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Posted: 11/11/2001 1:05:45 AM EDT
When is 'calling a spade a spade' a problem? It appears now that this may be a problem in race conscious California, at least according to this article in [i]The Sacramento Bee[/i]: [size=4]A battle over language and race erupts at City Hall[/size=4] By Blair Anthony Robertson -- Bee Staff Writer When Robert Pacuinas addressed the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday, he was talking a blue streak about red-light cameras. At one point, the 39-year-old lawyer emphasized his point by saying, "I think we should call a spade a spade." He had only three minutes to speak -- but it was enough time for Pacuinas, who is white, to step into the confounding quagmire of race, language and context. After he took his seat, City Councilwoman Lauren Hammond, who is African American, said sternly, "You -- made an ethnically and racially derogatory remark and I hope you think about what you said. -- It is not appreciated. It is no longer a part of modern English. The phrase just isn't used in good company anymore." In an interview later, Hammond was no less angry. "It's an old racist analogy and and I'm sick of hearing it. This is 2001," she said. The councilwoman is known for being sensitive about perceived racial slurs. She once took a fellow council member to task for uttering the same phrase. Last year, she demanded that a word be removed from the 2000 census for Russian-speaking Sacramentans because it sounded too much like the N-word. At the afternoon council session Tuesday, Hammond was perturbed, but Pacuinas was livid. He had just been labeled a racist, or at least racially insensitive. He was at a loss until he began replaying his words in his head, wondering what was so offensive. He was not afforded a chance to respond. "I was completely frustrated," Pacuinas said later. "You would have to take it completely out of context to think that it referred to anything racial. How she connected the two, it just blew my mind." It turns out, Pacuinas was correct. But so, in a way, was Hammond. Now Pacuinas wants a public apology. And so does Hammond. Their positions illustrate the potential of language to polarize, how the same word can mean starkly different things to different people sitting in the same room. Most language experts agree that the phrase is nearly 500 years old and refers to the common garden implement. A variation of the expression has been traced to Greek biographer Plutarch, who died in A.D. 125. To call a spade a spade means to call something by its proper name, to speak bluntly, precisely. But this saying, in the racially charged context of American public discourse, appears to be anything but precise. The word "spade" can mean a variety of things: a small shovel, a suit in a deck of cards, a 3-year-old stag. But it is also a derogatory term, now less commonly used, for a dark-skinned black person. In interviews with a number of African Americans, they say they can't help thinking about racial issues when they hear the phrase. -continued -
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:07:20 AM EDT
Because language is a work in progress, it is possible that a saying that began as innocuous could someday be labelled "offensive" in dictionaries and usage manuals if enough people interpret it that way, according to Michael Agnes, editor of Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary. Agnes says he realizes the harmless meaning of the phrase, but he also realizes its harmful potential. "We are in a hypersensitive language era, particularly in politics and social engagement," Agnes said. "If I were in a public setting, I probably would not use that expression, knowing full well someone could misunderstand it and take offense. One tends to avoid things that could be misinterpreted. I can't avoid confronting social and linguistic reality." Ida Sydnor, president of the Sacramento chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said "spade" is one of those hot-button words that means different things to different people. "It can be a racial statement if people are using it that way," she said. "However, the term has become so loose that a lot of people don't know what it means. We have to educate people that the word can be offensive. In all fairness to the guy, we would have to deal with the context and ask, 'Did he mean to be offensive?' " Local politicians had no interest in getting in the middle of a discussion on language and race. Mayor Heather Fargo, through her aide, said she didn't want to talk about it. Neither did Councilman Dave Jones. Another council member agreed to talk, but not for publication. A similar and much-publicized misunderstanding cropped up in 1999 in Washington, D.C., when a top mayoral aide (who was white) used the word "niggardly" in referring to handling a city budget. Most people would agree that the word sounds inflammatory, but it actually has a Scandinavian origin and the word is not related to the racial slur. It means stingy or miserly. The aide was forced to resign when staffers perceived he was being racist. He was eventually rehired. "To call a spade a spade is not unlike the situation of 'niggardly' in that the term itself is innocuous," said Walt Wolfram, president of the Linguistic Society of America and author of the forthcoming book "The Development of African-American English." "[b]The problem is, when you live in a racist society, what you find is there is no such thing as neutral language[/b]," Wolfram added. Hammond seems to underscore Wolfram's point. In fact, she still considers "niggardly" to be derogatory. "Any word that has that base word refers to black people, the darkest people on earth," Hammond said. By Friday, Pacuinas was still angry, unrepentant -- and speaking bluntly. "I wouldn't mind sitting down with (Hammond) and talking about it," he said. "I just can't believe she is sticking to her guns." But language experts say that in this racially charged environment, where the identical words can amuse some and wound others, there are those who will say the same thing about him. [url]http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/1146564p-1214268c.html[/url] Eric The(ISupposeThen,'BlackAsTheAceOfSpades'IsOut­AsWell?)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:14:11 AM EDT
Is it just me, or does california seem to suck the intelligence right out of people?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:17:50 AM EDT
Huh?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:22:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 1:20:36 AM EDT by Big_Bear]
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:28:18 AM EDT
I say call a hun a hun and be done with it. [:D] Too many hypocrits and paranoids in politics to be concerned with just one or two. If someone is so blinded by "getting even" or racism as to view a phrase as anything but in "context" (what the speaking party meant), then they are guilty of bigotry. Equal rights doesn't mean special rights. I never enslaved anyone. Get over it. Me.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 3:12:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 5:37:13 AM EDT
So what the hell are we supposed to call our garden shovels now?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 5:46:30 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 5:43:07 AM EDT by Javak]
Originally Posted By Norm_G: So what the hell are we supposed to call our garden shovels now?
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And that suite in playing cards? Ace of Garden Shovel?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 5:54:34 AM EDT
Calling a spade a spade? I always thought it was playing cards too.... PC + California = Police State I lived only 3 years of my life in California. Let's list em 1. State Income Tax 2. Outlawed Smoking in bars 3. Palo ALto outlawed smoking within 10 feet of the door of any public place 4. Cost 2 percent of the value of your car to get tags for it every year. 5. Congresswoman who voted against the war powers act (lee?) Glad to be back in Texas
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 6:30:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 6:56:03 AM EDT
This is what happens when all ones college time is spent in one ethnic studies or another.Since they vigorously persue ignorance,logic is as magic to them.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 7:12:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By EricTheHun: "I wouldn't mind sitting down with (Hammond) and talking about it," he said. "I just can't believe she is sticking to her guns."
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Whoa, boy! There is a zero tolerance for guns in Kalifornia, he wasn't arrestd for threatening her in such a way?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 9:34:16 AM EDT
damn spades
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:32:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 10:26:32 AM EDT by deadeye47]
Being a "Caucasian American" I raised coon hounds and that made me a racist right? [BD]
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:34:06 AM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: This is most likely a classic case of what psychologists call [b]transference[/b]. The woman being deeply but secretly racist herself cannot face up to her condition. She helps to deny the existence of the situation by projecting on to others her racist attitudes. I'd bet the rent money on this one.
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Very insightful. However, I will also add that she probably has been a victom of verbal assult before and is taking it out on others instead of conforting the actual people she has real problems with. I live in Sacramento,Ca. and stopped reading The Bee when they compared the events of Sept. 11 to the US bombings of Vietnam!! You won't find a more liberal paper in the whole USA. I also noticed that women who are single and minorities seam to raise the biggest fuss......it's like they got something to prove. I don't understand it. sgtar15
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:43:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:45:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 11:23:15 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 7:04:04 PM EDT by AmOTramp]
I am a man of honor and I will always call a spade a spade, and who don't like it can kiss my ass and call it anything they want. I'm tired of Kalifornia and all their PC bullshit. Let them go back to Africa if they don't like it here. Goddamn Democrats are the ones that put affirmative action types on a pedestal. Now they think they are entitled to their own "Black Laws" anytime they don't like something.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 12:20:46 PM EDT
Time for the locals to show up at the next council meeting with small shovels and dictionaries....
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 12:49:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 12:44:43 PM EDT by prk]
One sign of the truly dumb is that they are quick to interpet another's remarks as insults without having any real understanding of the other's intentions. This woman's view of life is so warped that she is looking at every word in the hope of finding something she can be offended at, and get into somebody's face about. I was going to say that she was simply showing everyone how ignorant she is. But actual ignorance is a fairly innocent situation. This woman knows exactly what she is doing and has chosen to make it a fixture of her personality. Did she get a degree at the Al Sharpton College of Racial Histrionics?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:13:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Lord_Grey_Boots: Time for the locals to show up at the next council meeting with small shovels and dictionaries....
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That would be truly cool... AS for this woman - in the immortal words of Glen Frey and teh Eagles "Get over it!"
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 1:21:51 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 2:03:47 PM EDT
Idiots! The lawyer should just call the councilwoman an old fashioned race baiter for creating racial discord where none exists.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 2:19:30 PM EDT
It's a shovel!
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 5:54:33 PM EDT
Originally Posted By raf: This is most likely a classic case of what psychologists call [b]transference[/b]. The woman being deeply but secretly racist herself cannot face up to her condition. She helps to deny the existence of the situation by projecting on to others her racist attitudes. I'd bet the rent money on this one.
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OR, it could be that she's just a dumb*ss
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 5:57:20 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 6:10:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 6:06:41 PM EDT by PitViper]
Just another self-important hanky-stomper looking for a racist behind every tree. It seems every one of the politically correct these days has a chip on their shoulder and looks for any way to manufacture an attempt to knock it off to get their two minutes in front of the camera or their name in print. The hell with 'em...I say call a spade a spade and get the hell over yourself.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 9:41:11 PM EDT
I am still searching for signs of intelligence on this board. You all are as bad as the ASSWEB crowd. The reason you don't see anything wrong with it is because you are racists yourselves. I am offended when a black person calls me "white boy" so I believe that they have a right to not be offended also. It is not being politically correct it is being morally correct. I am not getting personal but come on now, people really don't think like this anymore. Do they?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 9:46:29 PM EDT
Huh?
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 9:50:27 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Marsell: I am still searching for signs of intelligence on this board. You all are as bad as the ASSWEB crowd. The reason you don't see anything wrong with it is because you are racists yourselves. I am offended when a black person calls me "white boy" so I believe that they have a right to not be offended also. It is not being politically correct it is being morally correct. I am not getting personal but come on now, people really don't think like this anymore. Do they?
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Are you kidding me?? So by us agreeing with a person who uses a phrase that was never meant to have racial overtones in any way we are morally bankrupt? So I guess it would be also immoral for me to ask a black man to hand me a black pen then....huh?? Give over yourself people....blacks call you a white boy because you are white!!! That's not neccessarily racist...but it is accurate. Flagg
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 9:57:03 PM EDT
I remember there was a black guy that got all kinds of national news attention when he vocally objected to Ross Perot using the term "you people" at the campaign appearance he attended.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 9:58:24 PM EDT
Watch out people, look at the post count... Marsell=[:K]
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:24:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 10:21:45 PM EDT by timh70]
What does this woman want?? Should Craolya rename the black crayon? Should Spainards and Hispanics find another word for black, since in Spanish it is spelled NEGRO??? Sounds like she needs to get a real life and let the litle things go. And if she is so race sensitive, why did she demand that the Russian census be changet because of a word that ISN"T nigger??? Talk about wacked. Remember in Pink Floyd's "The Wall" when the army officer calls his dog?? I hope she hassen't seen it (and I doubt she has!!). Edited to add : From the Merriam-Webster website: One entry found for nigger. Main Entry: nig·ger Pronunciation: 'ni-g&r Function: noun Etymology: alteration of earlier neger, from Middle French negre, from Spanish or Portuguese negro, from negro black, from Latin niger Date: 1700 1 usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : a black person 2 usually offensive, see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race 3 : a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons usage Nigger in senses 1 and 2 can be found in the works of such writers of the past as Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, but, except in sense 3, it is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry. Is it possible that people can use the work without meaning black people??? YES!!! She needs to put a sock in it!!! [smoke]
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:38:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/11/2001 10:37:59 PM EDT by Master_Blaster]
Say something long enough and people will believe it, even if it's not the truth. Why does history have to keep repeating itself? ******************************************* Butthead: "Hey, Beavis. He said [b]gun[/b]." Beavis: "Oh, yeah. Gun. Boioioioioioioiong! Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee..." Butthead: "Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh..." "Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee, hee..." "Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh, huh..." Dumba$$ spades.[spank] [smoke]in' & [beer]in' in Kalifornya - in designated areas, of course! [smash] [BD]
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 10:50:46 PM EDT
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 11:06:43 PM EDT
Now all you fellas hold up there. It is not a spade. It is a CCW shovel!! We need to especially watch out for the assault spades with more than 10" blades and those that have rubber handles rather than wood.
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 11:18:32 PM EDT
Keep in mind that these people in Sacramento are the ones who brought us the "Rolling Blackouts."
Link Posted: 11/11/2001 11:29:10 PM EDT
WOW!!!! I thought I was gonna learn some new black jack tricks
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 6:15:14 AM EDT
Truly playing the race card (I wonder if the race card is the ace of spa... never mind). Accusing someone of using a racist term when they don't even know it is fun when used against a liberal (well, a liberal is the only one who would care). Correcting one's use of "Saturday night special" is a good example. (it is said the phrase is short for "Saturday Night Niggertown Special").
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 6:33:53 AM EDT
I just had my dog "spayed". Does that count?
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 6:34:45 AM EDT
I just had my dog "spayed". Does that count?
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 6:36:09 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Marsell: I am still searching for signs of intelligence on this board. You all are as bad as the ASSWEB crowd. The reason you don't see anything wrong with it is because you are racists yourselves. I am offended when a black person calls me "white boy" so I believe that they have a right to not be offended also. It is not being politically correct it is being morally correct. I am not getting personal but come on now, people really don't think like this anymore. Do they?
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I would only be offended if they called me "White Girl"! Maybe that is what they should call you!! Or maybe NumbNuts!![:D] A spade is a spade! A club is a club! Etc, etc, etc! Muhammed Ali my bu++. His mama named him Clay we need to call him Clay! Big(MyLordWhatIsTheWorldComingTo?)Dozer66
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 6:54:22 AM EDT
I usually call a spade a "F%$king Shovel"[}:D] Finnbear out
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 7:05:05 AM EDT
Well, I demand that all the CRACKERS on grocery stores be removed as they are a derogatory term to describe whites!
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 9:32:10 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/12/2001 9:27:45 AM EDT by PitViper]
Originally Posted By Marsell: I am still searching for signs of intelligence on this board. You all are as bad as the ASSWEB crowd. The reason you don't see anything wrong with it is because you are racists yourselves. I am offended when a black person calls me "white boy" so I believe that they have a right to not be offended also. It is not being politically correct it is being morally correct. I am not getting personal but come on now, people really don't think like this anymore. Do they?
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Bugger off, Troll.[-!-] That personal enough for you? (I'm just callin' a spade a spade...) Pit
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 9:59:15 AM EDT
"We have to educate people that the word can be offensive." yeah, otherwise future generations might not get offended by it! [rolleyes]
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 12:34:25 PM EDT
I am offended that she is offended by the word spade. I think that next time the council man should just call her a paranoid racist idiot. There is no recourse against the truth.
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 1:19:07 PM EDT
Originally Posted By sgtar15: I also noticed that women who are single and minorities seam to raise the biggest fuss......it's like they got something to prove. I don't understand it. sgtar15
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When skin color envy and penis envy combine. Behold the power of the white prick.
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 1:20:44 PM EDT
Come on now - let's call a spade a [strike] spade [/strike] an organic entrenching tool. [BD]
Link Posted: 11/12/2001 1:57:36 PM EDT
Someone offended by being called "whiteboy" Jeez, I went to Ross Sterling High. When I graduated the guy next to me said "Hey Coz, Get up man they calle your name!" I said "I didn't hear him say "whiteboy"! True Romance - Drexel "It ain't whiteboy day is it?"
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