Last week Anne Arundel County Councilman Dick Ladd, 71, referred to enemy combatants in the Vietnam War as “gooks” during a council meeting, immediately defending it as a “technical” term. And early Saturday morning ESPN’s mobile website briefly sported the Lin-excusable (sorry, I am contractually obligated to make at least one of those puns) headline “Chink in the Armor,” referring to an uncharacteristically sloppy performance by the New York Knicks’ Taiwanese-American point guard Jeremy Lin, ending a much hyped winning streak. (ESPN acted swiftly, firing the writer responsible.)
Now on the one hand, those two isolated incidents don’t necessarily imply some kind of anti-Asian conspiracy across America. Each offensive act was committed by a racially insensitive “lone gunman,” if you will. And even in 2012 you have to expect that every now and again you are going to happen upon a stray racist. But the fact that these people thought their over-the-line comments were going to be accepted by their respective audiences is mind blowing.
I mean, are we really going to have to learn tolerance one race at a time? Does every minority group have to stage a separate march on Washington before we are going to retire their racial slurs? Can’t whites just take what they learned from Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement and apply it to Asian-Americans?
A protest of Ladd’s comment has already been planned for today. Come on, white America, you’re embarrassing me. Let’s show a little initiative here.