THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Raymond Leon Roker Headshot

"Hannah Montana" Needs Some Sensitivity Training

Posted: Updated:

I know, I know, she's only 16, but what's wrong with this chick? If you're #35 on the Forbes richest celebrities list, then you qualify to get a Dan Aykroyd "Jane, you ignorant slut" style response from me. The teenage Miley Cyrus (daughter of country star Billy Ray Cyrus) and her friends showed how far off the grid of normalcy they are in this photo (pictured here with her friends -- and don't even get me started about the one Asian kid taking in the scenery). With a gesture that was most recently deployed by the clueless Spanish Olympic basketball team, Cyrus and her hangers on reaffirmed how resilient offensive Asian stereotypes remain in this country.

And it isn't just activist groups that should be offended here, as TMZ points out, but everybody. This isn't comedy or some SNL skit -- those I can live with. Unfortunately, the same kind of racist insensitivity that makes some feel that stereotype gesturing like this are OK, also made it easier to drop Napalm on Vietnamese children or for a presidential candidate to call them "Gooks" years later. This more insidious and tacitly acceptable offensiveness is what we need to combat, not race humor a la Chris Rock or Fred Armisen. Cyrus, being a model for millions of kids, ought to have been taught more compassion and sensitivity. Hopefully, a mass exodus of racially conscious fans from her audience will help drive the lesson home.

(P.S. Watch TMZ enough, and you get the sense that they love the Asian play on words. Check the first line of the article for "Hanoi" and "fortune." And keep an eye on their broadcasts for more of this tongue in cheekiness.)

This was repurposed from my blog.