"Stupid F'ing Asians"
On August 9, eBaums featured an incredible video of the 8-year-old Yuto Miyazawa playing different styles of guitar, and seriously kicking ass doing so. I'll concede the kid had no talent for the lyrics, but his axe-work was brilliant.
Of course, as the tradition on eBaums for offensive comments abounds, there was a slew of off color comments about this child. Since they wanted to take a whack at that kid, let me step up to whack back.
Some of my 'favorites' are the ones that jibe Yuto was Chinese. “them Chinese use like 20,000,000 times more brain than we do. its pretty believable.” and “ahh. me rike clazy train. you want egg roll?” First of all, you should probably learn the difference between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean surnames because they are going to own your ass someday and you should know how to suck up to your boss because it's probably the only way you'll get ahead. Secondly, the “me rikey egg roll” jokes stopped being funny fifty years ago. You can slap the expired sticker on them.
Then there are the ones that hint that all Asians are capable of is work akin to robotic regurgitation. They have no creativity, only the ability to copy others. For example: “yeah...Asians are great at copying songs without missing a note...we get it.” and “proof once again, asians have no souls...” Well since neither commenter seems to have the ability to use grammar, let me first hit back in their language with 'o rlly?' Then let me ask them if they ever tried to look up the Japanese music scene? I wonder if they are familiar with the pop music sensation Hikaru Utada or the vocalist Boa Kwon, both of whom have had multiple multinational number one records. How about the rapper Miss Monday, or the huge amount of jazz music done by The Seatbelts? When was the last time you shopped in an international music store? Proof once again that Americans claim they are number one all too often by refusing to acknowledge the rest of the world.
Then come the most offensive of all. The ones that imply the only reason he can do this is because he's Asian. “ah bullshit..all japanese kids can do that...” or “Well, he's Asian. His parents made him start when he was 3 weeks old.” or “He's Asian, so it doesn't count.” Sometimes the 'point' that they try to make is that the child has never been allowed to grow up as a child and they are simply crushed spirits that are living adult lives: “I give credit to this kid for being able to play better than i can, but its always ASIANS that push their kids too far, like the three year old asian girl who could solve a Rubiks Cube, on live t.v.” One commenter even asked how often this kids parents must beat him in order for him to play like that. To me, these suggestions are the most offensive, but not for the reasons you might think. But more on that later.
Recently, Yahoo posted an article by Carrie Antlfinger about Tallan Latz, an eight year old (feigned surprise gasp) Caucasian guitar prodigy. Not only does Tallan love to play the blues, but he has jammed with the likes of Jackson Browne and Les Paul. Tallan has even played the House of Blues in Chicago. However, the state is doing it's best to stop Tallan from playing. Even though Tallan is fully supervised by his parents and loves what he does, the state of Wisconsin claims that what Tallan does is against child labor laws and fines the venue owner up to $1000 and the Latz family up to $250 per performance. Now that sounds more like crushing a kid's dreams.
But Tallan is hardly the only contemporary non-Asian musical prodigy. Carnegie Hall's From the Top series ( http://www.fromthetop.org/ ) is loaded with the names of children that are simply remarkable Elizabeth Basoff-Darskaia, Noah Brown, Gabriel Campos, Kallie Ciechomski, Rachel Goldberg, Jingchen Sun, Emmanuel Gray, Jr., Travis Johnson, Caitlin Kelley, Daquise Montgomery, Emi Salazar, Megan Schlie, Brian Sung.
There is no difference or preference. Asian, Caucasian, Black, German, Irish, Eastern European, Hispanic...no difference at all. Don't believe me? Tune in and watch the show yourself or look at the web videos. The kids and those that sponsor them could care less as far as ethnicity, genetics, religion, or even what talent the child has. They feature everything from guitarists to composers to jazz brass. And the kids don't care either. They just love doing what they do.
That is the thing that offends me. Not that people are pasting racial stereotypes onto children that they have nothing to do with (although I'm sure there is a special place in hell for those that commit that sin) but that we are so ready to enforce our wills without examining what a child actually needs.
And before anyone asks me what the hell are my qualifications that I can point fingers, I believe my M.ed and Behavioral/Learning Psychology degree gives me that right. Let me say this and be done with it.
A child does not have adequate ability to manage personal responsibility.
An adolescent is someone who can only maintain responsibility for themselves.
An adult is someone who takes on the responsibility of others.
You think about that. What that means is that you should not be forcing your child to take responsibility for themselves, you have to take it for them and then teach them what discipline is. This happens so infrequently it's a depressing joke. More often, a parent does not accept responsibility for their child and then expects the child to assume responsibility for themselves. So you no longer have an adult-child relationship, but an environment with competing adolescents who are each locked in a power struggle.
Welcome to America.
You want to do the right thing? Then you teach your child personal discipline while you accept responsibility for them. You find the things they love (whether it's music, sports, acting, art, math, cheese...whatever!) then you assume the role of a manager and enable them to do what best suits them. Of course they won't succeed at everything, but that's just part of being human.
Otherwise, if you don't take up this torch and pass it along then you have no right to complain, no cause to champion, and no reason to spout idiotic opinions. Summary: Either become part of the solution or shut your fucking mouth.