This passage relates to a previous blog about the use of the term "Nip" in the novel: "Nip is the word used by Sergeant Sean Daniel McGee, U.S. Army, Retired, to refer to Nipponese people in his war memoir...It is a terrible racist slur." (212)
I thought this passage was particularly interesting because it reminds me of our society's preoccupation with trying to be really politically correct. I know people who are afraid to offend others, so they're hyper-sensitive about using the correct terminology: African American instead of black (which actually offends some people if they're not descended from Africans), Jewish instead of Jew...and so on. A lot of people I know aren't offended by being called black or a Jew, though, because that IS what they are and by trying to be politically correct, I think a lot of terms become overgeneralized. On the other hand, those names aren't derogatory, whereas "chink" and "nip" are.
I've always thought it to be terribly ironic that certain members of a certain minority population can call a fellow member that derogatory name, but other people (especially white people) absolutely cannot. If it is so derogatory, why use it at all? Just because you belong to that group doesn't mean you should advocate the use of that word. Thus, the question, "On the other hand, people call British people Brits, and Yankees Yanks, all the time. Calling a Nipponese person a Nip is just the same thing, isn't it? Or is it tantamount to calling a Chinese person a Chink?" (212)