Magazine | 5:09 pm | December 17, 2011 | By Tao Tao Holmes

I never called white kids lazy

Tao Tao Holmes, above left, did not call white kids lazy.
Tao Tao Holmes, above left, did not call white kids lazy. Photo by Tao Tao Holmes.

According to the Internet, I, Tao Tao Holmes, consider white kids lazy and spoiled. You caught me red-handed. I hereby admit to being a rampant, egocentric racist.

Woe is me, and woe is the nine pages of Google hits that offer up links to the AP article “Some Asians’ college strategy: Don’t check ‘Asian’” when I search my name. Needless to say, I shall never call “children of American parents” lazy and spoiled ever again — especially since I never did in the first place, and especially because I qualify as one.

It is rather frustrating to read an article being disseminated across an entire array of media outlets that has managed to misrepresent nearly everything that I expressed to its author. Then again, as the offspring of a white father and Chinese mother, failing to check “Asian” on my college apps was never a strategy for me; it was merely an aversion to boxing myself into a rigid racial identity. I do not consider myself in terms of my race and I saw no reason for college admissions to do so either. For anyone, but especially those with parents of different ethnic backgrounds, “race” can be ambiguous, malleable and difficult to define. I never thought twice when faced with those boxes. If limited to one choice, I always checked “other.” Perhaps I simply have an aversion to being defined as anything.

It is ignorant to make any sort of broad, sweeping statement lumping one demographic of people under a single derogatory label. I think we all know that. So when I see a commenter on the News’ forums with the username “cowcow” comment that “In my opinion Tao Tao Holmes is an antiwhite racist,” I feel a little sting. I can only hope that others who read my quote, “That’s essentially what I’m trying to say,” notice that it is not, in fact, prefaced by a real prompt, and thus could have manipulated the actual content of what I expressed in a variety of manners (and in the case that you were wondering, I said that Asian parents often hold their children to unusually high standards).

Fortunately, most internet forums do not focus on how Tao Tao “sounds like a charming person” or how, as another online commenter posted, “names like tao tao, gua gua, chou chou are pretty retarded,” but instead address the real issue at hand, indirectly targeted by the article’s author, a Yalie himself, in fact. And those discussions are getting at something worthwhile: race shouldn’t even be a factor in college admissions. I think a laudable attribute of the US college admissions system is that by taking more than grades, test scores and check boxes into consideration, applicants are given a chance to identify themselves along their own set of lines. Or at least, I’d like to think so.

Oh, and I rather enjoyed this forum post, too:

“also LOL at ‘tao tao holmes’ trying to check “white” on the application, just LOL.”

LOL, me too.

Comments
  • joey00
  • Yalie08

    So is the AP article simply misrepresenting you? You never address the accuracy of this line: “Does Holmes think children of American parents are generally spoiled and lazy by comparison? ‘That’s essentially what I’m trying to say.’” I could definitely imagine this being a nasty misquote, but you don’t call it that. Why not take the author to task?

    • highandelm

      except that she does address it:

      I can only hope that others who read my quote, “That’s essentially what I’m trying to say,” notice that it is not, in fact, prefaced by a real prompt, and thus could have manipulated the actual content of what I expressed in a variety of manners (and in the case that you were wondering, I said that Asian parents often hold their children to unusually high standards).

    • Yale12

      Yeah, and then there’s the title of the blog post, which is “I never called white kids lazy.” But like, I see how, if you didn’t read the title or the actual post, you could have gotten confused.

  • PC12

    I’m white and I’m like the laziest person in the world.

  • AsianAdvantage

    From a college admissions standpoint, your last name and what you look like determines your race. Tao Tao Holmes and for example, the Tiger Mom’s children, are white. In elite college admissions, this gives them a 300% advantage over Asian applicants with the same qualifications. Putting “white” isn’t a just a strategy, it’s a smart approach to winning the college admissions game.

  • River_Tam

    This is an incoherently written defense. The entire piece should be a few sentences long:

    “My statement ‘That’s essentially what I’m trying to say’, was preceded by a rhetorical question that was not asked of me. Thus, the AP portrayed me as saying that American children are spoiled or lazy when I in fact said nothing of the sort. I have asked the AP to issue a correction.”

    Instead we get a weird rambling multi-paragraphed response that waits until the fourth paragraph to directly address the quote itself and then stops short of actually saying that Ms. Holmes never expressed that sentiment.

    I’m forced to conclude that either Ms. Holmes did indeed call American children lazy (not that I would disagree!) or that she was drunk when she wrote this defense.

    • 81

      You’re totally right, River Tam: this post is way too long. But I chalk it up to Yalies equating verbosity with good writing…. though maybe she was drunk also.

  • A_Balla14

    Well I think Tao Tao sounds like a pretty swell person who writes YDN articles very much sober and is intelligent and beautiful too.

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