Are You Offended That I’m Not That Offended?

1:13 am PHT

In the latest controversy spreading across the global Filipino community, much (and maybe too much) has been said about the Desperate Housewives fictional character Susan Mayer’s neurotic comment about the state of medical education in the Philippines. And yes, I’m adding to the cacophony by blogging about the issue but my opinion is that while the controversial line is quite disparaging to the thousands of doctors, nurses, and med tech representatives that have graduated from reputable schools and provide more than competent health service to Americans (even at the cost of dwindling service to the Philippines), I’m not offended enough that I feel the need to support the call for a boycott or sign a online petition.

Another opinion of mine that I expressed in a comment elsewhere is that Filipinos are too sensitive. Yes, I understand the outrage and I respect your right to express that outrage, but I feel that the collective anger is way out of proportion to the actual impact of the disparaging remark.

Connie nails this issue perfectly: “The whole world can call Filipinos all sorts of names and it wouldn’t make me less, nor make me feel less, as a person.” Well said. Jon also asks a pertinent question: “Honestly, tell me, are you offended that I am not offended?” People may call Connie, Jon, and me insensitive for calling them oversensitive but Jon correctly points out that this oversensitivity issue is a problem of context.

Let’s face it, the comment was thrown in a moment of panic by a ditzy fictional character. Susan Mayer is your stereotypical ignorant American, and such a remark from her is totally in character. It’s not meant to be taken seriously even if the element of “racism” is rooted in truth. Yes, TV as a medium is still a powerful force for disseminating cultural values, but as I said the reaction is way out of proportion.

Now if the same comment was made by a U.S. Senator, I certainly won’t hesitate to support the calls for impeachment or to demand for a public apology. Again, context, people, context.

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