“N-word” in the Woodpile: The Multicultural Language Minefield Blows Up Again
Our beautiful English language was created by people who were, by today’s standards, “racists,” although they were far from being obsessed with race. Now it is used largely by conscious “anti-racists” who are totally obsessed with race.
Essentially the timeline of the development and usage of the English language mixes a lot of casual “racism” with painstaking “anti-racism” creating what I call the “multicultural language minefield,” where even the most innocent terms from the past can become problematic.
Take the case of Anne Marie Morris, the British MP for Newton Abbot, who has just been suspended from the Conservative (sic) Party after she was recorded using the traditional English phrase “Nigger in the woodpile.”
The question now is can the Tory Party throw her under the bus faster than the Labour Party can pile on her for political advantage.
But back to the phrase. While it etymologically stems from the “race relations” of previous generations, specifically referring to cases where Black fugitives were concealed in piles of wood, the phrase itself is not actually about Black people. It merely means something important that is not being acknowledged.
Then there is the much dreaded N-word. That, let me remind you, is simply Latin for “Black” and there is even a country named after it with a particularly healthy birth rate. Also, as brown-skinned people of Sub-Saharan descent like to call themselves “Black”—as in “Black is Beautiful,” “Black Power,” and “Black Lives Matter”— we can only assume that the prejudice against White people using the term is motivated by a weird kind of “Latinophobia.”
The non-racial meaning of the “woodpile” phrase is clear in Morris’s actual use of the term. She was actually talking about BREXIT, not race relations. The remark was recorded by the Huffington Post at a meeting at the East India Club, which itself is an interesting name. Given the tense state of race relations in the multicultural West, that too is probably racist, as it obviously implies “White Supremacy” over Asia.
So what did Morris actually say? After commenting that just 7% of financial services in the UK would be affected by Brexit, she said:
“Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Now we get to the real nigger in the woodpile, which is, in two years what happens if there is no deal?”
Basically, apart from that colorful archaic phrase, this was a lot less controversial than, say, President Macron’s latest G20 statement.
To see how absurd this controversy is, you need to remove the question from the blinding glare of race. So, let’s look at a similar phrase, “skeleton in the closet.” Luckily she didn’t use that or she might be up on murder charges in PC loony Britcuckistan. Or how about “elephant in the room”? Possible animal cruelty charges?
The problem we have in the West is that literal words and phrases are given all sorts of connotations to emphasize their “oppressiveness” by the Left, while on the other side colourful metaphors are insisted on as being literal. This is exactly what happened when CNN got all triggered about the now famous wrestling meme. According to the Leftist mindset Ms. Morris only talked about BREXIT so that she could slip in some racism and non-White oppression.
Now, how would a sane non-political person look at this? OK, some case could be made that the phrase is both out of place in Britain, which never had a fully-functioning system of slavery (just starvation wages), and somewhat dated. It is clearly out-of-step with the multicultural experiment that we are still persevering with for a little bit longer.
But, given the fact that Mrs Morris was born in 1957, when most of Africa was still a British colony, and will die when most of it will probably be a Chinese colony, it is absurd to fanatically insist on linguistic political correctness in this madly Orwellian way.
At worst a mild “tut-tut” is what is required, followed by some wordless musing on how linguistically impoverished all this “cultural enrichment” is making us, as we mind our Ps and Cs (no longer Ps and Qs).
The real “N-word” in the woodpile here is the multicultural language minefield we are all forced to live in.
When one small linguistic misstep might see one’s political career or livelihood blown to smithereens, how many other little steps wither and die as a consequence?