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Is calling people like Michael Steele, Clarence Thomas or Alan Keyes "uncle toms" racist?

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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:16 PM
Original message
Is calling people like Michael Steele, Clarence Thomas or Alan Keyes "uncle toms" racist?
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 03:26 PM by devilgrrl
I ask because there's a so-called "progressive" caller on "Frangela" (Randi's out today).

He was lamenting Jimmy Carter's statement when "liberals" refer to Condi Rice, etc... as such things as "Uncle Toms". I personally haven't heard these terms used toward these people publicly but I am aware that Harry Belafonte did call Colin Powell a "house n----r" but that's about it.

You tell me.

Another question. Has anyone heard these terms used publicly by liberals? I haven't and think that the caller is a troll.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
1. I personally don't believe it is, but it ain't up to me as I'm a white guy...I use "token" instead..
...
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Betsy Ross Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:17 PM
Response to Original message
2. Racist. n/t
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
3. As a White person I would never presume to judge someone on their level of Uncle Tom-ness
It's probably not a good idea to "go there" unless you, too, are African-American.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
4. I'm happy to leave that term for black folks. I'll just call them pieces of shit.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. I think it is
I would refer to them as "Player Haters".
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. Lol.
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:04 PM
Response to Reply #16
31. should be 'playa hater'
:)
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oligarhy Donating Member (178 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:20 PM
Response to Original message
6. I would never utter those words
I am sure that it would be extremely offensive.


"wrong, out of touch"......these would all work much better.
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Laelth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. The term is very descriptive and quite useful.
It's not race-neutral, certainly, but I don't think that it's "racist" either. It's derogatory, but the negative connotation is associated with specific behavior, not skin color.

:dem:

-Laelth
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. Correct. Racism it is not. It is not attributing a characteristic they may or may not have
simply because they are of a specific race.

It is describing a set of behaviors and actions by use of an historical descriptive term, based on observation of the person's actions.
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Seeking Serenity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:41 PM
Response to Reply #25
34. But it is based on their race. Would you call a white person an "Uncle Tom"?
No, you wouldn't, because he's white, ergo, the epithet doesn't fit or would be nonsensical.

So it is racist because it is a slur applicable primarily because of the color of one's skin.
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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #7
28. Bingo. I feel the same about saying some one is acting like a "House Ne*ro"
It is more a comment on their actions and attitudes than skin hue
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wtbymark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. racist
but what Harry called Colin is just an insult because they are of the same race

if I called someone 'trailer trash' its an insult because i'm white
if a black person calls someone 'trailer trash', it denotes racism

*given that 'trailer trash' denotes poor, uneducated, uncultured whites in a steriotypical fashion
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MUAD_DIB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. Does "trailer trash" denote race?
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HopeHoops Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. "Uncle Tom" is a wonderful character, however...
the term has a profoundly racist overtone, not much different from "Oreo". It is not productive to invoke it.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. I do not think it is racist
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:31 PM
Response to Original message
11. If the speaker is black, I can find it acceptable.
If blacks use the terms "Uncle Tom" and "House Negro" among blacks to describe other blacks, that's probably a valid descriptor, but it's not for anyone but blacks to use, IMO.
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Duke Newcombe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:42 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. If the speaker is human, I consider it unacceptable.
As an African-American, I consider it a highly offensive term that needs to go into the dustbin of history. Are we so bankrupt of language that we can't describe how horribly, terribly misguided and plain wrong these folks are without THAT chestnut?
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. You can take up your objections with blacks who use it.
And BTW, I never liked your shows, Mr. Cosby.
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EOTE Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
23. LOL.
Now come on, while Fat Albert may have been a bit lacking, The Cosby Show was usually pretty solid.
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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. I'd never use the term. I prefer Reactionary Morons, myself,
as a label for that trio.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:35 PM
Response to Original message
13. It doesn't sit right with me
I don't think it should be used.

That said, Condi, Steele and Keyes are idiots. And I'm white, and I just called three black people idiots. But I swear it had nothing to do with being AA. It had to do with being Republicans and supporting that *&^^* Bush. I hope that is allowed (or that all flack comes from those who don't like the term "idiot.")
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Cant trust em Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:37 PM
Response to Original message
14. I don't think it's up to white people to say which black people are black enough.
This is not my purview.
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shadowknows69 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. Didn't Harry Belafonte call Powell a "House N****r" on CNN once?
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 03:39 PM by shadowknows69
ETA: Not saying that makes it cool for me to do, but he seemed to feel strongly about it.
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Yes. I mentioned it in the OP
eom
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Carl Skan Donating Member (208 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:42 PM
Response to Original message
17. It's as racist as the other "code words"
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jpljr77 Donating Member (580 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:44 PM
Response to Original message
21. Rule of thumb: If you have to ask...then it is. n/t
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:47 PM
Response to Original message
22. What's your term for mercenary white people?
:shrug:
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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
24. If you're not black, yes. If you are, no
And many, many groups have "in words," not just African Americans. I remember two South African-Indian friends getting in a fist fight in Durban around 1989, and calling each other Chaddah. I had never heard the word before and later they said it's a word only they can use to insult each other.
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
26. Is calling a jew who supports antisemitism a "self-hating jew" antisemitic?
:crazy:

"Uncle Tom's" a literary character. He's a black men who helps white racists mistreat black people.

Is calling a black man who helps white racists mistreat black people inherently racist? I'd say no. It's a literary allusion.
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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:09 PM
Response to Original message
29. No.
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
30. It sounds racist.
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ampad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
32. Nope
However, if it makes some people feel better, I will start calling them Uncle Ruckus. I do not think Uncle Ruckus would be offended.
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Canuckistanian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
33. To me, it's an insult, but not a racial slur
It's one of those terms used by blacks themselves to describe someone who's TOO subservient to whites.

Am I wrong?
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WillowTree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
35. Yes.
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