Ann Coulter Called Asian Americans “Mandarins” In The Most Racist Interview About Diversity
No one expects conservative political commentator Ann Coulter to be politically correct or even mildly inclusive of others, but she took her offensive language to a whole new level Friday. On MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews, Coulter called Asian Americans “Mandarins” while talking about a Donald Trump rally and subsequent protest, highlighting her limited knowledge of geography. When anchor Joy Reid called her out for it, she got defensive, telling Reid not to police her speech.
Coulter was trying to explain that a Trump rally in San Diego had a diverse crowd, including “Hispanics” and “Mandarin Chinese.” She claimed calling the Asian Americans in the crowd “Mandarin” was accurate because they had signs for Trump written in Mandarin, but the commentator continued to refer to all Americans of Asian decent in the same way. The presence of signs in Mandarin doesn’t mean every single Asian American at the rally was Chinese, and it certainly doesn’t mean they want to be classified as “Mandarin.”
Reid attempted to correct Coulter by saying, “If your default when discussing Asian Americans is to call people ‘Mandarin’… We’re not bringing back arcane language here, Ann.” However, Coulter didn’t understand the problem with her classification, and fired back: “No, you’re not going to police my language. They are Mandarins. It is written in Mandarin.”
Coulter was incapable of recognizing that calling Asian Americans “Mandarin” is incredibly racist. If they’re able to vote in a presidential election, they’re clearly American. It’s simply an offensive way to refer to a group of people she doesn’t consider real Americans. Despite saying, “Whether they are Hispanic or Mandarin, the ones inside the stadium are Americans and think of themselves as Americans,” Coulter refused to refer to them as Asian Americans. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, Coulter.
It’s also just factually inaccurate to refer to Asian Americans as a Chinese language. Is she aware that there are other countries in Asia besides China? It can be confusing because China’s so big, but a quick glance at a map will rectify that misconception. There are also several languages spoken in China, so even calling all people of Chinese decent “Mandarin” doesn’t make sense.
A person’s language says a lot about how they view other people and the world, and Coulter’s exemplifies her limited view of the world outside the U.S. and the way she offensively lumps together all Asian Americans. Even when discussing the relatively positive aspect of increased diversity at a GOP event, she finds a way to employ racist rhetoric.