Tuesday, February 07, 2012
I Miss College Outrage
So while many of us were watching the Super Bowl, those viewers in Michigan were treated to an ad by Pete Hoekstra.
It's not clear what bothered me more. The broken English? The fear mongering? Or the fact that they had this actress pedaling a bike through a rice paddy, like something out of Platoon, instead of her sucking on truck exhaust in a major city with cranes everywhere. I will say that there's been a bunch of outrage about this ad, including from Republicans who clearly feel this makes them look bad as well.
However, a trip to the website was what got me angry. If you think the video is bad, the website will make your head asplode. Now I don't know Ms. Stabenow, and I'm sure she's a terrible politician who in fact has done similar things, see....
"According to a 2006 op-ed in the Detroit Free Press, Democratic Party chair Mark Brewer provided fortune cookies to reporters with messages that said GOP candidate Dick DeVos "would outsource your jobs to China."
But 2 wrongs don't make a right, while two Wongs clearly make a political ad.
I was lucky enough to go to Vassar College which had a really opinionated student body, that was uniquely attuned to diversity issues. There was even a multi-cultural center, built as a safe space for students of color to go and feel themselves. And among the cultural groups on campus, the Asian Students Alliance (ASA) were known for two things. Great parties. Brilliant organization and political skill. They even got my roommate who was insanely elected Auditor to look the other way while they bought booze on official funds. Of course he wasn't really looking the other way, he was more drunk in a corner.
I want ASA right now. To come marching in and raise holy hell. I want the people who loved the E-Trade baby commercial to wake up and realize that there are more important things in this country. Understand I'm not talking about our relationship with China, I'm talking about the lack of decency and civility in politics and our discourse. I want Mo Chin, Ken Wong and Mark Llobrera* to break down the door of Pete Hoekstra's office and just say "What the fuck?" Because seriously, what the fuck. People need to be outraged, and not just the Democrats or the Asian Associations and groups that all the media asked for comment. But white people, like me.
The fact is that if Debbie Stabenow was a Chinese-American, this would never have happened. But because she's white, this is apparently okay. If I ran against a woman for Congress who supports giving money for AIDS relief in Africa, could I have photos of National Geographic boobies and the lady with the rings around her neck and get away with it? Hells no.
I understand that people are busy and working and trying to make payments. But indignation is free. And everyone can afford to be indignant about things that clearly aren't right. There are days I miss the outrage that could blow up in seconds on a college campus like Vassar. This is one of those days.
* These fine gentlemen were in ASA, and clearly have no knowledge of any booze for bribes scandal.