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Jeremy Lin is probably happy to get out of LA and heading South. –to Charlotte.
I think he’ll have a breakthrough year, playing for the love of the game again.
He’s a cultural hero, but he’s also still a good NBA player. In Charlotte, he’ll get a chance.
I also see my latest column here: www.aaldef.org/blog
The New York Daily News reports that the fired writer responsible for that racist ESPN headline is apologetic and never intended a slur.
The writer,28 and clueless, readily admits to using the cliche “chink in the armor” so many times in the past that it never occurred to him it could be racist. Yeah, but he probably was never using the phrase in conjunction with an American born Chinese person.
I feel sorry for anyone fired or suspended by ESPN. But Jeremy Lin represents a sea change in how we look and refer to Asian Americans in sports.
ESPN’s zero tolerance has to be applauded. It noticed it was guilty of a double standard when it comes to Asian Americans and owned up to it in a strong and definitive way.
For example, yesterday in the NBA, Kevin Durant went for 51. Would the ESPN writer make a crack about celebrating that feat with a nice cold watermelon?
Of course not.
Now the ESPN style book will let people know how to relate to Asian Americans.
Let’s hope the shock jocks and comedians who continue to use tired Asian stereotypes as humor crutches get the message too. When they keep doing it, audiences think it’s OK to slur. Just like the clueless writer at ESPN. That’s how slurs keep their currency. But the times have changed.
And it took Jeremy Lin to make the point.
After hearing from Asian Americans around the country, ESPN took action and fired the writer responsible for the “chink in the armor’ headline. And it suspended an anchor for using the same tired cliche.
That’s both good and bad.
Good, in that it punishes the perps. Bad, in that it should send a chill through the ranks of wordsmiths in journalism.
I take no joy in seeing someone lose their job. Indeed, I think a public apology on all ESPN shows would have been sufficient.
The problem with firing is that the mesage to ESPN workers sounds more like censorship than a corrective action.
We’re fighting racism, not free speech.
And yet, what happened when we were free to talk about Lin?
People started ching-chonging and using racist language because they don’t really know how to be clever or smart about Lin without resorting to race.
It shows how ignorant and how limited people are about Asian Americans.
When Lebron or Kobe have a great game, no one breaks out the fried chicken and watermelon jokes. Everyone knows that’s racist. For Asian Americans, no one seems to care. Maybe now they will.
I’m sure ESPN didn’t want to be a buzzkill and spoil the party. But by taking an extreme zero tolerance stand against slurs, it shows it means business.
Lin’s performance today helping the Knicks beat the defending champion Dallas Mavericks means Linsanity has legs.
Maybe now we can all celebrate it without a lapse into racism.