Friday, June 06, 2008

Some people would not believe the Korean that Europe is more racist than America. Well, does this convince you?

-EDIT 6/9/2008- For just this one time, the Korean will indulge the idiots who need everything spelled out. [By the way, if you still think this post is about comparing Germany to Korea, please leave now and don't come back.]

Consider these factors:

1. Germany is an undoubted economic leader of Europe; if we are comparing EU to the U.S., Germany would be like California or New York. As economic leaders do, it sets a trend for the rest of the union to follow.
2. Germany is also the race relations leader of Europe. Given its own history, it bends over backwards trying to quell any level of racism, even at the expense of free speech. (As racist hate speech is illegal.) Other European nations, relatively free of its past, do not take racism as seriously as Germany.
3. The object here was not any random person, but Barack Obama, who is now the world's most famous black politician since Kofi Annan. Any coverage about him in the wrong direction would be certain to become worldwide news.
4. Die Tageszeitung is not some basement-printed flyer, but a major daily newspaper with a circulation of about 86,500 as of last year. Given that German population is about 82 million, slightly more than 1 in 1,000 Germans read the Taz. Considering that the current U.S. population is 304 million, these are some of the newspapers that about 1 in 1,000 Americans read: Orange County Register, Indianapolis Star, San Antonio Express-News, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Not necessarily the lineup of USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times, but major dailies nonetheless.
5. Also, the Taz is not some nutcase reactionary paper, but a paper respected for its political correctness.
6. Also, the story was on the FRONT FUCKING PAGE. In a major daily, no less than five reporters and three editors check the front page headline before sending it out to the printer. And not one of the presumably well-educated people working for a politically correct workplace thought there was anything wrong with it.

Now, consider this situation. The year is 1996, when Kofi Annan became the first black Secretary-General of the United Nations. (Not the first African, mind you, because Boutros Boutros-Gali was from Egypt.) Orange County Register (in California) runs a front-page story that had a picture of the UN HQ, with a headline that reads: "Uncle Kofi's Cabin". Would this ever happen in America?

Not a chance.

16 comments:

  1. Honestly now, were the Germans eve known for being the biggest non-racist nation on the world?

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  2. A cover from a German magazine proves that the entire continent of Europe is more racist than Korea. White people all look same?

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  3. Two-sentence post proves that dogwood tree can't read.

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  4. And your original post proves your skills of inductive reasoning are poor. Please expain clearly how a German magazine cover proves that Europeans are more racist than Americans.

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  5. Oh, my bad. Die Tageszeitung is a newspaper not a magazine. Still like to know how a German newspaper front page story proves that Europeans are more racist than Americans.

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  6. Don't think I would exactly call this an example of European racism, perhaps an exercise in ignorance and bad attempt at satire.

    In comparison, we have a major candidate for the president of the United States who publicly used the racial epithet 'gook' and yet there was no condemnation much less apology from McCain for using a clearly racist word. Of course his explanation was that he was using the term to only refer to the North Vietnamese that imprisoned and tortured him. Yeah, whatever. Of course if he used the word nigger to refer to black people who did something like that to him, no way would he be allowed to get away with that. Apparently in the US, it's ok to say racist BS about Asians, but not black people.

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  7. dogwood tree, now that you have proven your inability to understand a two-sentence post, it would be pointless for the Korean to write anything to you.

    kg, the Korean is not a McCain supporter, but the Korean thinks if a man has been imprisoned and tortured, he is entitled to call his torturer anything bad he wants to call it. But it does reflect poorly on McCain's ability to handle race relations.

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  8. dogwood tree, now that you have proven your inability to understand a two-sentence post, it would be pointless for the Korean to write anything to you.

    But you just did. Twice.

    So you can't explain how a front page story of a German newspaper with low circulation proves that Europeans are more racist than Americans.

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  9. "kg, the Korean is not a McCain supporter, but the Korean thinks if a man has been imprisoned and tortured, he is entitled to call his torturer anything bad he wants to call it. But it does reflect poorly on McCain's ability to handle race relations."

    -- 'Insane' McCain. The guy is hated even within his own Republican party. Luckily the chances that another Republican being elected as president are pretty nil this time around, unless we find out that Obama and Osama were frat brothers.

    If he wants to call his former torturers bad names, there are plenty that he, as a politician, could have used rather than using a racist epithet. Any half-competent politician would have figured this out. At the very least he could have not used the term in public.

    Anyway since the comment, I just call him "Gook" McCain or more affectionately "Cracker Jack".

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  10. Germany is indeed an economic leader and a leader of race relations in Europe. China and Japan are economic and cultural leaders of East Asia. If a Berlin daily is representative of Europe, then are the People's Daily and Mainichi Shimbun representative of East Asia, including Korea?

    As a Korean, you of all people should be sensitive to generalizing about an entire continent based on one or two dominant countries.

    You are right that the newspaper story was racist. You are wrong that it is representative of European racial attitudes.

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  11. @the korean: i have read the article and didnt found anything racist in it... but i have to confess that the title is not very sensitive. however the taz was confronted on that matter by various other german newpapers and stated theire intend was satirical. how ever it is not totally clear to me how you are able to jump to your conclusion based on one poorly choosen headline?

    i think its dangerous to draw such conclusions based on very vague informations. when you say the usa are the leas racist nation in the world you should be able to proove that and as long as you dont know evry other nation that might be difficult.

    there are racist tendencys in certain parts of the german society but to my experience not more that in other nations (including the usa).

    and as for using racist terms when addressing his torturer: i was attacked by a native korean a while ago, does that give me the right to play the racist card against him? i belive not.

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  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  13. "Metzger said that the Taz is famous for not being politically correct and is well-known for its ironic and cheeky cover headlines."

    I think you got this wrong in your post.

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  14. jeffrey,

    You are right. Correction is made.

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  15. Being a fluent speaker of German and having lived in Germany, I can tell you this:
    Its true that Germany leads the way against racism in Europe, but that's just because Europe is still incredibly racist. Have you ever watched a German talk show? The last time I did, the main discussion was "Es gibt gute Ausslaender und schlechte Ausslaender."
    That means "There are good foreigners and there are also bad foreigners." And that wasnt a right wing show like Fox news or anything. It was a mainstream show.
    And I've also heard blatant anti-Turk jokes on their version of Jay Leno.
    Not to mention that even third generation Turks were legally barred from gaining citizenship until fairly recently.
    And the last time I was in Belgium, a polite dinner party of middle class lawyers, doctors and one local politician were making JOKES ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST! Something like "how many holocaust survivors does it take to unscrew a lightbulb" or something like that.
    Oh, and racist hate speech is not exactly illigal in Germany. Its only illigal to deny the holocaust, which could earn you a prison sentance. Although having said that, they do eye hate speech quite carefully there.
    On the suggestion that the US is racist, I would say this: Of course there's racism in the US, just like every other place on the planet. But the difference is that there's been great effort to de-institutionalize it. For example: affirmative action, loads of scholarships for minorities (ever try to search for a scholarship as a white guy? ha! good luck!), affirmative action-type housing policies that favor minorities, etc.
    True, there's social racism of all kinds: Korean on black, black on Korean, white on black and black on white (of which I've been a victim three times, being jumped by groups of blacks just for being white). But that exists everywhere. But laws and immigration practices make the US, at least institutionally, not very racist.
    Last I checked, even a Korean whose parents flew here just to give birth (and there are lots of them) still automatically get US citizenship. Are they denied citizenship because they are Asian? On the flip side, do you know how hard it is for an American to get citisenship in most Asian countries?
    And according to a study by Pew Research (just google it) Arabs in the US are BY FAR better integrated than their European counterparts, who are economically, socially and linguistically marginalized.
    So it would seem that the US is not as racist as some people think.

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