I am thrilled about the positively meteoric rise of Jeremy Lin. It’s exciting to see anyone become famous fast, but it’s meaningful beyond words to watch an Asian American man do this, and he does it in a way that is seemingly effortless and humble. He’s got a down home grace and his talent is undeniable. This is one of the grand joys of sport – talent is undeniable – and elusive, as it is something that wealth and privilege cannot purchase. Athletic prowess is built by ever devoted practice and a natural inclination towards the movements that create the game. There is will involved, in the practice portion, but the rest of the matter is out of your hands. You either have it or you don’t, and Jeremy lin has it. Boy does he ever.

What is remarkable is that his ability is unexpected, and because of his race, he had continually been overlooked and dismissed. His prodigious gifts came in a package previously unseen, so his value remained hidden behind the racial barriers we all pretend don’t exist. He’s not someone anyone thought could play, and that he not only can play, he plays better than anyone save perhaps Michael Jordan is the miracle of the moment, miraculous only in that his display of skill happened at the exact right time and place, it’s timing righteous enough to disprove and transcend casual racial stereotyping and the routine invisibility of Asian Americans not only in sports but practically everywhere. Lin’s game makes race feel inconsequential, even though we all know it is not. When I see him play, I feel like I am flying. I feel like the ball is in my hands and I can do anything with it. I feel visible and real and here. He reminds me of myself, not to flatter myself by any means, but I was successful in something more because I was not expected to be, the natural talent in me magnified by the delight/alarm at its discovery and the surprise factor was great enough to sustain me for more than a quarter century of constant employment.

I hope that Jeremy Lin enjoys a long career and is having fun now and continues to have fun. I am sure the sudden changes in his life can be trying. He’s a long way from sleeping on his brother’s couch already and it’s just been a few weeks. Show business is tough on some, and the line between entertainment and sports can be a brutal one to toe. His level of fame I have never quite gotten to, and so I can’t even imagine it. I hope he is bracing himself for the puns. I have had so many of them for my name including old classics like the cho must go on and cho’nuff. I have seen thus far “for your lin-formation”, the ‘lin-dex’ and I expect many more on the cho-rizon.

The best thing is if Jeremy Lin inspires an entire generation of Asian American athletes who now won’t be overlooked because of his success, who will enjoy even further success which they will attribute to watching him as they grew. I look forward to all that this fantastic young man will do and also to what he will lin-spire.

6 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. I wish him much success; it is nice to see someone rise to the top after not starting out with the greatest success. Did you see the SNL cold open parodying the racism surrounding this coverage? I think they did a good job pointing out the ridiculousness of the whole media situation.

  2. I think Jeremy Lin is a welcome relief from all of the arrogant bastards that stain the world of professional sports. I won’t say names, we all know who they are, and Jeremy restores dignity to pro sports. He is simply himself, which is why everyone loves him. I doubt he set out to be a megastar, he just loved basketball and focused on that. I suffer from a kind of reverse racism, I can’t stand most white people, and I’m white myself. I am fascinated by Asian people and culture, and usually have the hots for Asian, Hispanic, or Black women, but not all that many white women. CNN has gotten some flack already for some really stupid racist humor regarding Jeremy Lin. His fans will put an end to that nonsense, just as yours have done with your detractors.

  3. dear ms. cho….
    after working with creepy men and women for far too long who have become accustomed to skanky projects that are more about copping cheap feels and backroom glory hole relationships, their indignant comments about the fringe of queer culture let alone other minority groups had me wondering — how have people eaten the shit they have been producing for so long?? if it’s merely about dunkin donuts and the benjis then old yeller has more problem than fleas and it’s certainly not just an economic crisis people need to be worrying about…….i’ve never seen a curricula that is such a piece of shit as this disturbing garbage of racist, sexist, chauvinist, and homophobic trash and i’ve seen a few things in life. your piece is beautifully awesome and i wish that people who’ve been in my life pontificating for so many years could sit down and throw out some sentences as such rather than lurking in the shadows of a backroom glory hole of innocuous drivel. have a beautiful week.

  4. I just love you, Margaret!
    It’s so easy to complain constantly about our invisibility.
    But you are such a dynamic individual…you also recognize when it’s time to celebrate and have gratitude. And then you share that with the world. I don’t see too many others recognizing and celebrating these small victories and pointing them out. You are so special. Thanks again for sharing your joy with all of us. You point out the good stuff, and the fun stuff, and you make us all laugh and smile and celebrate and be thankful. I am STOKED to see you on 10/5/12 in Cleveland~~~take care and see you soon!! xo

Leave a Reply