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NYMavFan
01-10-2003, 09:50 AM
Some food for thought. I believe this has been discussed to some extent before on the board, but this article fleshes out the issues a bit more. I'm curious to see some of ya'll's reactions, especially since there is a high Texas contingency on this board.

Link (http://www.asianweek.com/2003_01_03/sports_yaoming.html)



<< APA Community Should Tell Shaquille O’Neal to ‘Come down to Chinatown.’
Shaq’s ethnic slurs deeply offend one Yao fan
By Irwin Tang
Special to AsianWeek
In his most recent racial taunt of Yao Ming, Shaquille O’Neal told a reporter, “Tell Yao Ming, ‘ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.’” No, the superstar center of the L.A. Lakers was not trying to speak Chinese. Shaq was, in a most derisive tone, aiming a racist barb at the rookie center for the Houston Rockets.

Ironically, just days before this racial taunt was aired nationally, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had honored O’Neal with their Young Leaders Award. We can only hope that the NAACP had no knowledge of Shaq’s earlier racial taunt of Yao Ming and L.A. Clippers center Wang Zhizhi, broadcast on June 28 on Fox Television’s Best Damn Sports Show Period. When Yao Ming was brought up, Shaquille O’Neal spoke with a mock Chinese accent and made mock “kung fu” moves.

Also in June, Shaq announced that he would test Yao’s toughness by taking an elbow to Yao’s face. This comment, combined with Shaq’s racist taunts are particularly disturbing, as Asian Pacific Americans often suffer racial taunts while being assaulted or physically intimidated.

But Shaquille O’Neal is not a stupid brute. That is, he may be a brute, but he’s not a stupid one. He knows the media is on his side. National and local news organizations have consciously ignored Shaq’s racist comments. I know, because I called the Los Angeles Times, Sports Illustrated, the Associated Press and other news organizations and offered them information about this story. They did not want to write about it.

The only reason anyone knows about Shaq’s latest taunt is because Fox Sports Radio’s Tony Bruno Morning Extravaganza played a recording of the taunt several times to its nationwide audience on Dec. 16 and 17. On the latter day, Bruno commented that Shaq’s comment was “not racist,” and then invited listeners and radio commentators to call in jokes making racist fun of Chinese. For hours, people cracked jokes, such as offering free bike parking to increase Chinese attendance at basketball games.

On Christmas Day, while calling the Celtics-Nets game for ABC, veteran sportscaster Brent Musburger lamented that “the hordes of China” might stuff the All-Star ballot box and vote Yao Ming in as the Western Conference’s starting center, rather than Shaquille O’Neal.

How Kafkaesque, and how familiar, it is that the interests of the American media and those of Asian Pacific America are diametrically opposed. The media has betrayed their own dedication to controversy by making nothing out of something that deserves much ado. Rather than slam celebrity racism, as they have in the past, some media organizations obviously wish to reserve the right to revel in their own racism.

Will the NBA punish racist speech, as it has in the past? The Association is too busy passing out fortune cookies. In “honor” of Yao’s first game in Miami, the Miami Heat on Dec. 16 passed out 8,000 fortune cookies to spectators. Yao found the promotion amusing but pointed out that fortune cookies have nothing to do with him. He said that he was not angry because he was not familiar with American stereotypes of Chinese.

Let’s not beat around the bush. If a white player had, for instance, made monkey sounds to taunt a black player, it would have been a national controversy. But Yao is Chinese and Asians are fair game. For evidence, watch TV for a couple of hours.

Asian Pacific America cannot, or will not, demand as much respect as other minority groups. What do sports commentator Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, NBA Head Coach Dan Issell and former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Trent Lott have in common? They all lost their jobs due to comments offensive to blacks or Hispanics. Golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, baseball pitcher John Rocker and basketball star Isaiah Thomas were all forced to apologize for racially insensitive comments.

Spit on me once, shame on you. Spit on me twice, shame on me. What will our APA leaders do about this potentially explosive issue? In the past, our national leaders have tended to shy away from the harsh lights of TV cameras, nicely fitting our stereotype as quiet, obedient people. As media-hound lawyer Johnnie Cochrane single-handedly forces the NFL to consider more black head coaches, what will our APA leaders do about Shaq’s offensive taunt? Write a letter?

Forgive my bitterness. I grew up in Texas, facing those “ching-chong” taunts daily while teachers averted their ears. I love basketball, and when Yao was drafted by Houston, I had to suppress my excitement, lest he turn out a complete flop. I went to see the Rockets play the L.A. Clippers on Dec. 12. Yao is a huge young man with huge skills. But he’s also a kid in a foreign land. You can tell by the way he carries himself when the ball is not in play. My heart goes out to Yao Ming.

Yao Ming is our Asian Jackie Robinson, though he does not face the intensity of animosity Robinson faced. Unfortunately Shaquille O’Neal is the modern-day Ty Cobb, the rough-playing baseball superstar who used the n-word about Robinson.

“I look forward to breaking down that mother f—’s body,” Shaq said of Yao Ming. “He said my name three times, two in Chinese and one in American. You don’t ever call me out. I’m from LSU.” Yao has never “called” Shaq out.

But I am calling Shaq out. Come on down to Chinatown, Shaq. You disrespect Asian Pacific America, and we will break you down. Perhaps when you and the Lakers come to Houston on Jan. 17 to play Yao Ming and the Rockets, the APA community will have a press conference waiting for you. Perhaps there, before a national audience, you can apologize to Yao Ming, forfeit your NAACP award, and implore young people not to follow your example.

Or perhaps nothing will happen. Another racial slur will be left to sink slowly into the APA collective unconscious and ferment as self-loathing. And then we’ll only have ourselves to call out.
>>

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 10:09 AM
The guy has a point. It is still unfortunately acceptable to be less sensitive to asians than other racial groups (perhaps excepting caucasians) when cracking jokes. And he's probably correct in blaming the lack of protest for allowing the insensitivity to continue.

That said, he may be a bit oversensitive in his letter. He equates making fun of someone's language (Shaq's comments) with making fun of someones genetic makeup (making monkey sounds to ridicule blacks). There is a difference.

He also takes offense at something to which &quot;Yao was amused&quot;. If passing out fortune cookies was inherently offensive, wouldn't it have offended Yao? Passing out monkey dolls would be inherently offensive, for instance. I find it hard to imagine that anyone from the US would be offended if on a visit to some foreign venue, officials passed out cowboy hats or hot dogs, even though those stereotypical icons have nothing to do with many of us.

But being oversensitive to offensive racial stereotyping is probably a great way to get more people to be adequately sensitive.

WayOutWest
01-10-2003, 10:26 AM
While Irwin Tang has valid complaints one thing I'd like to say is &quot;heal thyself&quot;.

&quot;If a white player had, for instance, made monkey sounds to taunt a black player, it would have been a national controversy. &quot; - Irwin Tang

How the hell do you equate ridiculing someone's language/culture to comparing someone to primates? What a MORON! Speaking Ebonics or &quot;jive&quot; would have been a valid comparison but this monkey crap shows the writer's TRUE colors. Imbecile.

He's also a hypocrite for singling out Shaq. Why didn't he make a bigger deal about Miami? Why doesn't he mention the &quot;gong&quot; sound that's played in Dallas whenever Wang makes a mistake? This guy tries to come off as something he's not, in the end he's just another media whore with an agenda.

NYMavFan
01-10-2003, 10:27 AM
usually lurkin,

First off, I agree that the monkey analogy was probably a bit over the top. But the point was very valid. A better comparison would've been something along the lines of a caucasian saying something like &quot;Tell Shaq, Yo dawg. Better axe somebody!&quot; or maybe something less lame, but you get the point. Something like THAT definitely would've gotten NAACP's panties in a bunch.

Second, about the fortune cookie thing. The fortune cookies aren't offensive to Yao because he's native Chinese. The fortune cookies are offensive to Chinese-AMERICANS. Yao doesn't face racism back home and as a result, he's blissfully unaware of the stereotypes here in America. But those that live here ARE sensitive to gestures such as fortune cookies. Can you imagine if the Blazers had &quot;Bonzi Wells night&quot; and passed out chicken wings at the door?

LRB
01-10-2003, 11:22 AM
<< Can you imagine if the Blazers had &quot;Bonzi Wells night&quot; and passed out chicken wings at the door? >>



Better yet how Shaq would take it if the Rockets had Shaq night on Jan. 17th and gave free watermelons to the first 100 fans?

Of cource this would be totally inappropriate because Shaq isn't asian. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

TripleDipping
01-10-2003, 12:00 PM
Please... put this to rest. We've been through the same issue in another thread, and common consensus is that Shaq doesn't mean to be racist. As an Asian myself, I do agree that Shaq wasn't being racist, he was just being himself: Stupid with a mouthful.
Please, again, put this to rest.

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 12:11 PM
<< &quot;Tell Shaq, Yo dawg. Better axe somebody!&quot; . . .Something like THAT definitely would've gotten NAACP's panties in a bunch. >>



not necessarily. Hip Hop slang is mimicked regularly (usually in a self ridicule, as in &quot;I'm not really hip enough to pull this off&quot;), ebonics might be more severe, but is usually treated as fair game as long as it's not done with malice, as are just about all colloquial accents.



<< Can you imagine if the Blazers had &quot;Bonzi Wells night&quot; and passed out chicken wings at the door? >>


this would be a closer analogy than monkey talk, but chicken wings and watermelons aren't as ubiquitous as fortune cookies. Most chinese restaurants in the US pass out the almost obligatory fortune cookie. The majority of these shops are run by chinese americans. They recognize Americans' perception of chinese food as including fortune cookies, and accept it. The same is not true for african american restaurants, and &quot;african american food&quot;, no matter how one might define &quot;african american food&quot;. Call 100 restaruants with the label chinese in their advertisements and ask if they have fortune cookies. Then call 100 restaurants with the label &quot;african american&quot; or &quot;black&quot; in theirs and ask if they have watermelon and chicken wings. I would guess you'd get different reactions.

The point is, though, the cookie handout was meant to honor Yao Ming. Not Irwin Tang. Americans have a limited view of chinese culture (understandable for a vastly different culture originating half way around the world), and chose the easiest and most common icon of the culture to celebrate the fact that a chinese citizen was playing in one of America's favorite games. Irwin chose to focus on the accuracy of the icon and not the celebration. If Irwin was offended at something that did not offend Yao, it could be a result of Irwin's misinterpretation of the gesture.

Rhylan
01-10-2003, 12:13 PM
<< Can you imagine if the Blazers had &quot;Bonzi Wells night&quot; and passed out chicken wings at the door? >>



I've said it before and I'll say it again -- I'm white and I WISH my race was associated with chicken wings and soul food. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

MavKikiNYC
01-10-2003, 12:25 PM
Did you say posterBOY?

LRB
01-10-2003, 01:00 PM
Usually Lurkin: Be very careful. Having lived and visited throughout the small town south throughout my youth, your arguments sound very much like arguments made by some southern white Americans have made to justify &quot;objectionable&quot; practices towards sourthern black Americans.

My problem is that certain races and cultures are fair game to make fun of and target for jokes. The media not only tolerates this, but participates. I don't think what Shaq said and did was that important. But the media's selective responses based upon the races and cultures involved is sad. IMO certain races and cultures receive preferential treatment from the media. The comments about a National sports talkshow host having callers call in and tell Chinese jokes without a strong media backlash is sad.

And just because there is some truth to sterotypes does not justify them to be used. Yes most Chinese restaurants serve fortune cookies. Most Chinese restaurants are owned by asians, many of whom aren't chinese. But most chinese and certainly not most asians do not own chinese restaurants. I doubt fortune cookies are a regular staple for more than an extremely small percentage of Chinese.

In general I think people are too sensitive. Many of the racial or politically incorrect comments or actions were made with no intent of malice whatsoever. Most would best be left alone and ignored. But to selectively draw spectactular attention to some of these relative incoseqential actions while ignoring others of similar magnitude by the media based upon race and cultural background is racist. The medi should take a good look at itself 1st before they ever call anyone else racist.

Edited: Grammer and typos.

Drbio
01-10-2003, 01:34 PM
pretty good post LRB

NYMavFan
01-10-2003, 03:10 PM
LRB, you hit the nail on the head.

It's not that any of us think that Shaq is intentionally being racist. His words and actions are just a reflection of the general population's mindset. In our present world of &quot;racial sensitivity&quot;, some races and cultures are not given the same treatment as others. The plight of African-Americans and to some extent, Hispanic-Americans, has been high profile for some time in this country; as a result, ppl tend to watch what they say about these races and any perceived &quot;racist&quot; slight is not tolerated and immediately condemed. This awareness doesn't extend to Asian-Americans, however, and that is the whole point of the article.

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 03:18 PM
LRB - I know you're not accusing me of anything, but since we're discussing a very sensitive subject, just to be safe, let's agree to avoid anything that might be considered an accusation. Agree?

I am not justifying anything, except maybe Irwin Tang's oversensitivity. I do think that vocal oversensitivity will help to realign the public's sensitivity to whatever sensitive cause one might be sensitive to. Towards that ends, I think Irwin's tirade will be productive.

I am not justifying the use of any type of foodstuffs as adequate representation of any individual or culture. Miami wanted the crowd in attendance to be aware of Yao Ming's presence in the game. Towards that ends, the presentation of a fortune cookie was productive. I find it hard to believe that they would raise awareness in anything other than a friendly manner.

Neither of those arguments in and of themselves are justifications. Such an argument would necessarily need to include an argument for what is righteous. It is absolutely righteous and correct to argue that everyone should be more sensitive to offending anyone in their audience, and that they should avoid such offenses on a large public scale. As such, the ends to which Irwin Tang strives is justifiable. The use of fortune cookies as a means is perhaps not. Irwin Tangs insensitivity to the motivations of the Miami management (which is what I was pointing out in the earlier post) is probably not. Shaqs actions are not justifiable. The behavior of the radio sportscaster and his audience is flat out wrong.

Ps:
the last paragraph of your previous post is right on.

LRB
01-10-2003, 03:34 PM
Usually Lurkin: No, I was not accussing you of anything. My points are directed towards the media. Again, I do not think that Shaq's actions in and of themselves are that bad (notice I'm not saying that they are all right), but rather the media's reaction to them in contrast to other similar statements made against races or cultures that are more on the media's radar.

One other thing. Many of us think Shaq meant no malice in his remarks, and I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. But make no mistake, absence of malice, does not make a remark OK. The action can still be bad even if it wasn't intended to be bad. Shortly before my 2nd birthday I developed a very bad habit of calling black people the N word. I meant no malice. I was young and innocent and just learning the language. I thought that that was just another word, but it wasn't. Despite my innocense my parents quite correctly taught me that that was an inappropriate word to use. They started off with counseling me, but when that didn't work I got to experience my one and only time of having my mouth washed out with soap. So even if some one like Shaq says something that is wrong, but has no malice in saying it. That does not excuse the action nor the person from needing to be corrected about their action.

Again, this particular action by Shaq is not that big a deal in the long run. The media's continuing racist attitude is IMO. Now if Shaq continues to make racially insensitive remarks to Yao, my opinion on Shaq and his mouthings will most likely change.

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 03:40 PM
<< But make no mistake, absence of malice, does not make a remark OK. The action can still be bad even if it wasn't intended to be bad. >>


for me, motivation for an offending remark makes a difference in the nature of the correction I might give - anywhere from subtle hint to heated tirade (I try to keep the tirades from being too heated. My parents were also familiar with the soap in the mouth form of corrective action)

As for Shaqs remarks, if I were to correct him, I'd probably start with a hint, then progress as we have done in this thread, asking if he thought it'd be ok if Yao made fun of ebonics, and proceeding from there.

WayOutWest
01-10-2003, 03:45 PM
One thing I'd like to add is that old saying (paraphrased) &quot;when you point your finger at someone you've got three pointed back at you&quot; applies here.

I know first hand that blacks, whites, mexicans/hispanics and asians are racists/bigots toward their own kind. That being the case how can one expect to recieve respect from other races when one doesn't show the proper respect for you own.

Murphy3
01-10-2003, 03:52 PM
ya know, the only thing i have to whoever was offended is get over it.. i'm tired of hearing people bitch and moan about little things..
like that damn lady that is bitching about wanting a woman to be a member of the golf club at the masters.
get a freaking life and quite wasting precious resources on something like that

NYMavFan
01-10-2003, 04:12 PM
murph, you might want to take a walk in someone else's shoes sometime.

that kind of attitude is typical of the conservative, closed-minded south. you're sitting there, completely disregarding an issue and calling it &quot;small&quot; simply because you yourself do not find it important and don't feel that it affects you in any big way.

well, guess what, this is important to some ppl-- ppl who have felt the sting of racism and discrimination. i know you may be tired of all that &quot;whining&quot; you hear coming from the black contingent... slavery was abolished over 100 years ago, you might say. heaven knows no one wants to cause you any undue stress by polluting your airspace with noise like that.

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 04:19 PM
<< that kind of attitude is typical of the conservative, closed-minded south. >>


uh, what is this thread about?

NYMavFan
01-10-2003, 04:25 PM
sorry, UL, but to clarify, I was referring to smalltown, southern USA. yes, it's a generalization, but I believe someone else had already alluded to the same thing and implied the same mindset. I stand by what i said.

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 04:55 PM
well, not being bothered by outside issues is a benefit of smalltown life no matter where you are. And I've had more than one friend (minority race) make the argument that the subtle bigotry they've faced in Northern US regions was harder to deal with than the more blatant bigotry that they've faced in the south.

If you are really bothered by attitudes you see in southern small towns, it would be better to foster positive qualities rather than generalizing according to the negative.

What I found funny about Murph's post (and I think his ego can handle it) is that he seems to be having trouble getting over the fact that someone else isn't getting over something.

BrianJ
01-10-2003, 05:42 PM
This article brings up a great point that the media is to afraid to address. After taking any kind of Sociology class I always felt like it was bs. I would never drink the kool aid from any of those social rejects who teach that crap( the irony).I will make this short because it make me want to puke. Racism is bs affirmitive actions and yes the media confirm this clearly. There is an exception to this though, and Yao is clearly breaking this down. The media feels like it is ok to discriminate against some hispanics but asians are completely fair game. It is so clear that this is the case. Before being stationed in Korea for a yeaI felt the same way. I was no better then anyone who you accuse of this crap. The reason the media can pick on these groups is because for the most part they are hard working people who do not pose as a threat to riot or commit crime. I wish the person who convinced the media to brainwash consumers to think that stereotyping is a useless tool would be shot. Stereotyping if supported by unbiased data is a part of a persons survival. How else would u ever learn anything if you were to think well maybe all lions are not dangerous let me not discriminate against this one and pet it so that I can be considered open minded. Persons unable to use deductive reasoning+ con artist victums. good article, but there are more clear cut cases then just Shaq. Look for a change to come quickly in the NBA as everyone is now instructed about the fanbase and money that YAO brings to the league.

MavKikiNYC
01-10-2003, 05:51 PM
First, thanks to Murph for his usual fine, well-thought-out, productive contribution to a thread.

Second, I think that UL and LRB both hit on the essential issues around this question.

Regarding O'Neal: Reserving judgment for the time being on whehter or not he is racist, one can certainly ask whether his comments regarding Yao Ming were appropriate or inappropriate. If, as many people would suggest, they are considered inappropriate, one can ask why. Exactly what was O'Neal trying to express with his comments? Was he attempting to ridicule and insult Yao Ming by mocking his language and, by extension, Chinese culture? If that was the intent of his jibberish then he was at least guilty of being insensitive about a topic related to the culture of Yao Ming. And that raises the question of what the difference is between 'mere' racial insensitivity and racism. Is there a difference? How can O'Neal resolve the issue? Should some intelligent someone of moral stature within HIS community appeal to him and explain to him the ramifications and implications of mocking Yao Ming's culture by mocking his language? Can any intelligent someone persuade him of the need for a public apology?

Regarding fortune cookies: I would tend to agree with UL that it is difficult to attribute any insensitivity to the gesture of distributing fortune cookies as an acknowledgment of Yao Ming's debut appearance in Miami. There is no conceivable negative connotation to the act; simply a culturally iconic gesture acknowledging the significance of Ming's appearance. The motive was by all appearances positive. If Irwin Tang and other Chinese-Americans are offended by the gesture, perhaps it would be easier to identify with their frustration, if they would: 1) explain why it is negative, and thus offensive; and 2) suggest a more appropriate way of acknowleding Ming's debut. Mr. Tang does neither.

Regarding Irwin Tang: Mr. Tang's essay leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, Mr. Tang does impress me as oversensitive, overwrought and overreaching with the monkey sounds analogy. How can Mr. Tang be made to understand the genuine enthusiasm that exists among many basketball fans of diverse backgrounds regarding the expansion of the NBA into a global product with both an international fanbase and an international workforce, and the excitement over the effects this has on the NBA game, which fans are seeing evolve before their eyes. What about approaching and developing the story from THAT perspective rather than taking offense at fortune cookies?

And yet, despite torquing himself into such a shrill tone, Mr. Tang manages to make raise some valid questions:

Why IS Shaq getting a seemingly free pass for comments comparable to those made by other sports figures which resulted in public rebukes, league sanctions and loss of employment?

How does a no-talent radio yahoo like Tony Bruno (who it should be noted does NOT broadcast from a small town in the South) get by with making a public appeal for jokes ridiculing Chinese-Americans?

And why the HELL is Brent Musburger still broadcasting anything anyway? He's the perfect grating counterpoint to the gaseous, know-nothing bluster of Bill Walton.

Regarding smalltown South v. urban North: I've lived in both, and my impression is that while one is often exposed to a broader cultural sampling in the North than in the South, bigotry, racial bigotry, racism and racial insensitivity exist in both regions. In fact, my personal experience is that these phenomena exist in a more jagged form in a place like New York City where many minority communities have enough of a core to feel secure in asserting their racial/cultural identities against any form of oppression, real or perecived. No group is exempted, and no group is innocent. It's called co-existence, and it functions best with mutual respect. Check it out. Mr. Tang appears to have the sensitivity to attempt it, if not the inclination. Mr. O'Neal appears to have neither.

Murphy3
01-10-2003, 06:52 PM
mavkiki, i do agree that he probably is racialy insensitive.
however, many people focus too much attention on someone like a guy like shaq who is only looking for more attention to begin with.

i'm kinda looking for people that have a public voice to try and do something a bit more productive with their voice.

yes, being racially insensitive isn't a good thing from a pro athlete.. but there's probably bigger fish to fry

Murphy3
01-10-2003, 06:54 PM
and fidel, you really don't know what i've gone through..who's shoes i've walked in.
so don't go there

Usually Lurkin
01-10-2003, 06:58 PM
Murphy,
I think the public flogging of john rocker was deserved, and benefitted the cause. Do you agree?



<< . . but there's probably bigger fish to fry >>


show me a fish bigger than shaquile oneal and I'll show you a fisherman who will be ready to buy some beef in about 5 months.

Murphy3
01-10-2003, 07:16 PM
actually, many african american players publicly make racist comments directed towards caucasians all the time without any reprecussion...

do i think what rocker did was wrong? yes.
do i think he deserved to be suspended by the league for as long as he did when people that beat their wifes and constantly get caught on some type of weapons charge...i'd say his suspensions was a bit overboard compared to the standard that was set by MLB at the time..


but the public flogging..was it deserved? sure...but his comments compared to shaq's..well, rocker's comments were a little more hateful.. spiteful
much moreso than anything shaq said or did

Murphy3
01-10-2003, 07:38 PM
the comments aren't nice by any means..but there's so many offenders that say racially motivated things out of hatred ... focus on that.. shaq will look stupid enough on his own without anyone calling him out. he's trying to get attention and he's getting it..just let him look stupid and he'll do a good enough job on his own.

and move onto someone that actually have more venomous thoughts directed towards others..just my hso

MavKikiNYC
01-10-2003, 07:38 PM
Murph,

For comparison's sake:

Jeremy Shockey goes on the Howard Stern show and says he hopes he doesn't have any gay teammates, and that he wouldn't have tolerated gay teammates in college. Public furor ensues. Shockey, sincerely or not, apologizes. Story dies down. Shockey goes on to a season of modest statistical success and inexplicable popular success.

Shockey on Stern (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/22180p-20964c.html)

If there is one person in O'Neal's posse/entourage who has an ounce of sensitvity or a gram of PR-sense, they would at least counsel The Big(oted) Aristotle to back off his ignorant public comments and acknowledge that he offended some people. If O'Neal had any sensitivity at all, he would have already realized the offensiveness of his remarks and made some form of amends.



I hate to bring this up, but regarding O'Neal, race appears to be a recurring fringe theme for him over the last several years--most recently, his comments regarding Yao Ming; but also, going after Brad Miller when Charles Oakley was actually the player who'd hit O'Neal more egregiously; also O'Neal's particuar antipathy toward Shawn Bradley; also a controversial and ambiguous reference he made about Tim Duncan's being &quot;too light&quot;.


Bigger fish to fry? Maybe. But all these issues are big ENOUGH to address given the huge public forum that athletes like Shockey and indeed a 'superstar' like O'Neal enjoy. Sadly, their words reach a huge audience who may or may not be intellectually mature enough to reject them for their bigotedness or insensitivity, and who may in fact accept and emulate them as the comments of publically admired figures.

Murphy3
01-10-2003, 09:01 PM
shockey's comments are more out of line than shaq's in my opinion..
shaq's comments just make him look stupid and shouldn't be that offensive..
shockey's comments are more offensive AND make him look stupid

OutletPass
01-10-2003, 11:19 PM
The whole discussion has been very interesting...I'd like to put Shaq's comments aside for a moment to say this:

I don't think that Shaq is stupid at all. I think he's pretty calculating and does/says things for the effect.

I don't mean this to be a part of the discussion about race. Just a general comment to those who think that Shaq's some Moron.

BrianJ
01-10-2003, 11:25 PM
OP I am just going to say that I think you are completely wrong. Your message reminds me of being stuck in a bad afterschool special. Thats all I got to say.

BrianJ
01-10-2003, 11:52 PM
Of course what Shaq did is wrong and the sad thing is nobody would even care if it was not for the recent play of Yao. Perhaps its not Shaqs fault though after all a bet he has not been beaten down by the politically correct stick that most every one has.

OutletPass
01-11-2003, 01:03 AM
Sorry Brian...I'll try harder. How about a Movie Made for Lifetime type post.

It's just that I don't think Shaq is IQ deficient. That's all.

Granted, he may say or do perfectly idiotic and/or racist things...

Murphy3
01-11-2003, 01:39 AM
shaq isn't stupid..but he does say some stupid crap...calculating? i wouldn't go that far.
he's a relatively intelligent guy that doesn't think before he speaks

BrianJ
01-11-2003, 01:44 AM
Thinking of an uncalculated idiot who just posts crap. Pretty stupid post on my part after reading it. More blunt then I intended. My bad

LRB
01-11-2003, 01:45 AM
<< shaq isn't stupid..but he does say some stupid crap...calculating? i wouldn't go that far.
he's a relatively intelligent guy that doesn't think before he speaks >>



Not thinking before you speak sounds like a stupid thing to do. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

LRB
01-11-2003, 03:37 PM
Shaq says mock accent was used jokingly

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Associated Press


LOS ANGELES -- The Lakers' Shaquille O'Neal said he was joking, not being a racist, when he used a mock Chinese accent while talking about Houston center Yao Ming.


O'Neal




A columnist for AsianWeek complained in his newspaper that O'Neal made several derogatory comments recently about Yao, with the Lakers' center saying, &quot;Tell Yao Ming, 'ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-soh.'''


&quot;I said it jokingly, so this guy was just trying to stir something up that's not there. He's just somebody who doesn't have a sense of humor, like I do. I don't have to have a response to that (the charges of racism) because the people who know me know I'm not,'' O'Neal said Friday before Los Angeles' game against Cleveland.


&quot;I mean, if I was the first one to do it, and the only one to do it, I could see what they're talking about. But if I offended anybody, I apologize.''


Yao, asked about the comments prior to Houston's game at Atlanta, said he believed O'Neal was joking.


&quot;There are a lot of difficulties in two different cultures understanding each other. Especially two very large countries. The world is getting smaller and I think it's important to have a greater understanding of other cultures. I believe Shaquille O'Neal was joking but I think that a lot of Asian people don't understand that kind of joke,'' Yao said.


&quot;Chinese is hard to learn. I had trouble with it when I was little,'' Yao joked.


O'Neal recently received an NAACP Young Leaders Award.


He acknowledged that his attempts at humor don't always work.


&quot;Over my 11 years in the NBA, I know for a fact that most of you guys are going to write what you want to write, and it's our job to either defend it or just let it go. At times I try to be a comedian,'' he said. &quot;Sometimes I make a good joke and sometimes it's a bad joke.


&quot;That's just the ups and downs of trying to be a comedian.''


Lakers coach Phil Jackson was certain O'Neal was just kidding.


&quot;It's an unfortunate situation. I'm sure that Shaq had no meaning like that behind it. I'm sure he was just doing something that was fun-loving or something he thought was humorous,'' Jackson said.


&quot;The meeting between Shaq and Yao Ming next Friday (in Houston ) is going to be an interesting one, anyway, so it should bring a lot of interest to the game.''


Yao is leading O'Neal for the starting Western Conference center spot in fan balloting for the NBA All-Star game.

Lvubun1
01-11-2003, 07:59 PM
The only reason why this is a big deal is because Shaq said it. Almost on a daily basis you hear people mock chinese or asian language. SNL, Madtv, The Tonight Show, comedians, movies, etc. Their was a entire freakin movie &quot;Kung Pow Enter Fist&quot; or whatever which mocked asian language and sterotypes. Its entirely acceptable to mock foreign languages and acents. How often do we see people do the arab voice when mocking terriorist, 7-11 cashiers or Cab drivers? That's just as bad or maybe even worse but no one seems too bothered about that. Taco Bell had a entire ad campaign that involved a dog that spoke like a latino. Ebonics is mocked probably more then anything, I was watching Star Search the other day, a rapper performed and Ben Stein(that old smart white guy) a judge said &quot;Yo, homie that was dope.&quot; If Shaq would have used the racist term for asians or something along those lines it would be a different story but Shaq did nothing wrong in my opinion.

LRB
01-11-2003, 08:11 PM
<< The only reason why this is a big deal is because Shaq said it. Almost on a daily basis you hear people mock chinese or asian language. >>



Luvbun: you miss the point. The articles and this thread aren't about why it is a big deal, but rather why it WAS NOT a big deal. A big deal was not and has not been made out of this remark by Shaq by the media. A couple of minor stories does not constitute a big deal to me. Certainly nowhere near the publicity of other less well known atheletes than Shaq when making racially insensitive comments. Look how Troy Aikman got tons of articles written about him being a racist a few years back for just yelling at a teammate who blew an assignment because the teammate happened to be black. The uneven response by the media is what this is about.

Lvubun1
01-12-2003, 03:13 AM
<<

<< [i]The only reason why this is a big deal is because Shaq said it. Almost on a daily basis you hear people mock chinese or asian language. >>



Luvbun: you miss the point. The articles and this thread aren't about why it is a big deal, but rather why it WAS NOT a big deal. q]

Because its not a big deal, this is a complete non-story. Only reason why we know about it is because Shaq said it. And the fact that even a few people reporting it and we are dicussing it makes it a bigger deal then what it is.

LRB
01-12-2003, 03:18 AM
Guess you want to see Jimmy the Greek back on TV also?

Lvubun1
01-12-2003, 04:50 AM
<< Guess you want to see Jimmy the Greek back on TV also? >>



I'm not saying its ok for people to make fun of other people's languages or cultures. But if you are going to get on Shaq, get on every other person, show, movie, commerical, video, etc. that has done the same exact thing. If Robert Pack would have said this nobody would even know about it. Get mad at the society that allows it, not at Shaq.

LRB
01-12-2003, 09:25 AM
<<

<< Guess you want to see Jimmy the Greek back on TV also? >>



I'm not saying its ok for people to make fun of other people's languages or cultures. But if you are going to get on Shaq, get on every other person, show, movie, commerical, video, etc. that has done the same exact thing. If Robert Pack would have said this nobody would even know about it. Get mad at the society that allows it, not at Shaq. >>



Ah the 2 wrongs make a right argument. Gotcha. Maybe we should put Trent Lott back in as Republican Majority leader because if he wasn't such a well known person, no one would have made a big deal out of what he said. Right?

Edit: And John Rocker and that Shockley guy are sooooo much better known that Shaq. That's why they go the media attention and not Shaq. Right?

Usually Lurkin
01-13-2003, 08:10 AM
lvubun1 is right. this is not as big a deal as the other instances of insensitive remarks that we've listed simply because making fun of a language is not as offensive as making fun of a culture or making fun of a race. Define offensive however you like: personally or societally.
Whether or not Irwin Tang would have tried to make an example out of Mark Madsen if he had said it, or if we'd be talking about Samaki Walker if he'd said it, I don't know.

MavKikiNYC
01-13-2003, 10:59 AM
<< ...simply because making fun of a language is not as offensive as making fun of a culture... >>



Gotta disagree with you here, UL. What could be more representative of a culture than its language? And while Asian-American culture certainly extends far beyond Yao Ming's Mandarin, it isn't much of a stretch to say that mocking the language of perhaps the highest-profile Chinese figure in the U.S. at the moment, could certainly be perceived as a surrogate slam against Asian-Americans in general.

And when you consider the broader social context in which O'Neal's mocking takes place, the insensitivity of his remarks becomes even more apparent. I have read messages on other boards by posters identifying themselves as African-Americans, that have a discernible tone of resentment at the influx of foreign players encroaching on a high-profile professional domain in which African-Americans had previously excelled, nay dominated. The skill-level of foreign-born players has led to criticisms of the way in which American players (these being primarily African-American players) are prepared. We've all heard the observations that the game is changing; that American players had better start focusing on fundamentals before flash, along with the warning that if they don't, they're going to get passed by and beaten out for scarce spots on NBA rosters.

While some of this hand-wringing is probably extreme, it's not hard to see how a sense of 'them/us' could take root. And in Los Angeles, where O'Neal lives and performs, this NBA phenomenon is mirroring in microcosm what has occured over the last 35-40 years in society generally--the economic displacement of African-Americans by immigrant ethnic groups. This has resulted in long-simmering and occasionally overboiling resentments stemming from the successes (or perceived successes) of different ethnic groups at the expense (or perceived expense) of African-Americans--the grwoing political power of Latinos; the high academic achievement of Asian-Americans and their resulting disproportionate representation in terms of educational opportunity; the success of Asian-American entreprenuers and the resulting faster pace of economic advancement relative to African-Americans.

So in this context, Shaq comes out and mocks Yao Ming with some stupid, buffoon-assed jibberish, precisely at the point when O'Neals professional sun may be starting to set; or worse even, as he's being eclipsed at least in terms of raw popularity by Yao Ming, as reflected in the All-Star voting.

Yeah, I doubt that O'Neal considered the broader social context before he mouthed off. These comments were probably no more than his same old schtick. While he's an immensely physically talented player, he's also an immesely talented bully. He always seems to persoanlize his oncourt rivlaries. He uses his big ass to dominate his opponents physically on the court, and then uses his big mouth to try to dominate them psychologically off the court. In this case, O'Neal's big mouth and his big ass became one--intimidate, humiliate, belittle, disrespect and NEVER give credit to the opponent. O'Neal as much as any other player, has helped degrade professional basketball as a sport to the level of 'professional' wrestling. Instead of taking advantage of an opportunity to set an example about respecting one's opponent, about respecting someone who's different from you, O'Neal indulges in petty insults.


Are his commens a big deal? Yeah, kinda. Potentially, for sure. Here's O'Neal, one of the highest contemporary profiles of African-American success and achievement in the NBA with a huge platform and a huge audience. He's an aging star facing his superstar mortality. The injuries. Last year's oncourt challenge by the Sacramento Kings and the growing public awareness that O'Neal isn't what he used to be. Now the challenge from Yao Ming, at least to his All-Star eminence. And how does he respond? With personal insults that have a definite ethnic character. The Old Established Champion v. The New Immigrant Upstart. Us v. Them. If you've ever spent time around adolescents, particularly around inner city adolescents, you know how think this kind of mindset can feed down into the daily life, and how it can manifest itself in word and deed.

Somebody must've tipped O'Neal off about the potential offensiveness of his remarks, because he's come out with a lame, sullen, half-assed &quot;I-wuz-jus'-playin'&quot; apology. That's probably as much as one can expect from him....if only his metaphorical heart were half as big as his physical ass. Maybe he's been educated though....'senstitized' as it were. And if he really didn't mean to offend anyone, then we can count on not hearing this kind of crap from him again, right? We'll see.

Word out to Shaq: &quot;Yo, dawg...u best check yo'sef, 'fo u wrex yo'sef. Peace out.&quot;

LRB
01-13-2003, 11:43 AM
Kiki: Great post. Didn't see yours until I finished mine, but you really brought out some wonderful points.



<< making fun of a language is not as offensive as making fun of a culture or making fun of a race >>



UL: This makes little to know sense to me. The Chinese people and culture share the Chinese language. At the very least the Chinese language is an integral part of the Chinese culture. If you make fun of the language, you make fun of the culture. Add in the &quot;kung fu&quot; moves and this is a very sterotypical attack on ethnic Chinese. Shaq may or may not have intended it as such.

Look at it this way. If Shaq has said to Eddie something like &quot;Swimo acrosso the rivero and getto your asso kickedo&quot;. I think the MEDIA's (media being the key word here) reaction would have been more severe. This statement would make fun both of the Spanish language and of the hispanic or more paticular mexican culture.

But Irwin had a valid point, Shaq choose an asian culture to pick on and that is fair game. A better question is why are so many jumping to defend Shaq? Is it truely because they don't think it is a big deal, or is it because they don't want to lose asians as fair game &quot;whipping boys&quot;? Only the individual can answer this question. Maybe Irwin is a little over sensitive. Of cource maybe Rosa Parks was also.

Shaq's statement is not the worst or even near the worst racial remark that has been heaped upon asians. But the media's failure to condem the statement, and in fact almost unilateral support of Shaq based almost solely upon the fact that Shaq didn't mean it as other than a joke is an atrocity. I've hear plenty of racist jokes in my day. They are racist. Fortunately I've outgrown the need to justify that those jokes are OK just because they're jokes. Hopefully our media will too.

BTW for any wondering, I'm not asian. Its just I don't believe in letting any one small group get picked on unfairly. I try to stand up for them in the hopes when I'm in the group being picked on someone will stand up for me.

What do I think that response should have been? I think the media should have unilaterly condemned the statement and I mean statement not Shaq. More have stepped forward to justify the statement than condone it. I would expect more of someone deemed worthy by the NAACP to recieve an award for being a role model. I think the media should to. Unless this award only applies to racism against certain races. Unfortunately that's the message that I'm receiving and I don't like it.

Lvubun1
01-13-2003, 12:19 PM
<<

<<

<< Guess you want to see Jimmy the Greek back on TV also? >>



I'm not saying its ok for people to make fun of other people's languages or cultures. But if you are going to get on Shaq, get on every other person, show, movie, commerical, video, etc. that has done the same exact thing. If Robert Pack would have said this nobody would even know about it. Get mad at the society that allows it, not at Shaq. >>



Ah the 2 wrongs make a right argument. Gotcha. Maybe we should put Trent Lott back in as Republican Majority leader because if he wasn't such a well known person, no one would have made a big deal out of what he said. Right?

Edit: And John Rocker and that Shockley guy are sooooo much better known that Shaq. That's why they go the media attention and not Shaq. Right? >>



Rocker's, Lott's, and Shockey's comments were all much more offensive then Shaq's. Like I said their was a entire mainstream movie that did exactly what Shaq did. I don't hear alot of people saying &quot;This country would be better if Strom Thormond was elected president&quot; or anything that Rocker said. But on a daily basis you hear and see people making fun of other people's languages and acents.

LRB
01-13-2003, 01:05 PM
<< But if you are going to get on Shaq, get on every other person, show, movie, commerical, video, etc. that has done the same exact thing. >>



Luvbun: This argument makes no sense. To follow through with this if I was to critisize a movie for instansce I couldn't do that without critisizing every thing else that makes fun of asians including Shaq. But wait i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif, I can't critisize Shaq before critisizing the movie. That's a catch 22 situation. In essense you're saying no one can critisize anyone or anything that makes fun of asians because other things have gone uncritisized. That is just plain stupid. That is the old 2 wrongs make a right argument. And it is just stupid. And yes if you stick to this you are saying it is ok to make fun of other peoples language and culture. Or are you saying that I can't critisize Trent Lott without critisizing every one who every voiced an opinion for segregation. I don't even have a clue who the vast majority of those are. Can you name even 80%? Your answer smells of racist b.s. to me. BTW I'm not calling you racist, just your response. And there is a huge difference.



<< I don't hear alot of people saying &quot;This country would be better if Strom Thormond was elected president&quot; or anything that Rocker said. >>

You must live a very sheltered life my friend. What was that guy in Wyoming that was beaten to death because he was gay. Or how about the guy who was dragged to death by some racist jerks here in Texas. And there have been tons of films that are derrogatory to both blacks and gays. And here is a big news flash for you. The word &quot;Nigger&quot; is still in use today and not just by those who are black, not that that makes it any better. And even if making fun of asians is mainstream and accepted does that make it OK. Or are you one of those people who would have marched their Jewish neighbors into the ovens in Germany because &quot;everyone else&quot; was doing it? Personally I don't give a rat's ass what everyone else is doing. If something is wrong, it is wrong. I can only address one issue at a time. I'm addressing this one now. I'll start on another as soon as I'm through.

Usually Lurkin
01-13-2003, 01:56 PM
<< &quot;Swimo acrosso the rivero and getto your asso kickedo&quot;. I think the MEDIA's (media being the key word here) reaction would have been more severe. >>


precisely because it would be a derogatory statemant against immigrant culture. The nonsensical statement &quot;beeko weeko el goobo noto&quot; would be less offensive than your example, for example.

There is nothing inherently offensive to jibberish. As mavkiki pointed out, context is what makes a statement like that offensive. It takes a lot of &quot;reading into&quot; to read Shaq's statement as offensive as Lott's statement or any of the other examples that have been stated here. And the &quot;more reading into&quot; that is necessary, the less likely people are to do it.

Making fun of a language (when no malice is intended) is less offensive than making fun of a culture because it is a learnable part of a culture. Food, style of dress, socioeconomic status, acceptable distance of personal space, haggling, social respect hierarchy, and millions of other variables make up culture. To make fun of a culture is to make fun of all of that. Someone can learn or adopt particular aspects of a culture without being part of a culture. So, as something that's easier to learn than culture, and not necessarily tied to culture, language is less often used to define &quot;who I am&quot;. Genetic makeup and cultural practices are harder to change than are language qualities, and are more often used to define &quot;who I am&quot; or &quot;who we are&quot;. That's why it's easier to successfully pull off a foreign language joke than a foreign culture or a race joke. It's inherently less offensive.

LRB, why are you jumping all over lvubun1 for answering your question? You wanted to know why people think that Shaq's statement isn't being treated as a big deal. lvubun1 is answering that.

LRB
01-13-2003, 02:51 PM
UL: I have no problem with Luvbun. I am not jumping on the person. I jumped on the statement. And I find the argument that it's OK to make fun of others by making fun of their language because it is not the same as their culture to be racist. If I hit you, whether I intend to or not, it still hurts. If I say something offensive, whether I mean to or not, it also hurts. I critisize the actions, not the intent. Who knows what Shaq intended. Other than Shaq or God, if you believe in him, who could really know whether he intended it as a racist slam or just a dumb joke. I can't read his mind, so I limit myself to critisizing his actions.

I find it very troubling that so many people are willing to stand up and defend the slamming of others with the justification that its OK so long as they speak another language. Maybe what Shaq said is a big deal after all because it exposes a huge racial bias in this society whether we intend it or not. Let's face it. Only certain races and cultures are taboo to make fun. Make fun of African-Americans and the media will be all over you. Make fun of Asians or Asian-Americans and you might get a small blurb printed if your lucky. So maybe if we go to war with Norh Korea, there might be a small blurb released when Korean-Americans are interned in concentration camps. After all its not racist, they just speak the lanuguage of our enemy.

Usually Lurkin
01-13-2003, 03:12 PM
&lt;&lt;And I find the argument that it's OK to make fun of others by making fun of their language because it is not the same as their culture to be racist.&gt;&gt;
language is not race. They sometimes coincide, but they are not the same.

If I say something offensive, whether I mean to or not, it also hurts.&gt;&gt;
so if person-A attacks person-B's actions, and person-B is hurt, should person-C attack person-A's actions?

If I hit you, whether I intend to or not, it still hurts. &gt;&gt;
intent is important for correction

Only certain races and cultures are taboo to make fun. Make fun of African-Americans and the media will be all over you.&gt;&gt;
Not sure if I'm reading lvubun1's posts correctly, but he or she seems to be making the same argument that you make here. You're saying society treats it as ok to make fun of race1 but not race2. Lvubun1 is saying that society treats it as ok to make fun of language but not race.

LRB
01-13-2003, 06:56 PM
UL: it is very hard indeed to make fun of a race directly. You make fun of sterotypes associated with that race. Sterotypes aren't race but you're still making fun of the race. You can make fun of physical features associated with the race. Again physical features aren't the same as race but you're still making fun of the race. Chinese is associated with asians, and specifically with ethnic chinese. You make fun of one you make fun of the other. BTW Shaq was making fun of Yao who is asian and chinese, not just the language. The comments were specifically targeted at Yao.





<< intent is important for correction >>

Has nothing to do with correction. Punishment maybe. That the action was wrong is enough to tell the person not to do it again. Whether they meant it or not. If I hurt you and you don't tell me because you don't know my intent, how can I correct the action. The key is knowing what I did was wrong, because I hurt you. My intentions are inmaterial, it is my actions which need to be corrected, not my intentions. I should correct my intentions, but we as a society have difficulty determing intentions. Actions are facts and are more easily and objectively measured. In some cases intent is highly important in accessing blame and determing punishment. Such as manslaughter, murder, or accidental homicide. If you are the dead person it matters little what the intent was, you're still dead. You can tell someone that something is wrong and why without decerning their intent.



<< Lvubun1 is saying that society treats it as ok to make fun of language but not race. >>



Yes as a justification for condoning Shaq's actions. What's your point?

Lvubun1
01-14-2003, 04:13 AM
<<

<< But if you are going to get on Shaq, get on every other person, show, movie, commerical, video, etc. that has done the same exact thing. >>



Luvbun: This argument makes no sense. To follow through with this if I was to critisize a movie for instansce I couldn't do that without critisizing every thing else that makes fun of asians including Shaq. But wait i/expressions/face-icon-small-shocked.gif, I can't critisize Shaq before critisizing the movie. That's a catch 22 situation. In essense you're saying no one can critisize anyone or anything that makes fun of asians because other things have gone uncritisized. That is just plain stupid. That is the old 2 wrongs make a right argument. And it is just stupid. And yes if you stick to this you are saying it is ok to make fun of other peoples language and culture. Or are you saying that I can't critisize Trent Lott without critisizing every one who every voiced an opinion for segregation. I don't even have a clue who the vast majority of those are. Can you name even 80%? Your answer smells of racist b.s. to me. BTW I'm not calling you racist, just your response. And there is a huge difference.

First off, as a African American I am glad that you and a couple others are speaking up and being extremely loud about racism, seriously. But in my opinion you are barking up a tree. I am not saying its ok to make fun of other peoples languages and cultures, BUT its accepted in society today, period. I'm not saying you shouldn't speak out about it or be offended by it but for everybody to pile on Shaq is extremly unfair. He is being singled-out plain and simple, a comic does it on the &quot;Tonight Show&quot; everybody laughes, Shaq does it and he is racist, all i'm asking is to be consistent, the next time on TV you see somebody making fun of another person's language show the same disdain that you are showing now with Shaq. He didn't write the rules he is just playing by them, and the fact that now all of a sudden everybody is offended by this



<< I don't hear alot of people saying &quot;This country would be better if Strom Thormond was elected president&quot; or anything that Rocker said. >>

You must live a very sheltered life my friend. What was that guy in Wyoming that was beaten to death because he was gay. Or how about the guy who was dragged to death by some racist jerks here in Texas. And there have been tons of films that are derrogatory to both blacks and gays. And here is a big news flash for you. The word &quot;Nigger&quot; is still in use today and not just by those who are black, not that that makes it any better. And even if making fun of asians is mainstream and accepted does that make it OK. Or are you one of those people who would have marched their Jewish neighbors into the ovens in Germany because &quot;everyone else&quot; was doing it? Personally I don't give a rat's ass what everyone else is doing. If something is wrong, it is wrong. I can only address one issue at a time. I'm addressing this one now. I'll start on another as soon as I'm through. >>



Your really making some huge leaps here. I think its borderline offensive to compare what happened to James Byrd Jr. and millions of jews to Shaq jokingly speaking Asian. Like I said i'm tickled that you are so outspoken about this but their are just so many bigger fish to fry, yes its a very sad thought that you have to &quot;roll with the punches&quot; when it comes to questionable racism but the word has sadly lost alot of the its power. When a black person says racism a lot of people and I mean alot automaticly turn a cold shoulder and say &quot;Oh, black people are always using racism as a excuse&quot; to some people racism doesn't even exist, when Lott made that comment 75% of conservatives thought he did nothing wrong and said that the NAACP and others were just using it as a crutch, in the South Lott is still a hero(but that's a whole 'nother story). My point is when start labeling people like Shaq a racist when you have Lott, the KKK, and millions of other card carrying racist, it cheapens the word.

Usually Lurkin
01-14-2003, 09:57 AM
<< UL: it is very hard indeed to make fun of a race directly. >>


Whats so hard about saying &quot;xxx race is funny&quot;?



<< You make fun of one you make fun of the other. >>


Only if you intend to use the stereotype as representative of the race. Hip hop is associated with the african american culture. But if I make fun of hip hop, I'm not making fun of african americans. Trailer homes are associated with white people. But if I make fun of trailer homes, I'm not making fun of whites. If you think I am in either of those cases, then you perpetuate a view of a culture as limited to a single stereotypical quality.



<< You make fun of one you make fun of the other. &gt;&gt;
&lt;&lt;BTW Shaq was making fun of Yao who is asian and chinese, not just the language. The comments were specifically targeted at Yao. &gt;&gt;
&lt;&lt; &lt;&lt;Lvubun1 is saying that society treats it as ok to make fun of language but not race.&gt;&gt;
Yes as a justification for condoning Shaq's actions. What's your point? >>


These are assumptions you are making. You may be right or wrong, but it's important to remember that they are your assumptions.



<< &lt;&lt;intent is important for correction&gt;&gt;
Has nothing to do with correction. Punishment maybe. >>


If you correct the action but not the intent, then the offending party will find some other way to offend. Punishment without correction is just retaliatory vengence, which will just perpetuate further retaliation.

LRB
01-14-2003, 03:05 PM
LuvBun1: Let me be very clear on one thing. I am not calling Shaq a racist. My criticisms are directed against 1) Shaq's actions (the things he said and did) but not against Shaq the person and 2) the media's condoning of Shaq's actions.

You are 100% right in there are other people such as the KKK who do tremendously more racist actions than Shaq. I have said and I will repeat it again: I do not know whether Shaq is a racist or not. But while any sheet wearing member of the KKK has almost undoubtably committed far worse racist acts than Shaq and committed them with full intentions of ridiculing another race or culture, member of the KKK are not held up as role models against racism as Shaq is. When you are a role model you need to avoid even the appearance of impropriety. Because there was lots of publicity around Shaq receiving an award from the NAACP, there should have been more of a media condemnation of his actions, not the man, but his actions. Shaq could then SINCERELY apologize and admit his mistake. He has apologized but it doesn't appear to be a sincere apology and he has admitted no wrong. Because Shaq has been appointed as a role model by the NAACP is why his actions bear more scrutiny than a comic on the Tonight Show. That's not to excuse the comics actions, but to say that Shaq's actions now carry an extra message.



<< &quot;Oh, black people are always using racism as a excuse&quot; to some people racism doesn't even exist >>

This unfortunately is a true statement. While sometimes there are those who cry racism to get power, attention, or just get their way and there is no real basis for the racism, there are lots of racial injustices that go unaddressed because of this apathy. What can we as individuals and as a society to combat this. 1st we need to establish organizations and role models who have the highest of integrity. When these people speak everyone knows they speak the truth without exaggeration becaue of their spotless record for integrity. I would love to think that the NAACP could be such an organization. Unfortunately they have allowed some blemishes to come upon their reputation. I think that this organization can remove those blemishes and provide a strong voice for change. But the reputation for integrity must be restored and maintained. The way to do this is not to make a role model of someone who makes a racially incensitive statement to the media and specifically directs it to a member of another race and is not called on the carpet for it.

The focus needs to be on the action and not on Shaq.



<< I think its borderline offensive to compare what happened to James Byrd Jr. and millions of jews to Shaq jokingly speaking Asian. >>

I do not think it is offensive at all. Let me tell you why. Do you think that the Nazi's just started killing Jews one day? Or those KKK rejects just woke up one morning and decided to go kill a black man? No these all started with small racially insensitive comments and built from there. So how do you stop actions like what happend to Mr. Byrd or the European Jews from happening? You nip it in the bud.



<< He didn't write the rules he is just playing by them, and the fact that now all of a sudden everybody is offended by this >>

This everyone does it argument doesn't fly. I don't think you would appreciate the cop who pulls you over just because you're black. That happens far more than it should and has been going on for a long time. It happens throughout the USA. But that doesn't make it right just because lots of cops do this. Should a cop get off from getting a reprimand for this action just because other cops didn't get one?

Shaq made a mistake either accidentally or purposefully. Doesn't really matter. He should admitt the mistake, sincerely apologize for it, and don't repeat it. That should be the end of the story then except to praise him for his actions to make amends. Now if he doesn't do this he should be called on it by the media with at least the same level of coverage they gave his NAACP award and the statement itself. The NAACP should also offer him a public repremand for his actions if he is unrepentant. Then the case is closed and we move on.

BTW the same actions should be taken against any public figure who is set up as a role model for equal rights. This means award receptiants of NAACP awards, all public elected officals, all officials of the justice system, government officials, and such.

LRB
01-14-2003, 03:38 PM
UL:



<< Whats so hard about saying &quot;xxx race is funny&quot;? >>

It is not commonly used. This is not the common practice to make fun of a race. Also it make no sense because it doesn't say why they are funny. The common practice of racial comments is to associate some negative sterotype with a particular race or make fun of a feature or that is near universally found or is attributed to that race or culture.




<< Only if you intend to use the stereotype as representative of the race. Hip hop is associated with the african american culture. But if I make fun of hip hop, I'm not making fun of african americans. Trailer homes are associated with white people. But if I make fun of trailer homes, I'm not making fun of whites. If you think I am in either of those cases, then you perpetuate a view of a culture as limited to a single stereotypical quality. >>



So the next time I'm playing ball at the public gym and the guy guarding me is black is not a racial slur to tell him &quot;yo dawg why don't you just go home now and eat some watermelon&quot;. After all not all black people eat water melon. They certainly don't all use the term &quot;dawg&quot;. If I understand your argument correctly you're saying this is OK just as it would be Ok for him to say to me &quot;you better get bact to your trailer home and give your sister some loving&quot; cause not all white people live in trailer homes or interbreed with their sisters. Yeah let's just set racial relations back a hundred years while we're at it. Your argument stinks of racist justification. Like something that a KKK lawyer would present to defend a cross burning. &quot;Oh its nothing against black people your honor, we're just spreading the word about Jesus&quot;. Don't buy that argument, don't buy yours.

I don't make assumptions about Shaq addressing Yao. Shaq called Yao by name and said he had a message for him. Not very much plainer you can get than that. What do you want for it not to be an assumption an written statement with a notary seal?



<< If you correct the action but not the intent, then the offending party will find some other way to offend. Punishment without correction is just retaliatory vengence, which will just perpetuate further retaliation. >>

That's assuming that the party intended to offend. I haven't decide if Shaq did or did not intend to offend with a racial slur. But to correct the action you need to 1) identify the bad action 2) communicate why the action was bad 3) instruct the offending individual with the knowledge of why it was bad and how they can avoid repeating it 4) Verify that the offending individual understands

Punishment by the law occurs without these steps because our system of laws operates under the principal of &quot;ignorance of the law is no excuse&quot;. I'm not operating under this assumption in addressing Shaq because we have no written laws regarding the type of racial comment he made. If he continues with racially insensitive actions after being taught the correct principles and it has been verified that he understands them, then I'm all for punishment.

BTW this is the best way to verify intent. This is an accepted and recognized way of correcting inappriate hehavior in a business environment. I didn't make the steps up, but learned them from an expert. They have been implemented in real life with excellent results.

But if you want to stand up for making fun of asians, go ahead. If you don't like my arguments fine. It's real funny how many people come to Shaq's aid since he is rich, famous, and popular. Especially when he's picking on an accepted &quot;whipping boy&quot; race. Makes it even easier that Yao isn't a US citizen. Maybe this is just misplaced homerism. I do know that nothing would be hurt for Shaq sincerely apologizing and admitting he made a mistake, except for his ego.

Usually Lurkin
01-15-2003, 08:50 AM
3 points:

1) LRB, is intent important?
&lt;&lt;He has apologized but it doesn't appear to be a sincere apology &gt;&gt;
are you saying that intent is important some times, but not others? If so, please elaborate.

and if &quot;shaq's actions in and of themselves are not that bad&quot;[LRB]
why would he have to apologize if we're to judge only on actions?
at some point you switched from the above quote and this:
&quot;Now if Shaq continues to make racially insensitive remarks to Yao, my opinion on Shaq and his mouthings will most likely change. &quot;
to this:
&quot;Shaq made a mistake either accidentally or purposefully. Doesn't really matter. He should admitt the mistake, sincerely apologize for it, and don't repeat it.&quot;
Why?


2) LRB, is it ok or not to apply a judgement of a single aspect to the whole:

making fun of one aspect of a culture is making fun of an entire culture
but judging a persons argument as racist is not judging the person?


I think the weakness of your argument is evident in the analogies you come up with:

I say
&quot;making fun of hip hop is not making fun of african americans.&quot;
you say
&quot;yo dawg why don't you just go home now and eat some watermelon&quot;.

For the second time in this thread, you've had to add something to the original quote in order to make something more offensive out of it. Here, you've added the fact that you are talking to a black person, and included making fun of a speech pattern. Are you saying that making fun of eating watermelons is the same as making fun of african americans?

Let me put the question this way: if the person guarding you is black, and you say &quot;why don't you go home to your trailer&quot; (let's say he lives in a mobile home, to make it applicable), are you making fun of white people? Absolutely not, because making fun of a single stereotypical quality is not the same as making fun of that quality's association with a stereotype. This is a more extreme example of the same principle that applies to language. Mavkiki is correct that language is one of the strongest cultural definers. But it's not absolute. Not all ethnic chinese speak chinese, and not all speakers of chinese are ethnic chinese. There is a disconnect. I'm not saying it's ok or not ok to make fun of anything. I'm saying in general this is why society treats a langauge joke as less offensive than a race joke.


3) The most interesting point in this discussion from which we've been sidetracked:
Why does society deam it ok to make fun of some races but not others?

Usually Lurkin
01-15-2003, 08:51 AM
This needed it's own post:
I have asked already in this thread that we do all we can to avoid statements that might be construed as accusations. Please do not make statements like these:

&lt;&lt;Your argument stinks of racist justification. Like something that a KKK lawyer would present to defend a cross burning.&gt;&gt;
&lt;&lt;But if you want to stand up for making fun of asians, go ahead&gt;&gt;

These are greatly offensive to me. I do not support the KKK or their racist arguments, or their bastardization of Christianity. I do not support support for the KKK. And I have in no way at any time &quot;stood up for making fun of asians.&quot;

Now please don't make any more of these accusations. Even if you don't understand the argument I'm making, by your own argument [if someone offends someone else, intending to or not, they should not repeat the action and should apologize], this should make sense. This has been a very entertaining and thought provoking discussion, but I'm afraid I will not be able to continue if you do not stop the accusations.

MavKikiNYC
01-15-2003, 09:10 AM
<< 3) The most interesting point in this discussion from which we've been sidetracked: Why does society deam it ok to make fun of some races but not others? >>



Is this the most interesting point?

Or is it: &quot;Why are some members of society held accountable for inappropriate, irresponsible, and insensitive remarks while other members of society are allowed to make comparable remarks without public censure?&quot;

Usually Lurkin
01-15-2003, 09:14 AM
The two issues seem to be confounded, but might be related.

LRB
01-15-2003, 09:53 AM
UL: Let me 1st apologize for offending you. That was not my intent (irony, got to love it i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif). I was comparing only your logic in your arguments to the logic used in the KKK lawyers arguments, but that did not mean that you in anyway shape or form associated with the beliefs of the KKK or any like organizations. I do not believe you share those beliefs nor support them. The statement &quot;But if you want to stand up for making fun of asians, go ahead&quot; was simply put a poor choice of words to convey what I was trying to say. I certainly see how these could have offended you and I do apologize. I will refrain from using the analogies in any further exchanges we might have. Let me repeat that I do not accuse you of discriminating against asians or sympathizing with any hate related groups. I do appreciate the mature way that you brought this to my attention and compliment you on that.

All right now to address your 3 points.

1. Just as I didn't intend to offend you, I did. You would have been offended whether I intended to do so or not. Now if I had told you that it was my intent to offend you, you may have been hurt again with that knowledge. So what I'm saying is that Shaq's statements offended asians whether he intended for them to or not. I often make jokes, and sometimes they offend people. It is not my intent to offend them. But once I realize I have offended them, I apologize and reframe from making jokes that might offend these people. That's not to say I am a perfect individual and have never done anything intentional to hurt someone, because I have. Again when I realized that I was wrong (sometimes you feel justified ) I apologized and did what I could to correct my actions. I also refrained from committing them again. But what I wrote about originally was not focused on Shaq and his apologizing, it was about the media's part in this. About their apathy to his remarks when they react much stronger when other races are targeted. I was side tracked onto the Shaq subject. I feel that he should apologize, but if he doesn't it's not the end of the world. It will not start a racial war in LA. That's what I mean that the single action if isolated is not going to cause that much damage. Now to continue to allow such actions to go unabated without a call for correction can be harmful. And if Shaq with his informal leadership position takes it upon himself to keep issuing racial slurs, I do find that to be a bigger problem. I would also believe that he is doing it with intent, because now he is at least cognicient that his words and actions are offending members of a racial group. I would just liked to have seen the response stronger and firmer. Not to chastise Shaq, but rather what he said.

You asked why Shaq should apologize and cease to engage in this behavior. I can only answer because IMO it is the morally correct thing to do. A better question might be why should he not? Or what terrible thing will happen if he does apologize and stop the behavior?

2. The point is that Shaq called Yao by name and delivered a message to him. So the message was deliver to a Chinese speaking asian. The vast majority of chinese speakers are asian. That cannot be said for English and even some other languages. I'm sorry that you did not find my analogies to be well constructed. I fear that I lack the ability to construct taughts as easily as some other people are. But I do feel that my analogies convey what I was trying to say. You ask

<< Are you saying that making fun of eating watermelons is the same as making fun of african americans? >>

I'll answer you by saying that it depends on the context. In the context that I gave, I am addressing a black person and making fun of them. I am using a well known sterotype associated with their race to make fun of them. So, in this context, yes I would be making fun of african-americans. Because I am associating a well known sterotype to a person who is a member of the race that the sterotype is associated with. That is what I feel Shaq did. He did not make fun of the Chinese language. He made fun of the Chinese language in a specific address to a person who is Chinese. Now if he had been talking to me, a non asian, that might be different.


3.

<< The most interesting point in this discussion from which we've been sidetracked: Why does society deam it ok to make fun of some races but not others? >>

I agree that not only is this the most interesting, but IMO the most important.

Part of it is that we are flawed. I mean we make mistakes, even when we give our very best efforts to do it right, we still do it wrong occasionally. Now sometimes we do it wrong on purpose, and other times on accident. I don't think that we have the capability to be perfect, but we have the capability to get better or to get worse. My hope is that we can continue to get better. But even if asians are fully included into the fold of &quot;protected&quot; races and cultures there will always be some small group of people who will be picked on and that is not listed as part of the &quot;protected&quot; set. I hope that this will happen less frequently as we go forward as a society. But we still have major work to do to learn to live in harmony.

BTW I'm all for discriminating agains kings fans. At least for today. i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

MavKikiNYC
01-16-2003, 09:34 AM
Story not quite going away just yet.

O'Neal reached for a can of whoop-ass, but opened up a can of dumb-ass instead.

Many not satisfied with Shaq's response
01/16/2003

By ESTHER WU / The Dallas Morning News

Asian-Americans recently got a &quot;Shaq Attack.&quot;

Shaquille O'Neal, the Los Angeles Lakers' star center, has been apologizing this week for making fun of the Houston Rockets' Yao Ming.

Asked about Mr. Yao during a Fox sports show, Mr. O'Neal turned to the camera and said: &quot;Tell Yao Ming, ching-chong-yang-wah-ah-so.&quot; He then made some pseudo Kung Fu moves. The show aired in June, but bits and pieces have been picked up and replayed – most recently on a Fox sports radio show Dec. 16 and 17.

This month in AsianWeek magazine, Irwin Tang called out Mr. O'Neal and challenged Asian-Americans to speak out against racist remarks.

After a flurry of e-mail activity across the country, Asian-Americans in Houston have organized a news conference Friday, when the Lakers and the Rockets square off in a sold-out game in Houston. It will be O'Neal vs. Yao for the first time.

In the meantime, the National Organization of Chinese Americans has fired off letters of protest to Mr. O'Neal, the Fox Network and David Stern, commissioner of the National Basketball Association.

&quot;The message is we will not tolerate racist remarks or behavior,&quot; said Rogene Calvert with the Organization of Chinese Americans in Greater Houston. &quot;These remarks are insensitive and go beyond Yao Ming; they impact the million Asian-Americans in this country.&quot;

She also said such remarks cross all racial lines. &quot;By not condemning the actions that hurt one group, all of us suffer,&quot; she said. Tolerating racist behavior, she said, is accepting racist behavior.

Several civil-rights groups – including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, the Urban League, as well as the League of United Latin American Citizens – have been invited to participate in Friday's news conference.

Mr. Tang said Wednesday that he is pleased with the response from Asian-Americans. But Mr. O'Neal is another matter.

Mr. O'Neal says he is trying to learn Mandarin so he can apologize to Mr. Yao on Friday. Unfortunately, he had been trying to learn the phrase in Cantonese. Mr. Yao speaks Mandarin.

And just last week Mr. O'Neal told reporters he meant his remarks as a joke.

&quot;... A 70-30 joke,&quot; he said. &quot;Seventy percent funny, 30 percent not funny.&quot;

Actually, it was 100 percent not funny. Shaq's got game, but not sensitivity. And he's turning the tables on Mr. Tang

&quot;So, this guy was just trying to stir something up,&quot; Mr. O'Neal told the Los Angeles Times. &quot;He's just somebody who doesn't have a sense of humor like I do. I don't have a response to that racism because the people who know me know I'm not. I mean, if I was the first one to do it, and the only one to do it, I could see what they're talking about. But if I offended anybody, I apologize,&quot; Mr. O'Neal said.

Asians, I guess, make good targets.

Mr. Tang called the response &quot;laughable.&quot;

&quot;O'Neal's racist taunts are equitable to spitting on Asian America,&quot; Mr. Tang said Wednesday.

&quot;Let's not beat around the bush,&quot; Mr. Tang has said. &quot;If a white player had, for instance, made monkey sounds to taunt a black player, it would have been a national controversy. But Yao is Chinese, and Asians are fair game.&quot;

Speaking of fair game, Ms. Calvert is especially incensed because the NBA has made a concentrated effort to get Asian-Americans to support Mr. Yao but has remained relatively neutral on this matter.

&quot;A great number of Asian-Americans have started to attend games to watch Yao,&quot; Ms. Calvert said. &quot;And it's not just in Houston. Everywhere the team goes, Asian-Americans have turned out to watch Yao.&quot;

Now, she said, the NBA has &quot;really come out against any of this,&quot; Ms. Calvert said.

Racism and economics are good arguments to put a muzzle on Mr. O'Neal, who coincidentally was awarded the NAACP's Young Leaders Award last year.

Throughout it all, Mr. Yao has said he believes that Mr. O'Neal was joking, but he didn't think that a lot of Asians would understand that kind of joke.

&quot;I think it's important to have a greater understanding of other cultures,&quot; he said.

The bottom line is that Mr. O'Neal is the Lakers' big man. But it looks as if the Houston Rockets have the bigger man.

LRB
01-16-2003, 04:57 PM
Thanks for the article Kiki. It takes a big man to apologize. Right now Shaq is looking pretty small. i/expressions/face-icon-small-disgusted.gif Which really says a lot.

Maybe its just ego, but if he had half a clue, he would realize that aplogizing would really make him look good and not bad.

aexchange
01-16-2003, 05:31 PM
i've read elsewhere that he actually is trying to learn how to say i'm sorry in mandarian so that he can apologize properly to yao in person.

the big racist? no.

the big ignoramus? perhaps.

TripleDipping
01-16-2003, 05:35 PM
<< O'Neal reached for a can of whoop-ass, but opened up a can of dumb-ass instead. >>



This statement completely captures the point of this post. Shaq himself should see this. i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif

aexchange
01-17-2003, 01:13 PM
70 years ago the biggest comedians in the U.S. were Amos and Andy. They did their entire schtick in Black Face. Don't think it's funny now? Oh well... I guess you just don't have the right sense of humor.

mav_love
01-17-2003, 01:13 PM
Bill Walton chimes in... i'm genuinely impressed by one of the greatest ignoramuses to ever telecast. i guess being a Hippie wasn't a total waste on Walton. i'm Asian American myself, and I have to say honestly, it's nice to see an article like this on ESPN.com.... of course, Walton likes to make himself stand out, and he's already got a war of words going on with Shaq... and what he's written here isn't exactly original. but on an issue where the NBA's has shown little censure, this is as good as it gets, i suppose....



ESPN.com: NBA

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Shaq should've thought before he spoke

By Bill Walton
Special to ESPN.com

How many ears must one man have before he can hear people cry?

Although the comments have been reported before, the recent release of recordings of Shaquille O'Neal mocking, criticizing and generally disrespecting Yao Ming are startling.


Being bigger than the other kids while growing up, Shaq knows what it's like to be different.
How disappointing for Shaq -- he should know better. He's the leader of the NBA and you expect more from him. Can you imagine Bill Russell, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic, Hakeem or David Robinson saying anything like this?

We constantly hear from people like Shaq that they want to be respected. Well, to get respect, you must give respect. We live in a world and society where diversity needs to be encouraged not discouraged. If Shaq were your 10-year-old child, what would you do or say to him after making such comments?

What if Yao Ming had said something about Shaq's ethnicity? You can imagine the outcry and it would be justified. But it has to cut both ways. Where is Jessie Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton? Where is Johnnie Cochran?

Yao Ming has far too much class to get involved in this nonsense but you know it has to hurt. With the way he has been mistreated, manhandled and butchered by so many for simply coming here to play basketball -- something he was asked to do -- he must be asking himself, &quot;What is going on here?&quot;

There is no place in our world for Shaq's intolerance and insensitivity. And this from a man who has as much experience and knowledge in dealing with the media as anyone alive today. Shaq is a man who has obviously been teased and made fun of a lot in his life because he is visually different from what some consider the &quot;norm.&quot; He can't like it when it happens to him -- so why this?

And as far as Shaq's 'apology' is concerned, well, I don't get it when someone says, 'IF I offended anyone, I'm sorry.' That tactic really worked well for Trent Lott.


If that is what he is saying publicly ... then what can he be thinking privately?

But is this any worse than what the Miami Heat did when Yao Ming came to play in South Florida and the Heat -- as a promotion -- handed out fortune cookies? You can never ignore or rank levels of intolerance of any nature.

Just remember the quote on the wall at the Holocaust Museum in our Washington, D.C. that tells the story of the people who didn't complain or object to the mistreatment of others. Their final lament was &quot;That when they finally came for me, there was nobody left to complain.&quot;

How many times can a man turn his head, pretending he just doesn't see?



Bill Walton, who is an NBA analyst for ESPN, is a regular contributor to ESPN.com.

MavKikiNYC
01-18-2003, 06:09 PM
SPORTS OF THE TIMES
Yao Proving a Bigger Man Than O'Neal
By SELENA ROBERTS

HOUSTON

WHAT does an aerial view reveal about the landscape?

Standing as tall and straight as a periscope, Yao Ming witnessed a crowd gathered at his hipbones yesterday, eager for his 7-foot-6-inch thoughts about Shaquille O'Neal's thick elbows and ample mouth.

Was Yao afraid of being sideswiped by O'Neal's bulk-rate frame?

Had Yao braced for another Chinese slur from the Big Prankster?

Did Yao believe last night's fee-fi-fo-fum buildup was unfair?

&quot;That's life,&quot; said Yao, who was circled like a bonfire by cameras and recorders before his Houston Rockets defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in overtime, 108-104. &quot;That's the way the world is.&quot;

On this shrinking earth, size creates attention, first-time offers are hot and conflict is a drawing card. So this was a natural trifecta: Yao vs. Shaq. Rarely has big had such magnitude.

&quot;I think a lot of the focus is due to the controversy because some people took umbrage to Shaq's remarks,&quot; said the Lakers' deep thinker, Phil Jackson. &quot;I can't remember a matchup with Shaq that is comparable.&quot;

The Lakers' player-actor, Rick Fox, said: &quot;If you ask me, I think Shaq has been looking for someone to bring a challenge to him. Shaq has always proven he can rise to the occasion.&quot;

Shaq asserted himself in overtime — for better and worse. After two bruising dunks over Yao, he whacked the omnipresent Steve Francis (44 points) on a flagrant foul that ended up costing the Lakers.

While O'Neal was a force (31 points and 13 rebounds), Yao had the final word, punctuating the final seconds with a two-handed dunk to help seal the victory. Yao didn't have the offense (10 points), but grabbed 10 rebounds and swatted 6 blocks.

Beneath the numbers, Shaq was the one who needed to learn from this moment. The education of Shaq wasn't part of the prebout hype. It was vice versa.

This would be Yao's great test, the rookie's first chance to measure the force of Shaq's grape-stomping paint presence, to detail the post moves of a superstar center who promised to greet the league's top draft pick with elbows.

Instead, Yao owned the introduction. In the first three minutes, O'Neal posted up Yao with his 330-pound, 7-1 body built by Caterpillar. But as he turned, Yao stood sturdy, ready to smack the shot. Not once, but three times. Off one block, Yao beat O'Neal downcourt for a fast-break layup.

Just part of the Yao buffet. Eventually, Shaq would come on, but Yao proved he was a capable foil for O'Neal.

&quot;All I can say is I helped my team, but as everyone can see, Shaq is very strong,&quot; Yao said.

Surprise, a true big-man rivalry was born. It's up to O'Neal to accept that reality. If O'Neal could just step back from the bravado, view the game from Yao's perch of perspective, he might pick up some valuable pointers on composure, open-mindedness and leadership.




A cultural exchange might do wonders for an ex-Army brat like O'Neal who seems in need of a refresher course on global conduct. O'Neal has diluted some of his lovability by blaming his teammates for the Lakers' funk, by degrading the Sacramento Kings when he labeled them the Queens and by joining a basketball brawl in an arena tunnel.

Shaq is a 30-year-old married father of two, but he can't match the 22-year-old sage from China.

While O'Neal loses his poise like car keys, Yao has shown remarkable composure. From Day 1, he has been a self-effacing, punch-line wiz who craves acceptance but shares his wisdom.

This week, Yao grabbed a clipboard and began choreographing footwork for a teammate. So the learning goes both ways in Houston, but Yao has been a curve buster, winning over critics who felt he was more delicate than an onion peel.

As it turns out, he has shown a thick skin on his bones. Teams have tested his tolerance by burrowing beneath his ribs and turning his lean body into a scratching post.

&quot;Yao just accepts it as a part of the game,&quot; Houston Coach Rudy Tomjanovich said. &quot;He may get mad at himself, but I've seen situations where veteran guys get physical, and all of the sudden, they're blowing a gasket. He has a very even temperament.&quot;

Not that Yao is on automatic emotion. Earlier this season, he received a technical foul, nabbed for an outburst of joy after a big play. The ref saw it as taunting; Yao was mortified.

O'Neal could use some humility in his shtick. Often, his comedic instincts go awry, as they did in his remark that surfaced recently: &quot;Tell Yao, `Ching-chong, yang, wah-ah-so,' &quot; Shaq said, later excusing himself as an idiot prankster.

Last night, O'Neal tried to defuse the controversy by saying: &quot;I already apologized. Yao is my brother. Asian people are my brothers. People tried to make it a war between blacks and Asians. That was disappointing.&quot;

Yao refused to trade barbs. Instead, he urged cultural awareness and global togetherness.

As usual, Yao remained above the fray, sticking to his aerial view of the world. But what does he think of the landscape below him? Does he see an ugly American, or a work in progress? Take notes, Shaq.

MavKikiNYC
01-18-2003, 06:13 PM
How do you assess Yao's first matchup against Shaq?

Yao has double-double and Rockets win; what more do you want? 37%

Face it: Francis was the story 28%

Rookie didn't back down from tough challenge 23%

Shaq dominated him 12%

Usually Lurkin
01-19-2003, 08:28 AM
that last article is treating shaq more like whipping boy of America's ignorance and racial insensitivity:

&quot;Last night, O'Neal tried to defuse the controversy by saying: &quot;I already apologized. Yao is my brother. Asian people are my brothers. People tried to make it a war between blacks and Asians. That was disappointing.&quot;

Yao refused to trade barbs. Instead, he urged cultural awareness and global togetherness.
&quot;

sounds like both are trying to urge cultural awareness and global togetherness, but the author portrays Shaq as the Big Pettiness trying to start something.

MavKikiNYC
01-19-2003, 09:05 AM
<< that last article is treating shaq more like whipping boy of America's ignorance and racial insensitivity... >>



However, the writer also alludes to a few non-race-related incidents that are dinging Shaq's public image:




<< O'Neal has diluted some of his lovability by blaming his teammates for the Lakers' funk, by degrading the Sacramento Kings when he labeled them the Queens and by joining a basketball brawl in an arena tunnel. >>



Add to that:


last year's fight with Brad Miller;
his past feuds with teammate Kobe Bryant;
his aggressive taunting of players like Sabonis, Divac, and Bradley;
his arrogant disrespect for players like Ewing and Robinson;
his contempt for NBA-MVP rivals Duncan and Inverson;
his decision to delay surgery which resulted in his missing training camp and the start of the season;
the perception that he hasn't taken off-season conditioning seriously enough the last several years, reporting to camp grossly over weight which common sense says may contribute to his foot injury;
the perception that he's never taken the time in the off-season to improve his free throw shooting to the point where he's not something of a liability in the last two minutes of the game......

It looks like some people are just getting tired of his crap, realize that he's a negative role model for teaching young athletes about getting along with teammates, respecting opponents and working hard to improve your game.

Poster boy? Whipping boy? Or fast-becoming yesterday's news?

scooterj5
01-19-2003, 11:55 PM
What a load of BS. He was just joking. Yao Ming is the only one that should care. It does not concern Asian journalists. And by saying Shaq is a posterboy for America's ignorance, the journo is making his own unsubstantiated generalisation.

LRB
01-20-2003, 12:33 AM
<< What a load of BS. He was just joking. Yao Ming is the only one that should care. It does not concern Asian journalists. And by saying Shaq is a posterboy for America's ignorance, the journo is making his own unsubstantiated generalisation. >>



Yea, after all it would be unamerican not to joke about asians. Stupid asian journalists should go back to where they came from if they don't like it. After all this is a free country and we can make fun all any race not protected by political correctness without repercussions or being critisized by anyone. Asians don't deserve protection. They are and should be fair game. Their being offended is an offense to all Americans.

WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SARCASTIC COMMENTS THAT SOME MAY FIND OBJECTIONABLE. IT IS INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCED ONLY.

Usually Lurkin
01-20-2003, 09:17 AM
<< Poster boy? Whipping boy? Or fast-becoming yesterday's news? >>



I think one of America's favorite pastimes is to build up and tear down heros.

Is the new apple commercial racist? On an airplane: Yao pulls out a 12&quot; powerbook and Verne Troyer (Austin Powers' Mini-me) pulls out a 17&quot; powerbook. Playing on Verne's powerbook: a kung fu movie.

scooterj5
01-21-2003, 03:55 AM
<<
Yea, after all it would be unamerican not to joke about asians. Stupid asian journalists should go back to where they came from if they don't like it. After all this is a free country and we can make fun all any race not protected by political correctness without repercussions or being critisized by anyone. Asians don't deserve protection. They are and should be fair game. Their being offended is an offense to all Americans.

WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SARCASTIC COMMENTS THAT SOME MAY FIND OBJECTIONABLE. IT IS INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCED ONLY. >>



Don't be so beligerent.

LRB
01-21-2003, 04:24 AM
<<

<<
Yea, after all it would be unamerican not to joke about asians. Stupid asian journalists should go back to where they came from if they don't like it. After all this is a free country and we can make fun all any race not protected by political correctness without repercussions or being critisized by anyone. Asians don't deserve protection. They are and should be fair game. Their being offended is an offense to all Americans.

WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN SARCASTIC COMMENTS THAT SOME MAY FIND OBJECTIONABLE. IT IS INTENDED FOR MATURE AUDIENCED ONLY. >>



Don't be so beligerent. >>



Belligerent, maybe. Sarcastic, most definitely. Joking, that also. Joking doesn't remove the pain nor the barbs of the intent. So joking doesn't remove me accountability from any wounds caused by my words, just as Shaq's joking doesen't remove him from accountabliity. Joking doesn't magically make everything all right. Sure Shaq didn't have a beligerent intent? Does it matter? Does it matter if I did? Why so quick to accuse me for absolve Shaq?

Nonetheless the pointy ends of my sarcastic barbs weren't directed at you. Their target was those who do not think it wrong to make public jokes on other races, any other race including asians. I also wanted to write something humorous.

Just FYI, I may disagree with you opinion, but I don't label you as a bigot. My belligerence is for bigots only for which I'll freely admit that I have little tolerance. (Irony fully intended)