Saturday, February 18, 2012

Despite ESPN's Error, Lin-Sanity isn't a Race Thing

I can visualize my pubescent and teen years even to this day. Living in a small town, if you can imagine a prominently white, upper middle-class, and  a town’s population was 1,500 on a good day. Imagine living in a world where closed-minded Caucasians ruled and minorities were something that were far and few between. Imagine the though of a local, esteemed university opening their doors to a global engineering program that would entice Russians, South Africans, Malaysians, Taiwanese, Swedes, Chinese, Portuguese, etc to come to a place that spewed of segregation.
To my amazement, the children of my youth, weren’t nearly as bitter as their birth givers, however that didn’t stop the fact that the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) would regularly hold Klan rallies in the center of that quaint town, admonishing the mingling of any “outside” races with that of the Aryan. My own parents, weren’t the most open minded to this new influx of international citizens. My father, being a son of a former World War II participant for Nazi Germany, as you can imagine, carried a few of his own father’s prejudices.
Even through all of this, race was never an issue for me. I’m race-blind. As I turned the ravenous age of 16, I became cemented in my beliefs that a skill, talent, personality wasn’t determined by the color of someone’s skin.  It didn’t matter who birthed them, but rather how they were cultivating their own life. Yes, I was often the odd-man out when I wanted to hang out with the Asian kids, or listen to the “thugs” beat box. I took great pride when I was first brave enough to protest the last Klan rally that ever visited that small Indiana town.
Yes, I’m race-blind.
Equal opportunity talent observer.
“What’s your point, Mrs. NBA??? Is this even about basketball??”
Now, I have come to my point: Lin-Sanity! (It was bound to happen)
“He’s Asian is the only reason people even care!!”
Really!!!!! The fact that this skilled Taiwanese-American is from Asian descent is the ONLY reason people care????
Sure, there are still racial tensions, from my experiences, many from the African-American and Native American (Yes, I have stayed on an Indian Reservation, and Yes, it was the most racially prejudiced experience of my life)communities, but I fail to believe that’s what a great consensus of America and the World believes.
This has LESS to do with his ethnicity and more to do with the confluence of many factors: The fact he went to an Ivy League school in Harvard for 5 years. Tell me, how many rising NBA stars do you know that are from Harvard?? The fact he went undrafted. The fact he was cut from not ONE, but TWO NBA teams. The fact he was in and out of the NBDL. The fact he had limited NBA playing time and was 2 days away from being waived by the New York Knicks. The fact he has already broke records in his first NBA starts. The fact he led this New York team to victory in seven consecutive games on one of the largest sports platforms in the world. The fact that he is humble beyond belief.
The only time his race is an issue is with the powerhouses of the NBA Association and other money leaches are marketing his ethnic background to gain a profit. That’s bound to happen. It’s a marketing way of life to stream revenue dollars, but does that impact his hype within the NBA community??
I’m race-blind and I see a kid that has had a Lin-Derella story of mass proportions. I see a person that can BALL whom happens to be Asian, not an Asian who can ball.
Despite ESPN's "Oh, let's try a funny Asian Pun" headline last night:

I get it.
 "They" thought they were being "cute" in their pun and and back in the early 1800's the men working on The Iron Chink, a machine that guts and cleans salmon for canning, were called Chinks, however that isn't what one thinks of when they hear that bigoted word, which, to me, just perpetuates racism and the notion that all of Lin's successes are because of his race.
ESPN issued this statement:

Last night,'s mobile web site posted an offensive headline referencing Jeremy Lin at 2:30 am ET. The headline was removed at 3:05 am ET. We are conducting a complete review of our cross-platform editorial procedures and are determining appropriate disciplinary action to ensure this does not happen again. We regret and apologize for this mistake.

Despite ESPN's ill-formed headline, Lin-Sanity isn't an "Asian thang," it's a basketball thang.
Until next time,

Mrs. Lin-Sane

Mrs. NBA

1 comment:

  1. Good article. But, I also think it's okay if race is a part of the excitement. It's fine for people to be proud of their heritage and excited when someone of their own descent makes a splash on the national stage. You are certainly right about all the non race factors that make this a fun story. Personally, my favorite part of the whole thing is how humble and nice this guy seems to be.