Wednesday 3 April 2019

Euphemisms about Racism 14

Reasons for voting Leave official word cloud: largest is “immigration”, followed by, in rough order of size: “country, sovereignty, control, borders, laws, British, back, independence, money, Brussels, democracy”.

A friend moved to rural France, and a neighbour told her: “We don’t have much of an Algerian problem here.” He meant: “There aren’t many Algerians here”. (In Hungary it’s “the Gypsy question”.)

In India, groups such as the Dalit, or "Untouchables" are known as "
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes".  They used to be called the Depressed Classes, and are sometimes called “other backward castes”, according to Wikipedia.)

All these euphemisms and many more can be found in my book Boo and Hooray!, now expanded and updated to keep pace with the proliferation of weasel words.

civilization: Western civilisation
controversial comments on race: racist comments

cultural anxiety
cultural dilution
cultural change, culture change

cultural studies: inclusive history

defend our borders

Aborigines in Australia were “dispersed” – cleared from the land.

demographics, diversity

economic anxiety

elite, liberal elite:
educated middle-class people who aren’t racist enough

ethnic neighbourhood

get our country back

Highland clearances, Irish famine:
ethnic cleansing

I’m not a racist, but...
I’m only saying what everybody’s thinking.
I’m proud to be English.

I’m the least racist person you’ve ever met!
independent thinker, intellectual diversity: racist, racism

Life was simpler when we were young.

London values

loving your country

manifest destiny

metropolitan: not racist enough

mixed, socially mixed area: racially mixed

other cultures
out of touch:
not racist enough

patriot, patriotic
political correctness
populist, populism

provocative, controversial:
racist, sexist

real world
sacrifice our culture

racist stereotype

straight talk: racism, sexism, homophobia

take back control: take back control of our borders

The pace of change is too fast: There’s Polish food in Tesco’s and I wasn’t consulted.

traditional: racist and sexist

The English lack a sense of national identity.

Western civilisation, Western culture, Western values:
white people

White men are an endangered species: There’s one woman and one brown person on the board.

Words are just a collection of letters. People choose to be offended. What matters is the intention of the speaker: I am going to go on being racist and abusive. (Popular tropes, May 2014)

More here, and links to the rest.

1 comment:

  1. Depressing. I was just reading an enjoyable travel book set in Europe in the early 2000s - lots of nice anecdotes, funny descriptions of people, jokes about national stereotypes, a self-deprecating feel. it was great fun, but I was suddenly struck that the author (and reader) in 2004 couldn't have even dreamt of Brexit, it would have seemed impossible, unthinkable. We thought progress was unstoppable...