If you haven't seen the promotional photo run by the Spanish National Basketball Team, here it is:
Yeah, they're playing that ignorant children's game "Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees..." or whatever version was popular at your elementary school. Racism against East Asian people is tacitly accepted in our society, moreso in communities without widespread integration. East Asian's have successfully built an international niche by famously sticking together the way other mainstream "ethnic" groups have in America, for example. The Irish and Italians stuck to their own, rose above racist taunts and overt discrimination to build businesses and communities. The East Asian communities that are thriving in many large cities around the world offer the same sort of safety and opportunity.
The level of overt racism that this photo poses is only trumped in offensiveness by the lack of understanding or regret that the team has publicly shown in the wake of the controversy. Here's a snippet of their reaction:
“It was something like supposed to be funny or something but never offensive in any way,” said Spain center Pau Gasol, who also plays for the Los Angeles Lakers. “I’m sorry if anybody thought or took it the wrong way and thought that it was offensive.”
Point guard Jose Manuel Calderon said the team was responding to a request from the photographer.
“We felt it was something appropriate, and that it would be interpreted as an affectionate gesture,” Calderon, who plays for NBA’s Toronto Raptors, wrote on his ElMundo.es blog. “Without a doubt, some … press didn’t see it that way.”
“We have great respect for the far East and its people, some of my best friends in Toronto are originally Chinese, including one of our sponsors, the brand Li Ning,” Calderon wrote. “Whoever wants to interpret it differently is completely confusing it.”
Gasol said it was “absurd” people were calling the gesture racist. “We never intended anything like that,” he said.
“We’re surprised by the remarks of racism,” said Juan Antonio Villanueva, the communications director for the city’s 2016 Olympic bid. “Spain is not a racist country—quite the opposite.”
An affectionate gesture? So, I love Jews. I love to tease them affectionately by wearing a big hook nose and horns. I love African-Americans too. I visit my friends' homes with a big bag of Kentucky Fried Chicken while dressed in blackface. They love that shit. It's affectionate. Jose Calderon is officially Public Enemy #1 at East versus West. (Space now available with the removal of Isiah Thomas from the Knicks). He even takes the typical defense...I have Chinese friends. They go ape over my chinky eyes. What...? You're offended by that too? People are too sensitive. Gasol is equally a tool. How is it "absurd" that people are offended by that shit? You're absurd with your ugly ass beard. Also, Spain is not a racist country? How oversimplified a statement can you get? Sure, Spain isn't apartheid era South Africa or Sudanese genocide-mongers, but lest we forget the Spanish conquest of the New World or the Spanish Inquisition I'd like to bring them up here. No one's hands are clean, but it only makes it worse when a bunch of ignorant jocks hide behind oversimplified rhetoric to defend their offense. Spain is only as racist as the Spaniards make it, so congratulations basketball idiots, you helped to make Spain a "racist nation" for a few days.
There is also such a thing as an Uncle Wang. Check out the Chinese sponsor for the Spanish National Team jumping through hoops to save face on their investment.
Frank Zhang, Li Ning’s director of government and public affairs, played down the incident.
“We don’t think this is an insulting gesture to the Chinese,” Zhang said. “In fact, the gesture shows that the Spanish team is so humorous, relaxing and cute. They sat around a dragon pattern, which we think showed respect to the Chinese.
“Li Ning Ltd. will not change any business plans with the Spanish team because of this,” Zhang added. “People should focus on great Olympic Games instead of something else.”
It's so humorous, relaxing, and cute. In fact, we plan to create a new product line of athletic gear called Gasolderon the Chinky-Eyed Spaniard. The logo looks a little something like this...
This is nothing new though. Check out this YouTube clip from August of 2007 where Peruvian soccer player Carlos Bazalar celebrates his game-winning goal over South Korea at the FIFA U-17 World Cup game making the "chinky eyes" gesture. I'd love to get that guy down to Guantanamo Bay for a little "vacation" with the Dick Cheney boys.
The world is full of these idiots. If you see one of them, do me a favor and swiftly and forcefully punch them in the head. God will love you for it.