What role does skin color play in the discrimination exercised within a minority community? What role do different geographical origins, different levels/kinds of education, or other factors play? Apparently, it plays a big role towards Asians and Americans. We are often judge by the way we speak, the way we dress, and occupation. FOBs are known for a person that hasn’t been in the United States for a long time or doesn’t speak English fluently. “FOBs vs. Twinkies”: The New Discrimination Is Intraracial is an article written by an Asian American author, Grace Hsiang. This article summarizes about aspects of Asian culture are divided into two groups. One group is attached to their ethnic heritage. They would communicate with “true Asians” only. As stated in the article, “they believe relationships should remain within the community, and may even opt to speak their parents’ native language over English in public” (p. 306). They are the ones that are considered FOBs (Fresh Off the Boat) because they would not allow any other race to interact with them.
The other group of Asian culture concentrates to be seen as an American as much as possible. Asian American considered as “Twinkies,”…yellow on the outside, white on the inside” (p. 307) on the other hand, would not date anyone of their race, have friends outside of their race, and would claim how they are not true Asians. Hsiang concludes that everyone should identify their heritage because that’s who they are and “avoid this internal discrimination simply by recognizing that we are of two cultures—and that in itself creates a new culture that should be fully celebrated” (p. 07). Grace Hsiang uses personal experience, pathos, and allusions of ethos to convince the audience that discrimination comes from within the community. Grace Hsiang’s used personal experience throughout her article. The article is based off of Hsiang’s personal experience, that she is an Asian American herself. She understands when it comes to discrimination as compared to like a white-washed writing about the issue from the outside. She understands between the two cultures: true Asians and Asian American as she stated in her essay: [FOBs] cling to their ethnic heritage.
They tend to be exclusive in their friendships, often accepting only “true Asians. ” They believe relationships should remain within the community, and may even opt to speak their parents’ native language over English in public. [Twinkies] reject as many aspects of Asian culture as possible and concentrate on being seen as American. They go out of their way to refuse to date within the community, embrace friends outside their ethnic circle, and even boast to others about how un-Asian they are (p. 06). From her experience, we could assume that she had friends from both groups, entailing that rather than identifying with one culture or another, she accepts both. She also uses “we” and “us” from experiences as seen in the quote, “the pressures we face force many of us to feel we must choose one culture over another. We can either cling to our parent’s ideology or rebel against it and try to be “American” (p. 307). This quote shows that Hsiang knows how the Asian community thinks as a whole.
Hsiang also shows that the Asian community separate themselves from other Americans. From her side of argument on discrimination with FOBs and Twinkies, it made the argument from within the community more believable. Hsiang uses pathos by appealing to the reader’s emotions that grew up experiencing enough difficulties living in a predominantly white country with the face of a foreigner. Most readers out there could relate to Hsiang’s situation as an American who gets treated like a foreigner.
In the beginning of Hsiang’s article, in her sociology class, the teacher asked the students to volunteer their own experiences with racism or ethnic harassment (p. 306). She imagined that the battle would be between white vs. minority, but to her surprise, most of the students told of being discriminated against were by members of their own race. Hsiang also stated, “People act disappointed that I can’t speak Japanese fluently,” a student of Mexican and Japanese ancestry in my sociology class complained this morning. I don’t see anyone giving me credit for speaking fluent Gaelic” (p. 307). This quote is from someone with mixed background and can appeal to people of mixed backgrounds who feel pressured to stick with their culture to keep up with people’s expectations. This quote also direct towards other people who do not have identity issues, explaining how it feels to be misidentified. Hsiang brought the attention by saying, “Asian Americans grow up experiencing enough difficulties living in a predominantly white country with the face of a foreigner” (p. 307).
Hsiang’s saying tells us that she is appealing to her audience that is not of mixed background, people that have never had identity problems. Asian Americans and other races who are reading this selection can relate to the difficulties Hsiang is talking about and they can be convinced that discrimination come from within the community rather than the outside. Hsiang also uses allusions as a form of ethos to make her article targeted towards younger people. She sounds convincing when she gives nicknames that were given in the Asian community from outsiders such as “Chink” for Chinese or “Jap” for Japanese (p. 306).
The younger people may be more familiar with these names and it is possible that some of the audience have used these nicknames before towards Asian people. Hsiang stated, “I’ve heard ethnocentric Asians speak with disgust about Asians who wear Abercrombie and Fitch (which is viewed as the ultimate “white” brand), or make fun of those who don’t know their parents’ language (p. 307). This allusion shows a modern example through the usage of a popular and current clothing brand name. Lots of people know about Abercrombie and Fitch so the audience can feel the level of disgust ethnocentric Asians have for the brand and American culture.
Another reference uses comes from the movie Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, starring an Asian and Indian actor. The many racial stereotype references to Asian Americans and Indian Americans make this film and appropriate reference. Harold, an Asian character, complains about a girl who is pursing him despite his lack of interest: She “rambles on about her East Asian Students Club or whatever. Then I have to actually pretend that I give a s—t or she calls me a Twinkie…yellow on the outside, white on the inside” (p. 07). This quote presents the nickname “Twinkie,” which is used in the title of her essay. Using these kinds of cultural references makes Hsiang’s words more adaptable for younger audience and somewhat entertaining for the audience to understand and read. This article of Hsiang is to try to eliminate stereotypes and discrimination for Asian Americans. Hsiang understand the term “Asian American” in all its complexity, and embrace all sides of our identity, rather than identifying with one culture or another, she accept both.
She believes you should identify with your heritage “because that’s who you are. ” We can see that through Hsiang’s role in helping out the Asian American community and other minority groups, she is a brilliant figure in the name of equality, her essay, “FOBs vs. “Twinkies”:The New Discrimination is Intraracial,” shows many rhetorical methods to convince her audience that discrimination comes from within the community rather than from the outside such as personal experience, pathos, and allusions of ethos.