Bruce Reyes Chow, a father of three daughters, sat down to watch the United States Women's National Soccer Team play North Korea yesterday. In a piece on Huffington Post, he writes: "Watching the USWNT play over the past few years has been one of the most powerful and important things my daughters have experienced… The names Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach, Megan Rapinoe, Lauren Cheney and Carly Lloyd are known in our house much like sports figures — like Kobe Bryant, Drew Brees or Big Papi might be known to others." Unfortunately, Reyes-Chow also decided to follow the action and commentary on Twitter. And what he saw was not pretty:
All Korean Chinese and Japanese people look the same.. It's gross.— Sean Servalish (@sServiee) July 31, 2012
I'm not being racist, but all the Korean girls on the team have the same face. How do you tell them apart?— Brianna Neitzel(@bri_neitzel) July 28, 2012
all the north korean players look EXACTLY the same— Maggie DeWitt (@magglesdewitt) July 31, 2012
Why does all the Korean team look the same— KateTheGreat (@imkatelynn) July 31, 2012
All Korean Chinese and Japanese people look the same.. It's gross. #noracism
Why does all the Korean team look the same
I'm not being racist, but all the Korean girls on the team have the same face. How do you tell them apart?
all the north korean players look EXACTLY the same #sorrynotsorry
These people — all American, as far as we can tell — Tweeted racist remarks, and they are not sorry. But they should be. Reyes-Chow argues:
While this might not be a huge deal to many folks, this "they all look the same" rhetoric this has been one of THE primary ways that society has historically denied and dismissed the human experience and expression of people of color. Sure, everyone is mistaken for someone at some point in time, but I simply do not think this happens to white folks as much as it does for people of color. For many of my black, Latino and Asian friends out there, I am sure that we can all list instance after instance after instance when we have been mistaken for a like-raced person who looks nothing like us.
Reyes-Chow decided not to include the names of the Tweeters, explaining: "Many are young folks who I believe are still learning the nuances of social media. My intent is not to bring down the hammer on any one person, but only to point out that issues of race are still in need of addressing in today's society." But the way to correct the ignorance and xenophobia behind these tweets is to educate the young people putting it up in a public space, using their real names. Athletes from around the planet are competing in epic displays of strength, speed and ability. Races and matches are won within narrow margins. The emotions on view — thrill of victory, disappointment of defeat, pride of parents and fans — proves that we are more alike than we are different. If ever there were a teachable moment, this is it.
"Why Do All Asians Look the Same?" [HuffPo]