Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is it racist if it's true?

This does help explain some of the trends I've observed in southern Ontario.  Submitted by Hitesh, who cannot do whatever.

Is giving the company (a white) face racist?

The Atlantic has this crazy story from Mitch Moxley: Rent a White Guy: Confessions of a fake businessman in Beijing:

Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.

“I call these things ‘White Guy in a Tie’ events,” a Canadian friend of a friend named Jake told me during the recruitment pitch he gave me in Beijing, where I live. “Basically, you put on a suit, shake some hands, and make some money. We’ll be in ‘quality control,’ but nobody’s gonna be doing any quality control. You in?”

I was.

And so I became a fake businessman in China, an often lucrative gig for underworked expatriates here. One friend, an American who works in film, was paid to represent a Canadian company and give a speech espousing a low-carbon future. Another was flown to Shanghai to act as a seasonal-gifts buyer. Recruiting fake businessmen is one way to create the image—particularly, the image of connection—that Chinese companies crave. My Chinese-language tutor, at first aghast about how much we were getting paid, put it this way: “Having foreigners in nice suits gives the company face.”

Submitted by Hitesh.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Arizona sets the racist bar even higher.

I wasn't going to bother posting coverage of the ongoing asshattery in Arizona on this blog since it falls so firmly in the category of "Yes It Is," but this story from Wonkette deserves a link.  Really, Arizona?
An Arizona elementary school mural featuring the faces of kids who attend the school has been the subject of constant daytime drive-by racist screaming, from adults, as well as a radio talk-show campaign (by an actual city councilman, who has an AM talk-radio show) to remove the black student’s face, and now the school principal has ordered the faces of the Latino and Black students to be changed to Caucasian skin.

How to date a racist?

Today's HuffPo features a piece by Andrea Miller, apparently the Founder and CEO of YourTango, on "How to Date an Indian (Advice for the Non-Indian)."  No, for serious.

Before getting to "how," let's start with "why." There are obvious reasons one would want to date an Indian, such as how successful and professionally desirable they are. Indians dominate as engineers, doctors, lawyers, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. They make up a large proportion of our graduate students -- just walk around the campuses of Harvard, Columbia or Stanford or and you will see these incredibly attractive brown people all over the place. Which leads to point number two. Indian people tend to be really good looking. According to Wikipedia*, "India holds the highest number of Miss World winners, only to be tied with Venezuela." (*That feels a little like citing The National Enquirer but I am going to go with it.)

Most Indians are innately gracious, social creatures; they highly value friends and family and have a calendar filled with various holidays and occasions to celebrate, which they typically do with gusto. Those endless jubilant dance numbers in Bollywood movies pretty much channel the Indian soul. Moreover, Indian men love to dance. If for no other reason other than you want someone to dance with you (or without you for that matter), date an Indian.

Ms. Miller proceeds to list the names of the most famous Bollywood stars for easy reference and offer up such exquisite gems of advice as, "Showing an appreciation for Bhangra will score you points. Finding a place that plays Bhangra music and going there together is sure to get you something straight from the Kama Sutra" and "Food. Indians love their food. Probably more than they love dancing."

But what if, despite Miller's enormously persuasive arguments, you don't want to date an Indian?  Fortunately for you, Neel Shah has posted "How to Date a White Bitch (Advice for the Non-White Dude)" at the Awl.