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When someone says, ""That's mighty white of you", what do they mean?

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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:14 PM
Original message
When someone says, ""That's mighty white of you", what do they mean?
I've had this said to me (but not in a long time) and I've heard this said of others, but I've never been really sure what it means.

From Wiki: "That's mighty white of you",

From Urban Dictionary: Used to describe someone who thinks they've done a great deed, charitable action or sacrifice, but in reality they've done very little to help the human condition. Foolish phrase used by some to show so-called white superiority. Phrase attributed to the south, and coined during days of slavery. Now sometimes said in a sarcastic manner to people who act as they are superior because of their race. To behave or act in a manner stereotypically attributed to Caucasians

The former is not pejorative, but the UD definitions are. So what so you DU?


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av8rdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:16 PM
Response to Original message
1. The only people I'v ever heard that from are disgusting racist pigs,
so I probably can't give a fair evaluation of the term.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Does it mean, thats mightly racially superior of you, when it comes from a racist to a racist?
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av8rdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
38. I think it's just a racist - to - racist buddy way of affirming their racism
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #38
90. I've never heard it used that way. In fact, I've only ever heard it used by blacks.
Might be a regional thing :shrug:

I've only ever heard it used as a way to sarcastically thank someone for doing something completely useless, when they think they've done a great thing. As an example: Poor person gets a nail in his tire in front of a tire shop. Poor person goes into the tire shop, explains that he has no money, and wants to know if there is anything he can do to work off a tire patch. Tire shop owner looks at the guy and says, "Jesus teaches us that we must help our fellow man, so I'm going to do you a favor. Here's some bus fare."

Mighty white of him.
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av8rdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #90
95. It sounds different in that light. Ironically, I've only heard it used by whites!
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #90
124. Yes. The first time I heard it was a black guy talking to another black guy.
In the military, 40 years ago.

It's not a phrase I'd use, but I'm sure there are occasions when the person using it has no racist implication or meaning. It's an insult to the person who is the object of the comment, basically accusing that person of being haughty, like some old south plantation owner, who thinks he's being charitable by using blacks as cheap labor.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 08:55 PM
Response to Reply #38
123. I've only heard it said as sarcasm
To someone who has actually done nothing for you
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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. I don't care for the expression. Whatever it means. nt
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. I'm with you, I 'm suspicious of it, but until now never asked about it.
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secretoftheoldclock Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
3. It means you are patronizing a Black person
And of course, there is a hint of racism in that behavior. You are patting yourself on the back for treating a BP in a way that emphasizes the difference between the two of you.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
14. I could see it meaning, That mightly racially partronizing of you when it involves a person of

color, but I've seen it said between two whites as well.
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secretoftheoldclock Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #14
22. Well, you're apparently from KY, so all bets are off...
I would say that two WP talking and using that are being slightly racist there (or one is jabbing the other for his patronizing attitude towards a BP).
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
63. And I would say that you don't understand that phrases are dynamic.
Yes. It used to mean that, but it's become such a colloquialism in the South and other parts of the country that it no longer has that racial meaning. Language isn't static. It moves, changes and becomes part of the lexicon of speech.

I know several people who use that - including my own mother - who don't have a racist bone in their bodies. (For the record, my mother voted for Obama in both the primary and general elections - if you needed to know).
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secretoftheoldclock Donating Member (121 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:42 PM
Response to Reply #63
72. Doesn't matter. Look at the returns from KY--LMFAO!
Totally out of step with the rest of the country (well, except for those other predominantly White states, that is). Even language which changes has to acknowledge its origin. There was a dustup during this election cycle when someone (White, of course) used the term 'tar baby' and then professed ignorance that it was racially charged. You have to wonder what possible context a WP would have saying that to another WP and yet not mean anything to do with race. Hard to believe and like I said, could be the insensitivity of an environment which refuses to support a superior Presidential candidate because of the amount of melanin in his skin...
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. Who knows but it is a damnable racist expression and people who don't know better should be told
that so that they don't use it.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Its does sound racist, but without a good sense of what it means, I'm inclined not not call it that.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:24 PM by aikoaiko


For example, the word niggardly sounds racist but isn't in the slightest.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
69. Not a good comparison at all. That has to do with word root meanings. This has to do with
context. It is racist in its original context. In this case what it sounds like is correct. Look up the original context if you have any doubt.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=mighty%2...
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #69
99. Urban Dictionary is not a great source for orginal usage

but it is a good source for contemporary usage.

Maybe a better comparison would be to tar baby -- a term with no racist overtones originally, but sometimes used as a racial pejorative perhaps by people who have no idea about the tar baby story.
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yellowcanine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 12:02 AM
Response to Reply #99
113. "Tar baby" I can see not necessarily being racist but we were talking about "mighty white of you"
I don't see how it can be anything but racist because it implies superiority of "white".
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #113
114. You're likely correct. OED supports your position

see down thread.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 09:05 PM
Response to Reply #113
127. Your construction of the saying and its use is incorrect.
It doesn't imply white superiority. It implies that the object of the comment is a self indulgent ass, who thinks he's being charitable.

The saying itself indicts those who think they're better and more gracious because they're white. It's a saying based upon the history of those who thought they were better because they were white. It's never been anything but an insult by the speaker against the person to whom it is directed.

It is SARCASM, dripping sarcasm. As if saying "well thank you, Massa Tom, for being so gracious," in a disdainful manner.

It's not a phrase I would use, simply because it is subject to misinterpretation, as seen in this thread.
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #18
96. Yes, but I never want to use the word "niggardly." Sounds to
much like something else. Also, doesn't niggardly mean "slowly" or "lazily?" Sounds like a racial stereotype.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:04 PM
Response to Reply #96
102. stingy or miserly, elshiva.
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #102
107. Thanks. Still sounds too much like the other word.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #107
116. Yes, I agree. And it's a shame. A few years ago I heard a hilarious sketch by a young
black comedian talking about how sensitive his father was about any word that sounded even remotely like the N word. If I can find it I will post it.

My favorite is reneged, as in "didn't do what he said he would do."

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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #116
118. Reneged isn't quite as bad in print, but it does sound like
the N word.
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Warpy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. I heard it as a thoughtless compliment in the early 50s
but since then, I've only heard it used sarcastically.

That's progress.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. I'm thinking you might be on to something that is being used differently now
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #5
70. It highlights condescension of the target
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suninvited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. It is said around here a lot
but we have an overabundance of ignorance around here.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #6
28. Would be the context of its usage?
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suninvited Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #28
48. for pretty much anything
that you do nice for someone. I get told that at work if I hand someone their paycheck or fax something for them, little trivial things.

I have to admit that most of the people around here are pretty considerate of my feelings about racist remarks and they dont sling around the racial slurs and jokes the way they did when I first came here, but I havent been able to convince them that 'thats mighty white of you' is a racist comment.

They just kind of use it in the place of 'thank you'.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #6
47. I heard it growing up in Texas in the 50s. I've NEVER heard it in CT
or even No. Virginia where I lived for 9 years, or Westchester County,NY where I lived for 10 years...
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Saphire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #47
79. 60 years later, and I STILL hear it in Texas.
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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #79
83. Oh my god!
It is interesting. I am someone with a background of "all Southern people" as my aunt reminded me once, growing up in Dallas.

When I saw the original post, I was amused but when I thought about it, it was pretty terrible. I remembered hearing it way back when, certainly not now. It's been so many years...

I know what it means but it certainly cannot have a meaning any more!
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Heidi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. There are more eloquent ways of saying exactly the same thing.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:28 PM by Heidi
I heard exactly this phrase very often when I was growing up. Most people who used it had absolutely no grasp of the implications of what they were spewing, as though their circumstance was somehow comparable to those who truly were oppressed by very real white superiority. In my opinion, this phrase trivializes genuine suffering.
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Ian David Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:20 PM
Response to Original message
8. Urban Dictionary isn't the most credible source of such things.
For example, note THIS entry I created:


1. Going Dobson 17 up, 10 down love ithate it

When a grown man showers with a young boy, as encouraged by masturbation enthusiast Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family. According to Dobson, seeing a grown man's penis can keep boys from "becoming" gay.
We're running late for school, so if you want to be ready in time I guess we'll be Going Dobson this morning.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Going%20...
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #8
23. I agree, but it was UD was just an example of what some people think.
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dipsydoodle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
9. I assume its the same as
"playing the white man's game". I've not heard that either for at least 40 years. It's not a matter of political correctness : just fell out of use I guess.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #9
25. "Playing the white man's game" is totally different and unrelated
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frogcycle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. When I heard it as a kid
it was a sarcastic way of saying "you finally did something passingly decent." It DID have racist connotations, in that the inference was that blacks do things poorly and whites do better. Directed at a white person it was intended to say "well, you are USUALLY no better than a ...."

I also heard it used in a less-pejoritive way as just a mild compliment like "you done good" - in that sense it was probably innocent/ignorant of the racist origns, thoughtless (very!) but not overtly intended to offend.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:30 PM
Response to Reply #12
29. Those are the ways I think I've mostly heard it used.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:33 PM by aikoaiko

But it's so (apparently) racially loaded, it made me uneasy.
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DJ13 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:22 PM
Response to Original message
13. When I was a kid (60's) there used to be a toothpaste called "Mighty White"
Thats what I think of when I hear that term.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #13
27. that's mighty toothpaste of you. hehe.


;)
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But.... Donating Member (656 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
15. Wow...
Am I going to be flame bait :scared: I have used this expression before and I don't see it as racist, I took it as :sarcasm: of pure. As in how "pure or good" of you. Just my opinion. :hide:
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #15
36. I think you may be right because I had someone say it to me who I considered more progressive than m

and I was a little shocked. Maybe in some parts or for some it had no racial inference at all.
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uncle ray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:49 PM
Response to Reply #15
86. that's been my understanding of the current use of it.
hell, i've used it as a sarcastic insult.

though totally different meaning, i consider it along the lines of "bless your heart!"
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rebel with a cause Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #86
104. If I remember it correctly, we used this in times long ago.
I grew up in a white county and we used it as an insulting thank you. Meaning that the person that did you a 'favor' was being patronizing and looking down their nose at you. It may have come from a term based on racism, but we did not think of it in those terms. It was just a way to tell the person that you were polite enough to say thank you but you didn't really mean it because you knew their motives were not the right ones. :shrug:

Like a lot of other folkish sayings this has gone to the way side here as far as I know. But who knows, there are people here that still use language that makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck and sends chills down my spine. One reason why I am a recluse.
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chimpymustgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:55 PM
Response to Reply #15
87. That's my understanding. But it's white people connoting goodness with "whiteness".
So in the olden days in the South, it was a compliment from one white person to another. Now, it's used sarcastically.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #87
89. But it isn't-- at least not when I've heard it used.
It's almost mocking the concept. A very obtuse piece of sarcasm, but sarcasm nonetheless.
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chimpymustgo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #89
92. Um, I think we're saying the same thing. I'm just pointing out that the meaning of the phrase has
changed.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
16. Growing up in the south, it WAS a slur. Everyone KNEW that "those" people could not
do anything good or nice or right. So, if someone of color did, they were "paid the compliment" of temporarily being given the status of a caucasian.

Have not heard it for decades, so I don't know what it may mean to some now.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #16
26. Interesting, I could see it being used that way .
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Saphire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #26
81. The post above said exactly what I hear when someone say that.
It never occured to me that it could be taken any other way. It may not be the 50's anymore, but beleive me, nothing much has changed down here (South Texas). It was a slur then, and it's a slur today.
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RebelOne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #16
40. I heard it quite often while I was growing up in the South.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:58 PM by RebelOne
But, of course, that was in the '50s. And I think I sometimes used the expression myself.
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:23 PM
Response to Original message
17. It used to be a positive sentiment, now it's said sarcstically, usually.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:24 PM by jobycom
Used to mean decent, respectable, altruistic, and yes, the intention was racist. Now most people use it sarcastically, to imply a person thinks they are doing a good deed, or to imply something they said or did is racist.

I was watching an old Bogart film recently where he used that line. Not sure which one--The Big Sleep or Key Largo, I think, but not sure. It was meant as a compliment then. I've used it as a criticism around here a couple of times, and I've seen others do it, too. So, sometime between the 40s and now the meaning changed. :)
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. I'll have to look for that Bogart film. thanks.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #17
35. I think back then it referred to the "White Man's Burden"
Rudyard Kipling, The White Man's Burden (1899)
Born in British India in 1865, Rudyard Kipling was educated in England before returning to India in 1882, where his father was a museum director and authority on Indian arts and crafts. Thus Kipling was thoroughly immersed in Indian culture: by 1890 he had published in English about 80 stories and ballads previously unknown outside India. As a result of financial misfortune, from 1892-96 he and his wife, the daughter of an American publisher, lived in Vermont, where he wrote the two Jungle Books. After returning to England, he published "The White Man's Burden" in 1899, an appeal to the United States to assume the task of developing the Philippines, recently won in the Spanish-American War. As a writer, Kipling perhaps lived too long: by the time of his death in 1936, he had come to be reviled as the poet of British imperialism, though being regarded as a beloved children's book author. Today he might yet gain appreciation as a transmitter of Indian culture to the West.

What is it today's reader finds so repugnant about Kipling's poem? If you were a citizen of a colonized territory, how would you respond to Kipling?

Take up the White Man's burden--
Send forth the best ye breed--
Go bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives' need;
To wait in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild--
Your new-caught, sullen peoples,
Half-devil and half-child.

Take up the White Man's burden--
In patience to abide,
To veil the threat of terror
And check the show of pride;
By open speech and simple,
An hundred times made plain
To seek another's profit,
And work another's gain.

Take up the White Man's burden--
The savage wars of peace--
Fill full the mouth of Famine
And bid the sickness cease;
And when your goal is nearest
The end for others sought,
Watch sloth and heathen Folly
Bring all your hopes to nought.

Take up the White Man's burden--
No tawdry rule of kings,
But toil of serf and sweeper--
The tale of common things.
The ports ye shall not enter,
The roads ye shall not tread,
Go mark them with your living,
And mark them with your dead.

Take up the White Man's burden--
And reap his old reward:
The blame of those ye better,
The hate of those ye guard--
The cry of hosts ye humour
(Ah, slowly!) toward the light:--
"Why brought he us from bondage,
Our loved Egyptian night?"

Take up the White Man's burden--
Ye dare not stoop to less--
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloke your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your gods and you.

Take up the White Man's burden--
Have done with childish days--
The lightly proferred laurel,
The easy, ungrudged praise.
Comes now, to search your manhood
Through all the thankless years
Cold, edged with dear-bought wisdom,
The judgment of your peers!

http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_civ_reader/world_...
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Kalyke Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
64. Correct.
It's meant as a back-handed comment.

Thank you for your voice of reason. People get so bent out of shape over things that are mostly insignificant in the whole scheme of things.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
19. I use it quite often when appropriate
and appropriate is described in the first Urban Dictionary definition above. I use it sarcastically only with other Whites that think they've done something really great for someone they obviously perceive as lesser to them. For example, if a white walks by and gives a homeless person a quarter or 25 cents for a handout, you would say, "Well, that was mighty White of you." as in you've thrown someone that's down a crumb.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. I'm sure I've heard it iused in that way too.
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Candie Date Donating Member (40 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
30. It means ...
they're in a Hollywood movie from the 1930s
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Someone else said they remember it from a Bogart film, do you remember a film where it is used?

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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #31
34. I think it's the one where there' s a hurricane
If my memory serves me well. But I can't even think of the name of the movie where there's a hurricane so I don't know.
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TahitiNut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. "Key Largo"??
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:42 PM by TahitiNut
I don't recall it. :shrug:

The racial minority in that movie were Native Americans (Seminoles, I believe) ... and I don't recall that phrase being used.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. Key Largo is the one with the hurricane
they're holed up riding out a hurricane and gangster Edward G Robinson is also holding everyone hostage.

There's a Bugs Bunny cartoon parody of Key Largo, but I forget the name of the cartoon. It's the one with Bugs Bunny dragging Mugsy (Edward G Robinson) up and down the stairs in a locked chest supposedly hiding him from the "coppers".
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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #34
46. I think that's it. Key Largo.
There's a scene where someone offers to buy him a drink, and he wipes the sweat from his neck and says it. He also sweats and drinks and wipes a lot in "The Big Sleep," though, so I wasn't sure. My DVDs are packed up for my move tomorrow, or I'd check it out. :)
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Hassin Bin Sober Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #31
42. It was definitely used in a Dirty Harry movie. He says it sarcastically to a black guy.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 02:08 PM by carpentrerman
FWIW:
http://everything2.com/e2node/mighty%2520white%2520of%2...
However, the first documented reference I could find to "mighty white of you" as a source of ironic humor was in the 1976 Clint Eastwood flick The Enforcer. When a black militant character offers to ensure that a female cop "don't get lonesome" while the men-folk meet in secret, Dirty Harry responds with "Well, that's mighty white of you." Supposedly, the expression was also parodied to great effect in Spike Lee's first feature-length film She's Gotta Have It in 1986 (unfortunately, I have not seen this film, as it is still unavailable on DVD, and I am too lazy to expend much effort for the sake of a 20 year old Spike Lee Joint).
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Candie Date Donating Member (40 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:40 PM
Response to Reply #31
54. Pretty sure it's...
"To have and to have not"
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #31
110. the enforcer.
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gollygee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
32. I've only ever heard it used sarcasticly
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 01:34 PM by gollygee
As in, "you think you're special just for being you" when someone does something mean. And there seems to be an implication that the person being told that is potentially racist or thinks he/she is superior for some other reason.

However, I haven't heard it much.
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DU GrovelBot  Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 01:32 PM
Response to Original message
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jaysunb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
41. Funny thread...
:rofl:

Listen to jobycom children.
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Dorian Gray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
43. I've never heard that
phrase before in my 37 years. Bizarre.


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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #43
51. We all learn something new on DU.

;)
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last_texas_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
44. I've lived all of my life in East Texas, one of the more racist parts of the country, and I've never
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 02:14 PM by last_texas_dem
actually heard anyone use that expression, so I figure it's fallen pretty strongly out of use if it's a racist expression.

I could conceivably see it being a compliment outside of any sort of racist connotation, if you're using "white" as a compliment along the lines of "white knight" or "man in the white hat" or "man riding in on the white horse," etc. I'm just speculating, though. It just sounds like an idiotic way to compliment someone for being born into a certain race.

If I ever used an expression like that it would be sarcastically, along the lines of telling someone that they're behaving like someone from the "Stuff White People Like" blog! For example, to take the most recent entry, if someone said that they're planning on learning a foreign language, and they've been planning on learning a foreign language for more than five years now, you could say, "That's mighty white of you!" Yeah, I know, it's still racist, but white people are allowed to make fun of ourselves, right?
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #44
50. Thank you for your post.

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LatteLibertine Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
45. Origin of the phrase
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #45
49. I noted that in the OP, but that wiki entry still needs a citation.

Thanks for putting in the effort.
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:30 PM
Response to Original message
52. Almost always used ironically
The origin, I think, was color symbolism -- white was good and black was bad, like white magic and black magic.

Later on, it became attached to racism.

I don't think it's been used seriously for at least 50 years.

--p!
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Misskittycat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
53. Similar to "(t)hat's very Christian of you."
I've occasionally replied, "Thank you. It's also very Jewish of me, too."
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Cosmic Charlie Donating Member (684 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
55. the actual saying is, "That's mighty wide of you." as in wide-minded...
over the course of years, it has been converted by Morans into "that's mighty white of you"

we often see this butchery of metaphor by the uncomprehending ignorant, often in rural areas.

other examples:

missed it by a cut hair >>> missed it by a cunt hair

buck naked >>> butt naked


All it takes is repetition and these broken phrases spread like wildfire.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #55
59. That's the most interesting response so far.


I'll have to look up instance of "that's mighty wide of you".

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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #55
62. You have a reliable reference for your assertion?
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 03:44 PM by Terran
Because I don't think you're correct. The phrase has been in use for a century or more. I personally know of a literary use from the early 1930's depicting a character in 1900 using the phrase "mighty white of you".

The others, you're probably right about (although I confess I think "butt naked" is a more appealing and information-conveying phrase than "buck naked").

Edit: BTW: Despite the widely accepted assertion that the phrase originated in the southern US, according to the Oxford English Dictionary the first usage of the word white with this meaning was in the 1877 novel Golden Butterfly by Walter Besant and James Rice (both British), referring in a highly complimentary fashion to "as white a man as I ever knew." In 1893, the short story "Benefits Forgot," set in Colorado and penned by New Yorker Wolcott Balestier, made wholly non-ironic use of the sentence, "That's deuced white of you." Edith Wharton, born in New York and eventually a permanent resident of Paris, uses the earnest compliment, "Well - this is white of you," in her 1913 novel The Custom of the Country. The earliest example of the specific phrase "mighty white of you" was published in 1916 in a letter to the Chicago Tribune, in which the Midwestern author professes sincere gratitude.

http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1895019

The OED isn't online of course so I can't verify any of the above.
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Cosmic Charlie Donating Member (684 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #62
67. oh, I have no doubts that the bastardization of the original phrase goes back years and years
it seems to have mutated in the South and then ever after used for it's original meaning and also the more racist overtones added later.

words and phrases have their originally defined meanings, then they have meanings that are added on by the people in the context which they understand the word.

Bad is bad. 'Bad' is good.
Sick is unwell. 'Sick' is awesome.

*

so someone who grew up hearing the phrase as 'mighty white' will use it as they have learned it regardless (ha! 'irregardless' is another one of these doohickeys) of the originally intended definition.

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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:35 PM
Response to Reply #67
71. So in other words, it's just your opinion, not a fact you know.
Ok, thanks for clearing that up.
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Cosmic Charlie Donating Member (684 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:11 PM
Response to Reply #71
73. no, it's a fact dude. look it up.
mighty wide is the original.

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skooooo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #73
78. Look it up where??

Where did you look it up??

I don't think your theory is correct at all.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #73
120. LOL, I did "look it up"
I found no such reference. You're the one who needs to prove this silly assertion, not me. Frankly, I think you're just trying to downplay the racist aspect.
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Cosmic Charlie Donating Member (684 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 07:27 PM
Response to Reply #120
121. frankly, i think you are an asshole for insinuating that
it's not a silly assertion just because you are ignorant of the original phrase.

let me know when your sources are more accurate than the Urban dictionary. anyone can add anything there.

don't feel bad because all you are aware of is the bastardized version of the phrase. you can't be expected to know everything.
afterall, you prefer 'butt naked' to the original, too.
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Terran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-17-08 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #121
128. I should alert on you, but I prefer
that people see what a nice fellow you are.

Where did you get the idea that I was relying on the Urban Dictionary for anything? The information I quoted apparently comes from the Oxford English Dictionary--which is the best authority there is in the world. I don't have direct access to an OED, but at least I've offered more proof than you have.

If you can't prove your assertion, then just shut the fuck up. In the absence of proof, I'm right, and you're the :evilgrin:
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MadinMo Donating Member (519 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
56. My dad used to say this and did not mean it in a racist way.
It is a very clumsy way of saying "That was nice of you."
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petronius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 02:56 PM
Response to Original message
57. I think it originally meant that the subject was acting like a white person (good)
as opposed to how a black person would act (bad). I can't imagine a non-racist interpretation of this usage, even today.

The alternative meaning is that it's a sarcastic "thanks for nothing" - in this incarnation its racist overtones are mostly diminished, but I'd probably avoid using it at all unless I was absolutely certain that the hearer would understand my intention...
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #57
91. Most commonly today, it means like a white person (as in hypocrite)
Generally speaking, it refers to someone who CLAIMS to support something, and FEELS GOOD about being a "supporter", but REFUSES to do anything to actually get involved. The saying has its roots in the African American civil rights movements, and referred to those whites who claimed to support equal rights and claimed to be "friends" with black people, but who wouldn't actually get involved in the effort to support those rights.

Nowadays, it more generally refers to someone who claims to support something, but won't actually do anything to support it, and yet claims to be part of the opposition anyway. You know, like the people who call themselves environmentalists and attend global warming rallies, but drive home from those rallies in their SUV's.
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Generic Other Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #57
101. I always think it means "How civilized of you!"
Suggests you follow basic rules of fair play as proscribed by the Marquis of Queensbury as opposed to untamed savages who have no sense of decency. A very insulting term.

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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
58. It was a "mainstream racist" expression up through at least the 1940s
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 03:19 PM by bean fidhleir
By that I mean that you could find it in mainstream, polite publications whose editors would have blanched (no pun intended) at "f*ck" and other vulgarisms common today.

Go find a copy of The Compleat Enchanter, written in 1940 - even the reprint from the '70s still has it in, even though they've changed the reference to a Black dancer from "the little dark" to "the little dark one". At the time of writing, "dark" was approximately the same as "colored" when used as a noun; see also, e.g., "Darktown Strutter's Ball".

Interestingly, the character in the book who refers to her that way is (a) White and (b) highly attracted to her. So racist language was used unself-consciously, but inter-racial attractions were taken for granted. The world changes.



Oh, what the phrase means is about what you'd think: "mighty white" meant "up to the best standards of White people".
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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:45 PM
Response to Reply #58
85. also the common phrase "free, white & 21" without a thought for
those who were not white. .

(cluelessness of the times)
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bean fidhleir Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 12:52 AM
Response to Reply #85
117. Good catch - yes, very much in that same vein. (nt)
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High Plains Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
60. I occasionally use that phrase in the sense mentioned by the Urban Dictionary
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SheWhoMustBeObeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
61. It means they think you're a troll who mainly posts for attention
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:59 PM
Response to Reply #61
66. That's a funny response from someone with your username.


:eyes:
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SheWhoMustBeObeyed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 04:05 PM
Response to Reply #66
68. Your thread is funny too.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
65. i have little perception, if any, of Social Interaction. i never repeat anything i hear, ..>Link>>
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SmileyRose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
74. It was said to me once.
I thought I misheard at first, since my hearing isn't that great. A woman who works it the cafeteria at work broke her foot and was trying to keep working and they accomodated her by switching her to cashier and got her a stool. But she took the bus to work and walking to the bus was impossible, she had a ride a couple of days but then that ride crapped out.

I found out about it and also found out she lives almost directly on my route to and from work. I was willing to pick her up and come in early but she would have to hang around 30 minutes longer until I got off work to take her home. I did this for 4 months, just trying to be supportive of someone trying to work. I've been in similar situation myself with an "on the feet" job and physical difficulties, and not be able to afford even 1 day off work.

Anyways, her last day in the cast she was desperate for a couple things from the grocery store so I drove over there before taking her home, she gave me her list but I forgot to get her money, so I just paid for it. It was only 10 bucks. When she got out of the car she asked what she owed me and I instinctively said "don't worry about it". She said "mighty white of you".

4 miles down the road I realized what she said. I didn't help her out of any sense of superiority and if I actually did something to make her feel bad I was mortified. So when I picked her up on Monday, minus the cast but still pretty tender I just flat out asked. She said I didn't do anything particular "but everyone knows if a middle class white person bothers with her side of the tracks it's to prove how charitable we are to the 'darkies'". I didn't know what to say. This woman was older than my grandma and I was trying to be nice to a fellow human. That's all. All I could do is apologize for making her feel inferior and I asked her if she'd rather I don't pick her up anymore.

In the end, she needed the ride. Appreciated the ride. But basically hated me for being a white person willing to help. I felt really bad, mostly because I kept thinking it was my fault she felt the way she did. I'm still not sure if I actually did something to make her feel bad.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #74
82. now thats interesting.
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 06:43 PM by aikoaiko
thank you for sharing that story.
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Sequoia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:37 PM
Response to Original message
75. I prefer, "Miss Goodie Two-Shoes" instead.
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IndianaJones Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
76. I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that someone who says that is racist. nt.
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haele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:45 PM
Response to Original message
77. I've always heard it said sarcastically -
Usually in the context of some narcissist thinking he or she had done a good thing for you or someone else - usually someone who is disadvantaged somehow, and was bitching because they hadn't gotten sufficient recognition for their good deed...

Yes, it implies condensation and in many cases, racism. And it's not a complement, in my book.

Haele
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 05:54 PM
Response to Original message
80. I've heard it said in an ironic hipster doofus sort of way.
Some think it's funny because it's so inappropriate. Pretty dumb, but not serious.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #80
84. ironic doofus sort of way...I like that.
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Marr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
88. I've only ever heard it used sarcastically.
And never by a racist, honestly. I've heard my Latino friends say is occasionally in a jibing way.
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Lil Missy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
93. It's a racial slur. n/t
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kwassa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 08:03 PM
Response to Original message
94. Why are you inquiring about an archaic racist expression?
This resembles the recent thread inquiring when the word "negro" developed a negative connotation, something that happened 40 years ago.

This expression was probably last used then.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #94
98. Honestly, its something I've wondered about for a long time and the phrase recently popped up.

So I thought I'd discuss it.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 10:34 PM
Response to Original message
97. How do you take it when a white person says it to a black person?
:shrug:
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #97
100. I haven't seen that scenario play out -- have you?
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:13 PM
Response to Reply #100
106. Yes I have.
That's why I asked. Duh!
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dysfunctional press Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:24 PM
Response to Reply #100
109. check out clint eastwood as dirty harry in 'the enforcer'
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Siyahamba Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
103. See also: "That's so gay."
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:11 PM
Response to Original message
105. This has been covered six ways to Sunday, but where I am in North Carolina it is used
as a perjorative by rednecks around other rednecks, BUT as dripping sarcasm by people like myself who wouldn't consider saying anything racist to anyone. FWIW.


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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:20 PM
Response to Original message
108. Oxford English Dictionary
Edited on Fri Nov-14-08 11:33 PM by aikoaiko
I can't provide a link because its password protected but I found this entry.


b. slang or colloq. (by extension from WHITE MAN 2b; orig. U.S.) Honourable; square-dealing. Also as adv.

1877 BESANT & RICE Golden Butterfly xviii, A good fellow is Rayner; as white a man as I ever knew. 1890 Century Mag. Feb. 523/2 There ain't a whiter man than Laramie Jack from the Wind River Mountains down to Santa Fe. 1913 E. WHARTON Cust. Country ix, Wellthis is white of you. Ibid. xviii, I meant to act white by you.


Looks like referring to someone as white originally meant honorable or fair, but it was a presumed characteristic of being of white folks.

And now its used sarcastically by enlightened folk. ;)


Thanks for sharing all your opinions and not turning this into a rage flamefest. We discussed something.

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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #108
111. Here's the OED entry for White Man (see entry b)

1. A man clothed in white: cf. WHITE a. 6. In quot. 1691, a surpliced chorister. Obs. rare.

1691 . 1693 D' Emilianne's Hist. Monast. Orders xix. 216 Of the Order of the White Men. In the year 1399,..a certain Priest, came down from the Alpes into Italy,..Cloathed all in White,.. great crouds both of Men and Women..followed him, and took White Cloaths like~wise on their Backs.
2. a. A man belonging to a race having naturally light-coloured skin or complexion: chiefly applied to those of European extraction: see WHITE a. 4. the white man's burden: see BURDEN n. 2a; the white man's grave, equatorial West Africa considered particularly unhealthy for white people.

1695 MOTTEUX tr. St.-Olon's Morocco 12 are White-men, pretty well Civiliz'd. 1791 W. BARTRAM Carolina 96 The centinels..perceiving that I was a whiteman, ventured to hail me. 1835 C. F. HOFFMAN Winter in West I. 164 We white men have been spoiled by education; we have been taught to think many things necessary that you red men can do well without. 1836 F. H. RANKIN White Man's Grave I. p. viii, bears the terrific and poetic title of the White Man's Grave. 1897 M. KINGSLEY Trav. W. Afr. 2 My friends..said, Oh, you can't possibly go there; that's where Sierra Leone is, the white man's grave, you know. 1904 HAZZLEDINE (title) The White Man in Nigeria. 1924 MAURICE & ARTHUR Life Ld. Wolseley iv. 65 The Gold Coast had well earned the name of The White Man's Grave. 1938 X. HERBERT Capricornia (1939) iii. 24 The whitemen left the hunting to the natives. 1944 F. CLUNE Red Heart 19, I dug up his body, souvenired his false teeth and diaries, and reburied him in whiteman fashion. 1952 P. ATKEY Juniper Rock xiv. 127, I was a bride at eighteen... I went out to the white man's grave. 1956 A. SAMPSON Drum xi. 156 As whites regard Africans as natives or boys, not people or men so Africans never describe whitemen (which they spell, significantly, in one word), as abantu, or people. 1970 G. F. NEWMAN Sir, You Bastard ii. 67 The street in Hammersmith where Whitmarsh lodged was so overrun with immigrants that an English-speaking whiteman was a latterday Livingstone.


b. orig. U.S. slang. A man of honourable character (such as was conventionally associated with one of European extraction): see WHITE a. 4b.

1883 Century Mag. XXVI. 913/1 You've behaved to me like a white man from the start. 1887 Pall Mall Gaz. 22 June 5 Tricoupis the President is a white manan extremely white man.
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donheld Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-14-08 11:42 PM
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112. We say
"That's mighty Christian of you"
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 12:18 AM
Response to Original message
115. I have said it before, but I have always used it sarcastically...
in contexts where it was clear that I was being sarcastic (i.e. with people who know me). I have never even heard it used earnestly, though if it were I think that when someone says it they mean "I'm a racist asshole who is so blissfully oblivious that I can, in good conscious, equate charity and moral righteousness with skin color"

At least, that's what I think they mean.
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vanderBeth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 01:01 AM
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119. Am I so sheltered to have never heard that phrase before?
:shrug:
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 08:50 PM
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122. It's an insult against the person to whom it is addressed.
It implies that the person who is the object of the statement thinks they're being magnanimous, the way plantation owners thought they were being magnanimous to slaves, or after the war, former slaves.

"Well, isn't that mighty white of you?"


It describes falsely believing one is being charitable, when they are not.
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mitchtv Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #122
126. good clear definition
not racist, but dripping with sarcasm
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123infinity Donating Member (276 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-15-08 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
125. I have heard it many times, also "that's mighty Christian of you" similarly.
It is a way to imply that someone has done a less than charitable deed which is how the archetypical "white" or "christian" person would behave. It's an accusation of hypocrisy and it's usually applied correctly as such.
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