Wednesday, September 14, 2005
another letter to the editor

In the same vein as a previous letter I posted on my blog, here's another one from the Northwest Asian Weekly, the Sept.10-16 issue. The things that people write these days...


.:.



"Discrimination Happens, Get Over It"

To the editor:

I have followed the situation of the Washington State University student for some time now, and I think it is time we put this into perspective.

I am white, 59 years old and have spent most of my life in Asia. Many years ago, I spoke Vietnamese. Now I speak Mandarin Chinese and have for nearly 30 years. Although Nina Kim should never be subjected to taunts based on race, I have found Asians in general among the most racist people in the world.

When I walk down the street, even here in Seattle, I can overhear people referring to me as:

� �Wai gwo ren� (�foreigner� in Mandarin) (interesting that I am an American)
� �Yang gwiedze� (�foreign devil� in Mandarin)
� �Ah do ga� (�big nose� in Taiwanese)
� �Kwai lo� (�foreign ghost� in Cantonese)
� �Bai gwei� (�white ghost� in Mandarin)
� �Bac gwai� (�white ghost� in Cantonese)

I could go on and on. These words are used by Chinese as normal parts of their daily conversation! Any Chinese who will be honest with you will confirm what I am saying. How far would I get calling any Chinese I see �foreigner� or �yellow devil� or �yellow ghost� or �flat nose�?

When I walk down the street with my wife of 30 years, who happens to be Chinese, I get stares and overhear comments. I am not sure about Koreans, as I do not speak Korean, but I doubt that it is much different than what I hear from the Chinese.

It is interesting to note that the �10 specific steps� listed by the organizations now involved include minority faculty, funding for a multicultural student services office, training, etc. (�WSU student takes state report to task,� Northwest Asian Weekly, Aug. 27, 2005). What that means is more money and power for the organizations that are using Ms. Kim.

While what happened to Ms. Kim is inexcusable, it is not life threatening nor is it anything that does not happen to people of other races, including Caucasians.

It is now time for Ms. Kim to get off the celebrity mindset, get back to school and get on with her life, just as I do when I run into this type of discrimination from the Asian community.

William N. Turnbull
Kent



.:.


Golly gee, I'm so glad that there's a people like Mr. Turnbull here to enlighten Orientals like myself about how racist all Asian people are. And yes, even though he can't understand those sneaky Koreans, they're probably talking sh!t too about white people. The fact that he's traveled to Asia, married to a Chinese woman, speaks Mandarin, and is white makes him an undisputed expert on racism... I bow down to his superior knowledge! YES! (/sarcasm)

Isn't it funny how his letter seems to make the ridiculous claim that being called names in colloqial Chinese is somehow equivalent to the systematic racism that Asian Americans and other people of color face? That's right, calling white people "Big Nose" and "Foreigner" is as evil as entire American history of genocide, exploitation, rape, and exclusion of non-white peoples.

Probably the most disturbing part about this letter is that it represents an attitude that's become quite common amongst people in this area, even in "liberal" Seattle area. It's the old "victimize the victim" routine, where somehow, nonwhites are to blame for their suffering. The argument of "That's right, your people of color have prejudice too, so us white people are 100% free of the blame for way things are in this country!" seems to be the new vogue.

Also laughable is his comment that the looks he, as a white guy, supposedly gets from having a Chinese wife. That particular marriage/dating situation is so common these days, that I doubt the looks are anything at all. Now on the otherhand, try being an Asian guy walking around with a white woman... everyone will assume you're probably her gardener or karate teacher. Or worst.

One final note... he's from Kent. No comment.

If you're interested in responding to his letter (and I know you are), you can write to the Northwest Asian Weekly here: scpnwan@nwlink.com.

You can bet I'm already writing mine...

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Comments:
weird, i always thought "big nose" in Taiwanese is "dok pi" or "gao pi" -- both meaning your nose is prominent. i can't make ANY sense out of what "ah do ga" is supposed to be.

ugh, he just reminds me of the creepy Caucasians i see here in Japan...
 
Yes! It's sad but "Discrimination Happens". But hey, i think the white discriminates white too. I don't think it is about race. I think it is in the human mind. And then is nothing there ... I really would like to comment more here, but this subject makes me mad because i can see this "feeling" of discrimination every where i go, every day ...
You are abolutely right: : " GO OVER IT! "

J.J.
Computer Security
 
angela- there's always sukebi characters in Japan shopping around for their geisha girl fetish needs... hence my avoidance of most places/events that were gaijin.

jj- thx for the visit.
 
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in?scrip?tion (n-skrip-shun)n.
1. The act or an instance of inscribing.
2. Something, such as the wording on a coin, medal, monument, or seal, that is inscribed.
3. A short, signed message in a book or on a photograph given as a gift.
4. The usually informal dedication of an artistic work.
5. Jeremiah 31:33

the facts.
name. Gar AKA "that Chinese guy" "Sleepy.McSleeping"
ethnicity/nationality. Chinese/American, 4th gen.
location. Sea-Town, WA, USA Kawanishi, JAPAN
occupation. less-cynical poor grad student
age. younger than you think, older than you know

 



 

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