Misguided people of color

A friend sent emailed me an article today about Asian Week columnist Kenneth Eng’s op-ed, titled “Why I Hate Blacks”. I was sorely disappointed that Asian Week allowed this kind of content to be published, as I had considered Asian Week to be a professional publication serving an important need for the Asian American community. (Asian Week had even given great coverage to community initiatives like DAY Project.)

Now they have a lot of explaining to do. It’s one thing to allow for “freedom of speech”, but Eng’s op-ed is simply irresponsible.

In addition to the racist statements he writes about the Black community. The op-ed itself reads with a whiney and misguided voice, filled with faulty logic. I also read Eng’s earlier piece entitled “Why I Hate Asians“, and I came to the same conclusion with Power and Politics in that Eng’s work is that of a deranged writer. Now I usually give folks the benefit of the doubt, but Eng’s tone of writing doesn’t really convey any sincerity in trying to spark dialogue about racial stereotypes and discrimination. And then there is something to be said about a person who is a self-proclaimed “Asian Supremacist” and calls his column “God’s Universe”.

This link displays a petition against the article sponsored by several major Asian Pacific American civil rights and advocacy groups. It also lists other relevant links, including a downloadable PDF of the original column (which can no longer be found on Asian Week’s website).

The incident reminds me of some heated blog discussions a few months ago about the state of relations and lack of understanding between Asian and Black folks. I fear we all may remain perpetually as crabs in a barrel and continue playing Oppression Olympics. The Asian Week let-down certainly doesn’t help the situation.

Still, I feel mostly sadness, rather than anger, towards Eng because I think that using this approach is to operate from self-hate. I wonder what Eng is like in person. Does he have any children? What kind of people is her surrounded by? Who does he call his community? From where does he draw inspiration and hope?

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  1. Oppression Olympics is a fabulous term. It’s tragic and wasteful to me that with so many other vital issues we could be grappling with, people are still locked into the straitjackets of identity politics. The late great June Jordan put it perfectly:

    ” I will call you my brother, I will call you my sister, based on what you DO for freedom, what you DO for equality, not on who you are.” (or words to that effect).

  2. Thanks for your comments and thoughts, Shailja. I credit the term oppression olympics to the Freedom Trainers, from whom I first heard the term.

  3. Check out the web stream of New & Notes today after 4:00pm EDT http://www.npr.org/ Click on News & Notes there is a story including interviews with the community Asians and Blacks regarding this column.

  1. 1 Why I love Asians!! « Expressions of Herstory

    […] say I like him here! I love his response to Rosie’s insensitive comment toward Asians. Since Eng’s hate rantings, I thought it only appropriate to show a video to emphasize love and tolerance. Thank you anonymous […]




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