Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Can't we all just get along?

I've heard that irony has gone out of style, but when I read that a weekly paper called AsianWeek had run an opinion piece titled "Why I Hate Blacks," I assumed it had to be some kind of - well, black humor. The weekly has pulled the story off their website but you can read parts of the attention-getting column here, and reportedly the paper is still on the streets. (I can't find the source today but somewhere I read this weekly was subsidized by the City of San Francisco as an "outreach" tool. That's embarrassing.) The latest is that this 22-year old deep thinker who wrote the piece has now been fired. I guess his earlier masterpieces (see titles here) did not give any indication of racist tendencies in his writing. The AP says:

Kenneth Eng, who has described himself as an "Asian Supremacist," has written several columns for AsianWeek since November, including pieces titled "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians."
Unfailingly, these "blatant racist revealed" stories bring on wailing and gnashing of teeth, apologies, promises of reform, and no doubt someone will convene some kind of "dialogue" in the community. All of which will result in - no difference. It's one thing to hold a community meeting to talk about improving a park, or widening a street, or housing density. These are tangible, physical things that can be changed. I don't think attitudes about race get changed by talking. I don't know if there is racism gene, that some people are born with the tendency, but I do know racism is a learned behavior, and it is well taught in many ways and places. The only cure for a person who is biased against a selected culture (because it is really more other cultures that we fear than other skin colors) is to live within that culture, walk a mile in those shoes. Since one who is racist (fearful) is unlikely seek immersion in that thing they hate, the chance of meaningful change is slim.

The saddest part is that this Kenneth Eng guy (whose column was titled "God of the Universe," by the way, and is some kind of science fiction writer - suggested book title, Ken: "Hatey McHateful and the KKK Conquer Mars!") will be some kind of hero to a lot of other twisted souls. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

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