Bad News for America

TLR recently received the following email. It arrived under the heading “Some good news for America”:

The heading misstates an admirable achievement by U.S. high school students – it should read “U.S. team makes history at International Chemistry Olympiad” – and is chronologically out-of-date. The win occurred in 2017.

The email was intended as both humor and a sarcastic commentary on recent Olympic gold medal-winner Eileen Gu, the California daughter of Chinese immigrants who chose to compete in the Winter Olympics on behalf of China. It also was a tribute to America. It implicitly contrasts Ms. Gu with the four American high schoolers of Asian descent who won their gold medals on behalf of the U.S. It’s a reminder of America’s unique status as an immigration melting pot, one in which recent high-achievers often are Asian-Americans.

But Ms. Gu is not what today’s TLR is about (immigration having been discussed by TLR here.)

Today’s TLR comment provides a further perspective on partisan divisions.

TLR forwarded the captioned emailed to several friends. Most of those who commented interpreted the email as an amusingly sarcastic commentary. However, a few saw it differently. A couple of those on the political left believed that the photograph’s caption was an example of anti-Asian racism. Why, they asked, showcase Asian-Americans in front of an American flag and, via the revised heading, compare them to their Chinese competitors? This must be an adverse contrast intended to elicit prejudice! A couple of those on the political right asked why someone apparently had photoshopped the American flag in front of the Chinese winners and then characterized it as “good news” for America. Was that an effort by the left to showcase American inferiority?

No to both.


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