Wait, I’m confused…who are we not supposed to insult again?
Posted by sanityinjection on February 4, 2009
Teenage pop starlet Miley Cyrus is apparently in trouble again for having been caught on camera making “slanty-eyed” faces in imitation of Asians:
While I’m sure Cyrus didn’t intend to insult Asians or Asian-Americans, I can understand why the gesture could be offensive to them. But that’s not the aspect of the story that really caught my attention. Cyrus is, after all, an immature teenager, and we should not be shocked when she occasionally gets caught behaving like one, despite the fervent attempt by the Annie Liebowitz segment of society to treat her like an adult because she’s pretty and in Hollywood.
No, I’m much more interested in the group that issued the complaint. The poorly written Reuters story only identifies them as “OCA”, which seemed pretty cryptic. Their statement, however, referred to “Asian Pacific Americans”, which was a phrase I hadn’t heard before. It’s getting hard to keep up with the terminology; it’s almost as if these groups keep renaming themselves just to force us to keep paying attention to them. During my childhood in the 70s and early 80s, it was considered perfectly fine to refer to “Orientals”. Then we were told to say “Asians” and “Asian-Americans”. Now apparently, “Asian Pacific Americans” has been coined to prevent those pesky Indians, Pakistanis, Persians, Afghans, and steppe Muslims from glomming onto the Asian minority bandwagon.
A quick web search confirmed my hunch. “OCA” is the new name of the former “Organization of Chinese Americans”. Apparently the irony is lost on this organization that while they are pushing “Asian Pacific Americans” on the rest of us, their own organization has yet to change its name to the “OAPA”.