This YouTube star is getting slammed for making a racist video mocking nail salon employees
‘You so pretty, you have boyfrien?’
by Katie Way
Social media personality/YouTuber Summerella, best known for her stint as a Vine star, is under fire for a video she tweeted about the typical nail salon experience. It features some racist gibberish that's clearly supposed to pass for Vietnamese, the stereotype that nail technicians talk shit about their clients, and a mock-Asian accent.
It's gross and not funny, and a textbook example of the fact that just because you're a person of color doesn't mean you're exempt from accusations of racism.
Summerella's defenders were quick to bring up the fact that MadTV featured a ton of sketches about a nail technician portrayed by Latina/Native American comedian Anjelah Johnson in the early 2000s. But ultimately that argument doesn't make sense, because those sketches were… also racist.
Luckily, plenty of people were quick to point out that the sketch was racist without falling prey to the "how would you like it if someone did blackface??" trap, which is a false equivalency and anti-black. No need to play Oppression Olympics while calling someone out, okay?
nail technicians work hard as hell to get your eyebrows on fleek, your nails looking right, and your toes suckable and y’all use vietnamese accents for your own racist comedic jokes?? sad
— billy🥀 (@oraltwjnk) November 30, 2017
Listen black people be thinking they cant be discriminatory but this just shows proof. Racism against ALL races is bad
— Keara 🥀👑💃🏽 (@SERENDlPlTAE_) November 30, 2017
black people don't approve of this shit
— Valerie B📚✏ (@tinyheroes_) November 30, 2017
请你删除这个视频。please delete this video, as a poc u should know better. pic.twitter.com/pfBtEehwu9
— KongFuVicky (@Vickyuchending) November 30, 2017
Others were quick to point out that nail technicians really don't give a shit about you enough to gossip about you because they're people with their own complicated, full lives and you are a stranger that they're only interacting with because they're getting paid.
as a vietnamese person lemme defend my people and say that we don’t even talk about you 90% of the time. we don’t fucking care THAT much about your sad life and we’re just tryna live and do our job so just be respectful and quiet and LET US 😪
— britney♡ten (@rosietens) November 30, 2017
I worked at a nail salon that was owned by a Vietnamese couple. A lady came in and was askin the husband if they were talking ab her and his savage ass .. "No , if we talk ab you, we do it in English so you can hear too." He's hilarious and I almost died at the front counter😂😂
— tay bæ🇮🇹 (@Taydudley12) November 30, 2017
The fact of the matter is that racism against Asians and Asian Americans often isn't taken as seriously as racism against other people of color. I've had people tell me, an Asian American woman, that Asian people don't actually experience racism. It's a surprisingly common sentiment, and frankly it's fucking disgusting.
The model minority stereotype paints people of Asian descent as non-threatening robot geniuses programmed for success, pitting us against other minorities while still leaving us a step below white people.
Asian women are fetishized and Asian men are feminized by pop culture, and Asian people are a comfortable punchline for lazy comedians in a world where anti-black and Latinx rhetoric is (rightfully) becoming increasingly off-limits. It's bullshit, it's toxic, and it's racist as fuck.
Unfortunately, Summerella has yet to take down the video, or even respond to the backlash it's received. But now that Vine is dead, she's not really shit anyway and if she ever does pick up steam again better believe this "joke" is gonna resurface.