My response can be summarized in two words: Not funny.
I don’t mean “Asians-are-the-butt-of-this-joke-(again)-and-therefore-this-is-not-funny-to-me” not funny. No, I mean it’s not funny. Period. It doesn’t even make any sense. Sure, Asians like money, but to get money, we’re not going to doctor your fortune cookie fortune for a bigger tip. That’s just not how we roll. Instead, we’ll nickel and dime you on the menu or scribble Chinese on your tab so you don’t notice that we’ve inflated your bill. Those are the Chinese restaurateur’s preferred schemes for getting one dollah one dollah. If you’re gonna be racist, do it with style. This racist cartoon? No style whatsoever.
Below, I submit for your consideration my proposed revision of the racist cartoon. All the cartoonist had to do was switch around the races. Render the waiters white and the patron a Chinaman. The revised racist cartoon now actually makes some sense because we children of Fu Manchu are stereotyped to be stingy-ass bad tippers. White waiters attempting to con an Asian guy into tipping better, the implication there being that Asians tip like shit, is funnier to me. It’s still racist, but at least now it’s racism that makes sense. And it makes me laugh. I don’t mind being offended by your racism so long as you make me laugh.
Non sequitur racism aside, what truly bothers me about this cartoon is the tragic level of cartooning skill exhibited. It’s shit. And it’s embarrassing. This stupid cartoon will garner public attention and everybody will stereotype my school as a place full of shit cartoonists. Great. Now I feel compelled to plead to all you people, “Not every cartoonist from my school is shit. We are individuals. Please do not generalize.” It’s offensive how one sloppy doodle can make a complete mockery of cartooning. I mean come on, Pipe Dream editors! This can’t possibly be the funniest panel submitted.
In any event, Asian Outlook, the student-run APA magazine at SUNY Bing, is asking the public to sound off on this issue in a comment, signed or anonymous, for them to submit to the school and impress upon the Pipe Dream editors how inappropriate it is to caricature Asian Americans with the Mister Wong logo. Send your comments to [email protected] (Asian Outlook editorial staff) or write directly to Nate Fleming, editor-in-chief of Pipe Dream, at [email protected]. I have no idea who is in charge of the cartoons. Maybe the fun page editor Mike Manzi. So if you’re at it, email him as well, at [email protected]. Or go straight to the top, Student Association, at [email protected]
You should probably also say something to these folks about the whole slanty eyed thing. Yeah I don’t know why that’s so popular right now. At least the cartoonist didn’t have the white guy pull his eyelids taut while he read his fortune. That would have been something.
Is this racist cartoon a big deal? Nope. I don’t even mind it if this cartoon stays published or if the cartoonist really, really likes doodling slanty-eyed coolies and never, ever wants to stop. However, that doesn’t mean activists should turn a blind eye. Activism is also in the little things, and in fact it’s the little things that we old APA fogies find more feasible. Let the youngins march and protest and rally. We can shoot quick emails from the comfort of our homes or offices. Part of activism is letting people know when their shit stinks, no matter how seemingly insignificant their shit might be. And my nose right now is telling me that somebody forgot to flush.
Final Note. The facts presented here were provided to me by a third party source through an e-mail from current students at the school. Frankly, I’d really like more information on this matter. If anyone out there knows more, please add it to the comments section below. Thanks.