The "T" in "T-Mobile" is for WTF?

June 27, 2005

This week's bad guy is T-Mobile, who are currently promoting their fee-less cell phone service using flash animated banners of the "Poser Mobile Posse". The Posse are three cartoon figures: "Big Spenda" Lopez, "The Fee" Jones, and, naturally, "25 cent" Chang. In the animations, they are "posing" as cell phone service providers who try to sell their customers on the hip hop cred of their services, all the while charging fees. You can see the three banners on this student's website. And here's a closer view of our very own representative, "25 cent Chang".

The three caricatures of a smoked-out Latino, slit-eyed, grinning Asian, and fat, pimped-out white guy are a new, interesting spin on using racial stereotypes to sell product. Instead of selling mainstream whiteness a la Aryancrombie and Fitch, T-Mobile is itself clearly trying to sell black hip hop cred. The implication of the ads is that whites, Latinos and Asians are not really hip hop, not really street, not really trustworthy. The ads are meant to appeal to a consumer base that will presumably accept this premise without question: either a black consumer base, or a non-black consumer base anxious to acquire street legitimacy themselves.

That Latinos, whites and Asians are being sacrificed in favor of a tough, street image of blackness is, as I said, interesting, since we're used to seeing blacks, Latinos and Asians sacrificed for a clean image of whiteness. But it's only interesting for about two minutes. Then it's just racist. I really hope they don't think this ploy will actually work.

If you want to tell them yourself exactly what kind of metal this balloon is made of, here's the contact info:
T–Mobile Customer Relations
PO Box 3730
Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380
email: click on the words  CONTACT US at the bottom of their website

Thanks to May-lee Chai, via Heather Woodward, for the heads up.




Jeb,These ads are about using stereotypes and stoking racial divisions in order to sell telephones. This is not about making fun of "posers" in general. The message here is that "poser" companies are analogous to Latinos, Whites and Asians who try to act "Black" (note the quotation marks). That's pretty clear considering the choice of characters in the banner ads and the fact that there are no African-American members of the "Poser Mobile Posse."
Now White people don't have to worry about stereotypes. That's one of the privileges attached to being White in this country. People don't use "White" stereotypes to pre-judge you or make assumptions about you based on your race. No one cares that you're not offended by the "gangsta wannabe" White character. I'd be more surprised if you were.
But it seems like what you're really trying to say is that racial stereotypes shouldn't be taken seriously, especially when they're used to get a laugh.
Now I don't expect White people to notice that a disproportionate percentage of people on television are White (especially when you focus on speaking roles). There's no reason for you to. And I don't expect you to notice that there are almost no Asians on TV either. But, for obvious reasons, I notice. And when I see that an ad agency has finally decided to include an Asian character only so that they can publicly mock them (or even a subset of them), I get upset.And when they do it using stereotypes like non-English accents and kung-fu bulls**t like "25 Cent Chang: Master of the Connection Fee", I get even more upset.If they had mixed around the casting, they could have put across the same message, used the same satire, and kept it funny.Although, some of the stereotype humor may be lost. But, hey, do I find it funny when Asians and Latinos look foolish? Not usually. And do I find it funny when people make fun of the accents my parents speak with? Of course not. And do I have the right to tell T-Mobile: "hey, you guys are potentially marginalizing a large customer base"? Of course. Hey, sometimes I feel charitable.Just because some people find a joke funny doesn't mean everyone else does. We all have legitimate, personal reasons for why we like or dislike content. And don't forget that the right to voice an opinion and protest something you find unjust also falls within the foundation of our America. And that enlightening people towards others' views and feelings is a way to strengthen, not destroy race relations.
Please don't feed the trolls.
Its a commercial - it in no way says "Asian people are poser's". I also find it a little unnerving that you seem to find it okay to have a white "poser" but not an asian "poser". You say they leave a black person out of the group because the posers are trying to "act black". Imagine if a black person were in with the other minorities, then you'd probably say they were racist for only having minorities in the "poser mobile" clique. It's you're own mindset that makes you paranoid and allows you to "see" all of this stereotyping and racism. When I saw that commerical I never thought for once about how I'm better than those "poser mobile" guys, or how pathetic they were. I saw a funny advertisement. You say that writing letters and complaining to get get change isn't censorship. If you complain, probably with threats of boycotts from groups of people, you are effectively limiting what the company uses in advertising campaigns. Its not exactly censorship, but its damn close. Its akin to saying "you can print whatever you'd like, but if it offends me I'll kill you". If that threat is believed to be truthful odds are that the printed article will not represent what the writer actually wants to write, but more so what a specific person or group of persons want to hear.I never said that discussing the "issues" that you have are a waste of time. I don't feel that I'm wasting my time by pointing out how childish (imo) your quest against a T-Mobile commercial is.Just out of curiosity do you find the movie "Kung Pao: Enter the Fist" to be offensive? How about movies like "Big Trouble in Little China". In that movie you see most of the asian people are bad guys, supporting the demonic leader Lo Pan, in his quest to rule the universe from beyond the grave! Now we all know that most Chinese people aren't sorcerers using black magic for evil, but thats how the movie portrays it.Relax, all day long I deal with reverse racism because I am white. No one is afraid of firing a white man because how can that be racism? Last time I checked there were no quota's on how many white people you need to have employed for affirmative action or to get that special tax break. If I score the same as a minority on an entrance exam, most universities will take the minority over me. You see how everyone deals with real racism? Let satire and parody exist as just that. Forget about the "stereo-types" that normal people don't see.I wish everyone saw things like I do. I see a group of people who should be able to get along. You apparently see races, different races that are out to keep you down. You even stated that you are an advocate for "your community", I'm assuming you mean people of Asian descent and definitely not your non-asian neighbors (because in a racist world you see "us" and "them" - if you didn't see things that way I don't think that commercial would have been a big deal)Please join me in being a man (or woman), plain and simple.
jeb, i think you pretty much said it all there.
"It's you're own mindset that makes you paranoid and allows you to "see" all of this stereotyping and racism."And "Jeb," it's your preconceived notions that may allow you to overlook this bigotry.In the US we live in a community that is comprised of laws and socialization that are heavily (if not primarily) underwritten by over 250 years of White privilege, for the de facto (and sometimes intentional) benefit of members of such group. So for many of "us" it is difficult to see where the subtle gourd of racism chooses to rear itself.Not a big deal if you're of the group that creates and enforces the rules, but if one is not of that group it's a song of a different color no pun intended. However, for others it is a bit easier to see/be sensitive to it due to different frames of reference; upbringing, education, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.You may take the reactions of some people who have posted here purporting to have sent letters to PR and marketing divisions of T-Mobile to be extreme, and within certain contexts you may be correct. But without such vigilance, often times companies and ad agencies will act in an absent-minded manner (at the very least) or amorally (at the other end of the spectrum) if they go unchecked.Perhaps what they set out to do was create free publicity/discourse between people with differing opinions? In which case they have succeeded with all of "our" (yours and mine) assistance.I too wish everyone could get along in a Rodney King post LA Riots fashion. But until situations such as the advertisement in question are seen for what they subconsciously may signify to both the creators and viewers, that's not going to happen.
Wow, Jeb, thanks for showing all of your cards.Nice post, Cletus.
I've haven't read through all of this, nor am I, it's nonsense. Poser Mobile is a parody. If you're insulted by that, then I think you're way too sensitive and probably shouldn't watch any TV. I'm a proud Chinese-American and I'm going as 25-Cent for Halloween.
one thing that hasn't been mentioned (though possibly alluded to via quotation marks) is that the posers seemed to feel that the only way to communicate with the Black consumer is to play that tired hip-hop\street rep B.S. and that Blacks are (potentially) easy 'sells' if you coat a garbage product in pseudo keepin-it-real-ism.if T-Mobile had wanted to be demographically correct, they would have made the 'mark' (potential customer) a white guy from suburbia.the insults created by frontin' the poser characters as something that they are not is bad. especially crappy accents which reinforce their 'other-ness'. why not have the white guy say 'aye laddie' and take a swig of whiskey, suck down a spicy meat-a-ball-a or wave a falafel around?but consider this, at least the Asian, Latino and White guys have enough savvy to (try to) hustle a business, even if it is built on BS. apparently they were not willing to try to sell that crap to white, latino or asian consumers. by having no black 'poser' it could be read that blacks lack the where-with-all to 'run' a business. furtehrmore, who is it that has to buy the PAYG phone 'cause they don't have enough 'gap' to cover the monthly? i'l be that ad isn't running during the US Masters but is on Yo MTV Raps!at least, for once, they let the Black character make a decision based on rational thought and not 'image'. However, in the end, his 'rational thought' leads him to buy his stuff from the 'other' man rather than the 'brother' man - even step-brother. so no $$ stop in black-biege-brown town. net result - 'same as it ever was'.isn't ice all supposed to be the same temperature?as for Jeb, if I had a dollar for every whiney white man that claims 'reverse discrimination' i would be a millionaire. if i had $10 for every white man who has acutally been harmed by reverse discrimination i still couldn't cover cheng's 25 cent charge.Give that horse a rest. Puh-llleeeeeaaasssse!as an aside - check out the book 'White' by Richard Dyer. interesting reading. almost everything he says in the first 80 pages is in this commercial.
Stu,Why don't you try being "a proud Chinese-American" who reads before he preaches?
Phil (and Cletus), I can definitely understand your point and I will happily cede this debate to you. I'd like to thank you for engaging me in this well spoken discussion that will (hopefully!) make people ponder the subject matter - from both points of view."Anonymous" You are a moron, plain and simple. I hate to start off with an attack like that, but implying I'm a "whiney white man" really shows your ignorance or your racist agenda. I doubt I will respond to any of your future comments. Just so you know, in two of the commercials that I've seen, the "mark" was a white suburbanite - guess your theory is out the window. "So no $$ stop in black-biege-brown town" - let me guess, the man keeps you down, right? Keep thinking that, wallowing in self-pity and see how far it gets you. I take solace in knowing that the rewards that I enjoy are benefits of my hard work and dedication and not some "meal ticket".
"Jeb" You are a moron, plain and simple. I hate to start off with an attack like that, but implying I'm a "whiney Asian man" really shows your ignorance or your racist agenda. I doubt I will respond to any of your future comments. Just so you know, in the vast majority of mainstream TV, film, print, and radio content, Asians have been set up to look ridiculous (or invisible). I guess your theory of "it's just satire and parody" is out the window. You whine, "all day long I deal with reverse racism because I am white." - let me guess, the yellow man (and the black man, and the brown man) keeps you down, right? Keep thinking that, wallowing in self-pity and see how far it gets you. I take solace in knowing that the rewards that I enjoy are benefits of my hard work and dedication and not some "meal ticket".Parody. It's such a funny word.
IT'S A COMMERCIAL! Too bad people just can't see humor without screaming "Racism!" I thought the commercial was clever.
Wow, you guys sure do wear your hearts on your sleeves in this place! Should I go protest because the fat white guy portrays white people in a bad light? By your reasoning I should. But if I did I wouldn't be taken seriously. You guys operate under a double standard and probably need to get your mom to pick you up a new box of tampons down at the 7-11. Either that or you need to just simply get a life.
You're stupid. I'm asian through and through and i find this commercial hilarious. why? PEOPLE LIKE THIS ACTUALLY EXIST. PEOPLE LIKE 25 CENT CHANG ROAM THE STREETS WITH THEIR PLASTIC MEDALLIONS AND CHECK OUT THE 'HOOD' LOOKING FOR 'STREET CRED.' T-Mobile didn't mean to piss any of you conceited bastards off, you're just being closeminded stickassed sons of bitches. Why are you all taking this so seriously? Seriously though, i think you're all obscenely stupid if you're going to waste your time hating a 2 MINUTE COMMERICAL because of some 'unsavory' characters. LET IT GO. it's not worth your time to rant about it in your (stupid) blog. IT'S JUST A COMMERICAL. IT'S NOT LIKE IT'S INSPIRING PEOPLE TO GRAB A 'GAT' AND 'POP' AN ASIAN. You all act so noble and talk about 'protecting the ideals of America.' IT'S A JOKE. DON'T CRY ABOUT IT. In fact, you know what? THIS MESSAGEBOARD MAKES ME HATE BEING AN AMERICAN. I'm going to go outside and commit vehicular homicide on the way to the suicide gorge. Ta. p.s. hooray for funny advertisements, t-mobile, make some more!
the ‘t’ in t-mobile stands for ‘wtf?’ WTH IS THAT? That doesn’t even make sense. Stop trying to be so catchy. You’re asian, you were meant to be boring, right? That’s what it sounds like the people in this message board are implying. Stop trying to be so righteous, I hate you and what you make America look like.
kim, "hate" is a strong word, but i guess what we make america look like, i.e. diverse, is too much for you. thanks for the racism.eggsandbakey, do you really think something is only racist if it causes someone to grab a gun and shoot somebody? how about the racism that makes you laugh at offensive representations of yourself? just because you don't identify with 25-cent chang doesn't mean that others won't identify you with him. do you really think that when the rest of america sees you on the street they'll say, "hey, that guy is cool, not like 25-cent chang"? how many asian american characters are there on tv right now? can you name a single young asian american male character on tv? what references do americans have when thinking about asian american young men? well, right now, they have 25-cent chang ... is that how you want to be seen? as a skinny, accented poser? don't fool yourself into thinking that you won't be seen this way. you already are seen this way.
Personally, I am extremely offended by this commerical. I am also offended by The Karate Kid and its racist portrayal of Mr. Miyagi.
Listen, we are ALL Americans. Why should it matter who came from what country? The fact of the matter is that we all live here NOW! I admit, I take a liking to a sertain race, am 100% European American, and yet I prefer Asains over many other cultures... that does NOT mean that I wouldn't like any other culture... I just have a weird taste for what I think looks good... What REALLY matters is on the inside though. On the inside, you could be "gangsta'" "goodie goodie" "brainy" the list goes on...I found this blog because I like that commercial for two reasons and I did a search to find it.1. I think the Asain is hot(that doesn't mean I like him... I can think that the worst person in the world is hot if I wanted to... THAT DOESN'T MEAN I LIKE HIM!!!!!)2. I think it's funny. Imagine if it was a Brittish guy, a Senegalese guy, and a Brazilian guy... wellll?? would it make a difference???? NO!!!(or any other race for that matter)the point I'm trying to get across here is that we are all Americans and should all treat eachother as such!!
just for the record - neither 'British', 'Senegalese' nor 'Brazilian' are, nor define 'races'.People really really really have to get this concept straightened out.Your citizenship does not define your 'race'. You can go to any of the countries you mentioned and find people of different races who are all citizens of that country. Don't get it twisted.I'm an American too. And my family tree has been here a long, long time.
claire- suck it. you're lame. just 'cause you fall subject to the composition fallacy ( the fallacy that one person represents every other person like them ) doens't mean anyone else does. Just because people see ONE skinny asian guy on tv known as 25 cent chang, doesn't mean they'll assume everyone else is that way too. you, however, are a bigot and an idiot who DOES assume that people are so blatanly moronic that they associate 25 cent chang with EVERY OTHER ASIAN IN AMERICA. you're method of thinking is truly immature and i suggest a critical thinking course.
if all of you think this tmobile commerical is racist, have you ever watched anything else on comedy central? 94 percent of it is racist.on mad tv, the white lady who acts as an asian lady who does nails. it's funny. i'm asian too. why don't you all write letters opposing every remotely racist thing on tv? until you do, shove it.
Hey, let's not get into details about what I said, just look at the meaning. Which is that it doesn't matter where we come from. So what if there aren't many ghetto Latinos, Asians, and white people. The fact of the matter is that there are some out there and anyone who doesn't believe that is a racist themselves. Maybe T-Mobile just wanted to show that... EVER THINK OF THAT!?!?! ...Didn't think so...
i have an idea for a game. LET'S ALL MAKE A BIG OL' DEAL OUT OF A *$&#) COMMERICAL THAT (ON A RACISM SCALE OF ONE TO TEN IN THE RECENT AUGUST ISSUE OF PEOPLE MAGAZINE WAS GIVEN A '3') AND BLOW IT OUT OF PROPORTION!!!!! WHOO! i don't understand why you people think it's so satanic. stick your head in a toilet.
claire, are you mentally disabled? if so, your argument has suddenly held more persuasive meaning to me. did i say that 'racism' was synonymous with 'offing someone with a gun'? no. i didn't. don't try to use loaded terminology with me. your comment, according to your (unwritten but implied) definition could be deemed racist. you just said that the commerical held offensive representations of myself. do you know that? no. YOU ARE ASSUMING THAT BECAUSE I AM ASIAN THAT THESE IMPLIED 'OFFENSIVE REPRESENTATIONS' APPLY TO ME. why would they? because i'm asian and i have black hair people are going to look at me and think: 'whoa, look, there's another chink like 25 CENT CHANG!!' i think the only people who would react this way are people who think like YOU. hopefully, people with this small of a mental capacity can only be found in a sixth grade classroom for the academically challenged. another point: just because there aren't that many asians on tv doesn't mean that people's memories will automatically flock to the only asian-american figure they can find: 25 cent chang. not everyone (like you) takes these commericals so seriously. They are advertisements, meant to catch your eye. Congradulations, t-mobile, you've caught our attention. And when would anyone say 'hey, look at that guy, he's pretty cool, not like 25 cent chang?' No one thinks about these commericals for any longer than 15 minutes after its been shown (according to Elementary Statistics 9th edition by Triola published by Pearson and Addison Wesley). I happened to stumble upon this site because i'm a big fan of Not everyone sits glued to their tv eating paint chips, finding little bits of media to over-analyze as you apparently have been doing for the last 5 consecutive years.p.s. thanks for the poorly pieced together shred of an argument.
You all think that just because 25 Cent Chang and the other characters are on TV that it automatically means people associate them with Asians like us (or me at least)? Claire, according to your last statement, you see Asians this way too. Right? You said, “don’t fool yourself into thinking you aren’t seen this way. You already are seen this way.” By you, maybe, you fascist torch-wielding KKK-er. But oops. I’m being racist. By your own definition, you are racist too. Oh no, better call the police and tell them to lock you up. I don’t want you here anyway. My point is, anything nowadays can be deemed racist. A ‘got rice’ tshirt could be racist, as it would be saying that all Asians are rice-mongering lunatics. It just depends on your perspective on it. From most of the people on this comment list, I notice that your thoughts are either ‘lighten up,’ or ‘it’s racist.’ I personally don’t think it’s so severely racist that it should be taken off the air. On the E! entertainment channel, they use racist jargon daily. Hourly, actually. I’m watching it now; they just called Nicole Richie ‘white trash.’ She’s not even white. She’s Hispanic. She was adopted by a black man, for crying out loud. What would compel them to call her white trash? It’s unmistakable. They’re practically implying that since she is rich (and pale, at that), she’s white trash. So now, by Claire’s handbook, when I look at a pale Hispanic woman with a Dooney and Bourke purse, I’m supposed to think she’s ‘white trash’ as well as Nicole Richie? I think I understand how you could perceive T-Mobile’s commercial as offensive and racist, but I don’t think it should cause anyone more than a little discomfort. Who says that the ‘crew’ in the video were labeled ‘posers’ just because of their nationality? It could be the way they’re dressed. It could be that aluminum looking thing around 25 Cent Chang’s neck or the eyewear bling that chubby man in the background is wearing. Or the fact that Big Spenda stands there and says things like, ‘wickawicka’ when it is obvious he is not even remotely talented in the art of beatboxing. Why are all of you, both pro and con-posermobile and so quick to jump to the conclusion that these people are posers because of their nationalities? Would you all be satisfied if an African-American person joined the crew, Spazzy McGee? Maybe the ‘crew’ are labeled as posers because they come off as not knowledgeable in hip-hop culture. Please don’t take any offense, I’m not attacking anyone. I merely wanted to show that there are infinite ways to perceive this commercial, and that if one glances at it with an open mind and heart, they will see that there is probably an innocent joke at heart, not a pitchfork wielding pencil pusher trying to perpetuate sterotypes in the American media.
The asian guy doesn’t even have an accent. Maybe that’s the way he naturally talks. My brother sounds exactly like that and he’s white.
"I'd be more than happy to respond to the ridiculousness of that statement, but evidently I'm supposed to be offended by how idiotic that commercial makes the white kids look.How miserable your life must be if something like this is all it takes to offend you. Get a sense of humor. " -mmmikey, taken from the eww,girl, ewww website the video was found on. i couldn't have said it better myself. Claire, you need to stop worrying about such mild humor. Maybe if you weren't so uptight, you'd learn to laugh a little. I wonder if it's people like you that make others sterotype asians as broom-wielding rice shovelers who can't take a little joke. you're a disgrace and i'm more ashamed to call myself asian because of you rather than because of 25 cent chang.
claire, you're not getting laid, are you?
Do you have any friends? If so, why? You overanalyze too much and find ways to hate people. shame on you. You're a discrace to asians everywhere. Everyone thinks asians are so uptight thanks to figures like you. I would approve if 25 cent chang tackled you right now and hijacked your phone. I bet you hate life and phone companies because you think you're so original and smart. You're really actually quite primitive and i have no respect for you as an Asian, blogger, or human being.
To all the people who are jumping up and down to lighten up (And doing it rudely by the way. Telling people to shove it or suck is isn't really conducive to having a dialogue.) -- You are forgetting to look at the whole historical context of how Asian Americans are portrayed in the media in this country.Perhaps it’s true that ONE representation, in this particular case the 25 Cent Chang character, is not something to get worked up over. People on the street walking by probably won't look at you and think "Hey, there goes a cheap chink like 25 Cent Chang."However, this is one character is a long line of characters that make Asians looks like idiots. Claire is right in that there really aren't any positive portrayals of Asian American men in the media. Well, maybe BD Wong on Law & Order. That's the only one I can think of. Most of the time they're uber dorks, or waiters. Even when they are portrayed as bad ass (surprise, another martial arts dude), they are apparently sexless. I mean, Jet Li stars in a movie like Romeo Must Die as the hero and doesn’t even get to kiss the girl?Now, perhaps you are lucky enough to live in an area where there are plenty of Asian Americans, and people won’t associate you with these images because there are plenty of real live, diverse asian americans to interact with. Or perhaps you are too young to remember some of the terrible stereotypes of Asian Americans that have been in our media in the past.But do realize, that you are only 4 percent of the population. And there are plenty of places where people have never met an Asian American, and their ideas of you are informed by what they see on TV and the movies. And what is on TV and in the movies, is generally, not good. I know. I’ve been in some of these places where people have never met an Asian before and then people proceed to ask me annoying questions, like I am some being dropped from outer space and not the American that I am. And sometimes, people say racist things to me, out of nowhere.This commercial may not be a big deal in itself, but when there are a lot of :not big deals" taking place, then it does eventually snowball into a big deal. Kind of like when your sink is leaking. You know?
Peace everyone.Just want to say that I am asian (Vietnamese-American) and My female, mexican friend and I both enjoy the humor in the commercial. I think if anything it makes fun of the "hip-hop" poser/wannabe community which as you can see is represented here with all different races.
true! true!
Asians who are (still) portrayed in the media? Stephan Chow (shaolin soccer& kung fu hustle) Bruce Lee (who DOESN’T know bruce lee?) others include the lead actor for the (kickass) film Ong-Bak. Ziyi Zhang, although female, is another strong asian figure. Lucy Liu is also female, and she’s a very sophisticated asian icon. Hehehe anna you have good points, but I still don’t like Claire because the tone she is striking sounds like it’s out to prove everyone who isn’t with her wrong. No offense, though.
Claire, I personally disagree with you completely, in every way. I think that because you think it's offensive you think everyone else should, too. That's not being 'diverse,' now is it? If you find it racist, I think you should keep it to yourself and not begin an entire blog war over it. Obviously it's offensive to some Asian-Americans, but to many others, it's not. They're entitled to their own opinions, though i wish they would do it without sounding so vulgar. ('suck it?' 'shove it?') I don't think it's so offensive that everyone should get all riled up (eggsandbakey, jeffery, bruice and crew) because Claire has voiced her own opinions. Let's play nice.
I know an Asian "poser" who thinks he's "black" (the rapper style black). Hip hop music, bad grammar, latest cell phone, badly lowered car... everything but the big chain around his neck. I think I'll send him this commercial! Lol. Who's racist when it's the truth?I prefer to call them bruised bananas. ;)
Paula, a lot of the people you mention (Stephen Chow, Zhang Ziyi) are Asian, not Asian American. Let's throw in Jackie Chan too as the other one who's in movies alot. So the American public watches these and if they are not too discerning (forgive me for being so negative and pessimistic, but I think most of them are not), they think Asian and Asian Americans are the same thing. And I don't know about you, but I really don't feel represented by imported martial arts Asian actors. I sucked at karate.This just underscores the importance of Asian Americans needing to making their own movies, create their own images, and tell their own stories about Asian Americanness (or not about Asian Americanness, just about living or whatever.)Of course, Bruce Lee is an icon of bad ass. And sexy to boot. But he's the only one (and he's doing martial arts).And yeah, there's Lucy Liu. Wow, one whole Asian American woman in the movies. Sandra Oh is a rising star now. Oh wait, she's Canadian, but close enough. So there we have it - 2 whole Asian American women actors. Whoopee
well, this has gotten lively lately!I agree with: most Americans have a hard time distinguishing 'Asian' from 'Asian American' - certainly from looking at them.On 'being quiet' about what offends, I disagree. For too long the injured party has remained quiet which just allows people to operate under the belief that 'there's no harm done'. BUT there is a limit to how much noise you should make about specific issues - kind of the 'group' that cries wolf thing. Plus you can get into a 'Mapplethorpe in Cinncinnati' rut where you don't want others to see it just because you don't like it. Decisions decisions.Bruce Lee - great guy, but also dead, so he is an icon like James Dean or... Not much 'currency' in today's culture.A lot of people grouse about Lucy Liu (stereotypical persona or roles).Sandra Oh does play 'just people' roles and does it well. Nice little interview in KorAm this month. Missed some points about the new show I would have liked to read about, but...You kind of skipped Parminder Nagra (f), Ravi Kapoor (m) and Sarita Choudhury (f)Umm, 'poser' blacks?? Well, that sort of assumes a monolithic 'style' for blacks which would be as bad as assuming a monlithic way of being Asian. The 'poser' is (probably) a poser bad-ass\thug. All in all, a waste of time, but an all to common pose taken by those that want to be 'rebels', most are without a cause and it demeans themselves and all the black people that DON'T do any of that stuff. Lots of Chicanos don't drive low-riders, wear hairnets or have jobs as gardeners.
ok, this is weird for me, cuz normally i hate getting on the internet and voicing my oppinions, cuz everybody does that. i mean too many cowards out there are so quick and ready to say something behind the safety of an alias and computer screen, but then smile to my face shake my hand in the real world. i only stumbled upon this page cuz i wanted to find some video captures of the poser mobile crew ... but after reading the convo taking place, i felt compelled to once again voice my voice...ok - i think people should really lighten up on claire and see what she is saying. And don't use this to just jump and say - ok either you agree with Claire or are against her.UNDERSTAND my point - I originally found the commercial entertaining. I still kinda like it. But then again, i'm black, not asian. Although i feel personally that many of "us minorities" can identify moreso with each other than say a white person could indentify with us, we still each have our own world views and history of expereinces that shape us and how we perceive things. Like i said - me not being asian may be the reason that the commercial didn't trigger an immediate reaction to the characters on the screen, even though i like to believe i am sensitive to other ethnic groups and injustices against it took me a minute. it took me coming to this site to realize that it DOES offend some people, so even though "offense" is a subjective thing, the fact that it does 'hurt' other people is enough cause for me to re-examine what is there.try and realize that Claire does have a point. although we may like to belive in and hope for understanding and open-mindedness across all people of every color, that isn't the case. This isn't to say all white people are bad, cuz thats not the case. that'd be just as stupid as saying every balck person or every asian person is good. i've met great people and a-holes of every race and color. But thats not my point right now.I think my point is that there really IS a pervailing under-current of racism floating around. Not accepting that, doesn't make it go away. I don't know how to convince you of it, if you refuse to see it. Just know that those that DO see it become more sensitive to such thing. I personally find the woman on mad tv a gross characicature. at some point people have decided what are "safe" and PC targets of humor and mockery. it IS too easy to say - "hey! lighten up! it's just a joke." ... but after everything that has gone on in this country over its whole history? ... i dunno.i've heard so many nasty things said about other races other than my own by white people. and these people are saying it to me, cuz they assume that i'm not OF that race, so i shouldn't be offended. but they don't realize that when they are slamming asian people, or talking dirt about latinos - in my eyes - they ARE insulting me just the same - cuz this is their biew on people who are different than they are - people who aren't white ... thats the insanity that's walking around day to day in front of your faces and behind your backs... so when something like that offends one of your own people - one of "US" - myself included - you are gonna attack her?wow... i'm sorry.i think i lost my point.i didn't mean to rant, and i really have to get outa here. got folks waitin on me ...i'm just gonna say - yeah, i find humor in a lot of things. and i can laugh at myself. and some of the funniest comedy out there is racially based, and i can appreciate the bravey of shows like south park, and family guy, and various comedians that aren't afraid to step on toes and make social humor - about all races equally.what i'm saying is that i can take a joke. It would be nice if everyone could. But please don't be blind to the racism that still exists - live and well - in all facets within this culture. So don't jump all over someone who takes offense to something, just because you don't.At the end of the day - it's the people that don't stand for the little sh* and will vocally stand up and speak out for all of our behalf and benefit - those are the people that you'll WANT on your team.I know that I will.Thanks Claire. Thanks Jeb. Thanks Eggsbakey. Thanks Averageguy. Thanks Paula. Thanks Anna.- I hope we can all learn a little something from this to hopefully make our days better in the real world and appreciate our fellow man all the more.ciao
thanks alittleok, for a calm, thoughtful response, with no name-calling. i'm not interested in getting everyone to agree with me, but the hysteria and hatefulness of the posts you were responding to ruin the fun and interest of debate for everyone.unfortunately for anyone who attempted to respond to these posts with rationality, one of our blog administrators just pointed out to me that all of the hateful posts--asking if i have any friends or if i'm getting laid, or calling me "mentally disabled" or telling me to "suck it"--all came from the same IP address. it's all one person, folks. this person has used the following names on this thread: "amanda", "paula", "ERkanis", "Jeffery", "Bruice", "Jojo", "Bear", "eggsandbakey", "Mackky", "T-MOBILE", "james", "Julia", and "kim"so as much as i'd love to continue an active, lively debate with folks like alittleok, who are ready to reflect and discuss, unfortunately someone with no grasp of etiquette and no respect for others has hijacked this debate. responding to any more such posts would only encourage this hateful individual-- and send the message to other immature minds that personal attacks are an acceptable form of discussion in this forum. personal attacks are not acceptable on the hyphen blog thanks to everyone who continues to make the hyphen blog a good place to have a discussion. i'd encourage you to continue to use this forum for such a purpose, and also encourage you to neither emulate nor respond to hateful, personal flame wars in the future.
You Democrats make me sick... why aren't you fightinh tje real racisim problems in this country?Or if you're some kind of bleeding heart liberal, why don't you fight the stereotyping of men as stupid and weak in the media?
Pedro,I totally agree with you that there is stereotyping of men as stupid and weak in the media. It's almost impossible, for example, to find an adult male on a sitcom who isn't an idiot. That is a good point, dude.Having said that, you're still a major dumbass. You should re-read the original post. And who says the people who write about racism on this website aren't already fighting "real" racism in "real" life, dude? Who the f*ck are you to throw that kind of criticism at us? You cheap little coward, I'll bet you never stick your neck out for other people and other groups EVER. You should shut up about what other people should do. It's like an atheist criticizing a religious person for not believing "properly." Shut the f*ck up.Here, I'll help you understand the complicated point that Claire was trying to make. Pedro, you know how you automatically assumed that people who care about racial stereotypes are all Democrats? Well, Pedro, that's a stupid, stupid comment based on a stereotype that insults both non-racists and Republicans. (Pedro, here's a hint: a lot of anti-racists are not Democrats, and a lot of Republicans care about equality and justice.) This is sort of the problem with the T-Mobile commercials. If you spend more than 20-seconds thinking about it, even your peanut brain will have to agree you have some reading/thinking problems. You are truly a dumbass. And a poser.Now that I think about it, I should apologize. Just like you, Pedro, I made an assumption based on a stereotype. I assumed someone as simplistically anti-Democrat and anti-Liberal as you will automatically be a Republican. I'm sorry for assuming you're a Republican. You might be a fascist, for example.
we this is a hilarious commercial.AKA AKA AKA !!!!!we love gangster asians.all you stop being so critical.
This has gone way to far. Everywhere I look, I see ad hominem attacks. I think anybody, outside of the passionate e-warriors here, who read these posts will see that most if not all of the contributors are unable to conduct themselves formally.
itsz a freking commercial ! look at the world we live in.. everyone is so racist !WHERE iS THE LOVE !?jusz laugh at the commercial.. itsz meant to be funny !! i mean seresally.. whos not laughing at someone goin AKA AKA AKA !
This commercial rules. The only stereotypes are POSER stereotypes. Let me ask the asians here, do you know any asians that speak in broken english? Does that make them a sterotype? or are they simply who they are? If a white person notices they speak in broken english, does that make him racist? To be honest, my friends speak in broken english a lot. I help them out with it because they are TRYING to learn more english. I call one of my friends a damn ching chong, she calls me a racist whitey. We are JOKING. I think a sense of humor is what's missing from the negative poster's sensibilities. It's like a black man calling another black man nigger. It was and can still be a very hateful word. But now it's losing its steam because of how it's being used. When I see a white dude trying to act "black", i laugh at him. When I see a filipino guy trying to act "black", i laugh at him. So do my asian friends, so do my black friends. These commercial are about POSERS, not about race. Putting a black guy in simply wouldn't work as well just because that's who these characters are imitating. I guess if you had a very proper "white" black guy, then maybe it would work. But they are trying to make a point and they only have 15 seconds to get that point across. I think they did a great job. This commercial is against the people who use ethinicity as a selling point. It's like those SPRITE commercials that go on and on about how nothing in a commercial matters just obey your thirst.. but then they show athletes, products, attitudes, anything that any other advertiser might use, and then claim that it's the thirst that matters. It's stupid. The poser commercial is just making fun of that garbage. the other companies POSE as being good phone companies when they aren't. The posers are used because they are SO EASILY RECOGNIZABLE AS POSERS!!! Maybe you should listen to the point of the commercial. Maybe this is why i tend to hang out with the broken english speakers... they don't have all this silly assumed stereotype crap. They are who they are, and they dont care if someone has a problem with that. It's funny how so many people here use their freedom, to step on other's freedom. I'm an italian american. Many of my relatives speak in the so called "STEREOTYPE" broken english. This way of speaking is used over and over again in tv and radio... am I supposed to feel offended?? Why? Are they putting my relatives down?Basically what YOU are saying, is that if an ASIAN or Italian doesn't speak complete proper white english, then they are a sad stereotype and should be ashamed. WTF??? IF anyone exhibits any amount of similarity to a stereotype, then it must be a bad thing and put down?? HELL NO! All you are doing is creating a false problem and then building yourself up by putting the problem down. This is like IT managers networking some crappy PCs, knowing they will fail, and knowing they will always have a job "fixing" the problems.KEEP RACISM ALIVE!! That way you will always be able to denounce it, right?
I might be too cynical, but I tend to question the maturity level of someone who, without actually reading all the posts, writes off an entire discussion thread as being full of 'ad hominem' attacks with a poorly selected 'ad hominem' attack. By the way, I knew there had to be a pretentious latin term for it (and someone to deliver it). For some reason, however, I just thought many of the people here were just getting frustrated at the growing number of unfettered ad hominem attacks on this and other threads (since this website stubbornly remains unmoderated).Thanks for showing everybody what constitutes a "proper" posting with your own example on the "New Orleans on My Mind" thread (September 5, 2005 11:02 AM). I guess everybody should follow your lead and post only irrelevant, superficial comments or inappropriate platitudes under the easy, breezy mask of "formal conduct." Yes, from now on, I will do as you do and make no contributions myself while chastising others for being passionate and condescendingly (and very inaccurately) label all posts here ("Everywhere I look," you sighed rather dramatically.") as ad hominem attacks. Why analyze arguments (and motivations) when you can whip out your AP Style Guide and nitpick at inconsequential (at least for the discussion at hand) slips in grammar and more-or-less dismiss "the masses" as low-class. Nice. Sophisticated. Principled. Not lazy or hypocritical at all.Why are you acting like you've just encountered the Internet for the first time. All online discussion boards go into unfortunate directions without rules and/or enforcement.