Dear Mark D. Fefer,

I have been a continual reader of the publications put out every week by the Seattle Weekly. I am usually entertained and interested to see another’s opinion on the hot issues and topics of our lives. However, after reading “Seattle’s Ragin’ Asians” article by Ms. Erika Hobart, I was in complete shock.

I was most offended with the terms used and countless stereotypes affirmed
within the few slandering pages. Although the writer makes a cleaver attempt to pinpoint most of the phrases to interviewees, the obvious intent of their words have been misconstrued. What exactly is “neon tetra fish” supposed to imply in their headline? Schools of flashy Asians swarming around the tank of Seattle?

While it may be that the reporter saw some tasteless views in Venom nightclub, it does not imply that all Asians like to hang out there and suck on lollipops while dancing and taking shots of Grey Goose. Really? You could find racier stuff in Cowgirls Inc for goodness sakes. And I know for a fact that all the girls I know would never dance with men they do not wish to just because it’s their birthday or to enjoy the nightlife and “asiaphiles” they speak of. But the reporter seemed to want to portray this image to all the readers as a central spinning image of Asian culture.

Following the nightlife of one Asian man and woman, Mr. Pham and Ms. Mom, does NOT indicate that this is the lifestyle of all Asians, no matter how many smaller interviews that were put in to make it seem legitimate. I know many of the promoters talked to in this article and all claim that their telephone conversation was not meant to be chopped up and restructured like that. Falsification is a crime in the United States.

The most recent census conducted in Seattle was in 2000 and states that 13.12 percent are of Asian descent. In 9 years since I assure you that number has just grown. Did they not think this was going to be an issue as a reporter ignorantly slanders an entire race?

Ragin’ looked up in the dictionary does not exist. If it was supposed to be “raging” was it supposed to infer we are “violent” “or “show fury”? In the urban dictionary it’s defined as “a word used by those with a low education level.” What a great message they are displaying to the Seattle community. While they say Mr. Pham brought up the ragin aspect, this is something the editors should have looked into before publishing it for the world to see and judge on as a headline on the front page with Asian heads on fish.

In addition to the careless slandering of Asians, they are also hitting home base on the other stereotype I deal with everyday; sorority life. “The gaggle of girls at his house could easily pass for sistersÑsorority sisters, anyway. They’re wearing strikingly similar dresses from Forever 21. Two of themÑidentical twinsÑlook like they’re in middle school, but are actually 20.” “It’s packed with Asians still dressed in their Forever 21 dresses and Club Monaco shirts.”

As President of my sorority I am more than outraged that they managed to disregard an entire race, as well as the entire Greek community in one article. That shows real promise for the future of the publication. Is there really nothing better to write about? This negatively affects every single Asian American women I know and work with daily. It affects the ideas of the younger generation on the Seattle Asian scene and demotes our very culture into flashy, classless people who are full of greasy noodles. I cannot believe it was freely published. It disgusts me beyond reason and scares the hell out of me on what others are going to conclude from this one reporters reasoning.

While they may not have meant to imply all of these negative connotations about Asians, all I have heard from family, friends, and coworkers is what club I am going out to next with my tetra-fish pals? I have been sent Grey Goose shots with pineapple chasers from men at bars who I have never met before in my life. On my lunch break all I hear about it how they can’t get baked spaghetti delivered to my work place for me. What kind of ignorant ammunition are they loading the streets with?

There are many ways to rephrase these outrageous comments so it does not reflect on an entire race, but the reporter poorly chose how to phrase it all. For example some elementary remarks include; “mouth full of noodles”, “flush-faced Asians”, “carton of chow mein in the other [hand]”, “It’s like the Asian version of No Child Left Behind”, “possessing that telling red-faced glow, as the kneel over family-sized portions of greasy Chinese fare”, “but the club scene is a far cry from the atmosphere in which many of these 20-something Asians were raised”, “They grew up accustomed to having their strict first-generation parents forbid them from engaging in the social activities of their teenage peers”, “The girls throw their purses in the car trunks after emptying their bladders; they don’t spend money at the club.”, “They’re almost always accompanying an Asian girlfriend or leering at groups of girls dancing in sequined dresses”, “The patrons, most of whom are Filipino or Vietnamese, crowd the understaffed bar or thrash about on the dance floor.”

These are all so overtly demeaning it is impossible to stay calm over one ignorant reporter’s writing. Please take the article offline and apologize to the Asian American community that you have belittled. Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Kira Inglis
President of alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority Inc.
University of Washington Class of 2010.

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