Colorado State: 'Long Time, No See' Is Racist Against Asians

Colorado State University has cautioned students against using the phrase “Long Time, No See” because it is racist against Asian students.

According to an op-ed in the school’s student newspaper, Colorado State University has warned students against using the phrase “Long Time, No See.” The reason? Because it is racist against Asian students.

The op-ed, which was written by student Katrina Leibee, claims that Zahra Al-Saloom, the director of Diversity and Inclusion at the university gave her a packet that included phrases that should not be uttered on campus.

In a meeting with Zahra Al-Saloom, the director of Diversity and Inclusion at Associated Students of Colorado State University, she showed me an entire packet of words and phrases that were deemed non-inclusive. One of these phrases was “long time, no see,” which is viewed as derogatory towards those of Asian descent.

Leibee says that she asked Al-Saloom why she wants to police language on campus, especially considering that language is not policed in the real world.

I asked both Al-Saloom and Rodgers the question: If this sort of language is not censored outside of this campus, why should we censor it here? Rodgers responded, “Even if the world isn’t good, you should be good.” Al-Saloom responded that, “CSU abides by the principles of community, and we want to make it an inclusive space.”

Leibee finishes the column by arguing that certain phrases, like the one in question at Colorado State, are often not a problem until school officials make them a problem. Even if they are anecdotally offensive, it is hard to argue that every Asian student would be offended by an innocent phrase like “Long Time, No See.”

Colorado State University, of course, is not the only university with a rigid speech code. In 2015, the University of New Hampshire said that “American” is an offensive term. “North Americans often use ‘American’ which usually, depending on the context, fails to recognize South America,” the UNH speech guide stated.