Skip

Bush is an ignorant hick
January 8, 2002 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Bush is an ignorant hick, with his racial slurs that are explained, but not apologized for. Mel Lastman, after a similar gaffe, said he was really really sorry. I think the President should apologize to the Pakistani people.
posted by drgonzo (103 comments total)

 
Bush is an ignorant hick??? No way! Are you serious?
Ha ha ha.
posted by TiggleTaggleTiger at 10:38 AM on January 8, 2002


As I understand it, "paki" is only a slur in england. The Pakistani consulate said that there was no offense intended or taken. Who cares?
posted by phatboy at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2002


this one beats his "crusade" comment ealier last fall... he really is a a moron. how many slurs do you think we'd find on tapes of him and his buddy cheney chatting??? any guesses?

musharraf has outclassed bush in everyway these last few months.... i suggest he apologize to musharraf personally....
posted by specialk420 at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2002


i think mel lastman's "I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me."

I haven't heard "paki" used here in california, but i've seen it mentioned a lot in the BBC. Where would bush pick that up? Sadly, i don't think most people know the difference between an indian and a pakistani around here...maybe that is why. After 9-11, someone broke statues in front of a temple here...a Buddist temple, if that gives you an idea.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:44 AM on January 8, 2002


I doubt Bush is really up on the British slang. How is he going to know that this is a racist slur in England?

You have to look at the intent behind the words.
posted by insomnyuk at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2002


I always wondered about that - having heard the word "Paki" used before, I didn't know if it was offensive or endearing, or what. I never uttered it for fear of making a mistake (I've known a number of Pakistani folks over the years). Now I know.
posted by kokogiak at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2002


heh, the Pakistani consulate probably only said that there was no offense taken because we told those puppets that's what they should say.
posted by zoopraxiscope at 10:46 AM on January 8, 2002


Don't blame me; I voted for Barbie.
posted by Katy Action at 10:48 AM on January 8, 2002


I dont think Bush really meant it. Remember it does make him "madder than heck" if he finds out that his secret service agent was kicked out on racial basis. haahha..

I would have been mad at him, but then I read a book titled Bushisms. It was about "dubya's" daddy.

And I dont think this beats the "Crusade" remark. Maybe they can do something like make him wear a small sound reciever in his ear. This way some guy like Cheney can whisper the words into Dybya's brain.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2002


IMO I think it was just an unfortunate mistake. The Pakistanis in my social circle frequently refer to themselves as Pakis, and we follow suit. Maybe that's a case of a group being "allowed" to speak to friends in racial slurs, but I never saw it as such.
posted by Mrmuhnrmuh at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2002


drgonza, I think the people that actually take to this PC bulls**t need to get a life.

If people really think all the Paki's have to worry about is a name reference, they are sadly misguided. Even the Pakistani gov't seems to not be harmed by it, why are we?

If Bush went around calling them "camel-f*cking, dress-wearing Paki's", I could understand the problem, but Paki's, you have got to be kidding.
posted by the_0ne at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2002


How is he going to know that this is a racist slur in England?

Ignorance is no excuse. Ignorance is precisely what's wrong with him!
posted by jpoulos at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2002


If Bush went around calling them "camel-f*cking, dress-wearing Paki's"...

drgonzo didn't say "Bush is a racist hick". He said he's "ignorant". Are you going to argue against that?
posted by jpoulos at 10:53 AM on January 8, 2002


I'm sure Dubya didn't mean it as an insult. My bet is, that he didn't know the correct term, and he tried a little improv. Something which he should never try, for he always seems to trip himself up.

And,speaking of Cheney...where the heck is he? Is he still hiding in an "undisclosed location"? And if so, why?
posted by dejah420 at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2002


hick is a slur against rural dwellers. Set a good example, now, drgonzo. Let's hear your apology to all the country people.
posted by David Dark at 10:59 AM on January 8, 2002


Yes jpoulos, I am going to argue with that. How does calling them Paki's prove him ignorant? Calling them frenchmen would be ignorant. Maybe calling them Australians would be ignorant, but Paki's, I don't see it.

Was drgonzo being ignorant when he used the word hick? Am I to assume he meant me, or maybe jpoulos or maybe some other people on MeFi, or maybe all the people in Tennessee? Should we all be p'd and demand an apology from drgonzo? Hell no, I'm sure people have much more important things to worry about.
posted by the_0ne at 11:03 AM on January 8, 2002


speaking of dim bulbs......did anyone see the interview with laura bush on cnn a week or so ago????

being an avid reader she dug into a pulp mystery novel after september 11th.... rather than brushing up on ... ummmm... perhaps....: middle east history, islam, root causes of terrorism... etc... almost makes me wish nancy r. was back in the white house.
posted by specialk420 at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2002


It's good to see we have such weighty matters of international import to quibble over during Bush's stewardship.
posted by revbrian at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2002


Yes drgonzo, I demand that you apologize to me and all of my fellow southern Ohioans post haste, or suffer the consequences of your flamebait post!
posted by insomnyuk at 11:06 AM on January 8, 2002


Well, I think it's safe to say that Bush was ignorant of this particular matter, because no president would use a word that is used as a racial slur, regardless of how limited that slur's usage is. He probably wouldn't call French people "frogs" even though most Americans don't use that term.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2002


One might give him the benefit of the doubt when the comment is viewed with the knowledge that those resident of other countries ending in "-stan" are often referred to by US media by their "-stan"-preceding appelation, hence "Tajik", "Uzbek", etc.

BUT, someone really should have given him a clue nonetheless.

Also: this seems to be getting a bunch more play on non-US media. Wonder why?
posted by ltracey at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2002


As I understand it, "paki" is only a slur in england. The Pakistani consulate said that there was no offense intended or taken. Who cares?

It was also a slur when it was used against me when I was a high school student in Canada (near an army base with a significant British presence, mind you). Granted, I'm Sri Lankan, Dutch, and East Indian (all at the same time), but I understood the intent of the speaker nonetheless.
posted by iceberg273 at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2002


First, how stupid to use the term hick in this particular post.

Second, it isn't about ignorance. I bet 99% of American's don't know that Pakis is a racist term in England. Nor should we. I can't think of anything less important. However, it does show the character of the man that he didn't apologize, and just gave a rather lame excuse for himself instead.

So we knew, for better reasons than this, that he is ignorant. Now we know that he also lacks class.
posted by Doug at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2002


speaking of dim bulbs......

I'm sorry, did I miss the part where the First Lady was appointed Sec. of State? Perhaps my invite was lost in the mail.
posted by haqspan at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2002


Let's put some things into perspective here, shall we? Bush referred to Pakistanis "Pakis", a name that is considered offensive. Lastman said, "What the hell would I want to go to a place like Mombasa...I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me."

Bush's comment wasn't acceptable, and he should apologize. However, it's an understandable mistake: I mean, "Brits" is a truncation of the formal name for British people, and it's not considered insulting; one can be forgiven for not realizing that "Pakis" is insulting. Really, as the_one said, Pakistanis have much more important things to worry about, and, seriously, so does the US government.

On the other hand, insinuating that nation in Africa is comprised of cannibals is not a "similar gaffe" - it's a hell of a lot worse than what Bush did, and even with Lastman's apology, I'm less forgiving of him than I am toward Bush (on this issue, mind you - not necessarily on others.).
posted by isomorphisms at 11:14 AM on January 8, 2002


shit, now i have to worry about slurs from around the world to be PC?!?!? wtf....
posted by jbelshaw at 11:16 AM on January 8, 2002


>David Dark
Oops. My bad. I'm Really Really sorry all you country-type-folk, no offense meant; I didn't mean to compare you to G.W.

the_0ne
If Bush went around calling them "camel-f*cking, dress-wearing Paki's.


In Canada, which is not so far away from the US, Paki is very much an offensive term, spoken with disregard and ignorance. I have a hard time believing that it is used in a friendly way below the 49th parallel.

Would nigger an "acceptable" racial slur for Bush to utter? I'm so far left most of the time I can't even see the right perspective, but in terms of this type of backward thinking there can be no compromise.
posted by drgonzo at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2002


He's on his way to Boston. Maybe he just wanted to buy some beer.
posted by bondcliff at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2002


Even though Paki isn't a slur in the United States, I kind of expect the President- our foremost ambassador to the world, to have the dignity and diplomacy to refer to a nation's individuals in diplomatically standard terms- whether it be Canadian or Pakistani. I think it shows a lack of respect for the global community to ignore the standards (or ignorance, for not knowing the standards in the first place.) I'd be just as annoyed if he were calling Canadians Canas or the French Francies.
posted by headspace at 11:24 AM on January 8, 2002


jbelshaw, no-one's talking about what you are saying. The topic is what the President of the US, who represents our country to the rest of the world, is saying.

I just think he should have been told. I don't think the statement shows he has any anti-Pakistani feeling. I myself have been reproved for using the term "Oriental", because I didn't know that it was considered offensive. What happened when I was told? I changed my thinking, and my choice of words. How hard was that?
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2002


He would never insult the great Pakistani people, just like he would never insult a New York Times reporter by calling him a "major league asshole", either. George W. Bush is a perfect gentleman.
posted by chuq at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2002


chuq, I don't think that's a fair comparison. Do you really think, even for a minute, that Bush would deliberately make a racial slur publicly?
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:34 AM on January 8, 2002


I'm with Drgonzo on this. In the UK, that "P" word is every bit as offensive as the "N" word...
posted by Guish at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2002


Obviously Bush wasn't trying to insult the people of Pakistan. I think it's kind of weird that he didn't know the proper term to use when talking about people living in Pakistan, one of the most important countries in the War on Terrorism, but I can forgive him for it.

But he should apologize. Isn't that the first lesson of politics?
posted by daveadams at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2002


Hell, I'll wager 97 percent of Americans don't know "Paki" is an ethnic slur in England.
And here's one other salient point: BUSH DOESN'T LIVE IN ENGLAND!

Give it up, drgonzo. I despise Bush too, but you whiffed on this one.
posted by darren at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2002


headspace: or the British "Brits"??
posted by isomorphisms at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2002


Recently Bush did say something I quite liked...

When asked how Sept. 11 has changed him: "Talk to my wife," he said. "I don't know. I don't spend a lot of time looking in the mirror, except when I comb my hair."
posted by revbrian at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2002


Darren, you can't have a "one-world" view as the US wants to have and be insensitive to the rest of the world. People balked at the FPP containing "hicks". If a British person called Texans "hicks", thinking that was an acceptable term, what do you think Bush's reaction would be.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2002


only three more years of this crap
posted by tsarfan at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2002


Recently Bush did say something I quite liked...

Do you mean in a "Ha Ha, Bush is a big dork!" kind of way, or in a "wow, the man who leads our country doesn't value introspection, and I can respect that in a President" kind of way?
posted by daveadams at 11:49 AM on January 8, 2002


"Paki" is definitely a racial slur in Canada.
posted by mcwetboy at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2002


>darren
So the president of Australia can call American blacks niggers, because he doesn't live in the US?

But even that is beside the point. My point is that he is ignorant.

ig·no·rant (gnr-nt)
adj.
1. Lacking education or knowledge.
2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge: an ignorant mistake.
3. Unaware or uninformed.

This is my point.... HE DIDN'T KNOW. [sigh]And what's this shit about England? I've explained that already[/sigh]
posted by drgonzo at 11:52 AM on January 8, 2002


What headspace said -- intended slur or not, it's Bush's job to call people by their proper names. Anything less is disrespectful.
posted by muckster at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2002


Most Americans wouldn't know Paki is a racial slur. He is our leader. He's just as ignorant as we are. I don't see what the problem is.

Certainly you can find far less pointless things to dislike Bush for.
posted by bondcliff at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2002


Ignorant, or stupid? Offensive policy seems to be unavoidable, but offensive language is not acceptable. POTUS should be expected to speak properly in public.

How can people be so forgiving of his cognitive maladies? His face does look similar to that of a stroke victim's, but I've seen no other evidence to support that theory.

Bush could use a phonetics lesson as well... some tin-eared constituents may discover that this perplexing "crusade against tuhrr" is, in fact, meant to be a "crusade against terror."
posted by mefi at 12:01 PM on January 8, 2002


Bush probably should have had the good sense to avoid using "Pakis," but if you don't know how the term is perceived in some countries, it could easily be compared to calling an Australian an Aussie. My guess is that it happened because Bush is such a jocular frat-president kind of guy that he gave them the nickname "Pakis" in private conversation, and it accidentally escaped into the wild.

In any case, Dr. Gonzo offered up a nice gaffe of his own by calling Bush a "hick." Let this be a lesson to any liberal who attempts to be pejoratively correct.
posted by rcade at 12:05 PM on January 8, 2002


Language is only offensive when people let it offend them.
posted by bondcliff at 12:06 PM on January 8, 2002


chuq, I don't think that's a fair comparison. Do you really think, even for a minute, that Bush would deliberately make a racial slur publicly?

Kafkaesque: No, of course not. (Although I have no doubt that he'd accidentally make an embarrassing gaffe publicly.) But I do agree with the original poster's contention that he is ignorant, in a way that someone in his position should not be. I know that "Paki" is considered to be a racial slur, and I am most definitely not the President of the United States. (Gee, I guess I'm one of that elite 1% of the population who knows such a thing.)

As soon as it was pointed out to him that a huge number of people find the term offensive, he should've apologized ... like a perfect gentleman.
posted by chuq at 12:11 PM on January 8, 2002


Pain is only painful when people let it pain them.

Ideally, people would learn to deal with it. Practically, few people do.
posted by mefi at 12:13 PM on January 8, 2002


The FPP said that he should apologize. It seems obvious he didn't know what the word connoted. Now he should apologize, since he has been told.

I agree about the "hick" gaffe, rcade. It is hard to start any sort of meaningful discussion when the FPP reads that way. Also, I take the wording to mean that Gonzo was offended at the remark, hence moved to post in such an angry style. Another proof that the term is offensive.

And, bondcliff, language may be only offensive when people let it offend them, but why not respect that sensitivity? My opinion is, why offend people when you don't have to? And, if you can apologize for your error, why not do so?
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:14 PM on January 8, 2002


I never knew that Asians did not prefer to be called Orientals until it was pointed out to me. Oriental historically means "The Other", whereas Occidental was used to refer to Western culture and ideas. So know I know.
posted by adampsyche at 12:17 PM on January 8, 2002


Because when we respect that sensitivity we become the overly polically correct world that we are today.

They're just words. To compare words to physical pain is to give them much more power than they should have.
posted by bondcliff at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2002


Yeah, Kafka, I know. I committed the ultimate in juvenile-troll-posting by saying what I did. But still.
posted by drgonzo at 12:23 PM on January 8, 2002


Recently Bush did say something I quite liked...

haha... great post... can you point us to the source..... about "his wife".... see my earlier post... i doubt laura would have much to offer in the way of insightful change in herself or mr. bush ...... except she's read another mystery novel... and our president now knows a bit more about the terms "crusade" and "paki"... now if only he'd get on ideas like the real roots of terrorism
posted by specialk420 at 12:27 PM on January 8, 2002


I'm not talking about giving words added power. I'm talking about respecting the power they already represent to people who are offended by them. If I asked someone not to call me something, I'd like it if they just respected me enough to do it, not stand there and question why I'm offended. To me, by honoring a person's wish not to be called something, I am saying "I respect your opinion on this enough to do as you ask."

I just say try to see it from the offended party's side.
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:29 PM on January 8, 2002


How about this explanation: For the last few months Bush and his advisors have talked with eachother (privately) day-in and day-out about pakistan-this and afganistan-that, etc. while they run this war. By now a private shorthand "office-jargon" almost certainly has developed which, reasonably, could include the term "pakis" to refer to groups of pakistani people. I would guess this office-jargon slipped out when he was speaking publicly and Bush probably was ignorant of its meaning in England and elsewhere.

I see this kind of thing happen all the time in my own field (I am a chemist) where perfectly acceptable lab-jargon slips into a scientist's public speaking and makes him look like a dufus...
posted by plaino at 12:30 PM on January 8, 2002


specialk420...Louis-Ferdinand Celine...have they ever been seen in the same room together?
posted by Kafkaesque at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2002


isomorphisms: Yes, I think that includes "Brits." Now, if Bush and Blair want to sit down for a casual, private lunch and use Brits and Yanks as they chat, that's fine. However, when Bush is representing our country, I expect him to speak with a greater consideration to diplomacy.
posted by headspace at 12:40 PM on January 8, 2002


This post reminded me of that interview where Bush (during the electoral campaign) was asked if he knew the name of the new president of Pakistan and Bush had no idea. A big deal was made of it, with some people saying that Bush has no foreign policy experience and some others saying Bush doesnt need to give a fiddlers fart to whats the name of the president of Pakistan.

How fate has turned things up side down. Goes on to show that we should always be prepared in this life for any curve ball that it throws towards us.

I can't imagine that Bush wasn't given a debriefing on Pakistan by one of his aides, given the instant importance that Pakistan has [once again] gained for US operations in that region.

Or is he just "madder than heck" that he forgot his lessons. lol
posted by adnanbwp at 12:40 PM on January 8, 2002


Transcript of press conference containing the "Talk to my wife" quip.
posted by Skot at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2002


I would guess this office-jargon slipped out when he was speaking publicly and Bush probably was ignorant of its meaning in England and elsewhere.

So you're suggesting that his entire staff was unaware that "paki" is a slur? I wouldn't be surprised if that term were thrown around a lot behind closed doors, but I don't believe it "happens" to be a slur. Maybe Dick and Donald and them call them "Pakis" but failed to let little Georgie know it was an insult. When I was 7, I once referred to a guy on TV as a "spic" without realizing what it meant--it was something I heard the big kids talking about.
posted by jpoulos at 12:55 PM on January 8, 2002


I'm an American who has never been to England or Canada and I knew that "Paki" is a racial slur. If a bum like me knows it then there is no excuse for the President not to know it.

Oh well, at least he's funny.
posted by homunculus at 12:56 PM on January 8, 2002


This quiz might pass a moment or two amusingly.
He seems to back on form as regards domestic issues too,as this article indicates.
posted by Fat Buddha at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2002


I think an important thing to remember is that an most politicians, especially when dealing with allied foreign nations, refer to them with some respect. Phrases such as "our friends the British" seek to show these allies that we respect their contribution to our alliance. Refering to them as "Pakis," racial slur or not, shows a lack of respect. It's like calling a waitress "honey;" you may not think you're demeaning them, but you're speaking to them with undue familiarity. Theoretically Bush should be smart enough to make his allies feel as though they matter; refering to them by cute little nicknames is condescending. As has been stated, it shows what a bad politician he is.
posted by tcobretti at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2002


ignorance or stupidity?

Let's see... Bush's remark showed an incredible lack of sensitivity and awareness on the most basic level in regard to the most important issue facing the world today. Yep, stupidity and carelessness. He just doens't give a shit.

That's the conclusion I would reach were I Paskistani. He doesn't have to apologize for being ignorant. He has to apologize for having made a mistake. Its his job to know things like this.

For all you republicans out there - can Bush make any kind of mistake that any of you will admit to? WTF.
posted by xammerboy at 1:06 PM on January 8, 2002


I assumed 'Pakis' was offensive in England because it was uttered towards anyone looking Middle Eastern or Indian, many of whom probably thought Pakistan was an inferior country to their own. For all I know 'Merican' is slang for 'asshole' in some country (or countries!), but if they called me that I wouldn't realize it or care.

It all depends on the intent of the word...I've been called a genius many times, but the obvious sarcasm showed they weren't praising my mental prowess.
posted by hellinskira at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2002


For all you republicans out there - can Bush make any kind of mistake that any of you will admit to? WTF.

Back at you for Clinton and the Democrats. I swear, if Clinton shot someone in the face (with a gun, mind you), his supporters would wave it off as some vast, right-wing conspiracy.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2002


Yep, stupidity and carelessness. He just doens't give a shit.

Why are these two things equated? He may give a shit, for all you or I know. I think he's not the smartest guy in the world, but that's as far as it goes. If he's not smart, that doesn't necessarily mean that he doesn't care.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2002


Can someone provide a source for a single offended Pakistani? This just seems to be hand-wringing.
posted by phatboy at 1:26 PM on January 8, 2002


I'm a jelly donut.
posted by MetalHead at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2002


Bush likes to shorten up names a lot or have them end in an "i" or "ie" - and uses them as nicknames, etc. (See the Nicholas Lemman profile in the New Yorker, later run in Slate, where he refers to the author as "Nicky.") Think: It's the Paki, the Pakmeister, maaaakin' copies.
posted by raysmj at 2:01 PM on January 8, 2002


tcobretti, above, after 60 or so comments on this thread, has finally hit the nail on the head. The British might not be offended, but would be puzzled, our president started referring to them as Brits, or similarly to Canadians as Canucks, or to the Swedish as Swedes. These terms are essentially non-offensive, but a president should understand diplomatic language and use it, whether speaking in public or in private.
posted by beagle at 2:14 PM on January 8, 2002


i was more offended when he called the terrorists "folks" ... what the hell!!!? i call my parents "folks" ... is he implying that my parents are terrorists?
posted by afx114 at 3:03 PM on January 8, 2002


"George Bush is an ignorant hick" - what an eloquent way to start out a screed decrying prejudice. Is this a FPP troll?
posted by Real9 at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2002


possibly
posted by Kafkaesque at 3:32 PM on January 8, 2002


indeed
posted by drgonzo at 3:44 PM on January 8, 2002


Can someone provide a source for a single offended Pakistani? This just seems to be hand-wringing.

This just kills me, I swear. He should know better. He's the freakin' President, the leader of the "free" world. Al Gore was crucified for much less. The double standard continues...let's just keep givin' W. a free pass since there's a "war" goin' on.
posted by willrich at 4:03 PM on January 8, 2002


I hope I'm not exposing my ignorance, but isn't Swede standard?
posted by Wood at 4:23 PM on January 8, 2002


80% of Uzbekistan's population are Uzbek. About half of Kazakhstan's people are Kazakh, and an equivalent portion of the people in Kyrgyzstan are Kirghiz. Most of Turkmenistan is still inhabited by Turkmens, as is Tajikistan with Tajiks. The nation of Baluchistan was so named because it was home to the Baluchi people; it is now a province in Pakistan. Turkestan, currently owned by China, is home to the Uighurs and other Turkic peoples. The people of Afghanistan are collectively called Afghans, though they are Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, and Hazara, among others.

Given this pattern it seems pretty reasonable to extrapolate "pak" or "paki" as a name for people from Pakistan. If Bush is an ignorant hick for not knowing this, then so am I for not knowing it until ten minutes ago. I've read at least a dozen books on Central Asian history in the last year and had either never read or never noticed the little factoid that, unlike every other country named "-stan", the name "Pakistan" means "the country of the pure" and does not refer to any ethnic group. Given that, I find it difficult to fault Bush for not knowing this. It is a small error. The word is not used as an insult in the U.S. It's not really used at all, because people don't generally talk about people from Pakistan all that much.

Yes, I'm defending Bush. I think this is a forgivable error whether he apologizes for it or not. I certainly wouldn't want to be held to such a standard.

And don't go accusing me of partisanship, because I will laugh at you.

-Mars
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:41 PM on January 8, 2002


So the president of Australia can call American blacks niggers, because he doesn't live in the US?

(coughs politely) We don't have a president. In Australia, we have a Prime Minister. You ignorant hick. ;)
posted by eoz at 4:45 PM on January 8, 2002


Wellll, I did come here from Pakistan, but seriously, given that this was said by Dubya, I would just laugh and move on. I mean, is Dubya a personality that we are discussing his words ???

or may be he is a personality. Dubya the oil man crusader !!!
posted by adnanbwp at 5:05 PM on January 8, 2002


We used to call my one friend, who was half-Japanese, the "mad chink" and "almond-eyed bastard" - to which he would respond with appropriate slurs on our ethnicity (I am just a Nazi-loving kraut anyway.) If anybody else even mentioned that his ethnicity was somehow a problem, we'd kick the shit of them for him. It was our "you my nigga" thing and nobody took any offense from it. If you had any reason to believe that there was intended malice in Bush's comments I'd be all for the ranting but this is just ridiculous (I won't even comment on how badly the post was just trolling for controversy.)

Heck, I'm well educated and I read well over a book a week (including a lot by British authors) and I had no clue that "Paki" was a problem. Heck, I have to listen to rap music at clubs that have the word "nigga" in every sentence and I'm still supposed to accept that it is an unacceptable word? I guess if you wanna be snarky and find something to complain about, you'll find it...
posted by RevGreg at 5:15 PM on January 8, 2002


Sorry Eoz. Us Canucks don't know nuthin bout no world events or politicks.

As part of the Commonwealth, it should have been obvious to me that Australia has a Prime Minister.
posted by drgonzo at 5:28 PM on January 8, 2002


how many slurs do you think we'd find on tapes of him and his buddy cheney chatting??? any guesses?

how many potentially offensive things would be on a tape of any of us chatting? Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. I think this gaffe has more to do with Dubya's rather tenuous grasp on the English language than any intent to slur. Bush is dumb, but not dumb enough to intentionally slur a government we desperately need on our side.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM on January 8, 2002


Perhaps the greatest irony of this entire non-controversy is that the only people offended are not even Pakistani?
posted by insomnyuk at 9:32 PM on January 8, 2002


I don't think this is a matter of people being offended. My roommate is Pakistani; she flew back here from home two days ago; we were laughing about this. But also, we were laughing at Bush. That's what irks me, besides the completely asinine fact that he has decided to make excuses for himself instead of tactfully apologizing. His behavior consistently suggests to the world that he has not grown up to be anything more than the living stererotype of a rich, cocky, unintelligent frat boy whose parents bought him an admission letter to the Ivy League for Christmas. I don't think he has ever done or said anything to lead me to believe that he is a better President than anyone around me could be.

The day after the election, I looked around, and I was like, "Wow. Everyone around me has just as much of a claim, personally and intellectually, to the Presidency as this man does." And he's never given me any reason to reconsider that thought. Those of you (e.g. Mars Saxman) who are comparing your own knowledge and life experience to that of George Bush and excusing him because he is no more erudite than yourself are only reinforcing my point. With all due respect to you, you are not arguably the most powerful man in the free world, and if you would refer to Pakistani people as "Pakis" in public discourse, irregardless of intent, then I am happy you are not the most powerful man in the free world. But please feel free to develop a Stirling engine or solve the problem of cold fusion, as I in no way doubt your capacity in these regards. The President of the United States of America, however, should exhibit an extraordinary degree of tact and knowledge. There is nothing extraordinary about George W. Bush.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 10:53 PM on January 8, 2002


Two things:

1) "Oriental" does not mean "the Other." It means "Eastern." "Occidental" means "Western." I respect people from Asia (or whose recent ancestors were from Asia) not wanting to be called "Oriental," because of its associations with 19th and 20th century racism. But the thing that's inherently wrong with being called "Eastern" is the implication that Europe is the center of the world, not some Sekrit Evil Meaning of the word "Oriental." It's called a dictionary, people. Use it.

2) I have never used a racial slur (child of extremely left-wing parents, raised by extremely polite and old-fashioned grandparents, so wouldn't do it on purpose; child of American History professor and linguistics major, so would be very unlikely to do it by accident--my Dad used to write angry notes to papers that used obscure racial slurs like "gyp," "welsh," and "paddy wagon").

Thus, I am Casting the First Stone. George W. Bush is my employee; I pay his salary. One of his jobs is to represent the United States in the international diplomatic community. Calling the inhabitants of Pakistan "Pakis" is an error for which he should apologize. This will definitely be taken into consideration the next time I have an opportunity to review his work performance (2004, right?)
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:11 AM on January 9, 2002


MetalHead: I'm a jelly donut.

When John F. Kennedy used the German phrase 'Ich bin ein Berliner' in his speech, it did not mean "I'm a jelly donut." It's an urban legend.
posted by andre at 3:52 AM on January 9, 2002


I don't know about the rest of the world, but whenever Australia and Pakistan play cricket, we refer to them as the "pakis". It has allways been meant and taken as a term of endearment. I'd never realised until now that it could be used as a slur.
posted by spinifex at 5:02 AM on January 9, 2002


As part of the Commonwealth, it should have been obvious to me that Australia has a Prime Minister.

While we're still in correcting mode, Pakistan has a president and is also a member of the Commonwealth. Most countries in the Commonwealth are republics.
posted by lagado at 5:16 AM on January 9, 2002


OK... what I meant was that since Australia is part of the Commonwealth and so is Canada, I should have known better.
posted by drgonzo at 5:27 AM on January 9, 2002


The confusion arises because Pakistan is a state which is not based on an ethnicity. Names such as Afghani-stan, Tajiki-stan, Hindu-stan are formed by adding the suffix "stan" (from the Old Iranian -sta meaning homeland or country) to the pluralized names of the people living in that country.

The name "Pakistan" however was formed from the initial letters of the regions which comprise it: "Punjab," "Afghanistan," and "Kashmir".

This does not excuse Bush's gaff though, he is an ignorant moron and he doesn't watch nearly enough British sitcoms.
posted by lagado at 5:46 AM on January 9, 2002


It has been mentioned several times that Pakistanis themselves have not been offended by this faux pas.
Untrue according to todays Guardian.
"Syed Adeeb, the editor of the Washington-based Pakistan Times, said that he had received about 50 emails from readers complaining they had been insulted.

"Not only here but Pakistanis in Pakistan and all over the world feel this is insulting and derogatory. President Bush is not the only offender. A lot of Pakistanis in the New York area have complained to me that government officials have been using the word," he said".
Full article can be found here.
posted by Fat Buddha at 7:31 AM on January 9, 2002


I don't know about the rest of the world, but whenever Australia and Pakistan play cricket, we refer to them as the "pakis". It has allways been meant and taken as a term of endearment. I'd never realised until now that it could be used as a slur.

Is that the royal "we", Spinifex? I've never heard the term used as a term of endearment. It's always a racist insult. For the MeFi record: Australians do not routinely refer to Pakistanis as "Pakis".
posted by sennoma at 8:06 AM on January 9, 2002


it's always a racist insult? Take your hand off it sennoma. How long do you think the commentators would have a job if every time Pakistan toured they suddenly turned into racist arseholes? (the cricket commentators that is.) I've not once heard Pakistan complain, it's simply an abbreviation. Pakistan=Paki, Australian=Aussie, New Zealand=Kiwi, England=Pom etc,etc
posted by spinifex at 9:38 AM on January 9, 2002


Sidhedevil,

Your handle has insulted my religious sensibilities. Please apologize.
posted by prodigal at 11:06 AM on January 9, 2002


drgonzo: your use of the word hick has offended by rural heritage. Please apologize. Also, your use of the word Canuk has offended my Cajun heritage indirectly, as Cajuns were originally from Canada

Mefi: your comparison of Bush to a stroke victim has offended my sensitivity to real stroke victims, one of which was my Grandfather. Please Apologize.

Xammerboy: your use of the word shit has visited offense upon me since I once suffered the pains of really bad diarreah. Please apologize.

spinflex: your use of the word abbreviate has caused offense to vertically challenged people the world over. Please apologize.
posted by prodigal at 11:15 AM on January 9, 2002


I agree that it was a stupid choice of words.

Personally, it had never occurred to me to call anybody a Paki and I had never specifically heard the word or new of its apparent frequency in England and other colony countries. I didn't know it was an insult.

At lunch I asked several of the engineers in the building if they found it offensive and they said "no, but then we're from Malaysia."

Just kidding, none of them found it offensive. From the follow-up talk I learned that none had been to England or Canada, either.
posted by obfusciatrist at 1:59 PM on January 9, 2002


obfusciatrist, you're use of the term "colony countries" to refer to England and presumably Australia and Canada and possibly even the entire Commonwealth (comprising a population of well over 1.6 billion souls) is highly insulting.

Generally we don't like to be called colonies (of the United States) regardless of the reality. A little more consideration and imperial tactfulness in future please.
posted by lagado at 3:12 PM on January 9, 2002


At lunch I asked several of the engineers in the building if they found it offensive and they said "no, but then we're from Malaysia."

I am offended by your causing me to spill my coffee! I want a full apology now!
posted by eoz at 5:23 PM on January 9, 2002


Ha ha! I get it. You're all saying "I'm offended....". That's funny stuff.
posted by jpoulos at 7:24 PM on January 9, 2002


I don't get it at all, jpoulos. I'm offended that your sense of humor is more well-developed than mine.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:36 PM on January 9, 2002


I'm sorry.
posted by obfusciatrist at 9:48 AM on January 10, 2002


« Older   |   Juanita Jordan files for divorce. Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post