Commentary, Life

Racist Language

It’s time to talk about language.

Racist language.

Systemic racist language.

“What’s that?” you may ask.

I’m not sure I want to answer you; I might put you on my blacklist.

Or, you may be one of the good guys; I want to answer you. I will whitelist you.

Do you see a pattern here?

Interestingly, when examining at least the English language, it appears rife with these racial innuendos, at least with color.

Take a look at this list of words and phrases below, compiled from the website, with negative meanings and connotations around the word “black”.

black art


witchcraft; magic.


black book


a book of names of people liable to censure or punishment.


black comedy


comedy that employs morbid, gloomy, grotesque, or calamitous situations in its plot.


Black Death


a form of bubonic plague that spread over Europe in the 14th century and killed an estimated quarter of the population.


black dog

noun Informal.

melancholy; despondency; the blues:


black economy


that portion of the income of a nation that remains illegally undeclared either as a result of payment in kind or as a means of tax avoidance


black eye


discoloration of the skin around the eye, resulting from a blow, bruise, etc.

a mark of shame, dishonor, etc.: “These slums are a black eye to our town.”

damaged reputation: “Your behavior will give the family a black eye.”


Black Friday


September 24, 1869, the date of a financial panic sparked by gold speculators.

the day after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping days because of discounts offered by retailers.


Black Hand


Italian La Mano Nera. any of various secret criminal groups organized in Italy and operating in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, practicing blackmail and violence.

an anarchistic society in Spain, suppressed in 1883.

a nationalistic society in Serbia, suppressed in 1914.


black hat


a villain, as in a cowboy movie; bad guy.

Digital Technology. a hacker who violates the security of a system without the knowledge or consent of the owner or developer, as for personal profit or for the gratification of causing damage.


black humor


a form of humor that regards human suffering as absurd rather than pitiable, or that considers human existence as ironic and pointless but somehow comic.


black knight


commerce a person or firm that makes an unwelcome takeover bid for a company. Compare grey knight, white knight




a list of persons under suspicion, disfavor, censure, etc.: “His record as an anarchist put him on the government’s blacklist.”

a list privately exchanged among employers, containing the names of persons to be barred from employment because of untrustworthiness or for holding opinions considered undesirable.

a list drawn up by a labor union, containing the names of employers to be boycotted for unfair labor practices.

verb (used with object)

to put (a person, group, company, etc.) on a blacklist.


black magic


magic used for evil purposes; witchcraft; sorcery (contrasted with white magic).


black mark


an indication of failure or censure: “His chronic lateness is a black mark against him.”


Black market


An underground economy or shadow economy, is a clandestine market or series of transactions that has some aspect of illegality or is characterized by some form of noncompliant behavior with an institutional set of rules


Black Mass or black mass


a blasphemous ceremony mocking the Christian Mass, especially one by an alleged worshiper of Satan.

a Requiem Mass.


black money


income earned surreptitiously or illegally, usually in cash, and not reported to the government so as to avoid paying taxes on it.


black sheep


a sheep with black fleece.

a person who causes shame or embarrassment because of deviation from the accepted standards of his or her group.


black spot


Plant Pathology. a disease of plants, characterized by black spots on the fruit and foliage, twig lesions, defoliation, and rotting, caused by any of several fungi, as Diplocarpon rosae, or bacteria.


a hazardous place in a road where accidents frequently occur.

a dangerous area or place.


black-letter day


an unlucky or tragic day.



noun Older Use: Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.

a contemptuous term used to refer to any dark-skinned person.



verb (used with object)

to vote against (a candidate, applicant, etc.).

to exclude socially; ostracize: “The whole town blackballed them.”

to reject (a candidate) by placing a blackball in the ballot box.


a negative vote, especially in deciding on an applicant or candidate.

a black ball placed in a ballot box signifying a negative vote.



verb (used with object)

to make black; darken.

to speak evil of; defame: “to blacken a person’s reputation.”


blacky or blackie

noun, plural blackies. Disparaging and Offensive.

a contemptuous term used to refer to a black person.




any payment extorted by intimidation, as by threats of injurious revelations or accusations.

the extortion of such payment: “He confessed rather than suffer the dishonor of blackmail.”

a tribute formerly exacted in the north of England and in Scotland by freebooting chiefs for protection from pillage.

verb (used with object)

to extort money from (a person) by the use of threats.

to force or coerce into a particular action, statement, etc.: “The strikers claimed they were blackmailed into signing the new contract.”


My point is simple here.

The systemic racism which is being protested through the United States of America, is blatantly written in to our current English language.

Related Posts
It’s hard to be an American now
I Don’t Mind a Calamity, if I Don’t Mind it.