Jewish World Review March 23, 2001 / 26 Adar, 5761
Humorless at Harvard
A young Harvard undergrad enraged the campus emperors of political
correctness this week when he tried to tickle their funny bones. Justin
Fong, a writer for the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, quickly
discovered that the emperors have no clothes, no spine, and absolutely
no sense of humor.
Fong, a 19-year-old sophomore from Foster City, California, poked fun at
himself and his peers in a satirical Sunday essay titled "The Invasian."
The very serious, underlying topic: Self-segregation by Asian-Americans
at Harvard. The typical Asian-American student, Fong observed with
cheeky annoyance, "hangs out only with Asians; walks to class with
Asians; plays a stringed instrument in addition to the piano; eats
dinner at a table full of Asians; talks on his or her cell phone (made
in Asia), in an Asian language with Asians; has Asian parents; eats
Asian food preferably in Asian restaurants in Asian districts of Asian
Boston; [and] complains that General Wong's Chicken is not sufficiently
'authentic'...Some of these folks just blend and mold together to the
point that I can't even tell them apart."
A sixth-generation American of Chinese and Japanese descent, Fong
wondered: "[W]hat makes these people cluster together so exclusively? Is
there some common sense of persecution or victimization?...I would
contend that Asians in America are among the most educated and the
wealthiest. I would not argue, however, that they are among the happiest
-- this remains an important distinction. They talk about Wen Ho Lee as
if he was a figurehead for all of Asia in America-and that when he was
'wrongly accused' it meant that there was some return of yellow peril.
Whenever an Asian is murdered in America, everyone gets paranoid. I
think they need to slow their roll and get a grip."
Fong is sick of overzealous ethnic politics at Harvard. "We have to
realize that we have a lot in common," he told me this week. "That's
something a lot of Asian-Americans on campus fail to recognize. We're in
America now. I'm an American. That's my culture." Checking off racial
identification boxes, he adds, is "unfair." Fong, who calls himself
moderately liberal, acknowledges historical injustices against Asians,
"but there's so much about America that we can enjoy."
Fong anticipated that he would be branded a racist for speaking his mind
and bucking the victimology trend. He was right. A swarm of about 100
clustered in protest outside the Crimson's offices on Tuesday. "It's
like Ku Klux Klan propaganda; newspapers wouldn't print that," Alice
Wong, 19, a Harvard freshman, told the Boston Globe. Jeff Sheng, 20,
told the Globe that Fong's article was "the most outrageous thing" he
had read in his three years on campus.
"People are too sensitive," Fong told me, chuckling at protesters who
demanded the piece be censored - and then turned around and e-mailed it
to Asian-American activists across the country. "They need to take a
breath and relax." What Fong didn't expect was the quivering reaction of
some of his editors, who tucked their tails between their legs and
ditched the First Amendment under pressure from the humor-challenged
mob. (Even more damning, in my view: Not one professor or administrator
at the Ivy League bastion of liberal-mindedness has called to express
support for Fong's views or his right to express them.)
The paper ran an editorial expressing regret that Fong's "piece was not
edited more judiciously." Crimson president C. Matthew MacInnis
apologized a second time "for publishing a piece that did not adhere to
its standards." Fong told me that a dozen people reviewed the piece
before it was published, including another staffer of Asian descent
(presumably to provide racial sensitivity vetting). Not one person said
at the time that it failed to meet the Crimson's standards.
"I was disappointed by the apologies," Fong said. Welcome to the craven
and politically expedient world of 21st century journalism, kid. It's a
place where truth takes a back seat to "tolerance," non-conformists are
neutered, and editors have turned into community handkerchief-bearers
whose primary mission is to pacify the cheerless ranks of the
JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.
03/21/01: Hollywood’s Bush-bashers
03/16/01: Why is trial involving marathon torture session by gays against a teen being ignored?
03/14/01: George W. Gore?
03/12/01: Ralph & George & Fannie & Freddie
03/08/01: Sen. Robert Byrd, ex-Klansman
02/28/01: Backstreet Boy’s off-key crusade
02/23/01: Don’t fund dubious reading programs
02/21/01: Freedom and "the Freak"
02/16/01: Mr. Bush, give back this church
02/14/01: Torricelli turns on his friends
02/12/01: The FICA tax fakeout
02/07/01: In search of honorable men
02/05/01: Ally McBeal’s trophy baby
02/01/01: Mel and Bill: Bosom buddies
01/29/01: Gun shows under fire
01/24/01: American citizenship for sale?
01/22/01: Look who supports AmeriCorps
01/17/01: Some questions about Elaine Chao
01/15/01: What America owes me
01/10/01: Temptation and trash TV
01/05/01: Cop-haters welcome in Hollywood
01/02/01: Ignoring a hate crime in D.C.
12/26/00: Use ultrasound to combat abortion
12/26/00: Pardon Clinton? Just say no!
12/21/00: Smacking down free speech
12/18/00: Brace yourselves for Floridation
12/14/00: Blame enviros for electric mess
12/11/00: UNICEF's deadly mission
12/06/00: The Amish vs. the feds
12/04/00: Downey and the Drug War
11/29/00: Let the sun shine on the Supremes
11/22/00: Peace prize for a murderer?
11/20/00: Baby Boom parents are asleep on the job
11/15/00: Fog horns of the Fourth Estate
11/10/00: Who cares about election fraud now?
11/08/00: Ms. Houston, you have a problem
11/03/00: The Million Mom Murmur
11/01/00: GOP revolutionaries head for the hills
10/27/00: My impeachment referendum
10/25/00: Gore’s Good Daddy Gambit
10/23/00: Tribulations of a dubious 'tribe'
10/20/00: Pharmaceutical butchers of Beijing
10/16/00: How the West was seized
10/12/00: Fight the anti-pesticide pests
10/10/00: Moochers at the multiplex
10/05/00: Pay for your own day care
10/02/00: Not every senior demands a handout
09/27/00: Racial hype at the Olympics
09/25/00: Watch the other Washington
09/20/00: Textbook case of media arrogance
09/18/00: New York: Land of medical pork
09/13/00: Voices from the womb
09/11/00: No cure for generational pain
09/08/00: Notes on a West Coast wilding
09/06/00: Race matters at Washington Post
09/01/00: For those who labor 24/7
08/28/00: There's something about Rudy
08/25/00: A conservative case against Napster
08/22/00: Death Row Marv mocks justice
08/18/00: The party of Maxine Waters
08/14/00: "Make-A-Wish" shoots down dreams
08/10/00: Who will stop Bill Lann Lee?
08/07/00: Emily Dickinson's lesson for rude drivers
08/03/00: Leave the slogans behind
07/31/00: Hey, GM: Build cars, not quotas
07/28/00: Stop milking The Juice
07/24/00: Silencing Jeff Jacoby
07/21/00: Score another one for TV execs who want to keep us brain-dead
07/17/00: Can somebody say McStupid?
07/12/00: Beware of Ugly Building Syndrome
07/10/00: The miracle of a lead pencil
07/07/00: Partying on the people’s dime
06/29/00: When "Indians" exploit their own
06/23/00: Kids in a public school daze
06/21/00: Fed up with Fannie and Freddie
06/19/00: D.C.'s gag order for Christians
06/16/00: Dads, daughters, and PETA's spoilsports
06/13/00: Tune out Eminem's pitiful "poetry"
06/07/00: "Pained" Dem leader Torricelli deserves to feel some; Why hasn't he?
06/05/00: Tom Green's hidden health-care lesson
06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line"
(or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes
© 2001, Creators Syndicate