You think you know a guy. And then you read his well intentioned but mistaken article on Asian Americans in the New York Times. And you decide to do something about it.
Nicholas Kristof’s recent column in the New York Times was about, at the highest level, explaining why the success of Asian Americans doesn’t mean that discrimination doesn’t exist in American society today. It was a part of an ongoing dialogue he’s having with his readers on whiteness in the United States.
Kristof’s intent (seemingly) was to nuance the argument on race in America, but he ended up (presumably unintentionally), reinforcing stereotypes rather than breaking them down. There were plenty of responses in the NYT, and elsewhere in the media, and it was time to bring them to Wikipedia.
Weirdly, though Kristof frequently writes about race in America, there wasn’t a specific section that outlined his opinions. Until today, that is. I added what I thought was a pretty good summary of his argument (as a side note, the substance of Kristof’s argument itself and the way he made it was more nuanced than its conclusion). I then added in some critical feedback, both from the New York Times (letters to the editor) and NBC (thought piece).
The interesting thing about editing Wikipedia is that…well, now this is the first thing someone reads when they get to Kristof’s page. It’s actually somewhat misleading to only have this one narrative under Race in America, when he’s commented frequently and in a human way, on race & its human elements.
Ironically, that may be exactly the right point to make this time.