This is Part 2 of my conversation with Arthur Chu, the Asian American who has amassed more than $235,000 in two-weeks on “Jeopardy.”
But it’s also made him the target of racist and intimidating tweets and comments on the internet. He talks about what it’s like to be a racial minority, and how despite opportunities and success, there’s always a feeling of a compromised sense of belonging. He hasn’t forgotten what his father told him as a young boy growing up Asian American.
But he also has chosen to be very open and confront any racism he perceives head on.
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Here’s my initial reaction to the Julie Chen reveal of how she dealt with racism in TV News that I posted on my “Emil Guillermo Media” Facebook site– https://www.facebook.com/emilguillermo.media :
I think the bottom line is it’s still a self-serving reveal for Chen, especially since she appears to have only done it to fill out a show theme on “secrets” for her program, “The Talk.”
Wouldn’t it have been better–and more credible–if she had come out boldly after the “Big Brother” debacle this season? Yes, BB is also Chen’s show, but the presence of a specific contestant who spouted anti-Asian comments throughout the show, would have given Chen a real opportunity to come out more naturally about how she dealt with anti-Asian racism in the past.
So instead of seeing Julie Chen as Rosa Parks, I’m wondering, what’s up Julie Chen?
Here’s someone who knows how hard it is as a minority to get ahead in TV news. She recalls the blatant racism she experienced in Ohio. And frankly, she must know that some version of that conversation can be heard in newsrooms even today.
And yet, prior to this, Julie Chen has not been known in broadcast circles as a pioneering diversity advocate.
This is after years of success as Chen represents the best example of hair and makeup, and now plastic surgery. She has quite a career as one who has married a network president and has an ubiquitous presence in daytime, primetime, and bedtime.
But maybe this is the start of a brand new Julie. Perhaps someone has told her about that old phrase of the jazz great Ramsey Lewis, “When you take the elevator up, don’t forget to send it back down.”
Is there any doubt that the racism that came out of the crash of Asiana Flight 214 remains one of the most under-reported aspects of the whole tragedy?
Asian bad driver jokes/bad pilot jokes? That’s old school racism, but the modern Twitterverse exploded almost immediately after the crash with everyone showing off their repressed racism.
If you’re one of those who think it’s no big deal, then maybe the example of the egregious racism experienced by Milena Clarke will be instructive. The old-school style still lingers as well.
If you need to know the difference between the old style racism and the new modern one, check out my post on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog.
The Asiana crash at SFO was once again proof of the kind of service Twitter can provide.
While I wondered if there was any survivors or if there was an Asian American on board all I needed was a Twitter feed to hear from Samsung exec David Eun, who was on the flight and tweeted this message:
“I just crash landed at SFO. Tail ripped off. Most everyone seems fine. I’m ok…Surreal…”
Eun tweeted more pictures as Twitter served as a social media “first responder.”
But I also saw some incredible examples of racism.
Asiana? So they must be Asian drivers.
In the end, the Twitterverse is just a reflection of a real life, one where Asians and Asian Americans know all too well can be racist and intolerant.