« on: March 05, 2014, 03:25:15 am »
I just today realized that I have an issue with the word "thug". Even though the lady who used it on my FB page tonight wasn't referring specifically to black people, and was in fact talking about insular, ignorant, and often poor/rural people, I totally just had that gut reaction that you get when people say "porch monkey" (though I have to confess, I was sheltered enough that I didn't know what that term meant until I was 18).
Now, FB lady is seriously one of the nicest people on earth. I mean, she would never, ever, EVER say the word "thug" in a way that intended any racial connotations. And she's older, so for her, if it DID have racial connotations, it would be way more appropriate for Dimo to be offended that me (that cultural context thing is something those Tumblr twits would do well to gain a grasp on). So there is no way I'm going to say anything to her about it, because it just wouldn't be appropriate. And, of course, the etymological origins lie far away from this continent, in India, so it certainly has nothing to do with the deep history of the word.
So I'm just here, ruminating, and wondering what it means that I have a gut reaction to this word, and whether it is at least partly because of a larger shift in the cultural context of the way it's used.