Respect Must be Earned: BTS’ Journey Towards Gaining its Stripes in Black America

K-pop group BTS

By Guest Contributor: Monique Jones (@moniqueblognet)

A version of this post first appeared on Just Add Color.

When I first wrote my article about BTS coming to the American Music Awards, I was excited to see this famous K-pop group that I’d heard so much about. I was happy that they would have the chance to perform on a major international stage like the AMAs. I believed that this appearance would serve as the biggest stepping stone yet for K-pop’s eventual domination of American airwaves. As I wrote on Twitter after BTS’ performance (and after I saw the crowd whipped into a frenzy), this must have been what seeing the Beatles for the first time was like.

BTS has been on a roll since their big AMAs debut. They’ve hob-knobbed with R&B it-boy Khalid, and they have released a track featuring Desiigner and Steve Aoki,”Mic Drop”. Everything’s going well; or, it’s going well for BTS, anyways.

The rest of K-pop, however, still hasn’t really “made it” in the States. While one might speculate as to the many reasons why K-pop has failed to penetrate the American music landscape — language barriers; stereotypes about Asian performers held by music executives; general American disinterest towards international music that isn’t British or Canadian — one major reason deserves more discussion: K-pop, as a whole, has a race problem.

So, how is BTS overcoming it?

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Steve Harvey Mocks Asian Men on TV Show

Steve Harvey mocks Asian men in a segment last week on his daytime talk show. (Photo Credit: Steve Harvey show / Angry Asian Man)

Ugh, seriously? What the fuck, Steve Harvey?

A reader tip to Angry Asian Man drew our attention to an ass-tastic monologue segment by comedian/daytime TV show personality Steve Harvey on his show last week. Harvey, who is the host of the self-titled talk show Steve Harvey in which this segment aired, spent an uncomfortably long stretch of time Friday morning telling unfunny racial jokes about Asian men.

Harvey is also currently the host of Family Feud, a morning radio show called The Steve Harvey Morning Show, and the Miss Universe pageant (where he famously announced the wrong winner on live television).

Last Friday morning, Harvey included a book titled “How to Date a White Woman: A Practical Guide for Asian Men” in a list of ridiculous self-help and self-care books. The 200-page book was published in 2002 by Asian World Press, Ltd, which judging by its Netscape Navigator-era website and the fact that it lists this book as its sole publication, was created solely for this purpose. The book’s writer is Adam Quan, who describes himself as an “International Business Consultant [who has] successfully dated women of many nationalities”. For unknown reasons, the book is listed on Amazon with an asking price of over $1800.

Customer reviews of “How to Date a White Woman” are less than stellar: one Amazon customer reviewer who appears to have purchased the book in seriousness says that it is poorly written and unhelpful. The race and gender politics surrounding this book’s marketing and framing are clumsily regressive, and those issues do not appear to be dealt with in its writing. There’s clearly a lot of fodder here for making jokes about bad self-help books. Indeed, Angry Asian Man reminds us that he’s been making fun of this book since 2004.

Steve Harvey, however, doesn’t take that route. Instead, he deploys cheap and unfunny racial stereotype against Asian Americans, invoking caricatures of asexual Asian men and exotic Asian foods (video after the jump) in “jokes” (and I use that term very loosely) only funny to Harvey and his studio audience.

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BREAKING: O’Reilly Factor’s Executive Producer Will Meet with Asian American Community over Racist Segment

Jesse Watters interviews people in NYC's Chinatown during a segment that aired on October 3, 2016. (Photo credit: Fox News)
Jesse Watters interviews people in NYC’s Chinatown during a segment that aired on October 3, 2016. (Photo credit: Fox News)

The Asian American Journalists’ Association just broke the news that The O’Reilly Factor‘s Executive Producer David Tabacoff has agreed to a sit-down meeting with AAJA and other representatives of the Asian American community at the NYC Chinatown’s Museum of Chinese in America.

After the jump is AAJA’s full statement.

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Bill O’Reilly: Racist ‘Watters’ World’ Segment “Wasn’t Over The Line”

Bill O'Reilly defends a 'Watters' World' segment widely denounced as racist on the October 9, 2016 episode of Fox News Sunday. (Photo Credit: Fox News via video posted by Media Matters)
Bill O’Reilly defends a ‘Watters’ World’ segment widely denounced as racist on the October 9, 2016 episode of Fox News Sunday. (Photo Credit: Fox News via video posted by Media Matters)

On October 9, 2016’s episode of Fox News Sunday, Bill O’Reilly was asked about a ‘Watters’World’ segment aired on O’Reilly Factor on October 3, 2016 that has been widely denounced as racist towards the Asian American community. Unsurprisingly, O’Reilly defended the segment and its creator, Fox News correspondent Jesse Watters, saying that the segment “wasn’t over the line.”

After airing a brief excerpt from the ‘Watters’ World’ segment, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked O’Reilly for his comment on criticisms of racism. What follows is Media Matters’ video and transcript of the exchange.

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Pro-Trump Group Shares Super Racist Anti-Asian Meme

A screenshot of a racist anti-Asian meme shared by a pro-Trump Facebook group. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
A screenshot of a racist anti-Asian meme shared by a pro-Trump Facebook group. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

(H/T P.D.)

Yesterday, a Facebook group called “Wisconsin for Trump” — which has more than 25,000 likes — shared a super racist anti-Asian meme critical of Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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