East Bay Express, March 30, 2001
By Anneli Rufus
The young man at the community meeting wanted William Wong to be angrier. About the Unz Initiative. About white guys who fetishize Asian women. About Connie Chung.
"He wanted me to be all down-with-the-white-man this and screw-you that," reflects Wong, a longtime Oakland Tribune columnist. Which isn't to say he isn't miffed. He just has a cool, collected way of saying so -- which ultimately packs a punch. In Yellow Journalist (Temple University Press, $22.95), the Oakland Chinatown-bred reporter offers some 75 essays ranging in topic from teen gangs to Margaret Cho to the Rape of Nanking. Recounting such incidents as Dream Team lawyer Robert Shapiro's skewering of LAPD technician Dennis Fund during the O.J. trial by handing out free fortune cookies from the fictional "Hang Fung Restaurant," Wong can make irony ache.
"The average white reader never hears what the average Asian American thinks," says Wong. He wants his work to speak for "the Asian-American dot-commer, waitress, and doctor" in a country where, still, he calmly notes, "we get very little respect, other than as America's favorite pet minority."
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