I will give you a phrase cookie if you stop being racist
August 6, 2012 11:12 AM Subscribe
What are some "home-spun" phrases that someone might not think are racist, but actually have racist origins? Or phrases that originated in a non-racist fashion, but are now considered racist? (Like "call a spade a spade" or "free, white, and twenty-one") Bonus points if you can give me non-racist substitutes I can offer an older relative.
posted by corb to human relations (97 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Part of my family is stuck in the 1940s or earlier when it comes to home-spun "more American" phrases. Despite the fact that they weren't here then, or that they're, you know, not white. Some of these include "mighty white of you," "Free, white, and twenty-one," "Call a spade a spade" and others.
I have called out racist phrases when I've been aware of them, but I worry that there are more phrases that I'm simply not aware of and don't know how to correct, as I am really not aware of the origins of "country Americanisms." Please give me some more, so I can know what absolutely has to stop!
In addition, if you could give me an answer to the inevitable "Well then what do we say instead?" that is better than my "I don't know, just don't say it," that would be helpful too.