December 16, 2009


Do you think think this is racist? While dancing to Rapper's Delight, Toby Keith made a "racist gesture" by stretching out the corners of his eyes to make them look asian to accompany the lyrics "to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow." According to Huffpo, this created an uproar among asians.

Really? I'm not asian so I can't say whether this offends asians or not. I am southern and white and I know that rednecks like Toby are the most racist people in the country. But how is it offensive to slant one's eyes? Asian people have slanted eyes. That's a fact--not a racist stereotype. They are beautiful eyes and I wish I had them. I even slant my eyeliner to hint at this eye. Is Toby mocking them in a mean way? Would it be racist if Toby pooched out his lips to make them fuller on the word "black?" Black people tend to have fuller lips than caucasians. I don't see this as a bad thing and wouldn't mind having fuller lips than my grim, thin, snapping turtle lips myself. Would it be racist is Toby had by put two fingers up behind the back of his head to indicate a feather-wearing American indian to accompany the word "red."

In my act, I parody Destiny's Child's INDEPENDENT WOMEN. In the intro, I slant my eyes and buck my teeth and say "Rucy Roo" where the track would normally say "Lucy Liu." It gets a laugh. In my mind, this is less an offensive racist slur than complete lunacy. I have never seen asian people with buck teeth in my life, although this stereotype has existed for decades. Look at Mickey Rooney's pitiful attempt at playing this type of stereotypical asian as Audrey Hepburn's irritable upstairs neighbor in BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. Completely ridiculous. They might as well have a gong every time the character appears on the screen.

So I thought I was parodying the absurd, untrue stereotype. Reversing the pronunciation of L and R is a speech pattern some asians have when speaking english. It's funny and I don't think it's mean to laugh at someone's speech patterns. I have a southern accent and could care less if someone mimicked my voice as they often have. I can laugh at you. You can laugh at me. I love nothing more than when a black friend calls me "cracker" because then I know that we're close enough to make off-color jokes about each other.

Then again, I like tasteless humor. Not everyone does. But when does this become racist? Is Toby Keith a racist, based on his gesture? Is my parody of INDEPENDENT WOMEN racist? I would love to know what you think.

PS: Are norwegian people so clueless that actually import Will Smith and Toby Keith to perform for them? This is a tragic slur against norwegian talent. Or is that question racist towards norwegians?


Toby Keith Racist? Uproar Over Asian Hand Gesture

Toby Keith may have offended Asian Americans while in Norway for the Peace Prize Concert.

Dancing along as Will Smith did a version of "Rapper's Delight," Keith pulled his eyes back on the "yellow" of the lyrics, "to the black, to the white, the red, and the brown, the purple and yellow."

A rep for the Asian American Justice Center told TMZ, "Toby Keith embarrassed himself and his country, denigrated the Noble Peace Prize and offended Asians and Asian Americans by using a crude, racist hand gesture."

Keith's rep just said, "nobody at the party thought Toby was out of line."