Racial Comments

This week seemed to be one of those weeks where I managed to see random racial comments get thrown out, either on the internet or in person. Not exactly sure why, but I felt this calling to talk about it briefly. You probably heard Alexandra Wallace’s comments with regards to Asians at UCLA. Not sure what really prompted it (though I’ve heard random rumors here and there), but it seems rather idiotic to do so in such a public forum like YouTube and while at a university where nearly 40% of the student population is Asian. Though, I’m not going to completely deny that everything she said was false, but regardless, I’m pretty sure wasn’t smart. I can understand if she’s was trying to be humorous or be comedic (though awkward to do it), but it doesn’t seem like it was the intent of her rant. I will admit though that death threats by others weren’t really warranted either. To inform and educate would have been far better than to try to run her out and let her maintain that stereotype.

Then came Saturday afternoon. I went to a M:TG tournament down in Renton to help out a friend. I was just sitting around talking and playing cards with some guys, then I hear this slam of cards on a table and cards flying into a wall. It scared the heck out of me. I turn behind me and I see this fairly old guy frustrated and pissed off that this guy had beat him in the last round of the tournament (though, he had no chance of making the top eight due to tiebreakers). People that had surrounded the match eventually dispersed and the guy started picking up his cards. Then while I was just flipping through my own cards, I hear the guy say under his breath, “(Something something)… Damn Asians… (Something something something).” I call over the tournament judge and told him what I had heard because it was pretty inappropriate. The judge goes over to talk to him. Eventually, he goes around to a group of other guys and proceeds to make further comments. It was along the lines of “Asians aren’t honorable, they all play like Saito (only M:TG players would understand that reference), they’re cheaters.” A bunch of us talked to the judge after he left and the judge just sighed in disappointment after hearing this.

I guess it’s interesting what prompted each of these events. They were both triggered by frustration of some sort. Was it really necessary to make those comments? Obviously not. Anger does make us to saying stupid things. We all screw up. It happens. But especially the latter, the fact that the guy eventually cooled down before continuing to make these racial comments was upsetting. In the end, it made the individual be looked upon poorly since he’s stereotyping Asians as a whole because of one individual’s actions. It’s like saying all Germans are ruthless and heartless and are like Hitler. Well, maybe that’s too extreme but I think you get the idea. It’s especially disappointing because I’ve heard from a couple of friends that he is supposedly a nice individual. He’s also a judge himself, so he’s been a part of the M:TG community too. However, given some of his past history, it’s really hard to not put judgment on him for the things he’s done and this episode as well.

There was a video with regards to Wallace’s comments. While we all want justice, there’s also the importance of forgiveness as well. You need both. You can’t just say, “Whatever, it’s fine.” You have to inform the individual of their wrongdoing. But at the same time, you need to show forgiveness because that is how they will stop their stereotypes of different racial groups and any healing for the pain or struggles that they may have had with those groups.

In any case, all we can do is pray and hope for change, healing and transformation for these two.

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