Fresh Off the Boat: 636 Words

It's been bothering me for weeks that people take an important discussion like the one Francis and I had, then reduce it to "whether white chefs can cook ethnic food" or to conclude that at the end of the day "taste is what matters". The Marcus article was an extension and it was fun to see how people danced around the actual challenge in the article for dominant cultural food editors/writers to hit the pavement and find more voices of color. Maybe for once put a voice on the soap box even if it's threatening...

        America is an adversarial society. Whether we want to accept it or not, the good guys don’t always win. Biggie was right, “it’s an every day struggle.” Your life begins as an American when you recognize and accept that nothing you have will be given to you; it’s taken. Notice I said “taken” and not “earned”. You can’t trust that for said amount of work you’ll get said amount of pay. It just never happens. If you want to make sure you get what you deserve: take it. 

When you bring your cultural goods to market, expect someone to try and take it from you, especially the dominant culture because they can. The only way to come up is to defend the things you have and learn to take for yourself. Offense is the best defense. Look at all the inspirations we’ve had as 80s babies. Barack - took the youth vote and micro donors; Fab Five - disrespected every thing about collegiate sports, rejected white socks/short shorts, took booster money, and peace’d; Brooklyn - like BDP said, “Manhattan keeps on makin’ it, Brooklyn keeps on takin’ it.” As much as I love Francis Lam, his ideas about aspiring to “join” America lead to the loss of your culture and Indian Casinos. What if the Tea Party wins and that bullshit definition of America rules? You want to be a member then? Sometimes you shouldn’t respect the other side because it’s wrong #Newsroom. The only America that matters is yours... but you’ll have to fight for it.

If you don't know who Eddie Huang is, you should. This blog post is one reason why. Follow him on @MrEddieHuang.