The term is archaic and intolerant.
In her true, Ann Coulter fashion, the conservative pundit recently made headlines for yet another racially insensitive and intolerant comment about people of color.
On Friday Coulter was a guest on a segment of MSNBC’s “Hardball With Chris Matthews.” While discussing Donald Trump rallies with Joy Reid, Coulter began speaking about Asian-Americans being in the crowd, but instead she referred to them as “Mandarins.” Thankfully, Reid quickly checked her.
“Stop calling people ‘Mandarins.’ It’s called ‘Asian-Americans,’ Ann,” she said firmly.
Coulter ignored Reid and continued talking about border control, but Reid wasn’t having it. “If your default for referring to Asian-Americans is to call people Mandarins, we’re not bringing back arcane language here, Ann, let’s just talk about people as Americans, Asian-Americans,” she stressed.
Sadly, Coulter refused to back down, doubling down on her intolerance by defending her use of language. “No, you’re not going to police my language. They are Mandarins!” she snapped back.
As their back and forth intensified, producers cut to Chris Matthews who remained neutral, Inquistr noted. He did however say, “I think somebody just said, and I agree with, which is if you consider yourself American, you are.”
According to website Reapproriate.co, Mandarins is an archaic term used in the early 1900s by the West to refer to the public officials of China’s imperial government. However, China is no longer under imperial rule, not all Asian-Americans speak Mandarin and not all Asian-Americans are Chinese.
But as writer Jenn Fang points out for Reappropriate, these comments go beyond just being offensive. They also deny Asians the right to identify as Americans too.
The racial overtones of Coulter’s use of Mandarins are crystallized as she continues to pontificate upon the group she is targeting. In naming Asian-Americans ‘Mandarins,’ Coulter also declares us broadly un-American, and warns of an ‘invasion,” she said.
Clearly, Coulter’s language wasn’t well received by others either.
WOW Ann Coulter is unaware of the fact that not all Asian countries speak Mandarin. That's like, kindergarten level geography.
— Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) May 30, 2016
Yes, Ann Coulter called Asian-Americans "Mandarins." What century is this? t.co/xw90BySadz
— Joan Walsh (@joanwalsh) May 28, 2016
— Jenn | Reappropriate (@reappropriate) May 28, 2016
Between Trump declaring there is no drought in California & Ann Coulter calling Asian Americans Mandarins, I'm done. t.co/uDv3xp0DrR
— Ellen Oh (@ElloEllenOh) May 28, 2016
And this question sums up the issue nicely.
— Modern_Rock (@modern_rock) May 29, 2016