A few days ago, I wrote about the Jeremy Lin sensation that was sweeping the nation, most notably New York City. That post received roughly 350 views in one day, easily making it my most viewed page thus far. Thankfully, it sparked conversation among my friends and co-workers. Most agreed with my sentiments, and one argued that my post had no point because “everything in America is racialized.” While I understood the argument (and agreed), I stressed that the language surrounding Jeremy Lin can be offensive, even if the intentions are good.
The above picture is a screen shot of ESPN’s worldwide title page after the Knicks unfortunately lost to the New Orleans Hornets.
“Chink in the armor.”
Really? You are just going to freely and thoughtlessly use the word “chink,” which has been used as a derogatory word towards Asians and Asian Americans for many years. Really? Was that the popular decision in the newsroom? You thought it was ok to let that title rock worldwide. Really?
Jeremy Lin’s poor performance last night did not necessitate such a racist, tasteless response.
Similarly, Jeremy Lin’s spectular play does not necessitate such racist, tasteless “support.”
A few years ago, Chris Rock, one of my favorite comedians, noticed that the patriotic language around the war progressively became more racist, progressing from F all these foreigners, to F the French, to F all these arabs, to F all these illegal aliens. As the language become more hostile and targeted, he waited for Blacks and Jews to enter the crosshairs. Because, he jokes, “That train [racism] is never late.”