Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Suey Park vs. The Colbert Report (video)

I won't stand for that white hipster ironical racism; people might misunderstand it.

Stephen Colbert responded to criticism about a tweet about his show from his TV network last Monday, saying he would dismantle the imaginary foundation that created the stir.Stephen Colbert responded to criticism about a tweet about his show from his TV network last week, saying he would dismantle the imaginary foundation that created the stir.
It surely says something about our culture that a single tweet (when the twit hit the fan) can turn into a major racial incident: Colbert's send-up of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder's new foundation to help Native Americans.
The controversy erupted when a Twitter account associated with Colbert's Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, took the joke too far -- away from its original context.
"I am willing to show #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever," read the tweet from @ColbertReport.
Hipster (ironic) racism? It's not Colbert's Twitter handle, and Colbert himself had nothing to do with the tweet, but a lot of people -- specifically Asian-Americans -- didn't think it was funny. They thought it was racist.
But not everyone thinks so, not, for example, Jay Caspian Kang, an Asian-American who wrote a piece about the controversy for Where some saw racism, he tells NPR's Rachel Martin, he saw a big misunderstanding.
"When the tweet came out, without the sort of context of the first part of the joke, then it does seem a little bit shocking," he says.

One of those offended was activist Suey Park, 23. Park re-tweeted in outrage, and the #CancelColbert social media campaign began. Kang understands where the anger comes from.
Seeing Red
Colbert responded on his show by saying he would "shut down" the imaginary foundation that sparked fury among select critics. The most vocal has been Suey Park (Twitter nickname Angry Asian Woman). She began the campaign.

In an article for Time, Park wrote last week: "The problem isn't that we can't take a joke. The problem is that white comedians and their fans believe they are above reproach." She also discussed her motivations in a video interview with Huff Po. In another tweet she stated: "White people -- please keep #CancelColbert trending until there's an apology."

has the right idea: "Calm, reasoned debate among comics about which jokes should be off limits doesn’t exist"!

We love you, Suey Park, but be an activist about something more serious than satire. For if we lose our hero and white-ally Colbert because of your humorless campaign, we will not be amused, not amused in the slightest, and we'll start our own offensive imaginary foundation to continue the mission of calling attention to a racist #Redskins owner Dan Snyder by mocking Asians in the blogosphere. (Please send all complaint letters in response to our rant to "Attention: I. Rony, Features Editor, Wisdom Quarterly" via
"Some of what Suey Park was saying [was about] Asian-Americans who are second-generation: It's sort of ingrained in our heads to always protect that idea of assimilation and upward mobility," Kang says.
"One of the things that upsets us," he says, "is when somebody comes and agitates in a way that would reflect badly upon us."
But Kang defends Colbert. It's also upsetting to "reflect badly upon the people who[m] we would consider our allies, who are trying to help us have this sort of assimilation, post-racial dream," he says.
In his article, Kang writes, "There's a long tradition in American comedy of dumping tasteless jokes at the feet of Asians and Asian-Americans -- [which] follows the perception that we will silently weather the ridicule."
"I think the writers in Hollywood know that it's just not going to be an issue the way that it would be if the joke was on another minority group," he says. LISTEN
All jokes and satire aside, there are discomfit ting conversations to be had.

No comments: