LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL pic.twitter.com/nU9qg3J0rR— Jia Tolentino (@jiatolentino) February 12, 2018
An op-ed writer for The New York Times, Bari Weiss, riled the internet when she tweeted about figure skater Mirai Nagasu’s incredible performance at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, while calling her an immigrant.
The journalist, who has also worked for The Wall Street Journal, shared the video of Nagasu’s stunning triple axel landing along with the words, “Immigrants: they get the job done” — a popular line from the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.”
The thing is, Nagasu is not an immigrant.
She was born in California to Japanese immigrant parents and maintained dual U.S. and Japanese citizenship until she was 22 years old.
Many believe Weiss crossed the line. For a writer, she did not do her homework properly and, therefore, sparked the online debate.
Social media users flooded her tweets and criticized Weiss for implying Nagasu is not American.
Actually, you tweeted "they" get the job done. You "othered" a US citizen because she is not Caucasian. Just take the L and stop making it about your self-victimology.— Michael Cunningham (@MCunninghamAJC) February 12, 2018
Bari, no one likes you because you're a college republican dolt who's been promoted to a position wildly out of line with your talent or insight— Will🦕Menaker (@willmenaker) February 12, 2018
Make like Bret Stephens and write a piece about how you have to log off because everyone is mean to you because you suck
She later deleted her tweet and pushed back, saying she knew Nagasu was born in California.
For this tweet I am being told I am a racist, a ghoul and that I deserve to die. So I deleted the tweet. That's where we are.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 12, 2018
Weiss responded by calling the backlash as “another sign of civilization’s end.”
Do you need another sign of civilization's end? Here's one: I tweeted "Immigrants: we get the job done" with a video of Mirai Nagasu's triple axel. The line is a Hamilton reference. I know she was born in Cali. Her parents are immigrants. I was celebrating her and them. (1/2)— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 12, 2018
But people were just not ready to give up.
Also, it seems that you have a particularly challenging time hearing people telling you that you offended them and constantly cherrypick the comments of trolls, instead of the pretty thoughtful criticisms that i am mostly seeing.— collier meyerson (@collier) February 12, 2018
bari, as an editor of the most important paper in the world making who-fucking-knows how much money, u shouldn't be making the same mistakes we'd expect from an in-over-their-head 20 y/o social media intern on a $300/ month stipend. that's why there's no patience for you. thanks.— 6' 2" (@poverotti) February 12, 2018
We're trying to give you thoughtful criticism. You're bumping up against your privilege. You can learn from this. Just apologize and do better. Don't you think many of us here had to face this abt ourselves so we cld do better? It smarts but you'll get through it.— Odette Roulette (@odetteroulette) February 13, 2018
Apparently, Weiss couldn’t take criticism.
I don't have a hard time hearing thoughtful criticism. Anyone who knows me knows that I can take it. @karencheee's take was civilized and fair and I heard it loud and clear. That's the rare exception on here.— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 12, 2018
i know how shitty it is to get threatened and to be called names. but collapsing those who disagree with something you said with your trolls has become a trope of yours. There are SO many smart people responding here and maybe it's possible, after some reflection, for u to listen— collier meyerson (@collier) February 12, 2018
Maybe Weiss did not understand the sensitivity of the matter.
Racists and white supremacists often use the words “go back to your country” while harassing non-white people, implying that only white people are real Americans. Even if the NYT writer did not intend to say that, her tweet was certainly perceived as racist by many.
“Her parents are immigrants. And my tweet was obviously meant to celebrate her accomplishments. Perhaps you’d be more comfortable with an outlet like Think Progress making the same point,” Weiss said, insisting she only meant to be positive.
The writer also pointed out the Huff Post celebrated Nagasu making history with her perfect triple axel landing by noting she was the child of immigrants.
Many people have similarly celebrated her story. For example: https://t.co/liPqq26pHX— Bari Weiss (@bariweiss) February 12, 2018
As it turns out, the New York Times writer is famous for her controversial viewpoints. In fact, The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald reportedly described Weiss as someone “who thrives on cheap, easy, and superficial ‘controversy.’”
Thumbnail/Banner: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson