Thursday, August 20, 2009

Is Mr. James racist?

Sheyda submits the following for our consideration, via Eat Me Daily:

McDonald's is running an ad campaign in Japan that uses Mr. James, a bumbling white guy who speaks broken katakana (i.e. accented) Japanese. Basically a gaijin, a derogatory term for a foreigner in Japan, he's even got his own blog while he tours McDonald's locations across Japan. People are upset because he's perpetuating racist stereotypes, and comparisons to Stepin Fetchit being made. Even stern letters are being written to McDonald's by FRANCA, a human rights group concerned with the rights of non-Japanese residents in Japan.

Here are a couple of commercials we dug up:





I don't really know enough about Japanese racial politics to know how offensive this is.  I mean, white guys are kind of lovably stupid, right?  (Kidding, kidding...kind of.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Is any image circulated by a "conservative activist" racist?

I mean, part of the point of asking the "Is It Racist?" question is to avoid such blanket accusations of hard-wired ideological ignorance.  But really, guys.  Sheyda submits the following, via TPM:





Apparently, "On Sunday night, Dr. David McKalip forwarded to fellow members of a Google listserv affiliated with the Tea Party movement the image below. Above it, he wrote: 'Funny stuff.'"  If by "funny," you mean "RACIST," then yes, Dr. McKalip, yes it is.