Lost Words, a Casualty of Political Correctness

clip art

As the unrest continues in Baltimore, President Obama has been criticized for referring to the looters in Baltimore as thugs.  In recent times the word thug has been synonymous with ruffian, hoodlum or vandal.  Thug has its origins in India where followers of Kali – thugs - robbed and killed travelers in a ritually prescribed manner, a practice that was eliminated by the British in 1830.

In most recent times the word has been used by bigots as a synonym for black males, taking the place of even more unacceptable words.  While there was never another acceptable use of the “n” word, the word thug had a perfectly good and acceptable place in English.

Thug in its usual sense may go the way of gay and queer.  At one time gay had a perfectly good place describing a happy mood or festive apparel. Now, saying someone is a queer fellow, or predicting that we will all have a gay time may cause confusion.

Recently, I was preparing to buy tickets for a movie and the cashier asked, “Pardon me. Is that your partner?”  I was confused until I realized that he was talking about my wife.  The young man simply wanted to tell me that the movie we wanted to see was in the upstairs theater and that there was no elevator for my “partner” who was on a knee scooter at the time.  So, now we have to differentiate between “life partners” and “business partners”.  That’s OK.  We can still use the word.

If the President was white referring to black teens breaking into and looting businesses I could understand that there might be confusion about exactly how he was using the word, thug.  Surely, there is no confusion in this case. 

Maybe the objection was raised because the person raising the objection believes that teens who burglarize and burn businesses aren’t thugs if they are protesting police brutality.  In that case I have to side with the President.  A person who robs and kills travelers in the name of the consort of Shiva is still a criminal, a thug.

  We shouldn’t have to give up a word because white bigots misuse it.

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Comment by Rodney Roe on May 1, 2015 at 4:25am

Whoopee Goldberg refuses to be called African-American because, "I was born here."

Comment by Arthur James on May 1, 2015 at 5:16am


I try to Listen and

keep quiet. The wise

call it civil unrest.

Riot? FOX news

wants blood and

guts for ratings.


Walk Baltimore

Streets? In a Wall

Mart Parking Lot

Locally a white guy

was found dead from

sniffing a   can of some

cleaning fluid. Site is

acting ODD. So, Bye.

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 1, 2015 at 5:58am

This morning from Morning Joe (MSNBC):  in eight Baltimore neighborhoods the life span is lower than in North Korea or Syria.  Just a few short miles from Washington, DC, the seat of power where lawmakers vote to cut money for school lunch programs.  The disparity in wealth and opportunity is a national disgrace. 

Fox Entertainment (not news) gets its ratings from feeding raw meat to the haters, painting the poverty as a parenting problem and turning the discussion of the death of Freddie Gray from one of police brutality to one about the riots, painting police as victims. 

Comment by Heidi Banerjee on May 1, 2015 at 5:59am

It might be a bit offf topic here, but I have to say that the music is seductive. I love it, have heard it on Jon's radio station and had been wondering about it. Springsteens is a name, of course...but I have to find out more about this amazing group.

Comment by Rodney Roe on May 1, 2015 at 6:12am

Heidi, Buffalo Springfield only lasted two years.  It included great musicians such as Stephen Stills and Neil Young.  Like a lot of groups with great musicians there were big egos and a lot of in-fighting.  The Retrospective album released in 1967 included the song I included, "For What It's Worth."  FWIW was released at the ramp up of the Vietnam war and was about protests of that war, but it is a great song about protest in general.  Here is the whole album.

Comment by Arthur James on May 1, 2015 at 7:34am


Rodney Row.

I left to Visit

A Dying Local.


She's so Fun...

I's got to Read

comments and

You-Tubes too.




My dying neighbor

teaches me, etcetera.

I forgot my thought.


I stop off on Way to

Listen to Farmer's

Views. They usually 

Bum pigs? no. smokes.

The peasants bum the

Left-OVer Pall Mall's

Red Pack cigarette.

I no share any local

brews. I hide brews.


We need to Be Whole.

Why be so ill-broke,

and be a ill-phoney?


of course...

Not You...

Fool knows.


Comment by Rodney Roe on May 1, 2015 at 7:55am

Sorry about your neighbor.  It's good to know that she is teaching and you are learning.  I've learned a lot about dying from friends as they went through the process.  I think, though, that I've learned more about life and how to live it.

Somehow, you reminded me of a summer sitting in a boxcar hoping to get a ride back across the country.  A face appeared in the dark and asked if I had a smoke.  I gave him one and he turned and called out, "hey fellows, this guy's got ready-mades."  There went my pack of cigarettes.  In exchange, the bummer told me that I was much too young to be riding the rails.  He was too old to get picked up hitching, but I looked young and harmless and could get a ride.  So, I did.

I was too broke to get another pack of cigarettes or even a skunk beer.  It was a long trip home.

Comment by Arthur James on May 1, 2015 at 8:07am


it home grown

shamanic tobacco.

Barter on web-site


Seed Saver Exchange


They're seed Savers.

Puff. Smack Lips.

Jest? Just Enjoy

Sense Joy and a

Unspeakable ...






She's Muse,

ans so-so a



Pause time


hears birds

sinsong? no

singsong a

Natural calm

Chorus, aye,

so-so Much...


Comment by Arthur James on May 1, 2015 at 8:23am


Jan Sand?

It good idea?

Dig hole?


no tell where

burial hole is?

Jest? Just walk

to hole and conk?


I get asap! Local

cop sheriff rode

by. Officer may?




no scooter riding

no skateboarding

no loitering in lot


I go to farm and bum

dandelion green, and

some green garlic shoots.








` Jan Sand '


Ya's remind?

sorta. Healy?

Real. A old

Friend who

was in WW2.

He wed Maria.

She was a nun

in Germany.


The war crimes

hearings were in

the same town.


I've bored Ya's

Before. But, it a

Great Memory.


Frank & Maria 

Helped me brew

a 55- Gallon batch

of Honey Wine Mead.


My Respect... I miss

them olden sages...

I's Precious Memories.


Comment by Arthur James on May 1, 2015 at 8:38am


Jan Sand. Me too...

I wish mouse, birds,

buzzard, and seagull,

and tiny-varmits chew,

and clean-up my sore bones.







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