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Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'm Hit With the C-Word, Which Stings Like the N-Word

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- It didn't take long for somebody to play the race card and crank out the hate speech after five posts on The Daily Bellwether questioned the wisdom of investing more public money in the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. That's a museum on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati that is supposed to memorialize the fight against slavery and honor those who -- by acts and speaking -- opposed an evil.

This is the racial slur an anonymous person directed at me Wednesday afternoon:

"The guilt from your southern heritage makes you hate the Freedom Center and all associated with it. You slavery loving cracker!"

That last, the C-word, is a racial epithet. It's a verbal assault that means white trash. It equates to the N-word.

The anonymous poster also attacked an entire region of the country. The implication is that everyone from rural Appalachia or the Deep South was guilty of terrible oppression -- an "all the sins of the family fall on the daughter" assertion if there ever was one.

So how can somebody spew racist and ethnic-bashing language to defend a museum that is against racism and ethnic discrimination?

The people at the Freedom Center are not haters. I may disagree with them about how they spend Ohio's public money. True, the anonymous person who spouted those vile words Wednesday stung me. But he, or she, dishonored the Freedom Center and its cause by turning to hate speech and using the C-word.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Geez I thought the first post would go away, not sit there with a message. Sorry for the clutter. It was over minor punctuation.

    You're going to have to do a lot of mind-changing to convince people that the C-Word is as bad and as out of bounds as the N-Word. I believe that a large minority if not a majority recognize that it is meant to be an insult, but not a degrading one to the degree of the N-Word.

  3. If the Freedom Center is supposed to be a reminder of the evils of slavery, why do you oppose its public funding? It was the public/government that allowed slaver to prosper. Sometimes we must do the unpopular because it is the right thing to do. It is hard to imagine how a person could own another human being and enslave it as chattel or a pet to use for one's own selfish deeds. It did happen in this country. It is also difficult to imagine that some people fought to keep an evil institution. It is the most barbaric part of our history that we must never forget.

    Vestiges of slavery are alive and well in this country. It is alive in the dialect of African-Americans. It is alive in song and spirituals in black churches. It is alive in traditional African-American cuisine.

    Get over your guilt and accept that we need to keep the Freedom Center alive so that it may never happen again!

  4. First to Bizzyblog: I expect that you are right. But there is no reason to use ethnic, racial, sexual or gender insults. I can think of another 'C-word,' the one Frank Sinatra used to describe women, and it is too vile to speak.

    Now to Anonymous: You are defending the Freedom Center -- but you cannot bring yourself to speak out against a slur. You are opposed to slavery. That is to the good -- so am I. We ought to be doing more as a nation to stop it in Darfur. (Just thinking: Maybe the $2 million spent on the Freedom Center could have been used better there.) But is this commentor opposed to hate speech? So far, we haven't heard the answer.

  5. Stop pretending to clutch your pearls, Bill Sloat. Your tender sensibilities act ain't flying, not when you regularly do-si-do with Jim Schifrin aka The Whistleblower. That lovely publication regularly uses Amos & Andy-type mock black dialect to attack the Freedom Center. He also regularly points out the big nose on a local Jewish politician, he called Mayor Mallory's mother a "mammy," and recently referred to someone he didn't like as a "fat lesbian" and went on with even more disgusting insults about her body and her clothes. That's just for starters.

    But you know that because you use him as a source. As I'm sure you know, he speaks glowingly of you on his rag and includes links to your blog. Most people would consider that something of a booby prize, like getting endorsed by David Duke. Meanwhile, from you on 12-7-06:

    I learned about the Internet punking from Jim Schifrin's Whistleblower, an e-newsletter that is fairly widely circulated in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky...Schifrin gave U.S. Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the nickname ''Mean Jean" long before she was lampooned on Saturday Night Live...Schifrin is a man who can turn a phrase. He baptized Nick Clooney with the sobriquet 'Nick Looney" years ago as a joke. Today, he said, "Nick Clooney's Pearl Harbor Day column in the Post was unbelievably good. But when you go to and click on the Post and then search for 'Nick Clooney,' you won't believe what comes up."

    Sorry, Sloat, you know full well that for some time Schifrin has called Rep. Schmidt by a much longer slur, one that includes one of those ugly words you supposedly find so shocking. But like you said, Jim Schifrin sure can turn a phrase. So this taking to the fainting couch act after being called a cracker would be a lot more believable if you were consistent and distanced yourself from Schifrin's vile output.

    All those years in the news business and in just a few weeks of blogging, your reputation is circling the drain. Is it worth it?


    Los Angeles, CA., - Author H. Lewis Smith has written a thought provoking, culturally divided book that will not only spark heated conversation, but can also bring about real change. The N-word is often used in the African American community amongst each other and is generally not a problem when spoken by another African American. However, once the word is used by a Caucasian person, it brings on other effects. The question is "who can use the word and why?" Smith believes it is a word that should be BURIED!!!!

    The book is written in a manner that all can understand. The points are well-taken and the wording is easy to follow. There are quotes from great people in our history including Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin and many, many others. Smith has mixed history with honesty, love with life, education with effects. This is a great book for educators, parents, managers, professionals, newsmen, and anyone else wanting an in-depth look at the N-word, the effects and the solutions. A MUST READ!!!!

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  7. Sloat,

    As long as you cohort with that evil Shifrin, you are a southern cracker. I mean that only in the kindest cracker way!

  8. The fact that you spend so much time railing against the funding of the freedom center tells us your true feelings. Cracker is too kind a word.

  9. Dear Anonymous,
    This note is to inform you that under the customs of blogs and of the Internet generally, anyone who chooses not to name themselves when speaking instantly muffles their own voice. Bill (who I don't know a bit and have never met) is putting his name to his opinions. I choose to mostly ignore yours because you've chosen to remain anonymous. That raises an instant red flag for me, as I think it does for many.

    And by the way, Bill, I'm enjoying your work here. Best of luck to you in the new year. I know you'll find that there is life after the PD.

  10. under the customs of blogs and of the Internet generally, anyone who chooses not to name themselves when speaking instantly muffles their own voice.

    Not true. Some of the most influential blogs (Atrios, Digby, Billmon, et al) are operated by highly educated people who choose to write under a pseudonym. They include former newspaper reporters. These blogs get hundreds of thousands of hits per day and are credited with influencing the last election cycle. Commenters who post to many sites are also mostly anonymous.

    What people have to say is the point here, not what name they use or what job title they have or had. Moreover, when the subject is race, politics, religion or other tender subjects, there are any number of good reasons why people might prefer anonymity. To state that anonymity alone is reason to diminish the value of a comment is simply wrong.

  11. Go get ‘em Bill! I don’t always agree with you but I always read your blog. I respect you and wish you luck on this one. Common sense doesn’t always rule in these kinds of discussions.

  12. Back in the 1950s or 1960s, somebody my mom knew used to get a magazine in the mail called Soviet Life. It was published by the Kremlin during the Cold War, and we lived in a small community near the Arnold Engineering Development Center, a sensitive Air Force research installation that was on a 50,000-acre or so military reserve in Middle Tennessee. One day, the FBI or some such agency came to our door and asked my mom about Soviet Life. The questions were along these lines, "Are they now, or have they ever been . . .?" The kind of questions Sen. Joe McCarthy asked. I don't know what my mom said, but I have heard stories about what she did. She went and got out the copies of Soviet Life she had borrowed and was reading. She liked looking at the pictures and seeing the strange (to her, at least) sights of the Soviet Union. She preferred McCall's Magazine from here in the USA -- the recipes were better or more to her liking. Soviet Life fascinated her because of some pictures she had seen of Russian ladies driving tractors while plowing potato fields, or cabbage fields, or some kind of farm work. She told the FBI, or OIG or wherever the security people were from, that a lot of ladies in our small town were looking at pictures in Soviet Life. As far as I know, my mom voted for Eisenhower in 1956 and Kennedy in 1960. She never wrote in Khruschev's name, though I can recall seeing copies of Soviet Life around our house for years. There's been some complaining about The Whistleblower (and whether I'm a fellow traveler) in these comments, and I have started wondering about the questions and attacks: Is that Sen. McCarthy's ghost I sense moaning around the 'sphere in Ohio?

  13. In Ohio, a cracker is a Ritz or a Saltine. Roll on, Bill.

  14. The people who throw racist language at anyone who dares oppose subsidizing the Freedom Center don't get it.

    When it originally was built, we were told the financial structure in place would sustain the Center. It seems likely that the founders and original funders of the Center knew that was the case.

    So it is not racist to wonder whether taxpayers were being scammed from the very beginning, and to resist the idea of simply paying up without saying a word.

    Here's an idea: How about a campaign to have pro athletes, particularly African-Americans (whose salaries are as high as they are because of taxpayer-subsidized stadiums), endow the center so it never has to come running to the taxpayers again? 200 tax-deductible donations of $200K from athletes and entertainers (put permanent plaques up for each of them), which is chump change any more, would raise $40 mil, enough provide about $2.5 - $3.0 mil of operating expenses every year without invading capital.

    How about selling annual subscriptions to an URFC database of information on the full history of the UR to schools, libraries, and/or the general public?

    But no one's thinking creatively. They're just saying "give us the money or you're a bunch of ____________ (fill in the blank). I'm sorry, that won't cut it, and you don't win support for an idea by insulting people. All you do is make people wonder why similar projects should be undertaken in the future.

  15. Nigger, Cracker, Polock, Kike, Wop, Mick, Kraut, Gook, Slant-eyes, Spic, Frog. Words.

    Sticks and stones and all that. If your feelings are hurt go somewhere and have a good cry. This country is built on freedom of speech - we publish insane amounts of pornography under 1st amendment protection we should all be tough enough to handle foul and offensive language; whether it is cursing or racial epithets. Once we begin to ban speech books are next; after all Huck Finn uses the word nigger numerous times - so those books should be burned. Most RAP CD's will need to be destroyed.

    You're all a bunch of thin-skinned pansies who deserve the oppression you are asking for!