Tips on how to avoid basic racist flubs shouldn’t need to be spelled out so plainly. But if the last few weeks of Linsanity swirling around the Knicks’ breakout star are any indication, everyone, and journalists in particular, could use a basic brush up on how to talk about that rarest of species: heterosexual Asian-American male star athletes.
Enter the Asian American Journalists Association, which has supplied a basic 101 guide (via Yahoo) for what to know, what to avoid, and what not to get all obsessed with when covering the cultural phenomena that is Jeremy Lin. The basic gist of the guide? Language matters. And reporters may think they’re deploying harmless one-liners that poke fun at, or even celebrate, Jeremy Lin’s Asian heritage, but they should be cautious of what the AAJA calls “danger zones.”
From the AAJA guide: