Free Markets, Free People

Seriously stupid: Political correctness out of control

I’m sure you’ve seen this by now, but ESPN fired a couple of folks for using an old, old, old saying in a perfectly appropriate way because they, apparently, aren’t familiar with the difference in use and misinterpreted a word for a racial slur.

The PC police, apparently just as ignorant, called for the heads of two members of ESPN when they used the phrase “chink in the armor” to describe Jeremy Lin’s on court vulnerabilities (turnovers as it happens).  But, but, but, Jeremy is of Chinese descent, so “chink” is therefor a “racial slur”.


Pure and total outraged ignorance.  Those who’ve pushed this ought to be ashamed of themselves.  HuffPo, naturally, is at the forefront of the stupidity:

And, now, we may have found our most offensive headline from a mainstream media outlet.

Several hours after the Knicks’ Lin-spired winning streak was snapped by the New Orleans Hornets, ESPN ran the headline "Chink In The Armor" to accompany the game story on mobile devices. ESPN’s choice of words was extremely insensitive and offensive considering Lin’s Asian-American heritage. According to Brian Floyd at SB Nation, the headline appeared on the Scorecenter app. The offensive headline was quickly noticed, screen grabs, Twit pics and Instagrams were shared and it began circulating widely on Twitter.

The use of the word "chink" is especially galling as Lin has revealed that this racial slur was used to taunt him during his college playing career at Harvard. After a brief run, the headline was changed to "All Good Things.."

Being so ignorant of the proper use of the word “chink” in this context is even MORE galling.

Professor Jacobson educates the dummies:

Chink in the armor” is a non-racial idiom, not a single word, denoting:

A vulnerable area, as in Putting things off to the last minute is the chink in Pat’s armor and is bound to get her in trouble one day . This term relies on chink in the sense of “a crack or gap,” a meaning dating from about 1400 and used figuratively since the mid-1600s.

The term “chink in the armor” is used frequently in sports analogies, as this 2005-2010 Google search indicates.

“Chink” standing alone also is a slang pejorative for someone of Chinese or more generally of Asian descent.

In discussing Jeremy Lin’s playing vulnerabilities, an on-air ESPN announcer used the phrase “chink in armor” and it was repeated in an ESPN web headline early the next morning.

Absurd, disturbing, ignorant.

A virtual trifecta brought to you by oversensitive and ignorant popinjays who cost two people their jobs because they were too stupid to understand the proper use of a word.  And ESPN, you’re no better.


Twitter: @McQandO

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39 Responses to Seriously stupid: Political correctness out of control

  • Remember the Collectivist collective panty-twist during CPAC over the use of the word….


    • @Ragspierre
      Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog’s eye.
      Crabalocker fishwife, pornographic priestess,
      Boy, you been a naughty girl you let your knickers down.
      I am the eggman, they are the eggmen.
      I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob.

      • I think it was Gook gook a Jew , everyone knows that damn Lennon was a racist. But althogether I think this Chink thing is a bit over blown, we are on a slippery SLOPE and we have to NIP this thing in the bud! Less we be thought Niggardly as to our Duty! @Neo_ @Ragspierre

  • Dog whistles! I hear dog whistles!!!!!

    heh, if you can hear em, doesn’t that make you a dog?

  • Honestly, while being well aware of the non-racial meaning of the phrase, I have to say, this strikes me as a pun and as such done in poor taste. This is the sort of thing tossed around at a party or gathering that causes groans and giggles and makes you wince.

    I saw comments on another post (which was in favor of the action taken, and screaming because ESPN wasn’t being attacked by all the main stream media for their insensitivity) where someone suggested they should interview Jeremy Lin to get his slant on this story.

    Now, being an often unintentional pun maker myself, I can see where, if the guy uses this phrase a lot, perhaps he just used it without thinking about it. I’d have to know him better before I could say which it is, and I do not, and cannot. Just laying out possibilities.

    On the other hand there has been way too much made out of the fact that Jeremy Lin is Chinese lately, as if that somehow freaking mattered. If there’s racial activity going on, it’s this dwelling on the man’s ethnicity, the implication seems to be how unusual it is for him to be good at basketball when we all know he should be doing things done by the stereotypical member of the Chinese community. THAT should bother everyone more than a possibly unintentional bad pun.

  • On real news of institutional racism…

    the Supremes are going to hear an affirmative action case. Maybe we can make some progress AWAY from looking at race as a means to qualify people for positions.

  • Gee, a post here I can completely agree with. Will wonders ever cease?

  • Everyone KNOWS white men can’t jump.

    • @DocD Great Scot…!!!!

      • @Ragspierre As a man of predominantly Gaelic descent I, ummm, welcome your racial insinuations? I think?

        • @DocD Scots-Irish here. With Highland complications. Worst of all possible hybrids. I fight myself when all else fails…

        • @Ragspierre Shit negro, that’s all you had to say.

        • @DocD Back off, buddy…

        • @Ragspierre It’s like one of those Chinese wisdom things then…

          If Samuel L Jackson does racially based humor, does anyone hear it?

        • @DocD Chinese wisdom…??? Isn’t that sort of rascist…??? Couldn’t you say Latina wisdom…???

        • @Ragspierre Latina? Well, she isn’t ancient but I’ll give her the time of day for sure…

          You know my hips don’t lie
          And I’m starting to feel it’s right
          All the attraction, the tension
          Don’t you see baby, this is perfection

        • @DocD Well, that did it. The combination of my Sotomayor allusion and that lyric…

          Now I’m blind…

        • @Ragspierre Maybe it is just me, but I prefer to think of Shakira over Sotomayor given a choice!

        • @Ragspierre @DocD Yeah, he’d have been happier if you were talking about Kagan.

        • @looker @DocD Oy…!!!

        • @DocD @Ragspierre I suppose your blood pressure goes up every time you hear those infamous words … “Mickey Mouse”

        • @Neo_ @DocD @Ragspierre No, but I lose it every time I hear the term Paddy Wagon, or hear the song “This old man”.

  • The writer knew what he was doing. He thought how clever and naughty he was being, slipping it in like that in an appropriate context.

    Firable offense, because he exposed his employer to criticism

    • @The Shark “Firable offense, because he exposed his employer to criticism” Isn’t this the real point, ESPN has a business to run, and they rely on as many people tuning in as possible, and when people say or write things which has questionable propriety, they do damage control. This was a foregone conclusion the moment those words hit the general public. For announcers and writers, to whom words are their business, they are also supremely aware that the wrong words, intentional or not, will cost them their jobs. It is not just important to udnerstand the meaning of the words you say or write, but to understand the potential implications of those words. Not necessarily an easy thing to do in a live broadcast, but that’s the job. Just ask Cosell, Jimmy the Greek, Rick Sanchez, Don Imus, Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher, and a long, long list of others.

    • @The Shark

      Most likely the writer was being ‘clever’ and should have been punished to some degree. OTOH, people need thicker skins in the country, employer’s especially.

      • @jpm100 I think most people do have fairly thick skins, but it does not take many loud people to create an atmosphere of embarassment. I saw the headline, I immediately understand the potential double meaning, and I thought it was either ignorant or crass, but had no intention of taking the slightest action and would not have been bothered if no action had been taken. I suspect many people who did not enjoy the potential humor felt the same way. As far as employers go, I’d guess they would take the value of the asset relative to cost of the embarassment and do the math. If the assets are easily replaceable, the math is pretty straightward, cut your losses and move on. If it were a high value asset, I expect they would have out up more of a fight.

      • @jpm100 I agree we need thicker skins, but ESPN can hire and fire as they like, and I happen to agree with them on this. You can’t be an employee and play games that subject your boss entity to controversy.