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Zukerman Cancels Himself...


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I don't even know what to think any more. :blink:

1. Of course the soya sauce, DNA comment was ludicrous. Obviously he's old enough to know better - and even if he doesn't,  he's old enough to watch his mouth. What exactly was/wasn't he thinking?

2. He should, and did, apologise.

3. Does every momentary lapse need to be broadcast globally? Did this incident really warrant a woke mob lynching?  Couldn't this be addressed in some better way?

Don't we all live in glass houses?

4. People, in general, can be "mean"; either willfully or unwittingly. Performers, rightly or wrongly, need to develop a thick skin. When you put yourself in the public eye you will experience unpleasantness. This incident was just so silly that it could be brushed off...had we allowed it to be.

Not every bit of smoke needs to be fanned into a fire.

 

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12 hours ago, Arbos said:

Only it wasn’t criticism, it was telling them Korean and Japanese people don’t sing because it’s not in their DNA.

 

23 minutes ago, Rue said:

Yes, and that's why I just admit I know nothing. <_<

I could add fuel to that smoke too by wondering if this is a case of interminority racism?

You don't need to be "woke" to recognize something is too ignorant to utter.  Of course they can sing:

IMHO, Zukerman's hit the point where he thinks being super talented means not having to watch your mouth.  :rolleyes:  He should watch ASM's interviews to learn better style:)

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I took a week long vacation and came back to this! 

1. Zuckerman has made off-putting comments about Asians before.  The question begs, does that make him racist or "bad?"  Honestly, as an Asian, I tend to agree with some of the comments that Zuckerman has made in the past.  Now, the comment about singing, DNA, Koreans, and Japanese...well...those comments, to me, were more confusing than offensive.  I always teach my Asian and non-Asian students to sing their parts.  It helps with memory and phrasing.  Again, more confusing than offensive.

2. Soy sauce?  I am sorry, but that was a good suggestion.  

3. Zuckerman is old.  He comes from a different era.  I think that being "woke" should include younger generation opening their eyes to the fact that every decade carries with it some things that were acceptable then, but not now, and trying to empathize.  Wokedness should not be the other end of a spectrum that includes racism.  It should be about understanding, working towards common ground, and conversing.  Not about "cancelling" and shunning.  

4. I have strong opinions about Zuckerman.  Good and bad.  Frankly, I like him overall and think that he is a wonderful teacher in terms of getting students to understand the mechanics of the violin and bow.  Through that, and some of his playing, I surmise that he is an overall decent human being.  Not bad, not evil, not necessarily racist.  But who truly knows?  Only he does right?

Just offering some food for thought here.

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50 minutes ago, violinnewb said:

The question begs, does that make him racist or "bad?" 

Promoting racist stereotypes is racism. And, yes, that makes him a racist. And, according to the account, his racist remarks were clearly hurtful to the sisters:

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"Sometimes if you have a question about how to play it, sing it," he said. "I know in Korea they don't sing." He went on to talk about how wrong it is, that in Korea they don't sing.

One of the sisters spoke up, "But I'm not Korean," she said. 

"Then where are you from?" he barked. 

She began to explain that she's of half Japanese descent, then he interrupted, "In Japan they don't sing either." He mimicked a sing-song vocal style that has been stereotyped as Asian. "That is not singing. Violin is not a machine."

At this point the smiles had melted from the sisters' faces.

 

That was not subtle in anyway. It was elaborative and ugly.

So it doesn't matter the reason - age, different era, ignorance, whatever - because there is no excuse for this kind of "teaching." Good for Juilliard to cancel this.

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25 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Promoting racist stereotypes is racism.

But was the DNA and singing remark a stereotype?  If so, as an Asian, I have NEVER heard this.  In fact, just the opposite.  BTS is an internationally recognized Korean band.  Sumi Jo is an internationally renown opera singer.  If he said something like all Asians are good at math. Okay.  But inability to sing is not a stereotype that I have heard.

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8 minutes ago, violinnewb said:

But was the DNA and singing remark a stereotype?  If so, as an Asian, I have NEVER heard this. 

Yes, regardless of whether or not you personally have heard it before.

He was promoting an ugly hurtful racist stereotype that he further doubled-down on by doing a caricature. 

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3 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

Yes, regardless of whether or not you personally have heard it before.

He was promoting an ugly hurtful racist stereotype that he further doubled-down on by doing a caricature. 

I am sorry but I do not think that you are correct.  

A "stereotype" is a widely held belief about something or person(s) that is an oversimplification.

Asian DNA not including ability to sing is NOT a stereotype.  I am 100% Asian.

Now, if you belong to some underground society where perpetuating the belief that Asians can't sing as a part of their genome sequencing, then I would be interested in learning more about this so-called "stereotype."

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33 minutes ago, violinnewb said:

I am sorry but I do not think that you are correct.  

A "stereotype" is a widely held belief about something or person(s) that is an oversimplification.

Asian DNA not including ability to sing is NOT a stereotype.  I am 100% Asian.

Now, if you belong to some underground society where perpetuating the belief that Asians can't sing as a part of their genome sequencing, then I would be interested in learning more about this so-called "stereotype."

Based on my wide experience of questionable party gossip, and a global knowledge of ethnic slurs (I did considerable early scholarship in the original National Lampoon, as well as its Harvard predecessor, along with many foreign publications of similar intent) I've never heard or seen this particular example before, and feel that it's original work on Zuckerman's part, which won't stand up to peer review.  :ph34r: :lol:

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1 minute ago, Violadamore said:

Based on my wide experience of questionable party gossip, and a global knowledge of ethnic slurs (I did considerable early scholarship in the original National Lampoon, as well as its Harvard predecessor) I've never heard or seen this particular example before, and feel that it's original work on Zuckerman's part, which won't stand up to peer review.  :ph34r: :lol:

That was my analysis as well.  Mr. Zuckerman has a history of creativity on his part and I truly believe that the Korean DNA effects on singing ability was an original.  In fact, the Masterclass should be considered an NFT.

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From the article:

"He mimicked a sing-song vocal style that has been stereotyped as Asian."

And the stereotype that "Asians Can’t Sing" is not original to Zukerman. It will show up in a web search.

But I do understand where you're coming from.

If you don't like the word "stereotype" because this particular characteristic that Zukerman assigned to Korean and Japanese people because of their DNA only because it is not "widely-held," then call it whatever word you want. 

Perhaps "racist caricature" would be a more acceptable and accurate description for what Zukerman said than "racist stereotype."

 

 

 

 

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31 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

From the article:

"He mimicked a sing-song vocal style that has been stereotyped as Asian."

And the stereotype that "Asians Can’t Sing" is not original to Zukerman. It will show up in a web search.

But I do understand where you're coming from.

If you don't like the word "stereotype" because this particular characteristic that Zukerman assigned to Korean and Japanese people because of their DNA only because it is not "widely-held," then call it whatever word you want. 

Perhaps "racist caricature" would be a more acceptable and accurate description for what Zukerman said than "racist stereotype."

 

 

 

 

That is a much fairer assessment and judgment of what occurred.  

Yes, the mimicking is probably a no-no.  I actually thought about this topic quite a bit and quite recently, prior to this discussion.

Honestly, as an Asian, if someone tries to speak to me in my native language, I really don't want it done in an American Southern accent.  I would rather you try and mimic the accent.  Does that mean Zuckerman was in the right?  No.  But consider this, try singing a traditional Japanese folk song without mimicking the accent.  Hmmm...I would argue that it really doesn't sound Japanese at that point unless you are singing actual Japanese lyrics.  I speak with a Mexican accent when I order tacos in Mexican-Spanish.  Does that make me racist?  I certainly hope not.

Zuckerman acknowledged the inappropriateness of his conduct and words.  To me, that says alot.  Lord knows that I have said and done things that others might find offensive, but I acknowledge, apologize, and try to change for the better.

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I certainly agree with everything @violinnewbsaid, especially about communication and understanding, but will add that the reason a stereotype exists is because there are enough examples to create the stereotype in the first place.

Having Heard a lot of Chinese classical music, I’m rather inclined, on one level, to agree that that is not singing. “Farewell, my Concubine” had unendurable music. However, it definitely is singing according to the Chinese aesthetic, and I’m in no position to cast aspersions on its value, beyond confessing that it has none for me. whether it crosses artistic borders and becomes universal is a different question.

But it is important,and not just that but necessary, to be very careful about whipping out the “you’re a racist” arrow just because someone said something that isn’t true about some other group. 
i hear countless such accusations, and cries for execution, for comments or opinions that are at worst foolish. And it really needs to stop.

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Apparently Kung Wha Chung can sing according to the 1967 Leventritt Competition. They both shared the top prize. Does he mean that European music is not native to people from Asia? I wonder what blind listening tests would reveal? I like his playing but sometimes have found his ego and personality to give me pause.

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1 hour ago, scordatura said:

Apparently Kung Wha Chung can sing according to the 1967 Leventritt Competition. They both shared the top prize. Does he mean that European music is not native to people from Asia? I wonder what blind listening tests would reveal? I like his playing but sometimes have found his ego and personality to give me pause.

I'd consider this a much better exhibit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZ2zsMJM_Iw

 

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