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“Chink in the armor”? REALLY?!

Posted by Lissa on February 20, 2012

An ESPN writer posted an actual story with that as the headline. Really.

*ahem ahem* *mee-mee-mee-mee*

How DARE they? Don’t they know how HURTFUL and OFFENSIVE that statement is? We need a full study of racism against Asian-Americans! We need better preferential treatment! We need our asses kissed and our sensibilities pandered to!!!!

Okay, just kidding.

Seriously? I thought it was pretty funny. Do I think the headline writer should have been fired? ABSOLUTELY. Anyone that stupid is way too stupid to work for an organization that wishes to be profitable and that depends upon the goodwill of its customers. Hell, anyone that stupid is probably too stupid to flush the toilet, zip his/her pants or chew with a closed mouth.

I’m glad that “chink” is a slur that’s pretty much died an ignominious death. I think any headline writer who used “dago”, “wop” or any other ethnic-slur-not-relating-to-blacks would be fired as well, and rightly so. Again, I’m not personally offended – I laughed incredulously when my husband told me – but you CANNOT publish a headline like that in a national forum. You can’t. Not if you want and plan to keep your job.

(I have more sympathy for people who stay stupid things live that can’t be bleeped in time. We’ve all had stupid things slip out. A published headline, on the other hand, takes a deliberate decision to write, review and hit “launch”; I’m just not as sympathetic.)

Stupidity has consequences. (At least, it SHOULD.)

Let us all take a deep breath and thank The Great Deity that there’s no Asian equivalent of Al Sharpton to start whipping up riot mobs. (Of course, the mobbees are probably too busy studying. It’s an Asian thing.)

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6 Responses to ““Chink in the armor”? REALLY?!”

  1. guffaw said

    Until I read the news story, it never occurred to me that ‘chink’ or ‘chink in the armor’ was a racial thing. I just thought of it as slang for ‘flaw’ – no racial overtones.
    Of course, a black hole is a cosmological event, not a slur against black women (as some congresscritters suggested) and Niger is prounounced ‘NI-ger’, not NEE gehr’ !
    I suspect, the low or no fat milk served in schools will soon be marked ‘not of color’ instead of white or homo.
    Can’t be too sensitive, ya know!

  2. Peter said

    It’s a bit like when Emperor Hirohito of Japan visited Britain in 1973. Private Eye magazine’s cover showed him descending from his plane. The headline was: “There’s A Nasty Nip In The Air”. Given the strong feelings about Japanese mistreatment of British POW’s in World War II (when Hirohito was Head of State of Japan) it was perhaps inevitable . . .

  3. Anonymous said

    Guffaw, you may not know… But as an espn writer, he is paid to know.

  4. Seriously, the last remark in your post, the one using a stereotype about Asian minorities studying a lot, is a LOT more offensive to me than using the oft repeated “Chink in the armor” phrase. Positive stereotypes are still stereotypes. This guy didn’t detect that the phrase he was using could be construed as racist, he’s a bad editor, but I don’t for a second think he intended the title as racist after learning about the journalist and finding the phrase used over 1,000 times on ESPN.com (before they disabled the ability to search for it) But here, in a topic about stereotyping and racism, you decided to use a stereotype blatantly. Pot, meet Kettle.

    • Kham said

      There is some truth in all/most stereotypes. Though I consider “chink in armor” a racial slur, not a stereotype. If there is stereotyping in racial slurs… is debatable.

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