Friday, October 09, 2009

Burning Questions from the Meltingpot

It's the end of the week and I have so many questions swirling through my mind. First and foremost:

1. Is everyone else feeling a renewed sense of hope and possibility with the announcement that President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize this morning? And at the same time, are you wishing that all of the people who feel compelled to whine and complain that he doesn't deserve it, would just shut up already?

2. Does anyone else not really care all that much that Mattel has released a new set of Black Barbies and in fact wonders what all the hoopla is about considering there have been Black Barbies on the market since the 1960s? But at the same time, wishes that if they were going to update Black Barbie, they wouldn't have named her Trichelle?

3. Is anyone else out there thinking that right now, Jon Gosselin is like the most photographed Asian-American man right now, and yet the Asian community doesn't seem to embrace him? Why is that? Or am I wrong? Does Jon Gosselin have any kind of Asian fan base? Do Asian-Americans even claim him? Does the rest of America even view him through a racial lens? Or is he just the dad of multiples from TLC?

4. How many people are going to see Chris Rock's new movie, Good Hair, which opens this weekend? I've already seen it and had mixed opinions.

5. Did anybody else hear about the TV show in Australia where White actors performed a comedy skit called The Jackson Jive in blackface and find themselves secretly saying, I knew Australia had issues with Black people, but this just proves it? And even though there have been several public apologies by the show's producer who invited the buffoons on the program,and even though you know you shouldn't judge an entire country by one stupid act, do you still feel like that flight to Australia might not be worth it? I'm just wondering?


ieishah said...

1. yes, and HELL YES!!!! so exciting.
2. i don't care about black barbie at all. tell your little girl she's beautiful, every day. end it.
3. i've only heard other asians talk about kate and how she fetishizes jon and the kids. they never actually talk about jon. further fetishizing him, imo. but really tho, i just wish he'd get back with his family.
4.depends. did he really jack a sister for that idea?
5. yes. i was mostly just proud of how harry connick jr. shut 'em down. he was all, 'not ok'. i'd still suggest you visit australia. if for no other reason than to keep an eye on them fools. hope floats.

Lovelyn said...

1. Yes

2. I don't care about Barbie.

3. I don't know who Jon Gosselin is.

4. My husband grew up in Australia and was horrified by this news. I think Australians racists. I know they completely disregard the aboriginals and don't really acknowledge to what was done to them. I haven't been to Australia yet to visit my in-laws.

Dee said...

1. Yes and YES!!! The haters can go jump in a lake! Obama is here to stay! Get over it!

2. Barbie is still BARBIE!!! It doesn't matter what color she is! I never liked Barbie dolls anyway.

3. Jon Gosselin is such a narcissist it's not even funny! He falls into the category of "Celebrities I Don't Give A Damn About"

4. Not sure. The idea is not entirely original. Did he ever read your book Hair Story?

5. This is the first time I'm hearing about the blackface fiasco in Australia. Australia of all places! Why? Oh well, there goes another country I can cross off the "Places I Can Go Without Thoroughly Researching First" list.

jstele said...

I don't know why the Asian community should have to embrace him. Just because he is half-Asian? I know that the Asian community does not necessarily see half-Asians as Asians, but I think they do embrace them more than the white community does. Why doesn't the white community embrace more half-white people? Mixed people are part of BOTH communities. John should be seen as a Eurasian rather than half-Asian, which only emphasizes his Asian half. Even if he was full Asian, I think the response would be the same. He's not notable like Yul Kwon. He's just an average guy living his life.

Here is a post by an Asian person that embraces John:

jstele said...

In response to ieishah,

Disregarding someone is not fetishizing them. Fetishizing is about coveting something in a dehumanizing way. So yes, Asians don't fetishize Jon. In order for them to do that, they would actually have to care about him.

ieishah said...

jstele, honey, as much as people worship at the alter of critical theory and terms they've learned in AFAM 101, jon is sort of like a talisman, one that's trotted out with a strange obsessive devotion to challenging the validity interracial matter how jon may feel about it. or more accurately, like he has no feelings worth considering. like he's an object. essential to fetish-hood, no? in the context of these situations where he's already considered a fetish, this disregard for whether or not he feels wronged FURTHER fetishizes him. there is a nuance there. it's in the words object, context and further.

or we can agree to disagree. that's my reading.

MackDiva said...

1. I'm really excited about it, and YES...the haters REALLY need to get over it.

2. Not a Barbie fan.

3. I think Jon and Kate both need to get back to the business of raising their kids and leave the rest of us alone. Period.

4. I saw 'Good Hair,' and thought it was cool. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.

5. YES -- and I'm so proud of Harry Connick Jr. right now. I never really thought about how Australians viewed Blacks, but I'm glad Harry was over there to set them straight.

jstele said...


Some may fetishize Jon. Kate may fetishize him from what I've heard. But how can one possibly fetishize something that they are not interested in? I think a lot of people could care less. So why would they care if he was wronged if they don't care at all?

DeTamble said...

Wow! How did I miss this post! I'm a lurker around here and this is officially my first comment.

5. This 'Black-Face' skit was taken completely out of context and disproportionately blown-up by the media. The show being referred to is The Chaser's War on Everything and I've known about if for several years now and have seen every single episode. The show is a social commentary, mostly on Australian politics with a few extra sketches thrown in. The Chaser's did a series of sketches parodying songs of famous bands and singers. They did a fantastic one of 'Stairway to Heaven' and they also did the rather now more famous one of the Jackson Five. I know Black-Face is a contentious issue in America however most Australians have never ever heard of it. I actually wrote a rather large assignment on racial differences and racism in America vs. Australia for a social studies class I took when in Australia, and seriously, hardly an of them know what Black-Face is. Considering this is a show for an Australian audience, if the Chaser's had tried to sing a Jackson Five song without the fake afros and Black-Face, absolutely no one in the audience would know what they were on about. Apart from having barely a clue about Black-Face they also don't know about the Jackson Five, they do know of Michael Jackson though, but that's not the same thing. The actual song they sung, if any of you have watched it before jumping on the 'racist' band-wagon, is in fact about Australian politics and specifically about the elections that were taking place there.

There is racism in Australia, where isn't there? However, Kevin Rudd, the current Prime Minister, who was voted in around that song's time was voted in for almost one sole reason, which was an apology to the Indigenous Australians. He promised to give it and he won by a land-slide majority, mainly for that reason. He did apologise too, one of the very first acts of his new government. Considering how much he won by, the vast majority of voting Australia would have voted for him, so obviously the majority are not particularly racist and wanted an official apology given to Aboriginals. Just to give you an idea of how many non-Indigenous people voted for him, the Indigenous Australians currently number about 600,000 out of 22,000,000 people.

Back to the Chaser's, if people had bothered watching their show, instead of picking out one small part, they would know that the show's actors make fun of racist people and behaviours and actually spend quite a bit of time pointing out socially racist aspects of Australia that the majority have not noticed. They also spent a great deal of time telling the previous government and Prime Minister off for his racist attitude towards Indigenous Australians and others.

Now, if you want to get cranky about Black-Face and enjoy a real race-related topic how about you ask some Ugandans how they felt about Forest Whitaker dressing up in Black-Face to play Idi Amin.