Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Comments, Links

Three things on the topic of race.

One

I was talking to a new co-worker on Monday, and he was saying that when he looked at it from a certain perspective, he didn't see what was so wrong with American slavery. "I mean," he said, "if the US hadn't taken slaves, they wouldn't have the strong economy that they do today." And it's true. If we could relive history over again, would we give up our dominant position in the world to spare the suffering of the slaves?

Two

I'm reading Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States, and since I just finished Hannah Arhendt's Eichman in Jerusalem I can't help but draw parallels between the German treatment of the Jews and the treatment of Native Americans by the American government in the 1800's. "Forced emmigration" vs "forced removal", and similar attitudes of racial superiority.

Lest this seem like an endorsement of the book, let me say that A People's History has a lot of problems that I won't get into just yet.

Three

In the previous post I mentioned that I went to McDonalds for an ice cream float on Monday night. Well, that was half the reason. The other was to use the bathroom.

At this particular McDonalds, above the urinals they have little posters in frames of Ronald McDonald telling jokes in Chinese for customers to read while "taking care of business." This is a rough paraphrase of one of the jokes above my urinal:

A young black man went to a fried chicken restaurant to eat lunch. He had just gotten his food and sat down when three members of the KKK ("3K党", literally the Three K Party) walked in looking for trouble. They headed over to his table, made menacing gestures pointing at his food and said "hey, you black devil (黑鬼, or something similar), we're going to do to you exactly like you're doing to this chicken!" So the boy looked down at his food, slowly picked up a piece of chicken, turned it over and kissed it on the 屁股, on its little chicken butt.

I don't even know what to think about that.

2 Comments:

At Apr 7, 2005, 8:32:00 AM, Blogger Matt said:

I KNOW I've heard that joke before, in some book or something from the US.

 
At Apr 15, 2005, 7:56:00 PM, Blogger Micah said:

It just seemed so weird, like it's only a joke that could work in a country with the same racial history as the USA.

 

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