I ran across this news on my google reader.
The thing is, if the shirt even brought a smile to my face, I wouldn’t think much of it. What a philosophy, huh? If it’s funny, it’s okay!
But yea, that’s how I end up viewing racism towards the Asians. I’ve faced it all my life, and I learned that laughing at it was a good way to deal with it, for me.
Anyway, I can’t believe that they are using the 1st Amendment to sell mildly racist offensive shirts.
This also reminds me of a story a couple of years ago about a Philly cheesesteak place in Philadelphia called the “Chinks.”
The Asian-Americans in that community complained, and rightfully so (in my opinion), that the name was offensive to the Asians. I couldn’t believe the response of the owner’s wife.
She said that the name wasn’t meant to be offensive. “Chink” was her husband’s nickname that was given to him in high school. And why did the kids call him chink? Because he had small eyes, something that many Asians get made fun of for.
Some people just don’t get it. Some people will remain ignorant. I just know that this vendor would not have even thought about putting something mildly offensive towards a bigger minority group, like the Hispanics or the African-Americans.
But what can you really do? When Chinese actresses are cast to play Japanese geishas (see: Memoirs of a Geisha) how can we tell the general public that not all Asians are the same, that we have very vast and different histories and experiences? And this happens all the time in the media. And when someone does speak up, like the lady who petitioned to change the name of “Chinks”, they’re bombarded with hatred and are told things like, “If you don’t like it, go back to your country.”
I remember when I first moved into the country, my dad was walking and a group of (white) guys drove by. They threw a piece of fruit at him, all the while, imitating the “Chinese” language and using their fingers to slant their eyes. Sadly, 20 years later, I still see things like that happening.