A conversation about the firing of Food Network star Paula Deen after she admitted using the “N” word has sparked a heated debate over the use of the “J” word, according to a blog posted by the Manzanar Committee and written by Gann Matsuda.
Matsuda points out that John Curtas, who he describes as a noted restaurant reviewer in Las Vegas, was quite critical of Deen.
Curtas tweeted under the handle @eatinglasvegas “She thinks colored people are swell. Paula Deen fired: Food Network cancels show after racism scandal.”
Yet Curtas himself has used a racial slur, this one offensive to both the Japanese American and Asian American communities.
On August 12, 2012 Curtas tweeted “The best Jap-German collaboration since 1941…Takeo Ischi – New Bibi Hendl 2011. Obviously Curtas use of the “J” word was not meant to offend, but when others including the Manzanar Committee pointed out to him that “Jap” was a derogatory term that should not be used under any circumstance, Curtas asserted his white privilege lens and simply ignored it.
Now one year later Matsuda reminds his readers about the double standard Curtas seems to be applying. What’s good for Deen apparently isn’t good for himself.
To that Curtas replies to both Matsuda and the Manzanar Committee “you’re being both stupid and wrong: “Jap” as an abbreviation is hardly the same as the “N” word.”
The Manzanar Committee answers back with a measured response, reminding Curtas that the acceptable abbreviation for Japan is Jpn.
By now, Curtas is angry and flames on Twitter:” you might want to keep your sniveling, totalitarian, language policing to yourself.”
All Curtas had to do was show the Japanese American community a little respect and agree to stop using the “J” word. Instead he dictates to the Japanese American community how it should feel.
Imagine if I called John Curtas Johnny and he politely told me he prefers to be called John, but I continue to call him Johnny. That’s a lack of respect.
In the same way, an entire community ask John to refer to their community in a certain way, but he refuses. You see Curtas is part of the majority. Curtas dictates the rules to the minority. He’s asserting his white privilege lens. That’s a lack of respect. That’s just plain wrong.’