...think of it as your Asian American Studies TA lounge...

Friday, February 22, 2008

CU Boulder Max Karson

Hate speech is absolutely is not what the First Amendment was meant to foster as is argued by Downing. But is the article below hate speech? Is it meant to be satirical (I think that was the intention)? Is it actually a critique of white people's ignorance? Is it satire taken too far? Does satire work if the audience doesn't get it (recalling Archie Bunker here)? Is it really racism disguised as satire?

I'm going to post the full text of the article here in case it gets taken down.
The rest of the article is here. Thanks to Vince Pham, a Ph.D. student at UI Urbana-Champaign for passing this along.

If it's war the Asians want...

It's war they'll get

Max Karson

Issue date: 2/18/08 Section:

Since I transferred to CU last year, I've noticed some tension between the white students and the Asian students. There's never any outright conflict, but I notice little things. Like, Asians always seem surprised whenever I talk to them. They stare at me for a few seconds as though I must have made some mistake, and once they realize I'm intentionally speaking to them, they aren't always thrilled.

On the other hand, white people are quick to ridicule Asians. They have no problem with making demeaning remarks about their looks, mannerisms, and accents-things they would never say about black people.

So when an Asian refuses to make eye contact with me or dismisses me with a one-word sentence, I just say to myself, "Max, Asians are not evil cyborgs. They're human, just like you. And if you were a minority student in a sea of walnut-brained business majors and skiers, you'd be crabby, too."

But last week, I had an epiphany.

After my friend and I finished working our abs at the Rec Center, we decided to head upstairs to tighten our buns on the StairMaster. As we walked down the hallway, a rubber ball bounced out of one of the racquetball courts and landed at the feet of an Asian in front of us. He picked up the ball and leaned over the railing of the court nearest to him.

"Hey, that's not ours," I heard a guy call up from the court. The Asian stared down at him for a moment, and then held the ball out to him. "That's not ours," the guy said again.

Then another voice called out from a different court, "Hey, does anyone see a ball up there?"

The Asian looked over, confused.

"I think it goes to that court," I said, pointing to the one nearest to me.

The Asian stared at me blankly for another second, and then he looked back down into the court next to him and offered them the ball again.

"That's not our ball," the guy called up.

"Excuse me," I said. The Asian whipped his head around and scowled at me. "I think it goes to that court."

He paused a few seconds, and then he said, in a perfect American accent, "Okay," and tossed the ball into the court next to me.

That's when it hit me.

The Asian was so jaded by his experiences with the whitebread, brainless tree sloths of CU that even though three people had explained to him that he was trying to return the ball to the wrong court, it was inconceivable to him that we might be right.

And when he looked into my eyes, it wasn't just irritation and disgust that I saw-it was hate. Pure hate.

I'm such a fool for not realizing it sooner. I can't tell you how many times the Asians have treated me like a retarded weasel and I've forgiven them. But now I know that Asians are not just "a product of their environment," and their rudeness is not a "cultural misunderstanding."

They hate us all.

And I say it's time we started hating them back. That's right-no more "tolerance." No more "cultural sensitivity." No more "Mr. Pretend-I'm-Not-Racist."

It's time for war.

But we won't attack their bodies or minds. We will attack their souls.

The first step, or "Phase 1," is to find them all. Anyone who is interested in signing up to volunteer can do so by e-mailing me. Next Sunday at noon, we will all meet at Farrand Field. Each volunteer will be issued an extra-large butterfly net.

The hunt will then begin.

When I blow my whistle, we will scatter in every direction and catch as many Asians as possible. Make sure to pay special attention to the Rec Center, the UMC, the math and engineering buildings and Lollicup. If you're not sure if someone is an Asian, give them a calculus problem to do in their head. If they get it right, net 'em.

Captured Asians will be dragged to my apartment on the Hill and hog-tied. Once they're all secured in my living room, "Phase 2" will come into effect.

The Asians' reformation will begin with a 100-round beer pong tournament. They will listen to "It's a Small World" on repeat while they play.

When the tournament is finished, the Asians will then be forced to eat bad sushi from Hapa-with forks. When all the sushi is gone, they will be permitted to sleep for four hours, but the entire time I will shout through a megaphone, over and over, "Why didn't you make enough Wiis?!"

In the morning, the Asians will arrange themselves in rows, if they haven't naturally done so already. I will stand in front of them and hold up a card with the name of an emotion on it such as, "sad," or "surprised." The Asians must then make a facial expression to match the word on the card. Any Asian who remains deadpan or makes the wrong face will be tickled until they pee. When all Asians make the correct face at the same time, the game will end, but then they will be yelled at for being conformists.

The Asians will then be allowed to play "Dance Dance Revolution." However, the game will be rigged so that the Asians will receive no points, regardless of how robotically they dance.

Any Asian who tries to escape will be butterfly-netted and sent back to my apartment for another "Phase 2." Anyone caught speaking any language other than English will be kissed on the lips.

Once the Asian spirit has been broken, "Phase 3" will begin. Before we let the Asians go, we will go to their homes and redecorate them in a traditional American style. We will replace their rice cookers with George Foreman Grills, their green tea mochi with fried Snickers bars, and their rice rockets with Hummers. And booster seats.

When "Phase 3" is complete, the Asians will be released.

Now, I understand that this plan may upset some of you Asian readers, but the only other way to make peace would be to expel you. If you're smart, you'll turn yourselves in now, and it will all be over in a few days.

Besides, look on the bright side-we're not going to put you through anything we haven't put ourselves through, and we all turned out fine.

Contact Campus Press staff editor Max Karson at max.karson@colorado.edu

10 comments:

LarryK4 said...

First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not Jewish.
Then they came for the Asians and I did not speak out because I was not Asian
Then they came for Dumb Ass bloggers trying to be Jonathan Swift and I didn't speak out.
By the time they came for me...

Anonymous said...

if max were arab, muslim, or black, and angry enough to kill 32 people who shared a space with you, sould his writings still be protected under u.s. freedom of speech? would the aclu still come to his defense? if he wrote sattire or spoke so casually of say, 9-11 and new york, or the taliban, rather than the virginia tech case, or "asians," would you still find it appropriate? i'm not saying i don't appreciate sattire; i am a writer myself, but what about being responsible with our "freedoms"? isn't the ethics of responsibility (and tactfulness) -- along with intellectual advancement -- that which distinguishes humans from other animals?

furthermore, i think that max is desperate for attention, rather than equipped with the ability to command it in non-destructive ways; this is very dangerous.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, if Max were Arab, Muslim, Black, Gay, Irish and said what he said, knowing his background I would not in the least be threatened. And in fact if you did any research regarding Virginia Tech Max made his comments rather early in the class and it continued for over an hour to the regular conclusion without any students running out screaming hysterically.

And--for sure--Max likes attention. But not in the way that Lee Harvey Oswald liked attention. And again, if you took three seconds to Google him you would know that.

Let me get this strait: you’re a “writer” and yet you post as “anonymous”. At least Max signed his fucking name.

chris d said...

I am a student at the University of Minnesota. I want to say that the criticism of Asian culture that Max Karson articulated is entirely valid from my personal experience, things I've read, and things I've heard from others. I have lived in Hawaii for 5 years which is 80 percent Asian. I have also lived in China for three months and Taiwan for seven months and I am almost fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Studying at the University of Hawaii taught me many valuable lessons about multiculturalism and diversity; especially Asian diversity, namely, it doesn't work. In case you like most Americans are too small minded to know even the first thing about non-western culture or their ideology, let me tell you that we are the only one's in the world who really believe in Multi-culturalism. No-one else really does. In fact, it's a stereotype in Asia that Westerners are naieve and too open. I know personally that Asians do not respect Western civ. traditions, culture, or ethic. They come here for self interest and stay for identity politics, not because they love our culture so much. I find it hilarious that so many Americans see Asians display a superficial showing of politeness that is paper thin and they believe unequivocally that Asian culture is equal to Western civilization. Furthermore, they have no tradition of debate in their culture. This fact I believe is the central reason why they have not achieved a more progressive society like we have and continue to have which is a unique expression of our culture that has nothing to do with Asians. Lastly, Asians are more racist than anyone I have ever seen or heard of in the entire world during any time period, and that includes whites. Whites wake up and smell the coffee before its too late.

chris d said...

I am a student at the University of Minnesota. I want to say that the criticism of Asian culture that Max Karson articulated is entirely valid from my personal experience, things I've read, and things I've heard from others. I have lived in Hawaii for 5 years which is 80 percent Asian. I have also lived in China for three months and Taiwan for seven months and I am almost fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Studying at the University of Hawaii taught me many valuable lessons about multiculturalism and diversity; especially Asian diversity, namely, it doesn't work. In case you like most Americans are too small minded to know even the first thing about non-western culture or their ideology, let me tell you that we are the only one's in the world who really believe in Multi-culturalism. No-one else really does. In fact, it's a stereotype in Asia that Westerners are naieve and too open. I know personally that Asians do not respect Western civ. traditions, culture, or ethic. They come here for self interest and stay for identity politics, not because they love our culture so much. I find it hilarious that so many Americans see Asians display a superficial showing of politeness that is paper thin and they believe unequivocally that Asian culture is equal to Western civilization. Furthermore, they have no tradition of debate in their culture. This fact I believe is the central reason why they have not achieved a more progressive society like we have and continue to have which is a unique expression of our culture that has nothing to do with Asians. Lastly, Asians are more racist than anyone I have ever seen or heard of in the entire world during any time period, and that includes whites. Whites wake up and smell the coffee before its too late.

donte said...

"Whites wake up and smell the coffee before its too late."

Aren't you late for your Klan meeting, punk?

Looks like the White Pride contingent is crawling out of woodwork to beat their chest about the supremacy of Euro-American "civilization."

You got to hand it to America. A country that was founded upon Black chattel slavery, Native Indian genocide, and the theft of Mexican, Hawaiian, and Indian lands thinks of itself as a progressive beacon of liberty and civilization to the world. LOL.

As Ghandi said when asked what he thought of Western civilization: it would be a good idea--if it existed.

Deepa Chilaka said...
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Deepa Chilaka said...
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Jamie said...

I think it more than befuddles me how everyone just puts Asians into one category. For those who do not attend our university, you have no idea what goes on, on this campus. For a campus that is mainly Caucasian, many minorities find it hard to speak up and make a stand. For Asians, it's even more difficult. Chris, you said you studied the culture, but were you raised in it? Do you really understand the basis behind why Asians could be so racist? And honestly, Asians are really racists but are they outright with their racism? Racism is EVERYWHERE. It's just really subtle in places like America. You don't think it is hard for an Asian that just immigrated here and is teaching at our university to hear comments about their accents and angry looks from their students because they can't understand the English underneath the accent? Even little comments about their fobby accent and the frustration behind it could be considered racism. Plus, you are right, there are some that don't respect Western culture but did you ever think it's not really for the fact that we are too open? Maybe it's the fact that we are too independent and usually we are selfish and focus a lot on ourselves, our future, blah blah blah, while most Asian cultures focus on the general community and their family or clan. And one little thing, do people even put Asian-"Americans" into the factor? Probably not because you guys are so blind that you just categorize us all into one!! You think Asian Americans are racist? Even we get judged from those who aren't Asian American but no one ever thinks about that.

Anonymous said...

What the hell is wrong with you! you cant just put all Asians in one category and call them all hatefull people. Something is seriously messed up in your head. Your just promoting white power. Just by posting this article, you are showing that you are the person that needs to be "reformed". Asians arent the ones holding the hate, YOU ARE!