Date: Tue, 16 Dec 1997 10:49:17 -0500

From: Gregory {Greg} Downing downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]IS2.NYU.EDU

Subject: Re: "sand nigger" + similar

At 10:18 AM 12/16/97 -0500, you (Jesse T Sheidlower jester[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PANIX.COM ) wrote:

For terms like this we do see a lot of confusion about where people

are actually from. We don't have any _sand nigger_ examples referring

to Indians (aside from Barry's),

I suppose we can't assume that the people using the epithets were actually

using them "properly". (I saw the same page-one story Barry P. did in the

NYU student paper, _The Washington Square News_.) Their intention was to

annoy the speaker and those who wanted to hear him, and logical consistency

may not have been their highest priority. I'm not too clear on why they

think using such an epithet supports their argument that the speaker is

racist and they the protesters are opposed to such racism. Again, the main

priority in this case seems to have been to give maximal annoyance to the

target of the epithet rather than to exhibit logical consistency.

We also have occasional examples

of _raghead_ in equally broad use.

Not forgetting the "immortal" towelhead, which I have heard on occasion in

NY City for 15 years or more, though I'd imagine it goes further back than that.

In short I wouldn't expect too much consistency or realism from this

type of ethnic epithet.


Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] or downingg[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]