June 16, 2008

Obama says Asians are short

Thanks to Jun from 8Asians who posted this.

At around 3:00 into this interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kimmel asks if he can dunk, and Obama says:
There's pretty good basketball in Hawaii but the only thing is, since obviously there are a lot of folks from Asian ancestry in Hawaii, generally the teams aren't as tall. So I was going down and posting up quite a bit.

Not too long ago, the 44's had a similar discussion on the "short Asian" stereotypes here.

I am disappointed that Obama would say something like this, much as I was disappointed when he responded to 80/20. On the 8A website, I mentioned that maybe it's a Hawaii thing; I've noticed that people from Hawaii have a different way of talking about race as people on the Mainland. One would still think that Obama would've been more sensitive to the mainland issues here. From the video, it looks like he wasn't trying to make a joke, but it's a bit strange that a major party nominee would say this, especially given the people of different colors within his family tree.

Anyway, it won't change my vote, but it does make me think about how far society needs to progress in talking about Asian American race issues.

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