You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.” - Lee Atwater
The folks over at the Free Republic had themselves a problem. They didn't...take kindly to those of the colored persuasion, especially those deemed as criminal or criminally-minded. But they couldn't let loose with the usual above expression of how they felt about them - too uncouth and too close to what the folks over at Stormfront would do.
At the same time, many FReepers shared a collective frustration against newscasters who, in the minds of the average FReeper, refused to call a spade a spade (pardon) and include the ethnicity in their descriptions of perps whenever there was a crime committed but the suspect was still at large.
One day, some enterprising chap within some forum topic sarcastically referred to the description of an (undoubtedly) black perp as "Amish." Whenever stories of black criminality filtered through FReep? "Those Amish must be at it again." For a time, it was the perfect way to call a "nigger" a "nigger" and not get called out on it by the Admin Moderator(s).
At least more than one FReeper has expressed anguish over not being able to speak his mind when it comes to the blacks:
Why must we resort to euphemisms here on FREE Republic? The codeword Amish means black and everyone who's been here for more than a day knows it. Really, can we not call a spade a spade? This site stands for freedom, liberty and doesn't need to hide behind a thin veneer of political correctness. This isn't directed at you, oh8eleven, since the practice is widespread. Instead, I'd like to see a plain, honest treatment of these riots and crimes. In this case, as with many other, the initiators are black, not Amish, Mennonites, British, Germans, Irish, Slavs, Swedes or any number of other races/ethnic categories.
The "document to which we may not link" here on FR makes it clear that blacks commit these and other crimes in numbers far exceeding their percentage of the population. The "Amish" phraseology was slightly amusing at one time. But, in my opinion, a forthright identification of the problem is in order. I, for one, will use the word black when applicable to incidents such as these. And when it's whites committing such acts, they likewise will be called out in my posts.
"Amish." "Thugs." "Ferals." "Holder's People." These codewords usually mean one thing and one thing only when spoken and written in context of black Americans, especially black Americans who are suspected of criminal acts or behaviors. They also thrive in the realm of social acceptability whereas letting anything resembling the dreaded N-word form on your lips could result in a well-deserved round of ostracism.
Kyle Wagner recently took a look into the frequency of the word "thug" in context of Richard Sherman's brief moment of over-exuberance, recently covered by yours truly here:
The numbers here come from iQ Media1, and they're based on every closed caption that ran in every market in the country over the past three years. As you can see above, Monday was more "thug"-heavy than any day in the past few years. iQ Media says 625 "thug"s across all markets, while competing service TVEyes says 524 so far today, but just 269 yesterday. Both have today and yesterday as massive spikes. ESPN, to its credit, appears to be on the hook for just two "thugs" all of yesterday. CBS was the overall leader by iQ's count, but that number is slightly inflated because of a mention on the national broadcast of the creatively bereft ratings graveyard Intelligence, which went out to a bunch of local affiliates.
Here, Richard Sherman is beaten out by John Kerry, who on August 29, 2013, called Bashar al-Assad a "thug." Sit on that one for a minute.
Although the word "thug" in of itself has little to no racial undertone, it quickly adopts one as people rush to use it as a N-word substitute of sorts.
Words take on different meanings depending on the situation. Take "chimp," for starters. Calling George W. Bush a "chimp" means mocking the former president for his appearance, mannerisms and thought processes. It's a relatively harmless word that has little to no weight in this context.
Now call Barack Obama a "chimp." Watch as all of the racially charged baggage that comes from centuries of comparing black physiology and psychology to that of various monkeys comes flooding in. In this context, it's meant as a racial insult without the need for letting the N-word fly. Calling the first lady an "ape" or a "gorilla" not only means calling her the N-word, but a particularly ugly one as well.
Calling a white guy the N-word has no effect, unless you're criticizing him for emulating the black lifestyle or siding with blacks. On the other hand, calling a white woman a "nigger lover" is especially devastating, given the context behind those two words.
Then there are words that are only used as qualifiers for certain groups because such qualities are already understood in others. Take the word "articulate." Most people wouldn't call a well-spoken white guy "articulate" unless there was a specific point being made, as articulateness is understood as an inherent trait in the average white guy. Meanwhile, calling any well-spoken black guy "articulate" is meant to play up the fact that his articulateness is unique, because it's commonly assumed that blacks are just naturally inarticulate.
Sure, this all seems like nit-picking, but these days, almost any attempt to point out the various little ways that prejudice and bigotry can rear their ugly little heads is often dismissed as nit-picking or playing the race card. Nevertheless, these tiny little dog whistles still exist and the average bigot still perks his or her ear up all the same.