The American mainstream does not really care about how Asian Americans think or feel. After Rick Warren, another mainstream personality – Jimmy Kimmel – has shown that “it is ok to offend Asians.” It does not strike these celebrities that given their stature, it is not ok to say certain things publicly that may be insensitive or offensive to people.
No, it is not that Asian Americans are overreacting. It is not that we cannot take jokes. But as a matter of principle, the American mainstream has failed to show consistently why it is ok to offend Asian people (and Chinese people in this particular case), but not others.
The six-year-old boy on Kimmel’s show did not know better and said something that was inappropriate. He is just a kid, some would argue. But, when the little boy said that he would “kill everybody in China,” Jimmy Kimmel apparently did not think it was inappropriate, but “interesting.” The adults who work at ABC did not think it was inappropriate, they decided to air this insensitive and offensive segment of the show anyway.
Would they have aired this had it involved Black people? Would saying “kill everybody in Africa” be ok on national television? Would they have aired this had it involved Jewish people? Would saying “kill all the Jews” be ok? Absolutely not! If not, then why would it be ok to air a show that said “kill everybody in China?” ABC has some persuasion to do.
What’s more? Had this involved “killing of black people,” the so-called “civil-rights leaders” – Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and the like – would have wasted no time to condemn ABC for their racism. They would organize protests against ABC, and perhaps even resort to legal means to settle the problem, like they had done in the past.
But where are these so-called “civil-rights leaders” this time, and other times when non-blacks are involved? No show. They are not “civil-rights leaders” in the true sense of the word, who care about “justice” as a matter of principle. They only speak for one portion of the American population – black people. Civil-rights leader? They are not. It’s a misnomer.
I am not here to vent, for emotionalism does not always resolve issues. I am here to point out (with reason) the inconsistency and hypocrisy of the American mainstream society and culture. I am also here to point out the hypocrisy of the present-day “civil-rights leaders.” They do not deserve this honorable name.