Should we start eradicating problematic words from the english language to prevent accidental racism?

Let’s start in medias res and address the elephant in the room: despite all of our progress, racism is still prevalent in our society. PoC face environmental, institutional, covert, and many other types of racism each single day. It’s vitally important to address every type, no matter what form they may take, and maybe that’s why accidental racism doesn’t get enough recognition: at first glance, it may seem innocuous, but actually, it’s a snake in disguise.

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Ruth Negga: a probable case of accidental racism

There are many causes of accidental racism: it can happen because of a misheard or mispronounced word, a stupid typo, Siri fucking up a word, an engineering mistake, and the list goes on and on. You may laugh about it, or not take it seriously because of it’s nature, but just imagine being a single black mother with two kids: you worry every day that your kids won’t get accepted into better schools on account of their skin color, or how law enforcement may discriminate them, how the president may deport them… etc. Then, after a long and stressful day, you see someone sharing a ‘LOL!!! THIS IS SO FUNNY!!! XDDD’ picture of unintentional racism, and you reach your breaking point. You cry and curse, feeling helpless, feeling vulnerable against the tide of hate. Different people have different breaking points, and we should never shrug off an instant of accidental racism with a condescending ‘Get over it’.

That’s exactly why we should eradicate certain words from our vocabularies and minds, so no one has to feel this injustice. Let’s also take into consideration the other side of accidental racism. A single, racist tweet can destroy your life, but if you aren’t fast enough with an explanation, or you have really bad people skills, an act of accidental racism can do the same. Since accidental racism usually isn’t enough to really hurt a PoC, but it may have dire consequences to every white person, accepting my proposals is especially in the interests of white people.

Here is a small selection of my list of problematic words:

  • Chin:
  • Example: ‘Keep your chins up!’
  • Problematic context: A white baseball coach saying it to a team with Chinese Americans.
  • Coo
  • Example: ‘[Looking at pigeons] I hate when they coo near me!’
  • Problematic context: Being in the company of African Americans.
  • Wet, back, or both:
  • Example: ‘The rain caught me from behind, I can’t sit down with this fucking wet back!’
  • Problematic context: Being in the company of Mexican Americans.
  • Whopping
  • Example: ‘The home team had a whopping victory last night!’
  • Problematic context: When one of the teams is italian.

I hope society assesses my suggestions, and chooses the appropriate course of action. In the end we shall make accidental racism literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. And you know, we can always just come up with new words.

One other thing: what should we do about Carrie Coon?

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Carrie Coon: the leading source of accidental racism in the United States

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