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Indian Slurs

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Last Updated: 02 November 2020

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Teams of attorneys and linguistics experts argue that this demonstrates that the term has never really been disparagingjust, robust informal synonym for American Indian, which dictionaries only started to label as offensive in response to political pressure from a few Indian activists. But lexicographers are creatures of their age, and before the 60s, members of dominant culture were selective in their sensitivities. Merriam-Websters monumental Third International, published in 1961, warns its readers of nigger, chink, and kike, but it does feel need to indicate that some people might also take offense at white trash, gook, wetback, pansy and fag. Not that those words hadnt been derogatory or demeaning all along. It is just that lexicographers and most everyone else werent capable of imagining how those words would land on people they target. Redskin, too, has been derogatory for a long time. It was recently discovered that the word actually began its life in English 200 years ago as translation of an Indian term, via Frenchit. Didnt have anything to do with those stories about bounties for bloody Indian scalps. But then niggers had benign origin, as well. Since the mid-19 century, redskin has simply been a slang word white men use for Indian, and like all slang words, it was infused with attitudes about things its name. In passages from books and newspapers and movie clips we provide court to document words ' history, word are inevitably associated with contempt, derision, condescension, or sentimental paeans to noble savage. It couldnt have been otherwisewhat other attitudes were out there? That all started to change in the 60s, though it takes dictionaries a while to catch up. The sea change in social attitudes that led to the civil rights acts of 1964 and 1965 also transformed the way we talk about race and ethnicity. That was when we collectively acknowledged that every group was entitled to control its own linguistic destiny, and decide what it should and shouldnt be calledthat. Groups had the right to define themselves. The principle had far-reaching consequences. When decade open, liberal-mind people refer to Negroes, while the unreconstructed rear guard still talk about coloreds. A decades ago, pretty much everybody was using blacks. Over the following decades, orientals become Asians queers become gays, and new terms Latino, Hispanic, and Chicano were added to the vocabulary. And old word slur acquired new meaning to refer to words that convey ethnic or racial insult, one whose use was not just unkind, but as social thought crime. Not even vocal reactions against political correctness in later decades call the right of self-naming into serious question. Those on the cultural right may ridicule PC ideas about race and gender, but in their public discussions theyre as fastidious as anybody else about avoiding words that are regarded as offensive or simply outmoded. We cannot ignore our 81-year history, team owner Dan Snyder insists, and neither should anyone else.

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* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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