Hey Joe is Racist!

While living in the Philippines, I’ve seen expats becoming irate because of the frequent calling out of “Hey Joe” in the Philippines.  I’ve heard others say they don’t like it.  I don’t particularly like it myself but, its gi joe movie posternot racist.  That’s just crazy in my mind and its no big deal to me when someone says that to me.  Of all the things in the world to complain about, does this really warrant one moment of our time.  No, it doesn’t

It seems obvious to me the origin of this term is from the US itself.  We used the term GI for our military.  There was a movie that came out in 1945 titled The Story of GI Joe. This movie was a tribute to America’s fighting men.  I think there were also some  GI Joe posters published by the US Government as part of a public  relations campaign.  During WWII and the cold war, the USA had military bases all over the world.  So these poster went up in those places.  And of course, we can’t forget the first action figure which was GI Joe!

It seems people enjoy complaining but to take this term as racist is taking it out of context.  Its not racist.  Its English, easy to say and that’s really all there is to it.  Putting more into it is just out of line.  How could this term be considered racist.  If this term offends you, please tell me how.

Sometimes I try to think of something witty to say back but nothing has ever occurred to me until just this very minute. What about “Hey Flip?”  Would that term be offensive to Filipino?  If so, forgive me in advance as its not meant that way by me, I just don’t know better. 🙂  So set me straight.  Even if it is though, it makes no difference on how I see “Hey Joe.”  It is not offensive to me. Its nothing more than an easy way for non-English speakers to say hello.  It has become part of the culture of the Philippines.

Do you see it differently?

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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