power 105.1's "are you smarter than an asian?"

The hits don't stop... more racist radio news. Last week, around 9:00 am on Wednesday, the Ed Lover Show with Egypt and Ashy on Power 105.1 in New York aired a segment called "Are You Smarter Than An Asian?" Yeah. That title alone makes me scream that's racist! But it gets a lot worse. In the segment, an "Asian" guy named Mr. Hung Lo spoke broken English with a stereotypical Chinese accent, with "Kung Fu Fighting" music playing in the background. A listener then called in and competed with Mr. Lo to answer jacked up questions like "How does an Asian pronounce 'fried rice'?" That's racist! I first heard about this in this press release from the Organization of Chinese Americans:

Vicki Shu Smolin, President, OCA-New York: 646-263-6044
Florence Chen, President, OCA-New Jersey: 201-755-3260
Jeannette Wang, President, OCA-Westchester & Hudson Valley: 914-5520078
John Tandana, Executive Vice President, OCA-Long Island: 347-728-2612


April 14, 2007 - Today, the four New York City metropolitan area Organization of Chinese American Chapters - New York, New Jersey, Long Island and Westchester – condemned the recent segment aired on radio station 105.1FM, "Are You Smarter Than An Asian" as racist and is asking executives at 105.1FM for an on-air apology and a meeting with Asian American community leaders.

Close to 9am on Wednesday, April 11, the Ed Lover Show with Egypt and Ashy aired "Are You Smarter Than An Asian" where an "Asian" male named Mr. Hung Lo spoke with a stereotypical Chinese accent broken English, and Kung Fu fighting music in the background. A call-in listener then competed with "Mr. Lo" to answer extremely insulting questions, such as "How does an Asian pronounce 'fried rice?'"

In a letter to Power 105.1FM Programming Director, the OCA Chapters writes, "As a leading radio station in the most diverse city with the fasted growing immigrant population coming from Asian countries, your segment was...very ignorant of the community in which you service... it was a throw back to the era when Asian Americans were grossly stereotyped in American media...it is sad that your station chose to go backwards rather than move forwards."

Ms. Vicki Shu Smolin, President of OCA-New York: "It is disconcerting that immigrant and ethnic communities are the target of so-called 'humor' on the radio just to get ratings. As news spreads of this incident, the nearly 1 million Asian Pacific Americans living in New York City will not be listening to Power 105.1. Its executives, along with Ed Lover and his co-hosts must apologize on air."

Ms. Florence Chen, President, OCA-New Jersey: "Asian Americans are constantly having to prove ourselves as 'Americans.' OCA will not stand for this type of broadcasting. We were successful in getting NJ Radio Station 101.5FM to fire the Jersey Boys for hate media. Unless there is an on-air apology coupled with a community meeting, we will do all we can to ensure this will not happen again.

Ms. Jeannette Wang, President, OCA-Westchester: "This segment made a mockery of the many contributions of Asian Americans to the United States, right before the month of May, which is Asian American Heritage Month, when people all over the country celebrate the contributions of Asian Americans to United States' history, economics and culture.

Mr. John Tandana, OCA-Long Island: "The executives of Power 105.1FM are completely out of touch with its community. This type of stereotyping subjects Asian American children to racial taunting and hate crimes. We hope Don Imus' fall will serve as a catalyst for change and we all should learn from this bitter lesson. Degrading and mocking other people will only harm our civil society"

If someone out there has audio of this clip, sent it my way and I'll share it with everyone. This crap is racist and Power 105.1 needs to know it. Speak out, and tell them what you think—if this makes you angry, tell someone about it! Here's Power 105.1's contact information:

Power 105.1 FM
1120 6th Ave New York, NY 10036
Request Line: 800-585-1051
Business Line: 212-704-1051
Email: power1051fm@clearchannel.com

Some needs to answer for this. This kind of stuff has happened more times than I can count now, and nothing seems to change. The Asian American community continues to struggle for respect, while the rest of America conveniently writes us off as the punchline for a joke. Or a racist, idiotic radio gag. Don Imus makes an off-the-cuff racist, sexist remark, the entire nation goes into an uproar, and he gets fired. Rightly so. He should have to face those consequences. But radio stations across the country purposely build entire segments and jokes around Asian stereotypes all the time, and no one does a goddamn thing. Where is the justice? They need to know that we will not allow this any more. If this is going to happen, someone's ass is going down. That's racist!

UPDATE: Here's a list of the station's programming execs, courtesy of Liliana:

Helen Little, Program Director
(212) 704-1051

Rob Williams, President & General Manager
(212) 603-4600

Doc Wynter, Programming Vice President
(212) 704-1051

Kristin Roderick, Advertising Sales Manager
(212) 704-1051

Tim Murphy, National Sales Manager
(212) 603-4630

Do what you will with this information. Also, thanks to the hard work of Jim, here's a partial list of Power 105.1's sponsors and advertisers, compiled from information on the station's website. They're listed on the site as "Friends of 105.1." Some of the sponsors didn't have individual contact info, so James listed the brand's parent company. Contacting the money could be an effective way really letting them know how you feel about the "Are You Smarter Than An Asian?" segment:

Aquafina (Pepsi North America)
Gustavo Perez
Director, Multicultural Marketing
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577
(914) 253-2000

Circuit City
Carol Fuller
Assistant Vice President, Mktg
9950 Mayland Drive
Richmond, VA 23233

Mercedes Benz (Daimler Chrysler - Traffic Report Sponsor)
Mark McNabb
Vice President, Mktg.
One Mercedes Drive
Montvale, NJ 07645

Neve Savage
Vice President, Mktg.
100 Winchester Circle
Los Gatos, CA 95032

Tedd Ward
Vice President, Mktg.
One Geico Plaza
Washington DC, 20076

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.
Kim Macula
Advertising Manager
19001 South Western Avenue
Dept. WC11
Torrance, CA 90501

Charlie Payne
5565 Glenridge Connector
Atlanta, GA 30342

This is far from a complete list, but it's a start. Now it's time for you to tell them what's up. Chances are, they'll have no idea what you're talking about, so it's important to let them know. Do not let this thing just go away! (Thanks for the information, Jim.)

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