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On Yellow Face, Racial Parody, and White Denial

The fight over the Seattle Gilbert and Sullivan Society production of The Mikado, that just closed it’s summer run, has been noisy and contentious. So noisy and contentious that it earned a special segment on the MSNBC show, Melissa Harris-Perry, this past weekend.

What’s all the noise about? Yellow face. Yellow face refers to a form of racist caricature wherein non-Asian actors wear stereotypically Asian costumes and styles, and speak in ridiculous accents for laughs. Yellow face is the anti-Asian version of black face.

The controversy went wide when Seattle Times columnist Sharon Pian Chan went after the …

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What They’re Saying When They Talk About Us

From January 1 through June 30 of 2013 (26 weeks) ChangeLab, an Asian American-led racial justice laboratory and the publisher of this blog, conducted a study of what are known as the Sunday political shows in order to learn what they’re saying about Asian Americans. The study focused on what are known as the Big Five Sunday shows: Face the Nation (CBS), Fox News Sunday (Fox), Meet the Press (NBC), State of the Union (CNN), and This Week With George Stephanopoulos (ABC).

In addition, we also studied two MSNBC political talk programs, Melissa Harris Perry and Up with Chris Hayes/Steve