In primetime sitcoms and dramas, the viewer is transported to a world of Black doctors and judges and brave district attorneys battling neo-Nazis. In sports, racial reality is laid bare. This is especially true in African-dominated football and basketball. In so much of the discussion of each, race lies just below the surface—and thus is unmentionable—whether regarding the various criminal outrages of star athletes or the styles of play that has emerged after de-segregation.
“Linsanity,” the now ubiquitous pun on the name of New York Knick’s Jeremy Lin, has brought such sentiments to the surface. Lin, the man—an un-drafted, previously unknown point guard from Harvard—has certainly earned his moment in the spotlight with his fine play. But as with Tibow-mania, “Linsanity” the phenomenon derives from the fact that Jeremey is a good, clean golden boy playing in a league for dumb, tattooed thugs. The Onion got to the essence of this with its headline, “Knicks Trade Jeremy Lin For Selfish Asshole Who Plays Knicks-Style Basketball”—as a particularly unpleasant commentator noted, “New Yorkers deserve a player who reflects their values.”
This weekend, Saturday Night Live got at two things that are true—first, a certain tacitly accepted hierarchy of victimhood, in which Blacks have favored status over Asians on the suffering totem; secondly, the willingness of Whites to sell out another White, if he should happen to step out of line with regard to “tolerance,” in order to gain social status over him.
Of course, the joke’s on SNL, as we actually have “progressed” to the point that a harmless—and likely unintentional!—quip about Asians has become a firing offense.