Use of the term 'Jap'

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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by General Zod » 2009-03-04 09:28am

Teleros wrote:
DEATH wrote:Call me biased, but how his that really different than "Yank"? (Let alone European, Frenchy, Kraut, etc').
*Shrugs* For whatever reason "yank" simply isn't racist whilst "jap" is. Probably doesn't even need a real reason given what we're talking about. Similarly, I suspect most Brits & French consider terms like "frog" or "perfidious Albion" to be merely insults rather than racist ones. Doesn't have to be any rhyme or reason to the whole thing.
Yank has more to do with location than ethnicity. For the same reason calling someone a redneck is not inherently racist.
Personally I've never used "jap" anything more than shorthand for "japanese", but I would be more suspicious (if that's the right word) if someone was using "nip" instead. Anyway, given the replies to this thread I'm inclined to agree with Alyesks here: if the japanese members are uncomfortable then let's stop using it. If they're ok with it then let people continue to use it: I don't think there's much point in banning words unnecessarily.
The fact that people find one of these offensive while the other is not amuses me, because they're interchangeable and effectively mean the same thing, as I explained above.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Singular Intellect » 2009-03-04 06:57pm

Perhaps someone could enlighten me; the primary argument I'm seeing for not using the term 'jap' among others is based upon the idea of offending people and/or making them uncomfortable, even if the user is clearly not a racist and/or not using the term in a derogatory manner.

This is confusing me; SDN has a reputation for not enforcing a miss manners enviroment. Hence, we're allowed to use 'offensive' terms like fuck, shit, asshole, fucker, etc, etc. Furthermore, when debating extremely hot (and to some, very sensitive) topics such as religion, there's no quarter given for 'personal feelings' or appeals to being 'offended' by mere words.

If I called someone a donkey fucking shithead whose religious beliefs and opinions reek more than the most foul shit I've ever taken, all is good.

But if I say 'it's a jap car', that's unacceptable?

When did it become the status quo that a mere word can dictate what's being said rather than the content? What happens if someone from Britain says "I'm going to smoke a fag"? What if a black individual on this forum calls some of his friends 'niggers'? Or for that matter, what if an individual of Japanese descent actually referred to his countrymen as "my fellows Japs" or something along those lines?

It's one thing to lay the law down in regards to racist comments and the like, but individual words? That's starting to get ridiculous IMO.

(Note: That said, I know this is a private forum/board and will therefore abide by the rules as written and enforced, whether I agree with them or not).
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by General Zod » 2009-03-04 07:09pm

Singular Intellect wrote:This is confusing me; SDN has a reputation for not enforcing a miss manners enviroment. Hence, we're allowed to use 'offensive' terms like fuck, shit, asshole, fucker, etc, etc. Furthermore, when debating extremely hot (and to some, very sensitive) topics such as religion, there's no quarter given for 'personal feelings' or appeals to being 'offended' by mere words.
There's a difference between mocking someone for their ideas and mocking someone for their race. The last I checked, religious belief was purely a choice and a set of ideas. The fact that you can't see this is quite frankly disturbing.
When did it become the status quo that a mere word can dictate what's being said rather than the content? What happens if someone from Britain says "I'm going to smoke a fag"? What if a black individual on this forum calls some of his friends 'niggers'? Or for that matter, what if an individual of Japanese descent actually referred to his countrymen as "my fellows Japs" or something along those lines?
If you think that's what anyone's saying then you clearly haven't bothered actually reading the thread.
It's one thing to lay the law down in regards to racist comments and the like, but individual words? That's starting to get ridiculous IMO.
People have been banned for "individual words" before. I don't really see the problem.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-03-07 08:18am

As a general guideline, if you are insulting someone on something they have no control over, you've crossed a line. You can't choose your parents, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or even where you were born, the world doesn't work like that. While this forum is a bit more permissive in where you can open fire (Religion and Politics being left wide open), we do have established lines, and people have been banned in the past for using hateful words.

As an additional note, I should point out that in my inner city school, we try to ban ALL hateful words, because even though some have been "adopted", they don't really lose their bite when used hatefully.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2009-03-09 09:58am

I'm an ethnically Chinese Filipino and I really won't mind it if someone calls me a gook or a chink or whatever racial slur they've got reserved for Filipinos (are there any?). But then again, everyone knows that I'm in a perpetually altered state of mind, so yeah.

This discussion reminds me of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. :lol:
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Akkleptos » 2009-03-10 01:39am

Besides, what's in a word? It doesn't take much for an "acceptable" term to become twisted and for it to be used as an insult.

In the late 19th century and early 20th, the words imbecile and idiot were considered technical terms in psychiatry, meaning:
Answers.com wrote:imbecile: A person of moderate to severe mental retardation having a mental age of from three to seven years and generally being capable of some degree of communication and performance of simple tasks under supervision. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
and...
Answers.com wrote:idiot: A person of profound mental retardation having a mental age below three years and generally being unable to learn connected speech or guard against common dangers. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.
We even got the word retard, shorthand for the once very PC term "mentally retarded", being flung as an insult all over. So, (widely recognised obvious insults aside) as with a present, maybe it is the thought that counts.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Rye » 2009-03-10 09:17pm

Hotfoot wrote:As a general guideline, if you are insulting someone on something they have no control over, you've crossed a line. You can't choose your parents, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or even where you were born, the world doesn't work like that. While this forum is a bit more permissive in where you can open fire (Religion and Politics being left wide open), we do have established lines, and people have been banned in the past for using hateful words.

As an additional note, I should point out that in my inner city school, we try to ban ALL hateful words, because even though some have been "adopted", they don't really lose their bite when used hatefully.
Meanwhile, calling someone retarded is fine and dandy, regardless of how hurtful they or others might find it if they have mentally incompetent relatives. I'd imagine calling people "autist fucks" would raise ire too, due to the high number of people who either know someone with autism or suffer themselves, regardless of whether it is "actually bad" or not, and regardless of whether they made some oblivious social faux pas.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Havok » 2009-03-10 09:21pm

Question: Does anyone on the board NEED to say "Jap"?
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Rye » 2009-03-10 09:43pm

Havok wrote:Question: Does anyone on the board NEED to say "Jap"?
So long as people know the correct name is the meatus, no.

On the other hand, nobody needs to swear on this site either. I don't think determining language by "need" is a fruitful route of argument.

If someone's writing a lengthy post on WW2 pacific battles, and have to use the word "Japanese" a lot, would anyone really care if that was shortened to "jap" when talking about positions or tanks or whatever? It's not like they're saying they're inferior or immoral because they're japanese.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Teleros » 2009-03-10 10:02pm

Hotfoot wrote:As a general guideline, if you are insulting someone on something they have no control over, you've crossed a line.
Where do you plan on drawing the line though? Handedness? Ability to afford private schooling or not? And before anyone says "of course nobody minds being insulted based on their handedness" or similar, I'd've said the same thing about using words like "Jap" as shorthand for "Japanese". Hence why I prefer what we're doing here: seeing if people have a problem with a word or phrase before we decide to stop using it (or not, as the case may be).
Akkleptos wrote:Besides, what's in a word? It doesn't take much for an "acceptable" term to become twisted and for it to be used as an insult.
I do wonder sometimes how often people use racist language and mean it as opposed to just using it to insult someone.
Havok wrote:Question: Does anyone on the board NEED to say "Jap"?
Do you NEED to say "Brit", "yank" or even "WTF"? Same thing, except that this time it can be considered racist by some.

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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Havok » 2009-03-11 01:48am

Rye wrote:
Havok wrote:Question: Does anyone on the board NEED to say "Jap"?
So long as people know the correct name is the meatus, no.

On the other hand, nobody needs to swear on this site either. I don't think determining language by "need" is a fruitful route of argument.

If someone's writing a lengthy post on WW2 pacific battles, and have to use the word "Japanese" a lot, would anyone really care if that was shortened to "jap" when talking about positions or tanks or whatever? It's not like they're saying they're inferior or immoral because they're japanese.
If someone is writing a lengthy post on WWII pacific battles, they probably are putting enough time into it that they aren't going to abbreviate. Typing "anese" isn't going to kill anybody. Also, no one is going to type "Kraut" instead of "German" even though it is a shorter word that gets the same point across. Why? Because it has, well, not a racist meaning, but a degrading or disparaging one.
Teleros wrote:
Havok wrote:Question: Does anyone on the board NEED to say "Jap"?
Do you NEED to say "Brit", "yank" or even "WTF"? Same thing, except that this time it can be considered racist by some.
Right, because your examples all have inherent racist connotations. Oh wait. That whooshing sound is my point going right past your head.
No one NEEDS to type "Jap" in lieu of "Japanese". This isn't a real life conversation or a chat room. The 5 seconds you save by not typing 5 extra letters a few times in a post is not enough of a reason to use a pretty well recognized racist term.

This isn't a "some people think the word may be offensive" issue. This is a word that was absolutely used as a racist term. Just because it has the luxury of merely being a shortened version of the complete non offensive word, doesn't absolve it of it's recognized meaning.

And yes, this is a complete 180 on my previous position. I talked to a couple of cats that I know that are Japanese, and they recognize the difference when I say Jap Bike, and they even say it as well, but they would prefer that people wouldn't say it. One said; "Well, it's better than Rice Rocket." That is good enough for me (I have already eliminated it from my personal lexicon) that it should be a word that us supposedly educated people don't need to use, for convenience or otherwise.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Teleros » 2009-03-11 08:06am

Havok wrote:Right, because your examples all have inherent racist connotations. Oh wait. That whooshing sound is my point going right past your head.
No one NEEDS to type "Jap" in lieu of "Japanese". This isn't a real life conversation or a chat room. The 5 seconds you save by not typing 5 extra letters a few times in a post is not enough of a reason to use a pretty well recognized racist term.
Forgive me, but reading that it looks like you're just repeating what I just said. About the only difference between our posts (besides you reversing your position) is that you're saying it's still widely considered a racist term today, whereas I don't know how widely (or rather didn't at the time of writing).

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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-03-11 04:00pm

Teleros wrote:
Hotfoot wrote:As a general guideline, if you are insulting someone on something they have no control over, you've crossed a line.
Where do you plan on drawing the line though? Handedness? Ability to afford private schooling or not? And before anyone says "of course nobody minds being insulted based on their handedness" or similar, I'd've said the same thing about using words like "Jap" as shorthand for "Japanese". Hence why I prefer what we're doing here: seeing if people have a problem with a word or phrase before we decide to stop using it (or not, as the case may be).
Can you read and reason? Handedness is a genetic issue, you have no control over that whatsoever. Inappropriate. Don't think that in our lifetimes people haven't been affected by a bias for that either. I can talk to several people who were brutalized as children because they were left-handed by ignorant slime that felt that being a southpaw was a mark of the devil. Hell, look up the etymology of the word "sinister". It's hardly something new.

The ability to afford private schooling or not is not something a child has any control over, so to disparage someone for not being able to go to a private school is ridiculous. Now, come time for college, it is entirely possible for a student to pay their own way, through scholarships, student loans, and getting a job to help pay tuition, but by then they are an adult, capable of holding a job with a high school degree.

Bottom line, if you can't change it through your own actions, you're hardly responsible for it, and thus shouldn't be the subject of ridicule for that. End of story. I would have thought that was clear, but it seems you want to be obstinate, asking where the line was drawn when I was abundantly clear on the matter.

By the way, most Affirmative Action offices I've run into include things like Religion, Creed, and even Political Affiliation into the list of things you're not allowed to discriminate on, but that's something of an aside.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Tiriol » 2009-03-11 04:14pm

Hotfoot wrote:Can you read and reason? Handedness is a genetic issue, you have no control over that whatsoever. Inappropriate. Don't think that in our lifetimes people haven't been affected by a bias for that either. I can talk to several people who were brutalized as children because they were left-handed by ignorant slime that felt that being a southpaw was a mark of the devil. Hell, look up the etymology of the word "sinister". It's hardly something new.
This question has been raised before (by Rye), but I don't wish to see it flushed away: handedness is indeed a genetic issue, but so is being mentally retarded. And the latter still gets used quite a lot. Personally, I find "Jap" just a little bit too offensive that I would use it, but what makes it so much different than being called a retard? The first one is rascist, the second one is not, that's one difference of course (since mentally retarded persons can be found in any culture and ethnic background). I'm not trying to ban the use of the word "retard", since it is obviously a rather often-used word, but I'm merely curious.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by General Zod » 2009-03-11 04:48pm

Tiriol wrote: This question has been raised before (by Rye), but I don't wish to see it flushed away: handedness is indeed a genetic issue, but so is being mentally retarded. And the latter still gets used quite a lot. Personally, I find "Jap" just a little bit too offensive that I would use it, but what makes it so much different than being called a retard? The first one is rascist, the second one is not, that's one difference of course (since mentally retarded persons can be found in any culture and ethnic background). I'm not trying to ban the use of the word "retard", since it is obviously a rather often-used word, but I'm merely curious.
I take it you haven't looked in a dictionary lately. "Retard" does not imply any specific mental disorder; or even necessarily a mental disorder at all. Now if you were using, say, "asspie" as an insult, then you might have a legitimate comparison going on. As it is the difference is rather blatantly obvious for anyone who wasn't trying to justify their intellectual laziness in being unable to write out the full name of the country in question.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Havok » 2009-03-11 07:32pm

What is wrong with asspie?

Edit: Duh. Read that as ass-pie. :D
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Rye » 2009-03-11 11:16pm

General Zod wrote: I take it you haven't looked in a dictionary lately. "Retard" does not imply any specific mental disorder; or even necessarily a mental disorder at all.
Fuck that dishonest apologetic bullshit off right now. Do you mean some guy turned up for a lesson late when you call him fucking retarded? No. You mean he's as stupid as some Downs syndrome kid who wears a crash helmet 24/7.
Havok wrote:If someone is writing a lengthy post on WWII pacific battles, they probably are putting enough time into it that they aren't going to abbreviate. Typing "anese" isn't going to kill anybody. Also, no one is going to type "Kraut" instead of "German" even though it is a shorter word that gets the same point across. Why? Because it has, well, not a racist meaning, but a degrading or disparaging one.
But they will type brit instead of "Briton" or "Citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain" won't they? Or "American" instead of "Citizen of the United States of America." Down with abbreviations that are perfectly understood in the context they're written!
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Havok » 2009-03-11 11:54pm

That is a fucking stupid rebuttal Rye and you know it. It also only addresses the weakest of my points. Your examples of abbreviations are also monumentally lame, as American, in context means Citizen of the United States of America and is not an abbreviation or merely a shortened word.

"Jap" is a word with an undeniable racist connotation and why people are arguing for it's use, when there is ZERO reason to use it, smacks of either being racist, or just missing the point on purpose so that you can score points and try to win an argument.

The lone Japanese person to chime in has said it is offensive. What the rest of us think, who are not Japanese, really has no further bearing on the situation.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Rye » 2009-03-12 12:06am

Havok wrote:That is a fucking stupid rebuttal Rye and you know it. It also only addresses the weakest of my points. Your examples of abbreviations are also monumentally lame, as American, in context means Citizen of the United States of America and is not an abbreviation or merely a shortened word.
In context "jap" means the same fucking thing. Also, "American" ought to mean anyone from the Americas.
"Jap" is a word with an undeniable racist connotation and why people are arguing for it's use, when there is ZERO reason to use it, smacks of either being racist, or just missing the point on purpose so that you can score points and try to win an argument.

The lone Japanese person to chime in has said it is offensive. What the rest of us think, who are not Japanese, really has no further bearing on the situation.
So if someone goes "blah blah jap tank, blah tank treads different to euro tank treads because" we have to have top-down enforcement of severely pointless language rules to protect against offence that probably doesn't even happen? I think Amy's great, and I kinda doubt she'd be so offended referring to a japanese tank as a "jap tank". You think I'm offended if someone talks about "limey tanks" in the same way? A term that means my teeth are falling out and I have scurvy because I'm British?

Also, your last argument is an ad hominem fallacy.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Mayabird » 2009-03-12 12:16am

To be fair, it's highly unlikely I would even be reading a thread about "Jap tanks" since long orders of battle tend to make me cross-eyed. Also, I'm only half Japanese, so maybe take everything I say with a grain of salt. Also also, I didn't say that I would be offended personally, but it is technically an offensive term, and there's gotta be a better way to make a shorthand term anyway. In context would Jp. work? It's even one less letter to type.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Havok » 2009-03-12 02:14am

Rye wrote:
Havok wrote:That is a fucking stupid rebuttal Rye and you know it. It also only addresses the weakest of my points. Your examples of abbreviations are also monumentally lame, as American, in context means Citizen of the United States of America and is not an abbreviation or merely a shortened word.
In context "jap" means the same fucking thing. Also, "American" ought to mean anyone from the Americas.
That should have read "by definition" not "in context", my bad. And sorry, but I highly doubt that Mike or any of the other Canadians on the board want to be called American because they live in the Americas. Yeah, the world doesn't conform to what you think it should be.
"Jap" is a word with an undeniable racist connotation and why people are arguing for it's use, when there is ZERO reason to use it, smacks of either being racist, or just missing the point on purpose so that you can score points and try to win an argument.

The lone Japanese person to chime in has said it is offensive. What the rest of us think, who are not Japanese, really has no further bearing on the situation.
So if someone goes "blah blah jap tank, blah tank treads different to euro tank treads because" we have to have top-down enforcement of severely pointless language rules to protect against offence that probably doesn't even happen? I think Amy's great, and I kinda doubt she'd be so offended referring to a japanese tank as a "jap tank". You think I'm offended if someone talks about "limey tanks" in the same way? A term that means my teeth are falling out and I have scurvy because I'm British?
First, I didn't say that Maybird was offended, I said that as the only Japanese person to comment in the thread, she pointed out that it is indeed found offensive by Japanese people.
Second, as I said in my first post, I'm not offended by being called a beaner or a wetback, border jumper, wop, dego, greaseball etc., but that doesn't mean that the terms are not offensive to others and should be allowed because I personally don't find them offensive.
And no, we don't have to have enforcement from the top down, but someone brought the subject up, so someone already doesn't like that the word is being used.
We all agree that "Jap" has a deep seeded racist meaning. No one yet has chimed in on the issue of abbreviating Japanese to Jap as such a monstrous time saver that we must allow it's continued use, so just having a mod throw out a friendly reminder or heads up to those that don't know the term is racist or that it may offend people is fine.

As I said, I don't think this is even a problem on the board so it is probably a non-issue, but it is here for discussion.
Also, your last argument is an ad hominem fallacy.
Uh... where did I attack you and not your argument?

And seriously, you are all fucking indignant about retard, but don't mind Jap?
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Rye » 2009-03-12 10:02am

Havok wrote: That should have read "by definition" not "in context", my bad. And sorry, but I highly doubt that Mike or any of the other Canadians on the board want to be called American because they live in the Americas. Yeah, the world doesn't conform to what you think it should be.
No shit. That's the point. Context matters more than the actual word used. Look at the times people have parodied racists and crypto-racists on here and used the word nigger. Look, I just used it. Am I racist now?
Second, as I said in my first post, I'm not offended by being called a beaner or a wetback, border jumper, wop, dego, greaseball etc., but that doesn't mean that the terms are not offensive to others and should be allowed because I personally don't find them offensive.
And no, we don't have to have enforcement from the top down, but someone brought the subject up, so someone already doesn't like that the word is being used.
The most I see is a discussion, not reams of offended people who will leave the site because they think casual racism is acceptable here.
We all agree that "Jap" has a deep seeded racist meaning. No one yet has chimed in on the issue of abbreviating Japanese to Jap as such a monstrous time saver that we must allow it's continued use, so just having a mod throw out a friendly reminder or heads up to those that don't know the term is racist or that it may offend people is fine.
We all agree that context denotes meaning, so I'm saying it's not worth getting worked up over individual words rather than the context they're used in. I would be far more offended by someone writing a racist tirade against the japanese substituting the word "jap" for "samurai" than I would by someone talking about jap v euro tanks. Subtext and casual racism is also important, but I don't think that's best dealt with word bans.
Uh... where did I attack you and not your argument?
The part where you said my opinion or reasoning didn't matter because I am not japanese.
And seriously, you are all fucking indignant about retard, but don't mind Jap?
No. I call people, positions and even objects retarded all the time, I'm just aware of what it means and don't really care who it offends. I'm just pointing out the double standard when people are all about enforcing pointless politeness rules.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Hotfoot » 2009-03-13 02:02am

Tiriol wrote:This question has been raised before (by Rye), but I don't wish to see it flushed away: handedness is indeed a genetic issue, but so is being mentally retarded. And the latter still gets used quite a lot. Personally, I find "Jap" just a little bit too offensive that I would use it, but what makes it so much different than being called a retard? The first one is rascist, the second one is not, that's one difference of course (since mentally retarded persons can be found in any culture and ethnic background). I'm not trying to ban the use of the word "retard", since it is obviously a rather often-used word, but I'm merely curious.
Let's say I call you a "fucking beaner" and you're as Caucasian as the mountains. Can I really be taken seriously? Similarly, the use of the word "retard" is not one that's done with the serious intention of implying that the individual has the mental state formerly referred to as mental retardation.

Now, could that word be harmful when used against someone who is "mentally retarded" (now developmentally challenged)? Absolutely, which is one of the reasons the nomenclature changed over time. Is it on the same level? I really can't say. Should people who are lacking senses be offended when someone shouts out "What are you, blind/deaf?" to someone who is clearly not but is showing obvious signs of inattention?

Words do change over time, as new meanings are given to them. Used to be a bundle of sticks or a cigarette or the simple act of being happy were not slang for same-sex individuals. Now they are, and some of them can be harmful.

And yes Rye, context does mean a lot. However, this is a long way to drag out this sort of an argument. If you want to debate it further, I suggest a collesium proposal or something. At the end of the day that you don't care if something is offensive is on you, but hate speech is hate speech, and when you use a derogatory term to describe someone for something they have no control over, that's hate speech. When we rag on people for willful ignorance, even if the terms we use might be considered derogatory, the way in which we use them is not, because we are attacking something that is in their ability to control, their actions.

Is that clear to everyone now? Call someone an idiot, retard, shithead, fuckbarrel, braindead shitknocker, or goatfucker for shit they say or do, fine. Call someone a re-re, ass-pie, or whatever based specifically on aspects of the condition they have little or no control over, you're likely in the shit if they take offense and can back it up. Rag on someone's ethnicity, gender, orientation, etc., and you're really in the shit.

I can't believe I had to spell that out.
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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2009-03-13 06:20pm

Rye wrote:The part where you said my opinion or reasoning didn't matter because I am not japanese.
Do you really not understand the notion that, since you are not Japanese, you don't know what may or may not be offensive to Japanese people? Hell, Darth Wong explicitly said on the previous page of this thread that this should be the guideline followed for determining whether or not a word is offensive.

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Re: Use of the term 'Jap'

Post by Rye » 2009-03-13 06:52pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote: Do you really not understand the notion that, since you are not Japanese, you don't know what may or may not be offensive to Japanese people? Hell, Darth Wong explicitly said on the previous page of this thread that this should be the guideline followed for determining whether or not a word is offensive.
I grasp that notion fine; see the "limey" example.

Do I think that their sensitivity justifies word clampdowns? No, because I don't think it justifies the same when an equivalent term is applied to me.
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