Saturday, 14 February 2009

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I am a Chink: A Racial Double Standard Explained. first of all, Gran Torino is an excellent film. i would recommend it to anyone. the first half of the movie, my sister, her husband and i were laughing our asses off. thankfully, we watched it in the privacy of their home (pirated copy) so as to not embarrass anyone with what could have been seen as our very inappropriate laughter. it was just that every single Asian related derogatory and stereotypical term was used in the movie. chink. gook. dragon-lady. the list goes on and on. and making it funny no less was crotchety Clint Eastwood saying all of this. every imaginable faux pas he makes - mixing up their Hmong names, insulting their customs and traditions... we laughed, and laughed. but in discussing the film afterward, we wondered - if we were watching the movie in a theater, in a mixed race crowd, would others have been uncomfortable with our laughter? and would they (non-Asians) have laughed along with us? the reality, i'm pretty sure, would have been this: i would have continued to laugh hysterically every time he muttered gook, chink, what have you. you would have been uncomfortable with my near-hysterical laughter. you would have also been uncomfortable with all the derogatory speak. (who says those things, right?!) because Eastwood is so crotchety and because he is funny in this role, you would have wanted to laugh but would have worried about laughing for fear of being seen as racist, or inappropriate. but if you (as...

jessica lee

a DC gal + employment manager for a global PR firm + part-time blogger for FistfulofTalent.

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