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6.24.2013

So you didn't know (or care) that "Jap" is a racial slur. Okay. But you continued to be an ass about it.



For those who think that "Jap" is nothing more than a simple abbreviation for "Japanese," you are wrong. But your ignorance is excusable. Your stubborn attempts to deny and deflect are not.

So... who's getting into trouble over racial slurs today? If you follow the latest news out of the Food Network, you know that TV personality Paula Deen is the middle of a professional meltdown over admitted racist actions in her past, including the use of racial slurs. The Food Network has chosen not to renew Deen's contract.

One of the many voices who chimed in to throw in a dig at Deen was renowed Las Vegas restaurant reviewer John Curtas, who tweeted, "[Paula Deen] thinks colored people are swell."

Gann Matsuda of the Manzanar Committee found Curtas' comments noteworthy and perhaps just a little hypocritical, considering that Curtas has also publicly used a racial slur -- though in nowhere near the same context -- in a past tweet: "The best Jap-German collaboration since 1941...."






The tweet, posted on August 8, 2012, set off a heated Twitter exchange between Curtas and the Manzanar Committee, during which Curtas defended his remarks ("'Jap' as an abbreviation is hardly the same as the "n" word") and accused the Manzanar Committee of being a "#languagenazi."





Granted, I think the Manzanar Committee could have handled the situation with a little more tact -- Twitter is annoying that way -- instead of outright demanding an apology. Maybe don't open with that next time. Shitty joke aside, it's apparent that Curtas, in all his ignorance, was using "Jap" as an inconvenient abbreviation.

But all the asshole defensiveness that ultimately ensued, that's all on Curtas. How hard is it to admit that it was a poor choice of words? That slurs have power even out of context and regardless of intent?

Read Gann Matsuda's original full post on the Manzanar Committee blog, calling out John Curtas: Sorry John Curtas, But Use Of The Racial Slur, "Jap" Is Not Acceptable, Even As An Abbreviation.

And here's John Curtas' sorry-you-were-offended non-apology: Las Vegas Restaurant Critic John Curtas Blames Japanese/Japanese Americans For Being Offended By "Jap"