If you’re mad about KTVU and Sum Ting Wong, you missed the point.
So, since my last piece on sellouts and race-traitors, I’ve learned some Korean. Well, okay, I’ve learned one word.
It’s a good one, though: 앞잡이, pronounced apjabi. How it’s used depends the situation, but in this context it refers to someone who betrays their nation, or a revolution.
I learned it from a friend of mine yesterday. The English equivalent depends on who you ask — google says ‘nark’, some dictionaries say ‘stooge’.
But my friend prefers to translate it as ‘front-line bastard’. Not quite the ‘Uncle Tom’ I was originally looking for, but pretty damn close.
And actually, maybe it’s the best description for people like Heesun Wee, the Korean American woman that wrote an article blaming the Asiana crash on supposed flaws in Korean culture. I think it’s also applicable to lots of other race-traitor stooges that have made their careers off of softshoeing for white supremacists. People like her, Clarence Thomas, Michelle Malkin, Herman Cain — they’re the turncoat soldiers on the front line of the war against minorities in America.
And it’s that front line that makes secondary attacks possible, like when San Francisco TV station KTVU issued a report on the supposed real names of the flight staff of the Asiana plane crash, featuring Asian name jokes that somebody pulled off the internet:
And yes, I said war. In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a quiet cultural war going on. It’s not always a violent one — actually, aside from a few exceptions, it’s generally quite polite and peaceful. Instead of bats and nooses, the main method of attack today is delegitimization and dehumanization.
America has changed. In a time where ‘racist’ is a bad word, and the judge of the Trayvon Martin case saw fit to forbid the prosecution from mentioning race or using the word ‘racial profiling’ to describe a clearly race-motivated murder, racists are already in an enviable position. Because we’re not even allowed to call them out, they can remain invisible. Still, though, they’ve got to be careful.
This is a hard war to wage openly.
Today’s racism isn’t the stuff we learned about in middle school. Water cannons and legal exclusion went out of fashion a long time ago. Physical warfare just wasn’t sustainable anymore: it was costly, violent, and it was making the US look bad on the international stage.
So we moved to more subtle attacks. We used code words: we stopped saying ‘race’, and started saying ‘culture’, even though we all knew that they meant the same thing. We made things up. The MSG scare made everyone fear Chinese people again. The ‘welfare queen’ myth made us hate blacks again. Things were going well. Aside from the whole A Flock of Seagulls thing, the ‘80s were great.
The new face of war
But eventually, people started calling the racists out. Every time we turned on the evening news and something bad was being said about people with melanin, the dude on the screen was white. It was too obvious. We complained, and slowly, the racists started to listen.
But they listened in a very particular way. Not that kind of empathetic listening, the way a friend opens her heart to listen to a fellow human’s troubles. Instead, they listened carefully, like an expert mechanic tuning an engine by ear. It was time to change strategies. Or, rather it was time to change the soldiers.
They needed fresh faces. Dark ones. Yellow, brown, black ones. People that were willing to accept and embrace that they were second-class citizens, in exchange for the promise that they’d never get demoted to third-class.
So they pulled a page from the old imperialist playbook: they used apjabis to staff the front lines.
Japan did it before WWII, when they realized that the Koreans whose land they’d colonized weren’t too excited about Japanese people patrolling their cities. So they grabbed some Koreans that were desperate for Japanese approval, and got them to police their own people. The French did something pretty similar in their various African holdings. And the US military did it when, okay, nevermind, we’re still doing it.
It’s a brilliant strategy, really, and it’s the only one that still works.
So when you saw the Sum Ting Wong and Wi Tu Lo stuff on KTVU, what you were actually seeing was the second wave of attacks. Heesun Wee and her fellow apjabis were the first wave. And yeah, calling it an ‘attack’ might seem a little overdramatic considering that it was essentially a mildly clever prank by some intern that didn’t get caught, but that’s precisely the point. It doesn’t have to be well thought out or even particularly malicious for it to be hurtful. That’s because once we’ve been hit with the first assault — the convincing apjabi affirmation that yes, those Koreans are inferior — the second assault is amazingly effective.
They don’t even need to try.
And that first wave is crucial nowadays, because we’ve developed a fairly tough defense in the form of a knee-jerk reaction against anything that seems racist. See, for all our past faults, we’ve all become pretty devoted to the idea of living up to the promise of America. Fair play, everyone gets a shot, it’s not nice to name-call, all that.
But if we’ve already got the idea in our heads that there is something wrong with Koreans, that they’re culturally backwards and inferior, it’s kind of hard to get upset about a little harmless dehumanization. I mean, Jesus Christ, dude, chill out, you know? They’re just Koreans. It’s just a joke. Epic troll, u mad bro, #YOLO, etc.
And I’m not saying that this is a vast media conspiracy, unless you consider white supremacy a vast media conspiracy. Actually, nevermind: this is a vast media conspiracy.
I said above that racism isn’t usually violent anymore. It’s also generally not motivated by hatred, and the KTVU incident is no exception. There was no direct, ‘violent’ hatred in that action — at least not in the way that we usually talk about violence. But it sure makes violence a lot easier to happen. If you’ve already made up your mind that someone is culturally deficient, and you have chuckled at the defiling of that most basic human right — the right to a name — how concerned are you really going to be when you hear about one of them being denied housing, or denied healthcare, or assaulted?
We know this process all too well. We saw Zimmerman coming a mile away. After all, after years of telling ourselves how blacks are subhuman and culturally inferior, was it any surprise that we produced a sad, scared man that felt justified in attacking a black boy wearing a hoodie? And, was it any surprise that we let that man walk free?
Apjabis like Heesun Wee help make this gradual slide towards dehumanization possible. But I mean, yo, I don’t want to make it seem like I’m beating up on Wee, because she’s not exactly getting a great deal out of this either. Race-traitoring usually comes at the price of ostracization. Once you pull a Benedict Arnold, it’s really hard to go back to your community. You’ve doomed to live in a sort of cultural exile/limbo: realizing that white people don’t truly accept you, but also constantly wondering if your brothers and sisters hate you. It’s a hard life.
That’s why when a bunch of concerned Asian Americans politely asked Wee to participate in an online discussion on her article, she got spooked and refused:
But, on the positive side, she’s probably getting paid well for her efforts, and in this economy, that’s an accomplishment. Also, if it wasn’t her, somebody else would be doing it.
Also, if it makes you feel any better, this name-calling thing probably won’t happen again. The KTVU thing really only happened because the news room was full of out-of-touch white folks. After this, they’ll get an Asian American intern — not out of any sense of guilt or duty to the community, but as an insurance policy. And that problem will be solved. (By the way, if you’re Asian American, in the Bay Area, and interested in breaking into the news business, now’s the time to send that résumé.)
Rest assured, though, that there will be more attacks. And like I said: Wee’s not the problem here. There’s gotta be at least ten other soldiers that would love to take her place.
The front line isn’t going away any time soon.