Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Groupon - Tibet - 2011 Super Bowl Commercial Ad


Apparently many people (Asian and non-Asian alike) are indignant about this ad, so I know I'm not supposed to find it funny, but I did. Why? Because it was possibly some of the most honest advertising I've seen, particularly with regards to Asians.

As we all might agree, Asian representation in the media is largely derogatory or mocking of Asian people and their cultures. If there is one thing that I would say with certainty, it is that the dignity and humanity of East and Southeast Asian peoples are routinely mocked and demeaned by American culture. Racial harassment of Asians through television, film, and radio is commonplace and propagates a culture that sees harassment of Asians as a normal and acceptable activity.

This is why I've always been skeptical about this claim that people in the west are concerned about upholding the humanity, dignity, and rights of any Asian people. American culture promotes harassment and racist behaviour towards its Asian minority, and does so without concern for the dignity and well-being of those people. So, it's extremely dfficult for me to believe that there is some magical process by which a people who are culturally inculcated with dehumanizing images of Asians can have genuine attitudes of compassion for those people.

One of the main criticisms of this advert was that it trivializes the suffering of the Tibetans. Yet, that is actually no different than demanding human rights for the Chinese or Burmese who suffer under totalitarianism, whilst at the same time embracing a culture that demeans and dehumanizes those very people. How can the west claim to be concerned about the suffering of various peoples in Asia, when their cultures trivializes this suffering by demeaning Asian peoples' humanity with mockery?

Why does Tibet garner such indignation when its peoples' suffering is trivialized? Part of the answer might be that some high-profile "Free Tibet" spokespeople happen to be well-known celebrities who are apparently seeking enlightenment by supporting this cause. The irony, of course, is that these celebs are influential in an industry that routinely discriminates against Asians (particularly Asian men) and propagates the culture of dehumanization of Asian people, and they haven't once spoken out against it.

Karma is a bitch.

1 comment:

  1. they only put down AM like the Chinese. meanwhile, Tibetans are put on pedestals because white pseudo-liberals think Tibetans are anti-Chinese.

    like I posted on yomyomf, they could've have easily made the statement about the plight of Native-Americans and their suffering.

    but you know it's an uncomfortable subject for whites to acknowledge the genocide of first Nations people.