Friday, February 09, 2007


pat roberston demonstrates "the oriental eyes"

WHY, LORD???!!! WHYYYY!!!???

anyhoo... on a related racist front... i hate to admit this but i watch that show, "real housewives of orange county". it's a reality show on bravo that follows the lives of five "housewives" living the high life in orange county.

last night, the thin man and i were sprawled out on the futon watching the latest episode. among the many "rhoc happennings", vicki, the housewife who is originally from the chicago area, accompanies her daughter on a drive to her (the daughter's) new condo. while her daughter drives, vicki conducts business on her cellphone. apparently, she's speaking to someone who's asian and after she hangs up, she goes on to say how all she hears is "chinky chinky chinamen".

i just couldn't believe i was hearing it again. i was curious to see if i could find a clip. i still haven't been able to find one but i did find that other viewers are calling her out on it on her blog. i posted my own comments but i'm sure they won't get published... here's what i wrote:

" all of you people who think asian americans should "just get over it" - just because you assume vicki didn't MEAN to be racist, offensive and hurtful - doesn't mean it WASN'T racist, offensive and hurtful to an asian person.

i'm asian. i was offended. i was hurt.

if you're not asian, you probably don't know what it's like to hear "chinky chinky chinaman" ALL THE TIME and what kind of pain or painful memories resurface.

a few years ago, my sister was walking down the street and some white men taunted her with ching chong. she ignored them and kept walking, assuming they would just quit. not only did they not quit, she was dragged into an alley and beaten. they screamed at her, "you chinks are taking away our jobs!" she's not even chinese.

i grew up in chicago and live here now but i've lived in nyc, asia and even (5 years) in california. i've experienced racism from every one - white and people of color, liberal, conservative, christian, non christian.

it's NEVER ok to be racist. that's what i teach my children anyway. this is not an isolated incident. shaquille o'neill did it. adam corolla did it. rosie o'donnell did it. pat robertson just did it.

everyone needs to own up to their own prejudices. everyone needs to reflect on why they think it's ok to be racist "in certain situations". it's not about being politically correct. it's about being respectful of people regardless of their color or culture. we all have to try to recognize subtle racism like this and stop it because if we don't, we're just enabling racism and ignorance to spread and thrive. "

UPDATE 2/10: i just googled and you can contact vicki gunvalson directly via email - vicki@coto/ - see here.

also, vicki posted a "rosiecarolla" apology:

Please accept my sincere apology for the comment about one of my Asian clients. It was no way meant to be racist in any way. I have a very large clientele that are Asian and I respect their communities and cultures. I would appreciate accepting my apology for anyone that was offended.
Regards,Vicki Gunvalson

UPDATE 2/11: i emailed vicki directly with the comment i made above and i just got an email back from her. she writes:

"You are right and I apologize! The comment I made to my daughter was wrong,and I am sorry. I had no idea what I said was going to be publicized on the air. I have learned from this and thank you for letting me know your side of this.


did you all catch that? she had no idea that what she said was going to publicized on the air. so, it's like rosie all over again... she won't make any racist comments anymore- on tv. THANKS A WHOLE HECKUVA LOT, VICKI!

please note the comment by lisa (below) reporting that some complaint comments seem to be missing from vicki's blog now.

i was just telling one of my neighbors (who is african american, married to a caucasian & also new to the neighborhood) about how weird it is for me to live in the neighborhood we live in. it's pretty much split 50/50 - african american and caucasian - generation after generation after generation. i told my friend that i feel like the thin man and i are "race spies".

some of our caucasian neighbors seem to think it's ok to say "watch out for the black people". then, i turn around and some of our african american neighbors say things like "i didn't think you spoke english" to me. the thin man (who is irish and puerto rican) has often had to endure conversations where neighbors talk about the negatives of "black people". he was even privy to a conversation about another latino neighbor who was vying for a captain position for the local volleyball league and how other players were trying to get him thrown out because they didn't want a latino in the league. why do these people think it's ok to tell me - a woman of color - these things? why do these people think its ok to share these thoughts with anyone - caucasian or of color? my friend was really interested because he realized that he really wasn't a "minority" in the neighborhood. he could see that clearly we were - our whole family.

i don't LOVE this neighborhood. but, it's not all bad. we've managed to fashion a pretty good life for us here. we've made very good friends here. we're able to live well and within our means. in some ways, i feel like i'm here for the same reason i'm still catholic. i can't run away from somewhere or someone that needs my help - EVEN THOUGH I REALLY WANT TO.

i guess what i'm trying to articulate (and not well) is does any one racist incident/statement make someone a KKK card carrying member? no. i don't think so. but it doesn't make that incident or statement any less racist. it doesn't mean we should just avoid talking about it or sweep it under the rug or excuse it as some isolated slip of the tongue. it came from somewhere and it doesn't disappear. it's just time for ALL of us to walk the walk and talk the talk.


Angela said...

Sigh. People just don't get it. That non-apology from that woman is just as offensive, "it was no way meant to be racist in any way", when you use derogatory and racist words to describe someone's ethnic heritage, it is racist and offensive and she must be a complete moron as well as a racist if she does not realize that.

That's great that you live in an ethnically diverse area, but I'm sorry to read that it doesn't seem to create less tension or racist attitudes or behaviour. I guess we can do our part and call people on their racist language or attitudes when we encounter it and not let it slide.

Pat Robertson-it's just very sad that he takes up air, space and food on this planet.

Lisa said...

Hi, You don't know me but I just wanted to add my two-cents.
I also saw the episode of the OC House Wives, my husband (who is Chinese) and I were absolutely appalled at her comment, we went to her blog and posted comments, mine made it up on the blog (only to be taken down later) My husbands comment never made it up. I don't know if you looked at her blog before her apology but there were a lot of negative comments toward Vicki and her racist comment, and NOW after her apology, only one negative comment toward her is there. That just shows that her and Bravo are trying simply to sweep this whole thing under the rug. What really gets me is if she would of made this comment about any other ethnicity, it would of been a bigger deal.

mamazilla said...

angela - her apology gets better - check out my update. seriously, how WEIRD is pat robertson. maybe he's got a brain tumor that doesn't allow him to think clearly.

lisa - thanks for stopping by. i'm not surprised that her blog comments have been edited... feel free to contact her directly. i'd be curious to see if you get the same apology i just got.

apparently, she's not the first housewife to get slammed for a racist comment. i was googling and saw something else about one of the other wives... can't remember what - it's just insane. the perspectives are all kinds o' screwy with those ladies... makes me wonder - makes me scared.

Missy said...

It would be better if she just admitted that she made a racist comment and apologized. But you can tell she's kind of an idiot, so...

We're all prejudiced about someone, something. You need to be aware of your prejudices if you don't want to act on them. That's the thing, right? Wanting to not be a racist. Or sexist, or lookist, or some other -ist.

My dad once said to me, "If you don't like someone right off the bat, someone you don't know, maybe you need to examine your prejudices. Maybe you need to give them another chance."

EmJay said...

First of all, I'm so sorry for what happened to your sister. That's horrible. I was watching Real Housewives the other day and caught Vicki's comment. I couldn't quite believe what I had heard. I guess I just don't hear people saying such things on a regular basis, maybe because I'm white. I always have the urge to issue a blanket apology for the hurtful things that ignorant white people say, but that could be a full-time job. I hate it when people take no responsibility for the things they say and do. The only ways I can think of to take action are: 1) try to treat other people the way I would like to be treated, 2) recognize my own prejudices, and 3) stop giving away my precious time and attention to television shows like Real Housewives. If there's anything else I could do that's more proactive, I'm open to suggestions.

Anonymous said...

i wrote vicki after finding her email and she definitely didnt apologize !
she said it wasnt racist and that i should get over myself.

mamazilla said...

missy - hey there! it's so cool when someone from the zeroboss circle makes their way over here... i love reading your comments - you usually say what i'm thinking so, i don't have to comment... but then, i feel left out... quit reading my mind. ;) hope it's warmer where you are.

emjay - thanks for stopping by and posting a comment. i like you have to reflect on what things i can do... foremost in my mind, is not letting things go anymore... i can't continue to stand quietly by when people say racist things just so i don't rock the boat. i have to realize the boat is already rocking and i have to help it regain equilibrium.

anonymous - i am not surprised. you just start to wonder where and from whom the next racist comment will come from... thanks for stopping by and taking time to post a comment.

Anonymous said...

FYI: The editor from the OC Register writes an almost weekly column that paints the "Reality" behind the scenes of the cast members and there is a Message Board at the bottom that is not Moderator approved. If you review Frank Mickadeit's most recent columns, there are a host of viewers who write in of which 99% are disgusted with the show and its content. Many have addressed the racial referrences to include some of the shows referrincing African American, Mexicans, Canadians, Asians, as well as bias against blue collar employment. People are outraged how Bravo edits to their liking thus have turned to the OC Register as well as Fans of Reality TV to ensure their posts are not rejected. The cast memebers read these comments and some have even responded (albiet, under an alias) but we know who they are. I believe many of the cast members are shocked at the backlash they have received and are back peddeling and deflecting. A little too late in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

It is very sad when in this day and age we cannot all accept one another and live together. What she said was dreadfully wrong. I understand your feelings, I appreciate your feelings, and I admire you. This remark is not something that you take lightly. It goes back to your beginning. Why is her beginning better or more worthy than yours. It is not. Suzanne Zimmerman - Chicago

Anonymous said...

I had Real Housewives playing on the tv since I am too lazy to change it, and it happened to be the infamous chinga chinga episode. What do you know? They took out the chinga's and dubbed it over with Vicky not speaking any of her racist remarks but still subtly mocking the chinga's accent. We win?

- a filipina/chinga

Anonymous said...

What I find even more outrageous than Vicki Gunvalson's Asian racial slur is her self admission to being a Born Again Christian. She threw her faith out the window and sold out for a measly $50,000, approx $28,00 after Uncle Sam's take and signed on to a minor role in a tv reality show that no one will remember for any length of time. Keg stands in her sons dorm room, encouraging her underage daughter to engage in alcoholic beverages, relish in the attention her minor sons friends bestow upon her and referrenced by them as a MILF and admitting to being jealous of one of her so-called friends, and biased against blue collar employment is not the actions of a true Believer let alone a role model.


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