Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Speaking Chinese: If Rush Limbaugh is a Racist, what about Saturday Night Live?

On the Rush Limbaugh show Wednesday January 19, 2011 Rush was talking about the state visit of President Hu Jintao from China.  He is quoted below:

LIMBAUGH: Eh, never mind. We're not gonna gyp Fox. I wanted to gyp it because the -- well, the -- Hu Jintao, he was speaking, and they weren't translating.
They normally -- you have some translator every couple of words. But Hu Jintao was just going... chin chang chin chan chong chang chi bababba chi chike zhing zha zhe zhike rroooor ji kedi ba baba.
Nobody was translating. But that's the closest I can get.

This was highlighted by a number of websites such as Media Matters, Gawker, Shanghaiist Huffington Post,  Angry Asian Man,  etc etc.

I fail to see what is RACIST about this.  Most Americans, and I mean MOST Americans, can't speak Chinese and therefore are left with a kind of gibberish that he said on the air.  Before I went to China the first time I had a sweet old lady from my church give me a check for spending money to bring to China and she tried to write in Chinese on the check.  She also tried to make a sound that sounded like what Rush did.  Was she a racist for trying to impersonate what a Chinese sounds like?  NONSENSE.  Did she sound silly?  Yes!  Would some white or Asian person be a racist for talking like a black person from da 'hood?  No.  Silly? Yes, but not racist.

And if Rush Limbaugh is racist for saying this... what about the beloved Saturday Night Live?  They had a couple segments where Obama is talking with Hu Jintao.  Here's a clip from Hulu:

In the clip above there is an SNL actor who is impersonating Hu Jintao speaking in Chinese.  He speaks a gibberish, similar to Rush's above, so that the actress can "translate" what he is saying.

If anything, these two examples show all of us that Americans still have a very narrow view of the Chinese language.  If Rush and the people on SNL are saying anything it is, "I DON'T KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT THE CHINESE LANGUAGE."  Those of you Americans out there who do know Chinese should just be happy that you do know it and move on.  Silly?  Yes.  Racist?  Of course not.  Embarrassing?  Yes.  Akin to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882?  No.

At least Angry Asian Man had the guts to point out the hypocrisy and silliness on Saturday Night Live after their first showing of that Hu Jintao SNL skit.

If you really want see how a PROGRESSIVE like Rosie O'donnell does it... go here from 2006.  I don't want to post the video here.  It's too scary.

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