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2.10.2009

How could you, Miley?

Dear Miley,

You suck. Yeah, I said it. Yup...I'm a 30-something year old mother of two and I'm resorting to juvenile words like "YOU SUCK".

We were fans of your show...yeah, I said "we". I thought you were cute and funny and had a lot of fun watching you with my daughter, who's 5 and thinks you were pretty funny. She also LOVED rocking out to your music.

But, you had to go and blow it by following the numbskull trend of posing for this photo. Didn't you pay attention to the European idiots (here, here, here, and here) in this summer's Olympics who thought it was fun to pose for photos with "chinky eyes"? Obviously, you don't have kids and were never a kid who witnessed or was a victim of other kids making slanted-eye faces at you and saying "ching-chong" words to you. How do you explain to your 3 & 5 year olds that sometimes people/kids might make fun of you because of your ethnicity/race? How do you explain to them why, even though they have been raised to accept differences in people, that they could be taunted for being "not white"?

What was initially bad was your poor taste in judgement and part of the public's support of it being "not a big deal". Didn't you realize that you were going to condone this behavior in your young fans and that other kids would bear the pain of these actions? Not only that, but it was your half-assed NON-apology that irked me. Seriously? WTF?!?! Now you just SERIOUSLY condoned this asinine behavior. Good job!

My daughter first misunderstood what I had relayed to her about the photo and thought you were making fun of African-Americans...but we know you or others wouldn't do that because you know that would be some MAJOR backlash if you did that. Nope...let's pick on the "silent minority", the "passive model minorities" who wouldn't make a fuss if you do racist shiet against them. Is that "not a big deal" to be non-Asian American and make fun of Asian Americans because you can't be touched? Kaia was pretty incensed and wanted to boycott you because she thought you were making fun of African Americans...but was pretty hurt to find out you were making fun of her race. Again, kudos to you and your good judgement.

The thing is, you're 16 years old. I don't expect much out of you. I don't expect much out of a lot of adults who have no concept of what diversity truly is, outside structural diversity. I expected a lot of people to say "it's not such a big deal" and to "suck it up" and that those "complaining" have "no sense of humor"...obviously these are people who haven't, at some point in their life, been picked on for their race/ethnicity or who don't have children who have been picked on. Lord knows I have a sense of humor about a lot of things...but picking on underrepresented communities and thelling them to "lighten up" when they get upset...that really irks me. I'd say, get educated on social justice issues and then get back to me.


My parents raised me to be a woman respectful of differences...so I'm not one of those "color-blind" people...because I do see color and I see other differences (as well as being aware of differences/disabilities that one cannot see but are there)...and I respect them. I respect that people have struggled and still are struggling to maintain a sense of normalcy when sometimes that normalcy means you have to hide or shed parts of your identity, like your ethnicity/race.

I'm sure these words are familiar to you, and I hope they are since they are Obama's words from his inaugural address:
"For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus — and non-believers. We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace. "
You can say it was harmless and others can say to "get over it", but for some, prejudice/racism/bigotry/hatred is a very real notion. Yes, our country is a melting pot of cultures...but until there is a mutual respect for each community (be it race, ethnicity, sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, etc.), we can't even begin to learn what tolerance is.

Check out Angry Asian Man and see what people who are social justice activists are saying. We don't hate you...but damn are we disappointed in you and the public who think this is not a big deal. Cycle of Oppression, anyone? Look it up if you don't know what I'm talking about.

I know you've apologized again, but I really question if you sincerely know that this is pretty serious. Nevermind that you're young...but you're surrounded by adults who should know better and should be giving you better counsel. I hope this is a small lesson to you that will have some kind of impact in your life.

As a mom of two young Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus fans, a former college activist, a former Director of Programs at the national headquarters of the very organization that has brought some nat'l attention to this issue (OCA), a spouse of a submariner (a Navy community where stupid things like this are also blown off and people are told to have a sense of humor), and a person of color who is all about social justice education...I hope you pause to think about the implications of the "goofing around", your horrible initial apology, and how your role as a tween pop-star icon actually owes some kind of responsibility to your young fans to behave in a way that is morally sound.

Good luck,
TML

3 comments:

. Becca . said...

I do not like celebs. They're a continual disappointment. Sure, they're always in the public eye, and they're only human, but they ARE only human, so they should not be worshiped like they are. This is why I do not like celebs. Ugh.

Liza said...

I'm so sorry that Miley offended you like this. People need to make better choices.

By the way, I just read your response to my comment on waaaay back. Sorry, i haven't responded sooner. I still don't know the proper blog etiquette. You're better off catching me on one of my recent posts. I just roll that way.

It just so happened Noel made his third (yes, third) deployment on the Boise with Leach. Super small world! I'll have to tell him. Noel went by LT. "G" (short for Gonzalez) and was the AWEPS right before we left. He likes Kings Ba, just fine, but counts the days till he makes the commute to Tampa to see us. It's been tough but we are almost done with this tour.

It seems you're loving VA. We did.

Greetings from Florida!

Tanya said...

Becca...I hear you and yet it's the ugly reality.

Liza...3 deployments??? UGHHHH!!! It was funny hearing the word "deployment" being used for the boomer underways. I was like WHAT? It's nice to be back in VA, but the house needs some good tending too...even though our renters were pretty good. Fun stuff. Plus, Sean's thinking about laterally transferring to the EDO community now. ARGH.