1【 以下文字转载自 Military 讨论区 】
发信人: esp2003 (老易), 信区: Military
标 题: UC法学院长对Jimmy Kimmel开重炮[ZT]
发信站: BBS 未名空间站 (Wed Nov 20 13:58:09 2013, 美东)
Frank H. Wu
Chancellor & Dean of UC Hastings
College of the Law
Jimmy Kimmel and Me
Posted: 11/18/2013 12:59 pm
I was talking to somebody today about the Jimmy Kimmel incident. My friend
had not heard about it. That's part of the problem.
It isn't often that genocide is proposed in contemporary culture. That's
what has happened.
Jimmy Kimmel, late night television host, recently put on a little comedy
sketch in which a kid suggests that we would be better off economically if
we "Kill everyone in China."
Kimmel replies, "That's an interesting idea."
The network, ABC, has since apologized.
Another attack on Asians is summarily dismissed.
The issue isn't whether what an actor, whatever his age, was performing a
script or was spontaneous. The use of a child makes the matter worse, not
better. The point isn't the boy's remarks; it's the adults' response. I
wonder if his parents are embarrassed, and if they are because of the
commotion that their offspring caused or what he revealed about the home
from which he comes.
The professional producers of a hit show should be ashamed to retreat behind
the youngster as they have. He has licensed his peers. The cruelty of
children toward one another is limitless.
Kimmel reminds me of the responsible grown-ups in the room years ago who
always stood by when I faced the regular bullying that defined childhood.
Kimmel had only a moment to respond, but he makes his living by his wit. The
subject of harassment on a school playground has no more time to react and
considerably less support. It was Kimmel who set up the scenario, by
prompting his juvenile guests with the declaration that America owes China "
a lot of money."
The trouble also isn't that the lad uttered an offensive sentiment.
Offensiveness not the best test. Much great art is offensive, not that
anybody is mistaking Jimmy Kimmel forLenny Bruce -- there was a stand-up
performer not afraid to confront prejudice rather than reinforce it.
The Kimmel segment was morally wrong if that isn't giving it more importance
than it deserves. At a minimum, it calls for discussion. While I'm willing
to give the kid a break, we would do well to ponder what he, innocently,
reflects about his environment.
The Chinese, and Asians in general, are an easy target. The rise of the East
is a perennial theme. Its counterpart among our shared fears is the fall of
The status of China as a creditor and America as a debtor must be addressed.
The perceived prospects of the nations will aggravate relations between
When I learned about this episode from the news, not being a follower of
Jimmy's, I was tempted to shrug it off. It isn't the worst discrimination, I
reasoned. If anything, I worry about the triumph of China like anyone else
here. I will not benefit as a Chinese American if it turns out my family has
bet poorly for three generations.
Look, Jimmy, buddy, we're on the same side. I have my American passport by
As I processed the events, I was more disturbed by it. The irony is that my
assimilation is to no avail. Someone who is angry at a visceral level about
China is not likely to make an exception for me as an Anglophile mainline
Protestant from the Midwest.
I am not concerned for the Chinese. The Chinese can fend for themselves fine
. The average American can do very little to hurt the average Chinese. Half
the world, including the Pacific Ocean, lies between them.
But the average American can do quite a bit to harm their Asian American
neighbor. They likely won't do that, except a popular comic is egging them
The Kimmel kids understood implicitly that the Chinese become Chinese
Americans. Another one of the participants suggested building a wall to keep
the Chinese from coming over. To which their host added his own smug
allusion to the Great Wall.
What is most persuasive about the advocacy on the Kimmel episode is that it
has been led by Asian Americans. At the forefront are organizations such as
OCA and 80-20. There are Asian Americans who are sixth-generation
Californians and those who have been adopted by white parents, as well as
those who are "fresh off the boat" in that pejorative phrase. They have come
together, at last doing what every other ethnic group has done to achieve
They reframe the situation. It's common to dismiss anti-Chinese sentiment as
being about foreigners, and ones assumed to be wealthy at that. I can't
count how often, even if the racial reference is explicit, people assure me
that this type of comment isn't even about race at all.
OCA and 80-20 emphasize that universal principles are at stake. It's not
about Chinese; it's about people. Failing that, they at least are able to
point out that "Chinese" is ambiguous -- it encompasses Americans as well.
Anyone who starts off killing everyone in China won't likely stop at the
borders of the nation.
OCA was formed as a Chinese American civil rights group. The initials
originally stood for "Organization of Chinese Americans." At its founding
two generations ago, it decided it would stay away from foreign relations
controversies. Like other groups of its type, it sought to ensure it was
recognized as a domestic civil rights organization and tried to downplay
internal tensions among Chinese Americans over the status of Taiwan. More
recently, it has sought to encompass all Asian Americans in a bridge
building effort. Its current executive director exemplifies the idea: he is
Japanese in heritage.
80-20, started by a Chinese immigrant physicist who was the Lieutenant
Governor of Delaware (no, I am not making that up), is dedicated to the
great democratic tradition of ethnic bloc voting and inspired by the Jewish
example. Its goal is to make Asian Americans relevant in electoral politics
by delivering the margin of victory. It uses primarily email to reach a vast
audience of Asian Americans who are mobilized in a manner never before seen.
To explain to people who are not themselves Chinese why the Kimmel skit is
not acceptable, most arguments rely on facile analogy. Imagine if the
comedian had said, "Save America. Kill the Jews." (It isn't any better if it
were rendered a more precise parallel. Try it out: "Kill everyone in Israel
.") Or Blacks, and so on.
Yet observers nonetheless often excuse these moments. It's only a joke,
lighten up, get over it, no need to overreact, don't be so politically
They don't appreciate the threat. Allow me to communicate it.
What if a blogger were to say, "Kill Jimmy Kimmel." And then added, "Just
kidding . . ."
Perhaps Jimmy will feel differently walking around then. He will experience
the edge of humor. It wouldn't be merely the Chinese he would be afraid of
either; it would be the Japanese and Koreans and Vietnamese too. After all,
we all look alike.
"Kill Jimmy Kimmel." But that would be inappropriate to say.
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