Jimmy Kimmel Children's Skit: "We should kill everyone in China"
My heart is burning. It’s burning because I just saw a clip from the Jimmy Kimmel show in which a young 6-year old boy said that “we should kill everyone in China” as a solution to our U.S. national debt problem. What’s worse, Jimmy Kimmel didn’t act to correct him, and he even went on to make more of a joke of it later on in the segment. Here’s the video: http://www.asiancemagazine.com/news/2013/10/25/jimmy-kimmel-in-hot-water-over-racist-chinese-skit%20%E2%80%A6
I’m so troubled by this because it reveals two disheartening things about our country. First, it shows that racism is deep, alive, and well in the United States. I pray for this young boy, because he didn’t know what he was saying. Yet, he picked up this ability to hate from somewhere. Perhaps it was his parents; perhaps it was from seeing nothing but stereotypical images of us Asians in film and television; perhaps it was from his peers or family friends. He got it from somewhere.
Instead of seeing all people as being sacred, and made in the image of God, he learned somewhere that it was o.k. to despise people from cultural groups who were different from himself.
I’m deeply upset that the producers from ABC thought that it was o.k. to air this segment. It seems that Asians and Asian Americans are an acceptable punching bag in our country. Executives from ABC would never allow a segment to air which said something like that about other cultural groups—the outcries of racism would be too great.
I’m also deeply disturbed because of what this Jimmy Kimmel segment says about our country’s detached views towards violence. Every human being is a sacred reflection of God, so much so, that the Apostle John teaches that hating someone in our heart is the same as murder: “All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them” (1 John 3:15 NRSV). Murder begins as hatred in the heart, and so it is tragic that ABC t.v. execs can take it so lightly when a young boy makes fun of killing 1.3 billion people in China.
Think I’m over-reacting? Vincent Chin was a Chinese American who was beaten to death with a baseball bat in 1982 in Detroit, Michigan. Why? Because Chrysler plant superintendent Ronald Ebens and his stepson, Michael Nitz thought that Chin was a “Japanese” person who was to blame for the decline of the American motor industry. Ebens and Nitz served no jail time. They were given three years probation and fined $3,000.
I take this Jimmy Kimmel incident very personally, because hatred towards people in China is only one step removed from hatred—and violence-- towards me, my children, my mother, my brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
As followers of Jesus, we are taught to love all people—especially our enemies. We are also taught to bless those that curse us. Luke 6: 27-28. This is not a sappy love based upon emotion, but a sincere desire that God might extend to them the same unmerited love and heart transformation that He shows us—every day. In this spirit, join me in praying for the young boy on the Jimmy Kimmel skit, Jimmy Kimmel, and all the folks at ABC. And let’s pray for ourselves, too—that God might continue His work of transformation in us.
In this same spirit, I’m thankful that we live in a democracy in which we can freely express our concerns to our government officials and thereby promote change. Please engage our democratic process by signing a petition in protest to the recent Jimmy Kimmel episode: https://sites.google.com/site/boycottjimmykimmelandabc/home
FB: Jesus for Revolutionaries