On the racial and ethnic slur, “Jap”
Though I know that people don’t mean to use it in a derogatory way, whenever I see or hear it used, it physically makes me nauseous.
Anyone who has even the littlest bit of respect for even the tiniest aspect of Japanese culture should know about this word, and quite frankly, it angers me when these Japan-loving people use the word in daily conversation.
I hope this will be of help to some of you!
As this is meant to inform, I will be using it sparingly throughout this post, but do not otherwise use this word ever, in any way, shape, or form.
“Jap” used to be just an English abbreviation of “Japanese,” and dates back to 1880s London. It was a colloquial word, and not offensive; it was even used in honor (“Jap Road” in Jefferson County, Texas). This word isn’t well-known in Japan, since there’s no need to use it to make ethnic distinctions.
However, during World War II, America changed the meaning of the word entirely, using it in war propaganda to refer to those of Japanese descent and to mix it in with “catchy” slogans to boost morale.
One of these is the “Jap Trap.”
This one is a hunting license for the Japanese.
And it is still being sold in obscure places in America, and not for educational purposes, either.
(photo credits: history1900s.about.com, authentichistory.com, nps.gov)
The word “Jap” is a derogatory, degrading, dehumanizing, insulting, offensive, racial and ethnic slur that should never be used.
Please, don’t ever use it.
If you’re taking notes and want to abbreviate ”Japan” or “Japanese,” you should use “JPN” or Ⓙ I have seen people write “JAP” for short on multiple occasions without a blink of an eye and that’s some ignorant bullshit. It’s honestly a lot faster with the circle and I do that for all topics in the notes I take. Make a key if you are worried about looking back and forgetting what Ⓙ meant.
Additionally, people in Japan nowadays are plenty aware of the term “Jap” and it pops up a lot in TV/Film when Japanese people portray American racism and hate—but not enough to even come close to represent HOW racist and hateful a history the term is fueled with. Those hunting licenses make me want to cry.
I also make sure to voice discomfort when people use “Jewish-American-Princess: JAP” around me as a joke so they know I am still here and my people still matter.