As much as I rant about stuff on this site, rarely have I actually been genuinely angry when writing these articles. Usually I’m in a cynical, sarcastic mood, and I use dark humor to talk about Asian issues. Today is not one of those days.
You may or may not have heard about the Tsunami Song on the news. If you haven’t, you should peruse these articles to get the background information.
And for the real kicker, here’s an .mp3 excerpt from the mentioned Hot97 Morning Show, from 1-20-05, in other words one week before I wrote this article:
Read and listened to all of that? Good. Now time for the ranting. Who in the hell could possibly think that airing this song in the first place could even resemble a good idea? What kind of mind-altering chemicals do you have to be on to even contemplate making something like this? If you aren’t as insulted as I am, maybe you weren’t listening to the lyrics carefully. Here, I’ll transcribe them for you:
Knowing other kids
There was a time
When the sun was shining bright
So I went down to the beach to catch me a tan
Then the next thing I knew
A wave 20 feet high
Came and washed your country away
And all at once
You could hear the screaming chinks
And no one was safe from the wave
There were Africans drowning
Little Chinamen swept away
You could hear God laughing, “Swim you bitches, swim!”
So now you’re screwed
It’s the tsunami
You better run or kiss your ass away
Go find your mommy
I just saw go by
A tree went through her head
And now your children will be sold, child slavery
I am unfortunately not making any of this up. Go ahead, listen to the excerpt. The song is at the end of the excerpt. The beginning is Miss Jones arguing with one of her co-hosts because her co-host didn’t want to be identified as part of the song’s creation team. Oh, do I need to point out Miss Jone’s line arguing with her Asian co-host, “You think you’re superior probably cause you’re Asian”?
I bet most of you, upon seeing my World Map on the Western Society Hates Us rant, went to yourselves “Nah come on, that’s got to be an exaggeration”. Well, I guess not, considering how these pathetic excuses for human beings think that southeast Asia is full of Africans, “chinks”, and “Chinamen”. They couldn’t even get their racial slurs right.
It feels good to be vindicated, but somehow I’m still not too happy about it.
“So what,” you might say, “some stupid people pulled a stupid racist stunt.” It goes further than that. Even after the station received numerous complaints, they continued to play the song for the next few days.
It wasn’t until today, one week later, that the parent station announced the temporary suspension of the show’s hosts, as well as issued a lukewarm “we do not condone the actions of Miss Jones” type shit statement. Couldn’t even stoop to an apology.
The underlying fact is that Asians do not get the respect and the protections they deserve in this country. You can bet that if I were a DJ and I played a song I made about Rwandan genocides with the lyrics “Ha ha all you niggas are screwed” I would have been fired on the spot as well as have had my ass sued by the NAACP, the ACLU, and who knows who else. But put a song on the air about “screaming chinks” and the radio station doesn’t even act for a week? Apparently the FCC refused to force the radio station to take action because they didn’t believe the station was indecent. Right, Janet Jackson exposing a partially nude breast for 1.5 seconds was indecent and will scar our children for life, yet a song laughing about chinks and Chinamen is just fine and would never teach our kids that it’s ok to make fun of Asians. Brilliant, FCC.
It all goes back to the sad fact that there are still people in this country who even think this would be okay. The Civil Rights movement in the ’60s did a great job in raising awareness to prejudice, but it really only succeeded in raising awareness to prejudice against African- Americans. Here, in the 21st century, we still have people at Abercrombie and Fitch thinking it’s a good idea to make shirts that say “Two Wongs can make it white – Chinese Laundry” and people at Hot 97 thinking it’s acceptable to poke fun at the largest natural disaster in recent memory because mostly “Chinamen” died and mostly not Americans.
I don’t hate America, but I sure do hate its people sometimes.
Hot 97′s half-assed apology shouldn’t have been enough, and it hasn’t been. Protests are continuing, and the radio station has been forced to take even more drastic action.
One of the show’s producers has been fired, as well as the co-host Todd Lynn, who said that he should go out and start shooting Asians. However, Miss Jones has yet to receive any significant action and barring further development, will be back at work tomorrow.
Miss Jones may or may not have been the ringleader behind the fiasco. Industry experts say that the blame may in fact lie with the producers, who often push certain skits. However, as the most vocal defendant of the skit, as well as the one making the most racist comments against co-host Miss Info, the fact that Miss Jones has so far received only a slap on the wrist is appalling. The protests must continue.
As far as Miss Info goes, she is considering filing suit against the station for hostile work environment. I think that’s pretty much an open- and-shut case.