Chink In The Armor? Really, ESPN?

Posted: February 19, 2012 in media, nba, racism

Some people just haven’t a clue. You see, this is what happens when you raise people without teaching them to seek out and appreciate diversity. What’s the end-result for not doing so? An idiot. People can’t be that racist stupid, can they?

– An ESPN employee was fired for using the phrase “Chink In The Armor” as a headline on ESPN.com after an Asian-American hoops sensation and the Knicks suffered a loss. The headline was only up for roughly 30 minutes before someone decided it would be a good idea to change it.

– A few days prior to that, ESPN News anchor, Max Bretos used the term “Chink” in reference to Jeremy Lin, who is Taiwanese.

– Even MSG, which owns the Knicks, had a graphic on their TV station that showed Jeremy Lin popping out of a fortune cookie. A freakin’ fortune cookie!

– Columnist, Jason Whitlock, also tweeted a racist remark about Lin, but later gave a weak apology and blamed his sense of humor for the racial blast. Well, he’s racist against his own race some times, so maybe I shouldn’t even include him in this discussion.

Look. I understand that everything that’s offensive wasn’t intended to be racist. The person who thought “Chink in the Armor” was a catchy title probably has no idea that it was offensive because:

A) a lot of younger people don’t embrace and study history
B) he probably wasn’t taught that it was offensive

I know a guy who is the absolutely nicest guy in the world and he once referred to an Asian woman as “Oriental.” After I corrected him, he felt pretty badly. The thing is: he was a 30 year old man who just didn’t know. I’ve even seen people in their 20’s use the term “colored” in referencing black people. Probably because they don’t know any blacks or cared to learn about any.

I grew up in what was basically an all “black and white” town. I would have loved the opportunity to have friends of other races while growing up. Eventually, my town became more diverse in my early 20’s. That gave me an opportunity to ask/learn more. Prior to that, I still took time to try and learn about different cultures as a youth from reading Encyclopedias, watching documentaries, the internet, etc.

The point I’m trying to make is this: racist remarks don’t have to be intentional. You can be ignorant of something, make a statement, get badly beaten and wake up in a roadside ditch. Don’t wake up in a roadside ditch (some of you will get that reference and laugh uncontrollably). If you’re dealing with someone of another background, then maybe it would behoove you to try and learn a little something before opening your mouth.

I like Jeremy Lin. ESPN talks about him too much, but they don’t understand restraint, so that’s a given for them. Despite that, I think he is good for the NBA and he could be good for diversity (if people took the time to actually learn more about him). He defies all of the NBA stereotypes: he’s not black, he’s an Ivy-league grad and he hasn’t dated a Kardashian (although I heard Kim arranged to meet Jeremy).

Don’t do it, Jeremy!!!!!

Bottom line: If you are going to have a job dealing with the public, then it’s your responsibility to learn about the public. Not knowing that a phrase offends a race, gender or sexual preference is rarely a good excuse. If you can’t take it upon yourself to learn about the people in this country, then do everyone a favor: never leave your home or have children.

How can we improve diversity in America?

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Comments
  1. Geez I just went off on Facebook about the undercover racist statuses. All locals btw that I know personally. It isn't racist toward Asians so I should be okay with it, right? Unfriended. I don't want that in my life at all.Amazing that people still don't get it. Im not even sure anyone should still be able to use ignorance as an excuse, either. I mean, it's frickin 2012. Really?

  2. Melanie says:

    Not cool ESPN. And he's never dated a Kardashian? How did he even get into the NBA?

  3. Thank, Q says:

    Exactly. Especially with something so derogatory. It's not like this term just became offensive.Also, I saw an article of people being upset over the new Snapple commercial with the Half-and-Half Tea/Lemon. They have a black guy (tea-colored complexion), wearing all brown, representing tea and an Asian guy, wearing all yellow, representing lemon who battle it out while two white guys watch. It also has a lot of people upset.

  4. Thank, Q says:

    I know, right? I thought that was a requirement to get into the league.

  5. Q. OK, first, MSG is racist because it's a primary flavoring in Chinese food. I guess it really is easy to be inappropriate.Second, I hate to admit it, but if she promised not to talk I'd bang Kimmie K.- fill a chink in her amore' so to speak. I'd hate myself afterword and need extra psycho therapy as well.OK, I'd bang any of the three K sisters with the same condition and results. Actually, I'd bang them in pairs or all together as well as singles.I wonder if foam earplugs would drown the noise that is those women talking. Wait, the one from that bunch who is really sexy is the mother because she's nuts. Just saying.You were talking about sex, right?

  6. Thank, Q says:

    LOL @ MSG joke! To be honest, I'm unsure of what I was talking about prior to reading this. I guess we were discussing doing Kardashian sisters. 🙂

  7. You know why jackasses think it's "okay" to get away with the "chink" or "oriental" comments – because they're counting on the fact that the "model minority" isn't gonna bitch about it. They're hoping that in typical "Asian" fashion – "Would be too shameful to bring dishonor to family by making so much attention…" (*cue Mr. Miyagi Karate Kid voiceover…). Seriously – I get SOOOOOO sick-n-effin-tired of how "okay" it is for people to feign ignorance about what is offensive. I mean, yeah, I KNOW there are a helluva lotta DUMB jackasses out there…but seriously, Q…do you really think they're really "all that" clueless??? Menothinkso. I really DO think people are just MEAN nowadays. And that is coming from someone who can be meaner than a starving King Cobra backed into a corner and getting poked with a stick (when necessary). But I just don't buy it that it's 2012 and people want to act like "Whoops! I didn't know!!" Bull-schnit.

  8. Thank, Q says:

    You're right, Reckcobra. Some people act clueless, but they know exactly what they did. Either way, it's inexcusable, especially when dealing with the public. People have to understand that a certain combination of words and race can cause a backlash.

  9. Emme Rogers says:

    Some good points here. I think part of the problem is the politically correct terms change with time & in different areas. Also some individuals refer to themselves with the unpolitically correct terms, further confusing society as a whole.That said a history lesson should have taught that reporter that that is a highly offensive term.

  10. Thank, Q says:

    Emme, you hit the nail on the head when you say people refer to themselves using the same terms. That causes more confusion that people realize. That may be why some under-30-somethings haven't a clue on what is actually offensive. Great point!Thanks for commenting!

  11. Ghahaha okay that's fucked up but i have to laugh at the Asian guy being lemon. Wth were these guys in the commercial thinking, that's what I want to know.

  12. Just want to add that I have never called myself a chink and idk any Asian people that do that. Plus chink has always been derogatory. This isn't some new millenium lingo.I have on occasion pretended to know karate. But I don't think that counts.

  13. Thank, Q says:

    I guess if you're looking for work, putting on a lemon and tea-colored suit seems like a good idea.

  14. Thank, Q says:

    LOL! Pretended to know karate? I wonder what that scenario was like. I have an ex-co-worker who says she acts like she doesn't know English to get out of speeding tickets. She's Vietnamese. She's 4-for-4 when it comes to getting out of tickets, too! Her English is perfect considering she was born/raised in New Orleans.

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