In a way, I’m jealous of black people.
It’s definitely not the years of slavery (yes it existed in Canada, too, only it ended sooner). And it’s certainly not the 100 years it took to attain full civil rights.
It’s because of the current state of political correctness. It appears to me that no one is allowed to use an ethnic slur except the people whose ethnicity has been slurred. This is a change from the past when groups tried to keep an air of superiority by slurring other groups.
And despite whites being slurred with say “cracker” or “honky”, these never became a tool of power because largely the whites were in control. Whites like me laughed with everyone else if “honky” was used in a black sitcom in the ’70s. Were we laughing with the blacks or that this attempt at equality was a failure? Blacks and other minorities caught on and it wasn’t till the current round of political correctness that they found the aforementioned way to get back that lost power.
And now with mention of the “N” word thought to be intolerable for use by any but blacks, I think that blacks currently have a wee bit more power on this front. Which is why I’m a bit jealous.
Then I thought of an ethnic slur for myself. An ethnic slur that would offend me, a white of German descent.
It’s not “cracker” or “honky” (of course). With the German thing you might think it could be “Kraut” or “Hun” or any slur used in the two World Wars. But those slurs are about as bothersome as the aforementioned “cracker” or “honky”. The slur I’m thinking of I won’t name because it might bother me deep down if I were to let it and I’m not sure if I can use it myself, because I might not be considered the offended group.
It’s a slur I grew up knowing in rural Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. Generally it has been used against Amish people and Old Order Mennonites. Maybe it can be stretched to mean all Mennonites. Maybe it can be stretched into being used against people who appear to belong to these groups. Maybe it can be stretched to mean any peoples that are technologically backward like the Old Order Mennonites and the Amish.
When I was a child, I learned this slur and “knew” it couldn’t be me so I had a bit of a power imbalance going like with other slurs and their users.
But after high school, I learned that my Mom’s family who I had previously only known had come from Russia, were originally Mennonites.
Indeed they had been sponsored over to Ontario by a Mennonite church during the Russian Revolution. But, when my mother’s family saw how the Mennonites that sponsored them lived, the family switched over to the Lutheran religion.
So there it is. By descent I’m Mennonite. (At least going by black culture, part black people are allowed to claim black heritage. [This is a forgiving attitude – I applaud blacks for this.]) However, being Mennonite is a religion. So my Mom’s family changed this about themselves. So this is unlike race. In fact I think that eventually religion will be seen as the weaker right when compared to race. But I digress.
Since I actually used my slur as a kid exactly like a non Mennonite, I think that I cannot claim it and thus won’t share it with you. Which to me, in one respect, is too bad. I was kind of hoping to hear from someone from Pennsylvania. Old Order Mennonites are also called the Pennsylvania Dutch because most of them hail from Pennsylvania. I kind of want to know if the slur I’m talking about also exists in Pennsylvania. Just to see if my area came up with the slur.
Also, when I first came up with the slur and thought I could use it, I came up with a chant that had the ability to evolve into a song. The chant is thus:
You see I am a bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep,
But you can’t call me a bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep,
Unless you are a bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep,
So that is my chant, chant , chant , chant..
I was going to add more verses to make it ethnic specific, but see how neat it is right now. My slur is only one syllable long as you might tell from this chant. So any ethnic group that has a slur one syllable long can use this as well. You could also use a slur 2 or 4 syllables long using this form. If your slur is 3 syllables or 5 or higher syllables, you’ll have to write your own chant.
Don’t comment that you’re an Old Order Mennonite or Amish person and give me an okay to use the slur. Because the people most likely to be called this slur are likely to not have a computer. So I will not name the slur.
One more point. I don’t think Amish or Old Order Mennonites are totally defenseless. Don’t forget that they also know the language German and can talk behind the backs of most of us who don’t speak German. For all I know, all the times I’ve seen the Amish or Old Order Mennonites speak German, they could have been insulting me the entire time.