Monday, February 20, 2012

Failure to Communicate

Over the weekend there was a bit of controversy over a phrase used by a writer and a sportsanchor.  Everyone is flipping out over this Jeremy Lin kid.  With good reason, he's playing very well.  However after a loss by the Knicks, the phrase "Chink in the Armor" was used to describe the loss.  Now normally, that's just an expression saying that there was a weakness discovered by an opponent.  However, Jeremy Lin is of Asian descent.  That makes things a bit difficult.  An editor for ESPN's mobile website used the line as a title for the article on the loss.  An anchor for ESPN used the phrase in passing.  Now I don't think that either case was meant to be hateful or racist at all.  However, I have to question using "chink" in an article or story about an Asian person.  That's just a lack of thinking.  The ESPN anchor actually has an Asian wife, so he should have definitely known better than to use that word.  I understand that political correctness is running wild to almost nauseating proportions, we have be careful as to what we say.  I'm not saying we have to edit everything we ever say or type, I'm just saying be smarter about your choices of words.  Yes, this world of PC doesn't allow you to say anything that could be considered offensive.  And yes I find PC to be annoying.  We just need to make sure we're not being dumb.

While I'm on the subject, I have to say this.  We have to stop putting different nationalities and races in particular stereotypes.  We shouldn't be surprised that an Asian-American kid can play basketball.  We shouldn't be shocked to see a Caucasian rapper blowing up the charts.  An African-American that is well spoken shouldn't be some kind of exception to the rule.  In fact, we shouldn't really go about defining people as races.  It's been scientifically proven that there really is no such thing as race.  There are just levels of melanin that certain people have.  I have an abundance of it.  WWE wrestler Sheamus has a severe lack of it.
We're all pretty much the same with some or more melanin.  Black History Month, as novel of a concept as it is, is diluted.  We're taking some of the greatest history in the world and relegating it to one month that has 28 or 29 days in it.  Not a good look.  We should celebrate America's history all year long.  We should be excited to hear about such influential people as George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, and others everyday.  It's kind of pathetic that we have to put black history into some sort of compartment.  I understand that there would be a good bit of revisionist history if Black History Month wasn't created.  However those days aren't necessarily long gone, but they are dwindling.  Let's start being excited over the history of our country.  Let's just enjoy the fact that we are blessed to be in a country full of visionaries and inventors.  People who improved our ways of living, regardless of their amount of melanin.

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