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Sports Talk Host Stunned to Learn Oriental is Offensive

Mike Francesa
Via Twitter

By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

This just goes to show you we have a long ways to go in educating people about Asian America.

Sports talk show host Mike Francesa learned while on the air last night that the word oriental is offensive to Asian Americans.

The term has long been associated with rugs, not people. It comes from an age when the only images of Asian Americans were of the evil Fu Man Chu, the fortune cookie speaking Charlie Chan, the untrustworthy dragon lady and the submissive China doll.

Speaking about yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling supporting The Slants request to trademark their name, Francesa of New York’s WFAN said “They all were Oriental Americans who were part of the group. … They were some kind of a musical band from Oregon, and they could not trademark the name Slant, even though they were a group of young Oriental Americans.”

When his producer informed him that the term Oriental was disparaging and the term Asian American was preferred, Francesa appeared dismissive.

“Oh, Asian American … So let’s make that an Asian American band. … You’re telling me using the word Oriental American is a slight? … If they would like me to say Asian Americans, all power to it … Then I will say Asian American. Whatever makes people happy. Has it gotten to that point that would be considered a slight? Oh, boy.”

“Oh boy,” is right. The 63-year old jock appears to have been living in a cave. It’s inexcusable someone in the number one media market in the country would not know the term oriental is offensive. The man works in the city of New York, a city with a sizable Asian American population and where many from the community are seen daily on the TV news.

Francesa would likely never use the term negro.  Education is a never ending process. Let’s continue to pound the drum.


Mike Francesa had no idea he used racially insensitive term
Mike Francesa repeatedly says ‘Oriental-Americans’ while discussing rock group ‘The Slants’ on air

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  1. RE: Sports talk host Stunned to Learn Oriental is Offensive: Every white person that I’ve met around his age has no idea the term oriental is derogatory when used to describe people.

    • RE: Sports talk host stunned to learn Oriental is offensive: I don’t know if this is supposed to justify it, but it doesn’t

      • RE: Sports Talk host stunned to Learn Oriental is Offensive: I think they also have no idea that the vast majority, if not all of their knowledge of the East is propaganda. I will give this guy credit for acknowledging that’s how we want to be identified though. He may not understand but he acknowledged it.

      • RE: Sports Talk Host Stunned to Learn Oriental is Offensive: Not saying it justifies it, just meant to say I’m not surprised. Although there’s certainly a lack of awareness amongst White people in his age group and maybe a greater effort should be made to raise that awareness.

    • RE: Sports Talk Host Stunned to Learn Oriental is Offensive: Yes, I have the same experience. I did not learn that the term was offensive until I got to college. Every White American in their 60s or older that I’ve met also has no clue that the term is supposed to be offensive. I don’t take offense. We might be pinned by tomorrow’s youth as backwards and politically incorrect for something or other–just you watch.


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