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Yo, Is This Racist? Podcast f/t DISGRASIAN Day 1: Natural Hair

April 22nd, 2013 | 1 comment | Posted by Jen

YO.

This week, I’m joining the insanely smart/cute/funny/multi-talented/marriageable Andrew Ti of Yo, Is This Racist? and Yo, Should I Dump This Asshole? on his Yo, Is This Racist? podcast!

I was trying to give Andrew bunny ears, but I ended up throwing an Asian peace sign instead. WTF

I was trying to give Andrew bunny ears, but I ended up throwing an Asian peace sign instead. WTF

Today’s topic? Natural hair. Inappropriate touching of strangers. Bad Asian drivers.

Oh, and…things that are racist.

Thanks for listening, I’ll be here all week long. Try the veal!

[Yo, Is This Racist? podcast]

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Good For You, Guy: Bruce Chen “Not Offended At All” By Teammate Giving The Chink-Eye

June 11th, 2012 | 3 comments | Posted by Jen

So, Saturday night during a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, this happened

Bruce Chen, who was being interviewed by FOX at the bottom of the 4th, is Panamanian of Chinese descent and a pitcher for the Royals. Humberto Quintero, who was giving the chink-eye, is Venezuelan and catcher for the team. Chen commented on the incident later when he saw the video and didn’t seem bothered by it:

“I’m not offended at all,” Chen insisted. “I’m proud of my heritage and being Asian. I really like the way my eyes look. It makes me look sexy. It’s just joking around. I’m definitely not offended, and I hope other people don’t get offended.

“I don’t think, by any means, was he trying to put my race down. He was doing it to me, and I like the way my eyes look.”

I get that Chen’s a pitcher and Quintero his catcher, and they have a close relationship that lends itself to them giving one another shit of this sort, like, all the time. But when Continue reading Good For You, Guy: Bruce Chen “Not Offended At All” By Teammate Giving The Chink-Eye

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DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Brazilian Soccer Team’s Chink-Eye Ad

August 5th, 2011 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I don’t know much about soccer, but I think we can all agree it’s an international sport. It’s the world’s most popular sport, for one thing. And the sport’s crowning event, the FIFA World Cup, is a tournament with over 200 participating nations, and, consequently, the world’s most-watched sporting event.

“Real football” is also a game governed by international rules. Rules Brazil’s Santos FC broke this week when an ad was revealed featuring some its top players “celebrating” the fact that the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup will be held in Japan later this year.

This is sort of astounding when you consider Brazil is home to the largest population of people of Japanese descent outside of Japan. And while apparently there are a number of Brazilians on the interwebz defending Santos FC’s use of the chink-eye as a gesture of affection–sound familiar?–this ad still gets a red card.

Law 12 of the International Football Association Board's Laws of the Game clearly states a player can be sent off the field for "using offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures"

Even if the chink-eye isn’t considered offensive in Brazil–which I find hard to believe, Continue reading DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Brazilian Soccer Team’s Chink-Eye Ad

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The Silent Treatment, i.e. The Last Word We’ll Ever Utter About the Miley Cyrus Chink-Eye Photo, We Swear

February 19th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

On Sunday, we received a reader tip identifying the Token Asian Guy in the Miley Cyrus chink-eye photo that you’re now sick to death of hearing about. His name is Chuck Willis. He is 24 year-old model/photographer from Nashville–which is perhaps how he knows Miley–who currently resides in L.A. Rather than blog about this new revelation–it was just a name, really, albeit the name of a white, middle-aged, life-insurance salesman (and also a deceased blues musician)–I found the guy’s MySpace page and sent him a message. In the intervening days, his MySpace page has been deleted, and I no longer have a copy of the message. But this was the gist:

Hey. What’s up? We write a blog and have been covering the Miley Cyrus-photo fallout. In the interest of full disclosure, we should mention that we’ve been critical of Miley. A lot of people have been wondering what you were thinking when that photo was taken. Would you care to comment, even anonymously? We’re not interested in writing a takedown, we’d just like to know.

The reasoning behind this decision was simple. So much had been said about the guy already, so much had been projected onto him, by us included–that he was a “sellout” (a word I detest because it uncomplicates the complicated experience of being a person of color), that he was in on the joke, that he knew he was the butt of the joke, that he didn’t think anything was wrong with the picture, that he was humiliated–I figured we ought to stop dicking around and go directly to the well.

Today I learned that MTV was the only source to get a response from Chuck, if you can call it that:

When contacted by MTV News, Willis would neither confirm nor deny that it’s him in the picture, saying that, due to the number of calls he’s been receiving from media outlets, he’s ‘not going to talk about it.’

I honestly wouldn’t have cared one way or another what his answer was, I just wanted him to say something. If he had said, “The picture wasn’t racist,” I would have said, “Huh. That’s interesting,” and spent a few days thinking about why I had read that same sentiment over and over in various comments sections written by Asians and why there was such a divide on the chink-eye issue. If he had said, “The picture was wack,” I would have said, “Dude, we feel you. We’ve sooo been there,” and maybe sent him some gummi bears. Even if he had said, “Miley is my friend, and because she’s famous and I’m not, I can’t say anything bad about her so I’m going to make up some drivel because that is the politics of friendship between a famous person and a non-famous person”–or some coded version of that–I would have said, “That sucks donkey dick, but I get how awful it is to be a celebrity’s bitch and I kinda feel sorry for you.”

But retreating into silence? Dude. That’s weak.

Sellout.

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Thank you, Maria!

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When Chink-Eyes Collide

February 9th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen
Miley Cyrus and her new posse at the Grammys gifting lounge

MILEY: Guys, I’m so glad you’re here tonight. It means so much to me. It’s times like these when you really need good friends around you who know your heart. I’m so glad I can count on y’all.

GUY IN THE TIE: Dude, what? You paid us $100 to be in the picture.

MILEY: Just remember–no goofy faces, okay?

GUY WITH THE GOATEE: Like what do you mean?

MILEY: I mean, keep your eyes open real wide. Don’t, like, squint or laugh too hard or look like you’re sleepy. Do your eyes like (pointing to the LADY IN THE STRIPEY DRESS)…like her.

LADY IN THE STRIPEY DRESS: What do you mean “do” your eyes like me? What am I doing with my eyes exactly?

MILEY: You’re making them really really big.

LADY IN THE STRIPEY DRESS: No I’m not.

MILEY: Are too.

LADY IN THE STRIPEY DRESS: I’m not “doing” anything to them. This is how my eyes look.

MILEY: Hunh. That’s weird. I thought all of you had small eyes. You must use really great eye makeup.

LADY IN THE STRIPEY DRESS: Is that supposed to be some kind of joke?

GUY WITH THE GOATEE: Hey, Miley, do you think you could kick in a gift bag on top of the $100 bucks you gave us to pose in this picture? I’d love to take one home to my wife.

MILEY: Uh, I don’t know. I mean, this gift bag’s mine, and it has my favorite aromatherapy scented candle in it. And they’re kinda only giving these to celebrities.

LADY IN THE STRIPEY DRESS: While you’re at it, could I get your autograph for my daughter? God knows why she still likes you after this latest flap, but she does. Idiot kid.

MILEY: Guys, what’s with all the requests all of a sudden? I thought we were friends!

GUY WITH THE GLASSES: Don’t forget that we’re doing you the favor here. If you want us to pose in a picture with you so people will stop saying you’re racist, the least you could do is pony up a coupla gift bags. And a few autographs. In fact, what you should really be doing is kissing our yellow asses in the hopes that you haven’t completely alienated the world’s biggest consumer demo.

MILEY: You guys are being so mean! I was so not making fun of any ethnicity! I don’t even know what that word means! I’m only 16, gimme a break! I don’t know right from wrong from stupid! I thought you knew my heart!

GUY IN THE TIE: Wow is this pointless. There’s no reasoning with fools, I guess. (sighing) Just take the picture.

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Dear Miley Cyrus: Love Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry in a Half-Assed Way

February 5th, 2009 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

Dear Miley,

Asians hate apologizing. Because it means we have to admit we were wrong. And we hate being wrong as much as we hate apologizing, which is why we excel at stuff to painstakingly avoid it. Our parents also never taught us the distinction between apologizing and flogging ourselves; when we were wrong as kids, we’d have to apologize for the ages. Literally. Like for stuff we did years ago, that we had already apologized for, not to mention the stuff we did five minutes ago. Then we’d have to admit that we fucked up not because, y’know, we occasionally dabbled in bad behavior or that we were, um, children, but because of some deep dark character flaw that we would have to spend the rest of our lives rectifying. Which then sent us into some horrible shame spiral about our “true” selves. It was all very grim, punishing, and Catholic, like Meryl Streep’s character in the movie Doubt, but if it taught us one thing, it was that WE. ALWAYS. HAVE. TO. DO. BETTER.

All this is just to say that we get how hard it is to say you’re sorry. It’s so much easier to, like, shoot an elephant. So when we heard this morning that you’d apologized for giving us the chink-eye, we were pleased, to say the least. Relieved too, because we were exhausted from reading all of the lazy, unexamined responses to the chink-eye picture that told us to “lighten up” or that our eyes “really look like that” or that, apropos of nothing, we’re just mad because our dicks are so teeny. You see, therein lies the problem: when you have a really famous person doing a really racist gesture–and we can’t believe we have to spell this out in the year 2009–it opens the floodgates. It makes it okay to hate. It gives a greenlight to people to air out, inflate, and disseminate their prejudices with impunity.

But then we actually read your “apology”:

“Ive also been told there are some people upset about some pictures taken of me with friends making goofy faces! Well, Im sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context!

In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy? It seems someone is trying to make something out of nothing to me. If that would of been anyone else, it would of been overlooked! I definitely feel like the press is trying to make me out as the new ‘BAD GIRL’!”

I feel like now that Britney is back on top of her game again, they need someone to pick on! Lucky me! haha Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know what is on my heart. You guys know me and have been by my side every step of the way!

You guys know my heart and know the most important things to me are my friends, family, fans, and GOD! In NO WAY do I want to disappoint any of you! But, when I have made mistakes in the past, I feel like Ive owned up to them and apologized.

Anyway, I really wish everyone would stop focusing on my personal life and get back to focusing on what I love! Music and Acting! Hopefully, I will be touring again this fall! Yayy! =] It will be a nice change to be back out on the road again! xoxo Blessings.. Miley =)”


Im sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context!?

Never begin an apology with “I’m sorry IF.” That makes it a conditional and half-assed. That’s like saying, “I’m sorry if I offended you. You think I offended you, but I don’t, and I refuse to think about this further because I’m right and you’re wrong. Who wants ice cream?” If you apologize, you have to own it.

Also, never lie in an apology. “I was simply making a goofy face.” No, you weren’t. You were giving us the chink-eye, an internationally-recognized symbol of unwelcome, like the reverse pineapple. The guy who’s making a peace sign and covering his mouth behind your hirsute boyfriend knows it. And your token Asian friend, who’s the only person not giving us the chink-eye because, deep down, underneath the hair product and the “I’m-just-happy-to-be-here” attitude, he understands on an inchoate level that you’re really laughing at him, and not with him…he knows it, too.

Furthermore, don’t leave things unsaid in an apology. If you’re going to blame the context, you’re obliged to provide the context. But in what context is giving the chink-eye acceptable? Are you going to feign like the Spanish Basketball Team and try to pass it off as a “loving” gesture? Were you and your friends doing an impromptu staging of Miss Saigon (we’ll admit we love that musical for the helicopter rescue)? Or were you just high, as a lot of people are saying you were? Marijuana is always a lousy excuse for bad behavior. And don’t hide behind the word “context.” Context doesn’t make it right.

How do we know so much about apologizing, when we’re so loath to do it? Well, we’ve had a lot of practice. And also, we’re Asian, and, like we said before, we excel at things because we don’t like to fuck up, make mistakes, and get sent down a horrible shame spiral. If you really want to be like us, Miley, get your fingers out of your eyes, and start doing the same.

love means never having to say you’re sorry in a half-assed way,

DISGRASIAN

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