New York Knicks basketball player Jeremy Lin has become an overnight sensation, in just the past ten days, coming out of obscurity to lead the Knicks to seven straight victories. He is the sensation of the National Basketball Association!
Instead of rejoicing over the first basketball player of Asian heritage, specifically Chinese from the island of Taiwan, to become a big success story, instead of just “Lin Mania” occurring, we are also seeing the ugly tone of racial stereotyping rearing its head, including some African Americans ridiculing or rejecting his success. Hate mail and Facebook and Twitter expression of racism is showing how far we have to go, even in 2012, to overcome the ignorance and jealousy of many.
Asian Americans in the past have been victims of discrimination, racism, and stereotyping, with the infamous anti Chinese riots of the 1870s and 1880s and the internment of Japanese Americans in World War II just the best known examples, along with the banning of Chinese immigration from 1882-1943 and of Japanese immigration from 1924 to 1965.
It seems the more we see great accomplishments by an ethnic or racial group in this great country, there always has to be a backlash by people who themselves are often the victims of racism previously.
When will we finally accept people for their accomplishments and celebrate their ethnicity without jealousy or resentment by others of other racial and nationality groups? Obviously, it is a long time in the future, despite the education and progress that has been made from the great depths of darkness of the past!
Meanwhile, congratulations to Jeremy Lin, and all of us should be very proud of his accomplishments!