Me Love You Lin Time

Our guest columnist is the Asian American Journalists Association, advising Our Exceptional Nation’s Sportswriters that MSG should only refer to Madison Square Garden.

“CHINK”: Pejorative; do not use in a context involving an Asian person on someone who is Asian American. Extreme care is needed if using the well-trod phrase “chink in the armor”; be mindful that the context does not involve Asia, Asians or Asian Americans. (The appearance of this phrase with regard to Lin led AAJA MediaWatch to issue statement to ESPN, which subsequently disciplined its employees.)

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

EYE SHAPE: This is irrelevant. Do not make such references if discussing Lin’s vision.

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.

“YELLOW MAMBA”: This nickname that some have used for Lin plays off the “Black Mamba” nickname used by NBA star Kobe Bryant. It should be avoided. Asian immigrants in the United States in the 19th and 20th centuries were subjected to discriminatory treatment resulting from a fear of a “Yellow Peril” that was touted in the media, which led to legislation such as the Chinese Exclusion Act.

Asian American Journalists Association releases guidelines on Jeremy Lin media coverage [Yahoo]

Black Mamba? Never heard that one. Here in LA, we think of Kobe as a highly-talented, somewhat aloof individual who is burdened by clueless management. Not sure how to distill that into a nickname.

It’s nice of them to provide guidelines, but you know the stereotype of the modern-day journalist: Lazy and culturally insensitive.

@Dodgerblue: And who helped prop up the City of Santa Monica’s coffers after paying the sales tax on the post-rape accusation bling for the wife.

@SanFranLefty: Ex-wife. Bling didn’t work, or his zipper did, or something..

@Dodgerblue: Hold the phone. That marriage is not quite dead yet. According to America’s best journalists (TMZ), he’s currently propping up California coffers by buying Vanessa more bling to fend off said divorce. Apparently, he has come to the realization that it’s cheaper to keep her.

As for the AAJA, I love that this little “fuck you” to non-Asian journos: Journalists don’t assume that African American players identify with NBA players who emigrated from Africa. The same principle applies with Asian Americans.

It’s hard to believe that media professionals would have to be reminded not to use the word “chink” I’m conjunction with an Asian person.

@Tommmcatt Be Fat, And That Be That: I’m in the middle of geeking out Accessibility Issues for a website, and in the course of saying it would be very helpful if I had an Accessibility browser plug-in to check my work, I almost said I’m “flying blind”.

@nojo: I interviewed a deaf guy a couple months ago (with a sign language interpreter) and closed it out by saying cheerily, “I look forward to hearing from you!”

I pray that the SLI took appropriate measures to make me not sound seem like a dick.

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