Asian-American Journalists Association: Here’s a list of things not to say or write about Jeremy Lin

posted at 6:28 pm on February 24, 2012 by Allahpundit

I’m right in line with Ace on this. Point one: There is, I guess, some usefulness in having a list of helpful hints for the media in how to cover Lin-sanity. Remember, some reporters are very, very stupid. They really might need to be told, formally, that “chink” jokes are offensive.

Point two: Some of these “danger zone” items are so dumb, and the thought of the AAJA brainstorming over them is so surreal, that it really does start to feel like an SNL sketch. The effect is similar to your third-grade teacher standing up in front of class and reading off a list of words you’re forbidden to say. “Fart, diarrhea, caca-doody…”

DRIVING: This is part of the sport of basketball, but resist the temptation to refer to an “Asian who knows how to drive.”…

FOOD: Is there a compelling reason to draw a connection between Lin and fortune cookies, takeout boxes or similar imagery? In the majority of news coverage, the answer will be no.

MARTIAL ARTS: You’re writing about a basketball player. Don’t conflate his skills with judo, karate, tae kwon do, etc. Do not refer to Lin as “Grasshopper” or similar names associated with martial-arts stereotypes.

“ME LOVE YOU LIN TIME”: Avoid. This is a lazy pun on the athlete’s name and alludes to the broken English of a Hollywood caricature from the 1980s.

The “grasshopper” one is hard to resist, but okay. The fascinating thing about Lin-sanity is that, for all the dopey puns about an “Asian who knows how to drive,” etc, he’s captured people’s imaginations partly because he has some of the qualities associated with positive stereotypes about Asian-Americans. He’s … brainy! A Harvard grad, no less. And, as an undrafted player, he … worked really hard to get where he is! And he’s … modest and unassuming, a winning contrast to some of the league’s preening superstar jackasses! That’s what really drives popular consciousness about his race, I think — he seems so culturally familiar to people in some respects and yet, as a rare Asian-American star in the NBA, very unfamiliar in another.

By way of tribute, the obligatory and inevitable Jimmy Fallon/Pearl Jam parody.


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Lest we forget:
 

“I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something!”
 
- President Barack H. Obama, March 2009

rogerb on February 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

“I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something!”

- President Barack H. Obama, March 2009

rogerb on February 24, 2012 at 9:27 PM

Good call.

CycloneCDB on February 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM

So I grew up wearing glasses. Kids picked on me incessantly. I also still have a speech impediment. I get plenty of snickers behind my back.

But – because I am white – it is okay to insult my physical characteristics…right?

CycloneCDB on February 24, 2012 at 9:22 PM

Nope, not at all. I think it’s terrible for people to be insulted for their physical characteristics or ethnicity — including being white. I know all about speech impediments and glasses (i had the former and still wear the latter) — it ain’t right, but it happens.

However, let’s not pretend that there isn’t any history of ethnic stereotypes and insults directed mostly towards ethnic minority groups — including White minorities (like the Irish).

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM

But – because I am white – it is okay to insult my physical characteristics…right?

CycloneCDB on February 24, 2012 at 9:22 PM

That is pretty much says it right there. In school I was very skinny and kind of a dork but overcame that. Just because we are white I get the feeling that some other groups think we always had everything great. Even my mother in law once said “others didn’t have the advantages you did”. I told her “funny I didn’t see it that way in 1967.”

arnold ziffel on February 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM

However, let’s not pretend that there isn’t any history of ethnic stereotypes and insults directed mostly towards ethnic minority groups — including White minorities (like the Irish).

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Oy. Just stop. Please. You’re obsessed with race and ethnicity. We get it. You’re hyper-sensitive. We get it. You are not a believer in “Sticks and Stones”. We get it.

You’re a delicate flower that cannot stand the cold touch of reality. Life’s tough.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Nope, not at all. I think it’s terrible for people to be insulted for their physical characteristics or ethnicity — including being white. I know all about speech impediments and glasses (i had the former and still wear the latter) — it ain’t right, but it happens.

However, let’s not pretend that there isn’t any history of ethnic stereotypes and insults directed mostly towards ethnic minority groups — including White minorities (like the Irish).

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM

But why doesn’t anyone call for Lorne Michaels to be fired from SNL or out all of the Hollywood writers/producers/actors who make fun of us. Why was I not able to take advantage of any sort of preferred admission to college because of the disadvantage I was at? Why is it not illegal for a prospective employer to not hire me based on my speech?

The fact of the matter is – I abhor a racist. To use the cliche – some of my best friends are black/gay/Asian/etc. – cliche, but true.

However, when I am camping with my buddies and the Asian guy makes a fat joke about me, and I ask him why he always looks so sleepy, I am not racist and neither is he. I’d give him the shirt off my back and he knows it. However, plenty of people here would be appalled…and that’s just stupid and immature.

CycloneCDB on February 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Welcome to the gray, flavorless society. No worries, though. Pretty soon it will all be destroyed and the authoritarians and dictators can move on to another more productive society, butchering it into submission.
.
No wonder all we hear from televised sports are clichés and “standard phrases.” The term “kneejerk liberalism” has never been more effectively demonstrated. Dimwits.

ExpressoBold on February 24, 2012 at 9:47 PM

However, let’s not pretend that there isn’t any history of ethnic stereotypes and insults directed mostly towards ethnic minority groups — including White minorities (like the Irish).
theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:33 PM

Oy. Just stop. Please. You’re obsessed with race and ethnicity. We get it. You’re hyper-sensitive. We get it. You are not a believer in “Sticks and Stones”. We get it.
You’re a delicate flower that cannot stand the cold touch of reality. Life’s tough.
ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

Com’n, don’t try to say you don’t break down and cry at the thoughtless bigotry when everybody wears green and gets smashed on St.Pat’s day. Faith and begorra, it’s an horrific injustice I tell ya!

whatcat on February 24, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Just because we are white I get the feeling that some other groups think we always had everything great. Even my mother in law once said “others didn’t have the advantages you did”. I told her “funny I didn’t see it that way in 1967.”

arnold ziffel on February 24, 2012 at 9:36 PM

What’s funny is that people don’t lay awake nights wondering why racism is such a problem in SoCentral LA. Why can’t a lily white guy walk into a liquor store after the street lights come on without suspicious looks?

But – let a casually dressed minority get a stinkeye walking into a high-end boutique in Beverly Hills and we’re instantly offended.

The two situations are 100% identical. People who are spotted looking different than the typical customer. However, the standard is never applied evenly. If it were, the offended party would realize how completely ridiculous they look being offended.

CycloneCDB on February 24, 2012 at 9:50 PM

The fact of the matter is – I abhor a racist. To use the cliche – some of my best friends are black/gay/Asian/etc. – cliche, but true.

However, when I am camping with my buddies and the Asian guy makes a fat joke about me, and I ask him why he always looks so sleepy, I am not racist and neither is he. I’d give him the shirt off my back and he knows it. However, plenty of people here would be appalled…and that’s just stupid and immature.

I can’t answer for what passes between you and your friends. Friendship is like that — it entails a familiarity that permits things that others don’t understand. That ain’t the same as some random person insulting someone because they’re white or asian or whatever. and you know it ain’t

Oy. Just stop. Please. You’re obsessed with race and ethnicity. We get it. You’re hyper-sensitive. We get it. You are not a believer in “Sticks and Stones”. We get it.

You’re a delicate flower that cannot stand the cold touch of reality. Life’s tough.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 24, 2012 at 9:44 PM

This is laughable… I’m certainly not race obsessed by any stretch of the imagination. And I’m not hypersensitive either. I just think insulting people because of race is wrong. Why this should be controversial among conservatives is what is so interesting.

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM

People shouldn’t be so sensitive. The Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed in 1943 and there hasn’t been any stupid bigotry since.

DarkCurrent on February 24, 2012 at 9:55 PM

I’m certainly not race obsessed by any stretch of the imagination.
theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Alrighty then, blackcommenter.

whatcat on February 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I just think insulting people because of race is wrong. Why this should be controversial among conservatives is what is so interesting.

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Because you apply a hierarchy to it. Insulting dark skin is worse than insulting ole’ four eyes over there.

A race murder is worse than a plain ole white on white (or more insulting – black on black) murder.

The kid with glasses is equally as insulted as the black kid.

The white guy is equally as dead as the black guy.

We are equal…some just want to be more equal than others.

CycloneCDB on February 24, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Alrighty then, blackcommenter.

whatcat on February 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Give the guy a break, “Blacula” was trademarked.

arnold ziffel on February 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Maybe someone should ask Rosie O’Donell(?) what she thinks about this.

Sporty1946 on February 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM

It’s not ok to tell people “go back where you came from” because they’re asian…

-The Black Commenter( who is Black and commentin’ but is he

proud

?

Nobody’s telling anyone to “go back where they came from” because they’re Asian or whatever. It’s because they’re an insufferable bore. Please take your self-righteous indignation elsewhere.

sartana on February 24, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Alrighty then, blackcommenter.
whatcat on February 24, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Give the guy a break, “Blacula” was trademarked.
arnold ziffel on February 24, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Of further irony – a truly nasty racist slur, the “N-word”, is heard these days in very public ways coming mostly from the mouths of black folks.

whatcat on February 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM

I just think insulting people because of race is wrong. Why this should be controversial among conservatives is what is so interesting.

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 9:52 PM

What do you describe your philosophy to be. I agree one should not insult people gratuitously based on race, ethnicity, gender, etc. But what if someone acts or behaves in a certain manner based on stereotypical behavior of race, gender, etc…is it ok to ridicule them for that behavior?

Sporty1946 on February 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Of further irony – a truly nasty racist slur, the “N-word”, is heard these days in very public ways coming mostly from the mouths of black folks.

whatcat on February 24, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Yes but another commenter (of the dark persuasion) libfreeordie, said that it’s “OK for blacks to talk that way and that’s just the way it is.” Guess she told me.

arnold ziffel on February 24, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Maybe someone should ask Rosie O’Donell(?) what she thinks about this.

Sporty1946 on February 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM

Every time her name gets brought up I think of her talking about her bathing torturing her kids. I guess another guy might not be so bad after that treatment.

arnold ziffel on February 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM

What do you describe your philosophy to be. I agree one should not insult people gratuitously based on race, ethnicity, gender, etc. But what if someone acts or behaves in a certain manner based on stereotypical behavior of race, gender, etc…is it ok to ridicule them for that behavior?

Sporty1946 on February 24, 2012 at 10:28 PM

My philosophy? In general it is to treat people the way I want to be treated. Stereotypes are rooted in reality to some degree, but they’re worse than useless in dealing with people, and usually they are harmful. I have to live everyday with the stereotypes other people have of Black people just by virtue of the fact that we share the same ethno-culture heritage. I ain’t mad about it, but it is true. So I don’t want to treat others that way. It angers me when someone mocks Asian people because of how they look or assume a southern White man is a “dumb hick” because of his accent. In fact I despise it. It is antithetical to my Christian commitments.

theblackcommenter on February 24, 2012 at 10:47 PM

“She is a typical white person.”
 
- President Barack H. Obama, March 2008

rogerb on February 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM

Sterotypes are lazy. Lets be honest, we all do it. But theyre lazy. Its easier for you to just spend 5 seconds looking/listening to a person and “thinking” you have them all figured out then it is actually spending larger amounts of time and getting to know them well enough to be able to form a opinion of them as an indivdual.

If I walk into your office wearing some basketball shorts and some air jordans your going to assume I like watching/playing basketball. Theres nothing wrong with that. I think the problem arises when you become close minded and dont atleast attempt to learn more about a person as a individual.

Politricks on February 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM

I have always found it interesting, how most people see nothing wrong with saying mean things to American Asians. As a child I wanted to have surgery done to remove the slant from my eyes. I have been beaten, made fun of, refused service and told to swim back across the ocean I came from. You may think it is political correctness to watch what we say, but I can say those words do hurt when you are young. As an adult I could careless because you show your own ignorance when you say things that are offensive.

Asianeyes704 on February 24, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Actually no it is taking about people making fun of the slant. It us always so nice to see people pull their eyes to be slanted to make fun of your ethnicity. Or to ask you how can you see out of eyes so small, but it figures you couddn’t think that far beyond the words.

Asianeyes704 on February 24, 2012 at 7:04 PM

most people see nothing wrong with saying mean things to American Asians” Oh really? “most people”? Seriously? This is surprising to me, because I’ve lived my whole believing that everyone is ok with making fun of American Asians.

I understand that it’s not easy when you’re a kid if you’re not taught by your parents how to best deal with teasers and bullies, but if you haven’t figured out by the time you’re an adult how to do it, you’re participating in your own victimhood, whether you realize it or not.

I’m not pointing this out as an attempt to justify anyone’s insensitivity towards you, but do you realize that getting hurt and offended when people make fun of your ethnicity aren’t the only reactions available to you? You’d be happier if you’d spend more of your energy cultivating your sense of humor than spending it thinking about past slights and anticipating future ones.

Bizarro No. 1 on February 25, 2012 at 12:44 AM

Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day [...] when yellow will be mellow …” — Rev(LOL) Joseph Lowery giving Barky’s official inaugural benediction prayer.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2012 at 2:04 AM

“Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day [...] when yellow will be mellow …” — Rev(LOL) Joseph Lowery giving Barky’s official inaugural benediction prayer.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on February 25, 2012 at 2:04 AM

Yeah…that prayer wasn’t creepy at ALL….

CycloneCDB on February 25, 2012 at 2:22 AM

Lin has really been zipping up the competition.

Opinionnation on February 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM

As a red-headed son of a milkman, who can’t shoot hoops, or do any dancing newer than the waltz, (i.e. full blown white man syndrome) I kind of enjoy my job title, “gringo loco”. Those pendejos are just playing. Those punks back in the third grade, however, can kiss my fishbelly white behind. Without regard to race, creed, or gender./

S. D. on February 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

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