Tag: hate

Chinks III

| May 17, 2011 | Reply
Chinks III

Since writing Chinks II, I’ve felt uneasy about calling the Vietnamese workers in that nail salon ‘racists’. It’s true that they pigeonholed an African-American patron as a lazy welfare recipient who was unwilling to get a job. They seemed to take pleasure in voicing all the hurtful stereotypes that could be applied to a total stranger. I found their behavior cruel, terrifying and ironic.

The barb at the heart of Chinks II was minority on minority hate. Yet I described their hate speech as “tittering… nonsensical verbal massaging.” Even if the taunting was meant to be indecipherable, wasn’t I being a bigot myself by writing about it this way?

I can’t think of more alternatives to the pronoun “them.” That’s probably because I don’t know much about the Vietnamese women who taunted a black woman that day. (Here again, I resort to the roughest of rough sketches: “that black lady”). I don’t know their names. I don’t know where they live, although it’s probably not far from my own neighborhood. They are caricatures precisely because I have so few details with which to draw my group character sketch. And what would my cartoon self-portrait look like?

Qipao1

On the day of Chinks II, I was the most socially normative minority in the room. Being light-skinned, speaking with an American accent, growing up in a solidly middle-class household and earning a professional degree all help me to appear more “white” and inviolable. Who knows? It could have been my blessed-in-every-way-second-generation-Chinese-American presence that precipitated the verbal attack that I describe so vehemently. It’s not that I think I am the center of every story; though this story – all the Chinks stories – are about me and my perception of race. Chinks II simply exemplifies the pervasive, insidious, contagious nature of bigotry. This is a barb that hasn’t stopped pricking.

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Bostonians – help Fred Phelps!

| December 1, 2008 | 5 Replies
Bostonians – help Fred Phelps!

Wait, what? Yeah, you heard right. Help Fred Phelps & his Westboro clan of deluded, life-wasting, really-shitty-sign-writing hate-mongers (and their hapless children, for whom I have the greatest sympathy). Joe Brummer has the scoop: Fred Phelps’ clan is coming to Boston! The “God Hates Fags” Westboro Baptist Church is coming to picket the Laramie Project at the […]

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Note to John McCain: We can’t trust you around America’s nuclear weapons.

| October 9, 2008 | Reply
Note to John McCain: We can’t trust you around America’s nuclear weapons.

Yes, John McCain. We know quite well who you are, and we don’t want anyone with your ego and your temper to have the power to fire American nuclear weapons. While we’re on the issue of violence, are you consciously trying to get one of your enraged followers to inflict physical violence on Barack Obama? […]

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Popular right wing talk show host Michael Savage shows his ignorance regarding autism

| July 18, 2008 | 12 Replies
Popular right wing talk show host Michael Savage shows his ignorance regarding autism

Here’s a standard account of autism, from Wikipedia: Autism is a brain development disorder that first gives signs during infancy or childhood and generally follows a steady course without remission or relapse. Impairments result from maturation-related changes in various systems of the brain. Autism is one of the five pervasive developmental disorders (PDD), which are […]

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