By Rei Tanotsuka, 4 August 2019
“All types of knowledge, ultimately mean self knowledge” Bruce Lee.
The biggest obstacle facing Asians is not economic prosperity or lack thereof, because that conundrum has been figured out. It’s only a matter of applying the principles which have already been empirically proven to lift over half a billion people out of poverty. Time is the only factor in heralding the new generation of affluent Asians.
It’s not a problem of creative or artistic expression. Asians have always excelled in aesthetics from China’s Huang Gongwang with his unique application of paints to landscape imagery, to the Japanese art of Kintsugi (repairing broken ceramics using gold), Asians have embodied the artistic Daemon from time immemorial.
It’s not a deficit in physical prowess because Asians have utilised the innate strength of their bodies and married it to the mind which creates a force to be reckoned with.
According to Joe Lewis, the father of Kick Boxing as a speculative sport in America, Bruce Lee was able to hold 75 pounds straight out from his chest and put the weights down without a whisper of a quickened breath. Apparently this is no mean feat. Watch the interview.
For kicks, watch this hilarious Qi Gong demo where these guys break chopsticks by jabbing them in their abs and throat! Why anyone would actually desire to break wooden sticks on their delicate, vulnerable body parts, does not detract from the sheer fact that they are able to. Asians have always synchronised strength with intelligence.
So what is the problem?
Well…..we hate each other. That’s it.
I promised I will never sugar coat reality and will render truth as faithfully as I experience it.
Everyone practically hates the Chinese. The Japanese hate the Koreans and vice versa. The Vietnamese and Cambodians engage in mutual contempt. Malaysians and Singaporeans would spit in each others cup of kopi (coffee) if no lawsuits were forthcoming. The Indians abhor the Pakistanis.
All Asians think their nemesis Asian is ‘ugly’, despite sharing near identical facial features!!! They describe the ‘other’ as having ‘dirty’ coloured skin, funny eyes (yes, I am dead serious on the eye thing. It’s not enough that every other race mocks Asian eyes, we must join in our own denigration)….all the while the White and Black folks can not differentiate between an Indonesian, a Phillipino or a Thai, nor a Chinese from a Korean, but in order to not rile up their preferred Asian group, they pretend they can.
Learn not to be an Asian hater
Growing up as an Asian in Australia and working in Japan, I have come to experience a very interesting phenomenon. This is more of an intermittent occurrence rather than a monthly ritual, but nonetheless, an occasional dalliance with a stupid Asian will highlight the following.
The wanna be white Asian (WWA), will, in an attempt to appear more ‘white’, accent how ‘Asian’ the other non self hating Asian is. Another clue in, on their flagrant, internalised racism towards their own, is when a WWA unabashedly claims how unattracted they are to someone of their own race.
This cavalier condescension towards their own demographic is done to impress upon the White peeps, that there’s not an ounce of Asian in them besides their mug, their DNA, the food they have consumed all their life and ummm, you know, their parents and siblings.
How unfathomable would it be to actually acknowledge that your Asian lineage has given you the gift of life!
Learn to be Bruce
Whenever anyone, Asian or otherwise, attempts to put the yoke around our neck and silence our voice when we demand that people put a kibosh on taking an unprecedented dump on our self esteem, it is frequently done by ineloquently quoting Buddha or Bruce. So I will play their game and expound upon what Bruce’s water philosophy was really about. As for Buddha? Let’s put him on hold.
Bruce Lee was one of the very few ‘living’ philosophers. Most philosophers like Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche were weird, socially inept outcasts. Their vividity towards insights on human nature sprang from a well not filled with water, but one pulled up from an imaginary world, glimpsed from behind a pane of glass, while sitting in a rocking chair divorced from emotion.
Bruce, like Voltaire and Foucault, actually LIVED A LIFE!
When Bruce spoke of being like water, he did not mean letting things shape you through acquiescence.
He meant that when you were giving your opponent a whoop ass, you laid it into him like a torrent stream, drowning any possibility of revenge. When he spoke of being like water in a glass, he meant consuming your enemy so that there is no way out, except up (hint, heaven aka, death).
Bruce was NOT a pacifist! He frequently spoke of the injustice of painting the China man like a milquetoast, who made up for his short comings by being duplicitous.
He was unapologetic and proud about being the creme de la creme in the world of martial arts.
He did not practice martial arts, he was KUNG FU anthropomorphised! He truly was living art. No one who reaches that level of greatness in any field, has ever forsaken their own pride of belonging. This is what Bruce was all about! Fighting for the right to really live.
Living means authenticating this very experience of being you, not whimpering in the corner wishing that genetics has ordained your skin tone with less melanin!
Quit the self hate and go kick some butt!
Dear Self Asian Haters, here is a tip. You will never get whiter by hating on your own. You will not get whiter by hating yourself.
The only way that you will EVER EARN another person’s real respect is by harmonising all the elements which you are composed of. This is the philosophy in life, and a life of philosophy.
Hating on other Asians or yourself, to prove your value to especially White people as current milieu dictates, renders you nothing but a pawn for others to feel superior to you because of your sychophantic attitudes towards them.
Real respect is not the same as tolerance!