Julie Carrie Wong recently wrote an article for Buzzfeed, The Problem with “Serial” and the Model Minority Myth.
To summarize, Serial is an immensely popular podcast (from the people that produce This American Life) and it attempts to unravel the murder of Hae Min Lin and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was convincted of her murder. Wong believes that the podcast fails to account for complicated racial contexts here and actively tries to paint a picture of harmful stereotypes; the Asian couple were high achievers, the black friend was a criminal.
All I’m telling you to do is listen. Listen to the podcast; it’s very entertaining and I listened to all 8 episodes over 2 days. And then read the article. And then just sit and think about it a lot. Spends some time on Google and see what others have to say about white privilege, the model minority, and whatever other jargon you haven’t really explored. And then sit and think about it some more. Stew in it.
Don’t get all defensive about it and don’t write a piece for the New York Observer where you throw your arms up in the air and complain about political correctness choking every possible form of expression and then come to the absurd conclusion that everything’s racist and therefore nothing is racist. Wong has come forward and tried to intelligently engage on an issue that already draws the ire of the majority white audience, don’t write an emotional plea to dismiss her and to rally the troops against her.
Nobody is calling you a racist. But some of your actions are. And some of your favorite pieces of media rely on racist tropes. And we’ve all got a lot of growing to do, both personally and as a society. And it’s so hard for me to find people that intelligently critique pop culture on its depictions of race, I’d appreciate if you didn’t try to chase them out of the industry.