Friday, March 30, 2012

Jeremy Lin declines Stuy '12 invitation to speak at graduation

We Asian American men have projected onto Jeremy Lin the enormously weighty status of Asian American male cultural representative, pioneer, and hero. The viability of that assigned status depends both on Lin's success as an NBA guard and ability to be a role model tested by intense public and media scrutiny. So far, wondrously, Lin has lived up to the hero we want him to be. We're asking too much of a young man whose cultural power depends on a very precarious professional path. Aroused by Linsanity, though, we've coupled our egos and hopes to him.

The Stuyvesant High School class of 2012 invited Jeremy Lin via youtube to be their class speaker:

Interesting that this year's graduation is at the Palace Theater on Broadway. My class graduated at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center.

Jeremy declined via his twitter account:
Jeremy Lin
Stuyvesant High! Awesome honored to have been invited. I cant make it BUT im making a response video and will visit if possible!
It should be easy for Jeremy to visit Stuy since he lives in the nearby W Downtown residences.

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Schedule-wise, the NBA season should be about at the end of the Finals on June 25. Perhaps NBA players are contractually obligated not to commit to any engagement that may conflict with a game, even during post-season rounds a player is unlikely to reach.

I hope Jeremy changes his mind. He has an opportunity to make history. For the Stuyvesant seniors - especially the young men - on the cusp of their journey to Asian American adulthood, Jeremy Lin is deeply personal. Jeremy is them. Jeremy's speech, broadcast by traditional and social media, would be bigger than a speech to Stuyvesant's graduating class. It would be the commencement address for an entire rising generation of Asian Americans.

Add: Stuff Jeremy Lin wrote for his HS newspaper.


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