Ta-Nehisi Coates’ blog posts on President-Elect Obama got me thinking about the expectations made of a poster child for an ethnicity or race.
American Heritage defines a “poster child” as “A person who is a prominent example or type of something” which can just as easily be applied to the evils of a certain set as the good but right now I’m more concerned with the expectations made of a supposed “poster child.” And maybe that’s the wrong term for what I’m trying to de-tangle from my brain but for now it’ll suffice.
Anyways, it struck me how I hadn’t really realized before this that some people might be looking to Barack Obama to represent the entire African-American community, putting him on trial as the first African-American president. And how much I hate it when I think of the responsibility inherent in representing Korean-Americans.
Not that I’m foolish enough to think for a second that I actually am a visible or prominent representative of the KA community but in certain ways I do represent. As a member of a minority in America, I understand that some people who have little or no experience with my particular ethnic group categorize and view it through the lens of learning, otherwise known as “oh, so that’s what Koreans are like” or “huh, that must be an Asian thing.”
And then, if you do something crazy or heart wrenchingly horrible like shoot up your university, you immediately create the intuitive bridge between your representative group or subset and idiocy/violence/hatred/ignorance, for other people.
It’s just that, when Obama stumbles or makes a mistake or doesn’t live up to the idealistic standards of the people, some of them are going to cry “Black” in the worst way possible. Which galls me to no end, but Obama seems like a more intelligent and mature person than I by whole boatloads so perhaps it doesn’t gall him, this sad way humanity works.
I, Esther Kim, do pledge that from here on out, no matter how crappy or destroyed or tired or squidgy I’m feeling, will post a post each day until I die or the internet does.
And along those lines, I forgot to blog about the election. But it’s alright. Everyone else did it for me, and did it better. Personally, as a former apathetic, the fact that I went out to vote indicates something. But it surprised me how much I enjoyed backing the winner. Makes me want to do it again.
Anyways, off I go to the big sausage fest that is our guy friends and Nazia’s lovely company when I should actually be doing homework and going to sleep. Friendship ruins productivity. But it’s certainly worth it. 🙂
I just finished watching the second episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, and the kickassery continues, although I’m still not an out and out FAN. It’s definitely got its moments, and Lena Headey being all badass alongside Summer Glau makes for a very happy Tess, but it’s taking me a while to get into the universe. I don’t know if I’m expecting something or if I’m just missing certain nuances but some of the dialogue isn’t doing it for me. I can feel that it’s well acted and filled with something but none of that emotional oomph has hit me yet. Well, hopefully, I’ll start to get into it with the upcoming episodes. Until Battlestar Galactica starts back up, this’ll do me nicely on the women kicking ass front. 🙂
Other world-shaking events in the back end of nowhere, I’m headed up to Baltimore this weekend to visit mis amigos y para celebrar el cumpleano de “mi hija”, Nazia. I believe she’s turning 22, and this should be fun. Oh, darn, now that I think of it, it must’ve been Chris’ birthday, too. Gotta hand him a belated card or something. It’ll be nice to see people and have some late night chats without worries that they have work or classes the next day. I’m planning on staying ’til my underwear runs out or I get too in everyone’s faces. I doubt they’ll have much time after Intersession for crazy, little, ole me until graduation. No matter how many times I tell myself I wouldn’t have made it anyways, it still stings to think of my friends graduating this year without me. It’s nothing I haven’t brought upon myself but it still sucks a little. I’d like to go to support my friends but I dunno if I can take watching my class graduate and move on when I’ve basically stalled my life.
On another conflicted note, I’m a horrible American citizen. I’ve yet to register as a Democrat ( in order to vote in the primaries), and even when I do, I’m still not completely sure who I’ll be voting for. It’s really down to H. Clinton or Obama, and I feel like it should be easier than I’m making it. I’m probably going to be spending more time trolling through the Washington Post and other news archives for more of a history on the two candidates. Well, if I have time between my researching urban gang activities ( I don’t know yet if I want to go all Batman: Year One with the Mob or 100 Bullets with nitty, gritty modern gangs) and trying to think of which powers would complement Lee’s character and circumstances. Plus, I’ve got a couple of short stories ratttling around half-started and I’d really like to finish what stories I have before the very random and sporadic plot bunnies come back to bite me.