As a half Korean woman, I don’t even use that word as a joke or an adjective like saying I have chinky eyes. I don’t like to hear any derogatory term, no matter what race it is. My boyfriend is black and our son is tri-racial: Black, Korean, Irish. I dread the day someone calls my son anything besides his name, especially if it’s a racial slur. I used to live in a neighborhood full of KKK affiliates and neo-Nazi’s. Needless to say, race is a touchy subject for me. On the one hand, especially considering I never dated a man who wasn’t black, I don’t pay attention to it, especially when people hurl them at me. (“Why is he with that white bitch?” or “She’s probably just with him because black dudes have big dicks.” and so on and so forth.) However, on the other hand, when I hear anyone say racial slurs, it hurts my heart because people are still putting so much emphasis on race. I don’t even like to use the word bitch, honestly. I consider it like any racial slur – it’s okay when said by particular people or in a particular context, but outside of that it’s offensive. For example: Calling a woman a bitch in general is offensive. However, call a woman a bad bitch or a fierce bitch or something like that, and her face lights up and she goes “Thank you!” … Ridiculous, huh?
In context of this ESPN fiasco, I think that as much as they will insist it wasn’t a racial slur, it will always be in the court of public opinion. Of all the phrases that could have been used, that was the one they picked? I get that people shouldn’t be so sensitive, however they still are, and ESPN and their editors should have been aware of that. Not everyone who watches ESPN is as educated about the previous references, or even keeps up with ESPN enough to know it had been said before. In the end, it all could have been solved and taken in a completely different context by simply using quotations and the words “A chink in THE armor,” which completely changes the headline and the meaning of the phrase, in my opinion.