Letter to the Financial Times (May 19, 2012)
Mr Kai L. Chan.
Sir, I was shocked to have seen the word “Chinaman” used in print. Are your editors ignorant of the fact that the word is a racial slur? One does not call a person from London an “Englandman” and neither is a Parisian a “Franceman”. The proper term is “Chinese man”. The word is offensive because it is rooted in the belief that Chinese people speak “chop suey” English. I would expect that you print an apology or at least a recognition of the controversy of this word. To Chinese ears the term “Chinaman” is just as offensive as the n-word is to a black person.
Kai L. Chan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011