Some Asian Americans are way too eager to sidle up to selective racists and to show that they “get” their brand of supposedly well-intentioned liberal social satire.
Here’s how I see it: when the Washington Redskins can play the Boston Rednecks, the Kansas City Pinkskins and the Charlotte Crackers I will rethink my attitude about those who call themselves liberals because they never use words like “nigger” or “beaner”, only “gook” and “chink”.
Yes, I “get” that last Thursday’s Colbert Report tweet “I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” is meant to be a liberal satire of the announcement by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder of his Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation. And yes, I agree that Snyder’s insistence on continuing to use a racist term that offends most Native Americans — as well as others with any sense of decency — is the most egregious institutionalization of racial insensitivity in the US today.
What I don’t get is why the putative liberals behind the Colbert Report never have the guts to choose more populous and vocal minority groups on which to cut their satiric teeth. The only way in which they differ from those they accuse of racism is that the liberal racists are selective about their targets; they only target Asians, perhaps because our fast-rising social status threatens their smug self-concept as America’s cultural elite.
My ire toward selective racists who hide behind the liberal banner is only surpassed by my scorn for Asian Americans who are way too eager to show that they “get it” by sidling up them. Their rationalization goes like the one used by Jay Caspian Kang in blogging about Suey Park and her quite natural anger at the gratuitously racist Colbert Report Ching-chong tweet: I fawn over your good intentions wrapped in sublime satire but some of my fellow Asian Americans aren’t as sophisticated as I and don’t get the allusions and don’t appreciate your impeccable liberal credentials.
Please don’t speak for us. You’re an embarrassment to the rest of Asian Americans who are no more eager to subscribe to the liberal brand of selective racism than to the redneck brand of mindless racism.
Maybe we should see it as a sad sign of progress that we Asian Americans now have our own hypocrites and asskissers masquerading as cultural translators pretending to indoctrinate the rest of us into the semiotics of a segment of the American liberal establishment in which Asian Americans remain the only fair game for racist verbalizations.