Asian Pacific Americans

I was listening to Derb Radio during a walk yesterday, and I was so floored by John Derbyshire’s take on the Ted Turner whoopsie (and aftermath) that I decided to try and transcript it here.

Addressing an audience of local notables in San Francisco the other day, Ted Turner took a question about how to win China’s cooperation in reducing greenhouse gases. Replied Ted, “The Chinese are very smart. Just think – have you ever met a dumb Chinaman?” He then went on to say, “Very seldom do you see Chinese restaurants close. I’m in the restaurant business, and it’s very tough. They work very hard.” That was apparently a reference to some chain of upscale eateries that Ted owns. Well, you can imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth that followed those remarks. Imagine, a public figure, insulting the Chinese by calling them clever and industrious. Where will this end? Next thing you know we’ll have presidential aspirants slandering each other as “clean” and “articulate.” Worst of all was the word “Chinaman.” For reasons totally unfathomable to me, and also I would guess to anyone else who does not have a PhD in Diversity Awareness, the word “Chinaman” is nowadays considered criminally abusive, used only by sneering racists in SS uniforms, preparatory to kicking a person of Chineseness off the sidewalk. Ted Turner, or anyway his people, issued the routine groveling apology to “the Asian Pacific American community.” Asian Pacific American? So, Americans of Pakistani ancestry? Or Mongolian ancestry? Or Tibetan, or Japanese, or Sri Lankan, or Samoan, or Melanesian, Filipino, Nepalese, Hindu, Tajik, ??? [muffled, sounds like "Wigar?"], Samoyed, Bangladeshi, Tongan, Malay, Thai, Laotian, and Guamanian ancestry were also offended by Ted’s remark? Why? I guess I don’t really get this political correctness stuff.

His sarcasm and cynicism cracks me up. While I don’t advocate purposefully using words that are widely known to be offensive, I hate how far political correctness has gone. It’s a bit much, folks. Let’s not be so hypersensitive. That vague term made me giggle – and considering all of the other people groups that fall under the umbrella term “Asian Pacific American,” we’re lucky that he didn’t keep the list running. Ha ha. Craziness. Sigh.

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  • http://www.AdventuresofRussellandGreg.com Greg Shore

    Political correctness baffles me, too. I’m all for being culturally aware but sometimes it goes too far. My friend, Anthony claims to be the only true African American that I know.

  • http://www.rockinginhakata.com Deas

    Greg!! How are you, buddy? It’s great to hear from you. Cool site, too. I’m envious of your BIM software. I basically have to retrace my routes by hand using a Google maps distance mashup as a pedometer. I wish I had a bootcamp here – but that’s another story. Congrats on the bridge run and everything. That’s awesome.

    Also…Mr. Anthony Kowbeidu can probably correctly make that claim for a large chunk of the people he knows in Chucktown. But, I think I know of another African American – a guy I met in college – but he’s a white dude from South Africa. (I wonder if he’s kind of annoyed that African American is really just the politically correct way to say “black American.”) We pull down one term that separates people into groups just to erect a more polite wall. Kinda sad, really. Anyway, great to hear from you! :-)

  • http://www.AdventuresofRussellandGreg.com Greg Shore

    Mapping Runs – http://www.MapMyRun.com – You can see Japan. I don’t know how useful it would be to you as I don’t know anything about the roads there and I can’t read Japanese!

  • http://www.rockinginhakata.com Deas

    Thanks for the link – it works better than what I had been using. :-) And don’t worry, I can read Japanese. Kinda. Ok, a little.

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