We live in a hyperbolic world. So, many things are, "the best thing ever!" or, "holy crap, that is amazing!", or "getting shot really hurts!" Many international adoptees found themselves growing up in mostly white communities.There is a raging debate about nature vs. nurture and will continue to be discussed at length in the future.That is not what we are going to talk about today. But, for those people who transplanted into homogeneously white communities, I think, clearly nurture won.
I'm getting to know the Korean adoptee community much better than I had before. The only knowledge I had previously were the 2 other adopted kids at school besides my brother and sister. I think we all kind of avoided each other for fear if we were all seen together someone might have put up a “Chinatown sign” around us, or dumb and cruel stuff that kids did back in the 80s. On a side note, if given the choice between 80s racism, or current racism it's like being asked: What kind of anesthetic you want for your surgery? Getting hit on the head with a boulder, or this nice custom designed drug administered via the gentlest syringe ever created?
There is a term to describe an Asian who has "successfully" assimilated into white culture. They are either called, “bananas”, or “twinkies.” Yellow on the outside, white on the inside. I know! It's so creative and clever! : ) The data I've collected is when someone is called a twinkie, there is almost a secret mental fist pump of "Yes! I'm ALMOST one of you!" that occurs. This is why the vast majority of us have Caucasian partners. It may be the reason why some of us wear plaid pants. Although my desperate need to feel included stopped there. I may not have much pride, but every man has his limits.
Now as sure as the sun coming up tomorrow, the following statement, or a derivative of it will be uttered. All of you twinkies reading this, be ready to begrudgingly admit this! The statement or something similar is this: "I'm the whitest Asian you'll ever meet." Now I'm pretty damn competitive. After reading this statement for the umpteenth time, the dreaded thought came creeping into my mind. "I really could go for an actual twinkie right now...". While that thought is actually quite grotesque, the thought that really came to mind was "how do you know for sure?" Then my following thought was if someone was claiming to be the whitest Asian ever, they’d better have a sailboat and live on a golf course. And that is just the entry level starter package of the Whitest Asian ever!
I'm hoping so many of us came to this conclusion based on the input of the people in our social circles. They were telling us, basically, we're not really Asian. It's meant to be a compliment like, "you're one of us, now". And, because for so many of us there wasn't an alternate group of people to be friends with, we lapped it up. But, come on, white people! You can't have it both ways! If I can crush Bud Light cans on my forehead pregaming at Talladega because I'm one of the guys, I can't of course be really good at science because I'm Asian!
So, I'm proposing a compromise. All Twinkies should gather and assemble. We will duke it out Hunger Games style, Winter Olympics style, NCAA March Madness style, Oppa Gangnam style. We will compete for the semi-coveted title of “Whitest Asian Ever”. We will viciously compete in events like: Falsely Claiming to Love the Constitution, Speed Cooking with Ranch Dressing, Creating a Social Disturbance in the Grocery Store Checkout Line, and Believing Disney Accurately Portrays Ethnic Cultures. Let's find out once and for all, Highlander style. There can only be one. That incredible champion will be gifted upon the U.S. as your token Asian friend.
The rest of us can maybe follow my lead... I'm going to stop saying I'm the whitest Asian you'll ever meet. Mostly because I don't think I'd win the competition because I'd be knocked out at the Friends/Seinfeld/ER trivia round. But, also because first and foremost I'm an American. I'll do American things like: going to football games, eating a shitload of baby back ribs, pretend to love fishing, etc. And when someone tries to awkwardly compliment me on it, I think I'll just say "Maybe should start befriending more Asians. They're not so different. And maybe start befriending more Latinos, African-Americans, Canine-Americans, Muslims, etc. They love playing beer pong, too"
'Murica! Fuck yeah!