Savvy Freelance Writer

Posts from the writing life

“An honest mistake”

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Okay. That’s it. I’m interrupting my writing blog to comment on an act of racism. The ESPN writer, Anthony Federico, the one who wrote the culturally insensitive and frankly racist headline, “Chink in the Armor: Jeremy Lin’s 9 Turnovers Cost Knicks in Streak-stopping Loss to Hornets” has been fired.

Where do I begin?

First – According to CNN, Mr. Federico wants us all to know that he’d like to tell Jeremy Lin what happened and explain that this was an “honest mistake.”

Second – Who cares that it was an honest mistake? Would it be better if it were somehow dishonest? Does it matter less because this guy actually thinks of Chinese people as “Chinks.” Would it be someone better if he were someone who didn’t think of Chinese people in this way and was led astray by someone else?

Third – Where were the copyeditors? Did it not ring a bell anywhere that this was highly offensive. Does ESPN not have a STYLE GUIDE?

Fourth – Mr. Federico is sorry “if” he offended people and “if” he offended Jeremy Lin. Be real. Who likes to be referred to by an ethnic slur that is older than the people involved in this event?

Archie Bunker had his time upon the national stage. He opened an age of dialogue about racial terms that I thought had ushered in a new era of thoughtfulness that was more than skin deep. Evidently, not so much. At least not for Anthony Federico and ESPN.

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