I’m Sorry I Was Offended, Gasol

So tell me, Spain. How exactly do you get your eyes to look like my eyes, again? (Because it’s been a long time since I was an Asian girl in grade school in the American Midwest.)

Ahh…I get it. My eyes kind of go off to the sides like that. I get it now. Haha. That’s funny. In fact, I’m so honored you want to look like me. For those 5 seconds. While your lips are sneering. And look – you’ve even put a dragon on the basketball court! We like dragons! You know, if we had a contest where we asked hermits to guess where the Summer Olympics were going to be held next based on team photos, you would win first prize. By the way, thank you for honoring the greatest physical feature of my entire race and just putting that out in the spotlight. After all, it’s what we’re known for. We are kind of funny-looking in that way, aren’t we? 🙂

I mean, you didn’t know this was offensive. You were just listening to your sponsors (the Spanish one, not the Chinese one)! And if you had known it would offend, you wouldn’t have done it! That alone validates this picture in itself – if you had known. And it was intended as a salute!! Considering your country welcomed Lewis Hamilton to Barcelona so well in Formula 1 just last February by ALSO looking like his family (yes, that requires black make-up and wigs) – and also didn’t mean anything by it - this is just par for the course. Spanish sports are surely on a roll with the apologetics and “meaning no harm,” aren’t they? Because there’s quite a lot to cover: Formula 1, now basketball … and the pride of Europe, futbol!

How could I forget? Just remember: Aragones calling Thierry a “black piece of ****” doesn’t mean that he’s racist, either, oh no. After all, he has “black friends and gypsy friends” – all of which, I’m sure, he has invited over for a matchmaking fête to wed his sons and daughters. It all sounds a little familiar to me for some reason. Let’s see…

“‘I want to say that we have a great respect for the Orient and their peoples. Some of my best friends in Toronto are of Chinese origin.”

– Jose Calderon

I guess it’s a little bit too much to expect that befriending these people of The Orient might actually cause you to stop using the term “Orient” in itself. Or might result in your understanding that these friends might actually be offended by your actions. That would be too “American” or “PC.”

And when Spanish futbol fans throw bananas onto the field and make ape noises whenever a black player (even on the Spanish team) touches the ball, it’s funny. It’s hilarious. The audacity of FIFA and FIA, to just step in there and tell your national clubs to regulate your fans!! It seems like everybody likes to pick on Spanish sports. You poor guys.

But let’s not forget that if any of these people offended us, they’re sorry about that. They are all really truly sorry we’re offended, if we’re offended. It just had to end up that way, for some reason, because if they “didn’t really mean anything” it completely changes the trajectory of the comment, you understand? They just said and did things that happen to bring race into the picture … but we expect way too much for thinking their minds actually have the capacity to fathom the history, much less respect that history, that exists behind race, period! But feel free to bring that issue in at any time – in a complimentary or insulting manner – as long as you don’t mean anything by it. I’ll be sure not to take offense for the sake of not hurting your feelings. You’ll just have to pardon me – I’m a bit on the sensitive side.

“Maybe some people in Spain come through like that but in England or the U.S. they have the same problem. We don’t feel we did something bad. It’s wrong to interpret it as racist.”

– Jose Calderon

Calderon was right. There are problems like this in the United Kingdom and United States. And Pau Gasol, a Laker in our multi-cultural wonderland known as Los Angeles, looks forward to covering all the ground he can. Therefore, this makes every racial slight that happens in Spain permissible. How dare we NOT eliminate all racism in our own countries before pointing a finger at a Spanish team in international sports? We better start minding our own business!

Okay Calderon, since WE were the wrong ones since we interpreted this picture as racist, I feel like I have to get something off my chest. So, I would like to issue an apology to Jose Calderon, Pau Gasol and the rest of the Spanish basketball team for being offended. Obviously, by being offended, we have hurt your feelings. Because it’s all about you – and you didn’t mean anything! I hope you’ll forgive me for ever thinking you would ever intend to do anything off-color, even though it came out of an official team picture at the highest level in international sports. It’s really my bad.

I’ll do you one better: I’m sorry you were offended that I was offended. “My people” and I look forward to seeing you, Gasol, back here in Los Angeles in the fall.

Read Pau Gasol’s blog (translation courtesy of Babelfish/Yahoo)

Edit: Why stop at Formula 1, futbol, OR basketball, when women’s tennis can get in on the action??

Spanish Women Tennis Players Also Make Slit-Eyed Gesture