....LMB: "Some Racism is More Equal Than Others"....

February 18, 2003

A good thought-provoking post over at Orcinus about anti-Asian racism in America.

When a US Congressman in charge of homeland security endorsed the mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans, guilty or innocent, into internment camps in WWII, there was no public outcry.

When basketball star Shaquille O'Neal mocked new Chinese player Yao Ming by mocking his language (said O'Neal, "Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh'"), everyone helped him sweep it under the rug as just a harmless joke. And when sports radio talk shows encouraged people to follow Shaq's example and call them up with jokes about the Chinese, no one batted an eyelash.

Think what you will about the separate incidences above, but they all point to an apparent American perception that that racism towards Asians is either acceptable, or is "not really racism."

The link above is a good piece on the subject, especially for us white folks who are often sheltered from thinking about racial issues.

Posted by Jake at 01:03 PM

I think it all stems from the common view that Asian-Americans aren't as oppressed economically, politically, etc. as other minority groups...So naturally, it's okay to make fun of THOSE people. They're all engineers and scientists anyway, right? But...uh...you see...we can't make fun of black or Latino people because...they're too dumb to be engineers or scientists...but we can still demean Native Americans because we killed them all...HA HA HA HA!

Disclaimer: The above post was written by a schizophrenic nutjob and should not have been read by anyone.

Posted by: Eric at February 18, 2003 03:47 PM

actually I was expecting the opposite. during ww2 someone could say anything about a foreigner & get away w/ it. now nobody can say anything without being termed racially/politically/economically/religiously insensitive.

Posted by: bill f at February 18, 2003 06:41 PM

Yeah, it's all rich tapestry.

Posted by: Eric at February 18, 2003 08:48 PM

jesufuckingchristo. i always hated that lame-ass excuse "oh, get a sense of humor" when being mocked. i have an excellent sense of humor. that shit just isn't funny. i think i'm going to try and take a picture w/ shaq at one of his games (i'm a really short chinese girl) and then bite him on his big-ass racist knee. now THAT'S funny.

Posted by: lydiadeetz at February 19, 2003 01:33 PM

In terms of "sense of humor" and racial comments, I would make a distinction between Lenny Bruce's " Are there any niggers in here tonight?" which was a comedic routine on the word "nigger" itself and Shaq's rather juvenile schoolyard taunt.

Often you have to look at the speaker. Can we assume that Shaq or Trent Lott have enough sense of irony and context in this matter? Probably not.

Posted by: Eric at February 20, 2003 06:32 PM

Okay folks, we have a mission. We have to raise money to get lydia here a ticket to a Laker game so she can cripple Shaq. Everyone empty your pockets and chip in.

Posted by: Jake at February 21, 2003 12:52 AM

But wouldn't we be feeding the monster at the same time by buying the ticket? Actually, I think Shaq is hurt anyway...So be sure to attack his injury, whatever it is.

Posted by: Eric at February 21, 2003 10:25 AM

ankle and big toe, i think. aim low, chinky!

oh, she's going to beat me for that.

Posted by: jeremy at February 21, 2003 02:58 PM

Oh yeah...you better be a 7-foot NBA athlete too and you too can get away with it. And you'll always have FOX News pundits and annoying sports jock personalities sticking up for you.

"What, what's wrong with 'chinky?' Go get a sense of humor! He said he apologized! What more do you want? We're about to bomb the fuck out of Iraq and this is what you bring up? Get a life! I'm tired of all you minorities and PC thugs whining"

But that's if you're a 7' NBA athlete.

Posted by: Eric at February 21, 2003 04:53 PM

The truth is that, due to years of oppression, it's not possible for blacks to be considered racist. If blacks want equality, then shouldn't we all boycott Radio Shack and whatever else Shaq endorses and shouldn't Al Sharpton be leading the charge? Why isn't he speaking up against this racist act? If a white guy did an exaggerated ghetto style speak to make fun of Shaq, people would lose jobs. Your choices, boycott Radio Shack or watch "Are you hot?"

Posted by: Darrell at February 24, 2003 05:19 PM
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Media News

November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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