NOTE: I have no idea why I saved this as a draft and never published it live, but here ’tis.
My friend Emil Guillermo has a solid piece about Chen’s surgery that chides Chen for selling out to “the man” and getting the surgery.
I know a lot of people think that way, but I’m not so sure it’s as easy as that, especially if you were in the news field almost two decades ago.
It’s easy for us to stand in judgement today, but imagine if you really had the most powerful agent in the industry agreeing with the dumbass news director from a small-market station, and telling you you need surgery if you want to climb the markets and get to New York as a network anchor.
I applaud Chen for going through such tribulations early in her career, and even more so for going public with it all today.
I shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed anymore, and accept the fact that there will always be idiotic people in the United States who probably function perfectly normally most of the time, and then turn into stupid racist haters the moment there’s some sort of tragedy in the world that involves people of color. Two years ago, I was dumbfounded that Americans would rant and rave about the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan and claim it was somehow “god’s revenge” for Pearl Harbor. What?
But the glibness and ease with which such racist drivel finds its way from pea-brained individuals to the social webs is still shocking. Here I’ve been following the crash of the Asiana jetliner at SFO (an airport I often fly to and from) as a human tragedy, but a miracle with only two casualties. I’ve felt empathy for the families of the two schoolgirls who were killed, and the many survivors who were injured. But the fact that most of those onboard survived — and that 123 survivors were able to walk away without being hospitalized — is nothing short of amazing.
But of course, the human stories of the crash don’t matter to the racists who immediately feel the need to respond with jokes about Asian stereotypes (we’re lousy drivers, har har) and hateful cracks about North Korea (hellooo, Seoul is in South Korea, and this was not an attack by Kim Jong Un on the US).
That such a lowbrow, juvenile mentality switches on so quickly shows that racism and prejudice are still alive and well just beneath the veneer of political correctness that the haters always complain about. Scratch the veneer just a bit with a news event like this tragedy, and you’ll see nothing but ugliness ooze out.
That’s why I write about these issues over and over.