Why how we treat Suey Park might matter more than her campaign to cancel Colbert

You may be bored by now with the #CancelColbert controversy. I was bored with it before it became a media sensation. And yet here I am, because I just found out that Suey Park is 23, and that turned everything that’s happened in the past five days on its head for me.

By way of background: My best friend and I have occasional debates about microaggressions, and I’m usually the one saying that those small daily sleights people of color experience do contribute a great deal to racial oppression, while he (who has a lot more reason to feel oppressed than I do as a Black man in America) usually argues that focusing on microaggressions detracts from the really critical issues that have widereaching impact. But honestly, when #CancelColbert trended, I was the one thinking, “Wow. I cannot bring myself to care.” It felt like a misunderstanding and also like a stunt. I would have been bothered by the joke without context, but the context was adequate for me not to be offended. I was a little embarrassed when I did watch Suey Park’s interview with that guy on Huffington Post, because I thought she had better arguments in her than telling him she wouldn’t argue with him because he was a White man. I thought Colbert himself handled the situation well.

But I just read an article by Julia Wong that Suey Park is 23. (more…)