At this stage there has been basically no stone left unturned when it comes to New York Knicks rookie sensation Jeremy Lin. As each shot hit nothing-but-net in his incredible 38 point destruction job on the Lakers a couple of weeks ago, his burgeoning stardom went ballistic. It broke a hole in the stratosphere. The carpet bombing campaign of rushed articles that followed almost broke the Internet. We know everything. He came from Harvard, nobody in the NBA wanted him initially, he likes ice cream, puppies and is possibly more religious than Timmy Tebow. If the tidal wave of good-will articles written are to be believed, Mr. Lin would appear to be a talk-you-down-off-the-ledge kind of chap.
As the swirling tornado of his fame faded slightly with a couple of pedestrian outings, things took a dramatic turn with two events. ESPN published a disgraceful headline with a serious racial slur in the form of a schoolyard play on words, while a Fox journalist made even dirtier, more disgraceful references on Twitter.
Jason Whitlock of FOX sent out a couple of subsequently deleted Twitter messages that were nothing short of shocking. They alluded to race and sexuality, and put it this way, if they had been written about a Caucasian or an African American, Mr. Whitlock would probably be in jail.
The response was, well, meh. The response was relatively loud. It wasn’t a nuclear storm of rebuke and anger, as it should have been. It was, in a word, meh. ESPN fired a no-name (in that they didn’t name him or her) headline writer. The Fox journalist, who doesn’t even deserve to be named, is still in a job (no, seriously, he is) and the world went on turning. Apart from a couple of articles saying ‘Hey maybe we should have another look at this whole racism thing’, we would appear to have stood-down to normal alert levels.
The bottom line would appear to be that for certain groups in the United States, you may not even suggest a hint of a thought of the beginnings of a suggestion of a racial slur. For some, you can do it, get your wrists slapped, but ultimately get away with it. For other, hey, knock yourself out, and here’s a shovel!
Let’s break it down like a fraction