Patterico's Pontifications

2/20/2012

Editor Fired for “Chink in the Armor” Headline About Jeremy Lin

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 11:49 am

Another example of political correctness run amok:

The ESPN editor fired Sunday for using “chink in the armor” in a headline about Knicks phenom Jeremy Lin said the racial slur never crossed his mind – and he was devastated when he realized his mistake.

“This had nothing to do with me being cute or punny,” Anthony Federico told the Daily News.

“I’m so sorry that I offended people. I’m so sorry if I offended Jeremy.”

The editor has used the phrase 100 times before, but apparently that doesn’t matter:

Federico, 28, said he understands why he was axed. “ESPN did what they had to do,” he said.

He said he has used the phrase “at least 100 times” in headlines over the years and thought nothing of it when he slapped it on the Lin story.

Federico called Lin one of his heroes – not just because he’s a big Knicks fan, but because he feels a kinship with a fellow “outspoken Christian.”

“My faith is my life,” he said. “I’d love to tell Jeremy what happened and explain that this was an honest mistake.”

Any honest person would have to agree it is totally unreasonable under the circumstances to take Federico’s mistake as a racial slur. It would be absurd to interpret the headline as mocking Lin.

Part of the reason we feel for the editor is that we believe him when he says the offensive connotation never even occurred to him.

It’s not as if a colleague had come up to him before the story ran and said: “You realize Lin’s Chinese, right? And that ‘chink’ is an offensive term for a Chinese person?” and Federico had used the term anyway.

It’s not as if he had a little smirk on his face as he hit “send.”

It’s not as if he deliberately chose the phrase to make an obscure point about language interpretation.

It’s not as if it really had been intended as an offensive pun all along.

If any of these things had been true, an interesting question might have been presented as to whether it would be reasonable to take the headline as a slur.

But in today’s world, none of this matters. Instead, we see our Culture of Outrage run rampant. And perhaps the worst part is that Federico himself accepts his punishment as just. They “did what they had to do.”

No, they didn’t, Mr. Federico. Your entire career was offered up as a sacrifice to the God of Political Correctness, who is appeased — for now.

But He will demand His due again. And He will not be ignored.

171 Responses to “Editor Fired for “Chink in the Armor” Headline About Jeremy Lin”

  1. Ding!

    Karl (6f7ecd)

  2. Man, am I sick of stories like this.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  3. Well said.

    JD (318f81)

  4. ESPN’s hr department is gayer than walking in on Putin in an Abercrombie and Fitch dressing room

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  5. There’s no tolerance today.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  6. Well said, DRJ. They think they are proving how tolerant they are, but this is absurd.

    I didn’t realize he had used the expression many times before. That proves it wasn’t racist. Yet a lot of folks think racism has nothing to do with intent. Accidentally offending the perpetually offended and superior nags is equally evil to actual bigotry.

    In one ESPN thread, Rush Limbaugh is mentioned and several commenters freak out at a defense of Rush with comments such as “Don’t defend him. He’s a Republican hack.”

    It’s ironic that they think they are fighting against bigotry.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  7. I will certainly concede that “chink” should have been caught. Still, we have the very peculiar situation where such words are being forced from use, but one still has to know them. In effect, you need to make a study of non-PC words even if you yourself would not use them.

    Tregonsee (9989ec)

  8. Try using the word “niggardly” in conversation, or use “gay” in a careless manner.

    We have a society based on the reactions of the least literate and most sensitive. Unless, of course, the people offended aren’t on the approved list.

    Kevin M (bf8ad7)

  9. Wow. Really disappointing. I had heard about “ESPN apologizing” but didn’t realize it was for something this stupid.

    And, in 2012, are there even racists that use “chink?” I haven’t heard that word in years.

    carlitos (49ef9f)

  10. Lin should invite Federico to lunch at a prominant NYC dining spot, where they can swap sports stories, and enjoy a hearty, and loud, laugh.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  11. People of good will could have an interesting discussion about whether the word should be considered a racial slur in the various alternative scenarios I describe in the post (“it’s not as if…”).

    I don’t think the Internet is the place for that discussion, or for any meaningful exchange of ideas, frankly. You won’t see me participating in such a debate here. I’d rather have my toenails forcibly removed with a pair of rusty pliers.

    But the grist for an interesting debate is there.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  12. As a person of some Irish heritage, I am personally offended by “Mickey Mouse”

    Oscar Wilde (d1c681)

  13. I don’t think “chink in … armor” is an unusual phrase. The phrase “chink in Obama’s armor” yields 32,000 results at Google. Searching “chink in” and “armor” before 2012 at the New York Times’ website alone returns 185 results.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  14. I don’t think the Internet is the place for that discussion, or for any meaningful exchange of ideas, frankly

    Jaded blogger is jaded.

    It’s not as if he deliberately chose the phrase to make an obscure point about language interpretation.

    In that case, I think it would be reckless rather than intentional offense, which is still opening one’s self up to criticism. It’s hard to think of what point he could make that justified that kind of drama, but assuming he could, and it wasn’t involving hating on Asians, then it would probably be OK. That’s a lot of ifs.

    Anyway, I can say with confidence that ESPN is not the kind of org where such intellectual challenges are plausible.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  15. ESPN needs to learn to coolie their heels before jumping to conclusions Mr. Dustin

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  16. The primary meaning the word has for me is as in “the pioneers ‘chinked’ the gaps left between the logs of their cabins with moss and clay”. I guess there weren’t all that many Chinese on the frontier so the moss and clay were local make-do’s?

    nk (5a9989)

  17. I don’t think the Internet is the place for that discussion, or for any meaningful exchange of ideas, frankly.

    You don’t blog to promote a meaningful exchange of ideas?

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  18. Now “colored person” would never be accepted.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  19. It seems like a harsh penalty for the editor to lose his job absent any indication that he meant this as a slur. It’s as if the burden has shifted in society, and we’ve transformed from a nation that doesn’t want to judge people without proof to a nation of zero tolerance. In any event, I hope Jeremy Lin will consider asking ESPN to rehire the editor.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  20. Come on. Really? didn’t know it was going to be a problem? Look: everybody knows that various words are racist when applied to certain categories of people. That goes for practically every country in Europe too. There are certain words I would not use to associate an Italian, a Greek, or a German, etc. to. and we all know them.

    john b (bebc3c)

  21. Jeremy Lin is probably a bad driver.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. It’s not like he said Lin “Tied one on!”

    Gus (36e9a7)

  23. Me Chinese,
    me play joke,
    me go pee pee,
    in your Coke.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  24. I bet John B, is a

    Gus (36e9a7)

  25. John B, is probably a JAP.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  26. In the Obama Transformation, those accused are “Guilty until proven Innocent”.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  27. You don’t blog to promote a meaningful exchange of ideas?

    Maybe I overstated the case.

    I don’t think contentious debates in blog comments are generally productive.

    And I can’t imagine this particular debate taking place in this comment section without its becoming contentious.

    And I am increasingly skeptical of the utility of using blog comments to have debates or a meaningful exchange of ideas.

    I guess I haven’t completely given up because I haven’t closed comments. Then again, I don’t see debate as the primary benefit of the comments sections anyway. They turn ugly far too easily, even among people I like.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  28. Normally, I’d agree wholeheartedly that it’s just another casualty of political correctness run amok.

    However,

    Take into consideration the article itself. It discussed the Knicks losing a game, not because of their defense (usually associated with “armor”), but because of Lin’s excessive turnovers (I believe he had 9). The whole “chink in the armor” thing didn’t really apply to the situation or the story.

    Now, say this was an article on the Baltimore Ravens defense collapsing in a loss, then your “chink in the armor” would have been a bit more appropriate.

    Similar to how someone mentioned earlier about using the word “gay” or “niggardly”. Would it really be appropriate and innocent if an editor used the word “niggardly” in a headline about a NFL General Manager who refused to pay for high priced free agents?

    ConservativeintheCity (801a51)

  29. I meant to specify a “black NFL General Manager”

    ConservativeintheCity (801a51)

  30. I guess I haven’t completely given up because I haven’t closed comments. Then again, I don’t see debate as the primary benefit of the comments sections anyway. They turn ugly far too easily, even among people I like.

    I believe in debate as a way to get to the truth and to help us understand other points of view. In addition, any discussion can turn ugly, whether it’s online or in our kitchen. What makes it manageable isn’t rules but at least one person who has the time and patience to moderate without going overboard. Your website has had you and people like you who have done that over the years, and it attracts like-minded people as commenters.

    Obviously there will be an ebb and flow over time as the discussions become more heated, but overall I think it’s worth it. I’ve learned a lot from reading the posts and comments here, and I think we all have. I hate to see you doubt that.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  31. What I find interesting is the people who are offended on behalf of Jeremy Lin. What Jeremy has to say seems to be irrelevant.

    Beware of self-appointed spokespeople and paternalistic liberals. Oops, I repeated myself.

    Amphipolis (e01538)

  32. Such bull**** from ESPN.

    Dana Jacobsen stays on the air after dropping f bombs on Notre Dame and “Touchdown Jesus”, Mike Tirico gets a short suspension for incredibly inappropriate behavior.

    This writer gets torched for what??

    Heck, Jacobsen probably got a raise, since all she offended was a bunch of Catholic white guys.

    I’ve never seen a word more twisted in terms of application as tolerance…..

    the bhead (a31060)

  33. I had not heard of Jeremy Lin at all until this past week. So how come he has armor? Is he one of those Society for Creative Anachronism guys? And who cares if some Asian person was wearing it unless it was without Lin’s permission?

    nk (5a9989)

  34. DRJ advocates the Socratic Method ISTM.
    Perhaps it worked better when society at large observed the bounds of decorum better.

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  35. It’s true I wouldn’t advocate this approach if there were a bunch of politicians here, AD.

    Nor does it work as well when our moderators are too busy to keep us in line.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  36. One of the more famous and laugh-worthy lines used in the movie “Something About Mary” was the term ” First chink in the armor” when he focused his binoculars on the wrong woman’s window. That movie alone helped perpetuate that saying, to a new generation of users. It saddens me to see what we have allowed ourselves to become concerning word usuage. Let alone a person getting fired for using a common term with apparently no malice intended.

    builderD (c1242e)

  37. Anyway, I can say with confidence that ESPN is not the kind of org where such intellectual challenges are plausible.

    – One word: Olbermann

    Icy (699793)

  38. Heh. I’ve always loved your sense of humor, Icy.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  39. – One word: Olbermann

    Comment by Icy

    He is often challenged intellectually, I admit.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  40. This kerfuffle puts a new slant on yellow journalism.

    Icy (699793)

  41. Political correctness again run amok. What’s ironic about this is probably the only reason Frederico didn’t catch the “error” of his headline is because race doesn’t even creep into his thought process. Which is the way it should be. I’ve said things like this in the past and people would say, did you realize what you just inferred?.” I never realized it til people pointed it out. If ESPN had any gonads, they would let him keep his job based on the sheer innocence of what he did. But ESPN is over the top politically correct.

    Ed Bettencourt (b26ebb)

  42. DRJ: Maybe I’m just grumpy.

    Patterico (d4e389)

  43. From the first link:

    Federico called Lin one of his heroes – not just because he’s a big Knicks fan, but because he feels a kinship with a fellow “outspoken Christian.”

    I can’t help wondering if his “outspoken Christian” beliefs or attitude made it easier for them to decide to fire him.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  44. ESPN didn’t treat Rush Limbaugh fairly – so why should they treat anybody else fairly?

    The word “chink” isn’t a real insult anyway, although it does carry with it a somewhat low class implication at least, and it’s very obscure these days. If he used many many times in the past, it is very believable that it never occurred to him and the pun was unintentional, even though headline writers like to write puns. But nobody would do this.

    What you have here is a corporation trying to protect itself and it’s “reputation” from people misunderstanding something and not caring a whit about the people who work for it.

    Sammy Finkelman (bbe5c1)

  45. DRJ: Maybe I’m just grumpy

    No, I agree it’s been tense here recently, IMO because of the increasingly hostile discussions over the GOP primary. It’s happened before but this time there aren’t as many moderators around to help. It isn’t anyone’s fault this has happened, but neither does it discredit the idea of online discussions.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. There is no tolerance, indeed. I ordered a sandwich on Squaw bread from my local deli and was informed that they no longer refer to the bread as that because it is offensive to American Indians. Instead they refer to Squaw bread as Anadama bread.

    However, unbeknownst do our cultural do-gooders, the real irony is that Anadama Bread is a lily white bread (coming to us from New England via Scandanavia)… so, the message is, if one looks closely, is that it is completely acceptable nee preferable to refer to a bread originated by whites but not a bread originated with Indians – lest we offend them.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  47. Seriously, we have two groups at fault. A handful of Archie Bunkers who gave a bad meaning to a perfectly legitimate English word of long and accepted usage, and a handful (hopefully) of professional victims who perpetuate the bigotry idiocy.

    BTW, my daughter was in China just before Christmas and she brought me back a terracotta figurine of a Chinese soldier (guard of emperor’s tomb) in armor. So technically I also have a ….

    Maybe Patterico is right. I, for one, find it very hard to take ESPN’s idiocy seriously.

    nk (5a9989)

  48. Dana and nk,

    Those are two great comments. I wish someone at ESPN would read and think about them.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  49. I don’t get it, JEREMY isn’t a Chinkie name.

    Gus (36e9a7)

  50. I would add that it’s curious there isn’t celebration that one editor in America didn’t even have racism cross his mind when he wrote that, that it was simply an honest mistake – one he wasn’t aware of because, my gosh, he doesn’t think in terms of color or race, etc.

    After all, isn’t that been the goal – to be color-blind, race-free, kumbyah? Aren’t we, after all, living in a post-racial society?

    Why isn’t he being celebrated for having reached the goal – or is it that a certain segment of the population a) doesn’t believe it’s possible, or b) can’t afford to let such neutrality exist because it would thwart the narrative?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  51. It isn’t anyone’s fault this has happened, but neither does it discredit the idea of online discussions.

    Comment by DRJ —

    It’s the fault of people like myself who know better than to abuse the hospitality of the host but sometimes fail to exercise self control.

    If one looks past that, the discussions here are sometimes valuable.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  52. Why isn’t he being celebrated for having reached the goal – or is it that a certain segment of the population a) doesn’t believe it’s possible, or b) can’t afford to let such neutrality exist because it would thwart the narrative?

    Comment by Dana

    Very good point.

    Of course, if the goal was a society that didn’t hate, this would be commendable. If the goal was using this issue for power, this is actually a bad thing.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  53. People of good will could have an interesting discussion about whether the word should be considered a racial slur in the various alternative scenarios I describe in the post (“it’s not as if…”).

    I don’t think the Internet is the place for that discussion, or for any meaningful exchange of ideas, frankly. You won’t see me participating in such a debate here. I’d rather have my toenails forcibly removed with a pair of rusty pliers.

    But the grist for an interesting debate is there.

    I believe most people here are definitely of good will and thus, many interesting debates take place. And I think the internet was made for such debates. I know that you refer to things going off kilter when tempers flare and personal attacks are made and offensive jousting occurs, however, you should consider the flip side of that:

    It is right here on the internets that the free flow of ideas, challenges, debate, even heated argument can change the mind of, persuade, reinforce, enlighten and cause one to throw away their entire narrative as they see in comment after comment, that they were not on as solid of ground as once thought. And, because it is online and not face to face, there is less concern about not speaking politely and firmly and forthrightly, lest someone sitting next to you gets their feelings hurt or is so threatened by being disagreed with, the conversation ends.

    There is a great freedom on the internets indeed: Whether or not it is the freedom to be an obnoxious lout and shoot one’s mouth off in a way they never would face-to-face or whether it’s the freedom to politely, honestly and oh so firmly, speak one’s mind.

    I don’t like hurting people’s feelings and often when debatable issues come up, I find there are times where other people might more readily be able discuss it on the nets where feelings aren’t as hurt, or saving face is not as important as when you are in the meatspace.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  54. The word “chink” isn’t a real insult anyway
    – I would pay good money to watch you test that theory, man-on-the-street style.

    and it’s very obscure these days
    – Nowhere near as “obscure” as you seem to think it is.

    Icy (699793)

  55. I agree with Dana, Patterico. Perhaps you are underestimating how discussions like this help us understand different points of view and change minds, even if people don’t say it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  56. If he’s really used that term 100 times in about 6 years as a headline writer, he should have been fired as a hack.

    Brainster (e11ef3)

  57. I’m rushed and didn’t read all of the previous, in case my point has been made.

    I though it was probably over-reaction to an honest mistake, but #2 son says ESPN tries hard to make attention-grabbing headlines (see previous headlines making words out of Lin’s name, etc.) and thinks it was more likely poor judgement in a purposeful play on words that was thought not to be offensive. (“I don’t insult Chinese people, do other people really do that?”).

    I think it would be interesting to search the guy’s writing over the last year or two and see if it really does show he uses the phrase a lot, or whether that was just a statement to cover up.

    As lawyers say, “Where’s the evidence?”

    If this isn’t a story, it should disappear into a black hole.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  58. Here is ESPN’s contact link for anyone who wishes to encourage them to reconsider their firing of editor Anthony Frederico. Frankly, as a minority, I am getting pretty damn sick and tired of somebody else presuming for me what is offensive.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  59. Patterico is attempting to tone-down the discussion.
    Is this a predicate for a run for elected office?
    Is the title “Mr. District Attorney” in the future?

    AD-RtR/OS! (b8ab92)

  60. …I would add, as a minority and a Christian… because let’s face it, aligning oneself or being sympathetic to Christians is just as frowned upon and deemed as offensive as a potential slur these days in our tolerant culture. If he hadn’t mentioned Tebow, there is a good chance his reasoning would fly, however, throw in Christianity in some way, and he fairly sealed hinulls fate.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  61. nk-
    Lin came out of nowhere to lead the knicks on a 6 game win streak and the game being talked about was the first loss with him starting, So, the idea of something previously impervious to attack now showing a flaw* fits with the story.

    *That’s what I understand the phrase to mean in general usage.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  62. yup bet you a tasty grilled cheese sammich you can’t read this without thinking of “the c word”

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  63. political correctness run amok and practiced by folks who are far into the tank for Obama.

    No surprise.

    Colonel Haiku (9dd30a)

  64. Sorry, Patterico–I can’t agree with this one (though firing and the long suspension the commentator got were a bit of a harsh reaction, IMO). It’s not complicated:

    –using “chink in the armor” to refer to literally damaged armor, or as a metaphor for a defect in a defense (other than the Great Wall of China): not racist–anyone who says so is a PC addled idiot who should be mocked and/or ignored;

    –using “chink in the armor” to refer to Jeremy Lin when he finally has a bad game: Yeah, pretty much racist. The metaphor was really a reach here anyway–as Ace notes pointedly over at AoS–and there’s no way the guy shouldn’t have known that the headline would be found offensive even by people who aren’t PC addled idiots. Being incompetent at your job (the most friendly intepretation of how that headline ended up where it did) tends to get you yelled at, or possibly fired (though if I had been making the call, I’d have let the headline writer off with a suspension and the commentator with a substantially shorter one).

    MSE (a1f9c3)

  65. MD, unfortunately he’s an online editor and his name doesn’t appear on articles.

    I definitely recall seeing “chink in the armor” headlines, I believe for football coverage.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  66. using “chink in the armor” to refer to Jeremy Lin when he finally has a bad game: Yeah, pretty much racist.

    Not if he had never known “chink” is a slur against the Chinese it isn’t.

    It’s a common metaphor that has been used to describe other examples of high performance being brought down to Earth on some occasion.

    Being incompetent at your job (the most friendly intepretation of how that headline ended up where it did) tends to get you yelled at, or possibly fired

    That’s a legitimate opinion, but it has nothing to do with whether the headline was racist.

    “Chink” is not a commonly used expression. I have never heard the term actually used by a racist in my entire life. The notion someone wouldn’t know it is about as believable as the notion someone wouldn’t recognize an 8-track tape.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  67. _______________________________________________

    Instead, we see our Culture of Outrage run rampant.

    And since this also is the Culture of Anything Goes (ie, lewdness and vulgarity run amok throughout so much of modern society, from rap music to TV, from literature to movies), and also the Culture of Lawsuits, it seems quite appropriate if Frederico sued his employer for wrongful termination.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  68. Let me explain a little better what I was thinking.

    It had almost nothing to do with the debates here over the Republican primary.

    Really, it had to do with the fact that the topic of the post reminds me of discussions I had in the past that I initially approached with a spirit of intellectual curiosity, but which then turned into a slugfest that represented some of the worst times of my online life.

    So when I see a story like this, I am reminded of how interesting the topic is . . . but the idea of actually participating in that debate again?

    I’d rather have my ears chewed off by a pair of rabid weasels.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  69. Not if he had never known “chink” is a slur against the Chinese it isn’t

    Except that he never claimed that–he just said that it “never occurred to him.” Not the same thing, and again I’ll quote Ace, who no one would described as being PC-addled:

    Yeah, I don’t believe that. “Chink in the armor” doesn’t really make a great deal of sense here. When I think armor I think defense. Lin’s errors were committed on offense. Seems an odd expression in that context.

    Generally I would say that this is no victory for “us,” but rather yet another scalp for the headhunting cannibals of political correctness, but here the writer wasn’t speaking on his own time, and didn’t appear to just “slip up.”

    In addition, there have been so many “ha ha, a Chinaman is good at basketball, isn’t that funny” jokes — far more of them made privately than have made it on to the airwaves or website headlines — that it’s just impossible to imagine this guy never heard a one of them, and therefore had no idea what the problem was.

    YMMV.

    MSE (a1f9c3)

  70. I too am sick of all the PC jive but I’ll stop calling BS on stuff like “Chink in the Armor” when all the lefties stop making a fuss about non words like Macaca. Play by your own rules or get off the field.

    glenn (877ee1)

  71. When will they learn that you can always call Sarah Palin a crack ho.

    AZ Bob (1c9631)

  72. Really, it had to do with the fact that the topic of the post reminds me of discussions I had in the past that I initially approached with a spirit of intellectual curiosity, but which then turned into a slugfest that represented some of the worst times of my online life.

    Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooh

    Except that he never claimed that–he just said that it “never occurred to him.”

    Good enough for me.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  73. In addition, there have been so many “ha ha, a Chinaman is good at basketball, isn’t that funny” jokes — far more of them made privately than have made it on to the airwaves or website headlines — that it’s just impossible to imagine this guy never heard a one of them

    What does that have to do with the price of tea in St Louis?

    Dustin (401f3a)

  74. Really, it had to do with the fact that the topic of the post reminds me of discussions I had in the past that I initially approached with a spirit of intellectual curiosity, but which then turned into a slugfest that represented some of the worst times of my online life.

    Patterico, it is indeed an awful thing to have the spark of curiosity snuffed out when one is eager to chew over an issue with others. Typically, it’s the angry commenter, the arrogant commenter and/or the commenter suffering from a continual need-to-be-right-at-all-costs affliction who kill inquisitiveness. It’s rather like when Newt’s ego gets the best of him and he becomes utterly insufferable with his arrogance (even though he may be right…) and shuts down conversation.

    But I will stand firm and suggest that those who regularly comment here are of good will and when they are bested by ego, they eventually own it and make it right. I hope you don’t shortsell and judge a group of interesting supporters and equally curious people by your previous wounding.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  75. The chink in Anthony Federico’s armor was that he used “chink in the armor” way too much in his headlines.

    Real American (a8e5fb)

  76. Uh-oh — I sense one of Patterico’s teachable moments ala the Stacy McCain’s inter-racial marriage topic.

    john b (bebc3c)

  77. I actually had a problem with it when I first saw it because I had always heard of a “kink in the armor” and had to think of how “chink” would fit, which led me to the slang for Chinese persons. Then before I wrote this, I Googled the “kink in the armor” and the first site, grammarist.com, explained how the two are intertwined and misused. Which leads me to trust the writer used it correctly (gramatically), and not racially. Which also leads me to again think that the politically correct crowd all are a bunch of assholes….a race of people of whom I am emphatically racist towards…..

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    reff (4dcda2)

  78. If this keeps up pretty soon Italians and the Irish will be the only nationality/ethnic groups left about whom it is politically “safe” to use puns or slang. One sees it and hears it all the time and nobody ever says a word. Why is that do you think?”

    elissa (a01764)

  79. Context *really* matters

    Using the word ‘chink’ to refer to a Chinese person?
    Using monkey/ape imagery to refer to a black person?
    Using dog metaphors to refer to an aggressive woman?

    You might be obnoxious. Switch them around and you’re probably OK. But how obnoxious / offensive you are depends on a lot of things. One of them is your intent, another is how much pain offense you cause in the listener. Part of it is the expectation that you should know better.

    If you’re obnoxious enough you’re ‘offensive’.
    If you’re an editor for a major publication part of your job might be to not be obnoxious and offensive to a big part of your customer base. If you don’t fulfill this part of your job you’re going to get in trouble. Might even be fired.

    I feel bad for the guy, he made a mistake where everyone could see it and it cost him his job. I think he should have known better but it’s still sort of sad.

    time123 (6dd049)

  80. Ace was kind of skeptical of the guy’s denials, starting with the improbable use of a defensive metaphor for a defect in offensive play, then moving on to his improbable ignorance of backroom jokes. It’s all inside football to me, but he implies this kid really did know better. I wouldn’t know. I suspect people who know him know.

    SarahW (b0e533)

  81. Are my comments in moderation?

    reff (4dcda2)

  82. Then I will try again….I actually had a problem with it when I first saw it because I had always heard of a “kink in the armor” and had to think of how “chink” would fit, which led me to the slang for Chinese persons. Then before I wrote this, I Googled the “kink in the armor” and the first site, grammarist.com, explained how the two are intertwined and misused. Which leads me to trust the writer used it correctly (gramatically), and not racially. Which also leads me to again think that the politically correct crowd all are a bunch of assholes….a race of people of whom I am emphatically racist towards…..

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    reff (4dcda2)

  83. Failed!

    reff (4dcda2)

  84. I actually had a problem with it when I first saw it because I had always heard of a “kink in the armor” and had to think of how “chink” would fit, which led me to the slang for Chinese persons. Then before I wrote this, I Googled the “kink in the armor” and the first site, grammarist.com, explained how the two are intertwined and misused. Which leads me to trust the writer used it correctly (gramatically), and not racially. Which also leads me to again think that the politically correct crowd all are a bunch of butt holes….a race of people of whom I am emphatically racist towards…..

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    reff (4dcda2)

  85. Still didn’t work….I’ll try again….I actually had a problem with it when I first saw it because I had always heard of a “kink in the armor” and had to think of how “chink” would fit, which led me to the slang for Chinese persons. Then before I wrote this, I Googled the “kink in the armor” and the first site, grammarist.com, explained how the two are intertwined and misused. Which leads me to trust the writer used it correctly (gramatically), and not racially. Which also leads me to again think that the politically correct crowd all are a bunch of (expletive deleted)…a race of people of whom I am emphatically racist towards…..

    [note: fished from spam filter. --Stashiu]

    reff (4dcda2)

  86. I still can’t get this through….took out the bad words, twice, and failed miserably….I actually had a problem with it when I first saw it because I had always heard of a “kink in the armor” and had to think of how “chink” would fit, which led me to the slang for Chinese persons. Then before I wrote this, I Googled the “kink in the armor” and the first site explained how the two are intertwined and misused. Which leads me to trust the writer used it correctly (gramatically), and not racially. Which also leads me to again think that the politically correct crowd all are a bunch of expletives deleted…..a race of people of whom I am emphatically racist towards…..

    reff (4dcda2)

  87. f you don’t fulfill this part of your job you’re going to get in trouble. Might even be fired.

    But it’s obviously not racism unless he actually intended to use the expression against the Chinese, which if he said this 100 times before, he plainly did not intend.

    If you’re an editor for a major publication part of your job might be to not be obnoxious and offensive to a big part of your customer base.

    What part do you mean? Surely not just Chinese people. That’s getting this wrong, in my opinion. This isn’t about avoiding offending targets. It’s about not intending bigotry. It’s not like it would be OK for anti Asian racial slurs to appear on columns no Asians read.

    I think he should have known better but it’s still sort of sad.

    I can see the argument for remembering racial slurs that most haven’t heard in a quarter century, and of course you need to know all the racial slurs in other languages. Including those that have fallen out of use.

    Even then, someone innocently using the “chink in their armor” metaphor being tossed out of their job because they didn’t have the right style guide for sensitivity… that’s quite sad indeed. The man lost his livelihood, and he didn’t actually do anything immoral.

    I’ve seen a lot of “chink in the armor” headlines, so I don’t understand the sudden “obviously because there’s a Chinese player that word is racist”.

    I would much rather we IGNORE that he’s Chinese and stop being so damn silly.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  88. It’s so interesting that politician (and Democrat) Judy Chu assumes she knew Anthony Federico’s intent.

    The California Democrat said on MSNBC that the headline on the Saturday story about the New York Knicks’s breakout star was “appalling and offensive.” The writer’s word choice, Chu said, was intentional.

    “I think that the use of the term is appalling and offensive,” she said on MSNBC. “The ‘c’ word is for Asian Americans like the ‘n’ word is for African Americans.

    And yet the Jeremy Lin himself, has said otherwise,

    “I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever, but they have apologized and so from my end I don’t care anymore,” Lin said. “Have to learn to forgive and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.”

    One has to ask himself, who has the most to gain from their assumed position?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  89. some of my thoughts about this, at my name.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  90. Dustin,
    Using “Chink” to describe a chinese person isn’t a very obscure slur. Jokes about Lin’s race aren’t uncommon at the moment, so saying that Lin is a chink in his teams armor is at least a stupid thing to do.

    I guess my point is that if you are offend someone by making a stupd mistake you should at least say you’re sorry, whether you intended to be hurtful or not. If you should darn well have known better it’s worse.

    time123 (6dd049)

  91. Network niggardly
    in ability to see
    all of big picture

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  92. ugh. It’s late. Sorry about the semi-literate yoda grammar.

    time123 (6dd049)

  93. ESPN doesn’t care
    Federico is now off the air
    Just one misgoof
    His career, “Poof!”
    Doesn’t matter if it’s not fair.

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  94. they ask who put the
    MSG in MSG?
    watch Lin, ya want more!

    Colonel Haiku (9dd30a)

  95. Mr Lin could prove he’s big hearted
    And say they should never have parted
    ‘Twas a careless mistake
    Anyone could make
    Mr Lin could get rehire started.

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  96. one fine Halloween
    wore my Patrick Ewing mask
    skeered all the chilluns

    Colonel Haiku (9dd30a)

  97. “If this keeps up pretty soon Italians and the Irish will be the only nationality/ethnic groups left about whom it is politically “safe” to use puns or slang.”

    elissa – Why do Italian men wear necklaces?

    So they know where to stop shaving.

    Tip your waitresses, I’m here all week.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  98. A good Italian friend told me that one. Condemn us both.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  99. are they hirsute or
    am them wearing some hairsuits?
    shave haircut… two bits?

    Colonel Haiku (9dd30a)

  100. If you should darn well have known better it’s worse.

    I think actually it’s much better, and that’s the world I want to live in. Where folks like me blink a few times at this “chinks in the armor” headline before we understand why anyone thought it was offensive.

    Using “Chink” to describe a chinese person isn’t a very obscure slur

    I have never heard someone actually use that expression that way. Compared to other racial slurs, it’s obscure.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  101. you are offend someone by making a stupd mistake you should at least say you’re sorry

    I see your point, but it’s the way this world works lately that everyone makes fake apologies. He’s saying he didn’t actually mean it. If he also said ‘sorry if you were offended’, that wouldn’t be very sincere. What he’s saying is better than an apology (unless he’s lying).

    Dana’s quote of Lin:

    “I don’t think it was on purpose or whatever, but they have apologized and so from my end I don’t care anymore,” Lin said. “Have to learn to forgive and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.”

    That blows my mind. A man lost his livelihood and he doesn’t even think the man intended any racism (therefore THERE WAS NONE). Have to learn to forgive?

    Weak.

    As far as I’m concerned, Lin is just another guy on the court. He doesn’t need a special language to avoid offending people. He doesn’t need to ‘learn to forgive’ those who didn’t notice.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  102. Dustin, i’m thinking/hoping that his “learn to forgive” was more intended for all of the people making a fuss, I don’t think (I hope anyway) he was talking about himself needing to forgive. I imagine he wishes it would just go away. Could be wrong,

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  103. Even if he’s from harvard, he’s a basketball player, not a candidate for president who is quick with witty responses…oh, yeah…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  104. I don’t think (I hope anyway) he was talking about himself needing to forgive. I imagine he wishes it would just go away. Could be wrong,

    Comment by MD in Philly

    Thanks for clarifying. Hopefully this is correct.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  105. Using “Chink” to describe a chinese person isn’t a very obscure slur. Jokes about Lin’s race aren’t uncommon at the moment, so saying that Lin is a chink in his teams armor is at least a stupid thing to do.

    I think it depends on one’s age whether or not “Chink” is obscure. Language, including slurs and what constitutes a derogatory term, is fluid: What is once perfectly acceptable in the lexicon of our culture can, over time, transition to mean something altogether different, as well as become a derogatory term (see: gay, fag, cracker).

    I don’t like referring to film to make a point, but I think Clint Eastwood’s film Gran Torino released in 2008, introduced old slurs that were commonplace when my parents were middle-aged, but by the time I hit midlife, were most definitely out of style in the modern lexicon. This was one of the significant points made regarding the main character Eastwood played: He was archaic, out of step with modern sensibilities, thus unfazed and equally unaware of the offense his slurs rendered. They were uncommon and unacceptable outside of his range of vision.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  106. I dunno, Dana. Gran Torino operated at a lot of levels. For example, those gangbangers looking to rape the Chinese girl could be intimidated. Starting by showing that you’re not scared of them and you could do anything you want to them and proving it with a .45 without needing to pull the trigger. Or it could have been just some racist Pollack who never had enough respect for spooks to be scared of them. But then there’s his service in Korea with an integrated army. Hmm.

    I’m thinking too much. Drinking is easier on the brain.

    nk (5a9989)

  107. == Condemn us both==

    Nah, I’m not in the condemning business, daley. But thanks for the comment at #92. That’s a good example of the point I wanted to make. Most people would hear that joke and not even bat an eye– even though it clearly plays on a stereotype that eyetalians are both neanderthalish hirsute and dumb. Irish, Italians, Jews (and blondes) seem to be fair game. Nobody gets fired for insulting or playing word games about them. But mention a watermelon or a lisp or chimichangas and Katie bar the door.

    elissa (a01764)

  108. Pekin, IL high school mascot used to be Chinks.

    The perpetually aggreived and moral outrage pimps are loving this. They get to substitute their meaning for the actual stated intent, and get another scalp. A chink in the armor is often used to describe a weakness for an athlete, or a team. This particular writer claims to have used it over 100 times over the years. Now some are making a semantic quibble about offense vs defense, and using his stated ignorance of the racial component of this phrase in the given context. It is pathetic.

    JD (318f81)

  109. nk, I’m very interested in language and the state of flux it finds itself in. A linguist friend said that it is always changing, evolving, and becoming something entirely different in various cultures over periods of time, like a slow moving current. Anyway, this story is fascinating on a number of levels: An employee embarrasses his employer by making a public serious error in judgment; like clockwork, a left pol inserts herself into the mix to assure us she knows the intent was racist; the victim denies that it was racist in intent; and then the question of whether or not the reference is obscure or common… all interesting. And I don’t know, just musing aloud.

    Drinking is easier on the brain.

    Yes, in the short run. But life is about the long run.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  110. Uh-oh — I sense one of Patterico’s teachable moments ala the Stacy McCain’s inter-racial marriage topic.

    Comment by john b — 2/20/2012 @ 6:00 pm

    You most certainly are not going to get anything of the sort.

    Patterico (17e5f6)

  111. every time i hear the phrase “teachable moment” i throw up in my mouth a little.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  112. If you give a man a fish, you can feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, he will sit on a boat and drink beer all summer.

    JD (318f81)

  113. I cannot count the number of times I have heard the word chink in our house. Better Half and her siblings all call each other that.

    JD (318f81)

  114. I cannot count the number of times I have heard the word chink in our house. Better Half and her siblings all call each other that.

    Comment by JD

    I guess I stand corrected! I looked at the headline (via Ace’s blog a few days ago, I think) and didn’t know what the fuss was for a moment. Chink? So what? Oh yeah… I think that’s a slur from the olden time.

    I don’t know how people keep up with all these things you’re not allowed to say.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  115. Whatever you do, don’t read that Huckleberry Finn book.

    elissa (a01764)

  116. JD, I think within in ethnic enclaves, it’s perfectly acceptable to refer to one another with what is considered a slur. I know it’s true with Indians, and blacks will refer to one another using the “n” word, etc.

    I’d be curious as to know whether your wife was offended by a non-Asian using the term “chink” in the way the editor did?

    Dana (4eca6e)

  117. Some groups of friends use such terms for one another among mixed ethnic backgrounds. Can provoke problems when others overhear and not understand context.

    I had a patient call me “dog” once (as in “you’re my __), I think it was a term of affection/endearment…

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  118. Dana – she thought it was nuts he got fired, and thinks the whole episodemis xontrived and silly She doesn’t care if I use the word, and she does not assume malice if she hears it elsewhere. She would obviously be offended if it was used in a perjorative manner, directed at her. Until today, she thought it was okay to make jokes about Asians and Southerners.

    JD (318f81)

  119. Goodnight. Racists.

    JD (318f81)

  120. Just don’t make jokes about Southern Asians.

    Condemn yourself, then go to bed.

    G’night, mates. (Though they are probably saying G’day.)

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  121. I believe that the 28 year old editor honestly did not know what “chink” meant in the racially derogatory sense. Just one more hole in modern day education. We’re raising a bunch of ignorant twerps—but they do know how to put a condom on a cucumber by the time they’re 8 years old.

    Comanche Voter (0e06a9)

  122. If you’re obnoxious enough you’re ‘offensive’.

    – Would never question you on this.

    Icy (699793)

  123. Patrick Ewing masks;
    Get yours today; then “travel”
    with impunity!

    Icy (699793)

  124. I guess I stand corrected

    – Might as well sit down . . . this could take awhile.

    Icy (699793)

  125. For those who are complaining that “A chink in the armor” makes no sense in relation to a story about the Knicks’ offense, a correction:

    “The Knicks have a chink in their arsenal”

    Better?

    Icy (699793)

  126. She would obviously be offended if it was used in a perjorative manner, directed at her. Until today, she thought it was okay to make jokes about Asians and Southerners.

    Comment by JD —

    This reminds me of Hot Shots, back when Charlie Sheen was funny. There was that Asian guy with the Elvis drawl who explained he was from South Korea.

    “The Knicks have a chink in their arsenal”

    Better?

    Comment by Icy

    I don’t understand the problem with talking about a team’s “armor” totally metaphorically. Like talking about how tire changes are the chink in Tony Stewart’s armor.

    There is a thin logical thread that armor is defense so it is only an acceptable sports metaphor if used as defense, but I think it works for anything “tough” that has shown a weakness.

    The part that bothers me most is how many folks just refuse to give the benefit of the doubt. They have convicted the guy when there is no way they know he intended racism. They ask for a style guide that changes when Chinese people are being discussed. It’s a mess.

    – Might as well sit down . . . this could take awhile.

    Comment by Icy

    I doubt I’ll ever stop admitting I’m wrong once in a while. Just goes with the territory of being human and honest.

    Elissa’s comments about anti Italian jokes are interesting. I had a similar take when practically no one here called out the anti middle eastern racism.

    The hysterical reaction from the press also reminds me of a recent occasion where someone tried to fabricate claims of judgment of Mormons as polytheist into the mouth of someone (me) who never conceived of such a thing, but did so anonymously (because they didn’t want to be held accountable for their integrity).

    It’s interesting seeing perhaps the same person exercise bigotry and also fabricate some to be outraged about. I think those who think that way, for example think I belong “under the boot” of a Republican because I’m middle eastern, or define me as “prawn of arab loins”… they are the same ones who assume my comments must be bigoted. Some don’t understand how a non-bigot thinks.

    I also think Dana’s comment about ego makes sense. Obviously the people making those comments are abusing the hospitality of the blog owner, and I’m sure they are hoping for an angry response instead of a polite discussion. It’s indistinguishable from what a moby wants.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  127. I guess I stand corrected

    – Might as well sit down . . . this could take awhile.

    Comment by Icy

    This has the “probably fair” Stamp Of Approval!

    Colonel Haiku (5b1b7e)

  128. I believe that the 28 year old editor honestly did not know what “chink” meant in the racially derogatory sense. Just one more hole in modern day education. We’re raising a bunch of ignorant twerps—but they do know how to put a condom on a cucumber by the time they’re 8 years old.

    Comment by Comanche Voter

    I don’t think being ignorant of racial slurs makes one an “ignorant twerp”, but I do think you raise an interesting problem. How is our PC culture to educate people about all the racial slurs? In fact, I wonder how many people are ignorant of the progress our country has made because they go to schools that won’t touch some of this stuff with a ten foot pole.

    Another problem is that racial slurs are impossible to categorize. Just weeks ago Colonel Haiku coined his “prawn of arab loins” one.

    Some of us have much better things to store in our finite brains. If someone new uses a prawn metaphor now, should I assume they are racist like Colonel Haiku? Of course not.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  129. elissa’s worried about a book.
    That from the shelves has been took
    Don’t worry my friend
    It cannot offend
    Since at it you cannot now look.

    The Limerick Avenger (3e4784)

  130. Avenger–

    It is this (link below) to which I was referring with respect to my Hucklebery comment. If you have time to read the story be sure to note the suspended teacher’s interesting background and the “principal’s” own written comments on the subject.

    http://www.suntimes.com/news/education/10688120-418/the-n-word-never.html

    elissa (a01764)

  131. That’s quite a sad story, Elissa.

    I don’t understand how we can have a society that is both standing in the way of learning about the history of these offensive words and also hyper reactive to those who didn’t learn about them and were innocently using them.

    It must be no picnic to be a good public school teacher these days.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  132. The grievance pimp industry is alive and well.

    JD (71db8c)

  133. Three Chinese brothers, Bu, Chu, and Fu, want to illegally live in America. The brothers decide to change their names to seem American. Bu changes his name to Buck. Chu changes his name to Chuck. And Fu got sent back to China.

    nk (5a9989)

  134. I have always referred to myself as a half-breed. People get upset. I don’t give a shit. Let them, it’s true. That kid should never have been fired. I wonder if he fits into any “minority” category?

    [note: released from moderation. --Stashiu]

    Ipso Fatso (7434b9)

  135. Like talking about how tire changes are the chink in Tony Stewart’s armor.

    – The chink in Tony Stewart’s armor is his douchenozzle level of temperament. He’s petty, childish, loses focus and wants to fight any and everyone that he feels has crossed him. In interviews he will say “I know I need to relax; these distractions do me no good,” and then in the very next race someone accidentally pushes his car into the wall and he goes ballistic. Even when the incident was clearly the other guy’s fault, Tony acting like a dick is what people remember.

    And that’s what I think . . . about Tony.

    Icy (3354cb)

  136. ESPN’s newly-appointed Director Of Positive Emoting, Mr. Hu Flung Pu, strongly defended the network and it’s response:

    “This came as a total surprise to us”, Mr. Pu said, “just like Pearl Harbor. ESPN does not engage in yellow journalism, despite the slant some bloggers have tried to give the story. The decision to nip it in the bud was the correct one. Otherwise, it might have spread like the Hong Kong flu, leading to more black humor about the Knicks and Mr. Lin.” Asked whether he thought the issue was now dead, Mr. Pu said, “Yes, I believe ESPN has been cleansed of this gook”.

    nk (5a9989)

  137. – The chink in Tony Stewart’s armor is his douchenozzle level of temperament.

    True.

    It was surprising he fired his crew chief after that amazing chase.

    I actually like him for reasons I can’t put my finger on, though I haven’t watched more than mere minutes of Nascar in the last two years. But what you’re saying is true.

    But a lot of these guys… Carl, Kyle, … the ones who seem to be potent: They all have a temperament issue sometimes.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  138. nk, I denounce you, I thoroughly and completely denounce you!

    The highly indignant, multi-culturalist Dana (f68855)

  139. nk – Prawn of anglo-saxon American loins condemns you.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  140. I expected that some readers here would take a jaundiced view.

    nk (5a9989)

  141. I actually like him for reasons I can’t put my finger on

    unforgettable
    that’s what he is… at least to
    coyote in heat

    Colonel Haiku (32cb31)

  142. the speshul tonight
    medallions of coyote
    loin mesquite flame grilled

    Colonel Haiku (32cb31)

  143. The Colonel is in rare form
    As he prepared to dine in his dorm
    On coyote he shot;
    It isn’t store bought,
    And tequila; he’ll eat the worm.

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  144. Dustin wrote:

    But a lot of these (NASCAR) guys… Carl, Kyle, … the ones who seem to be potent: They all have a temperament issue sometimes.

    Well, yeah! You don’t win the race by backing off.

    The Southern Dana (f68855)

  145. A lot of people absolutely hated Dale Earnhardt, because he was a hard-driving son of a bitch. If you got in his way, you ate the wall.

    He also won, a lot.

    The nice guys? They’re still finishing twelfth, on the quarter-mile track in Lehighton.

    The Southern Dana (f68855)

  146. nk wrote:

    I expected that some readers here would take a jaundiced view.

    Jaundiced? Jaundiced? Jaundiced means “Yellow or yellowish,” and when talking about a Chinese-American is clearly just another racist dogwhistle!

    I denounce you yet again!

    The extremely offended Dana (f68855)

  147. That’s right, Southern Dana. Dale was very unpopular for how he won, but that’s what winning required.

    The exception of late, of course, is Johnson. And I have nothing against the guy, but it’s not the same for me.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  148. another case of
    “Once Tony, all the others
    are just plain phony.”

    Colonel Haiku (32cb31)

  149. he’s back, after a long spell
    the Dems? they can go straight to Hell
    his limericks? realm’s own coin
    prawn cocktail? or Wile E’s loin
    ’tis true, tonight we dine so well

    Colonel Haiku (32cb31)

  150. 1) It’s the Projection Party – formerly known as the Progressive Party …

    2) “Niggardly”, ironically enough, is an ethnic slur – just never was a racial slur … the Nigg were a southern scandinavian tribe/group, famed for their lack of hospitality and for their lack of generosity …

    3) Please try to remember there there is a reason why, in English, we say that “Offence is *taken* or offered.” … a potentially offensive word is like a gift, which belongs to the giver until it is accepted by the one who is offered it

    4) For a word or phrase to be taken as racist or offensive, the person taking it in that way has to think and believe that the word *is* racist or offensive … if such a person thinks or believes in that way, then that person is at fault …

    5) I just spent the weekend at a gaming convention – where most of use spent a lot of the time actively seeking any useful chink in our opponent’s armour or strategy or performance …

    6) As I understand it, “squaw” is supposedly the local term for what my daughters reference as the vahooha or the vajayjay

    7) I still find that the best response to such an accusation (of racism or other non-PC-ness, is to counter that the accuser is just being anti-semantic …

    If the person has a sense of humour, it defuses potential awkwardness … and if the person lacks a sense of humour (such as in being militant-PC), they are terrified of being labeled anti-semantic … (grin) …

    Personally, I’m looking forward to our post-Rachel society … Ms Maddow has yet to impress me …

    Alasdair (e7cb73)

  151. Niggardly”, ironically enough, is an ethnic slur – just never was a racial slur … the Nigg were a southern scandinavian tribe/group, famed for their lack of hospitality and for their lack of generosity …

    Learn something new every day.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  152. Sometimes the Colonel
    Has just no rhyme or reason
    Eat your coyote

    The Limerick Avenger (f68855)

  153. Painted Jaguar: “For a word or phrase to be taken as racist or offensive, the person taking it in that way has to think and believe that the word *is* racist or offensive … if such a person thinks or believes in that way, then that person is at fault …”
    – That sounds like a hedgehog talking… or a turtle, never could remember which was which.

    the Nigg were a southern scandinavian tribe/group, famed for their lack of hospitality and for their lack of generosity
    – Are you pulling my tail??? How far southern???

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  154. From Wikipedia,
    “”Niggardly” (noun: “niggard”) is an adjective meaning “stingy” or “miserly”, perhaps related to the Old Norse verb nigla = “to fuss about small matters”.”

    I had heard it referred to a Scandinavian tax that was reluctantly paid. All seem to trace back to Vikings.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  155. My Simon and Schuster New World Dictionary would seem close to the Wikipedia etymology.

    Machinist (b6f7da)

  156. nk, you’re killing me.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  157. What I like about this site, Dana, is that Patterico is no footbinder but instead, even though absolute honcho (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/honcho) in his Shogunate, shows tolerance for off-color comments.

    nk (5a9989)

  158. Paranthetical: “Huckleberry Finn” has been mentioned but there is a wonderful book “A Visit From The Footbinder” which I wonder if it is still on library shelves. I don’t want to know about another great book, “The Nigger Of The Narcissus”.

    nk (5a9989)

  159. You are so right. I would say Patterico is very tolerant. All of your jokes made me laugh…and without an ounce of shame, too.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  160. Not that you all don’t already know, but footbinding was used in feudal China to force women to conform to the neo-Confucian? “ideal” that female beauty necessarily included the smallest possible feet. The “binding” started when the the girls were very young and it ended up, depending on the skill of the footbinder, with twelve year old girls with toes that had been amputated due to necrosis and stumps of feet hardly bigger than their ankle joints.

    Kind of makes me want to say “speechbinding”.

    nk (5a9989)

  161. That would be a great response to Ms. Chu, wouldn’t it, though? “This is not China. We don’t have footbinding and we don’t have speechbinding.”

    nk (5a9989)

  162. feet deserve to be happy I think

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  163. Suffering for beauty: These “golden lotuses” were proof of a foot fetish on a national scale, with hobbled feet acting as another erogenous zone, the most forbidden of them all.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  164. Which is worse, binding feet or high heals?

    Binding feet probably worse on feet, high heels worse on ankles and above.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  165. I actually like him [Tony Stewart] for reasons I can’t put my finger on, though I haven’t watched more than mere minutes of Nascar in the last two years. But what you’re saying is true.

    – I have not stopped smiling for the past eight hours. :)

    Icy (573d9a)

  166. High heels are voluntary, MD in Philly. Bound feet were not.

    True: When I met my first wife, she was wearing beautiful, expensive, Guccis. Except that my mother-in-law was buying them for her half a size too small because she wanted her daughter to have a size 8 shoe instead of size 8 1/2. Her feet, my wife’s not my mother-in-law’s, were full of callouses, corns and welts. So I took her to the Magnificent Mile and convinced her that nobody would notice half a size difference.

    That convinced her (along with the strand of Mikimotos on the way).

    nk (5a9989)

  167. I have not stopped smiling for the past eight hours. :)

    Comment by Icy

    Yo mama been smiling for the past eight hours.

    “This is not China. We don’t have footbinding and we don’t have speechbinding.”

    I like that line.

    Dustin (401f3a)

  168. I actually like him [Tony Stewart] for reasons I can’t put my finger on, though I haven’t watched more than mere minutes of Nascar in the last two years. But what you’re saying is true.

    – I have not stopped smiling for the past eight hours. :)

    Comment by Icy

    unforgettable!

    Colonel Haiku (f638f0)

  169. Something in the way he drives…

    Colonel Haiku (b74f69)

  170. Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Asian American Journalists Association releases ‘guidelines’ on Jeremy Lin media coverage…

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/cutline/asian-american-journalists-association-releases-guidelines-jeremy-lin-155822233.html

    Colonel Haiku (60474f)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.4549 secs.