Possible Justification for Using an Outdated Pseudo-Offensive Vocabulary, That, Depending on Context, May or May Not be Considered Racist

Let’s face it the New York Knicks are fickle.
They play soft, they play hard—
one minute their the Ringo Stars of the Garden, the next the Shitty Beatles,
but last season had me walking on Lins and Needles.
Now that allusion to the ancient Chinese medicine practice
known as “acupuncture”
probably went over most of your pretty little heads,
just know it was entirely un-Lintended.
Either way this Linsatiable Landry list of Linsanity
has resulted in a shit storm of media attention
and numerous letters to the editor,
all from a series of unfettered comments
and ambiguously racist headers.

I guess what I’m asking is–
should every political pundit wannabe Linguist be dismissed
when they let slip a slip of the tongue that stings stinks and stuns…
I mean whoever thought journalists would get fired for running puns?

I have an Uncle Tom. He’s a 6-8 conservative Caucasian
who happily lives in Cali with his wife and 6-7 son.
If it wasn’t for an injury to his right hip
and the innate desire to get an Ivy league transcript
my Uncle Tom might one day have played for the New York Jets.
Now if someone else in my family
eventually chooses finishing college and health
ahead of career advancement, fame and wealth,
can I ever get away with saying he or she’s an “Uncle Tom.”
I mean as long as you’re brought up to speed on the story,
can’t I personalize the lexicon without being derogatory?

Or let’s say my materialistic girlfriend,
a nice Jewish American Princess with a killer left
is caught yelling at our Sushi Chef.
I wouldn’t dare call her a JAP without being slapped in the chin
since nobody knows if I was directing my slurs to her or him?
The death of a Charlie
would make any young Vietnamese soldier boy sublimely upset
unless in reference to a muffed up love connection
resulting in Chuck Woolery’s untimely death.

Sure, honkies can be a one man band during a traffic feud
and cracker tracks this white dudes predilection for lightly salted snack food,
but no matter who’s a “chink in the armor” sounds—offensive and rude,
especially when used in relation to an Asian no matter how amazing
a player may or may not be playing.

Now I can tell you to just not say it
but who am I to tell you what you can or cannot say?
After all, aren’t I repping the white man,
who’s kicked out, murdered, enslaved and raped for generations.
leaving this embarrassed Caucasian pretty red in the face.
And that’s not meant as a slight at Native Americans or First Nations
but let’s…face it-
it’s getting harder to frame any thought without upsetting race relations.

Like, I can’t call (Irish Singer) Bono, “Mick”
even if I’m relaying that his current swagger reminds me of Mick Jagger.
And follow me here, unless he was the first one testing a new drug
helping middle-aged men with urinary tract issues better piss?
I could never call my Italian cop friend guinea pig Chris.
Even in this case where context is key,
I can’t let you know a bunch of fagots broke my fall when I fell out that tree?
No homo…phones. Or homonyms, hyperbole, simile, synecdoche-
basically we’re slowly purging the world of any and all ways to wordplay
so how do we say what we wanna say?
Well, the founding fathers set out to assure
our first amendment rights could never be breached
but what’s next, a law restricting the freedom of figures of speech?

So I guess what it boils down to is this.
Does an apartment demanding to be spic and span
ever consider who’s cleaning or it doesn’t matter either way.
cuz even if you don’t mean to be mean
one meaning of a double meaning can be so demeaning
it changes de meaning of what you’re really meaning to say.
So know the difference, expand that vocab and try to find another way.


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About Scottt

Actor, Author, Poet.

Posted on March 21, 2012, in Poems, sports and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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