A few months ago, an LA rock band known as Day Above Ground released their newest song on YouTube. Titled “Asian Girlz”, this song’s blatantly racist and sexist lyrics and music video have created controversy. Before I start ranting from my soapbox, I would first like to say that attacking the woman actress in the video is unacceptable. Her being an Asian woman does not mean she is more at fault than the band.
Here is Day Above Ground’s response to the criticism they were receiving:
This song is us, Day Above Ground, making fun of ourselves (and many, many other guys) obsession with the always lovely, Asian Woman. It pushes this concept to an absurd level, but at the same time is endearing & submissive.. WE ARE NOT RACIST, HAHA! I mean, look at our band, it’s multicultural!! The guy in the bow-tie, our cutie bass player, was born in Indonesia, and he steals the show!! Please don’t take this tongue-in-cheek tribute to some of the most gorgeous women on the planet too seriously!! You’ll ruin the fun of it all!! Thanks for watching, sincerely!!
Obviously this is a group of highly misinformed and ignorant individuals. Claiming, “we are not racist” does not make the song any less racist. But I can’t forget the token Asian friend. This of course makes everything better, right? Wrong. Attention all white people, making a stereotypical joke about another race or culture is not funny, its blatant racism. It is mocking another group for being different than the perceived norm in society. As white Europeans comprise the dominant group in the United States, this culture becomes “normal” and anything that differs is odd or funny. Case in point: “New Year’s in February (February?)/ That’s fine with me (I guess)”.
In case it is necessary, I have provided a map of Asia on the left. As you can see, Asia is comprised of many countries and cultures. Not only are there differences between Indian and Korean culture, but there is also diversity within the diversity. Thus, there is no real “Asian culture”. So, the end of the song that simply lists random aspects of “Asian culture” is offensive. It is a gross generalization.
But let’s not forget that this is meant as a “tribute to some of the most gorgeous women”. Oh really, is that why this song starts off with “Butt fucking all night…Ninja pussy I’m stabbin’”. If we can even imagine ignoring the racism in this song, the sexism and fetishism is abhorrently present. This song perpetuates the white male stereotypical view of a submissive Asian woman who simply wants to please men with sex. Women are being presented as a sex object for men, and for some reason we are supposed to find flattery in this. Let this be an example to all men of how not to serenade a woman.
In anticipation of possible comments from people saying that it is only considered racism because it is a white group singing about Asians, and that it is unfair that white people can be made fun of without it being called racist, I have included this link. The reverse racism argument is invalid.