Growing Pains

I didn't want to post much about Jeremy since there has been enough folks blogging about him. But I did want to post a few things to throw some thoughts out there.

First of all, it is quite ground breaking what Jeremy is accomplishing. Everybody has his/her own projections onto what Jeremy means, what he represents, the point where he basically represents a lot of different things to different people with varied experiences. But he also represents some common experiences in which lots of people can identify with as well. In some sense, we're getting into Joseph Campbell's "The Hero's Journey" mythology, some archetype that resonates within our consciousness.

Second, this is America. In a celebrity obsessed culture, there are plenty who love to see you publicly fail just as much as they love seeing you succeed. So, the backlash against Jeremy starts with snide comments by anonymous internet posters, attempting to diminish his accomplishments. Of course it's too early to bestow upon him greatness; it's still very, very early in his career. But so far, it's an enjoyable thing to see---why be so cynical and skeptical? Just enjoy it for what it is.

And, third, there will always people to educate because ignorance and cultural insensitivity is so pervasive. The Ed Show on MSNBC provided a great example of it. To host Ed Schultz's credit, he's been out front and on top of the creeping racist stuff about Jeremy. Last week, he had Eric Liu, former deputy domestic policy advisor in the Clinton administration, on to discuss the stuff coming out against Jeremy:

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Why do people think it's okay to denigrate and disrespect Asian and Asian Americans? What I'm hoping for that what comes out of this discussion that Jeremy evokes about race is that it educates people that these comments are never okay. You would think it's common sense not to insult people, but for whatever reason, people feel it's okay to use stupid insensitive phrases like ESPN's "Chink in the Armor" as a headline for one of the reports on Lin's performances. We're not responsible for other people's education, but unfortunately, in some ways we are. I'm hoping that the airing of these objections comes to the foreground in people's thinking and it heightens the general populace's sensitivity about Asians.
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