Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Why I Hate AsianWeek
A free weekly rag out of San Francisco's Chinatown that bills itself as "The Voice of Asian America" caused an uproar this week with a racist piece of juvenalia by a mentally unstable young writer named Kenneth Eng. The title, "I Hate Blacks" couldn't be any plainer. Nor could its first sentence: "Here is a list of reasons why we should discriminate against blacks, starting from the most obvious down to the least obvious:"
The newspaper is owned and published by the Fang Family, who have been corrupt powerbrokers in San Francisco since the Chiang Kai-Shek days. The patriarch, John Fang, died in 1992 but his widow Florence continues the dynasty along with her sons James and Ted, who are the President and the Editor-At-Large of the paper respectively.
This is the same Fang Family that made the sleazy deal with the Hearst Corporation to take over the Examiner if they were paid $66 million to keep up the fiction that there were two daily newspapers in town rather than a monopoly with the Hearst Chronicle. The Hearst Corporation had been threatened by then-mayor Willie Brown, Jr. and City Attorney Louise Renne with antitrust troubles with the Clinton Administration if they didn't play the game their way.
Still, even with this background, it seems more than a bit insane to run a column entitled "Why I Hate Blacks" next to a full-page ad for Wells Fargo, which is on a very public "diversity" crusade these days. This isn't the demented writer's fault, it's the fault of the editor, whose name is Samson Wong.
"Why I Hate Blacks" isn't the only offensive bit in the same issue. There is also a cartoon on the front "Opinion" page that makes fun of Rosie O'Donnell being a Pig, whether because she's a lesbian, a leftist, or fat is not made particularly clear.
Other than the Macy's ad and the Wells Fargo ad, there didn't seem to be much advertising other than a huge "Legal Notices" section, which I believe is through a contract with the City of San Francisco. At yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting, Aaron Peskin brought up the newspaper for condemnation and directed all city departments to terminate any business they might have with the rag immediately.
Most of the Asian community in San Francisco is embarrassed and horrified by the turn of events. At SFist, Rita Hao starts a story about it with the two sentences: "Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear oh dear." (Click here for the whole article.)
Linda, the owner of one of the greatest restaurants in the world, the Hunan on Sacramento between Montgomery and Kearny, repeated Rita's words almost exactly when I showed her the article. "This is really, really bad," she said. "Oh dear."