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Taking Kenneth Eng to Task

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Kenneth Eng, the twenty-three-year-old writer fired from Asian Week for his article “Why I Hate Blacks,” (an incredibly stupid list of reasons why he dislikes African-Americans) is an immature, irrational, angry, attention-starved, agitator with a huge chip on his shoulder. Sure, prejudice against Asians exists, is rarely taken as seriously as prejudice against other minority groups, and is often overlooked—but racism does not negate racism, and hatred does not erase hatred.

Eng argues in another article that NYU discriminated against him while he was an undergraduate there. He writes that, in his opinion, the white students in his film class feared what was different from them. I think everyone has been guilty of this at some point in his/her life, regardless of ethnicity (and anybody who denies this is either an amazing human being, or an awful liar)—and I think Eng suffers big-time from the fear he accuses others of having.

Growing up Asian-American in very segregated Boston (although I’m sure all the Massachusetts liberals will vehemently deny this), I have been discriminated against plenty of times myself. Sometimes I still experience discrimination in New York City, from all sorts of people—including other Asians—but responding to racism by hating everybody does not solve the problem. How can one judge an entire race of people based on the ignorant actions of a few? Doesn’t this sort of judgment lower the person making it to the same level as the few ignorant perpetrators he opposes? 

Eng needs to grow up and realize that life isn’t easy. Just because he doesn’t always get his way, he shouldn’t blame it on being Asian and try to play the race card. Of course, he’s entitled to his opinions and free speech, but it seems that his rants are pathetic attempts to create controversy and publicity for himself.

If all this boiled down to Eng simply being a young, naive kid who wrote this article in an attempt to get a rise out of people, and incite thought and discussion, it would be a little more understandable. Even if he meant his article as a joke (albeit a really bad one) or an Onion-like parody, it would make somewhat more sense. The fact that Eng is unapologetic, and fervently stands by his article and his beliefs—yet is unable to logically justify them—makes me agree with Fox TV’s John Gibson, who called Eng a “nut job.”

Eng may think he is provocative and rebellious, but in my opinion he just comes across as idiotic. My personal theory explaining why his fellow classmates at NYU disliked him? It wasn’t because he’s Asian. It’s because of the attitudes he expresses!



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