“Racism in the Media and Politics, Will Matt Run?…”

by on March 12, 2007

Racism Rears Its Ugly Head in the Media and Politics

In the February 23, 2007 issue of Asian Week, an article, “Why I Hate Blacks,” by Kenneth Eng, was printed. The blatantly racist piece had no place in journalism. Printing it was a grave mistake, and an affront to people of all races and ethnicities.

The printing of the hate filled piece in Asian Week – – which regards itself as the “Voice of Asian America” – – was both shocking and appalling. It seemed even more shocking, when one noted that this publication has regularly carried writings by columnists celebrating interracial harmony.

Asian Week swiftly issued a public apology for its error. It was the only recourse.

One can only hope that Asian Week will remember who it represents: the “Voice of Asian America.” Freedom of speech and freedom of the press do not mean allowing or tolerating the spewing of hate speech.

Racism rears its ugly head not only in American media, but also in American political life.

Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), in announcing his presidential candidacy recently, referred to his colleague, presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL), as the “first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and nice looking.” This is the same Senator Biden who is the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, whom I respect deeply for his leadership as a Civil Rights leader and his accomplishments in brokering peaceful solutions to conflicts around the world over the past several decades, was reported by a Washington Post journalist in 1984 to use a derogatory and anti-Semitic term — during an interview “off the record” — to refer to Jews in the U.S. and to New York City. Jackson, who ran for President in 1984, had to answer for the use of the anti-Semitic term attributed to him.

In the February 28, 2007 issue of the San Francisco Chronicle, the article, “Why I Hate Race Baiting,” by columnist Debra J. Saunders, targeted Eng’s piece in Asian Week. Saunders wrote, “I still want to know: Did editors (at Asian Week) think that running a racist column*That they could get away with running racist copy because it is a publication serving an Asian American audience?”

The San Francisco Chronicle, which proudly calls itself “The Voice of the West,” seems to have missed the irony contained in the racism of Saunders’ own writing and point of view.

Anh Lê

Dear Paul,

Great article. I certainly hope Matt will run again. The world needs someone like Matt. Nader with all of his service to the US public could not even muster 5% of the national vote. San Francisco (the world’s most progressive city?) is hopefully the one place the much needed change the US needs can actually be implemented. The fact is we need Greens. Matt Gonzales is a great man and I hope he can find the courage and hope to run again. I pray to God he does. Cynicism and pessimism must be reversed. I believe Matt can do it if he runs again.

Justin Boslaugh

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