Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

Rounding up the Axe-gang

Ah crap, I just wrote an 'Asian' law and order post, which was cruelly eaten by the system. So in the spirit of load-sharing that this 'Asian election blogging' fever has engendered, here's what Alistair Kwun has to say on the subject on the Herald Election Blog:

I read Errol Kiong's piece in the Herald yesterday Crime big worry for ethnic groups and it made me wonder: what are Asian communities afraid of? Is it:

a) racist sidewalk attacks and harrassment
b) non-racially targeted robberies on modest small businesses, like dairies or taxis
c) racially-profiled burglaries of affluent-looking 'Asian'-style houses
d) being incompetently kidnapped by members of their own community
e) their children listening to 'underground' hip-hop music and turning into 'wild childs' or
f) the perception that mainstream society and the police won't step in to defend people still treated as outsiders to New Zealand society?

I'm a NZ born Chinese living in multicultural Auckland where people have mostly overcome that 90s sidewalk Asian-harrassment habit. Law and order are not a strong voting priority for me. Errol's article highlights that my generation of 'Asian' voters are less defined by conservative or 'ethnic' concerns. Insulting immigration policies, however, still rile them up.

I hope recent Asian immigrant voters realise that while the Right-Wing may try to woo the 'Asian' vote by promising to bring back flogging and hanging, draconian punitive measures [are] only useful [for] amplifying people's fears. They don't affect how much crime occurs. Today's 'PC-leftie' regime has followed through on actual diversification of the ethnic make-up of the police force to allow it to work better with ethnic communities. This is incredibly vital, and builds stronger and healthier communities.

A talented actor and youth-worker, whom I met recently on a trip to Wellington, used to regularly get in trouble in his teenage years around a refugee area of the city, where he'd challenge and shout down the neighbourhood racist shopkeepers who would call him a nigger.

I recall what he told me: "Whenever they sent out the white cops, I'd get arrested. Whenever they sent out the Chinese cop, he'd talk it over with everyone, and I wouldn't get arrested." If there hadn't been that (one) 'ethnic-beat' cop, he could have been one of those hip-hop criminals our parents' generation is so afraid of now, rather than a community mentor for at-risk youth. More Chinese cops please!

Nice work Al. YOU are the new Keith Ng being the new Tze Ming Mok being the new Manying Ip. He's right that our generation of assetless young Auckland 'Asians', are rather less likely be suckers for the politics of fear. But we do worry about our parents being worried. What concerns me about Errol's article is that it shows that the older generation (not to be confused with the 'Old Generation') are still afraid in their own country. There's something very wrong with that.

My original post was totally awesome, I swear. Anecdotes about my mother losing her rag and siccing the cops on racist teenagers, Nelson race-attacks, Singaporean political podcasts, 'It's in the Bag' jokes, practical tips for dealing with racial-harassment drive-bys (use those PXT-phones ESOL kids!), references to Aeon Flux and Three Kings Mall in the same sentence... everything! Them's the breaks.