“Chief Diversity Office” John Robinson grunts and squeezes and pinches off a lesson cautioning fellow State Department employees how to speak in today’s illiterate society.
For instance, Robinson warned, “hold down the fort” is a potentially insulting reference to American Indian stereotypes.
“How many times have you or a colleague asked if someone could ‘hold down the fort?’” he wrote. “You were likely asking someone to watch the office while you go and do something else, but the phrase’s historical connotation to some is negative and racially offensive.”
He explained: “To ‘hold down the fort’ originally meant to watch and protect against the vicious Native American intruders. In the territories of the West, Army soldiers or settlers saw the ‘fort’ as their refuge from their perceived ‘enemy,’ the stereotypical ‘savage’ Native American tribes.”
He singled out another phrase, “Going Dutch,” as a “negative stereotype portraying the Dutch as cheap.”
And “rule of thumb,” he wrote, can according to women’s activists refer “to an antiquated law, whereby the width of a husband’s thumb was the legal size of a switch or rod allowed to beat his wife.”
Further, he explained, “If her bruises were not larger than the width of his thumb, the husband could not be brought to court to answer for his behavior because he had not violated the ‘rule of thumb.’”
He went on to urge caution over the word “handicap,” as some disability advocates “believe this term is rooted in a correlation between a disabled individual and a beggar, who had to beg with a cap in his or her hand because of the inability to maintain employment.”
Look – there’s nothing wrong with a smart black man figuring out a jive and making a living off his scam, as this guy has done for decades – he was an assistant dean at Brown University, for instance (snicker – see Rhode Island bankrupt, below – ED) but is there really no one left in our political world to at least resist this bullshit?
Here’s just a sampling of fact, all available at an expenditure of just minutes on the Internet, vs. what this fat, ignorant huckster claims is truth as he sees it:
“Hold the Fort”: Oops! That done don’ mean nuttin’ bout chicken feather injuns neither, Kingfish! Probably goes back a thousn’ years ago or so, back looong before whitey done showed up on dese shores.
“Handicap” does not mean “cap in hand”, as the buffoon believes. It dates back to at least 1643 and refers to a barter transaction.
I’ll give the man this much: “Going Dutch” was indeed intended as a slur and dates back to the Anglo-Dutch War in the 16th Century, when Holland was a world power and thus engendered ill will among citizens of other nations. “Dutch Courage” (booze-aided), “Dutch Treat” (no treat at all), Dutch Wife (prostitute) and on and on, these were all fun terms used during a time of active hostilities. That war is over and, speaking as one with a great deal of Dutch ancestry in my heritage, I can say that all is forgiven, and if you want to treat me like a Dutch Uncle, go for it. (Somehow, I doubt anyone at the State Department is losing sleep over whether a person of Dutchness is subject to 16th Century slurs directed at his ancestors.)
But John Robinson should be returned to the street immediately and no replacement hired. You want to cut government spending, I can think of no better place to start.