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Old 08-27-2003, 11:00 AM
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"won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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. ;)
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:05 AM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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."
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Old 08-27-2003, 11:40 AM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

you should've side kicked in the ribs.

"How you like China man's kicks!!!!?"
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Old 08-27-2003, 12:47 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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. :-(
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Old 08-27-2003, 12:50 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

If somebody said that to me, I'd get pissed. Sorry you had to endure that without being able to say anything...
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:29 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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.
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Old 08-27-2003, 01:38 PM
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It sounds like a racist, shitty thing to say to someone, no matter what his age was.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:44 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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!"
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:18 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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.
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:34 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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!
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:53 PM
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Re: Re:

QUOTE:
Originally Posted by Irezumi Kiss
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.
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:03 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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.
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:35 PM
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Re: Re:

QUOTE:
Originally Posted by ChairmanMah
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.
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Old 08-27-2003, 08:16 PM
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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.

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. ;))
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Old 08-27-2003, 09:02 PM
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Re: "won't have a Chinaman's of a chance"

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. =)
 

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