Private Party Hotpot serves great food for the proletariat in all of us!

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We were intrigued with food writer Clarissa Wei’s review of a new Communist-themed restaurant in a December edition of the LA Weekly. The restaurant is located in the San Gabriel Valley of Los Angeles, which is predominately Chinese. We wondered who had the gall to actually open a restaurant with communist propaganda when many of the citizens who reside in the area escaped persecution from the Communist regime to seek a better life in America?

Can A Dude With A Horned Helmet Be “Racist?”

Another day, another racist incident on a college campus. So depressing. These are young people, who should be full of idealism and hope and a sense of community, not hate and division.

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So I come across the latest report of some ugly racist thread circulating in Western Washington University in Bellingham – the article didn’t spell out what, exactly, was said on Yik Yak (man, I can barely keep up with Snapchat, Instagram, Grindr, and I just heard about a fight club site called Brawlr) – but I don’t need to know the specifics. I’d wager some group of white kids was taunting and threatening black kids, give or take.

Reading university president Bruce Shepard’s response, I admit it’s a pretty easy wager to make:

“I need to be very clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech.”

A Michael Jackson Tribute Band That Is ACTUALLY Whiter Than Michael

It wasn’t these guys….

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I never even got their name. I was driving home from work the other day, when, at a stop light, I heard a sound. A familiar sound. A sound that made me bop my head back and forth in the car. I turned down the radio. The song was coming from somewhere outside. I couldn’t quite place it at first. I rolled down my window. Oh yeah, no doubt about it.

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Somebody was butchering Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something.”

Is It “Okay” To Laugh At This?

Figuring out that this old Key and Peele sketch is hilarious was the easy part. I laughed, and everyone I’ve shared it with has, too. Figuring out whether it was racist or not? Not so much. I would love to know what black people think of it.

It is an extremely clever take on a sensitive subject: exotic African American names. They’re most prominent with pro athletes – Za’Darius, Jacquizz, Kentavious, D’Qwell – all first names of NFL players.

But who can “safely” make fun of them?

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Chinky or Not Chinky: Margaret Cho on the Golden Globes

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So when comedian Margaret Cho made an appearance during tonight’s Golden Globes ceremony as a North Korean film journalist/Army General, it was bound to elicit some negative response. And sure enough, social media did not disappoint with reactions like these:

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Yellow Listed as “Color of Race” in 1950′s Birth Certificate

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This is Larry Furukawa’s birth certificate from 1952. He recently shared it with his fellow peers at Digital Histories, a filmmaking workshop that teaches senior citizens skills to make their own short films. It’s an ongoing program that Visual Communications has been involved with for a number of years.

Back to Larry’s birth certificate: Yep, it lists “Yellow” as a color of race for his birth parents. It’s pretty surreal to see that listed on an official government. Ahh, the 1950s, the land of Ozzie and Harriet and Leave it to Beaver and when Asians were designated as “Yellow,” with the rest of the colored people, by the U.S. government.

Incumbent Mayor’s campaign mailer accuses Vietnamese American candidate for being a communist

Ah, Little Saigon politics. According to the OC Weekly, Garden Grove Mayor Bruce Broadwater’s campaign has sent the most laughable mailer ever, attacking opponent Bao Nguyen.

Pandering to the Vietnamese voter base has been way simple for a long time. In danger of losing your election? Just say he’s a commie! Or you hate commies more than he does!

And here’s the latest example from Little Saigon: an attack mailer targeted at Garden Grove mayoral candidate (and current school trustee) Bao Nguyen paid for by a committee tied to the city’s mayor, Bruce Broadwater. The smear campaign mailer is in Vietnamese, in the Garden Grove/Westminster area, which has the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam:

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The bullet points say:

Chinky or Not Chinky: Racist Brownface Filipina Maid Commercial?

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It was just a few weeks ago when a children’s textbook in Hong Kong was teaching kids that being Filipino meant being a domestic worker and now we have this: a TV ad for Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank Insurance running in Hong Kong that stars a Chinese actor in “brown” face playing a Filipina maid named Maria.

A “Super Awesome” Surprise

I went for the vinyl, I stayed for the awesomeness.

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The Oakland Museum of California is having an exhibit on vinyl records, so naturally I had to go and compare my collection to theirs.  That show turned out to be a bit of a bust for me, but right next to it, ten steps away in another wing of the building, was a show I hadn’t heard of:

Super Awesome: The Art of Giant Robot.

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Chinky or Not Chinky: Asians as ‘Slopes’

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So TV show Top Gear has come under fire recently for referring to an Asian person as a “slope” in their Burma special. For those unfamiliar with the term “slope” in this context, Urban Dictionary defines it as thus:

Vietnam-era charlie. Any asian resembeling one of the ‘reds’.

There are so many slopes at the library!

On the heels of this brouhaha, the show’s executive producer Andy Wilman issued this “apology” today:

Am I The Only One Who Hears A Gong Sound When I See This Ad?

Um….so, uh, I’m sure a huge global company like Sprint must have whole departments dedicated to, uh, y’know cultural sensitivity and stuff…and not to be too touchy or anything…but uh…really?

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I get it: Sprint took two words – friends and family – and mashed them up.  Friend + Family = Framily.  Cute, catchy, I get it.  I do.

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Heck, I’ve mashed up words myself: brisk walk + run = brun.  Sing + talk = salk.  hungry + grouchy = houchy.

But none of them evoke, well, uh, let’s just call it, a sensibility from earlier decades.

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