When people talk about so-called “code words,” it is sometimes tempting to ask if we can get a list of the things we are not supposed to say. In the wake of the Anthony Federico/Jeremy Lin “chink in the armor” debacle, a group of Asian American journalists has been kind enough to do just that (h/t Dana). Dylan Stableford at Yahoo News’s “The Cutline” writes:
Following (justified) outrage over several examples of racially-insensitive coverage of Lin–including a headline published by ESPN.com which resulted in the firing of one staffer and suspension of another–the Asian American Journalists Association has issued a set of guidelines for media outlets salivating over the NBA’s Asian-American sensation.
“As NBA player Jeremy Lin’s prowess on the court continues to attract international attention and grab headlines, AAJA would like to remind media outlets about relevance and context regarding coverage of race,” the group wrote in an advisory. “In the past weeks, as more news outlets report on Lin, his game and his story, AAJA has noticed factual inaccuracies about Lin’s background as well as an alarming number of references that rely on stereotypes about Asians or Asian Americans.”
You have to love how he rushes to include the word “justified” to describe the pretend outrage of Asian groups. Don’t fire me too! I would never buck the P.C. line!
The article sets forth the guidelines in full, and as you peruse them you start to wonder whether you’re really reading the “Onion.” I’ll just pick one:
DRIVING: This is part of the sport of basketball, but resist the temptation to refer to an “Asian who knows how to drive.”
Thank God for this manual. You can picture a sportcaster who is ready to scream, after Lin drives to the hoop: “NOW THAT’S ONE ASIAN WHO KNOWS HOW TO DRIVE!!!!!” but then consults the manual and realizes that it might be offensive. Truly, journalists everywhere owe this group a debt of thanks.
P.S. No direct reference is made to the “two inches of pain” thing, so I guess that one’s still OK.