A request for support in asking Star City for an apology regarding a seeming slur

Discussion in 'CPA/WOTC Magic Issues' started by rakso, Aug 30, 2000.

  1. rakso New Member


    I found this link recently, http://www.starcityccg.com/news/Magic/Boydell/000829boydell.html, and found a reference to Filipino houseboys that I thought was casual but somewhat offensive.

    Below is the exchange I had with the author of the article, Anthony Boydell of Star City.

    I basically feel that the seeming slur should not be let go of lightly, if only to firm up a sense of ethics among Magic writers without necessarily singling out Mr. Boydell. I am proud of my country, after all.

    Would anyone else care to e-mail the author and the editor of Star City regarding an apology? Thanks so much.

    Oscar Tan aka Rakso
    Type I Maintainer

    PS -- Here is the excerpt from the article in question:

    August 29, 2000
    Good Times, Bad Times
    by Anthony Boydell

    Obviously the 'location' plays a prime role in the success or failure of a games club. It's hard to imagine people frequenting a club that is still only a concept in the mind of an ambitious player, a club that exists in terms of time, but not actually in any spatial sense, e.g., one second in the past, or it exists only if you don't look at it except from the corner of one eye. The location should be:

    - Legal. This often rules out such places as the inside of the gold vault at Fort Knox, on the naked belly of a Filipino house-boy, or the outside lane of the nearest motorway (though that would be quite good for access).

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Oscar Tan <rakso@impactnet.com>
    To: Tony Boydell <tonyboydell@yahoo.co.uk>
    Cc: <theferrett@theferrett.com>
    Sent: Thursday, August 31, 2000 12:04 AM
    Subject: Re: Filipino House-Boy

    > Yeah, thanks for replying (basically, the reason why I sent it to the editor
    > was that, for some reason, I guess I was looking for the link with the
    > e-mail and found his first).
    > I'm glad that's cleared up; not having spotted your e-mail right away, I
    > even thought you were American.
    > I must say that I think the quality of articles on Star City seems to be
    > improving, and while the comment disturbed me, I did not passionately think
    > that you were being intentionally racist.
    > However, the thing with Filipinos and allusions to domestic helpers is that
    > many poorer Filipnos have to seek work abroad to support families. It is a
    > nationally resented stereotype, I have to say. That is why I took more
    > notice of the statement than another passing comment.
    > Again, I appreciate your e-mailing to clear up this matter, but I must
    > disagree that it should be taken lightly. TV show or no TV show, the comment
    > was inappropriate. Whether or not one seeks to be politically correct at all
    > times, I feel that it is not so much of a burden to write in good taste,
    > especially when one can expect people from around the world to read one's
    > piece. Moreover, I feel that condoning such seemingly casual statemetns sets
    > a bad example for the younger players who surely read your material.
    > I see that it was unintentional, but I was surprised to see the comment and
    > did take offense. If you mean what you say, I would like to request that you
    > strike the comment from your article and possibly leave a small note of
    > apology. I myself am uncomfortable with the term "politically correct" and
    > the stigma that seems attached to it, but in my country, I believe our
    > equivalent term is "basic respect for others".
    > Oscar Tan aka Rakso
    > Type I Maintainer
    > http://www.bdominia.com
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: Tony Boydell <tonyboydell@yahoo.co.uk>
    > To: <rakso@impactnet.com>
    > Cc: <theferrett@theferrett.com>
    > Sent: Wednesday, August 30, 2000 11:46 PM
    > Subject: Filipino House-Boy
    > > Rakso,
    > >
    > > On a TV comedy program in the UK, there used to be
    > > references to famous people having young, male
    > > servants with the insinuation that there's some sort
    > > of non-professional 'relationship' going on - you
    > > know, the love that dare not speak it's name ?
    > >
    > > Anyway, that's where the phrase 'Filipino House Boy'
    > > comes from. Thus, playing Magic on the 'naked belly'
    > > is both a reference to that comedy prog, and an
    > > example of behaviour that may be 'undesirable' (hence
    > > it's appearance in the 'Not Legal' section).
    > >
    > > It's not supposed to be a sleight at Filipino's
    > > world-wide, or any Filipino in particular; just as
    > > making the comment that Germans always get to the sun
    > > loungers first, or that Americans are brash, or that
    > > the Italians are over-emotional is not a sleight at
    > > the nation or anyone in particular.
    > >
    > > It's just a passing comment. Tinged with affection for
    > > the stereotype, I guess.
    > >
    > > If you have taken offence at this then I'm sorry -
    > > there is no hidden racist agenda at work, I am not in
    > > the business of Xenophobia...
    > >
    > > ...equally I am not in the market to be Politically
    > > Correct at every turn on the off-chance that someone,
    > > somewhere, sometime is going to be offended by
    > > anything I might say - you can't please all of the
    > > people all of the time, as the great man said (_which_
    > > great man ? I have no idea !)
    > >
    > > Hope this clarifies things for you...and I hope it
    > > didn't mar your enjoyment of the article as a whole -
    > > I take neither myself nor Magic too seriously, and
    > > would hope my readership feels the same.
    > >
    > > God Bless,
    > >
    > > Tony Boydell
    > >
    > > P.S. Feel free to send your comments and/or questions
    > > to me directly - I'm not completely unapproachable
    > > (though my choice of aftershave is suspect on
    > > occasion)
  2. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I'll guess I'll be the first to jump on this...

    Based so far of what I've read, I see that the reference was an inappropriate but not an intentional slur. As such, perhaps you can ask the author to simply strike or edit "Filipino" and leave the house-boy reference (because at least for me "house-boy" does not connotate "Filipino").
  3. Whimsical Adorable Sliver

    Mister Spiderman sir is correct in that regard. While that comment WAS a slur, I get the impression that it wasn't meant to be intentionally hostile. Wait. That didn't make much sense. <laughs>

    Just ask the writer and/or the editor to strike it from the article, mister Rakso sir. Let's not blow this thing all out of proportion, yah? :)
  4. rakso New Member

    I thought the same thing shortly after seeing the article.

    However, I felt the need to ask for an apology because the author apparently does not feel it is such a big deal. I feel it is, if only to set the record straight that small casual comments are no less inappropriate than the mindsets they will eventually lead to.

    The statement itself is not a problem, but I feel the attitude behind it could be problematic.

    The Net is an important forum for Magic, IMHO, and I'd like it to keep it as the great equalizer where gender, race and religion are less important than one's thoughts and ideas.
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    ... this is becoming like one of those chat messages.. :)

    Well, I don't frequent StarCity so I have no idea how it works. Like do they post replies to articles like the Dojo used to? That way you can gauge the reader response...

    I also have no idea how he usually writes or what. Like does he usually think this way or as he said in his reply to you, just thought of the reference because of some TV show?

    So basically (since this is going to fast and I have no idea what other people think), since he apologized to you AND if he is willing to edit the article, that seems good enough for the moment. If more people are outraged that have read the article then probably a public retraction/apology would be in order, like the Dojo did after the "gay" humor article.
  6. sageridder Legendary Cpa Member

    The article wasn't offensive.Any number of zelots could say it was.The very fact that the author sent you an explanation, to me shows it was not meant to hurt anyone.Damn he talks about his own grandmother taking a dump on a regular basis.I suggest you go back and reread it from an impartial point of view.That is my opinion and i am as entitled to it as you are to your own.I respect your right to post you your thoughts and hope you respect mine.No offense intended.:D
  7. rakso New Member

    Yes, the article wasn't offensive.

    Any offense was unintentional.

    I completely agree, and I am not branding Mr. Boydell as racist or anything of the sort. If anything, he is guilty of nothing more than a strange sense of humor.

    I would, however, wish that he strike the offending statement from his article and make some small additional gesture. One sentence in his next article would probably be a good gesture without seeming overly dramatic about the slip.

    Without getting obsessive-compulsive about political correctness (which is no fad here in the Philippines), I just don't like the overly loose attitude that you can just let this go and forget about it because it wasn't intentional.

    To be honest, my country is presently having problems with the Muslim minority, and one way of putting it is that "harmless stereotypes and labels" are getting people shot over here. That's simply why I felt so sensitive about something you'd normally just let go.
  8. Rando Freaky Bear

    that the idea of the stereotypical image of a Philipino house boy does not in any way come solely from a U.K. television program. I have never seen said program, but know the stereotype. For example ,I have an Archie comic from the 50's in which Archie strikes it rich and hires, you guessed it, a Philipino house boy. I have also seen this slur elsewhere.

    I'm not sure what my point is, it's still too early to think clearly.

    Just an FYI I guess.
  9. rakso New Member

    My, that's an eye-opener! Take this statement as a historical eye-opener not as a protest against racism or anything, but the USA actually colonized the Philippines from about 1900 to 1946, losing it to Japan temporarily during World War II. We got a lot of educational and political reforms and a giant-sized dose of Hollywood culture from the deal, but it was kinda ridiculous to see the films about the "White Man's Burden" and "Our Little Brown Brothers" that were made at the time. :)

    That specific nationally-resented stereotype stems from the social phenomenon where a lot of people from my country have to seek employment abroad.

    I felt strongly about this specific one because I've experienced driving around downtown Hong Kong on a Sunday and seeing all the parks, squares and overpasses occupied by Filipino housemaids on their day off (about half a million of them total on that island). I mean, could you imagine how you'd feel if you saw half a million New Yorkers (or wherever you hail from) in a sweatshop in southern China?

    At one time or another, we've all probably made careless comments about gender, religion or physical attributes but I'm glad that you kinda understand why that type of comment hurts more than sexual allusions and personality traits. :)
  10. dw51688 The Mad Scientist

    I am speechless

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