Letter: Seattle Times column labels Olympian Patrick Chan as a whiner, is offensive to Asians

To the Editor:

Ron Judd’s article in the Feb. 21 edition of The Seattle Times entitled “Whistler is for Tough Olympians; the Wimps are in Vancouver” should be subtitled “And the Racist is From Seattle.” Mr. Judd’s racism is thinly masked as humor in his sentences referring to Canadian figure skater Patrick Chan. “Thank you, Ms. Manners. Now please go back to your seaweed wraps.” Last time I checked, Patrick was a male name and Chan was a Chinese name.

Notice Mr. Judd did not refer to the white Johnny Weir and his “rose-blossom tiara” as flamboyant or “Ms. Weir” because he knew he would get bashed for being homophobic. So why is it OK to address the Chinese guy as “Ms.”? To dismiss this by claiming that “Ms. Manners” is just a commonly used reference glosses over the fact that the same message could be communicated by using “Mr.” rather than “Ms. Manners.” Notice also that the heroic white women skiers are not described with any gender-bending commonly-used terms like superman or having balls.

Mr. Judd also is so ignorant that he does not realize that sushi (“seaweed wraps” and “Sushi-eating Faux-lympians from Vancouver”) is Japanese rather than Chinese. I guess to him we all look the same but notice that he did not tell the white Elena Hight (who he also labeled a whiner) to go back to her sauerkraut and bratwurst. In fact, he makes no references to food for the white athletes (Majdic, Weir, Paerson, and Hight). If Judd had bothered to read the biographies, he also would have learned that Hight was born in Hawaii where sushi is eaten a lot more than Ottawa (where Chan was born).

The Seattle Times should realize that Mr. Judd’s use of language is offensive to Asian readers. The targeted use of put downs on an athlete of a specific ethnic heritage gives the impression of racism and tarnishes the paper’s reputation and objectivity. It should disavow him, take away his soapbox, and apologize to all its Asian readers.

— Anthony L.T. Chen, Federal Way

Editor’s note: Read the column Mr. Chen is referring to at seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/ronjudd/2011148913_judd22.html
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One Response to “Letter: Seattle Times column labels Olympian Patrick Chan as a whiner, is offensive to Asians”

  1. Jamie says:

    What a jerk.

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