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This is why trying to get to some sort of racist ground truth is a
fool's errand.

If someone calls you out on it, just drop it from your vocabulary.
This is basic human decency and costs literally nothing.

On Tue, Mar 15, 2016 at 12:16 PM, Peter Olson <peabo at> wrote:
>> On March 15, 2016 at 7:52 AM "Edward Ned Harvey (blu)" <blu at>
>> wrote:
>> Political correctness is synonymous with respect for other people.
>> Anytime someone says they're sick of being politically correct, it means they
>> want to be disrespectful of other people, without any backlash.
>> The white man in the room doesn't get to tell us what's racist and what's not
>> racist. If the majority of black people would feel that's a racist term, then
>> by definition, it is.
>> Cotton pickin isn't racist, just like the confederate flag isn't racist.
>> Meaning - they both are. Because the majority of African Americans feel they
>> are.
> To give another example, I heard someone yesterday refer to the paddy wagon.
>  She was in a belligerent mood, so I did not think to inform her.
> has an entry for paddy wagon which claims
>     1. Informal. patrol wagon.
>   1925-30; probably paddy policeman, special use of paddy
> Much further down the page it says
>   Slang definitions & phrases for paddy wagon
>   [1930+; fr patrol wagon, perhaps influenced by the fact that many policemen
> were of Irish extraction, hence paddies]
> The entry for paddy reveals
>   Origin
>     familiar variant of Irish Padraig Patrick
>   Usage note
>     This term is used as a neutral nickname or term of address for an Irishman,
>     though it may be perceived as insulting.
> Dictionaries are supposed to define the actual usage of a word, based on
> citations of its use.  But this can only do a limited depth into the origin.
> Is the paddy wagon the truck where the drunken Irishmen are loaded, or is it the
> the truck operated by the Irish police in America?  I suspect the former, but I
> don't have any way to determine the truth.  I think the term must have
> originated in the police vernacular.
> continues:
>   Paddy
>   noun (pl) -dies
>   1. (Brit, informal) a fit of temper
> Hmmmm, further down:
>   An Irish person or person of Irish extraction (1780+)
> Now, guess what?  If you look at these definitions you'll find lots of arguments
> that this was inoffensive.  It might be true.  The compilers of the dictionary
> probably never got hauled off in a paddy wagon
> Peter Olson
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