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Recalling a downstate Illinois high school’s racist nickname

198009-chinks-4-ever

The images above, which I ran across on the Internet this morning, raise the question of whether those student protestors of 33 years ago are now embarrassed by the ridiculous statements they made back then.

My favorite comment is the one from Lory Phillips, who said of the nickname: “It’s only a slur if you put something racial into it.”

But, of course, the nickname “Chinks” was, by definition, racial. It stems from the fact that the town of Pekin, Illinois, got its name from the Chinese city of Peking (which is now known as Beijing). The word “Chink,” a racial slur that dates back more than a century, arose from widespread opposition to Chinese immigration.

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1 Comment

  1. Steverino

    Pekin won the state HS basketball championship when they defeated the Cobden Appleknockers in 1964. Probably the most unique school names in the IHSA.

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