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The Jeremy Lin Question & How Political Correctness Is Preceived

southwest1

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Recently, the ESPN company located in Bristol, Connecticut and owned by the Walt Disney Corporation suspended a reporter named Max Bretos for 30 days for stating the following phrase on the air "If there is a Wink in the armor, where can [New York Knicks basketball star Jeremy] Lin improve his game?" Another unnamed ESPN reporter has been dismissed for posting the following online blog headline "Wink In The Armor" on their mobile service devices. Reasons given for these swift moves stem from racial insensitivity toward people of Taiwanese decent. Is this abrupt move on the part of ESPN political correctness gone amok?

The phrase "Wink in the armor" goes all the way back to the Middle Ages & the Crusades historically speaking when knights wore armor to fight in battle on horseback like King Arther & the Knights of the Roundtable. Javelin contests were frequently held in towns & villages to show a knight's prowess, expertise, & strength. "Wink in the armor" as a phrase refers to your overall weaknesses as a knight or athlete not a derogatory statement of racial bias or inferiority in that reporter's context. Mr. Bretos did not say that Jeremy Lin plays pretty good for a _________________. That would be racially insensitive & worthy of a suspension or employee firing.

Yes, we all know red flag racist terms that cannot be used in public discourse in any situation i.e. the N word when referring to African Americans, the K word when referring to people of Jewish descent, & the word "NAZI" or "S.S. Officer"in a humorous context given the horrific nature of the Holocaust & mass genocide in Europe during the Second World War. A person must be weary of taking a statement out of context. Is that Taiwanese C term always a bigoted, racially insensitive term regardless of the way in which that term is used? If we start eliminating words & phrases based on any & all arrangements of them, sooner or later no open lines of communication will exist among all segments of society & malicious, unfounded stereotypes will continue to spread like wildfire. People from all walks of life will be afraid to express any emotions or beliefs for fear that somebody might get offended & you end up getting fired from your job as a result of it. I guess what I'm saying is all cultures must have a comfort zone with one another to discover & pinpoint what terms are off limits at any & all costs. Firing an ESPN employee & suspending another one does nothing to solve racial relations among cultures; it brushes the problem under the rug which helps no one.

How do people of Chinese heritage feel about this controversy? Korean heritage? Pilipino heritage? Taiwanese heritage? Japanese heritage? I don't know...I'm asking. Was firing 1 reporter & putting another one a 1 month leave without pay appropriate? How we use language in public is very crucial no doubt, but an overzealous reaction to a very racially charged perception of a statement is equally as dangerous as well.

I have no concrete answers here other than to promote the importance of equal comfort zones among all cultures. We must all strive for an open dialog to ask difficult questions in an attempt to build cultural bridges among people not burn them down to the ground for good.

Has society gotten to the point where every race & culture needs to pass out & exchange a book of words & phrases we can no longer say to one another anymore? What's considered offensive language in one culture may not be seen that way in another culture. Firing people outright does not seal, solve, or solidify this country's racial divide; it only exasperates it & makes it much much worse. Has racial sensitivity been taken a tad bit off the deep end here? Speak openly & honestly about race & find out why a specific culture may find a word or phrase harmful, dangerous, & offensive please. Take the time to learn, respect, & know about a people, place, & location different from your own. Never be afraid to step outside one's familiar comfort zone. You will be a better person for it.



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I always forget that this systems software takes out highly charged words like rhymes "WINK IN THE ARMOR" but it starts with a C word. Comedian George Carlin always talked the significance of language, understanding intent, & taking things way too far out of context. Carlin would view this episode as a "manufactured" controversy & that society has gotten way too soft. Racial slurs cannot be tolerated under any circumstances of course, but phrases can easily have more than 1 meaning too of course.

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I can not tell u the # of gang related attacks I fought off due to being Jewish

Gangs back then never kicked u when u were down and often it would be u Vs 1 of them so fare chance to win

also when growing up there was a family, no one knew hoiw many existed , in order to play in the schoolyard u or 1 of your friends had to fight 1 from that family, not need to say the family background or the gangs in question background

anyway was always a 1 on 1 fare fight , u win u win right to play , u lose that family gets the schoolyard that day

Now if u win , just had to know the next day the next bigger one of that family would be waiting to fight u or a friend

They never wanted to play with us and quite frankly we were just happy it was a 1 on 1 fight u often won till a size came along that well, destroyed u or your friend

This family had a reputation and lived in the principal office in three different schools from grade school threw high school, as they were often left back , may have been same grade as u but usually years older, esp as I & friends skipped grades based on a NY STATE standardized test u take in grade school

u know i miss those days, u knew your place in the world

------------------------------------------------

some things being said regarding LINN are just so obnoxious even without reading blog, I heard & read plenty

---------------

RE

Was firing 1 reporter & putting another one a 1 month leave without pay appropriate? Nothing will stop discrimination, no punishment at all, only when one becomes enlightened, as said being a minority Jewish Kid U learn about it first hand , it is then once u know what it means that u learn better

Great Movie to teach it

Gentlemans aagreement staring the legendary Gregory Peck

For a newspaper article he is to write on discrimination he tells everyone his real last name is Greene and that he is Jewish, he then is stunned how friends attitudes and social outings etc etfc etc suddenly are overly against him in all he tries

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Its hard maybe even impossible to judge someones intent or what they really meant. The judgment seems harsh unless they have been warned for similar racial statements or previously made aware of improper terminology. It can only stir up more racial bias and problems IMO.

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I think firing people is way overboard. I don't mind if they got in trouble of some kind for it but firing is too much. There is no way we will ever know what all offends each culture. Everyone is different. We are dealing wiht human beings, each with there own outlook on things. So two people of the same culture can have different reactions to things. I guess if I was writing something for the world to read I would try and watch what I said. That being said I will never hold my opinion back for fear of offending anyone. Sometimes the truth needs to be said. I can do all that without using racial slurs though so could have used a different headline. I'm sure the person just thought they were being clever and would give people a little chuckle or something. I'm a pretty easy going person so maybe it just doesn't bother me. I think most of the time when people use words like that they don't even know the real meaning of the word anyway so they are just ignorant to what they are even saying.

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All I can say is if all could just find in their hearts to follow the 10 Commandments all would fall into place, if not you get what you see. And to me the only reason racism stays around and its likes is because someone brings it up and it all starts all over again??? So go back to the first sentence.

Coltsince4

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As we now teach our kids to write? In some states cursive is no longer taught! Not starting a debate on this...AS I TYPE!

We as a nation...formed as a union! I shalt not recite the rest.

ESPN has decided to eliminate employees (cannot call them journalists in today's world) and have decided to desecrate individuals for WORD CHOICE!!!! Either one would incriminate them selves in the court of public opinion!

ESPN should now look at their principles as so-called journalists name no sources. Why not talk about the WINK? As Southwest so eloquently conveys, reporters{real reporters} are using historical references....and it could have been a whole lot worse.

I hope that ESPN would recognize a difference. If ANYONE disagrees so be it. One of my best friends adopted three gorgeous girls from China....call ME a racist!!!!

I DARE YA!

Brent

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I don't know if it is right or not. Lots of people lose their jobs for lots of reasons.

I do think it was a poor choice of words and not cute or funny. Poor judgement certainly.

Words are powerful

Political correctness, can be silly, I agree.

This doesn't upset me though

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It seems today that most people can find something "politically incorrect" about just about anything anyone says.

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If there was a love it button for comments I would of clicked it Brent! I can't agree more with what you said. People have the freedom to choose whatever words they want and as pointed out, sometimes words do not mean what people think they do. So maybe before people think something they should find out for sure that way they can know something. I honestly think no matter what someone writes or doesn't write people will always find something wrong with it and criticize it.

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately, I think it's the truest remark ever.

You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please

all of the people all of the time!!

Coltsince4

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I felt compelled to come back to this. I feel strongly that the only possibility for someone to lose their job in this case would be someone who has been 'coached' or disciplined in the past for 'insensitive' remarks toward any race, creed or age.

I know my buddy Southwest and I challenge the 'edge' at times on topics and words when trying to make people laugh or make subtle comparisons. Using "Wink" in the headline may have been over the line and as Maureen says "not cute or funny" Suspension maybe. Firing NO!

Some things that are said on a daily basis on SportsCenter are worse. Listen to Steven A Smith....he tows the line and crosses it sometimes when describing players. Even Chris Berman, who is an icon at ESPN has called players funny names that could be offensive to some.

Southwest, thanks for adding the last paragraph. Love someone for who they are. if they are different in ANY way, learn from their heritage, race, religion, age or disability. I know I love humor and I try to make all of my friends smile, but this topic is not funny....this blog got the old boy's blood flowing. Thanks SW....

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I felt compelled to come back to this. I feel strongly that the only possibility for someone to lose their job in this case would be someone who has been 'coached' or disciplined in the past for 'insensitive' remarks toward any race, creed or age.I know my buddy Southwest and I challenge the 'edge' at times on topics and words when trying to make people laugh or make subtle comparisons. Using "Wink" in the headline may have been over the line and as Maureen says "not cute or funny" Suspension maybe. Firing NO!Some things that are said on a daily basis on SportsCenter are worse. Listen to Steven A Smith....he tows the line and crosses it sometimes when describing players. Even Chris Berman, who is an icon at ESPN has called players funny names that could be offensive to some.Southwest, thanks for adding the last paragraph. Love someone for who they are. if they are different in ANY way, learn from their heritage, race, religion, age or disability. I know I love humor and I try to make all of my friends smile, but this topic is not funny....this blog got the old boy's blood flowing. Thanks SW....

Just saying how it 'hit' me. ESPN is within it's rights as an employer. Overall though, I've not concerned about the employment status of anyone there.

And I am serious that people lose their jobs for lesser reasons....or for no particular reason at all.

Who knows what else has gone on there at ESPN. But I'm not going to go to bat for someone who makes a remark like that. Sorry, I just didn't like it.

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I am not against your thoughts Maureen. Ron Jaworski got 'relieved' of his duties as some in the forum pointed out possible for swearing on air. They may have said enough is enough.

I saw people fired for eating a sandwich or drinking a coke in their work areas....

I had a boss once who graded me down on a review because I did not say hello to him.....believe me I understand lesser reasons.

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Was the word used as a historical reference? * in armor? seems to be manufactured controversy to me.. had no one hyper focused on the word *, as being used in an inappropriate form (I don't believe it was intended as derogatory in this context) then we wouldn't even be discussing this today. Society and all races need to remember to laugh at themselves now and then or we loose all sense of humanity. I have a new "neice" this year, an exchange student staying with my sister who is from Vietnam. She is adorable and quickly became a loved family member, despite my father having served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. They had lots to talk about and it was not akward and she also had a chapter at the high school regarding what is now called the "Vietnam Conflict (conflict, ugh)" and the material taught was exactly the same as what she was taught in Vietnam...just the facts. If people could be more honest, real racism would go away. People are just people no matter where they come from, we all want happiness.

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Was the word used as a historical reference? * in armor? seems to be manufactured controversy to me.. had no one hyper focused on the word *, as being used in an inappropriate form (I don't believe it was intended as derogatory in this context) then we wouldn't even be discussing this today. Society and all races need to remember to laugh at themselves now and then or we loose all sense of humanity. I have a new "neice" this year, an exchange student staying with my sister who is from Vietnam. She is adorable and quickly became a loved family member, despite my father having served 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. They had lots to talk about and it was not akward and she also had a chapter at the high school regarding what is now called the "Vietnam Conflict (conflict, ugh)" and the material taught was exactly the same as what she was taught in Vietnam...just the facts. If people could be more honest, real racism would go away. People are just people no matter where they come from, we all want happiness.

Well stated MIColtsFan: My friend's 3 adopted Chinese girls are so gorgeous and smart. One will be in politics, one will be a biologist or chemist, and the other will 'whatever she wants.' She is a true genius.

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Just saying how it 'hit' me. ESPN is within it's rights as an employer. Overall though, I've not concerned about the employment status of anyone there.

And I am serious that people lose their jobs for lesser reasons....or for no particular reason at all.

Who knows what else has gone on there at ESPN. But I'm not going to go to bat for someone who makes a remark like that. Sorry, I just didn't like it.

===========================================================================================================================================

Maureen,

My larger point in writing this article was pointing out that younger generations of people might not be acutely or even remotely aware of another culture's racial insensitivity to a word phrase or time period. More & more work environments try to implement sensitivity training seminars, but they can't possibly cover every situation, historical reference, phrase, or word. Younger generations might have no idea that people of Jewish descent historically speaking have had to endure a false stereotypical belief that they were falsely blamed for the Bubonic Plague in Western Europe from 1346-1350 in the 14th Century. Does that mean a lack of ignorance about this fact should result in a person's firing from an occupation if someone makes a joke about being ill & almost feeling like they are on their last leg of wellness last week similar to the Bubonic Plague just because a Jewish community group was offended by the reference? A public apology is in order, but not an automatic firing or dismissal. Sensitivity classes yes of course.

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I am not against your thoughts Maureen. Ron Jaworski got 'relieved' of his duties as some in the forum pointed out possible for swearing on air. They may have said enough is enough.I saw people fired for eating a sandwich or drinking a coke in their work areas....I had a boss once who graded me down on a review because I did not say hello to him.....believe me I understand lesser reasons.

I was once fired for 'other reasons'

Organizations have their own goals and sometimes choose weasly ways to accomplish them, including harming someone

Then again, sometimes the employee is problematic........and straws break backs

Getting fired is nature's way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place - Hal Lancaster

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Just saying how it 'hit' me. ESPN is within it's rights as an employer. Overall though, I've not concerned about the employment status of anyone there.And I am serious that people lose their jobs for lesser reasons....or for no particular reason at all.Who knows what else has gone on there at ESPN. But I'm not going to go to bat for someone who makes a remark like that. Sorry, I just didn't like it.===========================================================================================================================================Maureen,My larger point in writing this article was pointing out that younger generations of people might not be acutely or even remotely aware of another culture's racial insensitivity to a word phrase or time period. More & more work environments try to implement sensitivity training seminars, but they can't possibly cover every situation, historical reference, phrase, or word. Younger generations might have no idea that people of Jewish descent historically speaking have had to endure a false stereotypical belief that they were falsely blamed for the Bubonic Plague in Western Europe from 1346-1350 in the 14th Century. Does that mean a lack of ignorance about this fact should result in a person's firing from an occupation if someone makes a joke about being ill & almost feeling like they are on their last leg of wellness last week similar to the Bubonic Plague just because a Jewish community group was offended by the reference? A public apology is in order, but not an automatic firing or dismissal. Sensitivity classes yes of course.

Southwest that was a very interesting analogy to the blasphemous treatment of any person...to be blamed for a disease that decimated Europe.

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Southwest that was a very interesting analogy to the blasphemous treatment of any person...to be blamed for a disease that decimated Europe.

Sadly Brent,

People did falsely blame individuals of Jewish descent for real as the reason for the disease [bubonic Plague] that decimated up to one third/one half of Western Europe in the 14th Century. Was this belief completely baseless & unfounded? Yes, of course. No exaggerated analogies here. This is a historical fact & reality. Tragic & truthful all in the same sentence.

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ESPN who knows indeed what goes on. As people that of are racial, ethnic, gender, religious, etc backgrounds. You need to watch what you say as we live in a politically correct post 9/11 era. Hopefully that person that was let go will pick himself back up and learn from this. As well as find a better job for him. He also had a wife that is Asian.

Being Amerasian myself, I realize that you need to fit yourself in others shoes. And ask yourselves, how you would react in that situation.

Really sad but honestly, people need to be more sensitive and more understanding and respect those. No matter what background that they are.

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JPPT1974,

As an Amerasian yourself, I really appreciate your perspective on post 911 issues of cultural awareness. Greater efforts on the part of white Anglo-Saxon Americans must be made to get to know & understand a multitude of different cultures, customs, creeds, & their daily way of life. It is hard, diligent, detailed, & very slow work, but if it is done with the intent to really learn about the different dynamics of a diverse people in a patient & thorough manner legitimate positive strides can actually be made for the equal treatment of everyone.

Thank you for your sincere response JPPT1974. It means a great deal to me.

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I think firing people is way overboard. I don't mind if they got in trouble of some kind for it but firing is too much. There is no way we will ever know what all offends each culture. Everyone is different. We are dealing wiht human beings, each with there own outlook on things. So two people of the same culture can have different reactions to things. I guess if I was writing something for the world to read I would try and watch what I said. That being said I will never hold my opinion back for fear of offending anyone. Sometimes the truth needs to be said. I can do all that without using racial slurs though so could have used a different headline. I'm sure the person just thought they were being clever and would give people a little chuckle or something. I'm a pretty easy going person so maybe it just doesn't bother me. I think most of the time when people use words like that they don't even know the real meaning of the word anyway so they are just ignorant to what they are even saying.

Not holding your opinion back can sometimes get you in trouble.  A wise man holds his tongue.  And, it wouldn't bother you because you are of a majority race.  Ignorance is no defense.  Somebody ignorant saying something to my Asian girls does not excuse them.

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100GFB, in honor of the proud men of the 100INF 442RCT that fought/served our country in WWII. The GFB, their motto Go For Broke! One of the most decorated units in military history! Many of the soldiers were in the military and fighting a war while their parents and family were in internment camps and with property, personal possession, and dignity taken away! These men/soldiers fought two two wars - one on the battle front and the other prejudice at home! I'm not asking for any sympathy but be aware of people's feeling, you may not realize their journey!....Did I experience prejudice? Yes in the military, at college, on the football field and at times at other venues such as shopping centers. Many of these episodes were years and years ago but some still hurt so people please be aware of others!

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100GFB, in honor of the proud men of the 100INF 442RCT that fought/served our country in WWII. The GFB, their motto Go For Broke! One of the most decorated units in military history! Many of the soldiers were in the military and fighting a war while their parents and family were in internment camps and with property, personal possession, and dignity taken away! These men/soldiers fought two two wars - one on the battle front and the other prejudice at home! I'm not asking for any sympathy but be aware of people's feeling, you may not realize their journey!....Did I experience prejudice? Yes in the military, at college, on the football field and at times at other venues such as shopping centers. Many of these episodes were years and years ago but some still hurt so people please be aware of others!

EXACTLY!  Well said GFB!  My girls feelings have been hurt many times from people asking why they don't look like their parents, when are they getting their eyes fixed, etc. And, saying someone is ignorant is not an excuse for them to be rude.  Also, if you are in the media, you set yourself to a higher standard.  Have class and be mindful of what you say!

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