The Chinaman IS The Issue Here, Dude

April 14, 2008 – 2:41 pm by Hickey


Even for those who find golf interesting, this year’s Masters was remarkably boring. A guy with a rather pedestrian background cruised to a win that was so easy that even I could have teed up on 18 with his lead and won, provided that my slice wouldn’t have killed someone in the gallery first. (On a sidenote, I’m all about Cinderella stories at Augusta. It’s just a bit more interesting when has to make par on 18 to beat like three other guys.)

Though Trevor Immelman isn’t a name that gets the juices flowing, that doesn’t mean there was a lack of intrigue at this year’s tournament. CBS announcer Bobby Clampett got into a bit of hot water after referring to Chinese golfer Liang Wen-Chong as “the Chinaman.”

As we learned from The Big Lebowski, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. But without Walter Sobchak in the booth to remind him of this, I can see how Clampett got confused. He did apologize afterwards, saying “It has been a privilege to be here with you the last 2 days describing action of all of the players. In describing the Asian player Wen-Chong Liang if I offended anybody please accept me sincere apologies.

This brings up a few more questions. Most notably, is is Wen-Chong Liang, or Liang Wen-Chong? Because if he screwed up the guy’s name in his apology, he’s gonna have to apologize for that too.

Secondly, I understand that Chinaman is not something to call people. But why? Why are Irishman, Englishman or Frenchman acceptable terms, but Chinaman is not? After all, we live in a society where Pekin (IL) High School called its teams the Chinks until the early ’80s. And I certainly didn’t hear Clampett say that.

And finally, I would like to propose that we start calling Canadians “Canadamen.” Seriously, how awesome does that sound? Listen to this sentence: Canadaman Sidney Crosby scored two goals to lead the Penguins to a playoff win tonight. Catchy, eh?

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