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Episode 116 — Chinky Eyes


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#1 Earwolf Admin

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 11:00 PM

Andrew Ti & this week’s guest Jack Kukoda discuss the use of the phrase “chinky eyes” in Hip-Hop. Lay off the slurs and leave us a message at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 Shariq Torres

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:17 AM

I feel like the caller was one of those assholes who like to point something out in the Black community and then use that to justify his previous and continued negative treatment of them.

#3 Shariq Torres

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 09:18 AM

But it is problematic that rappers use it as slang.

#4 meshair

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 11:26 AM

I can see why Andrew didn't want to provide ammunition for the type of people Shariq Torres is talking about, but I don't really feel that "white people started racism!" is much of an answer to the question posed.

#5 president cage

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 07:34 AM

This was probably the dumbest response Ti has had so far. Let me see if I get this... POC basically have no agency of their own, and when members of one ethnic group are insensitive to another group, it's not totally cool, but White People, they suck, right? So whatever. And when a rapper with hundreds of thousands or millions of fans says "chinky eyes" it's far less harmful than when some anonymous white trailer park dweller does. I checked my Sociology textbook and this totally works out.

#6 Shariq Torres

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:17 AM

View Postpresident cage, on 28 March 2013 - 07:34 AM, said:

This was probably the dumbest response Ti has had so far. Let me see if I get this... POC basically have no agency of their own, and when members of one ethnic group are insensitive to another group, it's not totally cool, but White People, they suck, right? So whatever. And when a rapper with hundreds of thousands or millions of fans says "chinky eyes" it's far less harmful than when some anonymous white trailer park dweller does. I checked my Sociology textbook and this totally works out.


I don't get your response. Are you saying it is cool for white people to use racial slurs as long as they are poor?

#7 president cage

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:23 AM

Can't figure out how you got that from what i wrote

#8 Shariq Torres

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

View Postpresident cage, on 29 March 2013 - 06:23 AM, said:

Can't figure out how you got that from what i wrote


I got it from this: "So whatever. And when a rapper with hundreds of thousands or millions of fans says "chinky eyes" it's far less harmful than when some anonymous white trailer park dweller does. I checked my Sociology textbook and this totally works out."

#9 president cage

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:06 AM

Where in there do I say that it's cool for white people to say it? keep trolling

I was making fun of Ti's gymnastic attempt to twist this back on some unnamed white racists and dodging the fact that these rappers are far more influential than his white strawman is, unless we're talking about Action Bronson, who should lose his penis to a angry dog.

#10 Shariq Torres

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 11:28 AM

View Postpresident cage, on 29 March 2013 - 10:06 AM, said:

Where in there do I say that it's cool for white people to say it? keep trolling

I was making fun of Ti's gymnastic attempt to twist this back on some unnamed white racists and dodging the fact that these rappers are far more influential than his white strawman is, unless we're talking about Action Bronson, who should lose his penis to a angry dog.


But those white racists aren't strawmen plucked from thin air. They actually exist. So, is your answer to ignore them while pointing the finger at the rapper? Those white racists still have privilege and can still have a larger stage than any rapper. How else can you explain the existence of a Tea Party caucus in Congress right now.

#11 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:43 PM

We shouldn't ignore the Tea party and point the finger at rappers. We don't have to choose between one or the other--it's possible to condemn both of them.

I think the problem with any kind of discussions with racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. is that people just can't resist the instinct to make it a competition, regardless of whether it is productive. He is right to say that people of color shouldn't go around squabbling with each other and playing the blame game over racism, but then he just goes "blame white people instead."

I mean yeah, there's no denying that the problems of racism are mostly white people's fault because we do have the power and the numbers. But I think that Ti (and many people) underestimate how much the establishment relies on the oppressed to uphold the system they have created. Especially in contemporary societies where they can't oppress people outright. Feminism has become more aware of this in the last few decades--you talk to any knowledable feminist today and they will tell you, the patriarchy is a system that depends on everyone to hold it up. It's not just something that men impose on women. And yet this consciousness seems to be slow to spread into racial discussions.

So fighting racism should be seen as everyone's responsibility. Rappers shouldn't be given a pass to use slurs, any more than they should be given a pass on homophobia. And I don't think black people or even hip hop artists are any more bigoted, sexist, or homophobic than the rest of the population. But I do think that they become more bold and up front with it because society allows them to get away with it more than they do with other kinds of celebrities. They don't get called on it like, say, an actor or singer in other genres would get called on it. Which makes teenagers who are fans of them feel like it's OK to say that shit.

And it's not JUST rappers. Other subgroups of society, including white ones, have been guilty of this. The country music scene was so terrible about condoning racism against Muslims in the years after 9/11, and it's still pretty bad. And guess what? That shit is totally wrong too. But I think it's more important to focus on saying "This is bad, no one should do it" and less on a particular group. And focus on what the real problem is.

Andrew says, "You know who also says 'chinky eyes'? White people." which I don't think is true. At least, not with the REAL racism in society. The kind of racism that white people in power uphold is so much more subtle than that. The establishment of privileged white people is by and large made up of white people who never use words like that, and don't consider themselves to be racist in the slightest.

And while white people AS AN OVERALL GROUP may have more power and influence, the fact is that a bestselling artist like Danny Brown has more power and influence than 99.9% of white people out there. And he certainly has more power and influence than that dumb racist who called in. And I believe he can (and has) influenced many white people out there to become more racist, or become more bold with their racism. I would even say that if stuff like this became prevalent enough, it could even make the white people think it's OK to say stuff like that again.

Are white people more to blame than other races? Definitely. But at the end of the day, I don't think that figuring out who is most to blame is the important question. Maybe being nonwhite means the racism isn't AS bad, but it's still undeniably bad.

#12 president cage

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 07:07 PM

^^^on the money

#13 Shariq Torres

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 05:49 AM

The underlying assumption of your argument is wrong. Mainly, this:


View PostKevin Irmiter, on 29 March 2013 - 03:43 PM, said:

And I don't think black people or even hip hop artists are any more bigoted, sexist, or homophobic than the rest of the population. But I do think that they become more bold and up front with it because society allows them to get away with it more than they do with other kinds of celebrities. They don't get called on it like, say, an actor or singer in other genres would get called on it. Which makes teenagers who are fans of them feel like it's OK to say that shit.


The reality in which black people aren't called out for things does not exist here. Maybe you're on some Marvel Ultimates shit and you're getting your timelines crossed. In this reality, black people are always getting called out by the majority for any and everything. Not only do they get called out, but that action is attributed to every single black person living. Mike Vick abused some dogs and now every single black person also does this. Some black people in one county in California voted against Prop 8 and now every single black person hates gay people.

No, the premise that somehow black people get a "pass" on their behavior is inaccurate and that there is a special onus to make sure THEY don't do wrong is bullshit. So while you and your friends, and the media (made up overwhelming of white people) and the opinion makers (also made up overwhelmingly of white people) keep a hawkish eye on the actions of the black community, things like the Westboro Baptist Church pop up. You end up having a Tea Party caucus who pass racist ass laws.

So, even while you "don't think" black people are more [insert negative attribute here], the practical outcome of your belief reinforces the idea that they actually are more [insert negative attribute here] because all of your focus is on what black people are doing, while (incorrectly) assuming that someone else is going to call out member of the majority for [insert negative attribute].

#14 president cage

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:10 AM

Had not heard the michael vick thing

#15 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 01:21 PM

I had heard of the Michael Vick thing, but only through audio sources so I had not known he was black until now. In fact, I had assumed he was white, and when I heard the story my reaction was to go "what a white trash redneck." So hey, stereotyping. Although it wouldn't surprise me to hear that the sports media has been doing stuff relating the Vick story to black people in general because as we know the sports media is incredibly, blatantly racist.

The prop 8 thing, I do agree is a double standard. A lot of it is because white liberals will look at the conservative homophobes within their race and think, "those people are a different group than me," but do not make the same distinction with black people. They compare the black community as a whole to the white people they know, cutting out the most homophobic section of their own race from the equation, so of course black people are going to look homophobic by comparison. I think that's the main reason. Taking the words of a few homophobic black people and applying it to the whole is also an issue.

When I talk about rappers getting a "pass" on racism or homophobia, I am not talking about the mainstream media at large. I am talking about them getting a pass within the hip hop community, and certain individuals like you and Andrew. It's not just a hip hop thing--all communities have different standards of what is acceptable or not, and many subgroups are permissive of things that the mainstream is not.

I do agree with a lot of what you said, though. I think there is a double standard in that the hip hop community gets called on this more than other groups. Again, this kind of thing happens in any community to some degree. Like how a lot of people look the other way at racist sports announcers. Which reminds me of all the sports fans want to try and preserve Sandusky's "legacy" and remember his accomplishments as coach. And the people within cinema who want to give Polanski a pass because of the great movies he's made. And so on.

No one looks at these communities and leaps to the conclusion that just because they may not call their own members out harshly enough, everyone is like that. They say "Hollywood and the world cinema elite are too permissive of pedophilia." No one says, "Hollywood and the world cinema elite are all guilty of pedophilia." And yet when it comes to hip hop, instead of saying "Rap is too permissive of misogyny/homophobia/etc." they say "All rappers are guilty of misogyny/homophobia/etc."

Also there's the fact that people get one image of the community, and never look to see if things have changed. Hip hop is much less permissive of misogyny and homophobia than it used to be, and many hip hop songs are about things like respect for women or tolerance of homosexuals. And yet the mainstream community will probably still continue to judge hip hop based on things they heard 10, 20 years ago.

That doesn't mean the hip hop community is above reproach, or that they don't need to be critical of themselves.

#16 president cage

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 02:06 PM

when i said i hadn't heard of the Michael Vick thing, I meant I had never heard that white people think all black people fight dogs because Michael Vick did, as Mr. Torres asserted above. In fact, I doubt very many people think that.

#17 Kevin Irmiter

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 11:49 PM

I bet the sports media did do some racist stuff, though, like interviewing other black players and asking them how it affects them as a fellow black player or some shit.

#18 Shariq Torres

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 03:20 AM

View Postpresident cage, on 01 April 2013 - 02:06 PM, said:

when i said i hadn't heard of the Michael Vick thing, I meant I had never heard that white people think all black people fight dogs because Michael Vick did, as Mr. Torres asserted above. In fact, I doubt very many people think that.


Oh yeah, I don't believe that for a second.