“E all you can E” radio ad

Every time I heard this stupid Rockville Savings Bank on the radio, I mean to write something about it, then forget. Today, I remembered.

This ad begins with a Chinese-sounding woman saying “E All You Can E,” the meaning of which is open to interpretation.

Then we get a male announcer touting the bank’s electronic banking service.

I still don’t know what the “E All You Can E” is supposed to stand for, but the decision to have it said by an altogether different person in convoluted English is clearly racist. It adds nothing at all to the ad except some kind of stereotypical mangled English by an Asian woman, kind of like the old “no tickee, no laundry” talk that I thought vanished generations ago.

I want Rockville Savings Bank to know that I find the ad thoroughly offensive and I suspect I’m not alone. They should stop airing it.

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22 Comments

Filed under racism, Rockville Savings Bank

22 responses to ““E all you can E” radio ad

  1. Whmom

    Whdad

    Does your pseudonym prefix stand for West Hartford or is it short for White, possibly making your real pseudonym name mean White Dad? I find it racist that you may be implying the latter. I will therfore never post here again!!!!!

  2. Whdad:

    That’s funny – I had the same impression when I heard that commercial .

    I am a little shocked that Rockville Bank would stoop so low in this politically correct day and age (or take such a business risk). It’s obviously meant to stir up images of immigrant Asians who cannot speak the language.

    Perhaps we will see TV commercials from Rockville Bank of Black folks with picks in their hair carrying basketballs into the bank looking for loan. Oh all the dumb things… its just downright rediculous.

    What really surprises me is that this commercial has been on the air for weeks and weeks and no one has said anything – including the people at WTIC 1080 – where this commercial is often aired. Maybe this blog just might get someone’s attention that Rockville Bank is out of line.

    Instead of “and thanks for listening” it will be “thanks for taking your business elsewhere.”

  3. Gee Whdad – what exactly does “Chinese sounding” mean?? I can’t believe you would be pigeon-holing people and making assumptions based on how they sound over the radio!! Doesn’t that sound like kind of a “racist” thing to do? Because it sounds kind of racist to me… Do you normally try to discern someone’s nationality or ethnicity based on their accent, or way of speaking?

    C’mon this PC thing is really absurd, and after awhile it starts to resemble the Salem witch hunt hysteria type of thinking.

    The ad doesn’t bother or offend me.. people speak the way they speak and I don’t expect everyone to speak perfect English. They sure as heck don’t speak perfect English on TV ads or TV shows or on other audio media. I am sure the bank had its own reasons for creating this ad the way they did and I am sure they did not wake up one morning and say “hey, let’s make a racist ad today!” Maybe they wanted to demonstrate that someone with poor English skills can use electronic banking services.
    As for E all you can E – if you are up on the lingo in cyberspace it means in this instance that you can do lots of “e” (meaning electronic) banking services and is probably a play on the “Be all you can Be” slogan from the army. It’s a no-brainer guys..

  4. I’m sorry, Judy, but there really is no way to interpret the ad in a way that makes it simply lingo for electronic banking. It doesn’t make a whit of sense except as some kind of racist tidbit that someone thought would draw in listeners. I don’t think they decided to make a racist ad, but I do believe that’s what they did.
    I wish I could put a recording of it on here. I just don’t believe that any reasonable person who gave it any thought would think it isn’t at the very least a bad idea, if not outright racist.
    And I do wonder why WTIC runs it. Surely Colin McEnroe recognizes that’s a bad commercial at best.

  5. EJ

    Why don’t you just call Bill McGurk over at Rockville and complain or get over it. Maybe they can explain to you why they did the ad that way.

    shouting accusations of racism back and forth here seems pretty dumb.

    I’m getting tired of everything being turned into a racist accusation today.

  6. Humbug

    I’m not a racist, I hate everyone equaly!

  7. EJ

    there you go, an equal opportunity hater.
    Works for me.

  8. Oh yeah – let’s take Colin McEnroe as an authority.
    Does anyone even listen to him anymore? I’ll bet Bruce Stevens left the show because Colin is so obnoxious.

  9. Colin obnoxious? Surely you can find a more cutting word than that, Judy. “Obnoxious” wouldn’t even faze him.

  10. Peter G.

    Heavens to betsy! We can’t go around accusing perfectly nice banks of having racist advertising! After all, we ALL know that racism doesn’t exist, right? So if someone says it does, it must just be because they are either a misguided “politically correct” white person or an angry minority!

    As for actually discussing racism, well that’s just vulgar. We all know that even if racism did exist, which as I just said it clearly does not, it would serve no purpose at all to talk about it openly. In fact, doing so would only encourage ‘those people’ to also start talking about racism. And we ALL know how uncomfortable THAT can be! Especially since it doesn’t really matter . . . because if something doesn’t matter to white people then it simply doesn’t matter at all!

  11. Yep, TIC needs a fresh personality in that timeslot. Colin is awful. Worse than annoying – just simply puts you to sleep even when he stops speed mumbling at 100 mph. I tried listening to him yesterday – he offered to help people in the way that Clark Howard does, so this guy calls, Colin couldn’t help him, and sort of looked like a fool grasping at straws trying to make funny material out of the whole thing. Colin just has to go.

  12. EJ

    I just heard the ad.
    My take is Bill McGurk did the ad with an employee and the fact that she has an accent has no relevance to the ad, except in the minds of individuals who have nothing better to do than find a racist behind every tree. maybe it would have made you guys happy if a white guy had been paid for the ad instead of an asian woman.

    My take is you guys complaining have the racial problem not Rockville.

  13. Oh, come on, EJ. How do you know it’s an employee who made the initial comment? And even if it is, so what? If they picked an employee who happened to sound like Buckwheat, would that be fine, too?
    The proof that it’s a terrible ad is that some listeners think it’s racist. What kind of numbskull would put an ad like that on the air?

  14. EJ

    The president of Rockville bank IS DOING the ad, for all I know his vp is doing the intro (I don’t know if it is an employee, but that is the most likely conclusion since I know the other voice is McGurk and not an actor). And who cares if the person sounds British, Asian, Hispanic, Black, or Jewish(yiddish).
    I guess in your book better she starve than make a living because she has an accent. Maybe you would like to stuff her into an ESOL program.

    Again, if you’ve got a problem with it call Bill McGurk at Rockville and get the story.

  15. Oh yeah Whdad.. Sure I can find lots of other cutting words.. but I think obnoxious fits Colin quite appropriately.

    The listeners who think that ad is racist have nothing better to do than go around being the PC police all day. Maybe you’d be happy if everyone sounded like you. Then there would be no racism right?

    So I guess no one with an accent should be doing commercial work.. we can say goodbye to the Nasonex bee (Antonio Banderas) … and the British gecko for Geico.. and the Australian guys who pitch for Outback Steakhouse.. although it would be racist for you to assume that one accent is more sophisticated than another.. so are you assuming that this E all you can E ad is racist because you believe this supposed Asian woman should perhaps speak more like Connie Chung?

    But honestly.. the US is supposed to be a “melting pot”. In my opinion, accents enrich and color a language, whether they are local or foreign.

    Sure racism exists – but this ad is nothing like making people sit in the back of a bus because of their color – nor is it like depriving them of a place to live because of their ethnicity. The woman in the ad wasn’t insulted or laughed at or maligned because of how she spoke. I think that would be racist.

    Interesting argument over this ad though.. just proves to me how paranoid people are getting about each others differences and how they may be interpreted.

  16. Joe Visconti

    Go to any Asian Restaurant and try to order a meal. Most waiters/waitress’s there struggle with their English, who cares I love their food and I don’t care how bad their English is. In fact the courage it takes many of them to serve the public knowing they are not fluent in English deserve’s admiration, has anyone been in a foreign country and felt lost not knowing the language there?

  17. I struggle with the statement, “… I guess in your book better she starve than make a living because she has an accent. Maybe you would like to stuff her into an ESOL program.”

    1. Who said she would starve if she didn’t tape this commercial? That’s a little extreme isn’t it? I didn’t see whdad write anything about how immigrants should speak english properly, or they shouldn’t work on radio, or should go on a state program because she’s possibly Asian, or anything derogatory about the actor… so let’s not get carried away with false assumptions and accusations, EJ.

    2. Actors aren’t stupid, they read the scripts too. She knows what is being said, and why. And we can guess she doesn’t care either. It’s money in the bank.

    3. You are making the assumption that the accent is real, and not “manufactured” by the actor anyway.

    4. You miss the point whdad is trying to make. Duh? “No tickie, no washie” – it’s a play on that theme. Combined with the term “all you can eat” which you often find at Chinese resturants which serve buffet style. Obviously, its meant to be funny and play on racial sterotypes. I’m sure McGurk thinks his commercial is funny and clever. It just crosses the line.

    5. Calling McGurk is a waste of time. Do you actually think he’s going to admit to making an off-color commercial to anyone? Do you think he wants Jesse Jackson and the rainbow coalition parading out in front of Rockville Bank?

  18. EJ

    Your points are interesting:

    1-Whdad seems to indicate she should not be in public broadcasting until she gets rid of her accent. Or I guess it would fine if she did ethnic based shows. If this is her livelihood she doesn’t work, does she?

    2&3- You are assuming she is an actor. I think she is an employee of the banks. Why should I assume the accent is manufactured?If You want to know since it bothers you so much, CALL McGurk, I’m sure he would let you know if she was an employee of asian decent.

    4- I take “E all you can E” to be a take off on the Army’s “Be All You Can Be” as the bank tries to sell its’ electronic services. I guess you can make it as racial as you want if you want to be paranoid.

    5-How can going to the source be a waste of time. If you don’t want to believe him or consider it a waste of time call the State.

  19. I’d have a good laugh if this “asian person” had to be hired for the spot or the bank would face a discrimination lawsuit … and now that she was.. some of you complain of a racist commercial..
    LOL

    But yeah – EJ is right.. call the bank and inquire if some of you are all so concerned.

  20. Peter G.

    I’d be ASTONISHED if the bank were somehow “forced” to hire an Asian person to do their ad under threat of a discrimination lawsuit, since there are literally no anti-discrimination laws that require a business to hire members of any ethnic group to do their advertising.

    Of course that too is part of the mindset of people who are afraid to discuss racism. It is the baseless notion that every breath that we take is somehow regulated by anti-discrimination laws, when in fact even the laws that we do have are incredibly toothless, being difficult to enforce and extremely limited in remedies.

  21. Joe Visconti

    Below is some data relevant to the issue:

    UNDERSTANDING DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ASIAN-AMERICANS

    Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders number about 9 million in the U.S., constituting about 3% of the U.S. population, mostly residing in California, New York, or the racial paradise of Hawaii. They make up about 65% of the world population. They have been stereotyped as the “model minority” because the substantial majority are college-educated with middle- or upper-income occupations, but others, an estimated 12%, are employed in low-paying service jobs or sweatshops. An Asian American is one and a half times more likely to have a bachelor’s degree than a white non-Latino, and Asian-Americans, in general, have average or above-average income levels (an estimated 30% higher than whites, according to some figures). Asian American immigrant history is essentially labor history.

    Chinese immigration began in 1850-1880 from the Fukien and Kwangtung provinces to provide cheap labor on the nation’s railway system and feed the American gold rush frenzy. These were turbulent times, and the U.S. had a crisis called the “yellow peril”, a 19th Century belief that Asians constituted a threat to Western civilization. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 brought a halt to almost all Chinese immigration until about 1943, when Chinese workers were brought in to contribute to the U.S. War effort in the nation’s defense plants. Other Chinese Americans opened laundries, stores, and restaurants where they initially did business primarily with each other. Recent waves of Chinese immigrants have included scientists, students, asylees, and parolees. Like immigrants from India, Pakistan, and to a lesser extent Korea, Chinese immigrants are most likely to be scientists, engineers, or professionals.

    The main event in Japanese immigration is the 1941-45 internment of over 110,000 people in concentration camps run by the U.S. during WWII. Many more were deported, left the country, or were pressed into military service, but anyone with at little as one-eighth Japanese blood was rounded up and sent to one of ten camps in California, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Arkansas. It was the most rapid and efficient evacuation operation in U.S. history. Many Japanese Americans cooperated, voluntarily assembling at designated points, and marched off to trains or buses sent to haul them away. During the internment, most people lost their residences, businesses, and anything else they owned. Later, in 1983, the U.S. government agreed to pay $20,000 to each of 60,000 survivors, but mostly because the Supreme Court ruled the internment illegal and unconstitutional. Prejudice against them rapidly declined for some unknown reason after the internment (Class discussion: Why?) Today, fewer than 4% of Japanese Americans live below the poverty line, the lowest poverty levels for any Asian American group.

    Filipino immigration has historically been tied to the need for cheap labor in the sugar plantations of Hawaii, agriculture in California, and fish canneries in Washington and Alaska. They are the most “Americanized” of Asian immigrants because the Phillipines has essentially been an American colony since 1902 and their school system is highly Americanized. There was a bit of injustice done to them during WWII in MacArthur swore 250,000 of them into service, but Congress recinded the order. Although Filipinos are classified as Mongolian, they are of Malayan stock and have Spanish surnames (due to 400 years of Spanish rule), and can be quite easily mistaken for Puerto Ricans or Latinos. The nearby racial paradise of Hawaii is also home to most of the Asian “Pacific Islanders” (or API community), who are ancestors of the original Polynesians, but because of widespread intermarriage, most are a mix of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Puerto Rican, and Portuguese ancestry. The major groups are Hawaiians, Samoans, Tongans, Guamanians, and Fijians.

    Indochinese immigrants, recent refugees mostly, include the Vietnamese, Cambodians (Kampucheans), Laotian (Hmong), Thais, and ethnic Chinese. The Hmong are an ethnic Chinese group who moved to Laos in the 19th Century, and were recruited by the CIA as a counterguerilla force during America’s longest war. The Kampucheans fled Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge government following Vietnam, and the traditional evacuation route in that part of the world is through Thailand. The most historical event here is the 1975 evacuation of 700,000 people during the fall of Saigon, which brought 325,000 Vietnamese to the U.S. and the rest to Canada, France, Australia, West Germany, and Great Britain. Attempts were made to scatter them throughout the U.S., but most migrated to the sunbelt states. American fishermen in Louisiana and elsewhere have complained about the aggressive fishing tactics of Vietnamese Americans. They have a history of French colonial rule, and a few have French surnames and are French-speaking. Although a few have been able to enter professional occupations, many are relegated to poverty and rely on assistance from others or programs for refugees. They may have suffered little discrimination because America wants to forget Vietnam. The second most historical event was the Vietnamese “boat people” crisis, starting in 1975 and peaking in 1988, which brought an untold number of refugees desperately trying to reach Thailand, Malaysia, or Hong Kong. This group was settled mostly throughout Indonesia and the Philippines, and it sparked a U.S. redefinition of what a “refugee” was (along with the Haitian “boat people” crisis that followed). New laws were established requiring refugees to prove they were not just seeking to escape poverty, but were potential victims of extermination or genocide (these are known as “first asylum” laws).

    South Asian immigrants include people from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Kashmir, Nepal, Bhutan, and Burma. Many in this category enter on F-1 (as graduate students) or H-1 (as scientists or software engineers) visas and then overstay or naturalize. They are usually well-educated, and some are upper-class (caste). Their command of the English language is phenomenal, speaking the perfect Queen’s English, and although they are a bit sensitive to their many years of British colonialism, they have an excellent educational system for it. The reason they are sensitive to colonialism, neocolonialism, and neoliberal U.S. immigration policy is because of their “diaspora” (a word meaning involuntary movement of a people from their homeland). For years, they were used as soldiers by the British and relocated across the vast British empire. In the U.S., they are mostly a small, but united bunch (in numbers, there is strength) although there are deep-seeded polarizations back home, including the rising tide of Hindu fundamentalism. They have been victimized by “dot-bashers” (for the vermillion dot worn on the forehead), exoticized in the media, and persecuted by the DEA (mostly because Burma and nearby areas are the #1 source of imported heroin). Women in this group have actively embraced the people of color and feminist movements.

    There is an unfortunate tendency to make the following misperceptions about Asian Americans:

    Because they look alike, they are similar. The fact is there is an incredible diversity among different groups, and some groups are wrongly classified.

    They have an intimate connection to their ancestral homeland. The fact is that many have “overassimilated” and couldn’t care less about “back home”.

    They tend to isolate and concentrate in their own communities, e.g. While true they are the majority in some high schools, many have ventured individually into academics, politics, sports, criminal justice, entertainment, and other areas in the public spotlight on their own.

    ECONOMIC DISCRIMINATION

    While it might seem strange to talk about economic discrimination with this largely economically successful minority group, there are still licensing and credentialing barriers to some occupations as well as housing and finance discrimination. To understand their economic situation, it might help to realize that Asian Americans are especially impressed with the level of material affluence in the U.S. To put the picture in perspective, one day of earnings in the U.S. is the equivalent of a month’s worth of earnings in an Asian country. They take our capitalist system quite seriously. Asian Americans are also more likely to moonlight with extra jobs, and to place a high priority on putting money in the bank for investment and/or retirement. This may explain some of what the African American and Latino communities complain about regarding the so-called ruthless, cut-throat tactics of Asian businesspeople. There’s a bit of a backlash against economic success. This is seen somewhat in criticisms of the handouts in U.S. refugee policy, and it came full force during the Rodney King riots in LA when over 2000 Asian American businesses were targeted, burned, or looted.

    Asian Americans in business report a glass or “bamboo ceiling” where they cannot aspire to higher positions of management. They have been accused of various things, including being too aggressive, having poor communications skills, and suffering from a megalomania that they can do anything given the model minority myth. They are pigeonholed in technology jobs, and are not deemed to have many non-technical abilities.

    FAMILY DISCRIMINATION

    One of the things that seems odd to most whites is the traditional Chinese family structure. Roles are clearly defined and emphasize duty, obligation, and ancestor worship. Mothers are to provide sons for fathers, and there are attempts to arrange suitable marriages. The purpose of this system is to prevent unattractive women from becoming old maids and to keep old people out of old age homes. There’s also a rather unfortunate tendency for the wife to commit suicide rather than seek divorce in an unbearable marriage.

    Another pattern is the “distance” relationship, where the man resides in the U.S., but the wife and family live back home. There are more Asian American males than females in the U.S., and much of this has to do with the legacy of U.S. immigration and the contemporary quota system. U.S. policy tolerates to some degree procedures allowing males to import “brides” from other countries.

    The concept of generations is useful when considering Asian Americans. Japanese Americans, for example, have names for their first (Issei), second (Nisei), third (Sansei), fourth (Yonsei), and fifth generation (Gosei) children born in the U.S., all collectively referred to as Nikkei. The point is that there are many specific cultural prohibitions and prescriptions on when it is appropriate to fully Americanize. Outmarriage, for example, is usually not allowed until the fourth or fifth generation. The phrases “knee high” or 1.5 generation also exist to refer to anyone who arrived in America at an early age.

    Americans seem ready to marry and/or adopt Asian Americans more than with any other minority group. Adoption by American parents is especially prevalent among Korean and Filipino children, the two most Catholic and Christian countries, where a variety of church-related adoption agencies operate out of. In most cases of adoption, the parents make strong attempts to “Americanize” the child.

    EDUCATIONAL DISCRIMINATION

    American teachers often comment on how well-behaved, obedient, self-reliant, and respecting of education Asian American students are. However, there is no such thing as a typical student. One is just as likely to see truants, dropouts, pregnancies, gang membership, and low achievers. Asian American students suffer enormous pressures from the “model student stereotype” and their parents to do well in school. These pressures sometimes lead to mental disturbance, suicide, homicide, and the use of drugs. One case at the University of Iowa Physics Dept. involved a doctoral student who flunked his comps, so he killed his professors and classmates.

    One of the things that Asian American students do, either early on is Anglicize their names. The tendency is to adopt a compromise, with a simple English first name (like Lance), an ethnic surname (like Ito), and either an English or ethnic middle name (except for Japanese, where middle names are outlawed). The term psychological passing has been used to describe this phenomenon as well as other blatent attempts to assimilate in non-physical ways.

    There is a strong fear of being ridiculed, especially by teachers, but generally by any authority figure. Problems are acute for Asian American teenagers who cannot achieve well in school. There are no proper counseling programs, and the shame may push the youngster into a life of crime. In Asian culture, it is considered rude, impolite, and involves a loss of face to say “no” directly to an authority figure, so “yes” may mean “no” in some situations. Extended eye contact with authority figures is also considered disrespectful.

    Some American institutions of higher education, like Harvard, Brown, Princeton, Yale, and Stanford, have restrictive admission policies for Asian Americans because too many Asian American students would overshadow the white college students. Thus, they have a habit of underadmitting Asian American students, especially those with the highest academic test scores. Within the college circuit, some schools are ridiculed for having a strong Asian-American population. MIT is called Made in Taiwan, UCLA is University of Caucasians Living among Asians, and UC-Irvine is Univ. of Chinese Immigrants.

    SOCIAL DISCRIMINATION

    There are no clubs, organizations, or civic groups for Asian Americans. There is a Chinese Lions Club, a few Chinese YMCAs, and a Chinese Boys & Girls Club, but almost no opportunities exist for social interaction in private or professional organizations. There are no national organizations representing the interests of Asian Americans. Political parties also tend to snub or ignore Asian American candidates. In addition, neither political party has an agenda item remotely helpful or relevant to Asian American concerns. Candidates from both parties have exploited anti-Asian sentiment at times to get votes.

    Likewise with religion, Asian American preferences have been nonexpansionist and nondenominational. There is little of the division, conflict, and concern we see in the majority white population regarding denominations, sects, and cults. Only about one-third of Asian Americans are Christians. In general, they do not like the idea of open prayer, especially in church services. There is a trend to reduce rather than increase the influence of the church in Asian American communities.

    In dress and other mannerisms, Asian Americans are not particularly visible. Their clothing and consumption patterns do not stand out. The distinctive black and white business suit of a Japanese businessman, for example, classifies them as “white” under South African custom and law. In America, the purpose of bland, colorless clothing is to detract attention from other visible, ethnic signs, such as slanted eyes, which are such a particular source of embarrassment that many Asian Americans seek out a special eye operation involving cosmetic surgery to remove the epicanthic fold.

    Asian Americans are acutely aware that they come from enemy nations or nations where the U.S. has fought hot or cold wars. This is particularly true for immigrants from China, Japan, and Korea. South Koreans will vilify North Koreans without much thought to the dream of a reunited homeland. Chinese, in Chinatowns where pro-Taiwanese (government-in-exile) sentiment is the strongest, will also express anti-mainland sentiment. There are interesting patterns of homeland-bashing which may be driven by the deep drive to assimilate, and the concept of “overassimilation” might be a useful one to develop and apply (Class discussion: Conceptual brainstorming). There’s a term, called the Hansen effect, to describe rebellious children of Asian American immigrants who reject their parent’s assimilation and want to learn about their ancestral homeland.

    CRIMINAL JUSTICE DISCRIMINATION

    Gangs and crime are often regarded as the worst problem in Asian American communities. Besides traditional concerns over organized groups like the Tong and Triad, there’s even some concern about the emergence of violent, defiant, female gangs. There is simply too little information available, but the fear in many Asian American communities is that police automatically suspect anyone guilty of “Driving While Oriental” to be a gang member.

    The language barrier is a problem in some communities, inhibiting crime reporting and cooperation with police. “Yes” sometimes means “no” or “yes, I hear what you’re saying, but I may not agree with you” in conversations with Asian Americans. Example:

    Officer: “I need you to show up in court on Tuesday. All right?”
    Asian witness: “Yes” (ambiguous response with no intent to show up in court)

    Various other things police normally do offend Asian Americans. The Asian tendency to glance askew when being interrogated could be construed as lying when it really isn’t, and the common American gesture of curling the index finger to mean “come here” is an incredible insult implying the person receiving it is a domestic servant or slave.

    When Japanese automaking increased its share in the U.S., there was a simultaneous increase in anti-Asian sentiment. Bumper stickers such as “Toyota-Datsun-Honda and Pearl Harbor” appeared, “Japs Must Go” was spray-painted as graffitti, and some Asian-American homes were firebombed. Asian-Americans are the victims of hate crimes, and they do not protest too loudly. Asian American crime victims also do not display the emotional characteristics of American crime victims. Their mood and affect may appear flat under extreme conditions of stress.

    The American law enforcement system is a mystery to most Asian Americans. In most Asian countries, a person stays in jail until proven innocent. So, our system of release on bail appears as a means to buy your way out of jail. This may be reinforced by a home country experience with corrupt police officers. Other Asian groups, like Indians and Pakistanis, sometimes carry a sword or knife on their person as a religious object, and it’s insulting to pat-search a turban while it’s still on the person’s head.

    SEXUAL AND PERSONALITY DISCRIMINATION

    Asian Americans suffer from Hollywood-style stereotypes regarding how romantic, exotic, and sensual they are. Movies and popular imagery (including some self-inflicted portrayals such as scantily-clad Hawaiian girls putting leis over the heads of tourists) have portrayed the Asian theatre as a heavy-drinking, sex-laden paradise. As a rough estimate, almost 35% of all Internet pornography consists of Asian-American females. American soldiers and sailors tell stories about Asian prostitutes. Child prostitution rings have been uncovered in places like the Philippines. Rock music celebrates the looseness of places like Bangkok, and Rap music (2 Live Crew) celebrates the looseness of Asian females. The American fascination with Asian American interracial sex has been a titillating feature of our society since the West Coast brothels of the gold rush days.

    MEDIA STEREOTYPES

    Portrayals in movies and television have also created persistent stereotypes of Asians as cunning and savage. They play roles such as “master criminal” in James Bond-type movies, master detective in Charlie Chan movies, or supercops in Jackie Chan movies. Here’s a website that lists all the media stereotypes. Dragon-the Bruce Lee Story and The Joy Luck Club have been welcomed, however.

    INTERNET RESOURCES
    ABC Flash: Notable Asians in Industry, Entertainment, and Politics
    Asian Studies WWW Library
    AWARE (Alliance Working for Asian Rights and Empowerment)
    Chinese Americans: The Model Minority
    Coverage of Korea in American Textbooks and Reference Works
    Exoticize This!: Asian American Feminist Resources
    Hmong Homepage
    Japanese American Citizens League
    Life in a Vietnamese Gang
    NAAAP (National Association of Asian American Professionals)
    Resources for the Study of Discrimination against Asian Americans
    South Asian Awareness Organization (SANGAM at UNC-CH)

    PRINTED RESOURCES
    Aquirre, A. & J. Turner. (1998). American Ethnicity: The Dynamics and Consequences of Discrimination. Boston: McGraw-Hill.
    Blalock, H. (1967). Toward a theory of Minority Group Relations. NY: Wiley.
    Daniels, R. & H. Kitano. (1970). American Racism: Exploration of the Nature of Prejudice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    Kitano, H. & R. Daniels. (1995). Asian Americans: Evolving Minorities. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    Kitano, H. (1997). Race Relations. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    Lyman, S. (1986). Chinatown and Little Tokyo: Power, Conflict, and Community among Chinese and Japanese Immigrants in America. Milwood, NY: Associated Faculty Press.
    Shusta, R., D. Levine, R. Harris & H. Wong. (1995). Multicultural Law Enforcement. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
    Strand, P. & W. Jones. (1985). Indochinese Refugees in America. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

    Last updated: 01/06/04
    Syllabus for SOC 355
    MegaLinks in Criminal Justice

  22. Peter G – I am not afraid to discuss racism. What makes you think anti-discrimination laws are toothless? I know many lawyers who would beg to disagree with you on that, so I can’t imagine what you base your claim on.

    The United States has some of the most stringent anti-discrimination laws in the world. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and related anti-discrimination acts are the result. These federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against applicants or employees on the basis of:

    * Race,
    * Color,
    * National Origin,
    * Gender,
    * Pregnancy,
    * Age,
    * Disability, and
    * Religion.

    One successful employee complaint reported in the legal literature was that of a professor from India applying for an English instructor position. The professor charged that he was denied the position, despite being the unanimous choice of the search committee, because of his race and national origin. He filed suit in federal district court, and the college ultimately settled the case for $50,000 in lost income and compensatory damages.

    Another case was a class-action lawsuit against a company that employed Mexican and Guatemalan workers, including many undocumented persons. The charges were that the company paid foreign-born workers less, that it denied them overtime compensation and that it harassed the workers, including sexual harassment in some cases. A separate, private lawsuit was also filed on behalf of some former employees.

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