Lin-ks and conversations about race

Yesterday afternoon, after church, a few of us got together to watch the Knicks game. And what a game it was–on yet another big stage, this time against Dirk Nowitzki and the defending champion Dallas Mavericks, J-Lin stepped up and performed.

28 points, 14 assists, 5 steals (to go with 7 turnovers).

What an afternoon!

Taking a step back, it’s also been fascinating to see how the world and the media has responded to Jeremy’s emergence, particularly where it relates to his ethnicity. Just as Barack Obama’s coming into the spotlight triggered a number of race-related reactions (and continues to do so), so also has Jeremy Lin’s presence in the spotlight. While some–like my friend John–have welcomed J-Lin’s ascent, others like Floyd Mayweather and Rex Chapman have demonstrated a glaring lack of sensitivity.

But it’s started conversations. It’s gotten people talking. It’s made people realize that, (at least where it pertains to this episode) when it comes to Asian Americans, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and awareness about how to talk about issues of race and ethnicity. It’s challenging people’s assumptions about Asian Americans (and helping them realize those assumptions in the first place!). As Rick Quan writes,

he is starting to change not just the way general managers and pro scouts look at Asian-Americans playing sports, but also the way our society thinks about them.

So … we’ll see what happens.

In the meantime, Angry Asian Man regularly posts collections of Lin-ks. Enjoy:

And to close, another article on his faith, with this line:

“He knows that everything that he has is a gift from God,” [Lin’s pastor, Stephen] Chen says. “Even the hard times.”


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