By Heywood Jablomi
Private Investigative Journalist
With the new semester starting to reach full swing, once-separated friend groups are starting to reunite after a long summer, and new friendships are starting to forge. We’ve got such a large and diverse student body here at Rutgers, and today we’re going to be taking a look into a large and diverse group: students from all across Asia, and one singular white student. This student is Mr. James Johnson, a sociology major who somehow ended up surrounded by Asian STEM majors. James reported his friends as “a blast”, citing their impressive academic skill and knowledge of quality ethnic restaurants as “much cooler” than his friends back in his suburban high school. Meanwhile, his friends called James “white as fuck” but “pretty chill”, and from my time watching the group from the back corner of the student centers, they seem pretty happy together.
Despite their differences in major, interests, and cultural background, one thing brings them all together: making fun of white people. As any comedian will tell you, WASPS are the perfect target for making fun of large groups of people, for one reason greater than all others: punching up is funny, punching down is not. As a group of mostly non-white college students with roughly 82 cents to their names, most priviliged white people are prime bait to make fun of, and they found no reason to stop when a white kid joined their ranks. In the hour and a half that I sat there spying on them, they made cracks about spoiled white kids wasting their money, the absurd pumpkin spice obsession, and the ever-present butt of all jokes, Trump and his supporters.
One day, while I was riding the bus pretending to listen to music while actually eavesdropping on them, one girl made a crack about “yellow fever”, then turned to James and asked if making jokes at his expense made him uncomfortable. The tension in the group was palpable, I could tell they wanted to keep James around, but they didn’t want to stop making jokes either. Fortunately, James simply smiled and unleashed a rapid-fire storm of cracks about white guilt, older white men who try to hook up with younger women, and approximately five and a half jokes with “roll tide” as the punchline. Unfortunately, I had to get off the bus at this point and couldn’t keep eavesdropping, but through the windows I saw the friends celebrating their new repertoire of jokes, bonding over their mutual distaste of the white man.
Over the weekend, I saw the group at the student center once again, talking about the general lack of culture white people have, James once again using his intimate knowledge of white people to educate his friends on previously-unexplored depths of non-culture. They seemed to be drawing the ire of tables around them, earning dirty looks from the occasional insecure white student, but I personally am proud of these kids. They’ve crossed racial and cultural barriers by finding a common interest, and forged what promises to be a lifelong friendship, and I’m proud of these kids.