Let This 'Barbershop Trio' Explain Why Asians Are Racist Against Asians

Racism can be an uncomfortable topic, but a new video featuring a “barbershop trio” has found a way to explain why “Asians don’t like Asians” — by using comedy and song.

In a Funny or Die sketch, the “top three Asian countries” China, South Korea, and Japan explain to America how intra-Asian racism started in the first place. And to ensure their message is clear, they decide to explain it in the “whitest way possible” — by singing in the style of barbershop.

Their explanations for internal racism span from historical incidents to stereotypes.

The trio note that Asians hate Japan because of “some fucked-up shit” they did during the Second World War, including attacks on Pearl Harbour in Hawaii, and also Hong Kong, the Philippines, and several other island nations in Southeast Asia.

The singers have less intense reasons for hating China. In their song, they joke that not only is the country overpopulated, but “Cantonese sounds like barking dogs. It’s dirty and gross and covered in smog.”

As for South Korea? They’re “tacky and flashy” and “too much plastic surgery is trashy.” The group also adds a jab that South Korea is only “half a country,” so it only deserves half a verse in the song.

And don’t even think about misidentifying the Asians you know, because country pride runs deep.

“We think we’re each the best, don’t confuse us for the rest,” the trio declare in sing-song harmony.

To drive home the point that “Asians are super-duper racist,” the trio don’t even acknowledge the Philippines when the man who represents the country asks about the rest of the Asian population (South Asians aren’t represented in the video).

While the video offers insight into the racism among Asians, it ends with this observation: Asians will band together when another group offends them.

At the end of the video, America chimes in saying, “I get it. Korea is the worst!” outraging the Asian countries.

YouTube user Yueyue Z agreed with this sentiment. “I like the ending where they all got mad because of the judgment from America. So true,” the user commented. “I don’t like other countries discriminate against any of East Asian country even though we ‘don’t like’ each other.”

Another part of internal racism is that some Asians want to fit in with white culture, so they reject their own and other cultures.

“Many Asian Americans believe that whiteness is equated to success and prosperity,” HuffPost contributor Jezzika Chung explained in an article. “And we can’t fully blame them for falling for this belief — years of colonialism, systemic biases that favour whiteness, and colourism in many Asian countries have all contributed to a belief that in order to succeed, you must either be white or assimilate into whiteness.”

This belief has contributed to anti-black sentiments among Asians, as well as internal racism.

“When we accept or ‘buy-in to’ the negative and inferiorizing messages that are propagated about who we are, then we have begun to internalize the oppression that we experienced,” E. J. R. David, a psychology professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, explained in Psychology Today. “We have come to learn that — having certain traits, being a member of a particular group, and being who we are — are not good enough or are not desirable.”

“This is why internalized oppression does not just affect a few individuals. Instead, internalized oppression can destroy families, cultures, and communities.”

So there you have it, folks. Racism between Asians exists.

CORRECTION – MAY 6, 2018: An earlier version of this article stated that inter-Asian racism toward Japanese people stemming from the Second World War was mainly due to the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbour in the U.S.; Japan also invaded several Asian nations during the war, which could influence Asian views of Japan.

Leave a Reply