Things sure have changed over the years with words and jokes that were once considered acceptable, now deemed hugely offensive.
Drivers in the US state of Kansas found this out the hard way after they had their licence plates recalled due to the use of the word Jap, the New York Post reports. The abbreviation for Japanese became popular throughout World War II when it was used to describe those of Japanese decent. However, throughout the war it soon became known as a derogatory term.
While many probably avoid using it nowadays, one man has taken things to next level by prompting the American state to recall a total of 731 licence plates that contained the specific combination of letters.
Although the plates were randomly generated, resident Keith Kawamoto insisted to authorities that they be removed after seeing one license plate with the word while driving along. The 70-year-old told the New York Post Jap is a “very derogatory racial slur” that shouldn’t be allowed anywhere.
Following the announcement, a Japanese-American woman spoke out about her view on the word and how it brought back terrible memories from her childhood. The 67-year-old told the New York Post how it wasn’t a good time to be Japanese throughout World War II.
“I recall vividly as a child being called ‘Jap’ and how it made me feel so small and hurt by being called that,” she told the publication.
The decision by Kansas’ motor vehicles division wasn’t met with such support from social media users who expressed their disgust in the recall, claiming it was an act of political correctness.
“You absolutely have to be kidding me under random notion that picks license [sic] plate number they’re going to recall over 700 license plate because of the world ‘Jap’ I mean come on, to be offended, it’s not like they purposely made it,” one person wrote on Twitter.
You absolutely have to be kidding me under random notion that picks license plate number they're going to recall over 700 license plate because of the word "Jap" I mean come on to be offended it's not like they purposely made it. https://t.co/Jl0WKatZJU
— Taylor Zavaleta (@TaylorZavaleta) November 28, 2018
“Really? I don’t believe these license [sic] plate letters JAP were intended to mean anything,” another commented. “Aren’t they randomly selected and arranged? So must we now sue other companies who use the formation of these 3 letters? BE MATURE.”
While a third added: “You’ve got to be f**king kidding me. Randomly assigning the letters jap on a license plate is not racist. This is political correctness gone away”.
Just months ago a similar issue was sparked when parents of students at a school in Gloucestershire in south-west England became outraged after staff showed one of The Two Ronnies’ famous skits at a Year 9 presentation evening, The Mirror reported.
Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker were household names thanks to their BBC program, which reached audiences of 17 million in its peak. However, their comedic acts were not accepted by some, who labelled their once much-loved skits as “racist”.
According to the publication, things took a turn for the worse when the school decided to show a skit featuring Corbett dressed as a Middle Eastern man, complete with skin painted brown and a traditional Arabian dress. In the clip, Barker repeatedly misunderstands Corbett due to his put on thick accent.
The event was meant to focus on building stronger communication between parents and staff, however, it just brought conflict between the two parties with many parents slamming the school for running the clip, saying while it was funny years ago, it does not fit with the modern world.
“I love the Two Ronnies but showing someone with their face blacked up in order to laugh at their accent in this day and age… I was furious,” the publication reported one parent said.
Another added: “The Two Ronnies are brilliant, but there’s just no place for this racist humour anymore.”