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Tailing the Komets

Someone much smarter than I...

...sent me an email today that included:

``JungleMonkey's username and Bob's remark are parallel situations. JM is using a derogatory name for a black person as a reference instead to the coliseum being the jungle (or at least that's what I want to think). Bob used Jap to describe a sneak attack. If people commenting on the blog are going to give Bob hell for that, then they need to do the same to one of their own. 

``Cries of "Racist!" have been thrown about so often in our society that the term has lost some of its meaning and potency. Racism is an attitude and a mindset. Using a racially charged term once does not necessarily make someone a racist any more than eating a garden salad makes someone a vegetarian.

``I can see how it could have happened: Bob served in World War II, Pearl Harbor Day was coming up and a lot of history was being brought back up in his mind. That doesn't excuse what he said, but it may shed some light into why the term might be fresh in his mind. Then the question becomes did the terms from a bygone era get the better of him or is he truly racist?

``Was the term insensitive? Yes. Were there better ways to describe a sneak attack, especially for a hockey game? Of course. But does Bob have a history of using racially insensitive terms? If he does, then the outcry is justified. If he does not, then people should not be so quick to brand him a racist for what could be a genuine mistake. Now a mountain has been made of what could have been a molehill, and all sides share in the fault.''

Back to me now:  Is there any doubt that the term JungleMonkey is extremely offensive to many people? Is JungleMonkey a racist? Am I a racist for allowing him to post here using that name? Am I a racist whenever I type JungleMonkey to refer to him? By the reasoning expressed by many here, you must answer yes to all four questions.

JungleMonkey is absolutely NOT a racist, at least by anything I've ever seen, and I would defend him equally as tenaciously as I have Bob. I do not believe by any stretch JungleMonkey intended to be a racist by using that name.

Well, neither did Bob.

But they both should be tarred with the same brush, right? There's no choice, no leeway in the matter because the terms are absolutely racist, right?

Are they?

Posted in: Komets


Thu, 12/08/2011 - 3:28pm

You've missed the point here Blake; Bob Chase and JM as individuals are entitled to their opinions whether or not any of us find them racist. However, Bob Chase the professional broadcaster used a racial slur during a professional sports broadcast and the only acceptable response is an immediate and unqualified apology. It may have been unintentional, it may have been because of his life experiences, it may have been because he provides colorful play by play, it may have just been an easy slip up, but that does not excuse the use of an inappropriate term by a PROFESSIONAL.

Blake Sebring
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 3:37pm

So by that standard, I should never allow JungleMonkey to post here again, because even though I know exactly what he's referring to, someone might be offended by seeing his name here in the future. This is a professional blog, after all.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 3:50pm

I know how I feel about all this and have posted my thoughts on the other site.

Would it have made things better ( or even OK ) if Bob would've said, "Wow ( insert any Komet name here ) really got Pearl Harbored by ( insert any Rush name here)?

Twice in the past, when speaking of former Komet Lance Galbraith, I mentioned how much I admired his play because I thought he was like a "kamikaze" on the ice. Was that insensitive? Well, maybe so after reading some of my blogging friends' comments on this situation. When I used that term to describe Galbraith, I was solely speaking of his tenacious desire to hit anything and everything on the ice. I never once gave any thought that any reader may have had a friend or relative die because of a Japanese kamikaze pilot. Now I realize that it could have brought back some terrible memories for some.

I know in my heart that my description (using the word "kamikaze") was not meant in any form or manner as a "racist" term nor to intentionally hurt anyone. Evidently no one else did either as there were no cries of foul play regarding the use of that word. Still, I guess it proves to me that one needs to be careful using descriptive words.

So many times people interject descriptive words into everyday life. I can give you another sports example.

In football, when the defense decides to take the chance of sacking the quarterback and leaving their secondary alone by rushing too many players for the offensive line to block, it is called "blitzing". Short for "blitzkreig". Is football mocking those who died in WWII from the German blitzkrieg? Of course not. It is describing the act and not a group of people. Still, we know where the word and it's meaning came from, don't we? Back in the day of the AFL, they called it a "red dog". Why they picked on the color red, I don't know. Maybe they were discriminating against all the other colors.

Yea, I know. These are just stupid examples and yet they are real.

I can't tell you where racism or discrimination crosses the line and morphs into a more acceptable tolerance or acceptance. Somewhere in the middle, I suppose. Somewhere. I guess we know in our hearts when it does for yourself, individually. As an individual we know it when we see it or feel it. That is the best way I can describe it. That is how I know my use of the word "Kamikaze" was used as a description for an act and not a definition of an individual.

Only Bob knows in his heart what he meant. Only you can decide for yourself whether to believe him or not.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 3:56pm

You're the professional journalist, not JungleMonkey who is an anonymous blogger; but if you choose to ban someone because you feel their posts are racist, I would respect that. It's your blog to manage with all the headaches that come with it. That doesn't change the fact that professionals are held to a higher standard than the general public. I'm struggling to see why you're defending Bob's use of the word so staunchly; is it so hard to say it was wrong? Why is this even an issue? The man made a mistake - we all do.

Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 4:51pm

I think people are a little too sensitive these days. I know I'm in the minority on this, and I completely understand if anyone disagrees with me.
I've been called a cracker and a honky more times than I can count. By social standards, those are racial slurs. But, they don't bother me. To me, they're just words. I guess I've got thicker skin than most. I used to get frustrated with the ignorance displayed by African Americans of my generation. The widespread use of the "N" word as a term of endearment used to annoy the hell out of me. That word is the most damaging word of the last 50 years. It stands for pure hatred. Now that A-A's use it as often as we breathe, I've become numb to verbal sensitivity. It's a double-standard that, ethically, makes no sense. But, to assume those that use it have ethics makes no sense either. I respect those who wish not to hear Bob speak that way. But, until I'm not subjected to listen to a black man refer to another black man as a "n....." I'm not going to be bothered by it. Ignorance, unfortunately, surrounds me in my everyday life. It would waste too much of my time and mind if I continued to let it get to me. I guess there is a generational divide. If we're going to fight a war over racial slurs, let's fight all words. Not just the word that offends you. Hypocrisy, in this case, is offensive too.

Ricky L Capps
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 4:55pm

Well we went National, seen a link over on the other blog that a blogger posted. Interesting reading. a lot of bloggers here will not like most of the comments. Lets Go Komets!!!!!

Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:11pm

It's just words...

john mcneill
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:29pm

^5 Jeremy

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:33pm

I can only laugh at what's a blatantly obvious diversion from an allegedly anonymous author. Drag me into it all you want, it doesn't change anything with Bob's situation. If anyone really sees the two situations as "parallel", they should re-evaluate their ability to reason in a fair and balanced fashion.

Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:33pm


Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:37pm

JM, I hope you're on the side of the argument that isn't trashing Bob.

Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:38pm

Ohhhh high 5! Lol

Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 5:58pm

I agree, there is a parallel between the two situations. You use a racist term as a screen name because, TO YOU, it's not offensive. You don't think there is anything wrong with using a racist term for a screen name so you are defending yourself.
Bob used a racist term to describe a hockey play because, TO HIM, it's not offensive. He doesn't think he did anything wrong, so he defended himself.
I'm not offended by either of you. I'm 27 yrs old. The African Americans of my generation have exhausted my sensitivity towards racial slurs.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:12pm

^Slap hands! Slap hands!

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:18pm


Add your jersey to the rafters!

Josh Franklin
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:20pm

All I can say is wow. Good job Blake. Congratulations on jumping the shark and diverting the attention from what Bob said to your own fan base. Just pathetic.

I stopped reading both blogs because of this kind of crap.

Go ahead and flame me or whatever. As you can see, my name is out there, and it's not a pseudo-name either. If any wants say anything to my face, I'll be the one at the Coliseum (the Jungle might offend an someone from Compton or something) wearing a Komets jersey with my name on the back, and a fedora. No, I'm not Snuff E either. I don't sell baseball cards for a living. I'm above that sort of thing.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:27pm

...guessing Larry won't be playing anything by "the Vapors" during the games this weekend.

And...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD (oops...sorry atheists, I apologize) can we do SOMETHING about the pics of dead and crying soldiers during the anthem video?

Sorry if I offended any necrophiliacs with my request.

I am offended, ergo, I exist.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:46pm

Interesting that the defending of a derogatory comment has continued in another thread....

As far as we know, no one has legitimately emailed you and complained about JM's posting name; but we do know at this point that someone has emailed the Komets complaining of the use of the derogatory adjective in question...

I will ask this question again as I have yet to receive an answer.... Can anyone please tell me a situation where they have seen this word used in any other manner than in a derogatory way??? I cannot...

Let me be clear that I have in no way attacked Mr. Chase himself and I do not want to see him or anyone else fired or removed from thier current position for one slip up. I am only discussing one person's right to be offended by what many believe to be a derogatory comment...

BTW, that is the right that MR Chase, myself, and many others have served in the military to protect...everyones rights....

Jeremy Enright
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 6:58pm

JR1, if someone shot at you and tried to kill you, I would completely sympathize and support your desire to call them whatever you want.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 7:12pm

I can't believe this is even a discussion. The term is justified because a person lived through the history of the event and is old? Or he's not a racist, so that makes it OK to use a term that can only be considered as racially insensitive as a public representative of the team?

WARNING: The following paragraphs uses racially charged terms to make my point.

What if Chaser said that the other team's player niggered the puck away from the Komets or that the other team was trying to Jew the puck away? Since Jap is an older term that makes it OK? Those terms are nothing but racially charged at best. Intent has little to do with that reality.

If he said either of those things, he'd already be gone or issuing a significant public apology. No question about it.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 7:48pm

Everyone has the right to complain and let me tell you they do. I can tell you that the owners of the Komets have heard complaints from about players all not using the same color of tape on their sticks to about some fan personal habits during a game. If you can think of it, the odds are that they have heard it.

Bob Chase, who has contributed to the benefit of northeast Indiana, with his long service with WOWO in many ways and capacities over four decades of service. He is also known throughout North America, and beyond, as the radio voice of the Fort Wayne Komets. He has been honored by more groups and organizations for his contributions then most of us know that exist. To take him to task in the media, regardless of how it is written makes him out to be a bigot.

Justin Cohen has been covering the Komets for a number of years and has developed his own following of fans, who count on him to bring them the latest news on the team. Like Blake Sebring, he is employed as a sports writer, but as part of their job, they owe it to the public to be fair and accurate in what they write. Unless either writer is authoring an editorial, their own beliefs are no reason for writing a story.

Anyone who knows the Franke family members, that own the Komets, know full well they are extremely sensitive to people

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 7:50pm

How about some of you try to grow up in the generation that I am! Everyone who is older than us says, "What is the world coming to. These kids are terrible."

I will tell you what the world is coming to. You all are going to have a generation of kids on your hands that don't see these differences in people until some people from your generation point it out.

Maybe some of you need to take a pointer from some of us "unruly, disrespectful" kids. This wouldn't have been a problem if some of you would put on some "human" colored goggles and stop seeing everyone's differences. We are all more alike than we are different anyway!

Maybe just maybe those offended need those glasses as well. Maybe they need to stop seeing themselves in a different light than others because this is not the WWII era. Geez! (With that said, let's be clear here. If someone intentionally said this to hurt another person, then, that is not right. This is not a case of defending anyone. It's a case of people not living in 2011.)

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 8:25pm

When i'm befuddled by something i often ask a kid.

Mainly because you are going to get a straight to the point no nonsense answer.

So my 15 year old freshman and I were having dinner tonight at a mexican restaurant because we like mexican food, he is a normal kid, gets A's and B's and is in tune with kids his age......

so i ask "What does Jap refer to", he shrugs his shoulders, then i had to spell it out. so he answers "i don't know."

so then i go down the list.. Nip? doesn't know.

Kamikazee? he said "isnt that a crazy person."

Nazi, he responds, "we learned about them last year and the terrible things they did to the Jews." my initial thought on his response is, isn't Jew a derogatory term? are Jewish people offended by that? The term Jew flew out of his mouth because that is how it was taught to him.

so then i move on....

Red? Commie? Pinko? Vietkong? Charlie? no to all of those.

So then i ask him about Honkie, a few years ago we were walking out of McMillen Ice Arena and a group of non-white children called us honkies. So back then i explained to him what it meant. Since then he has forgotten about it because he didn't remember what a honkie was.

Junglemonkey? he had no clue.

Then i asked when he plays those video games don't you play against people from other countries, he says yes, i asked "how do you refer to Japanese people" and he had a funny look on his face, do you have a name for them i asked and he said no.

i'm 44 years old this is what those terms mean to me:

Jap, Nip - World War 2 enemy of the United States of America

Kamikazee - suicide bomber of the World War 2 Era

Nazi - same opinion as my kid

Red? Commie? Pinko? Vietkong? Charlie?- People when i was growing up that wanted to Nuke me or other americans, i don't use those words today because to me, those terms died when Gorby left office, and remember i was a teenager when that opinion was formed.

Honkie, junglemonkey - derogatory terms still in use today.

So take offense if you want, my 15 year old kid doesn't know what a Jap is and 44 year old me knows it was a term used in WWII, i also know its a term i wouldn't use to refer to the modern day Japanese.

i am also of the humble opinion that social media avenues tend to create mountains out of ant hills.

i will promise you this, i'll work on my son, i didn't like how fast the word Jew flew out of his mouth. I thought it was a bit insensitive but he didn't know any better because that is how he learned it in school. The Nazi's did terrible things to the Jews, yes they did, but lets be a little bit more sensitive to others and refer to them as the Jewish people.

We have to remember the past so horrible acts aren't repeated, but as we move forward we can help the younger generation by fully explaining what these items mean, instead of the other road that was recently taken.

In my humble opinion Bob Chase owes no one an apology.

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 9:22pm

Well seeing that the person's offended are older than 15, Japanese (actually living in Japan and not of Japanese decent), and have an idea of past history my question still stands......

When has this word ever been used in a positive way???

Burgee, my question, for discussion sake, is you stated that you are going to work on your son's use of the word 'Jew' citing it as insensitive; but have no problem's with the term 'Jap' being used by Chase?

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 9:35pm

The funny thing is that I am being made aware of someone's feeble attempts to mock me on twitter and I dont even follow it...lol Nice try...

Too bad this person no longer can post here because it would be interesting to hear his view especially remembering his taking issue with someone mentioning Jesus on the blog years ago......

Thu, 12/08/2011 - 11:00pm

After 31 years in law enforcement I have seen and heard it all. More than likely said it all. Nothing anyone says can or will offend me. Insult my wife and I will at least try to take your head off of your shoulders. In my prime I may have been successful. This is life. The good the bad and the ugly. If your offended I am pretty sure no one really cares. I learned a long time to judge not less you be judged. I judge a man by the content of his character. Mr. Chase has proven to me his character by his actions. After that I really don't care what anyone thinks. You maybe thinking to much and trying to hard to make something out of nothing. Now lets play some hockey boys. Oops I mean men!

Mike in Toronto
Thu, 12/08/2011 - 11:13pm

I have been reading the blog and trying to form the words to say how horrible I feel for Bob, now Blake for being caught up in such a fire storm of controversy.
Then today, look what is printed in the Toronto Star.
Amazing how the past is the present.
We share a love of hockey. But our countries have bigger things, more important things in common.
I am writing and adding this link to say it is never too late to say sorry.
We can all relate to experiences our Moms, Dads Uncles and so on had in the generation right before us.
A great deal of sacrifice was made.
No matter how old you are, you should be aware of what took place. November 11 is only one day out of 365 that we should teach and remember what opportunities we have because of those sacrifices.
I don't believe that Bob acted in malice. While I don't agree with how he described a hockey play, I do understand his point of view.
Your first ammendment gives everyone the right to speak.
Bob is a professional but he is a human first. And these things happen to humans.
There is a family, far removed from the conflict that took place so many years ago. They are human too.
This situation may be too far along for the simple issuing an apology. And I know that some feel that nothing was wrong with the statement. Even if you feel that way, don't you think a little sacrifice would help a lot.

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 12:39am

I have to many other things in my life that i worry about than what bob said. If people got this fired up about finding cures to my son's disease, this world would be a better place. It offends me more is not done!!!!

Fri, 12/09/2011 - 5:49am

this was soooo offensive, yet everyone on both sides keep typing the word, and other racial words.. funny.

will this be a topic and arguement until bob is fired? will you all be satisfied? get over it.

one little word from a man thats been doing this amost as long as the komets. i dont care if you just dont like him, wowo, or either one of the beat writers. you cant meet in the middle, everyone thinks they are right and everyone in disagreement is wrong. its pathetic.

Primeval Forest Primate (formally JM)
Fri, 12/09/2011 - 8:15am

Are all of you that are upset that this story won't die mad at Blake for re-hashing it in yet another thread?

Maybe we should be mad at the phantom emailer. Lol!