The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #71726   Message #3499441
Posted By: Joe Offer
06-Apr-13 - 04:07 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Ching Chong Chinaman Song
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Ching Chong Chinaman Song
Thanks for adding a perspective to this song, Zelda. I agree that the song is racist. The trouble is, there was a cuteness and innocence to it, so people kept thinking it was OK to demean Asians this way because of the cuteness of it all.

People keep coming back to these racist anti-Chinese songs because they have happy memories of the songs. I guess that happened with Stephen Foster songs is the early days of the Black civil rights movement. I think the Foster songs have been sorted out pretty well by now. I still sing "Old Black Joe" because I see nothing racist in it, but some people disagree with me.

I didn't learn any "Chinaman" songs growing up in Wisconsin. By the time I moved here to California in 1973, "Chinaman" songs were unacceptable on the West Coast.