I was watching Dollhouse with some friends, recently, and the subject of Sierra was brought up. I was talking about how Joss was trying really hard to make up for the lack of Asian characters in Firefly, and how he was doin' it wrong.
One of my (white) friends said, "I don't like the idea of adding Asian characters just to add Asian characters."
I said, "But what about in Firefly, where everything is Asian?"
She said, "Oh, in Firefly, it does make sense. What I'm talking about is adding Asian characters just so you can say you have Asian characters."
Everyone else in the room was white, so I let it drop.
I thought about it later, about how people need a reason to make a character Asian. I thought about not seeing myself on television, and how when I do see myself, I usually have an accent, I am a foreigner in my own country. I thought about how I like my friend a lot, and how I don't like the idea of token black/queer/female/etc characters, either.
I thought about having a character like me in a story, and how if you don't need my cultural background to tell your story, then you make her white (or at least should make her white), because all I can offer that a white person can't is my Asianness.
Because white is normal.
And I am not.