Is the Non-existent Lin/Kardashian Date a Problem?

LINSANITY — Jeremy Lin graces the cover of Sports Illustrated's Feb. 20, 2012 issue.

So Asian America collectively shuddered the other day at rumors that Jeremy Lin and Kim Kardashian might go on a date. (Interestingly, if you Google “jeremy lin,” “jeremy lin kim kardashian” comes up as the first autocomplete result.)  I guess it’s since been debunked, but I feel like I’m a little alone in thinking that it really isn’t such a big deal.

Granted I’m not a basketball fan — although I enjoyed the hell out of Spike Lee’s exuberant pun-a-thon — and I know next to nothing about either Lin or Kardashian, other than that Lin has, overnight, become sort of a living Asian Pacific Islander (API) “David and Goliath” story, and that Kardashian is wildly famous, essentially because she’s rich and connected and decided she wanted to be famous. But telling Lin who he should and shouldn’t date because of who we want him to be as a community symbol seems kinda unfair, and particularly troubling in that it sort of casts Lin and Kardashian as API “racial ambassadors,” one of whom is “doing us proud,” and the other is “makes us look bad.”

Or am I reading too much into some light-hearted ribbing?

Thoughts?

 

About Ben Hamamoto

Ben Hamamoto is a writer born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He's been published in the Oakland Tribune and has written for New American Media's YO! Youth Outlook and the Nichi Bei Times. He is a research manager for the Health Horizons Program at the Institute for the Future. He also edits Nikkei Heritage, the National Japanese American Historical Society’s official magazine and contributes to Nichi Bei Weekly.

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