Friday, July 19, 2024

Time To Update Your Lexicon

November 5, 2017 by  
Filed under Conversation


Louie Overstreet

President Trump has added so many racial code phrases this year that it’s time to update your racial code book.

The term “states’ rights” needs to be modernized. He means giving each state, particularly in the South, the means to oppress persons of color. This term gained notoriety way back in 1876, when R.B. Hayes received fewer votes than Samuel Tilden — but outmaneuvered him in the Electoral College by making promises to the South that ended up resulting in Jim Crow laws. Nowadays, it means giving red states control of federally funded spending programs. The prime recent example was the attempt to dismantle Obamacare and send the money directly to the states in the form of block grants.

In late September, the President referred to black professional football players as “SOBs,” which was widely read as a euphemism for the N-word. This phrasing is beneath the dignity of the office of the Presidency — not only to refer to black men in this manner, but impugning their mothers. It is vulgar beyond belief.

The term “some very fine people” is an euphemistic way of referring to Nazis, KKK members, and white supremacists. It is also a way to give tacit approval of their violent hate march that took place a few months ago in Charlottesville.

A white man who commits mass murder is a “lone wolf,” not a terrorist! “They want everything given to them” is the code term used by Trump to suggest that Puerto Ricans are lazy people. An “executive order” is any directive issued by Trump that is designed to undo Obama legacies when it comes to health, environmental, and education policy.

“Dog whistle”: any phrase whose implicit meaning is fully understood in explicit ways by bigots all over America.

Understanding these code phrases is very necessary for people of color hoping to survive under the man called a “moron” by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Add them to your lexicon — not for Pete’s sake, but your own.

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