|It'll happen, kids. Trust me.|
In many ways, they will be the definition of mainstream. Interesting, somewhat, but so ideal that they will also be kind of boring. A little shallow too.
And of course She or He will be charismatic! So charismatic that it will not matter that they have Asian blood coursing through their veins. They will defy all preconceived conventions, leap over stereotypes and they will be superstars. Movie (super) stars, probably. Big budget ones, on bus-stop posters. No Kung-fu whatsoever, not even as a joke. No Dragon Ladies, no evil Fu Manchus, no dutiful-Confucius spouting servants. It won't even take place in ancient China or WWII Japan. Can you imagine?
This will be the Asian American Moment. And we won't know it at first. It will happen and we will be surprised, confused, waiting for the swift rise to be accompanied by a disastrous fall.
|Sorry, Keanu. You are not 'the one'. This time.|
And some Asians will hate them because they are not Asian enough. Especially those born in Asia, who still hold onto their country's ideas and values. The leaders in their communities will say that he/she is great, but maybe they assimilated too much. Became too westernized.
|Kristen Kreuk has played great Asian Americans in the past. And then she played Chun-Li.|
That's what the Asian American moment will be about.
Maybe its happened already. There are many contenders to give us our moment. Jeremy Lin has propelled Asian Americans, surely. But the fact that it matters that he is Asian American, and, more importantly here, Asian, makes it doubtful. Even though he's lived in America all his life, it's still significant that he's soon playing where Yao Ming (born and raised in China) became a superstar and international sensation, in Houston, and now he's following in his footsteps, to be viewed in millions of Chinese homes overseas.
|The Rockets? That's Linsane in the Membrane.|
The Asian American Moment will make all of that seem absurd. Though they will look Asian, for all intents and purposes, she/he will be American and viewed as such. For better and for worse, he/she will be so "American" that the Asian will be a strange prefix on their Wikipedia page.
Someday, he/she will win some Oscar/Emmy/Grammy. They will be at the pinnacle. And it won't matter that their eyes are clearly slanted, or that their skin has a foreign tint. What will matter is that millions of Asian Americans, now four, five generations in, will see she/he, see this Asian American treated as a peer.
It will happen. And it won't change everything. But it will finally, truly, be a start.