Put these four letters together, and you get a racist term
So a Tahitian, a Korean, and a Laotian walk into a bar and sit down. The bartender says, "Hello — what can I get you to brighten your day?"
They look at each other and then say, in unison, "Oh nothing right now — we're AAPI."
And you thought the joke was going to be racist.
Funny thing is, it actually is, just not in the way you think.
AAPI, which stands for "Asian American and Pacific Islanders," is a term foisted upon society by the three-headed hell dog of the modern world: human resources departments, DEI organizations, and government workers — Cerberus at your service, if you will.
While someone, somewhere thought it might be a good idea, the term itself is inherently racist. Tahitians, Koreans, and Laotians are not the same — the cultures, the genetics, and the values vary wildly among the three.
The only reason one can think of to consider them as a single group is that someone, somewhere took a look and decided that "none of them is white, and they all live over there, so they all must be the same."
Sounds pretty racist, doesn't it?
Actually, there are two other reasons. First, the prosaic: The term first appeared as part of the United States Census in 1990. One can assume that a bureaucrat, trying to collect demographic data, realized that the punch cards (considering the antiquated state of most government I.T. systems, the punch card reference may not be terribly far off) didn't have enough holes to let people pick individual countries of origin, said "the heck with it," and put everyone together.
The other reason is rather more sinister.
To name a thing is to define a thing and a defined singular thing — as opposed to a group of discrete objects — is far easier to control and manipulate. For example, imagine if you had to steer each wheel of your car simultaneously and separately. The advantage of the steering wheel becomes abundantly clear.
It is that imposition of the "steering wheel" that is such a problem. By grouping people — any people — into groups, the dignity of the individual human experience is robbed, making the control of society as a whole much simpler.
As Caligula once said, "would that the people of Rome had only one neck to strangle."
For most Americans, that concept is a terrible problem; for some, it's a terrific plan.
Thomas Buckley is the former mayor of Lake Elsinore and a former newspaper reporter. He is currently the operator of a small communications and planning consultancy and can be reached directly at email@example.com. You can read more of his work at https://thomas699.substack.com.
Image via Pickpik.