Professional outrager Ann Coulter made an appearance last week on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews where she boasted about all the Asian-American support that Donald Trump was receiving. Though she didn’t quite use those exact words.
Instead, Coulter, who apparently hasn’t seen many crowds, described a pro-Trump rally in San Diego as having “one of the most diverse crowds anyone has ever seen,” since it included “Mandarin Chinese with signs for Trump” that were “written in Mandarin.”
When anchor Joy Reid asked her to clarify her choice of words. Coulter doubled down, describing the audience as a melting pot full of “Hispanics” and “Mandarins.”
“If your default when discussing Asian Americans is to call people ‘Mandarin’… We’re not bringing back arcane language here, Ann,” Reid responded. To which Coulter fired back: “No you’re not going to police my language. They are Mandarins. It is written in Mandarin.”
Well, no it isn’t. Written Mandarin Chinese doesn’t exist. But even putting that point aside, using the word “Mandarin” to replace “Asian-American” in an interview about ethnic diversity isn’t just “arcane,” it’s weird and incredibly racist.
Still, when she’s all said and done, this exchange likely won’t even make it onto the list of the top 50 most offensive things Ann Coulter said. Using “mandarin” as a noun went out of vogue with the fall of the Manchu Dynasty in 1912, unless she is trying to say that the pro-Trump rally is filled with bureaucrats and delicious oranges. Asian Americans on Twitter resent that implication, Ann:
WOW Ann Coulter is unaware of the fact that not all Asian countries speak Mandarin. That's like, kindergarten level geography.
— Constance Wu (@ConstanceWu) May 30, 2016
— Eugene 洪 (@eughung) May 28, 2016
— Jenn | Reappropriate (@reappropriate) May 28, 2016
If you have the stomach for it. Watch the video below:
Meanwhile, Donald Trump is yuge with at least a very small but very vocal portion of Chinese Americans. To highlight the candidates “diverse appeal,” Asian-American supporters have been featured prominently at rallies. Trump’s Chinese American supporters say they trust him because “he makes no secret of his feelings” and don’t mind all the rude comments that he makes about China because they believe he is just using China as a punching bag to gain support with voters. Once he is in office then it will go back to business as usual.
They also fail to perceive their own faulty internal logic.