By now, this political ad of a Chinese Professor paid for by “Citizens Against Government Waste” has certainly created quite a splash in the Asian American blogger & social media world, most notably Angry Asian Man who posted a very angry entry about it:
“This new political ad, titled “Chinese Professor” and paid for by “Citizens Against Government Waste,” is running on some serious Red Menace juice, and has to be one of the most racist and xenophobic pieces of fear-mongering propaganda I’ve ever seen.”
But is this ad truly racist and xenophobic? Let’s break this video down under an objective lens and look at it carefully, after the jump:
What is the purpose of the ad?
If America does not change their spending ways, they will fall under massive debt that they will not be able to recover from. The government and their economical system will collapse and if major steps are not taken, a bleak future is ahead of us.
What’s the deal with the Chinese professor and the students?
China is a rising superpower whose influence cannot be underestimated. If America’s national debt continue to soar the way it is, there is no doubt that China will become top dog..this is merely a matter of logic. The Chinese professor and hist students are a reflection of that possible future. It is a scenario where a dominating superpower will reflect on their world history as much as we reflect and muse upon fallen empires that have come to pass.
From the way the ad campaign was shot with the chilling blue shading effect, the ominous Chinese music playing in the background, and the Chinese professor and students laughing amongst themselves over the downfall of America, the mood is rife with unease and fear for the average American viewer. Regardless of your ethnicity and your beliefs and understanding of racial/social/political dynamics, you WILL feel this feeling because that’s what the ad wants you to feel. How is this made possible? By using your knowledge of mainstream media news reports and how problematic the Chinese government is when it comes to human rights, freedom of press and religion (or lack thereof), and so on. It’s down to a science and the Citizens Against Government Waste group knows that.
But this ad is racist! It’s xenophobic! It’s not science!!
It’s really dangerous to use the Racist word when you are only going by assumptions of what you see. Perhaps it was not the intention of the media folks who created the ad to be portrayed that way. Perhaps they were misguided. Larry McCarthy (no relation to Joseph McCarthy) produced this ad and when hearing about that some folks have considered the ad China-bashing, he responded: “I don’t think Chian’s being bashed at all here — if anything it is noting the economic success that China has had, is currently on the trajectory to have, and may have in the future,” McCarthy said, adding that “this ad is about America, it’s not about China.”
If that is the case, then perhaps the APA community is being overly sensitive and are not understanding what the point of the message is and neglecting the fact that China is a superpower that cannot be underestimated. But then perhaps, the APA community may be right on the money and the insensitive depiction needs to be addressed.
Okay. But what do YOU think about the ad personally?
I had no problems with the ad, even with the cheesy Chinese music playing in the background. That is, until the professor gives an evil smirk and the whole class laughs at the statement that China owns America. I was almost thinking that people will see this ad and go, “remember the Chinese Exclusion Act? Hey, let’s bring it back now!” I think they could’ve edited that out of the ad campaign and just focus on an alternate future where a superpower country OTHER than America is reflecting on America’s downfall and the message still would’ve gotten across. That yellow peril aura at the end was completely off-putting and almost made want to vomit.
So there you have it. Although I understand what the point of the ad is and will not go as far as declaring that it’s racist, the ending of the ad was problematic and makes me wonder why that was even necessary. But I want to hear what you guys have to say and the floor is now open to you all — what do you guys think?