Matt Elmore, commenter below, asks if we would mind him sharing his thoughts on the Rosie O'Donnell matter. No, we don't mind, and I hope he doesn't mind me sharing his post here for comment. Your thoughts?
Taken from his blog.
Once there was a time when the Chinese weren't a bunch of Politically Correct crybabies. They weren't so insecure as to jump on any opportunity to scream and kick about some perceived slight. I used to think they were the only ones left who felt secure enough in their long history and incredibly massive unity that they were indifferent to harmless jokes and even outright racist slurs. In a word, the Chinese stood strong.
Sadly, that day appears to have passed and Rosie O'Donnell has caved in to pressure from a group of Asian American journalists for an apology. Certainly, the whole Chinese race or agglomeration of races hasn't changed so much as all that; and probably not the whole of Chinese Americans, which makes this whining group of journalists something of a disgrace to their people.
In regards to the self-confidence historically displayed by the Chinese American community, could this be the beginning of the end?
The video of O'Donnell's bit hardly seems that offensive to me. The humour of it is based on the comic concept of Surprise and Incongruity. Essentially, she improvised a Chinese news broadcast, using Chinese sounds, and speckled it with a few English words. I've lived in Korea and travelled around Asia, have worked and socialized with dozens of Chinese in The States, and I can attest that this actually happens in real life; and when it does, it's only natural to laugh. For some reason, our brains are hardwired for such a reaction. Imagine Oscar Wilde speckling his speech with hip-hop slang. The effect would be similar.
And this is one of the reasons that the Politically Correct movement gets in my craw so much: It's unnatural, the way they intend to manipulate and control human nature. They incorrectly imagine that they are going to change attitudes by attacking the language in the same way that totalitarian regimes believe that the suppression of speech controls the attitude of the population.
If Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. finds offense in O'Donnell's use of "ching-chong" during her poor rendition of a Chinese language, perhaps they would be better served by teaching her Mandarin or Cantonese. But of course, what's really at the heart of this is that this organization needs to find a cause to fight in order to justify their own existence. Now that Americans are somewhat more enlightened than a few decades ago, Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. has no choice but to find a racist under every bed. Otherwise, they would have to close up shop.
Just remember, Matt has lived in Korea and has socialized with "dozens of Chinese," so he should know.
—Stefania Pomponi Butler