I reserve a special place in my heart for Asians that justify and encourage ignorance by demeaning and clowning themselves by playing up stereotypes. I have a similar cramped, dark and musty space for those that should know better.
Earlier this year, someone obtained a photo of Kate Gosselin pulling back the corner of her eyes in a way that ignorant assholes taunt Asians.
This person opened up a Twitter account and posted the photo. Gosselin, who has 8 children who are part-Korean responded that it was done as a joke between herself and her ex-husband Jon:
Gosselin received the geisha/sumo wig from a fan and each took turns posing with it. “Naturally“ said Gosselin “I ‘slanted’ my eyes to show him my best Asian impression, which made him smile.”
But did she think the gesture was racist? “I married an Asian,” said Gosselin “I have eight biracial children therefore I’m quite certain that I’m the last person that could be called a racist.”
No, with that line of thinking – you and Scott Schaben would tie as ‘the last people that could be called racists. And this one’s going into overtime.
Released without her permission or not, Gosselin’s simplistic explanation is what I take issue with. It’s so typical of the “I date/am married to [insert race], so I can do this” or “I have [insert] friends” rationale I hear too often.
You can’t marry into having racial empathy or enlightenment. Just because you hang out with, are attracted to, date, or hookup with those outside your race doesn’t mean that you automatically perceives pain in other races.
It also doesn’t allow you the space to make tasteless jokes.
Nor, apparently, does giving birth to 8 bi-racial children make you any less likely to make insensitive gestures. I’m not saying Kate Gosselin is or isn’t racist, but that gesture certainly didn’t help her case. The idea that she can be enlightened via marriage is sending the wrong message.
Having racial empathy isn’t something you can obtain by putting a ring on it (all the single ladies) – not being racist actually takes work.