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Verbal skills is not a telltale sign of English understanding. He may have an accent but his English is far from bad- no university would let you get a PHD if you have zero communication skills (mainly just writing, for research papers), it defeats the point of research and sharing knowledge... ffs he wrote for his campus newspaper and it is very likely he portray an extra heavy accent so American public can accept him better under their stereotype. However, the downside of going heavier on the accent is that sometimes his jokes are hard to follow when you do not hear it properly. Equally likely, perhaps his accent really is that heavy, and that would make a surprising discrepancy between his verbal and writing/comprehension. From his jokes, you can tell he have thorough understanding of the American culture to get laughs. My point is, if he was writing here on the net- you would not even know he is Chinese. In this day and age, people still change their surnames to avoid prejudice in job recruitment. I know of one famous Chinese chief who speaks with an stereotyped accent in his shows, but can actually speaks fluently in reality. Ultimately it is a stage mask, for the insecure douchebags who get scared of Chinese/or minority people speaking perfect English, the concept is just alien and confusing to them. I see it as a continuing tradition of paradoxical expectations of minority populations. We wish other cultures would blend in (cultural melting pot) yet we get scared because if that does happen, we cannot tell them apart when necessary. Why do we need to tell? This is because in American we like to fear monger and race in a important part of our worldview. It does not matter if someone was of what ethnic origin, acculturation matters more in terms of displaying what makes us American, the way we live, dress, eat, and speak. Scientifically speaking, race is not even a very plausible concept. Genetic variations between races are smaller than variations within any given race itself. This speaking, having lived in China for several years, I have seen Chinese people with dark skin color, beige, beige a hint of yellow, and some who are white as snow, just to name a few example (many of whom do not have slanted eyes, only a small percentage). Many new generation minorities are stuck in the middle, actively rejecting traditions, yet resisted from assimilating into mainstream society. I wish people understand more about cognitive biases, what constitute as evidence (random/representative sampling, not anecdotal), distributions, difference between opinion/fact, difference between correlation and causation. The world would be a better place if everyone studied research design, so people would not make brain-dead ignorant statements that provoke others.
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Apr 15, 2010