It never stops: Minneapolis radio station’s racist parody stereotypes Hmong

Racist morning show team in Minneapolis

Via Angry Asian Man: Look at this nice-looking, monochromatic morning show team and tell me you’re not surprised that they came up with a racist parody of an Eric Clapton song that stereotypes the Hmong, a population that’s concentrated in the Twin Cities area.

I dare you to listen to the song and not be disgusted, saddened and appalled.

Here are the lyrics:

No room for a couch
‘Cause we sleep on the floor
One big group of Vangs
Hmong family of twenty-four
Kids work in St. Paul
Hang out at the mall
‘Cause I know they dwell so well
Thirty Hmongs in a house

Hmongs get pregnant early
First baby at 16
Seven kids by 23
Over the hill by 30
Like sardines they live
Packed in a two-room house with the kids
But you know they age quite well
They be Hmongs.

Contact the station and let them know this racist tripe is unacceptable.

UPDATE: Here’s what the station sent me tonight after I submitted a comment to the station expressing my disappointment in the parody:

KDWB-FM and the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show are very proud that members of the Hmong community are some of our most loyal listeners and fans.
Our listeners understand that The Dave Ryan in the Morning show is a comedy show meant to entertain, and that much of its content is parody. While we’ve received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent.

We appreciate the support we continue to receive from all of our listeners.

The Dave Ryan in the Morning show
101.3 KDWB
Minneapolis/St. Paul

It’s a typical non-apology apology, and I wonder if the station has any Hmong fans, and if they really expressed positive feedback.

(Cross-posted from my Posterous blog)

What really disturbing is that this kind of garbage never stops, and every couple of years some shock radio team somewhere pulls out a racist parody because they think it’s funny. Here’s one of the most egregious examples, from 2005 following the Indonesian tsunami that killed 200,000 people, when New York City’s Hot 97 produced a song that used “Chinks” and “Chinamen” in the lyrics.

Really, why is it that Asians are such easy targets for this crap? Is it because we’re seen as compliant and don’t complain loudly enough? Would these parodies fly if they were about Hispanics, African Americans or, god forbid — European Americans?

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5 Responses to It never stops: Minneapolis radio station’s racist parody stereotypes Hmong

  1. Anthony says:

    Working with a billing company. Those are called “Can messages” You just copy and paste to all email reply’s. Yes it isn’t a true apology.

  2. Lelanda Lee says:

    Gil, everyone I asked to contact the radio station also got the same canned non-apology “apology.” We are so over this kind of crap. I’ve contacted a number of Minnesota racial justice communities who are gearing up to confront this unacceptable non-humor. And perhaps MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian Americans), whom I also contacted, will get into the fray.

  3. Gil Asakawa says:

    Thanks, Lelanda! I’ve also alerted Asian American Journalists Association’s media watch group.

  4. Suzy says:

    I called the radio station and I was directed to a voice mail of Rob Morris, the Program Manager, and I left a voicemessage expressing my feelings and opinion of their radio station promoting this type of racist and insensitive song. I even left my contact number in hopes that they would call back so that I can further express my opinion about this disgusting action. I hope you all will do the same! Peace to all my fellow Asians!

  5. Gil Asakawa says:

    Thanks for being proactive, Suzy!

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