Nuttin' but Love
However, the ethnocentrism is not just unduly jingoism or uncritical racial pride (well…maybe for some). Rather, Yao Ming, sadly, represents the lack of Asian American ‘voice’ or ‘leadership’ per se in the United States. Asian/Asian Americans make up 10-12 % of the Nation’s population, but are largely underrepresented in media, politics, civic culture, etc. Even within the umbrella term “Asian American” there are huge fissures based on ethnic background as well. To say we dominate industries such as laundry businesses, donut shops, “oriental massage parlors,” cheap food, and villains in U.S. films is hardly something worth celebrating—but definitely worth noting. The lack of social and political power and representation in communities of color has often translated into our unconditional love and pride for athletes and entertainers (i.e. Tiger Woods—even though African Americans have claimed him, 15 year old Michelle Wie, etc.)—who are often lack any real power; we romanticize them to become political advocates whether they want to or not. The revolution won’t be televised, right? So although Yao Ming is ethnically Chinese and a Chinese national, some Asians of various ethnicities—feeling connected through a similar experiences of struggle—gravitate towards the friendliest giant since George Mureasan because he tends to represent less of a stereotype than other images of Asians or Asian Americans in American mass media.
Not that Asian Americans in the bay area are apathetic now that he plays for the Rockets. Hell, I still hella love him even though he does play a little soft. It just would have been more fun cheering for him if he was on our team. It would have been great for Asian American communities and definitely $$$ for the Warriors. And who would be a better mentor—intellectually—than the socially and politically committed renaissance man, Adonal Foyle? Plus, that would be the best set of twin towers since Hakeem and Sampson!
Anyway, this is somewhat old news by now, but it’s been reported that Yao Ming is currently spending time rehabbing in Fremont, California—about 20 minutes south of Oakland. Local radio shows, rumors, word of mouth, tsimsis (gossip in tagalong) are saying that he’s training at a local 24 hour fitness. It’s evident that Yao Ming would rather be in California than anywhere else in the U.S. Great weather, great fans (considering how bad the Warriors have been), great food, and great women! Since we couldn’t get him three years ago, at least we have him now in the summer temporarily. Hopefully Mullin is out there, too, attempting to win him over and bringing with him the hot Asian American Warrior girls as bait (I mean that in the least sexist way). Golden State Warriors forum has some news.