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Is the Name Kaffir Lime Racist?
Slate Magazine, by L.V. Anderson

Original Article

Posted By:snakeoil, 7/5/2014 2:20:14 PM

If you’re an American, you might not flinch when you hear a certain bumpy green citrus fruit referred to as a kaffir lime. But in many parts of the world—most notably South Africa—the common moniker for the fruit, best known as an ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking, sounds heinously offensive. As Veronica Vinje recently pointed out on Straight.com, kaffir is “a horrible racial epithet, akin to using the N-word in North America.” So why are these limes called by that name? The K-word has a long, complex history, but how it came to refer to a type of citrus fruit is a bit murky. The Arabic word kafir was originally used to refer to

Comments:
Rats. Another word I can´t use. If I say I hate kaffir lime is that double hate speech?

Please post headline & source to site style. LCom Staff.

      


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Reply 1 - Posted by: mitzi, 7/5/2014 2:31:45 PM     (No. 9912059)

My Italian in-laws have a word they use to refer to blacks ... that happens to be a vegetable.



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Reply 2 - Posted by: Hairy Eyeball, 7/5/2014 2:33:18 PM     (No. 9912061)

Next up: Everyone named ´Dick´ must change their name.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Screwgun, 7/5/2014 2:39:40 PM     (No. 9912066)

Liberals have so much free time they have to invent things to wring their hands about.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: WV.Hillbilly, 7/5/2014 2:58:17 PM     (No. 9912089)

Similar to what happened to what was once incorrectly called thistle seed that is fed to wild birds.

They started calling it niger seed but the industry changed the spelling to nyjer so it wouldn´t be mispronounced by morons in a derogatory way.



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Reply 5 - Posted by: JHBoatwright, 7/5/2014 3:24:38 PM     (No. 9912104)

My Great-Grand parents changed That K-Word to"Cuffy" As in "Mr/Brer Cuffy".

.....



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Reply 6 - Posted by: tip35c, 7/5/2014 3:31:41 PM     (No. 9912110)

Don´t get me started on that horrible name, "Nigeria"!

And why is there never a Racism Fainting Couch around when I need one?

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Reply 7 - Posted by: trackman999, 7/5/2014 3:48:26 PM     (No. 9912131)

And what´s to be done about the Spanish for black ( the color) . It´s negro.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: lcasal, 7/5/2014 3:52:56 PM     (No. 9912139)

kaffir is a word used by Muslims to describe with contempt non-Muslims. Whatever happened in South Africa I don´t know, perhaps these were non black Muslims addressing black South Africians as kaffir. The author should have addressed the on going use of this stigmatizing word by some Muslims as a means to denigrate all members of other religions Buddhist Hindu Christian etc. Then this might be a legitimate journalistic endeavor otherwise it is a piece of incompetent journalism which while ignoring racism or prejudice against any religious other than Muslim reveals perhaps a shared prejudice of the author.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: preciosodrogas, 7/5/2014 4:47:33 PM     (No. 9912167)

Same in Brazil. Dark skinned people are referred to as black which is negro. Actually got a lot more complicated. You would hear people say, ´I used to be white´. Because when they stayed out of the sun they were much lighter but somehow never completely returned to white. And in families, members may be black or white. They go by skin color there not blood. There was endless conversations about where on the color scale one went from black to white. There were discrimination laws and so they would have these conversations about whether they could make a claim on the basis of race since the laws were like here - blacks can be discriminated against but not whites.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: TunnelRat, 7/5/2014 4:49:19 PM     (No. 9912168)

Okay, I´m offended...

[rolls eyes]

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Reply 11 - Posted by: Hoosier, 7/5/2014 5:06:45 PM     (No. 9912179)

I remember when someone was offended at the use of the word "niggardly (go look it up).

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Reply 12 - Posted by: Udanja99, 7/5/2014 5:25:02 PM     (No. 9912196)

Not just offended #11. It was a DC city councilman who was fired for using the word. The black idiots on the council had no idea what it meant.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: texaspast, 7/5/2014 6:12:40 PM     (No. 9912227)


Oh no! Another word that is totally unobjectionable as used that someone, somewhere, in the world figured out must be ´hurtful´ to maybe one or two people, if you say it to them on a bad day. So do we now have to find new words for a jigger of whiskey, doowop music [yes, there´s supposed to be a hyphen there, but L´s filter thinks it is a bad word, too], car engines (sounds like a derogatory term for native Americans), outlaw Spick & Span, cheese nips and sour kruat [again, dodging the filter], quit using ANY term that contains the word ´colored´, and, of course, quit referring to a dollar as a buck.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: reilly, 7/5/2014 8:06:11 PM     (No. 9912304)


You know, if freedom of speech means anything, you can say all these words in this country.


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Reply 15 - Posted by: Cherrybark, 7/5/2014 9:48:00 PM     (No. 9912359)

I´m starting to feel terribly offended by the name "Cracker Barrel" and have thoughts of ancestors who might have been forced to take their turn pleasuring mysterious dark Arab sailors.

I haven´t had time to decide why "Soda Cracker" is offensive but it´s next on my list, right after "Rice Cracker" which currently has me befuddled.

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Reply 16 - Posted by: ColonialAmerican1623, 7/5/2014 11:46:40 PM     (No. 9912419)

It´s a lime, get over it.

I am far more offended by the actions of the prez and millions crossing the border illegally expecting US to support them.




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Reply 17 - Posted by: tank, 7/6/2014 9:03:50 AM     (No. 9912650)

...and don´t get me started on Brazil nuts!

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