AsianWeek runs a column called “Why I Hate Blacks”

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Update: Be sure to check out the excellent analyses by Claire Light and Philip Arthur Moore.

Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us…

Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years. It’s unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back…

In high school, I only remember one black student ever attending any of my honors and AP courses. And that student was caught cheating.

Musings from a Stormfront discussion board? No.

Believe it or not, they’re actually excerpts from a column by one Kenneth Eng that ran in the San Francisco newspaper AsianWeek, which calls itself “The Voice of Asian America.” (Props to Angry Asian Man for breaking the story, and thanks to Ananse, Tariq and Gayle for the tips.)

How the hell does a column like this not raise any eyebrows at a 28 year-old newspaper? Did no one stop and say, hey wait a minute, maybe it’s not such a good idea to run this?

AsianWeek was quick to delete the column from their web site, but you can read the full text here, just scroll down to the 5th comment. As you’ll see, this is not some kind of racial satire gone wrong, a la Princetonian. This is pure and unadulterated hate speech. And horribly written at that.

One thing I can say though, is that the outcry from the Asian-American community has been impressive. Several different Asian-American organizations banded together to create this petition, which includes quotes from its leaders:

“Most Asian Americans would not be here in America today, but for the civil rights movement led by African Americans that resulted in the change to racist immigration quotas,” said Stewart Kwoh, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. Continue reading

Join New Demographic’s mailing list and get free report on race and pop culture

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

Did you know that I send out a monthly email newsletter with updates on New Demographic’s many projects? You can check out the latest newsletter here.

Join New Demographic’s mailing list today and receive a free copy of the special report, The 10 Biggest Trends in Race and Pop Culture. To sign up, please fill out the form below:

Hot Ghetto Mess: social critique or classist mockery?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

There’s a web site called Hot Ghetto Mess (contains some NSFW pics). I’m not sure how to describe the site – it’s basically a collection of photos of ridiculous-looking (almost all black) people. People with bad hairdos, questionable fashion, etc.

It’s just a web site – harmless enough, right? Well, it turns out that BET is planning to turn the site into a TV show and is currently soliciting videos from consumers.

I recently received an email from a woman who is circulating a petition to stop the production of this show. From her email:

Due to recent knowledge that a website that exist called “Hot Ghetto Mess” is being turned into a television production a group of us decided that we wanted to stop this show from ever hitting the air waves. The website shows negative images of people in the black communities. The creator of the site intends to shame and humiliate people to inspire them to “Do Better” but offers no solution. Many of us were appalled at the blatant exploitation of unsuspecting people who are merely living their lives the best way they know how. We do not agree with the creator of this sites approach to evoke positive change. We feel that this will do more harm than good.

The creator of Hot Ghetto Mess, Jam Donaldson, on the other hand, maintains that the site exists as a form of social critique:

My mission with this site is to usher in a new era of self-examination. And because I am proud member of the black community, they are my priority. However, those of other races take note and if the shoe fits wear it. I think it is time that the black community or (insert your race here) needs to take a good look at itself in the mirror and each of us ask ourselves why are our communities are going to hell.

This site does not proclaim to know the answer to that question, for the answer is different for each of us. I want each and every person that reads these words to look at your life and ask how you can make yourself better, your community better or your kids better.

I am just holding up a mirror to my community so don’t blame me if you don’t like your reflection.

So what do you think of Hot Ghetto Mess? Is it just exploitation and mockery? Or is it social critique?

links for 2007-02-27

Addicted to Race 61: Do we need Black History Month?

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

addicted to raceA brand-new episode (No. 61) of Addicted to Race is out! Addicted to Race is New Demographic’s weekly podcast about America’s obsession with race.

Carmen is joined by guest co-host Mat Johnson in this episode. Born and raised in Philly, Mat Johnson grew up in the Germantown and Mount Airy sections of the city. As an adult, he has lived elsewhere. His first novel, Drop, was a B&N Discover Great New Writers selection. His second novel, Hunting in Harlem, won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. He has written for a variety of publications, including a stint as a columnist for Time Out-NY. Mat Johnson currently teaches at Bard College. And his latest novel The Great Negro Plot, is out now in stores.

Mat will be doing readings in New York City and Washington D.C. on Wednesday and Thursday. Click here for more info.

On this episode, Mat and Carmen talk about Black History Month. What are some of the criticisms of Black History Month? Should we change the way the month is celebrated? Does it still serve a purpose?

This episode features the song “NV” by J. Dilla, courtesy of Spectre Entertainment Group.

There are 3 ways to get in touch with us. Leave a comment to this post, call our voicemail number at 206-203-3983, or email us at

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Duration – 45:44
File Size – 42.0 MB
Right-click here to download an MP3 of Addicted to Race Episode 61
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Are you too gringo? Latino channel Mun2 wants to know.

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

I just read in Ad Age about a new ad campaign by NBC Universal-owned Hispanic cable channel Mun2, which asks its target audience, bilingual, bicultural young Latinos, whether they are becoming “too gringo.” You can watch all three spots here.

In one spot, two young Latino men operating an ice-cream truck pursue girls who run off with their oversize decorative ice-cream cones but the guys are blocked by a fence. The voice-over asks: “Is your gringo diet killing your Latin skills? Jump fences like you know we can.” One of the men sails over the fence like a superhero; then he says, “Now I feel like an hombre again.”

In another spot, a Latino youth is president of the U.S., facing a crisis over weapons of mass destruction. But it’s just a daydream, as he sits in a classroom at school. “Is your American dream becoming too gringo?” the voice-over asks. “Instead of dreaming about war, dream about nicer things.” In the last shot, he has gone from president to gardener and is clipping a hedge.

Here’s another spot from the campaign:

So what do you think? Is this effective inside-joke type humor? Or are they just perpetuating stereotypes?

[If you’re reading this in an RSS reader or Feedblitz email and can’t view the video, please click on the post title.]

links for 2007-02-24