linguoboy wrote:Do you know the Kondabolu Brothers?
No, not really, so thanks for sharing this video. meidei posted a video of Hari Kondabolu once or twice, and from both this video and the one he posted, I get the impression that for some reason, they're way more sensitive to shit white people say than I am.
Not to trivialise his remarks, but that's basically Hari's career. In general, I think it's the prerogative of comedians to get really pissed off about stuff most of us just kind of shrug at and ignore. My usual reaction to Hari Kondabolu (or Chris Rock or Louis CK or any of our better stand-ups who aren't afraid to address racial issues) is, "He's right, that is
kinda fucked up."
vijayjohn wrote:I find their take on this column odd for several reasons. They sound to me like they're twisting Stein's words an awful lot (and apparently saying he said things he never did), and I'm really not sure his intentions were as bad as they seem to think they were.
I'm not sure his intentions matter, to be honest. That's kind of the point about this sort of casual racism. Stein thinks his writing is humorous, that the racist elements are ironic and innocent. But he's wrong about that. He also made things worse for himself with his clueless reaction (e.g. the Gandhi comparison which the brothers reference in the video).
vijayjohn wrote:ISeriously, before this article came out, I'd never even heard of anti-Indian gangs anywhere in this country. I can't even recall a single time IRL that I was explicitly singled out just because of my race, and I can only remember this happening implicitly once or twice at most.
I'm not sure what the concentration of South Asians is like where you live, but I suspect it's below the critical threshold for where racism turns ugly like that. I can't remember what the percentage is (and I think it may vary according to the visibleness of the minority), but there's a point where the general reaction of the dominant majority switches from "Oh, how exotic!" to "They're taking over!" You can see that development in the original column, which is ultimately about how these initially amusing foreigners "took over" Stein's hometown.
IpseDixit wrote:Am I the only one who finds it a bit grotesque that the person who wrote that article is Jewish? Historical memory doesn't seem to be a big thing for him...
I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say "grotesque," but ironic? Sure.
IME, Jewish people are more
likely to say these sorts of things because
of that history. American Jews are overwhelmingly left-liberal and have been for at least a century. (Historically one of the main excuses for prejudice against them, in fact.) They were heavily overrepresented in the vanguard of the socialist workers' movement in the early 20th century and in the Civil Rights movement in the late 20th century. In-between, they became Fascism's most prominent victims.
So with this reputation comes a certain sense of entitlement, a notion that they can get away with remarks that would be offensive coming from other people but not from them because they clearly don't mean them. This phenomenon is commonly known as "hipster racism
" and I've been as guilty of it as any other White liberal who thinks he's got the right progressive credentials. But racism doesn't recognise ironic distance. Stein's remarks aren't as directly harmful to Indians in Edison Park as punching them in the face would be, but they're on the same continuum. As the brothers point out, his column reinforces exactly those stereotypes of South Asians which you yourself you find most annoying.
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons