Thursday, September 18, 2008

De-humanizing Words

The McCain Train came through our area today, and the Mister and I have been recently surprised to find out how few people are aware of what I'm sharing with you this evening. For those of you who don't know, the Mister is Asian Pacific Islander, so this topic has been well-known to he and I; we just thought the rest of the country knew as well.

This video, for us, is not an easy one to watch. The "G Bomb" is a word not taken lightly in our household, and for darn good reason. We were both amazed to learn what a deep history the word "gook" has. As parents adopting Haitian sons, we were stunned to learn that the word "Gook" actually took form in Haiti, yet another way in which the Haitian people have been dehumanized.

The article Irwin refers to in the San Fran Chronicle can be found here

I'm not telling anyone how to vote or who to vote for. I will, however, feel free to share what issues and concerns are important to me, and my family, in this election, because 1) I'm blessed with Freedom of Speech and 2) it's my blog :) I don't expect anyone to share the same concerns/issues that I hold, as I certainly hope no one expects me to share theirs. What is wonderful though is the fact that we can have these forums to discuss our opinions in civilized manners.

My family is a wee bit more racially mixed than your current average American family. I am caucasian and my husband is Asian; we have one caucasian child; we have two children who are Asian-Caucasian; we have two Haitian children who society calls "black."

We fully recognize that our children will be exposed to racism. The Mister has shared with me all of the horrible, dehumanizing things he has been called because of the color of his skin, or the slant of his eyes. Traits that made him "less than" in the eyes of others. Horrible dehumanizing names will someday be spoken in reference to the beings of my own children. As a mother, this BREAKS MY HEART in a way that I cannot even put into words.

I will teach my children to rise above this. To hold their heads up and with Christian love in their hearts, to accept those who offer hate. Maybe they'll even be able change the minds and hearts of those who use such terms.

I just don't want the President of the United States of America to be one person my children need to work on.


Katy said...

Oh, Sarah, I was sadly unaware of the use of these horrific terms by Senator McCain.. What is also troubling to me, though, is that now I truly don't have anyone to vote for in the election. I give you another you-tube video clip address.. about Barack Obama's blatant racism towards Caucasian people and hatred of America, not to mention the knowledge (not included) of his pro-abortion stance, among other things. I cannot fathom either of these men leading the country my daughter grows up in. =(
Don't feel bad if you choose not to post this on your you mind if I decide to use your clip on mine?

Jen said...

McCain is an idiot, plain and simple.

Sarah & Crew said...

Katy, I certainly don't mind you posting the clip here on your blog :)


Beau said...

Hi Sarah,

I watched both clips mentioned. I despise things being taken out of context. All I have to say is that I am so excited to potentially have a breath of fresh air and FINALLY some diversity leading this country! Enough with the same old same old!

Love ya,

Anonymous said...

I am sorry. that is awful.

Anonymous said...

He does have a child of color that he adopted.

Jen said...

Obama is not "pro abortion". He is "pro choice" there is a difference, a huge difference. He is not advocating that abortion be used as a form of birth cotrol, he is advocating that women should be entitled to make decisions in regards to their own bodies.

What McCain said was wrong, what Obama said was taken completely out of context.

Jen said...

Ok, I have to say one more thing....are the American people seriously casting their votes based on the fact that Obama has a Muslim name? that he attended a Muslim school as a child? or based on what his pastor said??? OMG....sad, very sad.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth...

“I will continue to condemn those who unfairly mistreated us,” McCain said in a statement released Feb. 21. “But out of respect to a great number of people for whom I hold in very high regard, I will no longer use the term that has caused such discomfort… I apologize and renounce all language that is bigoted and offensive, which is contrary to all that I represent and believe.”

We hope that people understand that the senator was referring very specifically to the men who beat and tortured him for five and a half years in a prisoner of war camp,” McCain campaign spokesperson Dan Schnur said on Friday. “His language in no way represents his feelings toward the people in Vietnam or the Vietnamese American community.”

AsianWeek Feb. 24, 2000

Aves @ Call of the Phoebe said...

I so needed to read this post today...I have had a rough conversation with a co-worker...actually darn right scary!!!

Thanks for the boost


Stephen said...

"For what it's worth" the guy changed his tune only AFTER he began his race for president and potential votes didn't like his tune. Furthermore, to quote from a well-spoken Michelle on her blog:

"I don't care that he made his gook reference 8 years ago and that he claimed he meant it specifically for his interrogators. I don't care that he apologized for it under political pressure and a concern for a potential APIA swing vote in the CA primary while running for President in 2000. If currently he is continuously going to invoke his POW years and thrust before us images of his and America's enemy, and in doing so transplant Vietnamese faces to embody the word "enemy," then he is opening himself up to a resuscitated examination of his use of the word gook in referring to this enemy. Because what we should care about in helping us decide if this experience indeed makes him fit to be President is his initial, honest, straight-talker response when reporters first called him on it back in 2000: "I hate the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live."

This Mama said...

I know, I watched both clips and I have to say the one on McCain is so very different than the one made on Obama.

The Obama one is typical twisting of comments and I find it to be plain and blatant racism as perpetuates this fear and mistrust of the black man, the black man with a Muslim name. I am literally sick in my stomach after watching it (as I was with the one on McCain, but in a different kind of way).

I really hope that change comes to your country. The rest of the world sits here holding our breath after having watch the USA tank over the past 8 years, watching from the outside and just hoping that everyone sees what is needed for true change.

Anonymous said...

I want to thank everyone for being willing to share their thoughts and opinions. Although our country isn't perfect, its great that we have the ability to share our thoughts, respect others who differ in opinion, and access various sources that help form our opinions.

I'm typically classified under Asian/Pacific Islander and have been called gook before. I'm sooo tempted to make a gook joke in an attempt to be funny but don't want to detract from (or disrespect) the dialogue. Thank you again, I appreciate everyone's opinion.

Well, I better go. I just tried doing something a second time, my wife's way, and now I'm trying a third way- which would be the instruction manual's directions....

=The Mr.

Katy said...

Thank you, Sarah, for being open to posting the Obama clip on your blog.
As far as it being out of context, it seems that could be said about any political clip/ad...I am not saying that everything in that clip is the Gospel truth by any means, but there are too many truths, photos and words straight from Obama's mouth that cannot be ignored. It is not just about that clip, either. Not in my mind..
And to Jen, with all due respect, "pro-choice" allows for lives to be ended. That supports abortion, plain and simple. And no, I for one am certainly not casting my vote based solely on only one problematic issue I have with Obama. It is true that the strong possibility of his Muslim ties leave me fearful of the possibility of association with Al-Quieda (sp?)or even just the hatred of those who don't worship Allah. I would love for our president to be someone who serves Jesus Christ as his true savior. But clearly Obama's "Christianity" and views on America, as well as those towards the Caucasian race, leave MANY concerns in my mind about how he would lead the country.
I also want to note for "This Mama" that I certainly have no fear or mistrust of Obama in any way due to the color of his skin, as you can see by my profile pic I am adopting a little one of the same color. But I am also not going to vote for Obama just because he would bring diversity to the presidency. Nor do I want to vote for McCain at this point..Now that is a delimma. Okay, I am done! Sorry for the long post, but thank you to anyone who took the time to think about my viewpoint. Blessings!

Sarah & Crew said...

Katy, I think it's great that you are willing to state and go to bat for your opinion :) You are welcome to do so here anytime, and I will always post comments, whether I personally agree with them or not, because I think it's good for us to read and try to understand where each other's points of view are coming from :)
Blessings to you, my dear!