Now in WTFery

So I guess this “White On Infomercial” (*don’t click without reading the note below) is supposed to be a humorous take on skin-bleaching creams.  Personally I think the White Guy Mask would make the same point and would be funnier.  Anybody remember Eddie Murphy?

The problem with this video?  I think it might be the insertion of real-life images and violence presented as “humor.”

*I don’t watch movies much because I can’t tolerate violence or gore.  This video has a repeat scene of a girl tearing her face off.  Consider yourself warned. 

The first guy (“Henry G.”–Dr. Gates, get it?) talks about how now he’s even friends with the police.  The second woman is named “Isabel C.” (any guesses on what that might reference?) and she talks about getting a job.

Her “before” photo is of a woman who appears to be Guatemalan. There are a couple of other identifiable “ethnic” faces thrown in this video.  They’re also women, who appear to be of Asian and African descent.  I find these three images problematic but am too lazy to think about a coherent way to express myself.

The third person is named “Charles Thomas,” “formerly Thien Minh Ly.”  Who is Thien Minh Ly?  Why, he’s a man who was stabbed 47 times in 1996 by two white guys.  They were caught and convicted of a hate crime, mostly because one bragged about how he had killed a “J*p.”  The before photo is a photograph of Vincent Chin.  Who was murdered in 1982. Also by two white guys.  Also because they thought he was a “J*p.”

The fourth person is named “Mary Daniels,” formerly “Mitsuko Yoshinaga.”  The footage they use behind this character is of the evacuation order for Japanese Americans, the internment camps and the atom bomb.

Yeah, it’s a fucking laugh riot.  Another bit of hipster racism, and probably even produced by Asians.  Now in WTFery 2010.

3 thoughts on “Now in WTFery

  1. No offense, but this is a shallow and poorly executed criticism. It’s clear no research into the video was done and that this post is purely knee-jerk in substance.

    The points are:
    1. That every variety of obvious ethnic minority in the US has suffered violence at the hands of racist white people in this country.
    2. That racist white people (not-so-secretly) believe that the solution to racial issues is to create an invisibility of these minorities.
    3. Tangentially, it’s also a swipe at self-loathing minorities (malinches, as my family would say) who aspire to white privilege or whiteness itself.

    This is no harebrained snap at bleaching creams. This is a racial reassignment cream. Yes, it’s hard hitting and gory, but that’s the point: racism IS very real, very destructive, and very entrenched. Prim, lofty intellectualism cannot fully deliver on the depth of the problem. Considering the timing of this vid and AZ hate legislation, this is quite brilliant.

  2. What kind of “research” are you referring to? I can guess what the creator intended. But I seriously doubt the casual viewer would recognize Vincent Chin’s image or Thien Minh Ly’s name. Or the images of the roundup notices or the camp. Or tie them together. Instead it’s just a tossed off funny. Is it brilliant? Hard-hitting? Not in my opinion. And what “prim, lofty intellectualism” are you referring to?

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