The definition of racist is generally characterized as assumptions of a race that deem it inferior or superior. Early film music such as in 1908 was not choosing "Chinese sounding" music as a reflection of their ethnic inferiority, rather a generalization of a culture of music that could be easily identifiable so to accurately portray a storyline without shooting on location or with many words. Back then the tolerance level of stereotyping was very high compared to now. And that's ok, so when teaching about early film history you talk about how the silent film composer needed to get across to a wide audience the general concept of a scene and how that stereotyping is considered unacceptable by today's standards. It is definitely NOT racist. That is a term that is thrown around incorrectly.