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All posts copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le.
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The views and opinions expressed on this site and blog posts (excluding comments on blog posts left by others) are entirely my own and do not represent those of any employer or organization with whom I am currently or previously have been associated.

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Behind the Headlines: APA News Blog

Academic Version: Applying my personal experiences and academic research as a professor of Sociology and Asian American Studies to provide a more complete understanding of political, economic, and cultural issues and current events related to American race relations, and Asia/Asian America in particular.

Plain English: Trying to put my Ph.D. to good use.

January 23, 2005

Written by C.N.

Another Racist Radio Skit

On the heels of the recent tasteless and offensive incident in which a radio DJ insulted and physically threatened a call center operator in India, Hot97 FM in New York recently created a parody song to “We Are the World” entitled “Tsunami Song” that mocks the tragedy in south and southeast Asia and that also uses racial slurs against Asians. Here are the lyrics:

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 whole country away

And all at once, you can hear the screaming
And no one was saved from the wave
There were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away
You can hear God laughing, ‘Swim you bitches swim.’

So now you’re screwed, it’s the tsunami,
You better run and kiss your ass away, go find your mommy
I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head
And now your children will be sold to child slavery

Apparently the radio host, Ms. Jones, played the song twice, had a heated on-air argument with one of the show’s other hosts (who is Asian American), and then later the radio station apologized for airing the song. The latest is that the staff of the morning radio show that first aired the song have agreed to donate one week’s pay to tsunami aid efforts.

I applaud that the station eventually realized that the song was completely tasteless, offensive, and racist and apologized. I also applaud the morning staff’s decision to try to make amends by donating one week’s salary to the relief efforts.

However, I still cannot fathom why so many people apparently felt that it was ok to mock and ridicule a human catastrophe that has already claimed over 200,000 lives and that it was even better to call the victims of this tragedy racial slurs. What saddens me even more about this event (as well as the previous radio incident described above) is that the people behind these racist acts were Black — other people of color.

If people still wonder why the Democrats lost this past election and why “The Left” is in such shambles these days, this is a perfect example — people who should be supporting each other and helping each other out in times of crisis are instead ridiculing each other and using human tragedies to try and be funny.

Many people apparently feel that tensions and conflicts between Asians and other groups of color are overexagerated or blown out of proportion by the media. That may be true to some extent, but incidents like this only serve to once again show that there are very real differences between groups of color. Further, this most recent slap in the face of Asian Americans all across the country is likely to negate years of goodwill and bridge-building between the Asian and Black communities.

In other words, at a time when both our communities should be marching forward together, what we have instead is one step forward, two steps back. This is a tragic incident in more ways than one.

Author Citation

Copyright © 2001- by C.N. Le. Some rights reserved. Creative Commons License

Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Another Racist Radio Skit" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <> ().

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