Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Race in the 2010 political races
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Race in the 2010 political races

This ad from Citizens Against Government Waste, called “Chinese Professor,” hit the fan just a few weeks ago as the campaign season was hitting its fever pitch, and it fanned the flames of outrage among Asian Americans across the country. It’s not subtle: The commercial obviously perpetuates an ugly, evil vision of Chinese as grim, committed enemies of America, gloating over a fantasy collapse of US world power and the rise of a gray-tinted China… with a gigantic visage of Chairman Mao glaring over an auditorium where a professor gloats to his students.

Here’s Angry Asian Man on the ad, and the original post on The Atlantic that analyzes the spot.

Angry Asian Man also tracked down a couple of extras who were hired for the commercial, and they explain that they knew the commercial was conservative, but they had no idea their stint sitting in an audience and laughing on command would be put in such a grim, stereotypical context.

There’s not much more to say about this ad, except it turns my stomach — and it aired tonight while we were watching election returns.

The commercial pissed off so many people that it almost immediately spawned a slew of parody videos. A group of AAPI blogs includingAngry Asian Man, 8Asians, Disgrasian Reappropriate, ChannelAPA and Hyphen. urged readers to create their own versions. The deadline to submit parodies is Nov. 27, so I’ll follow up with a collection of the winners when they’re announced.

While I’m on the subject, here’s an equally offensive commercial by Sharron Angle, the woman who ran against Harry Reid in Nevada. This ad fans the flames of racial hatred and fear against Latinos with its message playing on stereotypes of illegal aliens:

Angle, of course, is the candidate who told a school room full of Hispanic students that some of them looked Asian to her, and then said people have called her the “first Asian” legislator in Nevada. WTF?