Chink Bitch

By Jae-Ha Kim
December 2, 2017

Back when I was a young journalist covering music, part of my job was to interview some very talented bands. Often, the groups and their management would invite me to attend their concerts when they came to Chicago.

In this instance, a very famous band’s publicist asked me to check out the concert and said she’d leave a pair of tickets for me at the box office. But when I got there, there was just a photo pass. I’m not a photographer and didn’t even have a camera with me. So, I asked the box office if they could help locate my tickets.

They called over the band’s road manager, who said there was nothing he could do.

His attitude was clear. He wanted me to go away…and an odd thing happened. I felt apologetic for bothering him. I felt embarrassed that he wouldn’t help.

I mentioned politely that I came because the band and their publicist had specifically asked me to check out their new stage show. One of his colleagues told him who I was. He looked at me, scowled and pulled out a pair of tickets (that he had said just a few minutes ago didn’t exist).

Instead of handing them over directly to me, he told his assistant, “Give this to the chink bitch.”

And then he walked away. Because that’s what cowards do.

A very famous photographer who witnessed this said, “Jae, you should do something about this.”

But, what could I do? I was in my early 20s. Who would I report such behavior to? Would the band fire him for being racist towards me? Unlikely.

The next day, the band’s publicist called to ask me if I enjoyed the show. I described what had happened and she apologized profusely for his behavior. A few days letter, I received a letter (up above), supposedly from this road manager. Reading it, I could tell that this very kind publicist had written the apology. I told her this and she didn’t deny it.

When I was cleaning out my office files recently, I found this letter stashed away with some fan mail (yes, I actually had readers who wrote me lovely, meaningful letters). And I’m glad I saved it. It’s a reminder to me to not use “stress” and “aggravation” as a cheap excuse to behave like an asshole to people.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my baby’s death. And it makes me sad and, sometimes, angry at how unfair life is. But even after my baby died…and even as my father was dying…I never used those tragedies as an excuse to be cruel to others “beneath” me.

And I certainly never took any work-related anger out on any of my colleagues.

The mark of a decent person isn’t how well you handle things when everything is going well, but how you deal with people when the shit has hit the fan.

© 2017 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved

Comments (32)

  1. Lacey says:

    Who the hell is this pig? DRAG HIM! He should not be protected. The fact that he says this is how he operates, as if that excuses his behavior… Let me guess, this fucker is a white man.

  2. chooaheyo says:

  3. Alexandra says:

    This “man” is a grade A asshole and his apology sucks eggs. He acknowledges that he takes out his anger on people and he still kept his job I bet. Can you imagine what would’ve happened if he was a POC? Can you even imagine if a black man was going around abusing women?

  4. AAjumma says:

  5. Raquel says:

  6. Julie B. says:

    You are an extraordinary kind, talented, and beautiful person. Thank you for sharing your story, and I agree. We have to rise above and not mistreat others because of our own pain. I’m sorry that happened to you. ❤️. And, 🙏🏻 and love to you and extra for your grieving and healing journey.

  7. Jessica Walker Daniel says:

    On the anniversary of your baby’s death, I’ll be keeping you in my heart. Hugs. Some kinds of pain don’t diminish with time, we just learn to live with them. I hope it offers a little comfort to know another mom is holding you in her heart.❤️

  8. Kristen Geyer says:

    No excuse for poor behavior. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  9. i_am_bessu says:

    I just read the full story. I can’t believe a highly intelligent lady like you had to deal with someone worhtless like that.

  10. 79ofgod says:

    Cheap excuse.. 나원참… 이걸 사과라고…

  11. Alice F. says:

  12. belovedmoonchild says:

  13. arisekraken says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

  14. belovedmoonchild says:

  15. awellwrittenlife says:

    I admire the grace you’ve developed to deal what life has thrown your way.

  16. rexwhuang says:

    Appreciate your candor and openness about this topic. Hoping one day negative racist experiences like this will go the way of the dodo

  17. nikiwells77 says:

    You are, were and will always be the better person and someone I greatly admire.

  18. laraaustinshoop says:

    yes, I absolutely know what you mean. I think back to my younger self in situations and how I responded or didn’t and think about me now – so different!

  19. Lisa A. says:

    Well said

  20. anja_mari says:

    You are always a stellar person in all situations ❤️💪 amazing lady!

  21. Wooju Lee says:

    thinking of you tonight! you already know it, i’m sure, but don’t let these people even as much scratch your strength

  22. Renee Schneidewind says:

    Hugs from afar on these difficult anniversary reminders tomorrow;( I love how you rise above others when they treat you so bad. But it still sucks.

    Kindness and treating others with respect and loving your neighbor is certainly a mark of a good person. This guy was a douche. Sorry you’ve had to deal with so many like him!

  23. une_rose_dans_lunivers says:

    What a soulless way of apologizing for the mean behavior!! There’s not much things to do for that kind of racist and I think you handled it well at that time. Thank you for sharing your experience and personal life story too. Have a wonderful weekend dear!! 😉🙌🏼💕

  24. gotmyheartinseoul says:

    It’s amazing how incredibly rude people can be. It makes me wonder if they would say things like that in front of their parents or grandparents. I’m sorry for your loss and for having to deal with this poor excuse of a man. You are an amazing person!!

  25. wyrkyrgyrl says:

    Wow ….but the best part is you’ve only become even more amazing!! Where’s he at now?? Lol

  26. Admirer says:

  27. Dawn Hipple says:

    Big hugs!!!! A**holes exist. In fact we are over run with them. Will keep you in my prayers. Keep on being there sweetheart that you are. Peace be with you.

  28. alphach1 says:

    Maybe I took this a little too personal but it bothers me every time I read about situations like this. It’s obvious he’s a miserable person…hurt people hurt people. And…his “successful” career doesn’t equate to him being happy either so I’m sure the universe will take care of that if it hasn’t already. Projecting negative energy doesn’t return positive energy. I’ve admired you, back in our Pinterest days to now. Keep shining @goawaywithjae 💜 and may you be comforted for tomorrow and the days to come.

  29. cecil.hq7 says:

    Goes around, comes around.

  30. Jennifer Malloy Quinlan says:


  31. Dawn D. says:

    You are such a good person!!! And such a great writer. Love this! Thanks for sharing!!!

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