Sunday, March 2, 2014

Blog #3: Amy Lee

Amy Lee

Week 3 of the Be Green Challenge

          I've been paying more attention to all my purchases. I'm even trying to save on my groceries. I started buying in bulk at Costco. I don't know how well that'll turn out because I cant finish the food before the expiration dates. If I don't, then I'll be wasting and losing even more money. I'm trying to get my housemates to help out finishing all the food. 
         I realized that me buying so much food is also a form of consumerism. I'm buying more than I need. Maybe it is to compensate for my lack of shopping for things that are not necessities. The idea of spending just to spend. Although we are allowed to purchase clothing and other things material things second hand, I've been too lazy to do so. I have went thrift shopping before. it was overwhelming and I tend to get impatient while shopping. I just want to go in and grab what I need. My first experience didn't leave me with a great impression. The store was super big and it must have been hard to organize all the merchandise from men, women, and children's clothing to shoes and toys, electronics, and kitchenware. 
I don't have an urge to go back. Maybe I just have to get used to the idea of wearing something someone else (a stranger) have worn before. As of now, I would rather buy something cheap that is new than a brand name that is second hand. However, since starting the challenge, I've been doing more research on alternative ways to buy clothes or electronics, such as through the Facebook page for UCD students: Clothing and Accessories for Sale. At least for this, there is active bargaining and I know who's clothing I am buying. I also registered for the Stride for Aggie Pride 5k run and I had to pay $7.00...does that violate the terms of agreement?
I think my mindset and favor of buying everything brand new stemmed from my mom. Growing up, my mom never shopped much other than for necessities and groceries. However, when she does, she tends to buy the same styled shirts in different colors and they weren't the cheapest shirts  either....But she also wears them for quite awhile. She stressed buying something new because she rarely shops and when she does, it's like a treat.
For this blog, I am going to focus on the Abercrombie article: Abercrombie and Glitch: Asian Americans rip retailer for stereotypes on T-shirts. I chose this article because I remembered seeing a shirt back in San Francisco Chinatown that said Got Rice? I didn't think much of it, but this article made me think of it again. I know that for some people, Abercrombie's to put this shirt on the shelves was foolish and a conscious attempt to be offensive, racist, and to stereotype. 
                                       Asian Americans recoiled upon seeing Abercrombie & Fitch T-shirts. Chronicle photo by Paul Chinn
             "We personally thought Asians would love this T-shirt," said Hampton Carney
with Paul Wilmont Communications in New York, the public relations firm where Abercrombie referred a reporter's call"' (ABERCROMBIE & GLITCH / Asian Americans rip retailer for stereotypes on T-shirts). As much as this sounds like an excuse or justification, we have to keep in mind that not everyone has the privilege of sitting through an ethnic studies class. And we all know that Asian American history isn't offered until college, and not in every state either: take Arizona, for example. San Francisco State had to fight for a place for ethnic studies. By banning ethnic studies for young people, Arizona is directly targeting minority groups. It's like the 1882 Chinese Exclusion law all over again. Only this time, it is targeting Mexican Americans. Not only is banning ethnic studies discriminatory, but it is also upholding the white majority power in American. It is also reinforcing the glass ceiling of ethnic knowledge. Why is it okay to preach white American history and label it as a standard class and not only ignore other ethnic classes, but actively banning it too? If ethnic classes were more accepted, Abercrombie would be more conscious of other people other than themselves and know that this kind of joke is offensive and mocking. 
I am not condoning Abercrombie's decision to sell such a product. I'm trying to understand why they thought it was okay. For some people, their only exposure of Asian culture is through the media and there is already an overload of stereotypes on screen. Being a large corporation/ business, Abercrombie has the responsibility of being more aware of their messages. They can defend this shirt by saying that they make fun of everyone equally, but I guarantee that they wont produce a shirt mocking the African American community. I would never wear this shirt, new, used, or free. It's bad humor and it's embarrassing. 

Inside Source: Stasburg, Jenny. "ABERCROMBIE & GLITCH / Asian Americans Rip Retailer for Stereotypes on T-shirts." SFGate. N.p., 18 Apr. 2002. Web. 01 Mar. 2014.

Outside Source: Rodriguez, Gregory. "Why Arizona Banned Ethnic Studies." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 20 Feb. 2012. Web. 02 Mar. 2014.

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