We all tend to use words we hear from word of mouth, and pick up terms that our friend/peer groups use constantly, without thinking about it at all. Except, when that happens, all these phrases creep into our daily vocabulary and we have no idea where it came from. Here's some lesser known ones that are actually pretty racist:
The OED states that "Hooligan" was a the surname of made-up drunken Irishmen in cartoons that promoted all Irishmen as lawless and trouble-making. The stereotype of the drunken Irish is pretty longstanding, but does the Irish association with hooligans really stand if all sorts of nationalities are pretty equal across the board in drunken debauchery in Montreal, at least?
This one flew straight over my head for the longest while. "Gyp" is really just a shortening of the word "gypsy", and was used to refer to wandering tribes back when noone had the likes of Neon Hitch attached to the word. Used as a verb that means to rip someone off, its tied to the idea of gypsy tribes being historically known for being kind of shady in their business transactions. Rather not be associated with that judgment, just for using a catchy verb.
For whoever still remembers high school history classes, the Vandals were a German tribe that attacked Rome in 455 and fought the Vandalic War with the Byzantine Empire a few centuries after. And now the dictionary defines vandal as "a person who willfully or ignorantly destroys or mars something beautiful or valuable."
4) Hip Hip Hooray
This cheer come from the German cry of "hep hep", widely used in riots targeting Jews. But the cheer was in common use in English before these riots, mostly for making toasts to someone's health, in the 19th century. Does the difference in language make the words any different in how racist they are?
This one is pretty well-known for being racist, ancient Greeks used this word to refer to anyone that didn't speak their language. Now the image of the barbarian is all over videogames, period TV shows, and a hella ripped shirtless dude. Not surprising though, everything's all sexed up now, even racial slurs, apparently. Yay media?
This term used pretty widely in the 16th to refer to Bulgarians, but took on a gayer note as well, used only as insult. People in the 16th century were pretty homophobic and not so friendly toward foreigners, if you didn't know that already. Not that common among the non-British of us, but "bugger-off" is thought to be a "tamer" version of "fuck off" by very polite Europeans.
7) Peanut Gallery
This is pretty commonly used now, mostly to refer to people that make stupid or uninformed comments on something they are watching or listening to. This term was used to refer to the segregated seating in theatres where black people would only get room in the upper balcony. The association of the two meanings doesn't sit well at all.
Does the fact that we're using these words still but different newer meanings that are relatively in more common use mean that the terms have been re-appropriated or are in the process of being re-appropriated? Or are these just more words that are just not PC and everyone should stop saying already?
A new study by the Angus Reid Institute has revealed divided opinions about racism in Canada, with only 24% of Quebec respondents agreeing that "Canada is a racist country" — the least of any province. That's compared to 44% of Saskatchewan respondents.
The study categorized respondents into four camps, "detractors, guarded, accepting, and advocates," in order to determine where Canadians stand on perceptions of race relations and racism.
Other members of the CAQ government, including Geneviève Guilbault, have refused to acknowledge systemic racism in our province as well. Meanwhile, political leaders like Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mayor of Montreal Valérie Plante have publically said it does, in fact, exist in both Quebec and all of Canada.
Legault has claimed to have "a different definition" of systemic racism than others, believing that it doesn't exist here is because "the vast majority of Quebecers are not racist."
Local Criminal Lawyer Maria-Livia Beaugé has explained that "systemic racism is not about being racist. It's about a system that allows you to act in a racist way and to act with discrimination."
While the CAQ government is currently planning an "awareness campaign" to fight racism in the province, the group behind the new petition, We Do Something, "demand that the Legault government recognize the presence of systemic racism in Quebec."
This petition points out the recent death of Joyce Echaquan in a hospital in Joliette and the "racist abuse" that the organizers believe was linked to it.
And it's not just rules for people who want to work for the government. These rules would affect anyone trying to get access the city's public services.
According to Journal Metro the STM refuses to comment on these new rules, but on Tuesday the Justice Minister of Quebec confirmed that the policies in Bill 62 would extend to all municipalities as well as the the entire public transportation system.
So it's official, if the new rules go into effect, women who wear Niqabs or Burkas would not be allowed to use the STM anymore. And since this includes "all public transportation" that means they won't use the bus or the metro. Hell, they might not even be able to rent BIXIs.
Quebec has officially lost its mind.
For more information on these insane new rules, click here.
A video is making the rounds on Facebook this week where a group of Muslims held a prayer while visiting Park Safari, and the reaction so far has been pretty appalling. (Video can be seen at the bottom of this article)