Asian vs. Oriental


(Posted to Soc.culture.asian.american-Late 1980s)


is not Oriental.

head bowed, submissive, industrious

model minority hard working, studious



is not being Oriental

Lotus blossom, exotic passion flower



in no talking Oriental

ahh so, ching chong chinaman

no tickee, no washee


is a white man's word

Oriental is jap, flip, chink, gook

it's "how 'bout a back rub mama-san"

it's "you people could teach them ni**ers

and mexicans a thing or two

you're good people

none of that hollerin' and protesting"


is slanty eyes, glasses, and buck teeth

Charlie Chan, Tokyo Rose, Madam Butterfly

it's "a half hour after eating chinese food you're hungry again"

it's houseboys, gardeners, and laundrymen

Oriental is a fad: yin-yang, kung fu

"say one of them funny words for me"

Oriental is downcast eyes, china doll

"they all look alike"

Oriental is sneaky

Oriental is a white man's word


ARE NOT Oriental.

We have learned the word all our lives

we have learned to be Oriental

we have learned to live it, speak it,

play the role

The time has come

to look at who gave the name.