Thursday, March 01, 2007

Asian-American newspaper attacked for anti-black column

Leslie Fulbright:

A San Francisco weekly newspaper that bills itself as "The Voice of Asian America" is facing harsh criticism from that very community for publishing a column Friday titled "Why I Hate Blacks."

In the column, AsianWeek regular contributor Kenneth Eng listed "reasons" to discriminate against African Americans. The piece has been pulled from the newspaper's Web site, but the print edition of the free paper, owned by the politically influential Fang family, was still available in news racks Monday.

Eng called himself an "Asian supremacist" in January in another installment of the column, which runs under the label "God of the Universe."

Prominent Asian Americans immediately condemned Eng's current column.

"The hate is based on ignorance and is very similar to the rationales that the KKK uses against African Americans," said Henry Der, director for 22 years of Chinese for Affirmative Action and the former state administrator for Emeryville's schools.

"What gives me the greatest concern was AsianWeek's judgment in printing such a piece out of context," Der said. "It is so trite and hateful, it doesn't speak well for the publication."

San Francisco NAACP President Amos Brown, who heard about the column from a Chronicle reporter, was speechless at first.

"I can't believe this," Brown then said. "I am surprised the Fangs, who have supposedly been involved in interracial-understanding issues, would publish something like this. I am flabbergasted. We can't afford for these kind of racist flames to be fueled in that kind of setting."

AsianWeek issued a statement regretting "any offense caused by the one opinion piece," and Editor in Chief Samson Wong declined further comment.

Editor at large Ted Fang did not return phone calls seeking comment. Members of his family, who are Chinese American, have owned a number of local publications, including AsianWeek and the Independent. They bought the Examiner in 2000 and sold it in 2004.

Ted Fang's brother James, who is president of the paper, has spent more than a decade on the BART Board of Directors and previously worked as international trade director for former San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan.

Eng's "reasons" for hating black people include:

-- "Blacks hate us. Every Asian who has ever come across them knows that they take almost every opportunity to hurl racist remarks at us."

-- "Contrary to media depictions, I would argue that blacks are weak-willed. They are the only race that has been enslaved for 300 years."

-- "Blacks are easy to coerce. This is proven by the fact that so many of them, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, tend to be Christians."

Eng, who is in his early 20s, according to material on the Internet promoting his science fiction writing, started at AsianWeek in November after moving from the East Coast. In 2004, for an online magazine called Down in the Dirt, he wrote about experiencing racism as an Asian American student at New York University after he "expressed my negative views on America, religion and African Americans."

Other AsianWeek columns of Eng's -- including "Proof That Whites Inherently Hate Us" and "Why I Hate Asians" -- have resulted in criticism. In the first, he complained about the scarcity of Asian heroes in the media. In the second, he described Asian Americans as apathetic, brown-nosing and lacking in cultural pride.

Eng could not be reached for comment Monday.

Why I Hate Blacks, By Kenneth Eng

Op-Ed Piece Highlights Black-Asian Tensions

AsianWeek column condemned as racist

'Hate Blacks' writer dismissed by AsianWeek

Article Scolding Asian Racist, Misses Key Ingredient


At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eng sounds like an old fashioned hater to me. Can't say I really blame the man. He actually makes a few good points.


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