The easiest and cheapest path to moral self-aggrandizement is to focus on race relations and by doing so point out how one ethnic group is looked upon unfairly by means of stereotype.
The troubles with the pontificating class of the anti-racist occurs when they hoist themselves as the champions of one group, they invariably do so at the expense of another thus violating the very rules in which they base their criticism.
Ruth Chung, a USC professor who is said to specialize “in Asian American cultural identity” gives a splendid demonstration of this in an article in the sports section of Yahoo:
Males are seen as competition, and for Asian American men, their greatest threat to white males was perceived to be their intelligence, so it was always easy to stereotype them as being geeky and socially inept.
Chung ought to know, right? She, after all “specializes” in this sort of thing and by convention knows more about it than anyone else. We can all agree that there is an inherent shortsightedness of the racist since they do away with individual merit and instead draw conclusions about a person based on race or ethnicity.
So to “perceive” Asian American men as “geeky” and “socially inept” is wrong. Fine. But Chung commits a logical error when she attempts to lay blame. What do we make of her claim that “white males” feel “threatened” and that they all share a common “perception”? Doesn’t she have to deploy the very sin of stereotype in order to do this? You can only feel pity for Chung because she suffers from the delusion of harboring the thought that she is morally superior to white males. I won’t return the favor and state that this is typical of all Asian women. I also refuse to be insulted by what she thinks I think by virtue of being a white male.
The article in question is titled: Jeremy Lin: His Impact On Changing The Perception Of The Asian American Male written by Victor Chi. Chi let’s us in on what we mistaking know about Asian males. For instance NBA player Jeremy Lin is a Harvard graduate that is also a superb athlete. Take that you fools, you didn’t think that was possible did you? Asians are perceived as “sexual inept” but then “John Cho (Harold) has been picked twice for People magazine's ‘Sexiest Men Alive’ list” thus “shattering” that stereotype. See, things are changing.
Chi employs a different sort of error. Where Chung contradicts herself by using group prejudice as a weapon against group prejudice, Chi accepts group prejudice, it’s just a matter of what kind. It’s only wrong to have a perception of Asian males when it doesn’t suit him but it’s okay if it does. Chi tells the story of playing 4-on-4 basketball when an opposing player lamented "Who the &$#@ is covering Bruce?!":
I wasn't offended. He wasn't talking to me, and being compared to Bruce Lee is actually a compliment, despite the martial arts stereotype, because he exuded strength, confidence and sex appeal. I couldn't really fault the guy. At that time, Bruce Lee was probably his only frame of reference for an Asian male, even though Lee himself had been dead for nearly 20 years. Frankly it would've been a lot worse if he had decided to refer to me as The Donger of "Sixteen Candles" fame/infamy, and let's face it, that has happened to me and every other Asian American male of my generation.
Chu’s thesis is “changing the perception” and not the mistake of having a perception in the first place ie: stereotype. The problem here is he gives credence to the notion that stereotyping is okay providing it’s done so to convey positive traits thus undermining the idea that prejudice is wrong in the first place.
This is the trouble Chu et al get themselves into when they pretend to know the error of what most people are thinking in order to demonstrate that they are above it all.