Ole! Far East Relations

Hmmm, the Spanish Basketball and Tennis teams have a weird sense of humor. I wonder if this goes over well at the Beijing Olympics?

“Estamos preparados para China” was the quoted caption on this pic.

For once I’m speechless.

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About AlDesmadre

Al Guerrero, Artist/Humorist. Los Angeles, CA. Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised in East Los Angeles from the age of two, Al Guerrero grew up just steps from the famous Chicano strip, Whittier Boulevard. His youth experiences include witnessing and participating in the 1970 Chicano Power demonstrations, cruising cars on Whittier Boulevard, and graduating from Garfield High School. After dropping out of UCLA (with honors), he drew upon his lifelong passion for art and cartooning and pursued a career in graphic arts. During this period, he traveled overseas and found artistic inspiration from the masterworks he discovered within the European Art Museums. His career blossomed when he was eventually hired by the Walt Disney Company in 1995, where he worked as a creative artist for a number of years. Although the artistic work was rewarding, he eventually grew weary & disillusioned with the bureaucracy of the entertainment business, and left to work briefly in the educational field. His credits include producing a feature film with actor, Conrad Brooks of Ed Wood fame, founding and performing with the Punk Rock group “The Psychocats” at numerous L.A. & Hollywood venues during the 1990’s, and in 1999 he founded and created a hell-bent puppet cabaret show aptly named: “The Puppets from Hell”. As a long time active member of the Los Angeles Cacophony Society, Al “Quaeda”, as he was known, was involved in countless Cacophony Society pranks and events throughout the city. He also produced the “Incredibly Strange Cinema” cult film series as well as themed events such as the now infamous “Pornothon Movie Nights” and the satirical “Mexican Night: Noche De Tequila & Putas” shows at local nightclub venues. Throughout his art career, he has exhibited his canvas paintings at various local galleries, and has also written & illustrated numerous comic strips and Graphic Novel stories. Today, he lives in Silver Lake, California and works as a freelance artist and writer with numerous multi-media projects under his belt and in the works. His personal hobbies include collecting vintage toys and comic books, cinema history and Los Angeles City history. Contact: alguerrero@earthlink.net Al Guerrero P.O. Box 29697 Los Angeles, CA 90029-0697 www.alguerrero.com Myspace.com/thepuppetsfromhell

20 thoughts on “Ole! Far East Relations

  1. This is f*cked up. Why is this here? Is this supposed to be funny? It’s not funny at all: it’s a racist slur in the form of a photograph. This should be removed.

  2. The level of backwardness coming from Spain never surprises me, especially when it comes to issues of race. I heard one defender saying that it was basically all in good fun, as if that’s an excuse. SFWM.

  3. It’s racist. Let’s call it what it is. I was listening to a discussion about this on NPR this morning where Chinese people in Beijing were saying that they were offended. There were also some interviews with Chinese Americans and other Asian Ams who recounted stories of getting the “chinky-eye” taunts at different points in their lives. I was trying to remember the last time that happened to me–it was just a couple years ago when a friend and I were walking down the street and some kids in a bus that passed us pulled their eyes back and yelled “konichiwa!” (sp?). I think what’s most appalling about the Spanish teams doing this is that they are supposed to be representing their nation, which takes their racism to an entirely different level. Oh, and some of the members of the Spanish team are NBA players.

  4. Chavo & Reb, THANKS for the intelligent, and “high-road” analysis and comments of these particular racist and stupid images that’s been posted all over the worldwide media these days. It’s your type of responses that I hoped to incite with this post. I’m glad I didn’t underestimate the readers (for the most part.)
    This stuff is pretty shocking to see at this international level. I believe that exposing this to as much derision as possible will make these suckers a global laughing stock
    (which they probably already are by now) and bottom line, hopefully people will check themselves before engaging in similar dumb acts like this in the future.

  5. Why is this here, on this website? As far as I can see, it has zero relationship to the content of this blog. WTF?

  6. CWM, to try to help Al answer your question, I think exposing racist acts, and describing them as such–which Al seems to have done by calling it “weird sense of humor,” wondering how well it’s going over in Beijing and proclaiming himself to be speechless–is acceptable. Some might say it’s necessary in order to make the public aware about racism.

    If he had posted it and said it was really funny, then I’d share your sense of shock and demand that it be removed.

  7. It may be racism, it may be some sort of historical flaw by the Spaniards, like in thier DNA, it could be a number of things, but what it unfortunately and clearly shows is the stupidity of these people.
    A la fregada! Que Tonto’s!

  8. Thanks Chuy,
    I think it’s also very important that Eastsiders are recognized for having opinions and perspectives on all issues, local or global. I think it helps our overall credibility and heightens people’s perception of us to realize that were not one-dimensional, we are in tune with what goes on beyond our symbolic borders and we have qualified opinions to share about it along with everyone else. What happens in the world is always relevant to us and vice-versa. Thankfully, this site LAEastside welcomes “Out of the Box” thinking and most people understand that and are appreciating it.

  9. I think anytime you can expose something and bring about discourse it’s a good thing.

    I think especially on these kinds of issues. It seems to me from my personal experience it’s still ok to make prejudice comments about Asian people and Armenians, even in Los Angeles. I’m always hearing people making “funny” comments.

    In LA people seem to know you don’t publicly say things about African-American (of course there is plenty of code speak going on: I have always hated the term entitlement, because I always know that term almost 90% is some sneaky dig at black people) and they are even learning to not publicly say things about Latinos, it’s a slow learning curve, but it’s coming along, but Asians it seems to be completely ok, even among “liberals” to say very offensive things. Even among people of color. I’m not sure what that is, but it truly needs to stop.

    Another interesting angle is that some of the players said they didn’t want to do it, but the photographer and other teammates insisted. Somewhere along the line being the squeaky wheel has become the bad thing and being the mindless happy robot has become the good thing. Sort of scary.

  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMYcMFpjnwk

    Yes we on the Eastside and good people everywhere ought to be aware and ready to speak back loudly and clearly, (and in the voting booth!), because racism seems to be on the upswing, especially against Mexicans and Chicano’s.
    Want to see a good example? Click on the U tube site above for Walter Moore who is a candidate for Mayor of LA and has measurable support from many who suffer from Mexican Phobia’s or who are using racism and ugly ethnocentric rhetoric for political expediency.
    Moore’s rant on “The Secret War against the USA by Mexico” is pretty ugly but there is a lot worse out there.
    Walter Moore is also the author of “Jamiels Law” which would mandate that the LAPD stop and question and possibly arrest any person who looks Mexican and could be an “illegal alien gang member”. And if the persons documentation isn’t up to snuff then the officer will arrest the person and turn them over to ICE for deportation.
    I applaud Rep Maxine Waters who when she heard of this unconstitutional proposed law said “any African American who supports this blatant example of “Profiling” based on a persons race, ethnicity, or style of dress should be ashamed of themselves”.
    I would feel the same way of any citizen (especially one of us Chicano’s) who sympathizes with Moore and his racist and facist views.
    But at the same time I think that we must remain vigilant and aware of these type of racist sentiments because they seem to be on the upswing and need to be smashed immediately.
    We need to remind anyone who would castigate a person of Mexican Heritage that we as a people have not only been here in the USA before the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock but that Mexicans have helped build the USA and many of us have died defending this country of ours.

    Thanks for the platform, keep on keeping on!

  11. Oh dang, my first comment got lost in the digital ether.
    Anyways, one more try…
    I encountered some disturbing prejudices in Spain, mostly related to their own internal provincialisms but also against Latin Americans, Blacks and any other foreign group they felt was threatening. Some of it was shocking to me because I always thought European countries were more enlightened. They aren’t when it comes to race. Of course, I met some really cool, progressive folks there and I was very impressed by how random people I spoke to, knew to identify me as Chicana.
    Another thing to remember about the relevance of this post, the Eastside was once part of Spain. 😉

  12. Racist, yup. No doubt about it.

    As for relevance, Latinos live side by side with Asians on the Eastside and in communities throughout Southern California. I grew up the San Gabriel Valley and quickly learned that something like this was racist.

  13. Spain colonized the Americas, and retained a king into the 20th century. They then maintained a fascist government for most of the 20th century, repressing minorities and leftists. So, maybe it’s not such a surprise that racism is accepted.

    The anti-Asian racism in Europe and America, I figure is fallout from a century of sustained war against Asia, by America, preceded by two hundred years of colonial wars in Asia. Racism and war go hand-in-hand — racism is a tool of psychological warfare. Look at McCain – typical old guy from that era, a racist who doesn’t even think he’s a racist.

    Today, the racism’s shifted away from Asia, and toward Middle Eastern people, South Asians, Africans, and Muslims. Anti-Mexicanism’s made a big comeback, too, with this sinking economy.

    Even Latino racism against Asians is way down – though they don’t know that it’s insulting to call an adult a “chinito”, I don’t think it’s meant maliciously. It’s just a cultural artifact that hasn’t been fully addressed by Asians in Latin America. It’s just a paternalistic, white-supremacist attitude that’s a part of colonialism and war. (Which brings us back to McCain.)

    Now, the Asian-focused racism is actually a “positive” type of racism. Things like “Zen” anything, marveling at China’s economy (or Japan’s), Chinese tattoos, the Dalai Lama, etc. What’s “Asian” is what’s considered “Other”, or, some non-Western or anti-Western concepts are projected onto Asian culture.

    Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama, are a good example. We project the idea of “peace” onto Buddhism, because, as a mostly Christian country, we feel flawed and warlike. People more interested in Buddhism project things like atheism, vegetarianism, and a pro-science thing onto Buddhism. Things that are the opposite of what we’re experiencing, we project onto Buddhism.

    Now, it’s true, these things, but Buddhism is diverse, and some adherents believe in spirits and ghosts, some are members of Buddhist militias that buy guns. Buddhists eat meat. Some Asian Buddhists in America call their temples “churches.” To top it off, the Dalai Lama works with the CIA, and the Tibetan monks seem to be armed. The Dalai Lama is playing on the West’s guilt trip about colonization and nuclear war.

    Once that image of “Buddhist Peace” is demolished, and you start thinking the Lama is acting like a typical politician, some people revert back to the old stereotypes and racism against Buddhists. (Ooh, what a sneaky Dalai Lama.) After all, what else to people know? It’s either racist hate, or racist love.

    It’s a lot harder to see people as people.

    I’m not saying I hate positive racism. It’s better than the negative kind, by a lot! It even worked on me – Black Muslims were really pro-Asian for a while, especially after the 1992 uprising, and it really made me think of their religion in a positive way, and go eat at their mom-and-pop restaurants. (I never saw eye-to-eye on theological matters – but it’s a restaurant, not church.)

    Maybe they were going through their own negative/positive racism thing too. Asian Americans have done the same with African Americans.

    It would just be nice to get beyond this stuff. Get rid of the negative racism, and then ease past the positive racism, too. (Let’s not take the second phase too quickly. 🙂 )

  14. i’m back to enlight. the chinese are offended? he, he, he. they have a perverted sense of what offends. does the critical situation in tibet offend the chinese? nah. does the rape of tibet offend? nah.

    a photo offends the “chinitos” and not the deliberate attempt by them to erase the tibetan culture off the face of this earth.

  15. Countries contain many people, and they can be offended, and offensive, at the same time.

    Mexicans are offended by being considered the natural born enemies of America, by some Americans. Mexicans are offensive in their perpetuation of negative images of Africans.

    Imperial Japan was offended by European incursions into Asia. They were offensive in becoming an imperial power themselves, committing atrocities in their colonies.

    Jews are offended by anti-Semitism, because it’s the first step toward genocide. They are offensive when they build a walled ghetto for Palestinians, and steal their land.

    China oppresses Tibet. They oppress the Uygurs, who have also protested during these Olympics. Yet, they themselves were oppressed by Japan, and before Japan, Britain.

    The Pilgrims on Plymouth Rock were oppressed in England, for their deeply religious convictions. They eventually survived and thrived, and became oppressors.

    Joe Sixpack has been pushing the lawnmower, working under the heel of Mr. Bossman long enough! It’s time to start his own business. So, after getting some customers yards lined up for the week, to where he’s unable to do all the work, he turns to the parking lot of Home Depot, to find some people less fortunate than he, to supply labor for his “small business”.

    The meek shall inherit the Earth… and become pushy bosses over the next generation of meek!

  16. “a photo offends the “chinitos” Rosie

    You are absolutely amazing. Don’t put quotes around something you mean non-sarcastically. You want to say something in that kind of tone, don’t be a coward in how you say it.

    That photo has nothing to do with China and Tibet. The reason that photo was taken has nothing to do with Spain’s affinity for the people of Tibet. That photo has to do with the fact that people think it’s ok to make fun of something that is not the same as them.

    If you don’t like the politics of someone you can do more constructive things than make vulgar and classless racial slurs.

    That kind of thinking was the very reason in WW2 Japanese-Americans were put into concentration camps in our very state less than 100 years ago.


  17. I am in Spain at the moment and one of the first things I noticed is the racism here and lack of cultural sensitivity towards the “other”.

  18. The Militant for one is glad this is considered a relevant topic in LA Eastside (and does *not* including it give one free license to offend another group? Hmmm?) There are a number of Asian Americans who live on the Eastside; there are still some old-school Japanese Americans in Boyle Heights, and East Los is right on the border of Monterey Park. Not all Asian people drive BMWs (or even lowered Acuras) and own a successful business. Many of them are low-income, hard-working immigrants too.

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