm cloud.
The older we get, however, the more we get it. Our Hardass Asian Parents grew up in worlds devastated by war, poverty, deprivation, displacement, and loss. They wanted us to succeed because they didn’t ever want us to “go back to where we came from.” There was a method to their hardass-ness, even though that method was sometimes wack and didn’t easily jibe with our growing up in America. It wasn’t, to paraphrase Phil Collins, a groovy kinda parental love. But it was a kind of love.
When we read this week about a teacher in China who ripped her 5th grade student’s cheek off for not doing his homework, our Hardass Asian Alarm Bells went off. After 10 year-old Chao Qun Zheng told his teacher, Ms. Guo, that he hadn’t completed his homework, she grabbed him by the face, lifted him off the ground, and didn’t let go until she tore his cheek off. It was reported that Ms. Guo then “picked up Zheng’s cheek skin, put it on his face, and instructed the boy go home immediately.”
While it would be easy to chalk this up to Hardass Asian Whathaveyou (one commenter on the story wrote, “I’ve been abused worse than that by my own mother. Asians are hardcore when it comes to schoolwork. This boy just had weak cheeks”), and DISGRASIAN’s not exactly about cutting people slack–especially when it comes to not doing your homework–we also know that there’s a real difference between being a hardass and being a violent, twisted, abusive sick fuck.
And this isn’t hardass, funny, or some sort of intergenerational conflict-anecdote to grow on. This is just wrong.
Thanks, Irwin and Cathy!
Filed under: Chao Qun Zheng, Chinese Teacher Tears Student's Cheek Off, Disownment, Forms of Child Abuse, Hardass Asian Parents, Hardass Asian Upbringings, Sick Fucks, Teacher Guo, Unnecessary Violence
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