Sunday, April 15, 2012

Amazing Race Baiters


Okay, I'm mixing up my reality show titles, but there's a method to my mad pun.

In my super-mega-uber-popular post highlighting the attributes of Christina Cha of Survivor: One World, I offered up the possibility that the unwarranted animosity and vitriol being thrust on Christina was rooted in racism somehow:
... there are a bunch of people there who have a horrible hate-on for her and I cannot figure out why. We the audience have seen absolutely no reason whatsoever for them to despise her with the passion they do, but they have been vicious.

What gives? She has has been friendly, she pulls her own weight around the camp, she hasn't backstabbed anyone, and she seems likable. So what gives with all that animosity?

Since it seemed to stem from that one Republican fellow who thinks he's a woman, I started to develop a theory. Colton is a gay person in Alabama and in the GOP who spews bigotry and intolerance toward others (e.g., "ghetto trash"). I mean, really? Irony much?

And since he seems to be the fountainhead of the river of vitriol reserved for Christina, I have to wonder if that, too, does not stem from, to put it bluntly, animosity toward Asians, or Koreans in particular. (Maybe he didn't get a job at the Kia factory.)
Well, we're starting to see how right that speculation was. When fellow Asian-American Jonas Otsuji was ousted, it was revealed in a tweet by none other than Jeff Probst himself that the castaway engineering the removal of Jonas had actually said this (it was bleeped):
#survivor big words from tarzan and there's the quote of the day - 'cant look at that asian face anymore."
Seriously, what effin' century are you living in, man? And lest you think otherwise, this guy Tarzan is not some uneducated type: he's a plastic surgeon for criminy sake!

Jonas was apparently unaware of the remarks that Tarzan had made:
I was not aware of that. (Laughs) I think that's a little -- to say "Asian face," that's a little unnecessary. Yeah. And then the fact that he completely called out Christina like, "I don't like you." That's a little shocking, yeah. Wow. (Laughs)
Prior to that, he had defended Colton against the charge I'd made:
No, he's obviously not a racist, because if you're a racist, you single out a certain group of people. Colton hated every single person out there and he wasn't afraid to say it, so you can't say that he hates blacks or Asians. He hates everybody. (Laughs) At least that's the show that he puts on. I don't think that he really does.
But would he have seen things differently if he'd known about his other tribemate's little slur? Or, if he saw something like this:

Seems Colton is doing a Miley Cyrus imitation, with psycho special ed teacher from hell Alicia cracking up over it. Geez, do these people not realize they're on national television?

Seriously, doing "chink eye" in 2012? How emotionally stunted in fourth grade can you be?

The clip can be found with commentary at Angry Asian Man. [UPDATE on May 17, 2012, after Christina Cha came in fourth this season: I've decided to include the actual video clip of the above scene just below here; it includes Alicia following suit and also doing the "chink eye" bit. Apparently, Christina Cha is afraid of ghostly spirits, something that is engrained in Korean culture.]

Really, the thing that bothers me about this is that I fear it reflects a current that flows just below the surface, where average, everyday Americans have a hate-on for those around them stemming solely from that other person's race or ethnicity, not just targeted toward Asians but whatever group (including non-Whites against Whites).

Sure, that would be nothing new, and outwardly at least our society frowns upon it, but is this any way to live?




  1. Well, some people think Asians are an easy target due to the passive stereotype. "If you mess with Asians, they won't fight back." It's not that they love black people more, just that they are afraid to mess with them due to the "violent, angry" stereotype. Anyhow, I don't think you would ever see this level of hatred in Korea despite how some kvetchpats like to say that Korea is so racist. A lot of Korean "ism" is due to ignorance, believing Hollywood movies and not having actual experience with different people. There certainly is something problematic with describing it as racism, when it is really xenophobia and a mild form at that. Some people poo-pooh the difference saying that they are the same. In terms of being a form of discrimination, yes. But there is something very different about xenophobia as there is about sexism. You just can't equate it to racism. All three can be bad in their own ways and sometimes, worse, than the other 'isms'.

    There were parts of the U.S. that were more than 95% white like in the Midwest. I don't know if there are any more, but I have heard stories from Asians about how people stared at them, etc. That's the problem with looking at Korea with a racial lens. The history is completely different from America. There was no civil rights movement, slavery, etc. Just a very insular country being exposed to foreign faces. I'm sure the Korean emphasis on "uri" can be hard to face if you are not part of the group, but America is not as inclusive as some kvetchpats would like to think. Hence, you still get incidents like this:
    This was done to a Jewish family living in Northridge, a suburb of Los Angeles County. A Jewish family that survived the Holocaust and most likely look white. If this can happen in such a "liberal", diverse area, it can happen anywhere in America.

    1. Two things. First, I agree pretty much with everything you wrote, and I can tell you that SoKo friends who stayed in the Midwest (e.g., Nebraska and Iowa) and Eastern Washington State did get stared at, quite noticeably.

      Second, Jon Lovitz went to my alma mater, UCI, except it was his alma mater before it was mine. Good on him for standing up to racist bullies straight out of the first draft of Mean Girls 4. If you know about his history with Andy Dick, whom he blames for getting Phil Hartman's wife off the coke wagon and eventually killing Phil and herself, you can see he's a no-holds-barred kinda person when it comes to "justice." That's sort of beside the point, but I'm glad he's pointing out this kind of crap still happening when it does.

    2. Yul Kwon: "I went to these places that are not very diverse. We filmed in the Midwest and Deep South and Alaska. To see someone from our (Asian American) community is rare. People would ask me, "Where are you from?" I would say, "I was born in Flushing, New York." They'd say, "No, where are you really from?" Some people even told me, "You speak English really well." They were very surprised that I would be the host. But I've always been conscious of the fact that the lack of visible role models for APIs (Asian Pacific Islanders) on TV still continues to this day, and I was determined to do something about it."

  2. Replies
    1. I know!

      It is such a shock, since he's such a hit with the ladies.

      I do feel bad for the guy, though, having to leave because of appendicitis. Appendicitis gets worse and worse until you die, and he clearly had no idea what was in store for him, since he was begging to be allowed to stay. I think they finally had to entice him by promising him surgical removal of a small useless appendage.

    2. Which small useless appendage!

    3. He got appedicitis? Good to hear. He got what he deserved. Call me a cynic if you will, but I no longer have compassion for people like him. Meaning folk who tend act with impulse as long as they know that they are within the safety net of their own kinds.

    4. By the way, Christina Cha can sit on my face anytime she wants to. :)

    5. Careful, audience, my mom reads this blog. And she makes me explain stuff she doesn't understand.

    6. LMFAO. I won't repeat that mistake next time. I can't breath.

  3. This is off the topic, but this sums up everything about generation Xers.

    1. Hilarious bit of satire. And I could really see myself in it, since I'm Nate and I have a blog.

  4. Usually, parenthesis are unnecessary. So if you want to put things in parenthesis, think about how natural your sentence would sound without them.

  5. Chistina, loved her,sexy,pretty with strong inner personality.


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