30 Hmongs In A House And KDWB: That's Some Fucked Up Shit From Some Fucked Up White People (Who Should Get Their Ass Fired)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A friend of mine told me about this - and while yes - I could talk about stereotypes, racial bias, the still limited avenues for POC in real institutions of power, and the connections between them - I figure let's just call this what it really is (and just in case you forgot I'll say it again for emphasis):

That's some fucked up shit by some fucked up White People.

And we all know it.

From The Pioneer Press

A song parody that recently aired on KDWB's Dave Ryan in the Morning Show has created a stir. During the station's morning show last week, listeners were asked to send in title suggestions for a song that the show's personalities would have less than an hour to write. Steve "Steve-O" LaTart, the show's producer, said a Hmong listener texted in the titled "30 Hmongs in a House" and LaTart proceeded to pen words set to Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven." In his parody, LaTart sang about how Hmongs live like "sardines" with no room for a couch because they sleep on the floor. He also made reference to Hmong women getting pregnant by 16 with "seven kids by 23" and "over the hill by 30." By Wednesday morning, the show's Facebook page was filled with comments about the song, including those who found it offensive. When asked to comment on the controversial parody, LaTart referred all questions to the station's program director, Rob Morris. Morris did not return our calls, but this statement was posted shortly before noon on the Dave Ryan and the Morning Facebook page.
Lyrics From The MPR Site And Article
No room for a couch 'Cause we sleep on the floor One big group of Vangs Hmong family of twenty-four Kids work in St. Paul Hang out at the mall 'Cause I know they dwell so well Thirty Hmongs in a house Hmongs get pregnant early First baby at 16 Seven kids by 23 Over the hill by 30 Like sardines they live Packed in a two-room house with the kids But you know they age quite well They be Hmongs.
Twin Cities Asian American Journalists Association Response
Last week, one of the Twin Cities' top-ranked radio stations, KDWB-FM 101.3, featured a parody song on its morning program that has offended some members of the Asian-American community. The two-minute song by radio personality Steve-O mocked housing issues and teen pregnancy in the Hmong community. The song, which has gone viral, was part of an occasional segment on the popular "Dave Ryan in the Morning Show." After soliciting listener-suggested song titles, Steve-O writes and sings a song, which is often meant to be in jest. While the Minnesota chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association acknowledges the role of parody, we've heard from members of the community who found these remarks offensive and in poor taste. We know KDWB has a large Hmong listenership. We urge the station to take heed when promoting material that stereotypes and marginalizes a large segment of its fan base. It appears that the station recognizes the legitimacy of these concerns. We commend KDWB for addressing the situation. The station has issued a statement (which can be read below). It has also promoted a healthy discussion on its Facebook page, where many Hmong listeners are chiming in with comments. In regards to Asian-American issues, we hope AAJA can serve as a resource to KDWB's programming in the future.
And Just In Case You Were Wondering Here's The KDWB FB Response
KDWB-FM and the Dave Ryan in the Morning Show are very proud that members of the Hmong community are some of our most loyal listeners and fans. Our listeners understand that The Dave Ryan in the Morning show is a comedy show meant to entertain, and that much of its content is parody. While we've received positive feedback from many Hmong listeners who let us know that they found the song in question very humorous, we apologize to anyone we may have inadvertently offended, as this was never our intent.