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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! ‘Too Asian?’

November 13th, 2010 | 8 comments | Posted by Diana

Vintage othering: 'Those Asian-American Whiz Kids' actually have some pretty sweet 'dos

Asian folks are used to being pointed to as sinister bell curve destroyers. ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT, we hear ya, everybody: we work too hard, study too often, score too high, achieve too much, and ultimately make everybody else’s mediocre asses feel shitty and look like shit. Let us loose and we’ll raise the bar too high. Leave us unchecked and we’ll take over everything–the schools, the companies, the communities!

Fine. We kick ass at stuff. Fine. Whatever.

So were we surprised when Canada’s Macleans OnCampus published an article last week called “Too Asian,” which griped about how Canadiasian students and their Hardass Asian work ethics have created environments at merit-based schools–like the University of Toronto–that are arguably soulless, party-free, achievement-heavy and unfun? That non-Asians are hesitant to attend such colleges because they’re basically flooded with almond-eyed robots? That, well, something needs to be done before the Asian-Canadian academic vibe cuts too deeply into the heart of the University spirit–historically defined by binge drinking, regrettable lays and texts from last night–causing a national cardiac arrest that may unravel society-at-large? (I mean, in the un-edited original version, at least, which is no longer available at the source but can be found here.)

Eh, not really. Annoyed, sure, shocked, hardly.

But let’s back up a bit. I did in fact just mention that the original version of this xenophobic opus is no longer available on OnCampus. A strong response from readers (aided by giants of the blogosphere and students like Anita, the machete-tongued gal who brought the piece to our attention) calling out the publication for their imbalanced and lazy reporting likely led editors to order up the highly-revised version that now sits at the URL. But rather than standing up and owning the piece, responding to commenters, or acknowledging in print: hey, we realize our first draft was a bit inflammatory; we’ve neutered our version, sorry!, Macleans quietly made some changes and said nothing.

That, my friends, is the true disgrace. These are the times, there is no shortage of material going out on the Web, everyone’s got an opinion, true journalism is more a mythical Pegasus than a shining stallion. We can’t stop people from printing words. Mediocre (or should I just say non-Asian?) words or not.

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