But some of my best friends are Canadian!

The new racial slur: Canadian.

Yeah, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry either.

Thanks to Kyle for the link.


Similar Posts (automatically generated):

39 comments for “But some of my best friends are Canadian!

  1. exholt
    January 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I wonder if many anti-Canadian Americans who listened to the Weird Al song “Canadian Idiot” realize that the song was really poking fun at them…

  2. January 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm

    Well, I don’t think Weird Al was talking about black people we he said “Canadian.”

  3. preying mantis
    January 29, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    Well, it didn’t take the Allies long to crack that code. Seriously, Canadian?

  4. January 29, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    That is so weird. I just heard of that term for the first time today in a blog written by a waiter. Have you ever noticed that once you learn about a new thing, you suddenly see it pop up everywhere?

  5. exholt
    January 29, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    Well, I don’t think Weird Al was talking about black people we he said “Canadian.”

    Good point. Canadian as code for Black people does not compute. :(

    A reason why the first thing I thought about was that song.

  6. January 30, 2008 at 12:49 am

    A friend emailed me this link yesterday and I sat staring at it for five minutes thinking it must be something from the Daily Show (guaranteed they will pick it up if they haven’t already).

    Tangentially related (but on a more serious note) re: US-Canadian relations and concepts of race, here’s a link to this fascinating story about an African-American man who was shipwrecked off Newfoundland during WWII, and how the experience changed his perspective on racism in the American South:

    Act Three. Newfies.

    Reporter Chris Brookes had always thought the story was a joke: During World War II, a black sailor from the U.S. washed up nearly dead onshore in Newfoundland, and the white nurses — never having seen a black man — thought he was covered in oil and tried to scrub him clean. But when Brookes finally tracked the sailor down, decades later, it turned the whole thing was true. And the sailor said that sort of treatment was a lot nicer than what he’d been used to at the hands of whites down south. Brookes tells the incredible story of the sailor, Lanier Phillips, and how his experience in Newfoundland changed his life. (23 minutes)

    I’m not quite sure what this says about Canada or us, but it certainly has an interesting story to tell about the cultural construction of racial identity–or, how much our reactions to race are based on our cultural expectations–or something like that. Just go listen to it.

  7. January 30, 2008 at 12:56 am

    It’s like having a case of the Mondays (Reference at 4:53). “‘Cause nobody likes Mondays.”

  8. January 30, 2008 at 1:56 am

    One can only hope that in the fashion of the Enigma machine, news of this code-breaking doesn’t spread to the people that use it. It would be nice to be able to identify people who are not only deliberate crypto-racists, but ones who are stupid enough to use “Canadian” as a substitute racial slur.

  9. Henry
    January 30, 2008 at 2:28 am

    Canadian as code for Black people does not compute.

    Which is exactly why it happened I guess.

  10. Roxie
    January 30, 2008 at 3:41 am

    My friend Nell, who is African-American works at restaurant and actually told me about this a while back. The staff uses it, as in, “Canadians at #5. You know they don’t ever tip”

  11. louise
    January 30, 2008 at 7:05 am

    My racist father would shit very unhappy kittens over this one- his maternal family is all Canadian! I think the conflict would make his head explode.

  12. Marianne
    January 30, 2008 at 9:08 am

    wtf??

  13. Susan
    January 30, 2008 at 9:44 am

    I had heard this for the first time several years ago. As said before, it’s not a very creative code.

  14. Hawise
    January 30, 2008 at 10:02 am

    Polite, well-spoken and sensible about money- this is supposed to be a slur? People really need to get more creative.

  15. trailrider
    January 30, 2008 at 10:13 am

    And so a real, live, actual Canadian (geographically speaking) would be a Mexican? And obviously a real Mexican is a Bulgarian. We need a chart.

  16. Sam
    January 30, 2008 at 10:33 am

    My mom’s racist coworkers do something similar. They use “hawaiian” as code for “jews” so they can complain about Hula Girls in public. And bitch about how they don’t go to Wegman’s anymore because it’s such a Luau.

  17. evil fizz
    January 30, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Canadian as code for Black people does not compute.

    Indeed not. Also, what are we supposed to call actual Canadians?

  18. January 30, 2008 at 11:37 am

    I think it’s time for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to come down and give some miscreants a firm talking-to.

  19. NicoleG
    January 30, 2008 at 11:44 am

    Oh yeah, this is an old one. Actually, members of my family prefer to use “Canadian” as a code slur for “Jewish.” Charming, right?

  20. JPlum
    January 30, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    As an actual Canadian, who likes to think that she stands for all that is good and pure and polite and reasonable and Canadian, I’m…perplexed. Doesn’t it get confusing when there are actual Canadians around? What if you are a waitperson in a restaurant, and you have a table of blacks, a table of Canadians, and a table of black Canadians? Does your head explode?

  21. Roxie
    January 30, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Ok..I got stuck in comment que, so I bet this’ll be a double post, but as I said before…

    My friend Nell works in a resturaunt where the servers use this all time, b/c you know, black ppl don’t tip well.

  22. Meghan
    January 30, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    My fiance has a poker buddy who says this. I had no idea it was widespread. I just thought he was an idiot.

  23. Heather
    January 30, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    One of my siblings uses this term too. (I’m with Meghan, I didn’t know it was widespread, and thought my sibling was an idiot too.)

  24. Bitter Scribe
    January 30, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Hifalutin anti-Semites like Father Coughlin used to use “Orientals” as a code word for “Jews.” I guess there’s a tradition of using obscure/inane geographic references to mask bigotry.

  25. Tatiana
    January 30, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    Wow. Sad thing is, I wish this surprised me more than it does.

  26. nonskanse
    January 30, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Wow… but how do I make fun of Canadians if people don’t know I’m talking about Canadians and actually think I mean black people? How will I mock our neighbors to the north? Does this mean when I am poking fun that I am actually saying black people say “aboot” and “doncha know”?

    I’m so :) confused, and (seriously) fearful of being misinterpreted from now on.

  27. Rosehiptea
    January 30, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    I had never heard of this in my life, and now I wonder if I did hear or see it and didn’t realize what it really meant.

  28. pinkphantasm
    January 30, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    I’ve never heard this term either. But, I live in Canada and don’t know many overt racists.

    Tangentially related (but on a more serious note) re: US-Canadian relations and concepts of race, here’s a link to this fascinating story about an African-American man who was shipwrecked off Newfoundland during WWII, and how the experience changed his perspective on racism in the American South

    I can’t believe that Newfie nurses in the 40s had never seen a black man (since there have been people of African descent in the Maritimes for 100s of years) but I suppose some areas of Newfoundland are fairly remote and maybe isolated.

  29. Mnemosyne
    January 30, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    Wow… but how do I make fun of Canadians if people don’t know I’m talking about Canadians and actually think I mean black people?

    Brings a whole new meaning to “Blame Canada,” doesn’t it?

  30. Sniper
    January 30, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    As an actual Canadian, who likes to think that she stands for all that is good and pure and polite and reasonable and Canadian, I’m…perplexed. Doesn’t it get confusing when there are actual Canadians around?

    Moi aussie. What about actual black Canadians?

    Wow… but how do I make fun of Canadians…

    Why would you want to do that?

  31. Sniper
    January 30, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    “Aussi”, dammit. I’ve heard that Canadians can’t type.

  32. louise
    January 30, 2008 at 6:19 pm

    Another thing, this is gonna SERIOUSLY mess with my genealogy. WTF are my Canadian ancestors really from? Did anyone get the secret decoder in their cereal box yet? Please plug in “Miramichi-New Brunswick-Canada”and let me know the real location…

  33. LadyTess
    January 30, 2008 at 6:20 pm

    o___O

  34. Rebecca
    January 30, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Oh. I heard that the other day and was very confused. *sigh* My list of reasons why people are ridiculous is growing by leaps and bounds lately.

  35. Sniper
    January 31, 2008 at 12:06 am

    My list of reasons why people are ridiculous is growing by leaps and bounds lately.

    Sounds like a t-shirt or mug logo: “People suck. Ask me why.”

  36. January 31, 2008 at 11:37 am

    This usage might result from the influx of Canadian-jamacans that used to shop in the US. Many are lacking in hygiene, are thieves, and resoundingly rude. For some reason, they accepted the stereotype of shiftless darkie and played the roles during their trips to the US. Retailers soon learned to check each bag, stroller, child, and adult as they left the store.

  37. January 31, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    A source for this new euphemism is the influx of Canadian-Jamaicans on shopping tours of the US. No VAT. The retail grapevine has long had tales of this group of folks and almost none of it is positive.

    After a bit, most just shorten the title to “Canadian” as everyone knows the group that is being identified.

    Racist, probably.

  38. strawhat
    February 2, 2008 at 2:55 am

    Oh, no, it’s an old one. Mid ’80s Chicago real-estate person told me the folks in her office used “Canadian” as code for black — i.e., undesirable prospective tenant.

  39. canadian
    March 30, 2008 at 8:42 am

    the use of the word “canadian” to refer to african american,jewish or whatever is some thing only a idiot could come up with, canada is probaby the most diverse culture ,black, chinese, japan,italian,pakstan,indian. the americans,abuse and sold black people ,kill and stole everything from the indians, make judgemental remarks about canadians when they don’t have a clue about canadians, they just wallow in a life of complete and utter ignorance maybe the new term for any racism should be “american” cause if you look back through history Americans had the most racist lifestyle and practices

Comments are closed.