Sunday, February 19, 2012

ESPN's racist headline

Okay, I'll admit that I'm a Chinese American. I don't get offended at every perceived racial taunt. I did not get upset with Michigan Republican senatorial candidate Pete Hoekstra's TV ad which depicts a Chinese girl with broken English saying she's glad that Senator Debbie Stebenow is in favor of government spending. Look, a girl in China who's just learned English is going to have an accent. And I agree that the ad is stupid. I'm more offended that Hoekstra uses the juvenile nickname for Stebenow called, "Spend-it-now."

If you follow sports, New York Knicks sensational guard Jeremy Lin who's a Chinese American has been getting a lot of headlines. Some are neutral puns on his name like "Linsanity." Others are racially tinged but harmless like the fan with a sign of Lin's face on a fortune cookie, with the caption "The Knick's Good Fortune."

But amazingly the most racist and offensive racial epithet came from one of the biggest sports networks. ESPN on its mobile website ran the headline "Chink in the Armor." The headline was in reference to Lin making nine turnovers against the New Orleans Hornets. Just in case, you're not up on racial slurs, "chink" is the derogatory term for Chinese people. ESPN fired the writer who made the headline and suspended an anchor for using the term for thirty days.

Here's why I find the term "chink" so offensive. It is a term invented to put down Chinese people. It's designed to make them look inferior. "Chink" is the same thing as "n" word is to African Americans. It's the one word that used in front of this Chinese American that gets me upset.

At least Saturday Night Live had some fun with it. They also made a satirical point. It seems racial comments against Asians are okay but not against African Americans. Check out SNL's open.

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