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View Full Version : "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"


sandra
08-27-2003, 11:00 AM
i was at a evidentiary hearing for my firm on Monday. one of our witnesses went to the wrong courthouse. i had to find him. when i located him, he was angry that he was waiting in front of the wrong courthouse (which was entirely his fault, since the other witnesses found the correct courthouse without difficulty.) then he states to me, "if your firm cannot give clearer directions, you don't have a CHINAMAN's chance in this lawsuit."

do you think he said that b/c i'm asian? is that a racist comment?

we needed him as a witness, so i just ignored the comment and led him to the correct courthouse. he was an old man - and if i didn't care about our case, i woulda pushed him over and left him there. ;)

Chester
08-27-2003, 11:05 AM
Eh, it was a common phrase. And if he's of a certain age, it's probably something he uses frequently without any thought to the subtext. I'd chalk it up to insensitivity rather than "racism."

Cipherous
08-27-2003, 11:40 AM
you should've side kicked in the ribs.

"How you like China man's kicks!!!!?"

ChinaLama
08-27-2003, 12:47 PM
normally i'd chalk it habit, but i wonder if he had his tongue in cheek and was trying to be humorous when he said it to you cuz you're Chinese. :-(

537
08-27-2003, 12:50 PM
If somebody said that to me, I'd get pissed. Sorry you had to endure that without being able to say anything...

shy
08-27-2003, 01:29 PM
first of all... cool, kasia... didn't know you were in law.

secondly... i have no idea if what he said was directly related to the fact that you are asian.

but regardless... it's not a very tactfull thing to say. and in my mind, is a racist statement.

if he's just saying it out of habit... well, that's being pretty ignorant. and he had better change his ways.

either way, he sounds like a bitter person.

rice cracker
08-27-2003, 01:38 PM
It sounds like a racist, shitty thing to say to someone, no matter what his age was.

thaite
08-27-2003, 02:44 PM
Agree with him and say "Yeah, those are pretty slim odds. I'm much more inclined to put my money on a White man's chance of getting his ass kicked right now!"

applehead
08-27-2003, 03:18 PM
i think what he said was ignorant.
but not racist.
how stupid of him.
that's like calling a mentally handicapped person
a retard to his face.

Irezumi Kiss
08-27-2003, 03:34 PM
But what does it MEAN??? I've never heard of a phrase like that before!

What the hell does a "chinaman" have to do with a chance in a lawsuit?

I've heard of "harder than Chinese arithmetic" and "for all the tea in China," but sounds to me like he was pulling hairs outta his derriere trying to save face from getting lost!

Chester
08-27-2003, 03:53 PM
But what does it MEAN??? I've never heard of a phrase like that before!

What the hell does a "chinaman" have to do with a chance in a lawsuit?

Nothing. "Chinaman's chance" is a very common phrase, though it's pretty archaic at this point. Google will help you find the origin of the phrase.

ChairmanMah
08-27-2003, 04:03 PM
once i was standing with a group of caucasian friends several years back, we were standing in front of one of their houses. Probably 6 or 7 of us.

His mother comes out, looks at me and says to our group, "What is this? an Asian youth gang?"

I think she was just trying to be funny.

Deadpool
08-27-2003, 04:35 PM
once i was standing with a group of caucasian friends several years back, we were standing in front of one of their houses. Probably 6 or 7 of us.

His mother comes out, looks at me and says to our group, "What is this? an Asian youth gang?"

I think she was just trying to be funny.

Well gang acticity in the lower mainland surely doesn't help us.

>:^|
08-27-2003, 08:16 PM
I think that expressions can be common and be racist. They can be ignorant and racist or insensitive and racist. They can also be racist without the speaker being aware of the meaning of the phrase. Frankly, I don't think intention has anything to do with whether or not something is racist. "Chinaman" is a racist term in itself.

"Chinaman's chance" is believed to have originated from the fact that the Chinese were often given some of the most dangerous jobs when working on the transcontinental railroad. "Chinaman's chance" thus meant "no chance at all." But I've also wondered if it had to do with lynchings and the fact that Chinese could not testify against Whites (People v. Hall).

Sometimes I suspect that those types of remarks are an additional little dig--like reminding you of what the speaker thinks "your place" is. :mad:

Perhaps people need to learn that they need to think about what they say. (Kasia: Is it too late for me to come knock him over for you? I'd consider it an honor. ;))

artsfartsyjanet
08-27-2003, 09:02 PM
I feel your pain sista. =) My parents own a restaurant in the semi-ghetto as I'd like to call it, and the clientelle always call in and ask, "is this the chinamen"? I don't think it's intentionally racist, but it takes two to tango as I say. I have always been bothered by "chinaman" since I could remember b/c it's just a stupid insensitive term to replace the word "Chinese restaurant." I've never heard of someone say "Chinaman's chance" but if i were in your shoes, I'd bite the bullet and let him do what he needs to do as a witness in court. Some people brush it off, but I'm the type of person who likes to give my two cents and confront. Instead of being all defensive and say, "you are a racist", I'd say that something like that just made me feel uncomfortable. If he doesn't respect your feelings, just ignore his ignoramus ass, send him on his disoriented way, and move on with your life. =)

SunWuKong
08-27-2003, 10:07 PM
I feel your pain sista. =) My parents own a restaurant in the semi-ghetto as I'd like to call it, and the clientelle always call in and ask, "is this the chinamen"? I don't think it's intentionally racist, but it takes two to tango as I say. I have always been bothered by "chinaman" since I could remember b/c it's just a stupid insensitive term to replace the word "Chinese restaurant."


ah. gotta love the midwest. :)

SunWuKong
08-27-2003, 10:13 PM
by the way, in case anybody is wondering about the historical origin of "a Chinaman's chance", it was a phrase commonly used by white miners to describe the chances that Chinese miners would actually find gold - which was very rarely, because Chinese miners often lacked the mining skills necessary or they often had to mine the areas left over by white miners. however, it was the Chinese miners that invented the gold seperating machine that was later used by all gold miners.

AliBabaIncorporated
08-28-2003, 01:56 AM
Uh, is this really a problem to worry about? Wait 20 years and the folks who say this phrase are gonna sequestered in old folks' homes anyway. I highly doubt the guy had any racist intent. Even calling him "ignorant" is a disservice --- it's not as though he's undereducated or stupid, he's just stuck in his ways. The elderly grew up and got fixed in their linguistic habits at a time when there was no one around complaining about every colloquialism to emerge from someone's mouth. More things to worry about back then, like, the Great Depression, World War II, etc.

It's hard for old people to change, ya know --- what ever happened to giving the elderly who built our modern society a bit of a break? The language and attitude of many elderly Cantonese people towards non-Chinese hardly stands up to any close "political correctness inspection" either, but I'm not gonna bother calling them out on it ...

ChinaLama
08-28-2003, 09:48 AM
by the way, in case anybody is wondering about the historical origin of "a Chinaman's chance", it was a phrase commonly used by white miners to describe the chances that Chinese miners would actually find gold - which was very rarely, because Chinese miners often lacked the mining skills necessary or they often had to mine the areas left over by white miners. however, it was the Chinese miners that invented the gold seperating machine that was later used by all gold miners.

I think someone already mentioned this: the other theory is, it came about because Chinese were given very dangerous jobs when building the railroads, like placing dynamite into tunnels. So the meaning of "Chinaman's Chance" refers to his chances of survival.

achtungbaby
08-28-2003, 09:49 AM
The only people who I hear use this phrase today are crackers.

Cipherous
08-28-2003, 10:24 AM
The only people who I hear use this phrase today are crackers.

I don't get how people can use these racial slurs yet fret when chink gook nip or whatever is applied to oneself.

Unless there is some sarcastic undertone, there is no need for racist remarks as such.

achtungbaby
08-28-2003, 10:36 AM
I don't get how people can use these racial slurs yet fret when chink gook nip or whatever is applied to oneself.

Unless there is some sarcastic undertone, there is no need for racist remarks as such.

What? :confused: "Cracker" is offensive??

Cipherous
08-28-2003, 10:52 AM
What? :confused: "Cracker" is offensive??

come on dude

there are white people browsing these forums and they probably aren't those "cracker" types that go around using that phrase.

achtungbaby
08-28-2003, 11:09 AM
come on dude

there are white people browsing these forums and they probably aren't those "cracker" types that go around using that phrase.

Really? All kidding aside, I find that hard to believe. I don't think I've ever heard that phrase uttered around me before. I think the only time I've ever heard or read about it was online.

achtungbaby
08-28-2003, 11:11 AM
To add: who the hell even uses the word "chinaman"?

"Oops, I'm sorry! 'Chinaman' is offensive? How about 'chink'? Or has that been reclaimed by the PC champions too?:("

Cipherous
08-28-2003, 11:45 AM
To add: who the hell even uses the word "chinaman"?

"Oops, I'm sorry! 'Chinaman' is offensive? How about 'chink'? Or has that been reclaimed by the PC champions too?:("

thats exactly what I am saying.

If Asians find Chinaman offensive

then why wouldn't Whites wouldn't find cracker offensive? :confused:

shy
08-28-2003, 11:50 AM
i have to admit, i haven't heard 'chinaman' used... except sometimes in old western flicks. or flicks about the olden days.

mr. x
08-28-2003, 10:22 PM
kasia, yeah oldy was basically trying to be all smug and shit and i know that you have to compromise with people cuz they have something your employers want and such but id suggest that down the road, don't let people pull that shit on you again

ChinaLama
08-29-2003, 04:00 AM
yeah, cracker is offensive. it used to be a derogatory term for poor white farmers. Cracker is probably even more offensive than the term honky. Honky just refers to any white person; cracker refers to poor white trash that have 10 or 20 kids cuz they believe birth control is the devil's work.

achtungbaby
08-29-2003, 09:01 AM
...cracker refers to poor white trash that have 10 or 20 kids cuz they believe birth control is the devil's work.According to the site logs, we've been getting a lot of those types recently.

Tao
08-29-2003, 03:42 PM
According to the site logs, we've been getting a lot of those types recently.

really? how can you tell?

ModernLogic
09-01-2003, 04:14 AM
i was at a evidentiary hearing for my firm on Monday. one of our witnesses went to the wrong courthouse. i had to find him. when i located him, he was angry that he was waiting in front of the wrong courthouse (which was entirely his fault, since the other witnesses found the correct courthouse without difficulty.) then he states to me, "if your firm cannot give clearer directions, you don't have a CHINAMAN's chance in this lawsuit."

do you think he said that b/c i'm asian? is that a racist comment?

we needed him as a witness, so i just ignored the comment and led him to the correct courthouse. he was an old man - and if i didn't care about our case, i woulda pushed him over and left him there. ;)

Hey seriously, PM me his address if you have it.

My special Chinese Nationalist retaliation Unit knows how to deal with scumbags like these.

sandra
09-01-2003, 06:04 PM
Hey seriously, PM me his address if you have it.

My special Chinese Nationalist retaliation Unit knows how to deal with scumbags like these.

i was just kidding about pushing him over. i'm not for violence against old men. sorry, couldn't tell if your post was serious or not.

kimpossible
10-21-2003, 10:00 PM
thats exactly what I am saying.

If Asians find Chinaman offensive

then why wouldn't Whites wouldn't find cracker offensive? :confused:

I personally don't have a problem with it and I'm mostly white. And since I've been blessed by wonderful folks who've either insulted me and/or physically attacked me due to my race(s), I've been called whitebread and such as well as chink, gook, etc. White 'slurs' don't really pack a punch and cracker is more like white trash, like a lower class/uneducated white person. I've heard plenty of white people use it.

Craig
10-21-2003, 11:13 PM
I got called into the teacher's office before in high school when a classmate made reference to me as a 'chinaman'.

sandra
10-22-2003, 07:40 AM
I got called into the teacher's office before in high school when a classmate made reference to me as a 'chinaman'.

why did *you* get called into the office?

SunWuKong
10-22-2003, 10:21 AM
I got called into the teacher's office before in high school when a classmate made reference to me as a 'chinaman'.

i told this kid to stick his finger up his ass and spin after he told me to go back to China. there was a teacher in the room. the kid was like "did you hear what he said to me?". and the teacher was about to say something to me when i said, even louder, "did you hear what he said to ME?". then the teacher just didn't do anything.

ChinaLama
10-22-2003, 10:29 AM
swk = badass.

SunWuKong
10-22-2003, 10:34 AM
swk = badass.

shuddup. hahah!

537
10-22-2003, 10:46 AM
i told this kid to stick his finger up his ass and spin after he told me to go back to China. there was a teacher in the room. the kid was like "did you hear what he said to me?". and the teacher was about to say something to me when i said, even louder, "did you hear what he said to ME?". then the teacher just didn't do anything.


The only time I've been called a chink was when I was waiting in line at the ice cream truck in the 3rd grade. The stupid kid that said it was behind me so I elbowed him in the nose and he ran home crying while all the other white kids clapped.

;)

SunWuKong
10-22-2003, 10:55 AM
The only time I've been called a chink was when I was waiting in line at the ice cream truck in the 3rd grade. The stupid kid that said it was behind me so I elbowed him in the nose and he ran home crying while all the other white kids clapped.

;)

whenever i was actually called a chink, it was always a drive-by calling. so stupid. :dry:

Craig
10-22-2003, 07:47 PM
why did *you* get called into the office?
Well, I was sitting in the back of class twirling my pencil when the teacher was lecturing. A classmate noticed that it seemed to irritate one of the cheerleader-type girls, so then he started tapping his pencil. Then the bitch screamed out loud something about "Slick and Chinaman annoying her".

The teacher asked me what happened in private and basically said he had to take me into his office to pretend he was disciplining me. Then he reminded me to be careful about pissing off stupid rich white people. He also said things like it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong that I would likely get shafted as long as I'm in white America, plus I should be friendlier to my less knowledgeable classmates and not just be nice to the nerds.

sandra
10-23-2003, 09:02 AM
Well, I was sitting in the back of class twirling my pencil when the teacher was lecturing. A classmate noticed that it seemed to irritate one of the cheerleader-type girls, so then he started tapping his pencil. Then the bitch screamed out loud something about "Slick and Chinaman annoying her".

The teacher asked me what happened in private and basically said he had to take me into his office to pretend he was disciplining me. Then he reminded me to be careful about pissing off stupid rich white people. He also said things like it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong that I would likely get shafted as long as I'm in white America, plus I should be friendlier to my less knowledgeable classmates and not just be nice to the nerds.

wth? what county and state was this in???

Blue dice
10-23-2003, 10:32 AM
whenever i was actually called a chink, it was always a drive-by calling. so stupid. :dry:
Someone did that to a friend of mine once in college (he's korean) so he picked up a rock and threw it at the car. It was dead on, cracked the back windshield and he ran like a motherfucker ;p.

Craig
10-23-2003, 11:18 AM
wth? what county and state was this in???
Metro - Austin
County - Travis
State - Texas

Irezumi Kiss
10-23-2003, 12:04 PM
Then he reminded me to be careful about pissing off stupid rich white people. He also said things like it doesn't matter if I'm right or wrong that I would likely get shafted as long as I'm in white America, plus I should be friendlier to my less knowledgeable classmates and not just be nice to the nerds.

Man, that shit is incredible...this was in college?

If in high school I could probably flip it off, but that's like some 1950s shit!

And who was Slick?

Tao
10-23-2003, 08:24 PM
check out the latest issue of maxim, on page 26 in the "Winning captions" section, where readers submit funny captions for a picture, in this issue some chinese students doing a leap frog thing, there were two insensitive remarks passed off as jokes.

the first caption from a reader read " Positioned at the far end of the line, Chang's ding-dong never stood a chinaman's chance" - Greg Lee, New Orleans, LA.

the second caption: "Did that guy just say, 'Brrr, there's a nip in the air?' what a racist asshole thought Bob" - Laura Herbert, via e-mail.

hmmm....two asian slurs in one magazine...good thing maxim's free http://forums.yellowworld.org/images/smilies/rolleyes.gif

Faithless
09-05-2004, 02:56 PM
i was at a evidentiary hearing for my firm on Monday. one of our witnesses went to the wrong courthouse. i had to find him. when i located him, he was angry that he was waiting in front of the wrong courthouse (which was entirely his fault, since the other witnesses found the correct courthouse without difficulty.) then he states to me, "if your firm cannot give clearer directions, you don't have a CHINAMAN's chance in this lawsuit."

do you think he said that b/c i'm asian? is that a racist comment?

we needed him as a witness, so i just ignored the comment and led him to the correct courthouse. he was an old man - and if i didn't care about our case, i woulda pushed him over and left him there. ;)
So, what happened to this "star witness"?

It's probably one thing to "let it go" for the sake your court case, and another thing to give him a piece of your mind after everything's "all said and done".

You should at least let the others in that legal team that you think your witness is a little flaky.

(Maybe you should have let his ass get grilled by the other side.)

Banana
09-07-2004, 11:21 AM
Just do what I normally do. Take it if I need their services and once they've outlived their usefulness, dispose of them in a rather disturbing way.