Jesse Jackson and LeBron James: Let’s Say He’s Wrong and Skip Being Outraged.

July 13th, 2010 by Asher B. Chancey Leave a reply »
One night a few years ago, my wife and I were playing Scrabble with her grandparents when her grandfather put down his letters and formed a word my wife and I had never heard.  When we questioned him, he told us that it was a slang word for some ethnicity or another.  We were amused and told him we'd never heard the word.

What followed was five minutes of ethnic profanity. The sort of profanity I would not have wanted my four-year-old daughter to hear.  My wife's charming grandfather proceeded, with a delighted look on his face, to tell us every single euro-ethnic slur he'd ever known for Italians, Irish, Jews, Germans, etc.

These were words that I blush just thinking, but my wife's grandfather grew up in New York City, the son of immigrants, in a rough-and-tumble world where these words were apparently bandied about almost like a sport.

If someone I worked with had used one of those words to describe a co-worker, I would be outraged.  Coming from my wife's grandfather, I just chalked it up to a guy who grew up in a different country from the one I live in today.

I was reminded of this incident with ...

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