My Dad said “Jap”. Everyone blushed.

Malcolm Gin,
Berkeley, CA.

My Dad is Chinese and 86 years old. He was stationed in the Pacific Theater during World War II, fighting on the United States’ side. Nearly got his butt shot off several times for looking and being Asian, by our own side. Lately he was talking about his experiences in the war with a Japanese acquaintance and, in the moment, called the soldiers on the Japanese side, “Japs”. And all the white people participating in the conversation got really on-edge, though I don’t think my Dad, our Japanese guest or I (half Chinese, half white) were nearly so bothered. My only thought at the time, “There’s worse words than that!”


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