Chrissy Teigen shuts down New York Times editor's offensive comment about immigrants
If you've seen the movie I, Tonya, you know that it's incredibly difficult to do a triple axle. You race across the ice at full speed, skid off one blade, spin your body three and a half rotations in less than a second, and land on one foot. In 1991, Tonya Harding competed at the U.S. world championships, and became the first American to pull off the high-risk move. However, she never landed it again, and was quickly banned from competition, after her bodyguard went clubbing with Nancy Kerrigan.
Well, today U.S. figure skater Mirai Nagasu made history. She became the first American woman (and the third woman ever) to land a triple axel jump in Olympic competition. Everyone went crazy, posting emotional responses on social media to celebrate her triumph. (Mirau's technical score was a career best.)
However, one comment from New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss sparked a huge backlash. She tweeted, "Immigrants: we get the job done." It sounds positive, but the problem is, Mirau isn't an immigrant. She was born in California. (Whoops.) Bari tried to explain herself in a follow-up tweet, saying the line was a reference to the musical Hamilton, and she was referring to how Mirau's parents were immigrants, celebrating their story as a whole. But with the waves of furious replies flooding in, and showing no sign of stopping, she decided to surrender.
"For this tweet I am being told I am a racist, a ghoul and that I deserve to die," tweeted Bari. "So I deleted the tweet. That's where we are."
So, why exactly were people so offended by Bari's tweet? American model Chrissy Teigen jumped into the fray (as she often does) to offer some insight. As the daughter of an immigrant mother, and the 'queen of all social media,' she's uniquely qualified to explain the outrage: In Bari's initial tweet, it seemed she "other-ing" the Olympic figure skater just because she was Asian.
"Bari with a gold medal winning triple double down! As someone who has had to do this a few times, I’d recommend taking the L here.
It’s called perpetual otherism or perpetual foreigner syndrome. No one is ashamed of the word immigrant but it’s tiring being treated as foreigners all the time. You made a mistake. It’s okay. But people are really giving you calm, great insight. Just learn and breathe. All good."
Thank you, Chrissy, for calming down the pitchfork-wielding Twitter mob, and describing why Bari's tweet made so many people upset. There are still many people in America who assume someone is an immigrant, just because they look foreign - and I'm sure that gets pretty annoying after a while. Chrissy nailed that complicated explanation just as smoothly as Mirau Nagasu nailed the complicated triple axel. (Maybe she'll get a New York Times column next.)