Posted by: Ophelia | July 5, 2008

In the “water is wet” files

Racists and xenophobes use “code words” to express their biases.

Federal officials say they have seen an increase in harassment complaints involving coded words and images in the workplace. Whether it is geared toward racial groups, religious affiliations, sex or sexual orientation, code words have proliferated in recent years through the Internet, where Web sites provide forums for creating, discussing and spreading new words promoting intolerance.
Terms such as “welfare queens” and “crime-ridden neighborhoods” have long been used to refer to African-Americans, Dawson said. In recent years, other analysts said, discussions about patriotism have increasingly become coded with phrases such as “full-blooded Americans” used to exclude certain ethnic groups, particularly Latino immigrants.

Wow, you mean people are cowards and use code words to avoid being called out for their bigotry? No! I for one am shocked.

(P.S I’m not dead, I’ve just been working–still working on the new laptop. I’ll be working through the comments and emails tonight.)



  1. It’s good, though, that folks are complaining.

  2. I think that it is also important to note that this down turn is happening during an economic downturn. People that occupy the the lower/underclass are always attacked during times of economic strife. The rich bourgoiese blame them for what is occuring thus deflecting blame. When people of the same or similar class degrade by into social construct that degrade others what they are doing is counter to their class position. As I have said many times…most of us have more in common with each other through the relations of class than we do in difference that is dependent on race.

  3. That is a good point. I’m used to seeing the backlash manifested through xenophobia, but racism is starting to ramp up in intensity as well and these so called code words are being used to deflect criticism. The use of backwards words and things does seem new, but anyone who has ever watched fox news knows that there are already code words that easily express prejudice without creating new words.

    (Renee, did you receive the invitation to join wordpress? I sent it through the email I found on your blog).

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