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Koji's Column

Sticks and Stones

For the last year I have been working on a feature length screenplay that deals with Asian American identity. During my research I went online to look for all the racial slurs people use to express their hatred of Asian/Asian Americans. The sheer number of them took me by surprise. Here is a small sampling of what I found:

Ching Chong. Chink. Jap. Nip. Oriental. Gook. Hapa. Yellow. Yigger. Chigger. Mongoloid. Ping-pong. Slop. Slopehead. Slopy. Slopey. Twinkie. Zipperhead. Chinee. Chinky. Beef Patty. Coin Slot. Charlie. Chinaman. Azn. Banana. Jappo. Egg. Asian Fetish. Darkie. FOB. Coolie. Floss. Nuprin. Dental Floss Blindfolders. Cook. Slant-eye. Bananame. Chinkerbell. Bandwidth Nigger/Whore. Bargain Korean. Bed Time. Goldfish Monger. Blackanese. Bruce Lee. Junta. Soyback. Protractor. Bruised Banana. Jaundy Boy. Chite. Dog-breath. Buckethead. Chinkaboo. Lego. Quarter Jockey. Rice Picker. Buddhahead. Tinty. Ninja. Plate Tossers. Bug-Eater. Bukkakese. Burnt Rice. Fingernail Ranchers. Cracker Jap. Nikon. Two stroke. Lemonhead. Ping-pang. California Roll. Can'ardly. Pizdaglaz. Vanilla Asian. Nine Iron. Tiny. Tape Head. Powerpoint. Socket Face. Chink-a-billy. Data. Rangoon. Slit. Slot Machine. Grasshopper. Cock-Asian. Dog Eater. Pumpkinhead. Little Hiroshima. Sleepwalker. Rice Paddy. Seaweed-Sucker. Tai-chink. Dog-Muncher. DWO (Driving While Oriental). Pineapple. VC. UFO (Ugly fucking Oriental). Taxi. Rice Rocket. Miyagi. Egghead. Wog. Eggroll. Pointy-Head. Mushu. Triad. Pineapple Lump. Rice Eater. Gookemon. Grinder. Fishhead. Gink. Peeled Banana. Rice-Cooker. Table Face. Honger. Post It. Thin-Eyed. Yolk. Waverunner. Raisin. Imitasian. Ironing Board. Yelvis. Smack. Ng. Oreo. Potato Queen. Wasian. Japanigger. Ornamental. Knees. Squint. Woggle. LBFM (Little Brown Fucking Machine). Rice Chaser. Meat Pie. Rasian. Nine Iron. P-1. Yellow Devil. Sunny Side Up. Rice Ball. Simpson. Pancake. Slantey-eye'd. Yellow Cab. Test-Taker. Pinhead. Patty. Random. Yellow Monkey. Rice Nigger. Widescreen. Schlitzauge. Tab (Trendy Asian Bitch). Wang Chung. Yangmo.

Some of these I’ve heard before and others are new, but all of them make me feel like I’m walking around in heavy boots. The old adage that “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt” rings hollow. I would almost prefer physical injury because at least then I know what I have to do. Instead, I’m left with this funny feeling that the whole world hates me. And the thing that gets to me most is that they hate me because of something I had no control over: the color of my skin and the shape of my eyes.

So my gut reaction is to hate everybody else more and then to insulate myself, making sure I only surround myself with those that look most like me.

But with a little more research I quickly realized that every group (ethnic or otherwise) had just as many slurs. Its mind numbing to know that there are so many ways to express hatred. Could you imagine if we lived in a world where we had just as many ways to express love, admiration, or even just respect?

© 2007 Koji Steven Sakai

identity language racism

About this series

“Koji’s Column” is a column series contributed by Japanese American National Museum staff member, Koji Steven Sakai. His column explores Nikkei identity and culture from the standpoint of a second- and fourth-generation Japanese Americana American male from Southern California.