By Guest Contributor Alison Roh Park; originally published at Race Files
“I want to buy an umbrella [that comes] with an Asian girl…In my experience, girls who stand next to me longer than 20 seconds get a creampie.” Mike Babchik, Host of “Man Banter” on SiriusXM to an Asian American woman at Comic Con, October 2013
You may have heard about the racist misogynist Mike Babchik who sexually harassed at least one Asian American attendee at Comic Con this month, right here in my hometown of New York City. Mike Babchik is a creep. But we’re all familiar with creeps like him. All you have to do is walk outside or Google “Asian women” and these kinds of messages about Asian women’s servility, hypersexuality and availability to White men (and really all men for that matter) abound.
Here in NYC, I’ve experienced racist sexual harassment from [insert any expletive you want] like Babchik since I was 11 years old. And with 20 years of experience under my belt, I can tell you it isn’t about “free speech” or “irreverent humor” or any of the whitewashing terms that his corporate guardians at Siruis XM might throw at the public who is demanding Babchik’s termination—if they would even respond. How many APIAs and allies will it take for Sirius XM to even acknowledge the nearly 1,500 people who have demanded action?
Given two of the most deeply embedded mythologies about Asian Americans—that we are so-called “model minorities” and perpetually foreign—APIA political power, particularly in the realm of corporate media, requires a lot of work to organize, and when that happens, like the inspiring, necessary work of the good people at 18 Million Rising, we get ignored. F*ck that.
Racism and misogyny are structural. And, racism and misogyny are also perpetrated, condoned, and promoted by individuals and corporations who fall in at least 3 categories at Sirius XM:
- Sirius XM “Talent”: Mike Babchik, his producers, editors, the Mad Dog Sports Channel and its people
- Sirius XM Executives: James E. Meyer, CEO; Scott Greenstein, President and Chief Content Officer; Dara Altman, Executive VP and CAO; Patrick L. Donnelly, Executive VP and General Counsel; and David J. Frear, Executive VP and CFO
- Sirius XM Advertisers: FOX (conservative fear mongering powerhouse), McDonalds (making poor people and communities of color sick), NBC, Paramount, Shell Oil (financed the killing, brutal repression, intimidation of local families and environmental destruction at their oil operations in Nigeria); Bank of America (profited from the enslavement of African peoples), 7-Eleven (trafficking workers from the Global South ), ABC, AT&T (anti-choice pro-Tea Party corporation), Anheuser-Busch and so many others.
Racism and misogyny don’t “just happen” when an army of people are making interlocking decisions in a media corporation. You might think it’s a stretch, but every single person and company listed above had or now has a part in the anti-Asian violence that spewed out of Mike Babchik’s mouth this month. And to make matters worse, the loser is still on the air and Sirius XM is bankrolling it, without any response to the thousands of us who are wondering what it takes to be heard.
- Add your name to the list of people who want Sirius XM to do the right thing and get justice for the woman Babchik attacked at Comic Con
- Tweet @Babchik @SIRIUSXM @SXM_Help@MadDogRadio or any of their corporate sponsors to fire Babchik and stop protecting racially violent sexual harassers!
- Post on the Sirius XM Facebook page and demand to know: Why is Sirius XM censoring and silencing thousands of people instead of firing this sexual predator?