Bob Beckel, who last week used a racist slur in a long rant against those he characterized as dangerous and untrustworthy Chinese people, has apologized. Sort of.
This morning, the Fox News The Five co-host spent less than a minute addressing his usage of the slur “Chinaman” on air, in which he apologized for the slur, but “refuse[d] to apologize… to China.” (Transcript and video after the jump).
Beckel’s apology — which triggered outcry from this blog, the Asian American community and several Asian American political representatives including California State Senator Ted Lieu, Congressman Mike Honda, and California Assemblyman Phil Ting — leaves much to be desired. While Beckel did apologize, he apologized for offending without providing any context as to what he said or why people are offended by his use of a racist slur. He did not in fact admit to using a slur at all.
More damningly, Beckel couches his sort of-apology in a larger comment about how he does not apologize to the Chinese government. This juxtaposition creates the impression that his repeated racially-tinged sinophobic commentary is perfectly justified, and further implies that those who were offended by Beckel’s use of the slur “Chinaman” and/or who are otherwise criticizing him are “China apologists”; this unfortunate parallel draws upon the centuries-old political narrative of Asian Americans as inscrutable, untrustworthy, deceptive, and disloyal by asserting that “offended” Asian Americans are offended because Beckel has deigned to criticize a country and government to whom we are more loyal than the United States. This invocation of the Perpetual Foreigner stereotype is not only disrespectful to the many commentators (myself included) who have made the effort to lay out the reasons why Beckel’s commentary — and specifically his use of a racist slur — is offensive, but his half-hearted non-apology also insults our status as Asian Americans.
Instead, Beckel’s commentary reinforces the same racist notions of Asian Americans as disloyal and foreign that disallowed members of our community from naturalizing as citizens for the better of a century, and that justified the internment of the Japanese American families among us.
Join me in redoubling our efforts to tell Fox News (@FoxNews) and Bob Beckel (@RobertGBeckel) that this kind of anti-Asian hatespeech will not be tolerated, by signing and sharing this petition: Call for a network apology and Beckel’s resignation. This absurd and lame non-apology just doesn’t cut it given Beckel’s history of repeated usage of anti-Asian slurs. We deserve not only an unqualified apology that isn’t wrapped into more sinophobic and Perpetual Foreigner rambling, but in light of his repeated usage of such terminology we deserve for Beckel to face disciplinary action from Fox News and have his position as co-host terminated.
SIGN/SHARE THIS PETITION: Call for a network apology and Beckel’s resignation
Read more: (AsAm News) Fox News host issues half-hearted apology for racial slur
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Since 2001, Reappropriate has been the web's foremost Asian American activism, identity, feminism, and pop culture blog!