1.29.2008

racism has a new code word: canadian

Have you seen this yet? "In the U.S. south, is Canadian a new racial slur?" It's not anti-Canadian: it's a new racist code word.

People discuss its possible origins here.

Thanks to my researcher-in-chief. (Please don't forget to vote for Joy of Sox!) (And wmtc, while you're at it!)

12 comments:

James said...

This is just bizarre. It'll be interesting to see what Orcinus has to say about it.

L-girl said...

It is truly bizarre.

deang said...

As someone from the racist US South, I'm not surprised by this. It infuriates me, but it doesn't surprise me. I am surprised that no one in the discussion of its possible origins has wondered why the term, Canadian, was chosen instead of any number of other words. I think it's because the whites who started using Canadian as code for Black did so because they think of Canadians as being overly liberal, kind of like recent US right-wing attitudes toward the French. During jury selection in the US, prosecutors are notorious for systematically removing Blacks from juries because they tend to show sympathy for victims of police violence, etc, and are thus considered overly "soft" and sentimental. There are similar attitudes toward "liberals" like the French and Canadians.

Lone Primate said...

I wonder how polite Southerners are going to refer to us now if they don't want to risk using the C-word? Extreme Yankees? Los Americanos del Norte? Greater Buffalonians? "Coloured" people?

L-girl said...

Dean, thanks for that insight. I have a feeling you're dead on.

"Coloured" people?

HA! Very good!!

(Of course this assumes they can spell, but never mind.)

redsock said...

Extreme Yankees?

Anything but that.

Anything.

Jen said...

The oldest entry (2005) on www.urbandictionary.com is the restaurant wait-staff example cited in the original article.

Seems like a combo of (percieved) poor tipping (on the parts of Canadians & blacks I wonder?) and not wanting to insult your customers (thereby driving the tips down further).

L-girl said...

The oldest entry (2005) on www.urbandictionary.com is the restaurant wait-staff example cited in the original article.

I never thought of doing looking it up. Good idea.

Seems like a combo of (percieved) poor tipping (on the parts of Canadians & blacks I wonder?)

Stereotype as African-Americans as the best tippers, Canadians and Jews the worst. (Where does that leave Canadian Jews, I wonder...)

Just stereotypes, of course.

not wanting to insult your customers (thereby driving the tips down further)

Hmm. Still weird.

impudent strumpet said...

So the logical response would be for us to use some slangyish synonym for white to mean American.

Does the word "cracker" have the nuance I'm looking for here?

L-girl said...

Does the word "cracker" have the nuance I'm looking for here?

Are you looking for a word that means dumb hillbilly? Like Cletus from The Simpsons?

impudent strumpet said...

I'm going for something generally slurrish meaning white people, without differentiating between different kinds of white people because we all look the same anyway. I'm just not up on my racial stereotypes

Jere said...

Had Letterman on in the background just now. Bill Cosby was Dave's guest. Bill mentions a musician's name and Canada's own Paul Shaffer, as he is known to do, butts in with a "sure," letting us know that he is aware of this particular musician. The Coz then starts looking around, acting like he didn't know where Paul's voice came from, and takes the joke as far as it can go, with Paul saying, "Mr. Cosby, it's just me." After Dave tells Bill that it's okay, and that they're all family, Bill reluctantly agrees while pointing out:

"You gotta watch those Canadians!"