korean doctors = robbers? March 27, 2008 1:57 PM   Subscribe

Is it just me or is "Will the Korean doctor rob me blind??" a mildly racist way to start an AskMe post?

His/her question about how IP is enforced internationally is perfectly valid, it seems to be loaded with some assumptions / stereotypes about Korea which, based on the answers provided, are quite unfounded.
posted by randomstriker to Etiquette/Policy at 1:57 PM (91 comments total)

It's poor framing, but going on the rest of the question had the doctor been from Austria he might've asked "Will the Austrian doctor rob me blind?" instead. More a question of usage than racism.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:02 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, the fact that the doctor is Korean is clearly relevant (in fact, central) to the question, so I am not sure that mentioning his nationality could have been avoided in any case. Is there something other than the fact that he is called "the Korean doctor" that you found objectionable?
posted by prefpara at 2:02 PM on March 27, 2008


Well, that the doctor in question is from another country is kind of key to the question; in a question motivated by legal concerns, knowing the jurisidictions involved is probably fairly important; and there's no further specific or implicit references to the doctor's Koreanness, specifically, as being considered the liability or the source of concern.

So maybe there's an element of racial or cultural bias there, but it seems mostly like a maybe slightly sloppy way to lead off the question, by my read at least.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:03 PM on March 27, 2008


What Burhanistan said. Jesus. Pick your battles more carefully.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:03 PM on March 27, 2008


I don't see that as particularly racist but I'm just a southern hillbilly, wtf do I know.
posted by waraw at 2:04 PM on March 27, 2008


The poster is someone pretty new to MeFi/AskMe, so I think maybe dropping him a note might be a good way to point that out. Yeah, could have been framed better but I don't get the feeling the guyw as about to go off on a racist screed and people were pretty okay about just replying to the question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:07 PM on March 27, 2008


Nobody would say, "Will the Austrian doctor rob me blind?" The question would be something like, "What protection does the Austrian legal system offer for intellectual property?" Seriously. The question does seem to me to be mildy, accidentally - perhaps unremarkably - racist, in the sense that it implies that the areas outside the US/Europe are lawless and full of bandits. I'm not sure that the racism is so notable as to require action, but it's there.
posted by cincinnatus c at 2:10 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think the signing of his posts is more offensive than the Korean reference.
posted by cashman at 2:14 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


what's bad about this question, to my mind, isn't really the possible racism. it just seems poorly phrased in that regard. the problem is how much the question is not one for askme. there's one paragraph that clearly outlines the questions:

What should I/my father do? What risks can I avoid and what haven't I thought of? What recourse would I have if we were double-crossed?

one by one:

What should I/my father do?

get a lawyer. not just to answer your questions, but to do the things that need doing.

What risks can I avoid and what haven't I thought of?

you've thought of getting ripped off, the risks you haven't thought of are all the rest of them. ask a lawyer to name them.

What recourse would I have if we were double-crossed?

you'd have a lawyer if you went and got a lawyer.

I'm not saying this to be snarky. I'm saying this because expanding a business to become international requires lawyers, and good ones. And if they had one, all these concerns would be worked out.

On the other hand, I suppose the good answers that could come out of that thread would be people who understand international business law telling them how to find and choose an appropriate lawyer.
posted by shmegegge at 2:15 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


eyeballkicks, I would say that. Especially because what seems to be alarming the poster is the prospect handing over all of his father's methods and secrets to a stranger in a country whose laws are not familiar to the poster, not anything specific to Korea. The post only mentions Korea to specify where, legally, things are taking place; it comes up in no other context. So I can easily imagine any other country being substituted for Korea in the question.

It is possible that the poster is racist, but without any real evidence of that, I would be uncomfortable making such a serious accusation. At worst (as far as I can tell) the poster may have been insensitive to the possible effect of his phrasing of his problem.
posted by prefpara at 2:19 PM on March 27, 2008


I agree with eyeballkid.
posted by Stynxno at 2:30 PM on March 27, 2008


eyeballkicks.

wth.
posted by Stynxno at 2:30 PM on March 27, 2008


Ah, I signed up lately with the name eyeballkicks, recently realised that there was a long-time poster called eyeballkid, and have been thinking in the last few days that I should start again with a new $5 to avoid confusion - maybe that's what I have to do.
posted by cincinnatus c at 2:36 PM on March 27, 2008


I think this is a bit over the top.
posted by delmoi at 2:37 PM on March 27, 2008


eyeballkicks, drop me an email, we can change your username if you've only made a few comments. Free of charge. No one wants to be confused with eyeballkid.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:43 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Eyeballkicks is probably right, but I don't think the poster is necessarily racist, nor that his question should be deleted. His phrasing suggests to me that he's possibly racist, but not definitely. Most certainly, he's pretty afraid of those crazy idea-stealin' furriners.
posted by ignignokt at 2:47 PM on March 27, 2008


I had the same reaction, and thought it could be better worded, along the lines of, "How can I help my Dad protect against theft? Need some help with international law and relationships (Korea)." Which is, okay, very wordy.

Or maybe, "How can we set up a contract with a Korean doctor, when we know nothing about Korea's trade policies?"
posted by misha at 2:49 PM on March 27, 2008


What a ridiculous callout. Identify the particular stereotypes you think are at work here, or stop being so over-sensitive.
posted by Dasein at 2:52 PM on March 27, 2008


Never mention any scintilla of demographic detail in any conversation lest it be misconstrued as racist or bigoted in any way.
posted by tkchrist at 2:59 PM on March 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Stavros is our resident expert on Korean [NOT RASCISM], I think. I demand that he rule on this topic!
posted by Eideteker at 3:02 PM on March 27, 2008


randomstriker, did you flag this as racist?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:05 PM on March 27, 2008


"Will the Korean doctor rob me blind??" might be a racist question if "Korean" referred only to the doctor's ancestry.

Since it refers to the doctor's location, it could only be racist if the country was irrelevant to the question.

Since the particular country is clearly relevant to intellectual property issues, it's not irrelevant to the question.

Therefore it's not a racist question. QED, ergo elk.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:09 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's as racist as you want it to be. For me, that means not at all.
posted by rocket88 at 3:11 PM on March 27, 2008


Nobody would say, "Will the Austrian doctor rob me blind?" The question would be something like, "What protection does the Austrian legal system offer for intellectual property?" Seriously.

Have you spoken to everybody? Every English speaking person on the face of the Earth?

"Will the [nationality] doctor rob me / my father blind?" is a slightly over-the-top way of saying "What protection does the [nation] legal system offer for intellectual property?". Maybe the asker's writing style is slightly over-the-top by default. Maybe they had a certain tone in mind when writing, and it didn't come across well to some people in text form. That's as plausible an explanation as a subtle form of racism.

If I were feeling like being a bit over-the-top, I might very well say the phrase "Will the American / Lithuanian / Portugese doctor rob me blind?". I have nothing against Americans, Lithuanians, or Portugese.
posted by CKmtl at 3:12 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


the other day i was beamed up by some hot aliens who needed another human to man their harem since Capt. Kirk has ED, but then I overheard one say something about my being an 'earthling' so i got pissed and refused to go.
posted by dawson at 3:17 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


eyeballkicks.

wth.


Seriously.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:18 PM on March 27, 2008


eyeballkicks, drop me an email, we can change your username if you've only made a few comments. Free of charge. No one wants to be confused with eyeballkid

WHAT
THE
FUCK

JESSAMYN?
posted by eyeballkid at 3:19 PM on March 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


(i kid, of course)

(i kid, you kicks-- ha!)

(what was this thread about again?)

"Will the Korean doctor rob me blind??"

(oh, yeah, the answer is 'yes, hide your wallet.')
posted by eyeballkid at 3:23 PM on March 27, 2008


Will doctor eyeballkid rob me blind?
posted by JanetLand at 3:25 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's usually charitable to give someone the benefit of the doubt on things like this, when a plausible alternate explanation exists (i.e., one that ISN'T RACIST).
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:26 PM on March 27, 2008 [3 favorites]


Is it just me[?]


The consensus answer appears to be "yes," randomstriker. Hope you found this thread helpful.
posted by dersins at 3:36 PM on March 27, 2008


I'm inclined to give the poster the benefit of the doubt, but yeah, the lead-in question is a little alarmist and could have been phrased better. Nationality + suspected unsavory behavior + zealous punctuation = potential to be interpreted as racism.

But it is a step up from KOREAN DOCTOR IS KOREAN. NOOOO HE BE STEALIN MY IDEAS!!
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:46 PM on March 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


It's as racist as you want it to be. For me, that means not at all.
posted by rocket88 at 5:11 PM on March 27 [+] [!]


Heh, unintentionally eponysterical.
posted by ignignokt at 3:52 PM on March 27, 2008 [2 favorites]


Will doctor eyeballkid rob me blind?

No, but doctor slitttyeyeballkid might.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:54 PM on March 27, 2008


Stavros is our resident expert on Korean [NOT RASCISM], I think. I demand that he rule on this topic!

Well, the poster may or may not have prejudices with regard to people from other countries and cultures. Who knows? Regardless, the way he or she phrased their question may be clumsy, but I don't think it's even mildly racist.

The truth is that doing business with and in Korea, for non-Koreans, is something to be pursued with some caution or at least foreknowledge of the cultural and business-cultural norms one is going to be dealing with. Anyone who has done business in Korea or with Korean nationals will tell you about some of the issues, if you ask, and there are places around the web (like this one) that attempt to give some useful background. It is not by any means universal, and is changing as more and younger Koreans with some knowledge of international business norms are attaining positions of influence in the business community here. But persoanlly, after a decade or so of living in Korea, I would still be extremely cautious in starting a business with a Korean partner, particularly one I did not know personally or was not related to through some social network (alumni, family, etc).

But I'll save all that for the actual question, which I'll get to as soon as I get my coffee. I just woke up.

Can I just say that after my adventures in being called out as racist that Eideteker refers to, I really think that idle, speculative calls of "THAT'S RACIST" are shitty, and force the accused to defend themselves in ways that are very hard to do, other than avowing that they just aren't. I understand the laudable impulse to ferret out [NOT FERRETIST] and shine a light on racism both explicit and implicit, but the level of stress when one is accused of that sort of thing is off the charts, and I think such accusations should not be made lightly. On the upside, one of my most-favorited comments of all time came out of my experience with it, so there's that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:57 PM on March 27, 2008 [9 favorites]


Metafilter: No one wants to be confused with eyeballkid
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:06 PM on March 27, 2008


In order to answer your question, I would have to know if the Korean doctor is Jewish.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:08 PM on March 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


Not to add unecessarily to what may become a pile-on, but to MeTa-up just because an AskMe might possibly be construed as racist is ludicrous. It seems randomstriker wasn't offended himself, and saw it was most likely meant as "a doctor in Korea...", yet brought it to the grey...why?

Burhanistan had it down in the first comment.

I wouldn't say there are even mildly racist stereotypes in there, if you give it a natural reading...it's about IP law in a particular country. If he'd even hinted at "will this Korean doctor rip me off because Koreans rip people off?", there would be a flag-and-move-on situation. But that's not what lukeklein asked.

On a broader note: any mention of a race, culture or geographic location in the same sentence as a defining feature or trait does not automatically equal racism. If you're personally offended, sure, bring it up and explain why. But don't go in search of the drama, mama.
posted by cosmonik at 5:33 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


cosmonik! No internet in Indonesia? I'd given you up for dead. Welcome back.
posted by tellurian at 5:45 PM on March 27, 2008


If he'd even hinted at "will this Korean doctor rip me off because Koreans rip people off?"

Ironically, that's precisely the question (which I admit, the poster wasn't actually asking, directly), that I just tried to address in that thread. *shrugs*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:55 PM on March 27, 2008


It seems randomstriker wasn't offended himself, and saw it was most likely meant as "a doctor in Korea...", yet brought it to the grey...why?

Not to beat up on randomstriker, because regardless of the merit of the callout posting it in Metatalk was the right move to make, but this did follow on the deletion of essentially the same complaint on his part in the askme thread (which was not the right move).
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:58 PM on March 27, 2008


Jesus. Pick your battles more carefully.
Instead of striking randomly, I presume? Might be a tough ask.
posted by nowonmai at 5:58 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Nobody would say, "Will the Austrian doctor rob me blind?" "

That's because everyone knows that "the Austrian doctor" is Freud, and Freud is dead.
posted by klangklangston at 6:12 PM on March 27, 2008


Korean doctors won't usually rip you off...they cut you in on the sale of the organs they harvest from your drugged-up body, and you get a nice meal and hotel room out of the deal.
posted by baphomet at 6:15 PM on March 27, 2008


tellurian writes "cosmonik! No internet in Indonesia?"

RACIST!
posted by orthogonality at 6:18 PM on March 27, 2008


Thanks, tellurian - 'twas hard to carve the MeFi monkey off my back and keep it at bay for so long...
posted by cosmonik at 6:48 PM on March 27, 2008


Heh, unintentionally eponysterical.

That is a horrible article. I don't understand what it was trying to communicate at all.

Just say "This is what the code means, these are its origins and Target obviously screwed up."

What's the point of referencing non-answers from customer service agents at Target? You really expected something other than "Thanks for your feedback. I am not at a paygrade which allows me to answer your question."?

erg
posted by ODiV at 7:13 PM on March 27, 2008


"This is what the code means, these are its origins and Target obviously screwed up."

Well, it's a worse article than that. I don't think it's so bad that Target sells something that could be maybe recognized by .001% of the population as sorta racist code. If you're forbidding "88", you have to also forbid "HH", as well as "BH" and "28" (Blood and Honor, the Hitler Youth Slogan), as well as "14" (for the "14 words"). Oh, and "33" (K x 3 = KKK), 18 (AH = Adolf Hitler) and the ever-popular "23" (W = "white"). In white power numerology, just like other kinds of numerology, just about every number can be twisted to stand for something.

And while your at it, you could yank British Knights shoes for appealing to Crips (BK = Blood Killer). Or you could just go over to the DVD section or something.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:23 PM on March 27, 2008


and the ever-popular "23"

I just knew something was up with Michael Jordan.
posted by ODiV at 8:56 PM on March 27, 2008


Will the Korean doctor rob me blind?
Will a Korean doctor rob me blind?
Will any Korean doctor rob me blind?
Will this Korean doctor rob me blind?
Could this Korean doctor rob me blind?
Could this doctor based in a country with different laws rob me blind?

The OP did say "the", which I think was meant to be akin to "this". And "will" was possibly meant in the context of a modal. It doesn't strike me as racist so much as written quickly (and perhaps without thinking that anyone would see it as racist).
posted by acoutu at 9:01 PM on March 27, 2008


stavros, that website of international business tips is fascinating.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:07 PM on March 27, 2008


I don't think it's so bad that Target sells something that could be maybe recognized by .001% of the population as sorta racist code.

You can list all of the examples you want, but that was some pretty blatantly white nationalist-oriented merchandise. 88 is just a number the same way 666 is just a number. By selling it, they were catering to white nationalists and also helping white nationalists make money. To me, that's wrong.

Oh. Looks like there's a previously for this.
posted by ignignokt at 9:26 PM on March 27, 2008


By selling it, they were catering to white nationalists and also helping white nationalists make money.

Where in the article are you getting that from?
posted by Bookhouse at 9:41 PM on March 27, 2008


I'm not sure they were catering to white nationalists, I think they were just being dumb. About ten years ago, one of the kids in a class I taught showed up with a shirt they had recently gotten at Mervyn's. It had Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck around the Looney Tunes logo, and above all that it said "Loonies BLUNT Humor". I don't think Mervyn's was necessarily catering to dope smoking g's, I think they just import whatever t-shirts seem like they might sell from their various vendors. Where those vendors get their graphics, is anybody's guess. I imagine they probably are not from American graphics shops, and so cultural context is lacking.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:47 PM on March 27, 2008


It is possible that the poster is racist, but without any real evidence of that, I would be uncomfortable making such a serious accusation.

We are all racists, and until we scour ourselves and others of every racist thought we will never be clean and pure. I applaud the poster for his vigilance.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:27 PM on March 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Choose the racist statement:
[ ]Will the Korean doctor rob me blind?
[ ]Will the doctor rob me blind? He's Korean.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:27 PM on March 27, 2008


Choose the racist statement(s):
[ ]Will the Korean doctor rob me blind?
[ ]Will the doctor rob me blind? He's Korean.
[ ]Will the doctor who happens to be in Korea rob me blind like those fucking Jews?
[ ]Will the doctor rob me blind? He's one of those sneaky yellow Korean slant-eyed fuckers.
[ ]Me love you long time.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:47 PM on March 27, 2008 [5 favorites]


88 is just a number the same way 666 is just a number.

Well, yeah. The only difference is how recognisable it is as a code or symbol. I knew all about "18" = AH, mainly due to certain groups in the UK making it popular through its use; HH never occurred to me (and I used to practice gematria, and still find myself converting numbers into letters, and vice-versa).

In the same vein, I dare say more people know the symbolism of "666" as opposed to "88". And this is demonstrated in the preposterousness of "23", and the myriad of connotations that can have for people (and nobody mentioned the Illuminati yet? Sheesh, there's a certain eye in the triangle that will be shedding a golden-apple-flavoured tear right about now).

Maybe Target are just big supporters of counter-terrorism? 8 is also particularly tricky due to its popularity among Chinese and Japanese (NOT NUMBERIST) as a lucky number.

To attain required level of MeFi wise-ass-ness: different things hold different meanings for different people. "NA11" (no, not "Nationalist Alliance"!..."News At").
posted by cosmonik at 12:08 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Choose the racist statement:
[ ]Will the Korean doctor rob me blind?
[ ]Will the doctor rob me blind? He's Korean.


Being charitable, one could call neither statement racist, but simply two cases where the writer has introduced irrelevant data.

On the other hand, choose whether these two statements are equivalent:

1. Will the Korean doctor rob me blind?
2. Will the doctor rob me blind?

Most would probably say no, and that adding the ethnic qualifier imparts a racially pejorative meaning.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:37 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


Where in the article are you getting that from?

I wasn't, but at the very least, the designer is benefiting. I wasn't able to track exactly who that was, but I did come across some interesting stuff:

There was disagreement among white nationalists as to whether or not the 88 was intentional, but Target determined that the '88' is not a result of happenstance.

Some of them loved that Target was selling it, and others feel it poaches sales from truly white nationalist merchants.

Also, white nationalists watch Friends.

For stuff about how meaningful 88 is, check out the old thread.
posted by ignignokt at 12:41 AM on March 28, 2008


but Target determined that the '88' is not a result of happenstance.

Again, I don't see that in the link you provided. All I see there is them saying it didn't come from Dale Jarrett's number, as well as the phrase "it was an innocent mistake." And the fact that Dale Jarrett has 88 as his number suggests that this is a non-issue blown out of proprtion by a customer who'd just seen a video on VH-1 (easy potshot at NASCAR fans as racist aside).
posted by Bookhouse at 1:05 AM on March 28, 2008


I'm sure that Obama would be really impressed with the quality of this discussion of race in America. :(
posted by 1 at 5:03 AM on March 28, 2008


If you look for racism everywhere, you will find it somewhere. That doesn't necessarily mean it's there.
posted by breezeway at 6:36 AM on March 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm sure that Obama would be really impressed with the quality of this discussion of race in America. :(

That's hardly a fair statement to all involved in the discussion, and frankly, it's pretty lazy. In most discussions like this, there are people who get it right, and there are people who don't. If you are going to throw an accusation out there, you should address what it is that you see as being a lack of quality. It's unhelpful to paint everyone in a discussion this size with the same brush.
posted by SpacemanStix at 6:58 AM on March 28, 2008


If you look for racism everywhere, you will find it somewhere. That doesn't necessarily mean it's there.

Bah. It's always there, and you don't need to look for it. Decades of my life I've spent wandering around the fucking planet, and the one thing that is always true is that everybody's racist. It's always there. Just like lust and greed and stupidity and novelty-seeking and the jonesing for all the other shiny attractive things that've always been a part of being human.

Thing is, folks learn to clamber over that shitpile, or they don't. But don't pretend Turd Mountain isn't there.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:10 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


If racism is everywhere, in everyone and every social structure in the world, then isn't the attempt to conquer it a mite quixotic?

If racism is everywhere, it's still better, like I said, not to go searching specifically for it. I have no problem with attacking racism that stands out from the baseline racism present everywhere. But if you search for something that's everywhere, albeit unintentional or societal, you'll find what you're looking for, and it may not be significant. I think that's what happened here.

So yeah, I agree, racism's everywhere in some measure. When things are very or incredibly racist, they stand out. There's no need to search. On the other hand, searching for something that's ubiquitous will always yield results, and those results will usually be insignificant: noise, not signal, as they say.
posted by breezeway at 7:42 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


If racism is everywhere, in everyone and every social structure in the world, then isn't the attempt to conquer it a mite quixotic?

So, too, death and disease. And yet!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:45 AM on March 28, 2008


And yet!

LOVE
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:50 AM on March 28, 2008


I'm pretty sure there was a little more to what I wrote, but no matter; you're pithier. You win.
posted by breezeway at 8:50 AM on March 28, 2008


Yay!
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:53 AM on March 28, 2008


Hey there. I'm the guy that posted the question that set off this whole thread. I am REALLY sorry if I offended anyone. Looking back, leading off my post with "Will the Korean doctor rob me blind" was a very poor choice of words. My bad.

I honestly didn't mean to imply that Koreans are inherently nefarious or untrustworthy (and to Mr. or Ms. Eyeballkicks, I WOULD have asked "Will the Australian doctor rob me blind." Don't presume to know what I would and wouldn't say). I am just this 24 year old guy who's getting into the business world for the first time, and my father asked my opinion on a potentially risky business decision. I wanted to make sure people approaching the question knew it was related to Korean international medical-business affairs.

I definitely should not have rushed through it, nor should i have been so low brow in my choice of attention catching titles, but to all of you mefiers speculating about my intentions, i can tell you categorically and without a doubt that I did not mean to offend anyone, and I apologize if I did. I will choose my words more carefully from now on.

I hope this post is the proverbial tough-actin'-Tinactin to the burning inferno of jock itch that is your reactionary rage (and I don't mean that sarcastically). Everyone, cool your jets.
posted by lukeklein at 9:10 AM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the upside, one of my most-favorited comments of all time came out of my experience with it, so there's that.

Man, I just read through the whole thing. What a shit show.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 9:30 AM on March 28, 2008


Lukeklein, although I'm sure your apology is appreciated by some, it was pretty obvious to many (or at least charitably assumed) that this is where you were coming from. I think it would be a shame if you internalized this in any way that suggests you contribute to serious racism issues in our culture. They do exist, but to give you a public reprimand over things like this is pretty ridiculous.

It's primarily about hearts and intent. Not about whether we are anally aware of how we represent every jot and tittle because it's possible, in theory, to construe it as being racist.

Interestingly, we never seem to have heated discussions about how serious it is to accuse people about things like this, when it could be argued that carelessly calling into question people's character is a pretty significant evil in its own right.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:34 AM on March 28, 2008


Wait, so numerology is racist? Goddamn. I'm so confused.

(backs out of thread avoiding eye contact)
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:36 AM on March 28, 2008


Teasing the Korean.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:50 AM on March 28, 2008


I think it would be a shame if you internalized this in any way that suggests you contribute to serious racism issues in our culture. They do exist, but to give you a public reprimand over things like this is pretty ridiculous.

Thank you everyone that came to my defense. I did not use any explicit racist language in my post, and thankfully the context of my question made my intentions clear, but don't be too hard on randomstriker or eyeballkicks. I can, and will, concede that my lead off was poorly chosen and, for all intents and purposes, stupid -- so stupid in fact that it deserved to be addressed. Sure, I shouldn't have to defend myself against wild accusations of racism, but short of a witch hunt, I think my original title warranted a discussion about it. I'm not internalizing this thread, by any means. All is hunky-dory with THIS guy.

I am a bit disappointed with whoever retitled my question, though. As prefpara said in the beginning, "the fact that the doctor is Korean is clearly relevant (in fact, central) to the question, so I am not sure that mentioning his nationality could have been avoided..." I wanted people that chose to read my post to be aware that I am specifically concerned with Korean Intellectual Property laws. I'd change it myself, but being almost COMPLETELY new to Metafilter, i have no idea where to even begin doing that, so i'm at the mercy of the admins. If someone is so inclined, please change the title to include Korea and medical intellectual property. Pretty please.
posted by lukeklein at 10:04 AM on March 28, 2008


Well, you're new enough that you don't know that you can't go about changing the title or text of your own post; you can certainly drop one of us a line to ask about it (I'm one of the admins, along with mathowie and jessamyn), but that's it.

However, I'm not sure what retitling if any took place, and from what original text. I see there was some sort of edit to the post by jessamyn, yesterday afternoon, but canonical url titles (the descriptive bit after the final slash in the url—in this case, "How-can-I-protect-myself-in-international-business-deals" on your question) have for a long time been set in stone at post time. They don't change to reflect any edits to the Title field (which we occasionally have reason to edit, almost always to fix minor typos), so it doesn't look like your title was ever substantially changed after you posted it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 AM on March 28, 2008


When I saw the 88 clothes, I assumed that it was people reppin' Super 88, the awesome line of pan-Asian grocery stores. Anyway, isn't 88 lucky or something?
posted by klangklangston at 12:02 PM on March 28, 2008


I'm not sure what retitling if any took place

The only edit to the post I made was to take out the website of the company lukeklein was referring to. I didn't change the title at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:46 PM on March 28, 2008


There are 88 keys on a piano, and most of them are white. Coincidence? I think not!
posted by misha at 1:54 PM on March 28, 2008


But some of them are black, misha. And isn't that the point-- ebony and ivory live together in perfect harmony side by side on my piano keyboard.

Oh lord, why don't we?
posted by dersins at 2:04 PM on March 28, 2008


Those of you who only have to think about racism when the issue is posed on metafilter simply can't understand why the question of its possible racist overtones was even asked in the first place.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 4:17 PM on March 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


One doesn't need to answer "yes" to the question "are there racist overtones to this question?" to understand that racism is a real problem. Nor does understanding that racism is a real problem mean that every perceived glint of a racist overtone is a bona fide racist overtone.
posted by CKmtl at 6:23 PM on March 28, 2008


lukeklein wrote: and to Mr. or Ms. Eyeballkicks, I WOULD have asked "Will the Australian doctor rob me blind."

But eyeballkicks' comment was whether you would ascribe such to an AUSTRIAN doctor! You ain't even in the right hemisphere! A-ha! I knew there was something racist in the way you asked that question about Koreans, and now you reveal your TRUE colours*...I've had it up to the corks on my hat with you...you...AUSTRALIAN-ISTS!

* yeah that's right, 'colour' spelled with a 'u'...what?! WHAT!?!
posted by cosmonik at 10:34 PM on March 28, 2008


Is it just me or is "Will the Korean doctor rob me blind??" a mildly racist way to start an AskMe post?

Does it make any difference to how one answers the post?

Does MeTaing it accomplish anything other than harassing a poster who is probably not racist, given the worst you can say is "mildly racist" and phrase it as a question?

"Is it just me or..." is a stupid reason to post a MeTa. If you have to as, it is just you. Be more charitable in your reading of others' words, pull out that stick you have wedged so deeply up your ass, and move on with your life.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:00 AM on March 29, 2008


Er, I address that rant more toward the nigh-endless stream of twits who make these "Oh woe is AskMe, someone said something mildly discomforting" MeTa posts than the poster of this particular thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:06 AM on March 29, 2008


I think some people around here are too quick to assume the worst about the poster of a poorly worded question.
posted by Daddy-O at 7:17 PM on March 29, 2008


As Gandhi said, "An eyeballkicks for an eyeballkid leaves the whole world robbed blind."
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:52 AM on March 30, 2008


eyeballkicks do you want a new username? if so email me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:35 AM on March 30, 2008


"pokeintheeye" might be a good one, if s/he's interested in keeping the eyeball theme alive.

There was a 1950s movie that featured a giant, roving, people-killing eyeball. I wonder if it had a name...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:51 AM on March 30, 2008


Hah! 88 is a morse code procedural signal that means "love and kisses". And has meant such since before Hitler was born. Silly whiteys.
posted by oats at 12:01 PM on March 31, 2008


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