Wednesday, April 18, 2007

On Imus' Heels, OCA Slams Power 105.1 FM Radio Segment as Racist

OCA Condemns Power 105.1 FM Radio Segment as Racist
The ink was barely dry on Imus' pink slip as the latest release to come our way again demanded an apology and meeting station officials for another tired, stereotype-ridden radio "shlock jock" segment.

The release, by the Organization of Chinese Americans, specifically targets the "Are You Smarter than an Asian?" segment on the Ed Lover Show with Egypt and Ashy.

I don't know -- if there's anyone on the program's staff or in its audience who still finds that any humor can still be squeezed out of the same tired old "Hung Lo" jokes and sing-song broken English accent gags, maybe they've answered their own question in abundance. Maybe it's just me, but I am finding it harder and harder to get too bent out of shape about these types of shock jock offenses, because they announce themseleves to be the products of people who are not as smart as Asians -- even dumb Asians.

If I listed all the readings and releases we've run over the past few years on the Rosies and Corollas and Jersey Boys and Sarah Silvermans of America, my wrist would fall off.

There Must Still be Something Out of Kilter
By Lloyd Williams
Commentary: Either it’s ovah for Imus, or, as sister Sojourner Truth said so many years ago, there must still be something out of kilter.
Asian Americans Take Action against Offensive Radio Remarks in Toledo, Ohio
By Theresa J. Mah, Ph.D., Department of Ethnic Studies, Bowling Green State University
Coalition seeks removal of DJ "Lucus" on Tower 98.3 FM for prank call segments ridiculing Asians
N.J. Radio Station Hosts Accused of Hate, Anti-Asian Sentiment
By LYNDA LIN, Assistant Editor, Pacific Citizen
Among other comments, 101.5 FM’s ‘Jersey Boys’ call APAs ‘fringe people’ and stir up debate about free speech and hate media
HOT 97’s Miss Info’s Future Still Unknown
By the Pacific Citizen Staff
March 2005- The Asian American radio host who objected to the tsunami parody song says she will not return to hostile work environment nauseum...

And, before we allow ourselves to get all holier-than-thou, it's worth a reminder that some of these racist shock-commentators are in fact dumb Asians (Kenneth Eng, anyone?), who are and should be targeted for our protests as well.

But, as the editors and many contributors have observed in the past -- and the Imus and Eng firings partially show -- the remedy to these sorts of incidents is to act up. Sure, make noise, protest, meet with stations, demand apologies, but above all flex the muscle of your pocketbook. Using financial pressure to voice your protest and communicating your displeasure to a station's sponsors and advertisers is not censorship, or an infrignement on free-speech. Shock jocks have the right to find humor in cliched racist jokes and get their lame thrills out of feeling they've gotten away with something naughty and so-not-P.C. and express it on the air or in print. The station has a right to employ them. And you have a right to loudly refuse to buy the products and services of anyone associated with them, and to actively discourage everyone else you know from buying them.

But first, in all cases, it's also worth giving a listen to judge for yourself. Here's the link to the online version of the show where you can hear the stream, see who's sponsoring the program, and determine what you might want to do.