AsianWeek Takes the Racist Cake

February 24, 2007

I have to say, I’m not a regular reader of AsianWeek. Available as a free weekly throughout the Bay Area, AsianWeek doesn’t really seem to reach the Mission District. But I am very familiar with the newspaper: I worked there as a reporter, managing editor and editor-in-chief from 2000-2003. That said, I have no familiarity with Eng or his column, which has the strange title “God of the Universe.” He does seem to be the author of two books: Dragons: Lexicon Triumvirate and Reincarnations. His bio lists him as the “youngest published science fiction novelist in America.”

Hmmmm. I don’t know about you, but this is certainly the resume of the guy I want to write columns about race relations!!

In an earlier column, entitled “Proof that Whites Inherently Hate Us,” Eng wrote: “Most Asians know that everywhere we go, white/black/Hispanic people hurl racist remarks at us. I have already received about 10 racist remarks in the past three months and I have only been out of my home a handful of times.” Oh AsianWeek! Did you give a column to one of those crazy recluses that never leave their house and talk to themselves on the bus??

Unfortunately, the column in question seems to have been pulled from the Internet, but you can view Eng’s other moving work by searching for his name here. Including, my favorite, “Why I Hate Asians,” which has the line: “I am also sickened when I hear Asian people imitate Negro slang in an endeavor to sound "ghetto."

Now, I can tell you, that working for AsianWeek, run by the Fang Dynasty, was a complicated job. Just like here at Hyphen, working on a pan-Asian American publication means trying to cover a lot of ground. For me that work is essentially about the intersections between communities and my favorite stories were those about multicultural alliances. Yet, I was told that the main aim of the paper was to represent the Chinese American community, the pan-Asian American-ness more of a marketing tool and less of a reality. Obviously, there seems to be very little excuse for running a column by a self-proclaimed “Asian Supremacist,” (AKA: a straight up racist) but to do it in a publication that already has such iffy ties with community. Bad idea.

Here’s the petition that’s been circulating about the column:

(Feb. 23, 2007) Asian American leaders joined together Friday to criticize AsianWeek for printing Kenneth Eng's column "Why I Hate Blacks" in its Feb. 23 edition. The leaders condemn the piece as irresponsible journalism, blatantly racist, replete with stereotypes, and deeply hurtful to African Americans. They called on AsianWeek to take immediate action and issue an unequivocal apology, terminate their relationship with Kenneth Eng, print an editorial refuting the column, review their editorial policy and process, and hold those responsible accountable.

“Eng's article is unacceptable and offensive not only to African Americans, but to all Americans,” said Karen K. Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center. “AsianWeek has a responsibility to its readers and to the community to take immediate and appropriate action to repair the serious damage it has caused by publishing this piece.”

“Most Asian Americans would not be here in America today, but for the civil rights movement led by African Americans that resulted in the change to racist immigration quotas," said Stewart Kwoh, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California.

“It's irresponsible for a publication like AsianWeek to publish an article that advocates hate and bigotry," said Vincent Pan, Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action.

“The publication of these racist statements is completely irresponsible and damaging to all our communities. Not only should there be a retraction but a serious effort to repair the harm caused,” said Gen Fujioka, Program Director of the Asian Law Caucus.

“Asian Americans should recognize the debt we all owe African Americans who blazed the civil rights path we have walked on in our journey to equality," said Dale Minami, President of the Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans.

"Eng's column harkens back to a era of Jim Crow and bigotry that should not be tolerated in our society," said Eric K. Yamamoto, Professor of Law.

"Eng's vile racism is a setback to the efforts of people of color working together against discrimination, oppression and injustice," said Keith Kamisugi, Associate Director for Communications at the Equal Justice Society. "His words alone are disgusting; that it was printed in a prominent English-language Asian Pacific American newspaper is shameful."

"Asian Americans do not share Eng's extremely racist views. Asian Americans need to take this opportunity to reach out and build a constructive dialog," said Yvonne Lee, Former Member of the U.S . Commission on Civil Rights.

"It is critical that our Asian American community stands up and tells America -- and particularly our African American brothers and sisters -- that our community has no tolerance for the racism expressed by Mr. Eng," said David Chiu, President of the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area.

The leaders call on all individuals to contact AsianWeek on this matter at (415) 397-0220 or asianweek [at]

An online petition is available at:




This is a problem that needs to be settled in a black forum. Truthfully, Hyphen is not the arena for this discussion. Its like Koreans and Japanese going on black and settling there differences, a site thats naturally catered to blacks and their issues . If your motive is just to show how low black people are walking and that some of us Blacks will agree with Engs ignorance is not a solution. How is Hyphen a remedy for the stance you are trying to take here? Go to the black sites where it matters most, thats were the change needs to began. Stick with the subject matter here, Mr Eng comments. Either you agree with him wholeheartadly, or you dont. I for once know not all black people the same. All of us are not Drug Dealers, and Entertainers. Yes, we have a large number of black men in Jail, but over 700,000 of us are attending various colleges across the U. S. We are Secreterys of States, Presidential candidates and the top Neurosurgean in the world is Black American. If Mr Eng and yourself is so educated, why havent you encountered these type of people? You just choose to ignore it. I respect Bill Cosby, he is entitled to his opinion, he is worth over 400 million dollars, received his PHD from Temple. A man of his position can Lead, or shut up.
Furthermore, Jonathan we do agree on one thing, I hope there comes a day when people of all races embrace each other with love and compassion. Im only Half Black and Asian. Face it, the reality is that America is divided as a whole. Divieded within various communities and outside various communities. I was a misfit, my friends were other misfits who did not fit into their race related social groups in High school. They were not White enough, Asian enough, Spanish enough, or in my case not Black, or Asian enough. Maybe you should open some international web race relation workshop. Calling all races abroad to attend, I dont know, but that wasnt a joke. What it boils down to between me and you is neither one of us is right, or wrong, we just have our own views. I think im more in the real world and you are in La La land. In the end may peace be with you and anyone thats that prmotes cultural awareness with interest is alright with me. Im Black, well in America I am, and so are you. We would tell the Black community they were Idiots when such acts as the Tsunami song were put on hot 97 airwaves, or tell Mr Eng he is spreading stereotypical poison around as well, Well you did kind of agree with some of his comments, but oh well, carry on. I think the only reson this blog is surviving is because we keep taking blog shots at each other. If you chose to answer back ill let you have the last word.
I didnt know we were taking shots at each other, Anonymous. And now, you mention you are half Asian, but still find our dialog only worthy of a black forum? I truthfully dont know what you are afraid of, but since you offered me the last word, I wont delve further into it. If you review the comments back and forth between us, you will note that I tend to speak for myself, and not for the Black community at large. I have repeatedly said that I do agree with Eng's comments, but I do not agree with the manner or tone he used in making them. I think it is a legitmate issue, that of how long it ought take for us to move beyond our victim culture and stop our excuse making and just get on with it. I think it is worthy of discussion among ALL races. I dont think our issues need to be limited to only us for remedy. We should be learning and emulating the success of other cultures, instead of believing that the answer to our problems is just more of 'us'. We dont appear to be solving this problem for ourselves, so I welcome others of any race to hop in and share ideas.
Eng's "Dragon" book wings have been clipped. He's burying himself. Such is the law of attraction...
By the way, you will have to scroll further down the page to find the story.----------------------------------------Eng's "Dragon" book wings have been clipped. He's burying himself. Such is the law of attraction...
A very interesting picture of Eng...
Tan wrote: "I hope the readers are savy enough to knowposters like "Matthew Price" are whites masquerading as blacks.For those who don't know, you will never finds blacks on message boards unless it for blacks,an even there whites have infiltrated it so that blacks barely frequent those black sights."Tan, you are a fool.
As for Kenneth Eng, he also wrote columns entitled "Why I Hate Whites" and "Why I Hate Asians". Was there a backlash about those columns? It seems he hates everyone.There will always be division between the races in the U.S., especially since non-black immigrants often seek to endear themselves to "the majority" by insulting black people.I'm a black female, and I could not care less who hates me because of it... unless they're interfering with my means of making a living.Anyway, Kenneth achieved his goal of gaining attention. We're all tools for playing his game. ;-)
To say I disagree with Eng's egomanical, messianic rants is an understatement. I am the product of an Indian from Delhi and an American black from the south. What would Eng think of me?The Rodney King incident brought the long smoldering race issue to the forefront when Asians went on national TV enraged at why blacks were angry. Rather than to see the reason, the history behind black resentment of Asians, they focused on them reverting to type, "Savagery".The black community was reminded of the asian woman who killed a young girl in her store when she assumed the girl had stolen a bottle of juice, to name but one incident. The little girl was shot for the less than a dollar.The fact that there is no respect for either race is born of both races feeling the need to be superior to the other, which is mad. Theoretically, one who feels superior, is so...which is ridiculous.The LA riots brought the racist ideals of Yellow Power to the media as many store owners voiced their opinions of the very people they'd made a living off of, and it didn't go over well in the black community. If they find blacks so offensive, so savage, then why take their money? Why not try to open their beauty supply stores and liquor stores in the white community?I'm not racist, but I am a realist and until both groups learn the culture of the other, including the differences in social ethics, we will always be at square one and prey to people like Eng who walk around with gas cans waiting for the least bit of a spark of conflict.Additionally, if the two cultures hate one another and spout assinine taunts, who benefits?As the adage goes, A house divided will surely fall.
This is what I posted on the SAJA blog today:Hello all,Here is my PROPOSAL for all Asian-American groups, regardless of which Asian community you represent:I believe we need to discuss race relations at a forum where Americans of all communities are represented and our voices can also be heard. We can discuss this on the blogs until the cows come home, or TAKE ACTION AND MAKE A COMMITMENT TO IMPROVE RACE RELATIONS IN AMERICA. If the Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Koreans, Indonesians, Malayasians, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, people of Myanmar and others that I may have missed on this Asian list, would like to have a forum with the African-Americans and all-encompassing white Americans ... I think it can be arranged this summer in Atlanta. After all, Atlanta was the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement.The convention runs for several days and is expected to be attended by tens of thousands of people. I know the person who is heading the planning committee. She is an African-American friend who specializes in conflict management, and is the key organizer of the convention. I have not run this proposal by her, but if the Asian-American organizations are interested, I can talk to her about it, and then we will have to submit a proposal within six weeks.If there is interest in the Asian community (including South Asian community) to follow up on this, I will update this column with more details. I have been thinking about this option since the day Kenneth Eng's article was published on SAJA blog two days ago, and wanted to help bridge the gap between all Asian communities, African-Americans and all other Americans.Could some of you PLEASE POST THIS PROPOSAL ON MY BEHALF ON OTHER ASIAN-AMERICAN BLOGS, or direct that blog to this SAJA site, or publish it in a daily or weekly Asian newspaper. Those interested can post their responses on this SAJA site. Thanks. Kamlani
Getting back to AsianWeek...As much as I think AsianWeek sucks, and has never lived up to its marketing hype as the "voice of Asian America," I think its GREAT that it had an editor of South Asian origin for several years.I think Neela's perspective is so vital, and no one has addressed it.I understand that during her editorship she tried to build up its pan-Asian coverage, and perspective on inter-community relations. How upsetting it must be to see what a rag it has become.What I find really really sad is the fact that this racist and idiotic editorial decision and its result that made the news all over the world, while all the amazing coverage of nuanced and hard-hitting perspectives on race by Asian American journalists and writers will never make the news.There are amazing things happening in race relations every day, but we hardly know. And when its reported (increasingly so these days), it never ever makes the front page.Neela, keep writing about this.
Rahqui,Your own prejudiced rant is another example of throwing smoke and fire, just as this blog page was opening up to some light.
ROBIN:That was Latasha Harlins.
The following is a slightly revised version of a letter sent to Kenneth Eng.Hello Kenneth,I too am a published author. I'm 32-years-old, and I have written for several professional publications over the years. I've also written two books, one is published, the other is in the process and will be released later this year. So I say this with great admiration, I applaud you on your claim to being the youngest author to publish a sci-fi novel.However, the reason I write this letter, is to express my gratitude for your more recent work titled, “Why I hate blacks”. I am not Asian-American, I am African-American. If you are shocked, don't be. Many blacks, or I should say black-Americans, because that's really who your opinion piece was aimed at, have had questions about Asians. This however, is due to the fact that we feel that Asians, exploit, look down on, or misjudge us regardless of who we are, based solely upon the superficiality of the skin we're in. We've always assumed that Asians felt superior to us, now we know that our suspicions on that premise are correct – thanks for bringing that issue to light to not only your Asian counterparts, but also, to the world. I suspect that you or your fellow Asian-American business friends and family won't be surprised if there is less “black” patronization at their restaurants, gas stations, beauty supply stores and nail salons in African-American communities nationwide as a result of this disclosure. This piece provided a telling picture of what types of discussions go on in the majority of Asian households around the world, when it comes to blacks.I must tell you though, that it would seem that your thoughts about some of us might appear to have some validity. This article was indeed a wake up call. For too long we (blacks) have been a consumer population. We buy too much. Furthermore, we don't support our own – if we did, Asians would have little space in our marketplace. After slavery, we didn't listen to Booker T. Washington, who told us that Asians would come in and take our place – making not only a home for themselves here, but also becoming a thriving populous within mainstream society. I must admit, to a point, that has come true. Studies show that the fastest growing workforce in America is Asian. You all have even surpassed Hispanics. There's no “hater-aid” here, I applaud you on this. However, I pray that your article has spawned many blacks to finally do something about our economic system, or lack there of.You are right, many blacks have not explored other religions, or even doctrines or sects within the Christian faith outside of protestantism. Blacks depended on the Christian God as their source of strength, and though I'm certain that you do not understand it, He didn't let them down. The Jesus that whites taught our ancestors was not the same Jesus that they believed in. You see, Kenneth, though it was against the law for blacks to read, many learned how. They learned about the Jesus that said, “there is no slave nor free in me. All are one in me.” They learned about a slavery more harsh than their own – one that lasted 400 years. They knew that if God sent the Hebrews a Moses, surely he would do the same for them. Jesus became their champion. He was a beacon of light in their darkest hour. Now, maybe you have a better understanding of why many blacks including myself, choose Christianity. It is for the same reason why many Chinese still believe in, and respect their ancestors. Our ancestors believed in the God that they felt, set them free, which is why many of us still do.Your prejudice is deeper than you think. Asians, as a whole, especially those of Chinese and Japanese descent, have a superiority complex about every race – even over some Asians, like Cambodians, Filipinos, and other Asian groups that aren't either light complected enough, or industrious enough in their eyes. I know this to be a fact because I've got the inside scoop. You see, Kenneth, I have had friends of many kinds throughout my 32 years. Don't misunderstand me, It's great to work hard and have a sense of pride about who you are and where you come from. I feel the same, and teach my children the same. However, it's not so great to look down on someone else because they may not have what you consider, a strong background or work ethic. As my mother once told me, “It takes all kinds”. Besides that, true growth is knowing that not only are you alright, but it's finally realizing that others are just as alright as you are. Those who lift others up, regardless of race, are considered virtuous in every religion. If you see a problem, be a part of the solution, don't just chide the problem. As a writer, you could have become a great force in providing deeper understanding between Asians and blacks.My husband is African-American, and he's studied the beautiful art of Kung (Gung) Fu for over 20 years. He is a devout Christian, who greatly respects the Chinese, and Buddhism. If he felt for one moment that a Chinese person looked down on him just because of the skin he has no control over wearing, he'd feel pretty horrible.In my conclusion, I would just like to implore you to take a lesson from Dr. Martin Luther King. Judge people not as a collective race, color or creed. Size everyone up individually. Don't hate groups, hate ignorance, and injustice no matter what body it's emanating from.Peace
I love all people!
To "Not too surprised",Thank you for your elegant way of expressing what I, through multiple posts failed to do. I am a technologist by trade and though I try, my words sometimes fail to get across the points I wish to express. I am 100% in agreement with your comments, and thank you for offering them.
I'm just grateful we African-Americans didn't pass the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1888.
"Not to surprised": "We've always assumed that Asians felt superior to us, now we know that our suspicions on that premise are correct – thanks for bringing that issue to light to not only your Asian counterparts, but also, to the world"and "Your prejudice is deeper than you think. Asians, as a whole, especially those of Chinese and Japanese descent, have a superiority complex about every race – even over some Asians, like Cambodians, Filipinos, and other Asian groups that aren't either light complected enough, or industrious enough in their eyes."yet you say: "Judge people not as a collective race, color or creed. Size everyone up individually." In your two earlier statements, I feel as if you were lumping me into one big mass of Asians ("Asians as a whole...")--both American and on the entire continent of Asia, yet you ask Kenneth to size everyone up individually.The reason why people in the Asian American community are upset is that they feel that what Kenneth Eng said does not speak for them. I am upset that you have categorically placed me along with him.I don't think that Kenneth denies he is prejudiced, nor is he Buddhist, nor (I don't think) is he a kung fu practitioner. (All I can tell is that he likes dragons!) From what he has said, he is a racist because of the racist comments he's received. If black Americans have "always assumed that Asians felt superior to us," then what are your thoughts on this?
An Update:Hello Everyone,The 5-day forum I was referring to where Americans of all races and colors will come together is the USSF Forum, to be held from June 27 – July 1, 2007. Each year it is held in a different country. This year it is being held in Atlanta, USA. It is the first time it is being held in the U.S. Last year it was held in Venezuela, and attended by over 100,000 people. The Forum has a very wide agenda to address various issues important to the Americans. Organizations signing up for the forum will bring their own large tents and set it up on the grounds to hold discussions or give presentations. I assume that means making arrangements for the chairs for the tent as well. Asian-Americans, for example, could set up a tent to discuss race-relations, or select a subject from the wide array of topics suggested on the website.From the menu displayed at the top of the website select “FAQ” option (Frequently Asked Questions). You will read why the South, and why Atlanta was chosen as the city to host the first USSF conference in the U.S. Why? Because it is the birthplace of Reverend Martin Luther King and the Civil Right Movement.When you select the “News” option from the Menu, you will find various articles worth reading. One of them explains that the African-Americans want to open a dialogue with the Mexicans because undocumented Mexican workers in the U.S have been taking away their jobs in the south. On the “News” index page, you will also find an article “Bringing it back home…” written by Eric Tang, an Asian-American from New York, who is involved with the USSF effort. Eric declares, “The Social Forum process is not so much about putting aside differences, as it is about placing them at the center—of bringing whole movements and whole selves to the table…” Perhaps the Asian-American leaders would like to get in touch with him for his views on USSF participation and the proposal submission process.The “Materials,” option from the Menu guides you through the proposal submission process, how to plan for it, how to register, who should attend the 5-day seminar to be held from June 27 – July 1, 2007.Given below is the response I received from my friend Alice Lovelace, National Lead Staff Organizer of the USSF Forum. She has a Masters in “Conflict Resolution,” is a social activist and known in the African-American community. If you select the “Contacts” option from the website Menu, you will find her name and other contact names with their pertinent information. Also read “About USSF” and Home page for more details on the social forum. I hope the USSF Conference can provide a platform for the Asian community to connect with the African-Americans and find ways on how we can all work together in the future.Jaya Kamlani*****************************************************************Jaya,The social forum is self organized. This means we do not organize any sessions, organizations that will attend the social forum submit proposals for programs and as long as they are in line with the social forum principles, they are accepted.If you have a group that will be attending the social forum they can submit this proposal. You do not need anyone’s permission or approval.In terms of getting involved in programming for the USSF, the process for getting a program on the schedule includes:You must register as an organization: registration for organizations is on a sliding scale—you can register up to three people from your organization for one fee between $125-$300. You may register as many people as you wish.Once you register, you can submit proposals for programs.Please visit the website to view the call for submissions.www.ussf2007.orgI hope this is useful.AlicePosted by Jaya Kamlani
FYI: The Chinese community has a social event planned for this month in Long Island, New York.:Asian-American Cultural Festival of Long Island, New York --Building Bridges & Promoting Awareness & Appreciation for Cultural Diversity.Sunday, March 11, 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Student Activities Center.If you have any questions, contact Wang Center, Stonybrook University at 631-632-4400, and ask for my friend SUNITA MUKHI, an Indian, who is the Director of Asian-American programs at Stonybrook University, Long Island. Each month she hosts several very interesting programs.1:00–5:00 p.m.Free Admission. All are welcome.Multi-Cultural Booths with Crafts, Live Music, Literature, Costumes. Small Group Performances/Lectures. Tea Ceremony and Cultural Displays by the Tzu Chi Foundation. Children’s Live Interactive Show5:00–9:00 p.m.Reserved Tickets: $20Presentation of AwardsClassical Performances by Asian ArtistsDelicious Asian Fusion Buffet DinnerSpectacular Raffle DrawingFor more information Download flier: Kamlani
Rebecca, I deeply apologize if my comments offended you in any way. I wasn't trying to hurt you are anyone else. I do now realize how Eng's comments negatively affected some members of the Asian community. However, I suppose my comment was fueled by anger, and yes a touch of disenfranchisement when it comes to what I and many other blacks have experienced.In my time, I have frequented many Asian-owned businesses in black communities. Sadly, I must be honest and say that I have been discriminated against. That's why I said, we have had questions.On the other hand, I have had the privilege of befriending some awesome folks who just happen to be of Asian descent -- one of which, is Japanese. He and I met in the Middle East. We became fast friends. At some point during the course of our friendship I happened to mention that I always wanted to go to Japan, and that I might want to take up residence there for a while. He looked me straight in my eyes and told me to only go there to visit, but not to try to stay there because I would have a hard time renting an apartment because I am black. Now, I cared an awful lot for this friend of mine, and I know he cared a great deal for me as well. He was trying to spare my feelings because he knew I had no idea of the racism there.Yes Rebecca, we could talk for hours about the quiet racism between blacks and Asians. I hate it! I hate that anyone is judged by the color of their skin or their ethnicity. It's sick! It's stupid! It's futile! But nonetheless, it does happen. Blacks do need to come together better as a race. Blacks do need to develop a stronger marketplace presence. This is not to take away from anyone else, but the only way to truly develop unity with anyone else is to develop unity within ourselves.I like what I have heard several Asians say lately, that they know racism exists within their community-- especially racism against blacks. However, this is the wonderful part about it, Rebecca, we don't have to resort to becoming ostriches by burying our heads in politically correct sand while our huge bodies are standing out for the whole world to see. Even though Eng's message was tactless, it still brought about a massive wave of dialog between blacks and Asians on an issue that does indeed exist. I don't know about you, but I thank him for that. We can address this matter as it is. We CAN tackle it head on, by continuing to develop honest, open communication about this subject and come to a better understanding for our future. It's like G.I. Joe says, “Knowing it is half the battle.” I suppose the other half is up to us.
Hi All;Hate and avoidance is so easy. Getting to know each other and actually attempting to like, love, respect and appreciate one another takes a little effort, but is so very rewarding in the end. I have started a global diversity awareness campaign called "The Diversity Race to Improve Race Relations(TM)". It features an annual marathon called "The Diversity Race(TM) and a global tea room tour to have conversations with key persons in the community and take measurable and positive steps toward improving race relations, embracing diversity and easing cultural tensions. Please visit the website and sign the guestbook at and help me forge relationships and partnerships that help restore the innocence in how we view one another.
Thanks for the comment Johnathan. However, I beg to disagree. I think you did a great job of getting your point accross.
Why I Hate PicklesBy McFancy, Goddess of the GalaxyFirst let me say that I have been blackballed and have received death threats because I’m intelligent enough to speak the truth. But these threats have served only to strengthen my resolve. I know the truth and speak it because I am Goddess of the Galaxy. Chee chee kee kee lum drum doe… Forgive me. Sometimes I must think aloud in my native Goddess tongue just to release some of the pressure in my expansive, enormous brain, something many of you addle-pates wouldn’t understand. Yet, I digress.I ask you: What vegetable in its right mind would allow itself to bathe in a vinegar brine solution until it is soft and knobby? Would an eggplant? I promise you it would not. This gorgeous purple-black vegetable would rise up in defiance and mangle any hairy-knuckled fist that dared drop it in a vat of vinegar. Can we say this of the cucumber? Most certainly we cannot. Pickles are imposters and cannot be trusted. They pass themselves off as some great American table fare, but when I attended an outing recently, the only pickle on the entire buffet was caught Frenching the onions, another proof that pickles are weak-willed and amoral and cannot be trusted. Yet every fat farmer, every whining pregnant woman, every sandwich-eating freak in America would be at your throat with a straight razor if you were to speak out against the pious pickle.You may not believe what I’m about to tell you, but I am Goddess of the Galaxy and do not lie. Every word I speak is the truth. I entered an eatery of very high repute, deciding, for the sake of a good meal, to dress up and play by the rules like the rest of the trained monkeys. I listened as the Maitre’d prattled off the special of the evening for the couple at the next table, “Tamarind Eggplant with Roasted Garlic and Mango.” To my delight, they were serving eggplant, the most glorious of all gourds. Yet the half-witted woman sitting at the next table muttered, “Humph, Eggplant is awful; it’s one dish I’ve never liked.” I was astonished and immediately altered my decision to play by the rules. If this woman was allowed to speak her mind, with only a forgiving chuckle from the patsy in the waist apron, then I would as well.When the Maitre’d approached my table and gave me his half-assed, pompous “Good evening,” I responded with a question: “Why do you serve warty mutants with your delicatessen dishes?” He raised his brows; “Begging your pardon, mademoiselle?” Since he suddenly had a loss of hearing, I spoke loudly enough for all. “Mutant Cucumbers! Pickles! Why do you serve them? They’re nothing more than green vinegar turds, chilled and quartered.” I was immediately ordered to restrain myself while the other guests sat dumbfounded (or were they just dumb…I can’t recall). But why must I restrain myself when the cow at the next table is permitted to rail accusations? Am I any different? Are my concerns any less valid? Obviously, the answer to both questions is yes because I was asked to leave. “Just go quietly, or we’ll have you removed.” I sauntered out, slow and deliberate in my righteous indignation, intent on bumping everything with my lovely goddess hips as I passed. You wouldn’t believe the verbal abuse I suffered with other diners calling me a crazy bitch.I know it is hard to believe that such injustices occur in the Land of the Free Speech, but it is all true. Even some of my friends have become sellouts. The other day, a friend asked me to meet her for dinner under the guise of catching up on old times. Out of the blue she said, “We, your friends, are concerned about you. You’re out of control. Furthermore, eggplant is actually a fruit and it, too, is often pickled just like cucumbers, and beets, and eggs…” I clasped my hands over my ears, refusing to listen to the damnable lies. It’s bad enough when strangers look upon my candor with disdain, but when supposed friends, those of my own kind, view me as recalcitrant and try to brainwash me, then I know for sure that America is going to hell in a hand-me-down. Again, I apologize. The words you people must look up in the dictionary, like recalcitrant, are words I use everyday. I will try to remember to whom I’m addressing this and keep it simple.Although some of my friends have turned on me, there are a faithful few who have joined with me in agreement, who share my same supreme views. I know that many of you who are reading this would like to silence me while you yourselves continue to speak freely. This is because you are pantywaists and are intimidated by my unparalleled brilliance. But I will never be silent, and whether you like it or not, you, and you, and you… you’re gonna hear me.P.S. If the language of this article is too difficult, you might want to consider another article I wrote last year. It was written for a group of politicians (or were they village idiots…I can’t recall). Anyway, the language is juvenile and the style is very elementary. It is entitled: "Why I Hate Eggplant". For the record, I am also a published author of the book "Why I Hate Free Speech".
I know we are in the wake of the Kenneth Eng comments, but afterwatching this interview and as a person of African American Ancestry. If any Black Person, or even a White person has done anything like Kenneth Eng describes in his interviews, I apologize for us all from the bottom of my heart. Enjoy the interview.
Slanted eyes actually originate from Africa so if Black people were making fun of your eyes they were actually also making fun of other Black people's eyes. We need to understand why Blacks have a problem with asian shopowners. Most asian shops I have come across go into Black neighborhoods and give us horrible service. I'm living in north philadelphia right now. North Philadelphia is over 90% Black. The asian shops here don't bother to clean up and almost all of them have bulletproof windows between you and the clerk. The shops are small and if its a restaurant there are no seats for people to sit. When you travel over to the whiter parts of Philadelphia, the asian shops get cleaner and the service you get is much more friendlier. There are no bulletproof windows and there is plenty of sitting place. The difference in the shops points out the way some asians view the Black community and White community. To me it seems as though they are saying that its not worth it to treat the Black community as equals. Also, Blacks are constantly accused of stealing in asian shops. There are a number of times I was verbally accused of stealing and I have never stolen anything in my life. The situation needs to change between Blacks and Asians worldwide. Just offering my thoughts. Peace
While I'm completely at a loss as to why AsianWeek publishes this guy, I haven't been very impressed by the responses so far from our "leaders." Why can't they acknowledge that racism exists in our community, and that we should be working actively against it? While he's not a spokesperson for our community, his article opens up the opportunity to break down some of the biases that exist across all lines.
While I think your point is valid -- and racism does exist inside our community -- it is hard to respond to such drivel (that Eng writes) with any kind of understanding. That's why I think AsianWeek failed, where they could have had the power to open an interesting discussion. They seem to lack the complexity to do so.
I applaud some of the leaders in the Asian Community for addressing their stance on racism, a perennial subject in America. People of all races that spit such poison as Mr Eng should be condemned.
I hear you on your points. I think that AsianWeek completely failed in this. Your insight as a former editor is really enlightening. Thank goodness for Hyphen!
Since Asian week pulled this article offline, I was lucky enough to find a copy and retype it out for all of you."Why I Hate Blacks"(taken from Asian Week February 23 - March 1, 2007 , Volume 27 No. 27 page 6)by Kenneth EngHere is a list of reasons why we should discriminate against blacks, starting from the most obvious down to the least obvious.* Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us. In my experience, I would say about 90 percent of blacks I have met, regardless of age or environment, poke fun at the very sight of an Asian. Furthermore, their activity in the media proves their hatred: Rush Hour, Exit Wounds, Hot 97, etc.* Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years. It's unbelievable that it took them that long to fight back. On the other hand, we slaughtered the Russians in the Japanese-Russo War.* Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including Reverend Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians. Yet, at the same time, they spend much of their time whining about how much they hate "the whites that oppressed them." Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't Christianity the religion that the whites forced upon them?Blacks don't get it. I know it's a blunt and crass comment, but it's true. When I was in high school, I recall a class debate in which one half of the class was chosen to defend black slavery and the other half was chosen to defend liberation. Disturbingly, blacks on the prior side viciously defended slavery as well as Christianity. they say if you don't study history, you're condemned to repeat it. In high school, I only remember one black student ever attending any of my honors and AP courses. And that student was caught cheating.It is rather troubling that they are treated as heroes, but then again, whites will do anything to defend them.----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------##
Hyphen is the best thing going
Kenneth Eng is an Asian racist. He would be jailed in Singapore for writing such garbage. But, in the US, any crap is acceptable.
WOW, i am absolutely appalled by this article, especially from a source like Asian Week which claims to be "The Voice of Asian American". Let me tell u that is not a source that i want to be my voice. As minorities we need to support each other. This articles works to further divide and already divided community. It is beyond me that such an article was approved for publication. It sounds like something from a White supremacist group. It is racist and hurtful and I just hope that our African American brothers and sisters as well as the rest of our countrymen do not see Eng's remarks as being reflective of the Asian American Community. We cannot let racist individuals like Eng undermine what we all have worked so hard for. Keep up the great work Hyphen, you continue to impress me with our ability to unite and inform.
I agree with you. Hot 97 was shameful as well. As an African American no one on that show represnted me, or my African American friends views. Hate is poison, and it doesnt take much to start a fire
I don't agree with Kenneth Eng's column but I ABSOLUTELY no problem with them printing this. First of all, it's not like he is a shill for the white man, he is acting like the Asian Farrakhan a Yellow Panther if you will.Secondly, the response from Yvonne Lee is so laughable: "Asian Americans do not share Eng's extremely racist views...."Excuse me Yvonne, I am Korean-American and can tell you there are a crap-load of racist Asians out there. Maybe Mr. Eng's column can actually help address this issue.Finally it's not like his column was without some merit. The majority of racist comments I received growing up were from blacks and Latinos, not whites. I grew up hating these groups until I got more educated a knew better. I been called "Chinito" a billion times by Latinos and remember black kids slanting their eyes with their fingers at me during school growing up. Couple this with people like Ice Cube (Chop Suey asses?), Shaq, Hot 97, and the vilification of Asian shop owners among other things and I understand why there are people like Eng in this world. I am not saying it's okay. But how about we address these issues.The sad thing is there are a lot of Asians who hates blacks just as much as white people.
You know what really pisses me off about this article the most, the fact that he hasn't stated any positives and have dwelled on what he think is truth. This country was literally built on our backs, and for the most part still is. Even though Black American paved the way for racial equality, we still get the short end of the stick. Anybody from any other country (especially Asian) can come here and get money to start a business, and you want to know where they stick them? RIGHT IN THE BLACK COMMUNITY! And then treat us as if we are less than.What sucks even more (which I'm starting to rethink) is that I love my Asian brothers and sisters, and support all their movements to be heard in America. Regardless to the fact that I have been mistreated by some of them I know in my heart that they are not all that way so I continue to fight for Asian justice as well as for Blacks in America. However, Black Americans still get blunt, viewable hatred. Why should I continue to support the Asian American movement when things of this nature happens? This is something I keep asking myself, but I pray about it and move on. We have got to make a change or neither of us will get ahead.
I disagree with everything Eng said, except for the fact that I too have experienced a significant degree of overt antagonism and racial slurs coming from _some_ black people. -- But these hurtful incidents are mostly from unfortunate homeless crazies and immature kids.However, when I was in medical school, I was the only Korean student admitted, and there were 20+ black students. Unfortunatley, this was just a year or two after the LA riots. I remember black med students would kick the back of my chair in the auditorium. One guy would often say "I hate the color yellow" behind my back. My white-jewish roomate (who spent time in Japan and only felt attracted to asian girls) expected me to clean up his messes, obey him, and become his telephone answering service without protest. Some students (both white and black) said that the burning & looting of the Korean stores were completely justified. This was also a common sentiment in the media.And the professors brought up non-sequitor things like Pearl Harbor and the future menace of too many Asian males in Asia due to the killing asian female babies.Those years were also dominated by the whole "blame Japan (ie: east asians) for the recession" hysteria.Whites wouldn't even acknowledge the existence of racism towards asians at the time. Acknowledging the phenomenon of anti-asian racism wouldn't be politically convenient. It didn't exist according to the mainstream media, back then. So radio stations, TV, and movies with the words "jap," "chink" and the overt racist depiction of resented asians at the time weren't questioned much. And there was no way to discuss these feelings of disillusionment and assaults on one's self-image.Medical school alone is stressful enough, but needless to say the racism broke the camel's back, and it resulted in a nervous breakdown and the loss of my potential career as a physician.In any case, I don't hate black people. I don't hate white people. I don't hate jewish people. I don't hate asian people. I hate individuals who are racist towards asians. And I hate injustice in general.After this episode, I began to transvaluate how society constructs race, image, and tribal feelings. The history of colonialism, exploitation, and genocide of native americans, africans, and asians plays a big role in how white society views & depicts minorities and non-white foreigners today. There's some progress but sometimes this is probably limited by convenience.Message to people like Eng: the stress and struggle to understand this Angst is tough. Emotional support for asians dealing with racism is almost non-existent. Yes, there is a huge void in leadership. And the American media will continue its racism and ignore your protests. But blind racist hate isn't the answer. You've got to try to understand things more accurately.I can try to judge a person's actions, but I do not know the entirety of another human being. I can try to understand history, but condemning an entire other race, nation, or people is irrational.Yes, there are some really rotten and dishonorable people out there.However, one cannot disrespect all white, black, jewish, or asian people, because there are so many deeply kind and good people in all such groups. It would be an injustice to the good people.I feel as if I understand racism a bit better now, because I re-evaluate and question society's assumptions and what the colonial mentality dominating the media tells me to think and believe.I feel solidarity with black people in their struggle against racism, because I know how that injustice feels, first hand.--j
One can criticize Eng's negative comments about blacks--he should have left them out--but his own experiences cannot be denied. If his experience is that he was treated negatively by blacks and Hispanics, more than from that of whites, then why is it not OK for him to state that as fact?
Ive visited some of the Korean stores in the black nieghborhoods. One particular incident I remember well. I asked a Korean merchant a simple question, he literally told me to get out of his store. I couldnt believe this man blantantly dissrespected me for no reason, He said if I didnt like what he had go some where else. My other friend that was with me just wanted a coke. They watched his every move as if all blacks were thieves. The attitude these Korean merchants had in this store was a reflection of how all the stores in S. Central LA were. Korean comming to black nieghborhoods, getting rich, but you dont have one iota of respect for the people that are making your bellys fat. Would Koreans allow Black merchants to go into Koreatown?. I doubt it. what is it about Korean that love the Black Consumer? Even in Korea around the U. S. Military bases Koreans do everything they can to get African American consumers to shop at their stores. I mean with a vengeance. In Osan and Pusan, I went to stores that had African American products that I couldnt even find in America. The difference over there was they were not as dissrespectful. When that Korean storeowner shot that 15 year old girl Latasha Harlins in the back, Thats when the Black Americans wanted Korean merchants out of their nieghborhood. The point im making is racism wears many faces. As a black man I can say We are all victums, when we practice this poison and enforce it on each other. The efforts by those that promote love and multi-unity are overlooked and tarnished by those that uplift hatred. My best friend is Asian and I look at him as my brother. We will not let society dictate who we are suppose to like and dislike. Even though we come from different worlds, He is one of the few people I trust in this world. I know a lot of people do not share my views. Those of you that are educated seek out and speak to people in the American Community of all ethnic backgrounds, judge them for who they really are, not what society percieves them to be.
It is fine for people to express their own opinions. Even hate speech - make no mistake, that's what this is - is protected by the Constitution. If you want to stand up in public and spout racial supremacism, go for it. You'll probably need police protection, but go for it - the community doesn't have to like it but that's your right. The community does however have some rights of its own...we can vote with our dollars.First though, let's take a close look at what is being said and who is saying it. A regular writer for an ethnic publication takes careful and specific aim at another ethnic group. He makes ridiculous, generalized, bigoted statements like and I quote, "Blacks hate us...blacks are weak-willed...Blacks are easy to coerce." Someone within the organization that publishes AsianWeek decided that this was exactly the kind of stuff they want under their masthead. That's their call and they made it. Whatever PR spin or apologies come out of them from here forward are smoke and misdirection in my opinion. I want them held accountable for a culture that believes this type of hate is OK to pump out onto the streets of San Francisco. Not on my watch. Not in my community.What is deplorable and unacceptable about this situation is that a publication that claims to be the "Voice of Asian America" is publishing hate speech against other ethnic groups. Race wars are not what I want in my community and I expect the community to respond with repercussions. I for one want this paper run out of business for their appalling and disgusting lack of judgment and complete abrogation of civil responsibility. I will call as many of their advertisers as I can to pound on them for supporting racism and bigotry in my community. Whoever runs an ad in the next issue of Asian Week is supporting racism. So, I intend to boycott each and every one if they do not renounce their support for Asian Week. Let's hit 'em in the pocketbook and then we'll see how strongly they support this nauseating position they've taken.
In my opinion, the saddest commentary about the things written about Black people, is that in the many responses from this site and others, there has been no coherent dispute of what Eng wrote. I am a Black man, yet because my first reaction to such things is not emotional, I have to ask what truth their is to the young man's comments? Of course, any honest person would have to conclude that there is a note of truth to what he says, regardless of its ugliness, and the uncareful way in which the writer framed his opinion.It might have been better for him to go into a bit of historical or cultural reasoning behind the fact that we as a people have simply failed to thrive in America. Eng is not alone is failing to address this important factor, society as a whole has been conditioned to avoid asking the painful questions which lead us all back to the undeniable failure of Black people to accept more responsibility for their outcomes.It is not necessary to spout statistics, or point fingers, but only look at the results of all that has been done to assist us since the Civil Rights movement, and then look at what has been scruplously avoided when it comes to dealing with the issue.I am a great admirer of the Asian people and their culture, and as an older man, been witness to many examples of how Asians have come to America, recieving much less assistance from Government institutions, yet succeeded beyond their wildest dreams, due to a work ethic and family structure that values education and hard work.Who will with a straight face, say the same for us? Who is willing to address the REAL problems in our community, when people like Bill Cosby are attacked without restraint for even the mildest attempts to get us to look at ourselves and our behavior, before pointing the finger at whitey?Ask a Black business owner what it feels like to be robbed by your own people, then ask them how they feel about those Korean store owners stereotyping us, following us around and feeling fear in our presence.Ask us how it feels to walk into an elevator and watch as every White woman clutches her purse just a bit tighter. Who can we blame for that? Who can we blame for the waitress who seems surprised when I tip her correctly? Who can I blame when cabs wont pick me up in Manhattan, even when I am well dressed?You see, it is too easy to just dismiss the young Eng as a racist and send him on his way. We older blacks can only shake our heads knowingly, regretting how he went about his points, but knowing that there will be little if any dispute about them inside all of your heads.See, we dont like looking at the ugly things, as much as we dont like looking at the ugly people. Eng is young and silly for the generalization, but who will say he is just plain wrong in what he said? You cant do that without lying. The best thing about America, is that you really cant attack an opinion, but you damn sure can attack the man naive enough to utter it in this politically correct age.It is the silence out of fear, and the attack without debate that will allow what keeps us back, holds us down, and at the outside looking in, until we can stand up and say that Eng's comments do not have a ring of truth to them.I wont hold my breath.
Eng's comments definitely do have some truth to them. Most racists comments do have some truth in them. Yes he hits a valid point in that racism exists in the Asian American community against other minority groups. Yes he is correct in that the Asian American Community experiences racism from other minority groups. However there are more creative and productive ways to address this issue than the way Eng pursued. The racism debate and subject is often simplified into Asiam Americans via whites, African Americans via whites etc. We need to expand upon this discussion and see how the poison of racism has affected inter-minority relations. Us minorities need to talk with each other more to discuss a wider rage of racist issues in this country. We all experience racism and are negatively affected by it. Yes the degree of it varies as well as the historical context but one cannot deny that ethnic minority groups suffer from it. So we need to stop fighting among ourselves about who had it, or has it worse. We need to start focusing on our similarities and looking at the roots of hate and ignorance. No one said it was easy but it is our responsibility to work together to overcome racism, or else the burden will fall upon our children and grandchildren.
Jim, assuming your comments were addressed to me, I want to apologize if my comments appeared to be only comparing racism that we recieve as Black people with that against Asians, as that was not my intent. My intent was to point out that due to the behaviour of SOME Black people, many other Black people suffer.You see, I do not consider the items I mentioned above to be those of a racist culture, I consider them to be those of a culture of common sense. The persons to be held mostly to blame for the culture of racism against Black people in THIS day and age, are Black people themselves. We are the ones allowing our youth to identify with the Gang/Rap culture. We are the ones who fail to police our own, and make excuses for the wrongdoing in our communities, through some ridiculous tie back to days of slavery.So I want to be clear that I was not intending to compare who 'has it worse' than the other, my comments were to point out that if we held ourselves responsible for our issues, and only complained when our own house was clean, then the comments by Eng would be less true, to the extent that he might not have made them in the first place.
Asian American Journalists Association statement calling for end to Eng's column.
I agree with Lo that ultimately AsianWeek should be held responsible as it was their decision to print this ridiculous article and all the other ones Eng wrote. I believe in freedom of speech, but publication such as AsianWeek who proclaim themselves "The Voice of Asian America" need to examine the value of publishing such garbage.
a few thoughts on this blustery day:1) eng needs a history refresher course and a community service stint at a soup kitchen or a public school - it's time for a reality check.2) if asianweek is going to label itself the "voice of asian america" we need to see more community accountability, with a pan-asian/pacific islander (always highly underrepresented) community advisory panel that's not just token, but truly representative, that will keep it in check. which means, if they shape up, then great. but if the community sees that they're failing to shape up, then goodbye.3) it's 2007. it's high time we had an honest discussion about race relations and privilege vs. oppression, and work toward the rebuilding of trust within and between our communities. i agree with other posters that we as part of the API community need to recognize that racism exists within our ranks, and that we can no longer sweep it under the rug. how about a town hall discussion with mandatory attendance on eng's part?4) wouldn't it be fun to clean out all of the asianweek newsstands and to have a big bonfire out on ocean beach? if only the weather were better...peace.
I knew this guy at NYU. I had multiple classes with him, and was also present during some of the "incidents" he writes of all over the internet and at asianweek.Ken, has/had a serious mental problem. He thinks he's superior to everyone. Anyone who disagreed with him was either ignorant or a racist. He constantly felt persecuted, and eventually was after a number of incidents where he assaulted people, made threatening phone calls, and generally spouted out his racist beliefs.Also: he was a no talent hack. His work was amazing, comedically bad!I'm not surprised one bit to find him on