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The T Word—"Thug" Is Now Something You Can't Say About People Who Burn Down Your City
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April 30, 2015, 06:43 AM
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Our culture keeps ruling words racist so fast that even the poor black mayoress of Baltimore can’t keep up. From the NYT:
Tupac Shakur with Thug Life tattooed on his abdomenWith buildings ablaze and looters rampaging through city streets, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake faced television cameras Monday night and sternly denounced the rioters as “thugs.” The next day, with some black residents in an uproar over a word they call racially charged, she walked it back.

“There are no thugs in Baltimore,” the mayor, who is African-American, said at a church, where she met with members of the clergy.

You always hear about how the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis has been exploded, but people sure act like the vocabulary version of that, as most memorably outlined in the appendix of 1984, is true.