Our man about town takes a tongue-in-cheek look at 'racism' in hiring English teachers, explaining why westerners are needed
Former US President George W. Bush signs his memoir, ‘Decision Points,’ at a Borders book store in Dallas, Texas, US, on November 9, 2010. Getting paid to do things we don't know how to do is what white people do best. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG
Last week this paper carried an article titled English teaching: Is White Right? The piece, written by Nazley Omar, made a pretty strong case that Vietnam uses racist hiring guidelines to recruit teachers.
I wholeheartedly disagree. It’s not that Vietnamese educators and parents are racist for overtly discriminating against Asian teachers. They just understand that their kids have a lot to learn from white losers.
In her piece Ms. Omar describes a Filipino teacher with a four-year degree in education, an English teaching certification, and a tough time finding a job. Meanwhile, she asserts that “any white person with a pulse and a degree” can net an English teaching job in Vietnam.
Hey. That’s just simply not true. It takes a bold, visionary type of white person to come over here and teach, especially those of us who have no background in education or formal training.
Getting paid to do something you have no idea how to do is what white people do best. It takes exactly the kind of hubris that Asia needs.
You see, what we now call Western Civilization was settled by the kind of white people that you wouldn’t want to sit next to in a movie theater. Slaveholders and assorted sociopaths. Zealots, quitters, debtors. Pirates. And assorted weirdos.
Most of these people left their families and homes to pursue their own kind of crazy.
If you don’t believe me, ask my dead great, great granddaddy Thomas Godfrey I, a tedious Quaker mathematician who got talked into smuggling munitions for the American revolutionaries by his drinking buddy Benjamin Franklin.
When the church found out, they excommunicated Godfrey I. His son, Godfrey II, died midway into writing America’s first drama The Prince of Parthia—which no one thought was very good.
Like so many great American families, the Godfreys continued to bumble through history, making money, fighting wars and half-finishing great things. Above all, we did our part to turn an endless Edenic paradise into an archipelago of strip malls, box stores, and pirate-themed fast-food restaurants that can be traversed in the span of two terrible movies.
With America more-or-less perfect, it seems only natural that the descendents of so many great losers have turned their eyes to Asia. We’ve got the soft skills to pay the bills. And did you know that we’re very handsome? Very, very handsome.
If you don’t believe me, please ask any Vietnamese person who has never left the country or had access to cable television.
Imagine what Godfrey I and II could have accomplished had they gotten off the boat and discovered that they were very, very handsome? Godfrey I would have told Ben Franklin to go fly a kite. Godfrey II wouldn’t have even started writing The Prince of Parthia. No one would have ever bothered to fight in a war.
With the added advantage of everyone in Asia doting on us, the new crop of globalized white losers is set to do big things. We’re opening kebab stands and casinos. We’re teaching people about lower back tattoos and dodge ball and bacon. We’re writing and reading magazines… about ourselves!
Starbucks is already here. McDonalds is on its way. And diabetes is huge!
Life in Vietnam has never been better. And we owe it all, in large part, to the losers who came for the cheap beer and stayed for the hot stone massages.
Please, don’t give us too much credit. We never really had to work that hard.
Instead of learning the local language (it’s so tonal) we’re getting paid to teach everyone how to walk like us and talk like us.
This weekend several other losers and I spent seven hours making 19 liters of beer while a dozen Vietnamese children watched through the front door in amazement. They asked questions in English that we never answered, mostly because no one was paying us to.
If you find all of this horribly disturbing, take heart. It won’t last forever.
Soon every wealthy teenager from Ulaan Bataar to Jakarta will be walking around with a head full of loser wisdom. Part of this education will include the realization that the handsome man who taught them how to say “sheep” was actually a fat loser.
When that happens, no one in Asia will want to buy what we’re selling and we’ll all have to move to Africa or something.
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By Calvin Godfrey, Thanh Nien News (The story can be found in the August 30th issue of our print edition Vietweek)