The U.S. Army took fire from offended Twitter users on Thursday for tweeting about a “chink” in its special operations digital and physical armor, and immediately retreated.
After the tweet went up, it immediately drew the attention of angry Twitter users.
Chanin Nuntavong tweeted “.@USArmy uses racist term for Asians in headline! #inexcusable I’m waiting for an apology.” Mr. Nuntavong lists himself as a U.S. Marine “superhero” who is on a team of military endurance athletes.
Danny S. Chung, who is listed as a Marine PR strategist, tweeted “Today, I am truly saddened by the ‘white’ responses I received with regard to the use of a racial slur Tweeted by the @USArmy.”
When the tweet was taken down, both men questioned why no apology was issued.
The Army’s tweet linked to a story now titled “Unprecedented technology poses challenges for special ops.” The article discussed the ability for America’s enemies to leverage new technology on social media platforms, but at no time alluded to Chinese people.
In response to a Washington Post article on the story, one reader wrote “Good grief. I’m very much for avoiding racially insensitive terms in referring to people or specific groups of people. But this should not mean deleting words entirely from our language when they have perfectly legitimate uses. At this rate, it won’t be long before we’re reduced to 1984’s Newspeak. C’mon people, have a little common sense.”
The newspaper noted that in 2012, ESPN also came under fire for referring to a “chink” in the armor, although the sports network juxtaposed its headline next to a story on NBA player Jeremy Lin.