Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Chinese American's view of #CancelColbert

There's been a movement to cancel Stephen Colbert for a piece he did making fun of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder and his charitable organization "Washington Redskins for Original Americans." You see Colbert announced his own organization called "The Ching Chong Ding Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever." The point of the piece was to show how clueless Snyder was by continuing using a racist term for his team and then naming a charitable organization with the same racist term, "Redskin."

Look, I'm a racially Chinese man. I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States. I've endured racist epithets all my life. One of the most common is what I call "Chinese speak." That's when a person uses nonsensical Chinese sounds to make fun of me. So I understand Colbert's use of those rhyming words to describe a character he uses on his show.

But was Colbert's piece racist? Stephen Colbert plays a fake conservative. Think Archie Bunker. He often accurately portrays their positions. And he's usually clueless. He's lampooning Fox News' Bill O' Reilly. And frankly, when I hear or get a racist comment, most of the time, it almost always comes from a conservative. So, Colbert's racist character Ching Chong Ding Dong is character invented by a fake conservative to make fun of some conservatives. You can see why conservatives hate Colbert. Regardless, it's brilliant. Hey, he's won Peabodys and Emmys. But take it from this Chinese American. It was not racist. You've got to take it in context. Colbert was making fun of racism. Dan Snyder uses a racist term for Native Americans to name a charity to help them. Colbert uses a racist Chinese term to name a foundation to help Asians. Get the insanity? He's not trying to put down Asians.

Below is Stephen Colbert's very funny response to the controversy. It features "traitor" Asian actors.

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