HomeBlogsHuffington Post: This is Personal-- #KTVU #Asiana Pilot Name Gaffe. @AAJA, @PaulCheung630

Huffington Post: This is Personal– #KTVU #Asiana Pilot Name Gaffe. @AAJA, @PaulCheung630


Paul CheungIf you’re not part of the dominant culture, you’ve probably heard it. Asian Americans have heard it, Pacific Islanders have heard it. African American, Latinos, Native Americans, gays, women–we’ve all most likely heard it.

If you’ve ever had the guts to speak out when you’re offended by something and tried to educate a friend, a co-worker, an acquaintance or complete stranger, you’ve likely heard it.

“You’re being too sensitive,” goes the common retort.

That’s what Paul Cheung has been hearing about his campaign to educate the public about why the airing of ridiculous and offensive names of the pilots by KTVU was offensive.

Cheung is president of the Asian American Journalists Association. He’s received e-mails suggesting that he and AAJA need to “lighten up.”

We all come from a different place and are shaped by our different experiences. Unfortunately for some of us, part of that experience has been hurtful.

Cheung wrote an interesting piece for the Huffington Post  about how his experiences shaped his reaction to the KTVU incident. Give it a read. Even if you don’t agree with it, perhaps you can understand a little better.

If you do, something will have been accomplished in bringing a little more understanding to the world.



  1. From Tyrone Liu via Facebook RE: This is personal. Asiana Pilot Gaffe: I've probably been here longer and from a younger age than Paul, and I have never in my 40+ yrs felt to be fully accepted as an "American". The only times I feel accepted (temporarily) by my fellow "Americans" are when I get my Jury Duty summons and when I pay taxes….and even then I get the sideways glances.

    It doesn't matter that I dress like them, talk like them, eat like them. It doesn't matter that I have the same civic duties and obligations as them, or that I used to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in school or sing The Star-Spangled Banner at the opening of sports competitions and other events just like them while saluting the same flag as them. It doesn't matter that I have sworn to defend the same country against all enemies foreign or domestic as them. It doesn't matter that I probably know more about some of "their" things/history/language/whatever then they do or am arguably better at some of those things then them.

    I don't LOOK like them. And they hold that against me and use it for their amusement. I am not here for their amusement or to be taken advantage of or be abused.

    I have lived in a number of places across this land (USA), and have joined various groups on Facebook that reminisce about the "past". A common thread that I have noticed in those groups is that many of them used to be predominantly or "exclusively" white communities….and then changed….and many of the members are not shy about how they don't like that minority groups moved in and "ruined" their idyllic towns. They forget that THEY also moved in and changed someone else's past too. Fortunately, there are some kind, tolerant, and accepting, open-minded people ("Americans") to be found in most communities across the USA and in Facebook groups.


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