[Ediotr’s Note: This band will be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel’s show next week!] By Derek Hawkins, The Washington Post | Maybe it was their adolescent energy and earnestness. Maybe it was their sludgy guitars and pummeling rhythm section. Maybe it was the searing anti-hate message in their lyrics. Or maybe the Linda Lindas just rock.
Whatever the case, the Los Angeles-based punk band of Asian and Latina teens had the internet fist-pumping and headbanging to one of their songs this week after a clip of their recent performance at the Los Angeles Public Library went viral.
The track, “Racist, Sexist Boy,” is a blistering attack on anti-Asian racism that draws on the gritty riot grrrl sounds of the early ’90s. Drummer-singer Mila, 10, said this month that she was inspired to write it with bandmate Eloise, 13, after one of her classmates harassed her during the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
“A little while before we went into lockdown, a boy in my class came up to me and said that his dad told him to stay away from Chinese people,” Mila said during the library show May 4. “After I told him that I was Chinese, he backed away from me. Eloise and I wrote this song based on that experience.”
Eloise added: “So this is about him and all the other racist, sexist boys in this world!”
The song is less than two minutes long, and not a line is wasted. “You are a racist sexist boy/ And you have racist sexist joys/ We rebuild what you destroy,” Eloise snarls over distorted guitars and a growling bass.
The tempo then abruptly picks up and Mila continues the ultimatum: “You say mean stuff/ And you close your mind to things you don’t like/ You turn away from what you don’t want to hear.”
And then comes the chanted crescendo: “Poser! Blockhead! Riffraff! Jerkface!”
The performance was part of a spirited eight-song set the Linda Lindas played for the library’s Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Month. It could hardly have come at a more urgent time. Violence and harassment of Asian Americans has risen sharply over the past year, shaking communities from coast to coast. Even some cities that have registered overall drops in crime have reported increases in crimes targeting Asian Americans. In one egregious attack, a 75-year-old Chinese man in Oakland died of his injuries after being shoved to the ground and robbed.
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Read the whole story here – then watch the Linda Lindas on Jimmy Kimmel next week: