Patriots 32 Panthers 29

Ok, Carolina lost, but it was an exciting game, and Deshaun got his touchdown, the highlight for me. Wait till next year…

Closing in on 15,000
I really hadn’t notice until someone mentioned it in a comment. I have been getting a steady stream of visitors and the number of hits has gone up–of course no where in SleepingCutie‘s league! But nonetheless, I am flattered and embarassed–really–to think that my stuff is worth reading. Anyway, scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the SiteMeter counter. If you’re 15,000, let me know. Sometimes, multiple visitors will view the same hit number, so the first person to leave a comment… well, you know the drill.

Getting “You found a bug” messages?
Hmm, I’ve already run into 5 the other day. I hope Xanga isn’t under another attack. But just in case, so I can get my daily blog fix, I ask you once again to let me know if you have another blog site so I have something to read if Xanga goes down. I will put your link on my JAJournal page. (link above.)

Setting the record straight
Just so no one gets the wrong idea, some of my visitors were just having fun–which I have no problems with. Bane and Tri and Leah say things that may sound harsh, but they are just having fun, and that’s cool with me. Really. Leah is the sarcastic sort, which I like. As my students know, I can be quite the sarcastic sort, as well. Of course, while some of my students become the butt of my jokes, most of the jokes are direced at myself. Tri is probably getting back at me cuz she was one of the students who was on the receiving end of these jokes, so I don’t have any problem with her either. As for Bane, she has quite an attitude, but that’s okay too. It might be her way of letting off steam–what the hell do I know?–but if that’s the case, then its pretty harmless. I’ve been called a lot worse than “loser” in my day–a jap, chink and gook, just to name the unholy trinity.

Self-referential epithets
…Which brings me to a topic that KENSHIR0 brought up last week on his site. As many of you know, being JA or AA and issues of raial identity is a favorite topic of mine. The following is Kenshiro’s concern about the use of racial epithets by Asians.

Please tell me I’m not the only one out there who thinks the word chink is offensive. KrazyChinkFreak is on featured content – I could care less about featured content; I’m just more concerned that her visitors find this acceptable. On the other hand, the author of the blog is born in 1991 – perhaps too early to know how it feels to be the only Asian-american in school (well maybe one out of four) and taunted with racial slurs day after day? Another thing I don’t understand is that her page states “Chinese Pride” – if so, then why call yourself “chink”? That’s the term non-Asians use to put you down! No wonder that restaurant in Philly that blogged about won’t change it’s name.

Racial slurs are certainly a problem, and its use is not easily condoned. But within certains contexts, I think it is acceptable. Among friends–and certainly here on Xanga, I consider you guys my friends, virtual or not–I have thrown the word Jap around on more than a few occasions. Anyone who knows me knows that I am as proud of being a JA as anyone. I despite constant trashing of things Japanese, I doubt there are many JAs who have invested as much time and energy into understanding their own heritage as I have. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to cast a “holier-than-thou” gaze at anyone. I just want to say that I am as interested and proud of who I am as anyone can be.

That said, I also admit to using the racial epithet, jap, as a term of familiarity and of pride. I will use it when I am among friends in reference to myself usually, and occasionally to other JA friends, and of course the Japanese as a cultural group. I have never used it toward a Japanese citizen who is not a friend, and I have never used it derisively…well, maybe sarcastically, or cynically. but in all its permutations, it is, in a way, a term that reflects my familiarity and intimacy with the people I associate with.

It is also a term of pride, in a way. African Americans call each other “nigger” as a term of empowerment. That is, Blacks empower themselves by taking a word that was used against them and making it their own. Now, some believe this is not true power, but a type of psuedo-empowerment. It is perhaps delusional to think that a word can have power-giving qualities. Well, anyone who knows me knows how much I believe in the power of words. IMO, by taking back the term “nigger”, Blacks accomplish two things: They turn the term into an ordinary word, one that will ultimately lose its derogatory affect over time. Just look at the term “Black”. Once upon a time, the appropriate term was “Colored”, and to call a man Black was condescending or demeaning. But not anymore. Men like Mohamed Ali and Bill Russell and of course Jackie Robinson referred to themseslves as Black men and gave the term a sense of pride. Will the term “nigger” reach the same status? Probably not soon–at least I doubt I will ever be able to refer to an African American as a “nigger” without some kind of repercussion. But no one can deny its use amongst Blacks and its use is often imubued with a sense of affection and pride.

I’m no specialist in African American society, and my comments are considered if not perfectly researched. But I bring their example up to highlight our own situation, Asian in general, and Japanese in particular. I don’t promote the use of the term jap–or chink or gook or flip–as a term to advertise yourself to the world, as KrazyChinkFreak does. But as a term of familiarity or intimacy between friends and family, I have no problem with its use.

I just don’t want anyone else using it: The term belongs to us.

Straw poll: Do any of you use racial epthets with those of your own ethnic group?

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