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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

LINK: “Knick”names and Jeremy Lin…

The Communicated Stereotype looks at some of the online nicknames for Jeremy Lin & checks out if they cross the line of racism.

The post is thought-provoking and reflects that the previous several posts had begun a debate of what nicknames are appropriate in general.

Noodles
Master Lin
The Pork Fried Point Guard
The Last Dragon

are a few that were discussed. And most of these were confronted with accusations of stereotyping and racism. Knicks 80_20 commented, “Do we have to use stereotypes? Really?” and another poster moocow007 explained, “Its like me saying that maybe we should give Shumpert a nickname of Sweet Chitlins or Manly Hamhocks.”

So which is it? Are these nicknames stereotypes and, so, problematic or as Kidknick commented “in poor taste”? Or are these legitimate “Knick”names suggested by Lin’s adoring fans? In this blog I offer standards by which to determine the answer to this and similar questions.

38 comments on “LINK: “Knick”names and Jeremy Lin…

  1. maudlin17

    The fact that there even needs to be a discussion about whether or not those names are racist speaks volumes about levels of accepted racism/discrimination that Asians face everyday.

    Fact is, as the SNL skit so adeptly pointed out: It’s perfectly acceptable to say off-color/racist remarks about Asians, but not okay to do the same about blacks, latinos or even gays. The NBA went so far as to make a PSA about how unacceptable it is to call people gay. Yet, when Linsanity occurred, not a single f*ck was given by the NBA about the rampant racism directed at Lin both on Facebook and Twitter.

    People will point out that the guy who wrote offensive ESPN headline was fired as evidence that there has been improvement in the treatment of Asians by the mainstream media. That is the equivalent of Donald Trump giving a homeless guy a dollar with 50 cameras rolling. It does little to get to the root of the problem and is more PR stunt than anything else.

    Until, we’ve reached a better place with race relations. I recommend that everyone think 2 or 3 times about what they consider “offensive” and then ask “would I say this if there was an Asian guy with a gun standing in front of me”

  2. Cousyfan

    I am a zeroth-generation Chinese-American. I am 83, I was an illegal immigrant, the US Congress had to pass a special bill to admit me to the path to citizenship, I was naturalized in 1962. I have been called things BEYOND your wildest immagination during my years in college. They called me “One Hung Low.” (How does that grab you? Hun?)
    Anything that references to Jeremy Lin’s ethnicity in any way is racist, PERIOD!!! “Linsanity” is acceptable only because it has zero reference to Lin’s race, only to his name.
    I am extremely offended by this article, how it has to raise this question. Just like I was offended by SAS’s comments, and will always switch him off whenever he appears.
    Lin will play in Game 4, even if it is only in the fourth quarter.
    Cheers!

  3. chrisk06811

    Unlike Cousyfan, I am 0% Chinese-American; I’m just your average white guy. I support what Couseyfan said 100%. Why do we have to refer to Lin’s race at all? That would be totally unacceptable for other players. Would anyone DARE refer to Omri Casspi by a nickname that has to do with his being Israeli?

    I think the NBA is the most well rounded and color blind professional sport. In my opinion, it’s the only sport where this is even remotely true in the ranks of coaches, front offices, etc. Why screw with that? I’d think it’s as big an insult to Bill Russell and Sweetwater Clifton as it is to Jeremy Lin.

  4. Mike Kurylo Post author

    Cousyfan: Anything that references to Jeremy Lin’s ethnicity in any way is racist, PERIOD!!

    By this token, are these nicknames racist?
    Dirk – The Bavarian Bomber
    Rik Smits – The Dunkin’ Dutchman
    Serge Ibaka – Air Congo
    Earl Monroe – Black Jesus

    Also is it just race that we should avoid? It’s not proper to make fun of someone being overweight, so should we avoid “the Round Mound of Rebound”?

    Cousyfan: I am extremely offended by this article, how it has to raise this question.

    Also what about the article offended you? It’s questioning/analyzing stereotypes. Should we never speak about them publicly?

  5. maudlin17

    Mike Kurylo: By this token, are these nicknames racist?
    Dirk – The Bavarian Bomber
    Rik Smits – The Dunkin’ Dutchman
    Serge Ibaka – Air Congo
    Earl Monroe – Black Jesus

    Also is it just race that we should avoid? It’s not proper to make fun of someone being overweight, so should we avoid “the Round Mound of Rebound”?

    Also what about the article offended you? It’s questioning/analyzing stereotypes. Should we never speak about them publicly?

    There is a history of negative association with Asian names/references. People use them as a convenient way to disparage all Asians. There are very few if ANY negative associations with the examples you listed.

  6. Doug

    Cousyfan:
    I am a zeroth-generation Chinese-American. I am 83, I was an illegal immigrant, the US Congress had to pass a special bill to admit me to the path to citizenship, I was naturalized in 1962.

    That’s incredible. I can’t even imagine what it must have been to go through that. As a second-generation Chinese-American my family’s history in America is all relatively recent and I don’t have a direct link to the experience of ABCs who are 3rd generation and beyond.

    Speaking as someone who has not experienced racism in any real malicious way and who grew up mainly in a country that is majority Chinese, I think all four of those nicknames are problematic. All of them can be offensive depending on the context and the speaker.

    You wouldn’t catch me dead using any of them except for maybe “The Last Dragon” although it’s super cheesy. “Noodles” and “Pork Fried Point Guard” are horrifically egregious. Reducing a culture to stereotypes based on their food is INCREDIBLY racist. “Master Lin” is also not OK. It’s an “All Asians Know Kung Fu” stereotype. Even though in the movie, The Last Dragon was Bruce Leroy, a black guy, and even though thanks to the Wu-Tang Clan kung fu movies have been somewhat deracialized, it’s still a stereotype. And being stereotyped sucks.

    The bottom line is, if you’re not an Asian person, it’s probably not OK to use any of the nicknames, unless you’re with Asian friends that have given you unmistakably clear permission to make racial jokes with them.

  7. Mike Kurylo Post author

    maudlin17: There is a history of negative association with Asian names/references. People use them as a convenient way to disparage all Asians. There are very few if ANY negative associations with the examples you listed.

    I disagree with your premise. There are positive and negative associations with all stereotypical names/references. Also there are plenty of negative associations with ones based on weight.

    Gee if an expert wrote an article about the topic, maybe we can read that & get a better handle on the issue? ;-)

    Essentially, I’m challenging the view that any name based on ethnicity is bad. Also I’m challenging that the article is offensive. Well I guess that is a subjective viewpoint, because people have a right to be offended by whatever they wish. But I don’t think there is anything offensive about it. Of course I’ve actually read it…

  8. 06261990

    Cousyfan:

    Anything that references to Jeremy Lin’s ethnicity in any way is racist, PERIOD!!! “Linsanity” is acceptable only because it has zero reference to Lin’s race, only to his name.

    Ooh, I wouldn’t go that far. If someone called Lin, I dunno, The Chinese-American John Starks, or something (ignoring differences in their games, natch), they would have referenced his ethnicity without crossing the line (of course, calling someone/something the “something of something,” the “Harvard of the South” or something, can imply it is less than the referent, it could also mean it is the equivalent: the “Cadillac of nail guns,” etc. But I digress). Lin’s ethnicity is an important part of his cultural presence, and it seems wrong to try to ignore that.

    But I agree that that article is troubling. All of the nicknames listed are well beyond redemption. And even if we were to buy that they are well-intended, that they are ethically neutral in a vacuum (which I don’t, BTW. “Chink” is just a double entendre in that context? Really?), they all essentialize. They all contribute to the othering of Chinese and Asian Americans (and, just Asians in general). They operate within our culture of Orientalism, and are wrong not because they could possibly lead to misuse in other contexts, but on their own merits.

    Also, I just figured out anyone can read all of Edward Said’s book online for free (the pdf is a little wacky, but you can’t beat the price): http://www.odsg.org/Said_Edward(1977)_Orientalism.pdf

  9. Mike Kurylo Post author

    06261990: But I agree that that article is troubling. All of the nicknames listed are well beyond redemption. And even if we were to buy that they are well-intended, that they are ethically neutral in a vacuum (which I don’t, BTW. “Chink” is just a double entendre in that context? Really?), they all essentialize.

    I don’t think you read the article.

  10. maudlin17

    Mike Kurylo: I disagree with your premise. There are positive and negative associations with all stereotypical names/references. Also there are plenty of negative associations with ones based on weight.

    Gee if an expert wrote an article about the topic, maybe we can read that & get a better handle on the issue? ;-)

    Essentially, I’m challenging the view that any name based on ethnicity is bad. Also I’m challenging that the article is offensive. Well I guess that is a subjective viewpoint, because people have a right to be offended by whatever they wish. But I don’t think there is anything offensive about it. Of course I’ve actually read it…

    So a non-asian person is going to tell me(an asian person) what I find offensive? Awesome!

    How many more people of Asian people decent do you need to tell you that it’s offensive?

    Tell me, what exactly is offensive about Air Congo? Hell, half of your readers probably didn’t even know that it was formerly named Zaire.

    I read the article and I’m here to say that’s pure conjecture with your opening statement ““Just to be clear…I’m pretty sure Lin has accepted the fact that he is Asian. As long as the nicknames aren’t mean-spirited, I don’t think he would get offended by giving him a nickname that represents his culture.”

    Really? You know Lin? You’ve spoken to him? As an a clearly Non-Asian person, do you feel qualified to speak on his behalf?

    Perhaps, you should re-read the article and think about what is NOT being said.

  11. maudlin17

    Mike Kurylo: The fact that there even needs to be a discussion about whether or not those names are racist speaks volumes about levels of accepted racism/discrimination that Asians face everyday.

    Fact is, as the SNL skit so adeptly pointed out: It’s perfectly acceptable to say off-color/racist remarks about Asians, but not okay to do the same about blacks, latinos or even gays. The NBA went so far as to make a PSA about how unacceptable it is to call people gay. Yet, when Linsanity occurred, not a single f*ck was given by the NBA about the rampant racism directed at Lin both on Facebook and Twitter.

    People will point out that the guy who wrote offensive ESPN headline was fired as evidence that there has been improvement in the treatment of Asians by the mainstream media. That is the equivalent of Donald Trump giving a homeless guy a dollar with 50 cameras rolling. It does little to get to the root of the problem and is more PR stunt than anything else.

    Until, we’ve reached a better place with race relations. I recommend that everyone think 2 or 3 times about what they consider “offensive” and then ask “would I say this if there was an Asian guy with a gun standing in front of me”

    The fact that there even needs to be a discussion about whether or not those names are racist speaks volumes about levels of accepted racism/discrimination that Asians face everyday.

    Fact is, as the SNL skit so adeptly pointed out: It’s perfectly acceptable to say off-color/racist remarks about Asians, but not okay to do the same about blacks, latinos or even gays. The NBA went so far as to make a PSA about how unacceptable it is to call people gay. Yet, when Linsanity occurred, not a single f*ck was given by the NBA about the rampant racism directed at Lin both on Facebook and Twitter.

    People will point out that the guy who wrote offensive ESPN headline was fired as…

  12. 06261990

    Mike Kurylo: I don’t think you read the article.

    I don’t think you think that. I think you think I read the article, but missed the point. I don’t think so.

  13. TelegraphedPass

    An interesting wrinkle in the debate is Lin’s apparent attitude towards his own ethnicity.

    Do we all recall Lin’s bow with Melo during the beginning of Linsanity? Pretty stereotypical, yes?

    He doesn’t seem to be extraordinarily sensitive to references to his culture and ethnicity. Not surprising, as he is a talented Asian-American player and has been his entire life.

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with using Lin’s culture to create a nickname for him, within certain limits. On the contrary, I think it’s a celebration of Lin’s culture and ethnicity when done in a tasteful way. Let’s not pretend his ethnicity isn’t an important part of who he is. His Asian and Asian-American fans largely support him because of it. They feel a connection to him not because of his play but mostly his appearance.

    It isn’t as if Jeremy Tyler has tons of Asian support, despite his ties to Japan.

    I love the fact that Lin’s emergence has raised awareness and discussion of these issues, and I don’t mind many of his nicknames.

    If it matters, I’m also of Chinese decent. I don’t think it does, really, but whatever.

  14. Mike Kurylo Post author

    #10.

    You state that:

    “But I agree that that article is troubling. All of the nicknames listed are well beyond redemption. And even if we were to buy that they are well-intended, that they are ethically neutral in a vacuum (which I don’t, BTW. “Chink” is just a double entendre in that context? Really?), they all essentialize.”

    The article states:

    “The verdict from The Communicated Stereotype is ultimately that these “knick”names are terms of endearment because of the first three standards. But with the addition of the fourth standard, these terms can be viewed as problematic too because they ultimately, albeit it inadvertently, promote stereotypes.

    You’re right. You read it. You just don’t understand it (or are misconstruing its conclusion.)

  15. maudlin17

    Mike Kurylo:
    #10.

    You state that:

    “But I agree that that article is troubling. All of the nicknames listed are well beyond redemption. And even if we were to buy that they are well-intended, that they are ethically neutral in a vacuum (which I don’t, BTW. “Chink” is just a double entendre in that context? Really?), they all essentialize.”

    The article states:

    “The verdict from The Communicated Stereotype is ultimately that these “knick”names are terms of endearment because of the first three standards. But with the addition of the fourth standard, these terms can be viewed as problematic too because they ultimately, albeit it inadvertently, promote stereotypes.

    You’re right. You read it. You just don’t understand it (or are misconstruing its conclusion.)

    Really Mike? I’m done with your site. Good luck trying to convince Asians that you’re not a douchebag

  16. KnickfaninNJ

    I’d like to talk about the ESPN mandated game summary format and make a plea for ESPN to consider changing it for next year. The format was a nice change when it was first introduced, but now it is showing some deficiencies. In particular, it’s a very star oriented format. I am sure that Dolan likes it, but I am not sure it’s great for this audience. Emphasis is on how individual players performed without any need for writing about how the team performed as a whole. This is probably great for bar discussions, but not necessarily for this forum. And actually, most of the comments following a game update aren’t about the letter grades. The discussions tend to go back to the same themes as previous blog posts rather than refer to the letter grades themselves. So I don’t see that the ratings generate much interesting discussion on their own. There isn’t even a grade for the coach, or the team play as a whole and there is no room any data except what’s in a normal box score. Of course the notes at the bottom could include this, but it’s asking a lot for the reporter to do all the individual ratings and give a team oriented discussion too.

    Another thing is that, especially for this season, there are games so often, there aren’t so many days where more thoughtful posts can be put up for forum discussion.

    Am I the only one who feels this way? I am interested in other inputs.

  17. TelegraphedPass

    maudlin17: Really Mike? I’m done with your site. Good luck trying to convince Asians that you’re not a douchebag

    You shouldn’t claim to speak for all Asians. I don’t intend on intruding in your debate but I just wanted to say that. Not all Asians necessarily agree with your line of thinking.

  18. Mike Kurylo Post author

    maudlin17: Really Mike? I’m done with your site. Good luck trying to convince Asians that you’re not a douchebag

    I link to an article stating that Lin’s Asian-styled nicknames are problematic from a stereotype standpoint (aka racist) and defend that position, and you’re accusing me of racism. And while you’re doing it, state that *all Asians* will feel the same way. (hint: that’s stereotyping!)

  19. f.l.o.

    there are and will always be stereotypes about race, professions, gender, hair colour, countries and so on…
    as long as they don’t cross a certain line i don’t see a point why not using them or at least talk about them objectively.

  20. Vctr

    The only thing that I find especially egregious in this article is the following excerpt.

    “THE NEGATIVITY STANDARD: Although the tone of the headline is negative, the negativity is not inherent in the word Chink. Instead, it stems from the full phrase. This full phrase is also what creates the humor because whoever is causing the chink in the armor is not doing well AND also happens to be Chinese. The Chink part is merely a double entendre intended to reflect that Lin is Chinese. In general ethnophaulisms are considered negative. However, even the N word and the Q word can be used positively despite being two of the most objectionable ethnophaulisms that exist. As a result, I don’t think the use of the word Chink in the headline is intended to be negative.”

    The whole line of thought in this paragraph is especially troublesome. I acknowledge that the word chink has alternative meanings, but its time to retire that phrase. And to say that there is humor in the double entendre and that the entendre was meant to merely reflect that he was Chinese just shows that you don’t get it. Bottom line is that you don’t use the word chink, no matter what the context, when speaking about a player of Chinese descent. You just don’t.

    Also, how in God’s name can the N word and the Q word be used in a positive way?!

  21. TelegraphedPass

    Vctr:
    Also, how in God’s name can the N word and the Q word be used in a positive way?!

    I’m fairly certain the author is referring to the usage of those words by black and gay people in reference to each other. I’ve gotten to hang out with many gay people of various backgrounds as a dancer, and they almost universally are comfortable with using the word “fag” in reference to one another. It’s become a term of endearment between them, and I assume that is the relationship that the author was speaking towards.

  22. Owen

    I actually don’t think that the chink was used by the ESPN headline writer as a joke. I believe he said it was unintentional and that he had used the exact same phrase 30-40 times before. He is also married to an asian-american woman…..

    Also, relax everyone.

  23. TelegraphedPass

    I hadn’t heard that the ESPN writer was married to an Asian-American. As a professional writer, though, he needs to be more aware of what he’s saying.

    And yeah, I’m surprised tempers are flaring. The article wasn’t even particularly inflammatory.

  24. 06261990

    Mike Kurylo:
    You’re right. You read it. You just don’t understand it (or are misconstruing its conclusion.)

    Dude, you’re getting very defensive. Maybe my issue is with her methodology. Maybe I don’t understand her rubric well enough, but since this is for a general audience, and I’m not a terrible reader, I’m sticking with my first reaction unless I learn something new. But here’s what I’m thinking as I understand her conclusion. “The verdict from The Communicated Stereotype is ultimately that these “knick”names are terms of endearment because of the first three standards.” This is my problem: I believe the “CONTEXT STANDARD” has been applied too narrowly. If we broaden the focus of the context to include the culture(s?) of white supremacy in which these labels are nested, they don’t come off as passable before that final layer can be applied. I found the article troubling because it seems to reluctantly condemn these statements based not on their own content and context, but on problems they could cause outside of their context. This ignores pervasive cultural systems that include these texts’ original contexts (an ESPN headline and a semi-anonymous message board anyone can join). The willingness to extend the benefit of the doubt to statements that are so openly problematic is what troubles me. They are not just given the benefit of the doubt in an objective, let’s study this kind of way. It extends into the conclusion. It’s almost as if these are condemned on a technicality.

    That said, I’ve looked at some of the other posts on that blog. The author seems to have good intentions, and is, of course, a highly qualified and capable social critic. That doesn’t mean every post is above critique. I think this particular one misses the mark.

  25. Hudson River

    maudlin17: Really Mike?I’m done with your site.Good luck trying to convince Asians that you’re not a douchebag

    I would strongly recommend that we as readers, bonded by this common (albeit totally constructed and in many ways artificial) identity as Knick fans take a second to step back and reflect that the majority of the posters here are thoughtful individuals attempting to talk about something that matters – in this case race. I’m really excited that we’re taking a moment to talk about an issue that has been really thoughtfully discussed on the internet by a few commentators (Here’s one: http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7601157/the-headline-tweet-unfair-significance-jeremy-lin)

    One rule that helps interactions like this run smoothly is committing to speaking from the “I”, that is, speaking from one’s own experience. For example, rather than saying the quote above, language like “Mike, I feel like your comments alienate me as somebody who self identifies as Asian” is better for constructing a safe space for conversation. The point is not to be PC, but to try to only speak for yourself or those you are comfortable directly speaking for.

    My point is, your opinion on whether “Master Lin” is racist doesn’t necessarily make you racist based on your rational with Mike’s being a universalitist view that the same standard should apply to all backgrounds/ races/ ethnicity (i.e. “white chocolate” is okay to refer to Jason Williams) whereas maudilin believes that the unique sociocultural context of Asian Americans in the U.S. dictates that such terms should be used more carefully when referring to an Asian’s persons race. Neither logic is absurd, but a discussion of how each perspective was reached can help identity and discuss the systems of oppression that are in play here.

  26. 06261990

    Vctr:

    Also, how in God’s name can the N word and the Q word be used in a positive way?!

    “Queer” has been repurposed to the point where I never think of it or hear it as a slur anymore. Of course, I’m not gay, and I’m involved in cultural studies, so, you know, YMMV. I think the F word would be the equivalent here.

    Also: the S word? I’m drawing a blank. Socialism?

  27. chrisk06811

    Mike: I read the whole article. I apologize for commenting before I did so, althought I was just responding to what Couseyfan said. The article is fair. It basically says this is a complicated issue, and there are lots of ways to look at it.

    I’m sure there have been lots of times I’ve said something to people that could have been taken as stereotypical. I’m sure that sometimes they were offended, and other times they were not.

    These things are so subjective. You can’t control what people think. You can’t tell someone they can’t be offended by something because you didn’t mean it that way. You can’t tell someone they are being too sensitive.

    Jeremy Lin is a public figure. I’m not worried about offending him. So what if he bows at Carmello? So what if he’s not bothered by such things. This guy is really, really well educated, and he’s got a good life. I think if anything he’d prefer to be known as a good PG and not as an Asian PG. I think all of us know that (thanks in part to Baron and Bibby).

    What bugs me is when someone like Couseyfan stands up and says hey….here’s my background, and here’s what offends me, and people suggest that these statements are not offensive. It’s up to him to determine what offends him. You should realize when you open your mouth that you might offend someone. If you had nothing but good intentions, be smarter about it, and dont’ say it in the first place.

    I think it’s good that someone like Lin comes along and makes us think about stuff like this and how important it still is today. I think the whole discussion is healthy. And, I think the article is well written, and suggests there is no one good answer.

    I’m also thrilled we have a real PG again.

  28. Thomas B.

    Kobe is the Black Mamba right? I just thought that had more to do with being deadly than being black. I think it all comes down to whether the nickname uses a pejorative stereotype. “Spic” is an easy no. “Noodles” is a bit more complicated. Is “noodles” just as bad for Asians as Italians or is it just fine. I went to school with a guy who got the nickname noodles because he was always in hot water. He is black. If everything else of who he is stayed the same except he was Asian of Italian, would it be wrong to call him noodles? “Stereotypes are most commonly defined as a characteristic associated with a group.”-TCS But the use of noodles is not based on the association with the group, but rather a condition that has nothing to do with the group.

    What if Lin evolves into a Rondo like triple double threat and we start calling him “Numbers”? What then? Does that touch to closely to the sterotype that Asians are good with math. Can you call a Jewish ball player a diamond in the rough or say he pitched a gem?

    “Even with these as stereotypes, should this warrant their no longer being considered as “Knick”names? Not necessarily. Why? Because that would impose negativity on an otherwise neutral stereotype. “-TCS

    I agree with that. Each name requires a close look to see if the name was picked to highlight a sterotype about the group or if there is some race nuetral association. Black Mamba may be a good example of that.

    Kudos to you Mike for getting this discussion started.

  29. johnlocke

    Thomas I generally agree with you. All minority groups are stereotyped in one way or another. We have long had public socio-cultural debates about what these stereotypes are for African-Americans for example, but not as much for Asian-Americans. I think there is a relative genuine ignorance for many non-Asian people as it relates to what is considered acceptable and not acceptable by Asian-Americans, because these discussions have rarely ever happened in the public square. The first principle of “treat others as you’d like to be treated” is usually a good place to start. You enter a further shade of grey when you are at a sports arena and fans and announcers are trying to be entertainers with their signs –i.e. “Yellow Mamba”, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Point Guard” or Lin bursting out of a fortune cookie. It’s also tough because most minorities don’t want to be primarily identified in their professions because of their race, “the black lawyer” etc, but at the same time can be proud of being one of the few of their race to be breaking barriers –an asian-american point guard. My long-winded point is that I think the issue is a bit complex to offer a standardized approach of knowing what will offend others, especially when many non-Asian-Americans are relatively ignorant of the history of Asian Americans in the US. The great news is that Lin will offer teaching moments throughout his career, some will be painful, but they should help advance a public dialogue that has rarely ever taken place

    Thomas B.:
    Kobe is the Black Mamba right?I just thought that had more to do with being deadly than being black.I think it all comes down to whether the nickname uses a pejorative stereotype. “Spic” is an easy no.“Noodles” is a bit more complicated.

  30. Vctr

    Thomas B.:
    “Noodles” is a bit more complicated.Is “noodles” just as bad for Asians as Italians or is it just fine.I went to school with a guy who got the nickname noodles because he was always in hot water.

    To touch upon this … it would be egregious to nickname an Italian player “Pasta”, would it not?

  31. jimjamj

    My opinion is that any comment or moniker that perpetuates a stereotype, even non-negative stereotypes, especially unintentionally or playfully, is harmful to a community trying to overcome bias (I’ve looked at this with regards to sexism in male-dominated subcultures).

    Often those types of statements don’t come off as offensive; blatantly offensive or pejorative comments are more painful to the subject, but because those comments alienate everyone, they do less to perpetuate stereotypes.

    Having had this view before reading the article, I immediately branded the first three nicknames as negative. Nicknames based on “dragon” call attention to a revered icon in Chinese culture, thereby implicitly referring to Lin’s race; however I don’t really see how that is negative: it doesn’t appear to perpetuate any stereotypes, and it also doesn’t seem to be attempting to define Lin solely by his race, the way “white chocolate” does. Isn’t Lin specifically called “dragon” because of his birth-year, rather than his race? “Dragon” isn’t a moniker one such-minded name-giver would attach to just any Chinese (or Taiwanese) individual, right? And lastly, and I might be wrong on this, doesn’t the dragon have strong positive associations for the Chinese? Would that not make “dragon”-themed titles flattery?

    btw, suggesting to an Italian that “noodles” is the same as “pasta” is definitely offensive – Italians take cuisine seriously

  32. Z

    Vctr: To touch upon this … it would be egregious to nickname an Italian player “Pasta”, would it not?

    Yes, but only because it is a requirement to nickname every Italian player “Itlian Stallion”.

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