05 April 2015

Is "F--- that n-----" always a racial slur?

From an Associated Press article carried by the StarTribune:
Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison apologized Sunday for directing an obscenity and a racial slur at Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky during a postgame news conference at the Final Four.

Harrison muttered "F--- that n----" into a live microphone when another player was asked a question about Kaminsky after Kentucky lost 71-64 to the Badgers Saturday...

The sophomore's comment came as a reporter asked Kentucky's Karl-Anthony Towns about defending the 7-foot Kaminsky. He muttered it with his hand in front of his mouth, but the mic picked up the comments.
The speaker, Andrew Harrison, is black.  Frank Kaminsky is white.


  1. Feed that nausea? Flap that nutmeg?

  2. Slurs are so tricky when you toss in the ongoing evolution of language and context... I would love to see this one turn into always meaning "lazy person" like it does to some---just so it stops being used as a racial slur. But that day is a long time coming, if ever... I know I wouldn't feel comfortable directing it at someone else.

    1. I listened to part of an analysis by a commenter on ESPN, who said the reference to "that nigger" is used freely and nonjudgmentally by black athletes in the sense of "that guy" or "that dude." The station wrestles with editing such references out of interviews.

    2. @ Armiger

      "I would love to see this one turn into always meaning "lazy person"..."

      Don't think you're fully aware of the implications here. The term was originally created as a racial slur against a group of people that were unfairly categorized as "lazy." The two connotations practically walked hand in hand. I find it (extremely) hard to believe that anyone who thinks that word refers to someone who is "lazy" is not, in fact, associating the term with someone who is "lazy as a ..."

      The ESPN commenter is correct, it is a term often used on the street in the Black community (not just by athletes) as a colloquial expression referring just to another guy or person. Harrison made the mistake of muttering it in "polite" society, The fact that he was referencing a White guy is proof that it wasn't "racial." But he was wrong to say it in the context of where it was said.

      Of course, that is not going to stop some Whites from insisting they can now say it freely since it's "not racial" anymore, and that they don't see the difference. Chris Rock perhaps said it best when he opined- Whites already own everything, can't they just let someone else own one single word!


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