Recently, the blogosphere has gotten buzzed by a recent book put out by the Skit Guys - 2 standup, youth ministry types who are seemingly gifted "skit guys" (nope, I have not yet nor will I anytime soon read the book). Anyhow, there was apparently a Chinese character who was portrayed in a stereotypical manner complete with "ethnically-enhancing" phonetic lines. Aside from the fact, that the main guy representing the response to Youth Specialities is Korean - is there an official Chinese response? - this has caused me to wonder, "what is racism?"
According to Dictionary.com, the word "racism" means:
1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
So let me get this straight, as long as you don't talk trash about the other "peoples" it's all good? Meaning, as long as I keep the trash talk aimed at my own "peoples"? Apparently there are 55 ethnic minorities who are also called "Chinese" - I guess I'm in the tank for my Fukinese jokes since I'm Cantonese, wait that's okay we're all Han. Being a healthy, local-born Chinese (the North American, West Coast variety), I tend to fall in the "belief" category that comedian Russell Peters describes as "we got white people so scared that they are the racists when in fact every other immigrant group that comes to the US is more racist than you will ever imagine." Peters does a great impression of a Honger shop keeper in his standup routine, "be a man!" (I suppose being Cantonese it's okay to refer to my own peoples as "Hongers" - just don't let white guys use that term, we'll lynch 'em; just kidding, no really) If you've seen it, you know what I mean. Anyhow, all the visible minorities in Canada don't think he's a racist for protraying another visible minority group with somewhat uncanny accuracy. Then there is one of my favorite screwball-type comedians, Bobby Lee, who does his regular Asian-typecast character on MadTV - I think he's hilarious. For the record, as someone who is of Chinese descent, I am in no way offended by his impersonation of the "Blind Kung Fu Master". Don't get me wrong, racism is wrong. But when Asians complain about racisim . . . come on . . . if the white folks really knew what we thought.
BTW, I don't know if this sort of thing would fall under the category of "post-colonialism" or something another. Then again, I don't think I really care. Skit Guys, thank you for your apology, no need to go overboard and sign up for sensitivity training or whatever other extreme thing you might think of doing. Food for thought: "the single most discriminated people group in the Los Angeles Area is the single, white male." True OR False?