On Jeremy Lin and how to diligently avoid progress

  • Article by: DAVID BANKS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 20, 2012 - 6:10 PM

Off-hand headlines and other distractions in our racial quagmire.

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markstarrFeb. 20, 12 6:33 PM

How about take the term "race' out of our vocabulary as a way of defining people? There is only the human "race." There is no scientific validity to the idea that people are of different "races." The idea that people are somehow intrinsically different because of the color of their skin is used to justify discrimination and leads to all sorts of terrible conduct. Of course "racism" exists, and one of the ways to eliminate it is to acknowledge that the idea of different "races" is false and divisive. To begin with, let's stop asking people what "race" they are. If there is a good reason to know, for example to determine if there is disparate treatment by keeping certain statistics, lets identify by our color or ethnic background. The idea that there exist different "races" is too akin to the idea that there are separate species of humans, which is asinine.

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brianstrFeb. 20, 12 7:59 PM

Not acknowledging race is nonsense. We can talk about that when reasonable parity has been achieved in education (and attendant poverty), state incarceration, wages, etc. Until then, not acknowledging it is turning a blind eye to a racial divide based on race.

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ohgeezreallyFeb. 20, 12 8:31 PM

Eliminating the vocabulary that allows us to locate and define problems of racial inequity will NOT eliminate racial inequality.

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mcjoe1Feb. 21, 12 2:05 AM

It's hard to believe that the civil rights act was signed less than 50 years ago. It's extremely naive to think that within 50 years we're all at a level playing ground. I'd wish to believe that we live in a more class divided society over a race divided society, but it's pretty obvious that some races predominantly fall into certain classes. When I think of Jeremy Lin, I'm not as inspired by his race as much as the fact that he's a Harvard graduate and complete underdog. It's about time someone comes through the NBA to show that you can get a quality college education and still be a great athlete. Lin is 10x worth the excitement compared to Tebow.

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noggnbloggnFeb. 21, 12 5:56 AM

Everybody is jittery about identity and are often too quick to label, draw conclusions, make a judgement -- often internally making mistakes of perception, & meaning. We all send and receive signals, then make the mistake of attaching feelings to the information. Anthropologists can site many examples of tribes making value judgements between groups of very closely related people. People are wired to find differences, rather than commonality -- we all want to be exceptional, special. Skins of a many colors (meaning ALL) need to grow thicker, and the lunkheads contributing to the problem (meaning ALL of us), need to stop labeling.

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twinman55Feb. 21, 12 7:36 AM

Are we really getting that thinned skinned as a culture? Gone are the days when the government participated in institutionalizing racism. Deal with it when it becomes a threat to personal safety, but otherwise, it's just name calling. Too much white guilt and too much victimization culture.

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privateeyeFeb. 21, 12 7:37 AM

I think we can see racism when it happens, this is not racism but an honest mistake that was immediately apologized for. How many other headlines have used this term? People should not lose their livlihood over an honest mistake. Sometimes we need to step back, take a breath and assess the situation before jumping to conclusions. If I were ESPN I would be more concerned with the person who over reacted and fired this guy.

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koolioFeb. 21, 12 7:42 AM

Enough of all this! Jeremy Lin is an American. He's from Palo Alto, California.

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ryannolanFeb. 21, 12 7:59 AM

I agree with koolio. This "Asian-American" label is more of hype than of reality. The U.S. born Lin is American, albeit an American of foreign descent, as most of us are.

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UMD1983Feb. 21, 12 8:08 AM

When I look at my white suburban kids and their mix of friends, their acceptance of one another is amazing; they seem to have a great deal less awareness of color or race, or maybe they just don't think it's all that big a deal. I still think it's interesting that adults are so obsessed with the whole thing. Why, for example, do we consider President Obama to be black, when given his parentage, it would be just as accurate to call him white? More importantly, why do we care? Think I'll just call him an American man and leave it at that.

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