I know I’m a bit late to this, but I wanted to add my voice to the fray. To recap, KTVU, a local Bay Area news station (confirmed by the NTSB), read on-air, the supposed names of the Asiana flight crew to be the following:
Captain Sum Ting Wong
Wi Tu Lo
Ho Lee Fuk
Bang Ding Ow
Ok. I admit. I totally laughed out loud at the “Ho Lee Fuk” entry. Why? Because it’s funny. I know. It’s stupid and racist and the “foreign names are funny” trope really isn’t that funny to the millions of kids who have been teased because their names sound “funny.” I totally agree. However, a lot of things you know are wrong, but your gut reaction is still to laugh in a “so wrong it’s funny” kind of way. I don’t think that makes you a bad person. (Of course, it’s pretty handy, my self-absolution, but I digress.)
I get it. It’s a prank – and pranks and often comedy, are often very wrong.
However, what I find most racist and unacceptable isn’t the prank itself. It’s the fact that no one read these obviously fake names and thought, “Oh, that can’t be right!”
Even if the NTSB confirmed the information, the names originated from somewhere – and we fail to understand how those obviously phony names could escape detection before appearing on the broadcast.
– Asian American Journalists Association
I get that “foreign names are funny because they’re foreign” thing and that foreign names look weird in American spellings. But you have to be two kinds of stupid to think for even a second that those submitted names are real. And not just two kinds of stupid – racist. Racist for not thinking and blindly just going, “Oh, foreign Asian name.”
I am butchering the explanation. You’ll have to go to a real anti-racist site to get a good explanation of why it’s racist. I will just get on the professional news organization and NTSB’s cases for being Too Fucking Stupid To Live (TFSTL).