Dawn Englehart’s response

Posts tagged “no endorsement here” are provided solely for the convenience of blog readers and do not represent the opinions of the blog owners.  Additionally, while this post appears to be from Dawn Englehart, no verification was made.  I will note there are a few details that suggest this is authentic.  This was posted on mediaite.

It’s recently been called to my attention by your blog-site that I am a racist (and I quote: Dawn Englehart, she herself of Asian decent) for participating in a couple of humorous Instagram photos in which we poked fun at the Japanese mispronunciation of the letters “R” and “L.” My colleague chose to issue a humble and sincere apology. I, on the other hand, will not say I’m sorry. I will not succumb to the lightening fast speed in which people feel they are entitled to judge and label.

A little background: For those who do not know, I grew up in a predominantly blue collar neighborhood where being Korean was an easy target for ridicule and teasing. I was quickly labeled the C Word: Chink.

The best line of defense my parents could think to teach me was to say, “Tell them you’re not Chinese so their jokes aren’t funny.” Love you folks, but not the greatest of comebacks.

Today on Instagram, someone going by the username of @do4130 has now chosen to label me the “C” word (of the 4-letter BAD word variety) on several of my photos. To you, sir, I say, thank you for helping me knock the point I’m about to make out of the proverbial ball park.

As I grew older, I learned to use my words like swords and I learned that the power to articulate my experience is my greatest weapon. And just as my Gay friends took back the “F” word and my Black friends reclaimed the “N” word, I chose to take back those words and jokes that were used against me and use them FOR me. And in this way, I reclaimed a part of my own identity.

Math jokes, check. Driving jokes, check. Language jokes, check. And yes, I did eat your dog and he was delicious.

As I sat and watched the 24-hour cycle of A Christmas Story Movie yesterday I wondered at the irony of how a film made by white people for white people is considered timeless family humor whilst portraying the Chinese as bumbling idiots who would brutally behead a duck in front of children at the dinner table.

I thought of current TV shows like Two Broke Girls and the blatantly un-funny punchlines made at the expense of their minority characters. And of course, the running joke that no one can understand Gloria because of her Columbian accent on Modern Family.

So as to set the record straight: Is a stereotype only funny and non-racist when it is created for white people by white people? But if we make fun of ourselves we are racists? Ok, I think I got it.

The fact is: Stereotypes exist because there is truth to them. And the truth is that when we acknowledge this, we take away their harm. We arm them with words that turn hurt into humor. And by “We” I mean anyone and everyone who has ever found themselves at the butt end of preposterous presumption.

I will continue to get in the line with the most Asians in it at airport security. I will always cry when I get pulled over to get out of that ticket. You gotta use what you got to get what you want.

And when the holier than thou want to climb off their high horses, I have a great joke about Koreans robbing your house to tell you when you get back to this earth.