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July 21, 2005

Suspect Has "Asian Appearance"

Again, Michelle:

Sky News earlier reported that a memo had been sent to hospital staff, at the request of the Metropolitan police, asking them to be on the lookout for a black or possibly Asian man, 6ft 2in tall, wearing a blue top with wires protruding from a hole in the rear.

Brak wondered if "Asian" could mean Muslim. In Britain, it does, or rather it tends to mean Pakistani. Well, it could mean Pakistani or what we in America think of Asian (geishas, moo goo gai pan, Drunken Master martial arts), but given he's either "black or Asian," that sounds like a darker-skinned Pakistani to me.

I know of few black Chinese.

Anyway, back in 2000, shortly before 9-11, there were riots between white hooligans and "Asians," by which the British press meant Pakistanis.

Two men of "Asian appearance" have been arrrested as well, although their complicity in the attacks has not been established. It could very well be that they are completely innocent and arrested on grounds of... well, sorry to say this, but on grounds of simple prudence. It's easier to let an innocent man go after detaining him and questioning him than to track down a guilty man you never arrested in the first place.

But, based on the description of the one 6 ft 2 inch "Asian or black" man being pursued at the moment, I would say the "white supremacists doing copycat crimes to stir racial unrest" speculation is looking a bit, um, premature.

Update/Correction: Not sure if this is right, but he says it in an authoritative manner.

David says that in Britain, "Asian" refers exclusively to Subcontinentals -- Pakistanis, Indians, etc. He says the term isn't used (for reasons I don't know) for Far-East/Pacific Rim Asians.

'Asian' in the UK sense means exclusively somebody from the Indian subcontinent, i.e. Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Sri Lankan. You'd never call a Chinese or a Japanese 'Asian'. I'm not even sure that most Afghans, being relatively light-skinned Caucasians, would be so described.

What term is used for the folks we think of "Asians"? I dunno. Can't imagine they still say "Oriental," which, I'm reliably informed, refers to a rug, not a person.

Maybe they call them what my pappy calls 'em -- "Crafty yella sneaky kick-fighters with magical powers, like elves."

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posted by Ace at 02:15 PM

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