I feel like this can’t be said often enough. Just because some folks seem to have an awful lot of ugly names for black people doesn’t mean we got the same for other people. Black folks really don’t use anything more exotic than “whites, white folks” or “white people” regularly whether in or out of earshot of white people.

But don’t just take my word for it. While hanging out at The Root, I saw this story exploring the fallacy behind “Whiteygate” in which it’s claimed that Michelle Obama used a racial slur for white people while in church.

What [Obama] hasn’t done—because he cannot if he wants to win the presidency—is roll out the clearest and most obvious knockdown of Whiteygate. Namely this: “When the hell was the last time you heard a black person call somebody ‘whitey?'”

I mean, come on. White man, please.
When I was growing up in Memphis in the groovy ’70s, some people tried to get the word “ofay” going, but, in my circles at least, it never really took. My mother’s generation used Mr. Charlie, my older sister’s cool boyfriend use to say The Man. There was redneck, of course, but growing up in Memphis, the only people I ever heard use that word were white people.

There was cracker, but usually that referred to a certain, specific kind of hog-jowled, Southern racist, as in “That cracker had the nerve to make me wash his sheets—and I don’t mean the ones he use on his bed!”

I agree: the only person I ever heard saying “honkey” or “whitey” growing up was George Jefferson on TV. That was fiction, probably written by someone who wasn’t black. This rumor was started probably by someone who wasn’t black to insinuate that Michelle Obama has a problem with white people. That she’s Angry. Because characterizations of hate and anger haven’t stuck to Barack, now they’ve turned on Michelle. Well, it won’t work and I’m glad to see the campaign letting people get to know her better.

Related Posts with Thumbnails