“Obviously there are a lot of folk from Asian ancestry in Hawaii, generally the teams aren’t as tall…”
— Barack Obama
The quote begins at the 3:00 mark
Personally I don’t find this quote offensive at all. Despite the fact that he answered Kimmel’s question of “Can you dunk” with the response that Asians “aren’t as tall” — then saying thats why he “posted up,” thereby laying the groundwork that, in fact, he can’t dunk — I do find it disappointing. Duly noted, this is the Jimmy Kimmel Show, not Meet the Press but nevertheless, disappointing. Disappointing because he grew up around Asians as the Obama campaign has fully emphasized. His half sister is Asian and his brother-in-law even stated that Mr. Obama has been influenced by Asian culture, from views on family and faith to education and social welfare. But to me the most disappointing factor is that Barack Obama is a Black man and of all people he should know and understand the usage of sweeping generalizations when it comes to describing other cultures and ethnicities.
Note that this in no way should affect your vote, as it will have no affect on mine. I’m proud to say that the first vote for president I will cast ever as a legal-of-age citizen in the United States will be cast for Barack Obama, for the idea of HOPE and CHANGE that he has instilled inside my soul — not only with his words but with his overall demeanor, actions, and promises. For the 5% of the population of the U.S. who “aren’t as tall,” it’s hard to imagine a society where Asian jokes in the media and Hollywood are not taken so lightly; when we’re not being laughed at, but laughed with. It’s hard to imagine hope and change when it comes to that. But because of Barack Obama, I DO have hope that one day this will change, and that’s why his lighthearted joke to me was disappointing.
On the flip side, damn, Obama was tall as hell back in high school. And, HEY! he’s the ONLY non-asian on the team! (Insert sarcasm when needed)