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Co-Chair of the Young Greens of Canada, a youth politican working towards a greener and brighter future!
Dear Fox News: Racism isn't funny
Seeing the so-called comedy sketch from Fox News, it angered me as an Asian Canadian. Racism is more real and more acknowledged than ever before, and yet mainstream media can justify their actions by calling it a "joke". It is in fact a joke, but a joke at the failure and ignorance of white privilege and entitlement.
Prepare for dense, rough, harsh reading on North American history of racism. Oh I am seriously going to teach all of you in White-culture oppression.
Dear Fox News and Bill O’Reilly,
Your Chinatown comedy sketch was not a regrettable event, not funny, and not a mistake at all. The blunt discrimination against Chinese communities are not a light, tongue-in-cheek joke.
Let me explain to you why. Crash course on the United States and Canada systematic and institutionalized racism, and white entitlement
1. Location, Location, Location: Chinatown
Chinatown, by the way NOT the movie Chinatown (1974), is the geographical and symbolic location of concentrated Chinese population. Back in 19th Century, the gold rush in California, the building of the United States’ Transcontinental Railroad and Canadian Pacific Railway were luring Chinese workers to North America. Chinese workers, particularly adult men, were leaving their families and children behind to work overseas.
After the completion of the railways, both governments passed their own versions of Chinese Exclusion Act. You can insert any assumptions of coincidence, but both of these legislations are aimed to eradicate Chinese population from North American land. The Canadian government implemented Head Tax, requiring Chinese Canadians to pay tax for being Chinese. Blatant discrimination with employment and immigration, Chinese communities suffer from financial hardship. This is where Chinatowns begin to form.
The white oppression began the ethnic formation of Chinese Americans & Canadians. We have a community build from the fear of racism and discrimination, and surrounded by the stereotypes of our ethnic origin.
2. Race & Racism: Racialization
Back to the basics. Race is a socially constructed idea by the oppressors, the label given to non-whites based on their physical appearances. By looking at the seemingly “biological” differences between populations, but were only differences by mainly our skin colours. The government labelled non-whites with racial labels: Black, Asians, Brown, Indian (indigenous people).
I am not sure if you noticed, the labels are literally nothing, but a hoax on the physical skin colour differences. If you are not white, you belong to one of these categories. The wide use of racial identities link back to the active racialization, which is the process which institutions and agencies reinforces the racial categories. The government uses racial identity labels to collect statistics of the different “cultural communities” in the country, while using a white-created label of non-white culture.
Asian is not just one big clump of culture and history and tradition. Asians are people from the continent Asia, which composed of Japan, Korea, China, Vietnam, Thailand, parts of Russia, Hong Kong, etc... Only ignorance will allow the lumping of multiple nations, cultures, and languages into one category. Racialization reinforced the white-enforced label on non-whites, but also socially creates and enforces of racial stereotypes.
Racism is the active, systematic, institutionalized discrimination of a individual, communities, and/or population based on their racial identity. You can deny the racism in your program, but you will only be a frog in simmering water.
BTW, if you are interested to learn the true appropriate language to label non-whites: Ethnicity is the category that one chooses for themselves; based on our kinship relations, common language, culture, and traditions. I can be labelled racially Chinese, but I am a proud to be a Canadian Hong Konger.
3. White Entitlement
From you skin colour, your history of oppression, and your “claim to the land”. You have earned an achievement: White Entitlement. White Entitlement is the feeling of ownership and privilege to abuse your position of power, targeting non-white communities in social, political, economical, and criminal circumstances.
You are a white male, privileged socially and economically. You started the game of life with “God mode”, as my partner would say. You were given more opporuntities and less obstacles in life. Life was an unfair game, but you felt that your privilege gives you entitlement of continuation of racialization, discrimination, stereotyping, racism, and oppression.
To be very clear: You stood on the grounds of Chinese oppression, with your entitlement of “owning the land”*, and you laughed at the Chinese communities with your ignorance. Based on your skin colour and your social status, you felt that Chines individuals could be made fun of. Your “tongue-in-cheek joke” was a demonstration of your white entitlement of the Chinese communities. Not only you are contributing to the negative racialization of Chinese communities with stereotypes, you felt that you are entitled to laugh at the history of institutionalized discrimination and oppression.
Without a doubt, racism is not a hidden issue. Let’s stop the endless racialization and oppressive thinking. Everyday, we face institutionalized racism and discrimination. We must stop racialization from individual comments, ideas, and actions. From changing the criminal justice system to end the systematic oppression of Black Americans/Canadians, to stop ascribing people characteristics based on their race, to stop a racist from getting away for their comments and actions.
Dear Fox News, please stop your ignorance and learn a bit more of this world. It is time for you to recognized your white entitlement and take responsibility for your actions.
Sick and tired of your racist bullshit
But also sick and tired of ALL the racist bullshit