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On opening day for the NBA season, a surprisingly large number of people show up with t-shirts with Asian writing on them. Chinese, Korean, Japanese. Maybe even other Asian languages like Thai or Burmese, even though they appear nothing like Chinese; to the average security guard, all Asian languages look the same. When translated, the slogans are innocuous: “Wang Family reunion 2018,” “East Bay High School Dolphins,” “Golden State® Rocks,” “All your base are belong to us.” Some may be complete gibberish, like the random Chinese symbols tattooed on the bicep of your average bodybuilder. Everyone will be let in. After all, who’s going to hassle a cute girl with a t-shirt bearing a Hello Kitty® logo and “Why can’t we be friends” in Japanese?
And nothing happens for the first half of the game. Maybe the cameras will focus on the cute girl with the Hello Kitty® t-shirt during lulls in the game. Everything’s cool.
After halftime, everyone goes back to their seats. Ms. Hello Kitty® gets another pass from the camera and the game starts up again.
Except, up in the executive suite, all hell is breaking loose. All of a sudden, the team executive weasels are getting calls from their Chinese masters. Pretty soon, Ms. Hello Kitty® is getting a visit from security. And a surprising number of people are live-streaming it on their phones. What’s going on?
Well, her shirt still has the Hello Kitty® logo, but it now says, “Free Hong Kong.” In Chinese. Elsewhere, “Wang Family reunion 2018” has become “Close the Uighur Concentration Camps.” “All your base are belong to us” is now “Premier Li looks like Pooh Bear.” “Excited Wonton Door Jamb” now makes sense: “Freedom or Chinese Money, your choice NBA.®“
Then we’ll have the glorious spectacle of a cute girl in a Hello Kitty® t-shirt being kicked out of an NBA® game, along with several others. This would only have to be done once, ideally for every game on a single day. After that, we’ll have the ongoing drama at every game of cute girls in Hello Kitty® t-shirts and South Asian People of Color™ being harassed for their clothing.
Of course, the folks wearing shirts with slogans in Spanish or other languages will be let right in. What’s French for “Cowardly Lickspittle Hypocrite Poseurs?”