Racism, or a mistakePosted: February 23, 2012
Jeremy Lin has emerged as the breakout star of the NBA, this year. Sports journalists have flocked to this all-American story. Here’s the thing, though. Lin’s an Asian-American.
And many reporters have been caught using racially-tinged language. This has raised the journalism issue of reporting stories without bias. As journalists, we shouldn’t report on one race differently than another race. That is what is happening with Lin.
ESPN apologized three times last week for using the term, “Chink in the armor.” One of these instances ended in one of the reporters being suspended for 30 days and another was fired. I understand being wary of using racial terms. However, I don’t believe a reporter should be fired for accidentally using one word.
That sets a preposterous standard.
I could understand if a reporter used the word as an intentional slur, but the word “chink” is an English word with an alternative meaning. At some point, you must give benefit of the doubt.
The organization could look at the fact that most people don’t really care. Lin’s own Xanga name was “ChinkBalla88,” and he made that himself.
Organizations should lighten up on journalists who accidentally step over the line.
What do you all think about the issue of unintentional racism in the media?