Nice find from Angry Asian Man. In this interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gwen Stefani attempts to defend her use of the Harajuku Girls. I love Margaret Cho’s sarcastic response :
But not everyone warmed to Stefani’s ”whole fashion thing” — in particular, the showcasing of her admiration for Tokyo trendsetters via an entourage of four Japanese women that she called the Harajuku Girls. The Girls silently accompanied her on photo shoots and to public appearances, and subsequently appeared on her tour. Stefani regarded the Girls, all of whom looked as if they had come straight off the streets of the capital city’s hip Harajuku district, as a figment of her imagination brought to life in a culturally positive manner. But last year, Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho publicly decried them as ”a minstrel show.”
”She didn’t do her research!” spits Stefani, who says she’s been a fan of Japan and its mix-and-match fashion sense since first visiting the country with No Doubt in the mid-’90s. ”The truth is that I basically was saying how great that culture is. It pisses me off that [Cho] would not do the research and then talk out like that. It’s just so embarrassing for her. The Harajuku Girls is an art project. It’s fun!” (Cho told EW via e-mail, ”I absolutely agree! I didn’t do any research! I realize the Harajuku Girls rule!!! How embarrassing for me!!! I was just jealous that I didn’t get to be oneâ€¦ I dance really good!!!”)
Stefani continues: ”I was surprised how racist everybody was about them. Especially when I came over here and they’d make all these jokes, like Jonathan Ross.” Ross, a British TV host, asked Stefani whether an ”imaginary hand job” from one of her ”imaginary” dancers would count as cheating on his wife. Stefani responds, ”Everybody’s making jokes about Japanese girls and the stereotypes. I had no idea [I'd be] walking into that.”
Yeah, gee I wonder why people would view Japanese women as submissive, pliable creatures when Gwen Stefani is parading these four women around as dancing, giggling human props who are contractually obligated to only speak Japanese even though they’re all American.
Maybe something good may come out of Michael Richards racist behavior. When people hear this word used in its historical context, and it is connected to lynching. Its power is apparent, and the idea of reclaiming it starts to look futile. Mooney has frequently defended the use of the n-word… Mooney noted that he was trying to take the power out of the n-word by using in his act (and in his comic writing for Richard Pryor), but something snapped in him when he saw Richards. He realized that the word still had power.
I don’t use the word, and can’t say I’d particularly miss it, but I’m not sure what we accomplish by crusading against it. Does making a word taboo ever do anything but increase its power? If we did succeed in eradicating it, would it do anything to change the sentiments or thought process of those who use it? Or does it bring merely a cosmetic change in the vocabulary we use to reveal those thoughts, and make us less likely to put our cards on the table?
What some of you uppity, self-righteous negroes fail to acknowledge is that “nigga” was being used for decades by blacks, long before hip-hop came into the picture. (Hip-hop in it’s early days never invoked the word.) Think about Lawanda Page or Richard Pryor. Think about your daddy and and your grand-daddy. Although Pryor said he’d never use the word again after visiting Africa, the ball was already rolling. By then it was viral, as slang tends to be. Please stop beating the same drum. Hip-hop and black youth can only shoulder the blame for so many things…
Let’s say Jay-Z stopped using it as well. Have we ended racism? How would you feel if you looked up one day, after spending all of your time and resources killing one word, to find that another word has been created to debase black people?
What do you think? Would abolishing the n-word actually make a difference in race and racism?
One Tree Hill pulled out a refreshing plot twist: Peyton’s real half-brother Derek is biracial (black and white). And the really surprising part was that it didn’t take them five episodes to explain “how” that could happen. The writers deserve big kudos for that alone.
Ernest Waddell’s (Derek) portrayal of the tough as nails Marine with a big heart is the best addition to the series. On the good side, this shows that the American television audience is ready to embrace the fact that multi-ethnic families do exist and that they are growing in numbers. This new turn gracefully counters the “you can only pick one” line of thinking.
On the bad side, what took Hollywood so long to do an episode like this? And better yet, why aren’t there more shows with this kind of content? One Tree Hill may have an abundance of teen angst melodrama but this storyline is a true diamond in the rough.
“…an airline employee apparently answered something that roughly translates to “how can you be congresswomen if you don’t even know how to speak the language? Obviously you don’t speak Spanish very well, so complain all you want”.
“The CW…has decided to demonstrate that it is a network of diversity by featuring THREE Asian brothers in ONE reality show…Oh wait…I get it. This is a show about Geeks. The guy in the middle with the glasses and red vest, that’s Sanjay from Westmi
“Still fuming over Michael Richards’ tirade, WWE superstars JTG and Shad Gaspard (aka Cryme Tyme) decided to get even with the embattled comic by kicking the living crap out of him … or at least someone who looks like him…”
Nice try. “Howard Rubenstein…defended Richards’ language about Jews, saying that the comic “is Jewish. He’s not anti-Semitic at all. He was role-playing.”…the man who played Cosmo Kramer on “Seinfeld” has not converted to Judaism and neither of his pa
“Sadly, the successful portrayal of thuggish behavior and identity by both sides triggered a host of stereotypes and assumptions that only served to escalate intra-racial suspicion – suspicion that ultimately lead to the shooting of a group of frightene
Thanks HighJive! “Native American tribes are facing allegations of greed and racism as they purge members from their rolls and deny the applications of others. The expulsions have sent tremors through Indian country….”
Thanks HighJive! “A torturous debate left the Los Angeles City Council sharply divided by race Tuesday as members weighed whether to restore a settlement offered to a black firefighter whose dinner had been laced with dog food.”
Thanks HighJive! Affirmative action opponent Richard Sander is at it again with this new study! “To ensure diversity among new associates, the study found, elite law firms hire minority lawyers with, on average, much lower grades than white ones. That may
“the new wingnut talking point comparing the violence in Baghdad to that which might be experienced here in your average large city…So the implication is that Iraq is just like the mean inner city streets of Philly with swarthy people killing each other
Why don’t white people educate themselves more about the history and culture of black people? Many in the black community feel a burden to serve as a “cultural ambassador” to whites. Commentator Erin Aubrey Kaplan is a columnist for The Los Angeles Times.
Well, I finally got to sit down and get a somewhat satisfying session in with True Crime Streets of LA. I haven’t finished it, but I think I can safely say that the elements of the game’s plot that caught my attention – the strong presence of racial minorities in the game, including a biracial protagonist, set in Los Angeles – ended up more as a product of the mix of two film genres – a cop movie and a kung-fu movie – than anything else. Nick Kang may be half-Chinese, half-Caucasian, but lines like “It’s dim sum time!” don’t really hold a whole lot of progressive appeal. I do have a weak spot for Nick Kang, as Asian American men rarely get roles as cops who play fast and loose with the rules, but he doesn’t do a whole lot to redeem the game.
One thing that caught my attention was the focus on international organized crime. The main forces (possible spoiler?) in True Crime: Streets of LA are the Chinese Triads, the Russian Mafia, and the North Korean People’s Army, putting Nick Kang and the rest of his Elite Operations Division in the position of Saving America From The Rest Of The World. On one hand, that should establish the multi-colored EOD as the vanguard of America, disassociating the identity of ‘white’ with that of ‘American’. On the other hand, it’s not quite clear whether some of the characters are Chinese or Chinese American, Russian or Russian American, etc. Certainly, ethnic enclaves like Chinatown or Little Tokyo will have some kind of connection to China or Japan, as those places are often the easiest points of entry for new immigrants, but I can’t say I like how True Crime: Streets of LA seems to equate those centers as universally working against the good of America.
For a game that does invoke race, ethnicity, and nationality as often as True Crime: Streets of LA does, I’d think that they could have utilized the setting much more eloquently than they did. The only Los Angeles in TCLA is in the street names. Yes, we have Asians and Chicano/Latinos and African Americans working together, and I’d like to think that somewhere in LA is a police department that looks like the EOD. But they could have done so much with the racial tensions that historically have actually occurred in Los Angeles. Wouldn’t you rather play Nick Kang, a Korean American police officer fighting to protect Koreatown from the LA riots?
I actually think this ad is kind of cute. But hopefully people will realize that this isn’t quite representative anymore of China today.
The art direction is pretty accurate, puke-green paint on the wall and all. When I lived in Shanghai in the mid-80s, local schools really did look like this. Students had long ago ditched the grey Mao suits, but the little red scarves were still a must.
Thanks Rob! “Universal agreed to pay the hefty premium for the actor’s next film, “Bruno”…a flurry of lawsuits filed against Fox and the “Borat” filmmakers has led to predictions by some legal experts that Universal could be a target too…”
Thanks Rob! “[Comedian Paul] Mooney pledged never to use the word again after seeing a video of white comedian Michael Richards, who used the word — and other slurs — to denounce hecklers at a recent performance captured on video…”