Kimmel told the kids that the United States owed China around $1.3 trillion in debt and solicited their responses. A young blonde haired lad replied, “Shoot cannons all the way over and kill everyone in China.”
Kimmel, dumbfounded, giggled and replied, “Kill everyone in China, that’s an interesting idea.”
The child can’t be held responsible for the remark. We doubt that he, or any of his other young friends, have given much thought to the national debt, the government shutdown, or even about China. Even many adults don’t understand these complex issues. Doubtless, the youngster must have heard similar remarks amongst friends and family.
Kimmel’s thoughtless response was shameful. He should have repudiated the statement and provided some positive guidance instead. It could be interpreted that he thought it was a good idea.
But the real responsibility belongs to his superiors at ABC Entertainment, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Corporation. Such a company that provides entertainment to a global market should always have in mind the business sense to maintain positive and constructive relations worldwide. How could anyone managing such a global corporation think that broadcasting such an incitement to mass murder was funny? Especially against the most populous nation in the world? As a pre-recorded show, a production manager and several people up the line had to have reviewed and approved the skit before it was broadcast. Kimmel and every one of those managers should have been aware that broadcasting such a thing was unacceptable. What has gone wrong with the house that the mouse built? The National OCA filed a complaint with the FCC stating that ABC Entertainment has utilized children to spread hate and incite genocide.
Early this week, ABC Entertainment apologized in writing to the Chinese American 80-20 PAC, and to OCA National. Kimmel also apologized. The apologies were welcomed, but seemed perfunctory. The broadcast and subsequent lack of action (for almost 2 weeks) required a greater effort and a demonstrative act of true regret.
On Thursday, October 31, 2013 Jimmy Kimmel, wearing a white T-shirt underneath his blue jacket with the large Chinese character for “Peace” met with Chinese American protesters and asked for forgiveness. He apologized again, and folded his hands, and bowed to the audience of Chinese and Chinese American protesters, then stated that he only had love in his heart for the Chinese people, claiming that he is a comedian who works to make people laugh.
This more demonstrative act of contrition has had a positive reception. We now wait for a similar act of sincere contrition from the management of ABC Entertainment. The management of ABC Entertainment is accountable for this cruel episode, and their sincere apology still needs to be rendered.
On November 1, 2013, San Jose Councilman Hanson Chu hosted rally in the San Jose City Hall Plaza to hold a Community Rally Against Hate Speech and Violence in our Communities. Congresswoman Judy Chu and Congressman Michael Honda, and other Asian politicians were scheduled to attend the rally.
Well into the 20th Century, violence and threats were often directed against Chinese immigrants and Chinese American citizens who were powerless to defend ourselves. Many met violent deaths in places like Seattle, Washington, Eureka, California, and Rock Springs, Wyoming. These tragic incidents occurred with the active participation of government officials and other leading members of local communities so the perpetrators were rarely if ever punished for these murders. The California Supreme Court in the 1854 case of People v. Hall even made it completely legal to murder Chinese and other non-whites by not allowing three Chinese witnesses to testify in court in a murder case. Look the case up for yourself. Let’s remember this violent and sordid past before saying it’s a joke get over it as so many people are prone to to nowadays.
Thankfully, the laws and attitudes have changed and Chinese Americans are as proudly American as anyone else in our great country. However, we must continue to stand and defend ourselves and call out instances of prejudice when they occur.
A petition to the White House has been submitted to protest against the ABC broadcast: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/investigate-jimmy-kimmel-kids-table-government-shutdown-show-abc-network/tLxzbBjg
Since this requires 100,000 signatures within a 30-day period, usually this is very difficult to achieve. However, this issue has created such an uproar that we already have over 69,000 signatures and we have until 11/18/13 to reach the goal. So there is a good chance to achieve the 100,000 signatures, then President Obama must respond to the petition. So be sure to sign this petition (to sign, you need to create an account, which you can do at the website).