So, Saturday night during a game between the Kansas City Royals and the Pittsburgh Pirates, this happened…
Bruce Chen, who was being interviewed by FOX at the bottom of the 4th, is Panamanian of Chinese descent and a pitcher for the Royals. Humberto Quintero, who was giving the chink-eye, is Venezuelan and catcher for the team. Chen commented on the incident later when he saw the video and didn’t seem bothered by it:
“I’m not offended at all,” Chen insisted. “I’m proud of my heritage and being Asian. I really like the way my eyes look. It makes me look sexy. It’s just joking around. I’m definitely not offended, and I hope other people don’t get offended.
“I don’t think, by any means, was he trying to put my race down. He was doing it to me, and I like the way my eyes look.”
I get that Chen’s a pitcher and Quintero his catcher, and they have a close relationship that lends itself to them giving one another shit of this sort, like, all the time. But when this happens during a televised game, it’s bigger than a couple of teammates fucking with one another. While Quintero’s getting criticized for making the racist gesture, Chen’s “I’m Not Offended At All” defense of it is, in some ways, more troubling. Instead of taking a step back and looking at the big picture, Chen’s settling for being That Guy. We’ve all known That Guy–correction, we’ve all been That Guy–the one who’s quickest not to be offended, because being offended just isn’t cool. Yeah. And the easiest way to show you’re in on the joke instead of the butt of it is to say, “I’m [The Race That Should Be Offended], But I’m Not Offended.”
Good for you, Not Offended Person. You get the Most Evolved When It Comes To Dealing With Racist Jokes Award. Only this shit isn’t about you. It’s not about you or you and one other person or even a handful of people. It’s about this incident being witnessed by a wider audience, witnessed by, say, children who regularly experience the humiliation of people giving them the chink-eye, and it’s about some adult telling them their humiliation isn’t real.
The silver lining here may be that the “wider audience” for this incident only amounted to 3 percent of the country when it happened. (For better or for worse, it will live on on the internet.) And probably an even smaller percentage actually laid eyes–chink-eyes or otherwise–on the game because, let’s face it, no one really has any fux to give when it comes to the Kansas City Royals anyway.
Filed under: Asian Baseball Players, Baseball, Being Offended Isn't Cool, Bruce Chen, Chink Eye, Humberto Quintero, Humberto Quintero Chink Eye, Kansas City Royals, MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates, Racist Gestures, Slanted Eye Gesture
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