Words: Funny, Tasteless, But Hardly Racist


Dewy, Cheatem and How

Octo- comedienne Joan Rivers taught us that the horrible can also be hilarious and a clever plotter proved her point last week when a Bay area news station was spoofed into the on-air reading of fictitious pilot names from the recent Asiana Air crash at SFO.

Fingers are pointing every-which-away over who failed to vet the information and the racist nature of the spoof.  Racist?  Really?

It is a well understood etymological fact that entirely concocted, usually single syllable “words” are able to masquerade as fictitious Asian names which then serve as double entendres.  This linguistic propensity was underscored as a KTVU news reader read four such false (and very funny) names.

If a definition of racism is “a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement…” it is a mystery how spoofed names give rise to a claim of racial or ethnic inferiority.

(Does Wan Hung Lo mean all Asian guys are “sporting a serious package”, the closest thing we have to a universally accepted sign of  {male} superiority?)

KTVU is guilty of sloppy reporting but the racism charge is lazy, facile, faux-intellectual blather.  It is also political correctness beaten to within an inch of its life and it works to trivialize truly racist actions.

In fact, since the white news reader was apparently clueless throughout, that categorically proves that whites are dumber than a box of rocks.



  • Victoria Huckenpahler says:

    I agree that we’ve become entirely too solemn these days. Lighten up, general public!

  • Mike says:

    It happens!

  • Ed Hartin says:

    Somehow I don’t think this would happen if it was a United, Delta, or American Airlines flight…

    • Eric Lamar says:

      Lots of US carriers have had very similar incidents where flaps were not deployed (NW), rudder was misaligned on take-off (USAIR), speed brake procedures were not followed (AA), etc. It has nothing to do with the nationality of the pilots.

      • Mick Mayers says:

        As an aside to your overall post (well written, by the way, insightful as always), when the crash first occurred, I pulled up the specs on this aircraft. Did you know there is a newer version of the 777 that is about ten feet longer than the older versions? (There’s no punchline, that’s a reported fact). Not knowing what the whole story is, I’m wondering to myself, so which version did they originally train in? I’m not a pilot but I do understand a lot about physics; the sudden conflict between an object (plane) and the ground sometimes results in catastrophe, especially if that conflict happens a second or two before you were planning on it occurring.

  • D. E. B. says:

    Smile, Lighten up, real racism isn’t spoken

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