Racial stereotypes and discrimination are indoctrinated into people at a young age.
At a SOMA Recreation Center job with at-risk youth I was pumping up a basketball for a young black athlete, no older than 10.
Abruptly he asked, So are you a Chinaman, or are you born here? I gently answered that I was actually born here, but that Chinaman was a racially derogatory term for Asians just like nigger is for black. He told me thats how all his friends in Potrero Hill referred to Chinese people and thanked me for the enlightenment.
On July 26, Sunshine Ordinance Task Force Member David Parker informed me and others that Energy 92.7 FM, often a dance music outlet for youth, played a game in which the caller, to win tickets for a concert, had to guess Is it a Chinese Restaurant or Porno?
Energy 92.7 Disc Jockey Fernando stated the following titles, to name a couple: Poon in the City and Fook That Ho.
Do you think exposing this type of mocking of cultures to youth influences future behavior? You bet it does.
After complaints were registered, the station promptly offered an apology the next morning. Energy 92.7 FM deserves credit on acting quickly. Hot 97 of New York City ended up donating $1 million to tsunami relief after an eruption of public outrage over their Tsunami Song.
Unfortunately, the Asian community is not always that lucky.
Revealed San Francisco 49ers PR Director Kirk Reynolds diversity training video depicted a bespectacled, buck-toothed Chinese man with a theatrical accent along with insulting homophobic and sexist depictions. It was a disillusioning blow to the wildly loyal Asian youth fans and all youth.
94.9 Wild FM, a local hip-hop and R&B station I and other youth listen to every day, recently hired exiled Program Director Rick Delgado. Delgado was responsible for the airing of the Tsunami Song on New Yorks HOT 97. The song made fun of the deaths of thousands of tsunami victims and Asians, even going as far as saying God was laughing at the Chinamen and others.
What kind of person makes fun of victims dying from a worldwide natural disaster? Who is stupid enough to use racial stereotypes for a diversity training video? Well, these bigots exist.
The best we can do as individuals and as a community is not to promote racial prejudice, stereotypes and mocking of cultures. We need to unite as a community and stop these bigots from indoctrinating youth with these mistakes.
Alan Wong was twice elected by fellow students to represent them on the San Francisco Board of Education. He will be entering the University of California at San Diego, in the fall.