The GEM Debate:
Flight Or FRIGHT Response.. Offensive Or Okay? (POLL)
There are obvious racial faux pas and not so obvious; there is also a gray area with room for debate. Today I feel we find ourselves in the gray area. So let’s debate.
As you may now know, Asiana Airlines Flight 214 from Seoul, South Korea, crashed at San Francisco’s airport (SFO) on Saturday afternoon. There were very few fatalities, but several severe injuries. It was a very serious event and The Chicago Sun-Times used the headline “Fright 214” to title the front-page news. This title was a source of contention to say the least. It was perceived that replacing “flight” with “fright” was done with insensitivity because “fright” sounds like a stereotypical way someone would mock the accent of an Asian speaking person when they say “flight.” Really?
I’m not a fan of picking fights. Not at all. And I’m especially irritated when someone picks a fight and it bothers people who are going through a crisis. That’s what I see this as being. Instead of Asian and American communities using their full resources to write about the tragedy that was the crash of Flight 214, we are now spending time deciphering and handling one headline. The Asian American Journalists Association called the cover “unfortunate” but gave the paper the benefit of the doubt. There are, of course, others who are more vociferous about the paper’s faux pas, but I don’t think this is the time for that. Mistakes are made; companies don’t have the resources to have every ethnicity melted into this big melting pot that is America represented on their team; some things offend one and not the other. It happens, but when a tragedy of this magnitude occurs picking at hairs is a terrible way to focus our energy. The deceased and the injured deserve our attention elsewhere. They really do.
But I want to ask you guys. What do you think of the headline? Did it offend you? Or were you like me and didn’t even notice there was a problem until you read the text? Did you see that as you being insensitive to Asians or as something to which others are overreacting? Let us know in the poll or in the comments. I can’t wait to hear from you.
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