Tomayto, Tomahto

Imagine you are sitting at lunch and your companion makes a (rather loud) reference to “Japs”. 

Imagine it’s a sushi restaurant.

You can pick up your jaw…that’s not what she was referring to at all.  On the West Coast, I would seriously be reconsidering my decision to be friends with this person.  On the East Coast, the term is more than likely referring to a Jewish American Princess.  And it was okay because my companion is herself Jewish (but from what I can tell, not a “JAP”).

I live in an area that has a very large Jewish population.  So since then, I have heard the term over and over – and it’s always in good humor.  But, each time, I cringe even though I now understand it.  Now, I’m not Jewish so I would never use the term anyway, but after living in the Northwest, where you would most likely be hearing it used in a derogatory way about people from Japan (or, sadly…any Asian descent) , I’m not sure I could even get the word out of my mouth.  I had trouble typing it.  My lunch companion laughed at me…..although she understood why it took me aback, and she agreed that she would never use the term in mixed company on the West Coast. 

It reminds me of one of the jokes we reference a lot in my house, though:

What’s a Jewish American Princess favorite wine?

“I wanna go to Miaaaaaami”

I’d be a good princess.  I always wanna go to Miami.


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