‘I can say that because …’

… I’m anti-racist.

This blog post over at Alas is titled “Me Reary Rikey the Superbowl!” It isn’t original content; it’s a republication of a post from reappropriate. Ironic, isn’t it? Reappropriate talks about the “stereotypical Asian accents and grammatically incorrect ‘Chinglish'” of a Superbowl advertisement.

And then the blogger over at Alas takes her post, which was titled “Racist Asian Pandas” and retitles it with “Me Reary Rikey the Superbowl!” Because it’s so f*cking funny, you know? And because it’s so darn original.

But you know how Asian Americans might experience this? Why, strangely enough, they might experience this as racism!

But I’m sure the blogger who wrote that “witty” title never stopped to consider this. Because racism is so thoroughly entrenched in our culture and portrayed as “humor,” it probably seemed really clever.

But let’s call it for what it is. It’s a racist title appended to a post that was ripped off from a wonderful, thoughtful blogger. A blogger who called her post “Racist Asian Pandas.” Not “Me Reary Rikey the Superbowl!”

Maybe people aren’t always aware of how annoying and irritating this sort of bullshit is, but especially when it’s supposedly coming from allies. Because let me tell you one thing, you may think you are a friend to my people, but if you don’t share my race or ethnicity, you aren’t my people. So maybe you have this misguided thought that you’re creating an “in joke” but the real joke is that you’re just perpetuating racism.

2 thoughts on “‘I can say that because …’

  1. At my former job, it was a common pastime for one of my co-workers to mock Asian accents no matter how many times I objected vociferously. he even did so IN FRONT OF AN ASIAN (whom he considered a friend, so therefore understanding of his intent–I objected immediately and could not read her reaction behind her mask to either of us).

    And he had lived in another country, and spoke French as a second language. He truly thought he was hysterically funny even when no one laughed.

    This is sort of a two-comments-in-one package: In reference to your post about distrusting white people, I think this is an example of why it is so hard, when even your allies can suddenly show you both sides of the equation in one statement–which one to believe in? The intent or the result?

    I can’t answer the question of what it does to a person of color’s humanity to predict bad things from white people, when the predictions are based on experience rather than fiction and stereotype.

    But I can say that racism has done some serious damage to the humanity of white people.

  2. Wow. I found the title offensive as well, and was surprised to see it on the Alas blog. This was interesting to me, as I just posted about this Superbowl ad, along with 3 others, last night. The commercials were awful.

    Allies mess up. Personally, I appreciate it when someone calls me on something I’ve messed up – even though it feels really crappy, and is embarrassing, but whatever, it’s an opportunity to learn and get it right. And maybe it means that someone thinks I might be worth correcting, that I’m not a lost cause, if that makes any sense.

    The commercials were hurtful enough. Lots of the comments floating around the internet are even more hurtful. So yeah, to see a title like that from a presumed ally … ouch. What you said about racism being so entrenched that the blogger may well have not even realized, sadly that’s probably true. Thanks for links.

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