The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #41062   Message #2650965
Posted By: Azizi
07-Jun-09 - 09:26 PM
Thread Name: Donkey Riding - What's Hong-ki-kong?
Subject: RE: Donkey Riding - What's Hong-ki-kong?
Q, I suppose your post is written to me.

You wrote "The gestures and language, of course, are unacceptable now, but why waste effort wringing hands about it in every thread on Mudcat?"

I'm glad you agree that the gestures are unacceptable-and it's the gesture that I'm talking about, not the song. Q, I'm assuming that you will agree that slanty eye gesture has nothing what so ever to do with this particular song. And if it did, IMO, it would still be problematic.

I understand that "it's a free country" and if people want to make fun of people they can.
However, it's possible that some person of Asian ancestry might happen upon this forum and be turned off by these posts. I added to the record so they-and any other person who is concerned about cultural competency would see that there are some people on Mudcat who recognize that such gestures are inappropriate and potentially hurtful (actually treating people in culturally insensitive ways diminish us all and not just the group that is so referenced. who is referenced. I've read comments on various blogs including this one that persons with Asian ancestry note how hurtful it was/is for them to be teased by non-Asians who make such a slanted eye gesture. (There are even children's playground rhymes that mention making slanted eyes, but that is somewhat another subject).

Your question "Would you remove them from study?" [with "them" meaning songs with culturally incompetent language] is a straw man. I did not suggest removing this song and I have not suggested removing any other song from Mudcat. However, I have suggested that a public disclaimer be posted on the Mudcat home page and the FAQ page that reads something like "Mudcat provides examples and information about folk songs in the interest of folkloric study and aesthetic appreciation. The lyrics of certain songs may include words, phrases, and references that are culturally insensitive".

Also, Q with regard to your question "why waste effort wringing hands about it in every thread on Mudcat?", I presume that "it" means examples of culturally insensitive words in songs". If so, I'm sure you know that I'm not "wringing (my) hands or any one else's hands. And I'm sure you know that your implication that I bring up the topic of race in every thread on Mudcat is an exaggeration. It would also be an exaggeration to say that I bring up the topic of race in every Mudcat thread to which I post. However, I will admit that I do feel the need to bring up the topic of race/racism sometime. And sometimes I also feel the need to respond to the topic of race/racism when other Mudcatters and/or guests bring that topic up. I have said this before and will say it again-I'm interested in many other topics besides race/racism. And if there were any other People of Color on Mudcat who publicly acknowledged their race, I would not feel the need to share my perspective as a Person of Color as much as I do now.

As to your point "Censoring the past is immature. It is there and must be accepted", IMO the past is still the present and if we don't want it to be the future, people have to speak up and share why they feel that such gestures are insensitive -and if there was insensitive language in the thread-then that should be discussed also-as I have noted in other threads (as you have reminded folks) and as I will note again if no one else does and when my spirit moves me to do so.

Finally Q, actually Dead Horse's post isn't the only reference to that slanty eye gesture on this thread.

But that's rather besides the point, isn't it?