A New Racial Slur: 'Canadians'

Seemingly innocuous description spreading as slur on African Americans
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2008 12:13 PM CST
A strange racial euphemism in America has left Canadians puzzled.   ((c) 416style)
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(Newser) – An otherwise insignificant manslaughter trial in Texas has bloggers and citizens of the US' northern neighbor flabbergasted after a prosecutor seemed to refer to blacks on the jury by the euphemism "Canadians." It's apparently not an isolated usage, the Guardian reports: Internet users have dug up many examples of American racists using "Canadians" to make hateful remarks sound anodyne.

Actual Canadians first heard the story in the National Post, but a veritable corpus of euphemisms has surfaced since. One blogger claims that white waiters who want to insult black customers refer to "a table of Canadians." Where did it get started? It could derive from Canadians' seemingly unthreatening demeanor—or from their supposed liberalism that drives American racists mad.