My first encounter of racism was when I was in elementary school. We went on a vacation somewhere in the Tahoe area. The town was in the mountains with a ridiculously small population, somewhere in the teens. We went to a small public kiddie pool for my sister to play in; I joined her. One of the small kids, I guessed he was about half my age, kept staring at me. In fact, most of the people around the pool were staring at my family and I. I had no idea why. I soon found out when the little boy half my age started splashing water violently at me and yelling "GO BACK TO CHINA, CHINAWOMAN"

His mother was looking at me, the little kids around him were looking at me. They had the look, the kind that hinted if I had stayed near them any longer, they would have all been splashing me. They wanted to join in the fun of splashing water at me. I thought to myself... about how much trouble I would get in for splashing this kid back--he was like half my age--I thought of doing other violent things to him. His mother was near, so I didn't dare. Defeated, I got out of the pool, told my father what had happened.

"Did you splash him back?"
"No, why?"
"Next time you should."

My father explained to me that this town wasn't used to having Chinese people, everyone was caucasian. He made a fairly accurate guess about the majority of them being hicks. He never said they were dirty; he didn't sound bitter, he was just stating the facts: racism exists.

A week after vacation, my sister got hand foot and mouth disease. Something different from foot and mouth disease. Don't get them confused. The symptoms are chicken pox-like itchy bumps on the hands and feet, and cankersore-like irritations in the mouth.

In the game of cricket, the Chinaman is the left-handed leg spinners version of the infamous googly. Whereas the googly is bowled by a right-handed leg spinner, and moves from a right-handed batmans off stump towards his leg stump, the chinaman is bowled by left-handers and is a pitch that looks as if it could turn into a right-handed batsman on the bounce, but breaks away towards off instead, essentially behaving like an off-break, but disguised as a leg-break, and bowled from the back of the bowlers hand

Cricketing folklore claims that the chinaman is so called because the first person to have delivered such a ball during a match was Ellis Achong, a bowler of Chinese extraction, and it was delivered during a match played in the West Indies sometime between 1929 and 1934. It is so called as when the batsman who first fell foul of this particular delivery, apparently an Englishman by the name of Walter Robins, returned to the pavilion, he was heard to exclaim "Fancy getting out to a bloody Chinaman"

The term Chinaman is also slang for henchman. Generally someone who can do dirty work for you. Most likely the orgins of this is that 19th century Chinese laborers were known for doing harsh and dangerous jobs (e.g. building the railroads).

This meaning of the term is the whole joke in The Big Lebowski. While mentioning the Chinaman that peed on his rug, The Dude was talking about the guy's job. Walter thought he was discussing his nationality.

I believe the proper term is Asian-American, Dude.

Chi"na*man (?), n.; pl. Chinamen ().

A native of China; a Chinese.


© Webster 1913.

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