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."


Anonymous said...

sf mike boy, I couldn't agree more with you, also it shows what lies beneath the surface of this politically correct surface of the American society, after all don't the most of us enjoy perpetuating stereotypes?

Still, better then in my Old world, just look at what's going on Paris, or London or Naples.

cookiecrumb said...

Howl! Yes, Mike, very very bad.
I used to work for the Fangs. I will spare you you my "Why I Hate the Fangs" rant. I could hardly scrute them.
(Though they scruted me out of a job.)

sfwillie said...

Third pic down shows an article about support for Julie Lee,who is facing trial for ripping off public funds intended for Asian immigrants.

Prominent in the Chron article condemning "I-hate" Eng is Amos Brown.

Prominent in the AsianWeek article supporting Lee is Amos Brown.

Civic Center said...

Dear cookiecrumb: I would love to hear your "Why I Hate The Fangs" rant. In fact, the entire Bay Area would love to hear it.

Dear sfwillie: Good Amos Brown catch. Additional irony is that everyone is supposed to go have a "dialog" this Friday at "The Willie Brown Institute." Gag me with a spoon. It's the same old circle of crooks doing public theatre with each other.

nicole said...

It is SO bad. I also have to ask, what editor let that go to print in the paper?? And, why hasn't the columnist been fired yet???

janinsanfran said...

The Fangs got the city classified ads because, I think just before they became Examiner for awhile, they put on the the ballot, and we passed, a mysterious charter amendment that had the effect of making their pub eligible as a place to publish city legal notices. The Chron/Examiner had had a monopoly on the publication of such notices which is a lucrative business. That scam should be looked at. As a matter of public policy, I'd rather have this semi-obsolete piece of public charity going to prop up a daily newspaper, even the Chron, before the likes of Asian Week.

Samson Wong has never been much of a journalist as this episode proves.

Anonymous said...

I volunteer in the District 6 office 5 days a week. I am the “gatekeeper” and receive most all calls and messages that come into that office. Over the last few weeks I have heard from many “San Franciscans” that they cannot believe that “our” City allows “those” illegal immigrants to stay here.

When this article came out, it made me wonder how much longer it will be until “those people with AIDS” should leave “our” City. Next those “disabled people” and soon after, who knows which “unwanted type” should leave “our” City.

Even days after this heinous lapse in judgment from the editor of Asian Week, I am still hurt by this article. The brightest point in this was on Tuesday when every one of my friends in City Hall rose up in righteous indignation and denounced the hate-filled article and the newspaper that allowed it to be printed.

Many people are outraged; yet let me tell you, there are more who cloak themselves in a “warm cover of politically correct behavior”, yet still find the time to hate and discriminate.

Please, the next time you look at someone down on his luck, or escaping reality with illegal substances, try to imagine that they are a person, just like yourself.