The white supremacists on the far right have “yellow fever” — an Asian woman fetish. It’s a confusing mix.
Andrew Anglin, the founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, once posted a video of himself with a Filipina he called “my jailbait girlfriend,” the young couple flirting as they sauntered through a megamall in the Philippines. Richard Spencer, a white nationalist, has dated a series of Asian-American women, according to one of his ex-girlfriends. （Mr. Spencer insists that it was before he embraced white nationalism.）
新纳粹网站“每日风暴”（The Daily Stormer）的创始人安德鲁·安格林（Andrew Anglin）曾经上传过一段他和一个被他称作“我的祸水妞（指如果与之发生性关系即构成强奸罪的未成年女子。——译注）女友”的菲律宾人在一起的视频。这对年轻情侣在菲律宾某大型购物中心一边闲逛一边调情。白人民族主义者理查德·斯宾塞（Richard Spencer）的一位前女友透露，他和一系列亚裔美国女性约会过。（斯宾塞坚称那是在他接受白人民族主义之前。）
The right-wing agitator Mike Cernovich, the writer John Derbyshire and an alt-right figure named Kyle Chapman （so notorious for swinging a lead-filled stick at Trump opponents at a protest in Berkeley, Calif., that he is now a meme） are all married to women of Asian descent. As a commenter wrote on an alt-right forum, “exclusively” dating Asian women is practically a “white-nationalist rite of passage.”
右翼鼓吹者迈克·切尔诺维奇（Mike Cernovich）、作家约翰·德比希尔（John Derbyshire）和极右翼分子凯尔·查普曼（Kyle Chapman，因为在加州伯克利的一场抗议活动中挥舞一根注铅的棍子殴打特朗普反对者而声名远扬，以至现在成了一种米姆）都娶了有亚洲血统的女子。正如一名评论者在一个极右翼论坛上所写的那样，“只”和亚裔女性约会几乎是一种“白人民族主义成年礼”。
In November 2016, a photo of Tila Tequila giving a Nazi salutewent viral. Ms. Tequila is the Vietnamese-American star of the short-lived MTV reality show “A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila,” and she was saluting at a dinner the night before the conference of Richard Spencer’s white-supremacist think tank, the National Policy Institute. At the conference, Mr. Spencer had reminded attendees that America was a “white country designed for ourselves and our posterity.”
2016年11月，一张蒂拉·特奎拉（Tila Tequila）行纳粹礼的照片在网上疯传。特奎拉是存在时间短暂的MTV真人秀《爱上蒂拉·特奎拉》（A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila）中的一名越南裔美国女星。行纳粹礼时，她正在参加理查德·斯宾塞所在的白人至上主义智库全国政策研究所（National Policy Institute）在会议前夕的晚宴。斯宾塞在第二天的会议上提醒参会者，美国是一个“为我们自己和子孙后代设计的白人国家”。
Maybe it makes sense that the alt-right is so confused: On a neo-Nazi news site, a user asked advice on whether he could be a white nationalist if he slept with East Asian women, and he received dozens of spirited responses from both sides. But the white-supremacist Asian fetish is no contradiction.
It exists at the intersection of two popular racial myths. First is the idea of the “model minority,” in which Asian-Americans are painted as all hard-working, high-achieving and sufficiently well-behaved to assimilate. If Asians are the model minority — if that is how nonwhites can find acceptance in white America — then perhaps that opens the door to acceptance from white supremacists.
The second myth is that of the subservient, hypersexual Asian woman. The white-supremacist fetish combines those ideas and highlights a tension within the project of white supremacism as America grows more diverse — a reality that white nationalists condemn as “white genocide.” The new, ugly truth? Maintaining white power may require some compromises on white purity.
Was Tila Tequila at that white supremacist dinner just attempting, in some twisted way, to assimilate? Or to rebel against what was expected of her? I cringe at her antics, at her trying to be just one of the white-supremacist bros.
But the photo also conjured up my memories of being a 14-year-old Asian girl in an overwhelmingly white school who wanted to be interesting, self-possessed and liked. Instinctively, I knew it meant distancing myself from the other Asian kids, especially the nerdy and studious ones. I knew I had succeeded when a friend remarked that I wasn’t really Asian, I was white, “because you’re cool.”
As I skipped classes to smoke in the courtyard, read Baudelaire to seem the “interesting” kind of smart and attempted to distance myself from the stereotypes, I didn’t know that the idea I wanted to run from — of Asians as civilized, advanced and highly intelligent — had roots in white supremacy. But between the white supremacist Chris Cantwell’s tattoo of a Japanese character and the Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s speculations that Asians “could be great allies of the white race,” there are echoes of history’s most infamous white nationalist.
我翘课去校园里抽烟，读波德莱尔（Baudelaire）的书，好让自己显得“有趣”又聪明，努力让自己有别于刻板印象，但当时我不知道我想逃避的成见——亚洲人文明、进步、高智商——植根于白人至上主义。但是，在白人至上主义者克里斯·坎特韦尔（Chris Cantwell）的日本人物纹身和查尔斯顿枪击者迪伦·鲁夫（Dylann Roof）关于亚洲人“可能是白人种族的伟大盟友”的论调之间，回响着历史上最为臭名昭著的白人种族主义者的声音。
“I have never regarded the Chinese or the Japanese as being inferior to ourselves,” Adolf Hitler said in 1945. “They belong to ancient civilizations, and I admit freely that their past history is superior to our own.”
In the United States, the model-minority myth grew from Asian-Americans’ mid-20th-century efforts to win civil rights, as the scholar Ellen D. Wu recounts in “The Color of Success.” Previously, Asian-Americans, many with humble roots in rural China, were considered degenerate, subject to lynchings, and forced to live in segregated neighborhoods and attend segregated schools under a regime of discriminatory laws and practices she has called a “cousin to Jim Crow.”
在美国，模范少数族裔迷思源自亚裔美国人在20世纪中叶争取民权的努力——正如学者艾伦·D·吴（Ellen D. Wu）在《成功的色彩》（The Color of Success）一书中描述的那样。之前，亚裔美国人大多来自中国农村，出身卑微，被认为是落后的，可以动用私刑惩罚，他们只能在实行种族隔离的社区居住，在实行种族隔离的学校就读，生活在充满歧视性法律和习俗的体制中，吴称这种体制是“吉姆·克劳法（Jim Crow）的表亲”。
But, according to Professor Wu’s research, Chinese-Americans promoted themselves as hard-working, obedient, family-oriented and able to easily assimilate into American life — traits that are not uncommon in poor immigrant communities, where many have made enormous sacrifices to move to a foreign place.
By the height of the civil rights movement, America was already giving preferential treatment to educated, professional Asian immigrants, reinforcing the idea of Asians as pliable and studious. White politicians co-opted the myth, pointing to Asian-Americans as proof that the right kind of minority group could achieve the American dream.
Professor Wu found that just months before the release of the 1965 Moynihan Report, the widely influential policy paper that attributed black poverty to a degenerate black culture, its author, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, spoke at a gathering of intellectuals and policymakers about how Japanese- and Chinese-Americans, considered “colored” just 25 years earlier, were “rather astonishing.” “Am I wrong that they have ceased to be colored?” he asked.
吴教授发现，就在1965年莫伊尼汉报告（Moynihan Report）发布前几个月——这份具有广泛影响力的政策文件将黑人的贫穷归因于落后的黑人文化——它的作者丹尼尔·帕特里克·莫伊尼汉（Daniel Patrick Moynihan）在一个知识分子和政策制定者的集会上表示，日裔和华裔美国人仅在25年前仍被认为是“有色人种”，现在却有了“相当惊人的表现”。“他们不再是有色人种了，我这么说有问题吗？”他问道。
In reality, Asians are rarely considered white, and the model-minority myth obscures the vast differences among Asian-Americans. What’s more, the myth helped to strengthen America’s white liberal order, which claims to uphold diversity while also being anti-black. It legitimizes white America’s power to determine who is “good” and to offer basic dignity and equal rights.
The model-minority myth exists alongside another dangerous and limiting idea — one that is consistent with the alt-right’s misogyny and core anti-feminist values. The main problem with white women, as many alt-right Asian fetishists have noted, is they’ve become too feminist. By contrast, Asian women are seen as naturally inclined to serve men sexually and are also thought of as slim, light-skinned and small, in adherence to Western norms of femininity.
These stereotypes have roots in America’s postwar military incursions into Asia. In Japan, a network of brothelspermitted by American officials opened as United States troops began arriving in August 1945. The brothels employed tens of thousands of women until Gen. Douglas MacArthur declared them off limits in 1946.
In South Korea, an estimated 300,000 women were working in the sex trade by 1958 （after the end of the Korean War）, with more than half employed in the “camptowns” around the American bases. Vietnam’s sex industry, centered largely on American bars, thrived during the Vietnam War. And the stereotype of docile Asian women persists. Nowhere is this more explicit than in sex ads and online pornography.
Tila Tequila — Playboy model, reality show star, aspiring rapper and one of a handful of female Asian-American celebrities — is often seen through this trope. Does she resent being typecast as the hot, horny Asian as much as I resented being seen as a “model minority”?
Yet after I was called “white” at age 14, it felt, paradoxically, like a compliment to be nicknamed Geisha Girl by another friend, a well-meaning gay white boy. This was not because I was delicate. But the nickname became our inside joke, and it symbolized the kind of femininity that attracted the boys I liked, but that I have never really possessed. Being in on the joke meant I was accepted. Since then, I have acted out in all manner of ways to dispel the “model minority” image. Still, I have never fully extinguished the belief that racking up an impressive lineup of achievements is the only way to gain respect.
The stereotypes that feed the Asian-woman fetish are not exclusive to the far right. They exist across the political spectrum and infect every aspect of life — not just the bedroom — and manifest themselves in figures as distant from America as the blond-haired, blue-eyed heroes and hypersexualized heroines of Japanese anime.
This fun-house mirror asks me to be smarter, nicer, prettier and more accomplished than my white counterparts for the same amount of respect, then floods my dating app inbox with messages that reek of Asian fetish. Thankfully, I’m not required to care or let it define me; for what it’s worth, I am even entitled to play up the stereotypes if I see something to be gained. Maybe this is where the Asian girlfriends of alt-right men stand. But none of us can escape the truth that the fun-house was built to justify systematic exploitation of everyone in this country who isn’t white. That’s important context. Otherwise, Richard Spencer’s comments could almost sound nice.
“There is something about the Asian girls,” he once said to Mother Jones. “They are cute. They are smart. They have a kind of thing going on.”