Sunday, December 17, 2006

Riffin on Rosie

Have you noticed that the people who have the biggest problem with “political correctness” are white? PC was coined as a derogatory term on par with “thought police” and “language nazis”. Its terrible when you have to stop and think before you speak! Its so awful that the right to make fun of everyone else is being infringed upon! Oh my goodness, do you really expect me to become aware of how the other three-quarters of the world feels?

Newsflash: If "PC" is the worst thing anyone has ever called you, you are white. By now, I’m sure you have seen clips of Rosie O’Donnell imitating a Chinese newscast on the TV show The View.

When you are the only Asian kid in the third grade, you’ve heard this quite a bit already, along with the stretched eye thing, and the joke begins to sound like this.

OK, you can link through the YouTube logo on the lower right and see the comments attached to this (and the other) videos. Its really easy pick out the ones that were left by white people.

“What she said wasn’t racist at all”

“clearly no malice intended”

“In China, that is how they talk.”

“if u cant take a joke then don't.”

“People need to stop being so sensitive over EVERYTHING.”

These reactions were found all over the Blogosphere, too. Here’s a summary of them. Mostly they come down to “Hey, if her intentions are good, its OK.” Which means that the effect these words have on their target is completely discounted, unimportant, ignored. Which is how those words make people feel. Real people. People who for so long have been afraid to say anything about it. Little children.

Rosie’s apology was "I'm sorry for those people who felt hurt," which is an expression of sympathy, not an apology. Thats something I could say, because, yes, I am sorry for those people who got hurt. And all the children who ever got hurt by being singled out on the playground because of their race, or religion, or family status, or disability, or gender orientation.

Ha! There are two Asian women in the audience, and they thought it was funny! I guess that means its OK! Even though they went out of their way to get tickets to The View weeks ago, they must represent all Asians! And all minorities! And all people who care about Asians and other minorities!

It all comes down to putting yourself in another person’s place. Walk a mile in their moccasins. Thats the main reason I am looking for a job in an urban area, so my kids can learn how to deal with racism from people who have really been there, because what I know of it is a pale imitation. Meanwhile, I’m learning how difficult it really is to put myself in someone else’s shoes. But I’m trying.


Blogger Carl said...

Sexual harassment laws, which cover racial and ethnic prejudices as well, are very clear: intent has no meaning. The impact of the words on the recipient are all that matters.

That said, a thicker skin will be in order, at least for the time being.

1:14 PM  
Blogger zilla said...

If intent has no meaning, then tougher punishments for so-called "hate crimes" are unethical. The assault on someone else's Jewish African homosexual son deserves only the same consequences as the assault on my atheist caucasion straight son, right?

Am I right?

1:43 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Yes. Consequences can be measured, at least in a crime situation. Intentions are too easily manipulated to either end. Assault is assault. Burning a cross on someone's lawn is trespassing, arson, and terroristic threatening.

The federal hate crime laws were initially intended to redress situations in which the local authorities refused to press any real charges, or a jury refused to convict on overwhelming evidence. I don't know how prevalent that local "look the other way" attitude is nowadays, I'm sure its different in different areas.

2:35 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

I must amend that to address "intent" in crime, such as murder. Motive and intent mean a lot there, but only to prove that there WAS a motive and intent, to distinguish murder from manslaughter (accidental killing). What that intent and motive ARE doesn't matter as to guilt.

3:24 PM  
Blogger fineartist said...

Oh man, looks like ol' Rosie's a lose cannon, she’s out of control, spewing, sometimes. (Lord knows I've said some stupid shit in my time, but thankfully not on national tv, and hopefully if I hurt someone I figure it out and apologize.)

She said some stupid shit, and made herself look stupid. Ching chong, I wonder what those words really mean?

She's basically saying, “I make fun of people for a living, it's what I do. People overlook it, I can usually get by with it, and I'm sorry for the people who made a big deal of it.”

When maybe she should have said, "Lord I can be a big ol' dork sometimes, spewing stereotypes when I was really trying to make fun of ol' drunk Danny D, he was the point, then I went off in another direction and offended Asian people. Sometimes I suck, I am sorry, I am possessed, all excuses, maybe in the future I'll try to filter what I say on National tv..."

You know sometimes we people say stupid shit, and it hurts other people, usually though when we do that without the intent to hurt, and we realize we have caused hurt we feel the pain too.

Your beautiful little girls are going to be just fine, they have an intelligent, thoughtful mother who loves them.

I always thought that to be PC was a good thing, to a degree, but I try to be Lori correct mostly, and if I need correcting myself I try that too.

Lord I'm babbling C, sorry.

This post made me think, made me examine, made me remember too.

I used to tell Samps when kids would poke fun at him to tell them, "I'm not a so and so, I'm a cookoo, coconut head." Thinking that humor would help to make things better, but he said, "Mom when people call me names I really don't want to laugh with them, I wanna punch 'em."

So I said, "Well why don't cha ask them if that's all they see in you?" He said, "I'd just as soon punch 'em.

So I said, "Samps you can't go around punching everyone who hurts your feelings or says something stupid, you have to find a better coping skill than that.

Of course he knows this.

So we have talks at night, at the end of his day, and he tells me how he feels and we work on making it right in his mind, and him feeling good about who he is. Like when he goes to sleep he has the feeling that he’s a good kid, with a pretty good head on his shoulders and heart in his chest, and it will all buff out.

People say stupid stuff, and people say good stuff too, you take the good with the bad, and go on, encouraging empathy, encouraging our children to be strong, self loving and other loving people.

Crap I wrote a book.

Again your girls have a thoughtful, strong, loving mother, they are blessed.

Xx, Lori

6:07 AM  
Blogger fineartist said...

How did I make my last comment a http, or whatever I made it?

Wow, I'm making magic again on this machine, weird.

I must have hit some button or other.

Z, yep, you're right, assault is assault.

Is it unethical for "hate crimes" to be judged more harshley or are hate crimes only seen as being judged more harshly because some would call them justified? Are all assaults hate crimes? I'm gonna go dribble saliva from my lips in the corner for a minute.

My brain is on discharge.

God/Goddess help us, hate is hate, hitting is hitting, and hurting is hurting. We need a love blanket to wrap around all of us.

Some grumpy old bitch I turned out to be, me and my love blanket.

9:18 AM  
Blogger annie said...

i have to say that i was brought up to know the importance of being
"p.c."- back when it was still called "kind" or "compassionate."

these days,those initials have morphed into something negative, to many. i live for humor, and i believe that humor and thoughtfulness CAN coexist.
too bad it rarely does, and we never seem to "get it."

i appreciate what you say about the latest incarnation of thinly-veiled racist stereotypes.

i mourn the fact that few actually consider the impact of their words anymore, before spilling them onto the people around them.

are we evolving, really? i don't mean in the technical sense, either. thanks for a timely, interesting post.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Annie is right - actually, PC is people trying to legislate kindliness, politeness and respect. If one knows that something gives offense or upsets someone, why would one do that? Unless one was deliberately wanting to give offense?

I used to curl up and die inside when my ex told elderly ladies in his way in the supermarket to fuck off. But in a different setting, that's just a way of saying 'excuse me, would you mind terribly letting me past?'.

We seem to be collectively losing the knack of walking in someone else's moccasins.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Carmen Van Kerckhove said...

Thanks so much for linking to Racialicious! Yeah, Rosie's pointing to those two Asian women as "proof" that what she said wasn't offensive just killed me. In fact, I think that her "apology" is a case study in how *not* to apologize after making a racist remark. It was equally offensive that she didn't acknowledge the many, many Asian-American political and social organizations that spoke out against her, and instead, attributed her change of heart to her frickin' hairdresser.

9:17 PM  
Blogger zilla said...

Hard to believe Rosie has a hairdresser :-)

1:03 PM  
Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Zilla: Bwahahaha!

5:31 PM  
Blogger fineartist said...

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, Z!

3:14 AM  

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