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Time: ‘Flashy’ Racist Codeword For Black

From Time Magazine:

Earlier bizarre photo from Time Magazine.

(Click to enlarge)

For Obama, Race Remains Elephant in the Room

By Michael Grunwald Monday, Sep. 15, 2008

On a swing through Pennsylvania last month, John McCain visited a Manheim Central High School football practice — not to ingratiate himself with the players, who weren’t even old enough to vote, but to identify himself with the gritty, down-home, lunch-bucket values of small-town football. “This is a blue-collar town,” Manheim’s coach said in his introduction of McCain. “We don’t have a lot of flashy athletes. We don’t come out with a lot of flash.” But the coach explained that his team works hard, plays with discipline and comes through in the end. “A lot like John McCain,” he said.

If you’re familiar with the code words of the sports world, you’ve probably already guessed that Manheim’s players had something else in common with McCain: they were white. On the other hand, athletes who are described as “flashy” almost invariably have something in common with Barack Obama. I’m not saying the coach was trying to inject race into his discussion of flashiness. I’m saying that sometimes we talk about race even when we’re not talking about race — in presidential politics as well as sports. Sports announcers have at least made an effort to shed their stereotypes; they occasionally describe black players as “scrappy” or “blue collar,” adjectives that used to be reserved for whites. But for political pundits, “working class” or “blue collar” or even “small town” voters still means white; blacks have their own category

Someone needs to tell the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary:

(Click images to enlarge)

The OED seems to think that the word has been in use since at least 1583 without much racial overtones.

But maybe they are wrong.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, September 16th, 2008. Comments are currently closed.

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