I'm angry with Sergio Garcia.
Tiger should obviously be upset. First of all, he's Thai not Chinese so it's completely inappropriate to lump him in with billions of fried-chicken eating fanatics (in fact, based on current trends, China should pass the U.S. for number of KFCs in 2013). It is offensive to assume that Asians can be lumped together like that and thus imply that they all look the same (you can test yourself here). We certainly all know Thais are not known for fried chicken and prefer chicken curried or in pad thai (or do Thai people just call it "pad"?). The point is Sergio ... wait ... what?
Sergio, Sergio, Sergio.
Garcia ruined a good feud by introducing the most sensitive of all topics in the United States: African-American race relations.
I have no idea if Garcia is racist, not racist, stupid or ignorant of race issues in the United States. As we've said before, golfers and athletes are not and should not be the source of integrity and moral standing. Of course, that is not to say we shouldn't care if Garcia is a racist: that would be ignoring the fact people do look up to athletes and do look to them as role models. Certain things matter about a person other than golf. This would be one of them.
We certainly hope Garcia is not a racist. It's not really possible to root for that person. Generally, he seemed contrite at his press conference this morning and thankfully didn't qualify his apologies in any way. From all accounts I've read of people that now him, they don't believe that he's racist.
In terms of Sergio's specific comment, Tiger appears ready to move on based on comments from his Twitter account later the same evening (in stark contrast to Fuzzy Zoeller whom Tiger let twist in the wind by remaining silent). Woods essentially let Sergio off the hook last night.
Anyway, as much as we'd like to move on, this will continue to linger because of the sensitivity of the topic.
My initial reaction was: How racist is the comment really? We all love fried chicken so maybe African-Americans should own this stereotype in order to diffuse it. Sort of a reverse psychology. Plus, how and why could it be derogatory to be stereotyped for loving something we all adore? After all, the New York Times within the past two years have on three separate occasions instructed readers how to make fried chicken (here, here and most recently last week). If that's not proof we all love fried chicken, I don't know what is. This is not the Grand Forks Herald we're talking about but the high-brow NY Times Dining Section that, let's face it, has been known to cater to the Northeast liberal effete elite (albeit appropriately at times).
Of course it is not that simple. There is too much baggage, history and malice behind something as apparently innocent as fried chicken. Until the targets of such idiocy no longer care (i.e. no longer feel any malice or bigotry), then we are going to have to go on with these "learning moments."
As usual, let's turn to Dave Chappelle to confirm our understanding of race issues in America.
So what now? Do we just move on? Can we just move on?
We all know that is impossible from a media standpoint.
I'm angry with Garcia because a feud of clashing personalities between two temperamental guys who make a living trying to hit a little ball into a hole should be based on immaturity and pettiness, not something as serious as racism and race-relations.
Garcia learned you can say someone has no integrity, disliked by his peers and a serial liar, but comments soaking or even tinged with racism (I won't pretend to know where on the spectrum this lays) is out of bounds.
For the record, my background is Korean and I scored a crappy 7/18 on that AllLookSame.com test linked above ... which is only 50% ... wait, that's less than half? I don't think so ... whatever, trust me, I'm good at math.