Last week, Canadians discovered, courtesy of an obscure trial in Texas, that "Canadian" does not always mean what they think it does.
This followed the release of an internal memo from Mike Trent, assistant district attorney of Harris County, Texas, in which he congratulates a junior prosecutor because "he overcame a subversively good defense ... that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant."
The implausibility of there being many Canadians on a Texan manslaughter jury led some to conclude that "Canadians," in this context, might mean "black people," though Trent claims he thought real Canadians were present. And, though noting in passing that the National Post, the ex-Conrad Black newspaper that broke the story, delights in provocation for the sake of it, there does seem to be some evidence that the code is in general use.
It's on the Racial Slur Database, for example.
"It's supposed to be funny and/or informational," its creator said.
It is also, increasingly, on the various blogs that have picked the story up. Apparently, it's most often used among waiters maligning black patrons as bad tippers -- as one blogger put it: "Hey, we have a table of Canadians ... They're all yours."
But it seems the euphemism has been around for at least 15 years, according to another blogger, from Michigan City, Indiana, who remembered "none too liberal white folks" using it about "poor, primarily black sections of town."
Another recalled it being used in a financial brokerage house in New York City.
The question is why. Presumably, it was adopted on the assumption that Canadians are so anodyne and so outnumbered that otherwise unacceptable opinions can be cheerfully expressed in their name without alerting eavesdroppers.
But the motivation might be more confrontational. Some visitors report that in southern states, particularly in rural areas, Canadians are actively disliked -- for their liberalism, their gun control and their refusal to support the Iraq war.
"Raw hate and `we should invade those bastards and kick them out on an ice flow [sic]' rage was quite common," said one.
Perhaps it's time to take a stand, for Canadians, but, more importantly, for maligned minorities everywhere.
THE ANSWER? The drug uses neutralizing antibodies produced by the human immune system, which the team isolated from the blood of 60 recovered patients A Chinese laboratory has been developing a drug it believes has the power to bring the COVID-19 pandemic to a halt. A drug being tested by scientists at Peking University could not only shorten the recovery time for those infected, but even offer short-term immunity from the coronavirus, researchers said. Sunney Xie (謝曉亮), director of the university’s Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics, said that the drug had been successful in animal testing. “When we injected neutralizing antibodies into infected mice, after five days the viral load was reduced by a factor of 2,500,” Xie said. “That means this potential drug has [a]
‘SERIOUS QUESTIONS’: Three US senators sent a letter to the US commerce secretary asking whether the project ‘takes into consideration national security requirements’ US Senator Chuck Schumer and two other Democratic colleagues have written to top US administration officials asking for details of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd’s (TSMC) plan to build a US$12 billion fab in Arizona. Hsinchu-based TSMC on Thursday last week announced that it would build a plant to make 5 nanometer chips by 2024 that would have the capacity to produce 20,000 semiconductor wafers per month. The world’s biggest contract chipmaker already has one chipmaking fab in Camas, Washington, and design centers in Austin, Texas, and San Jose, California. It said it planned to start construction in Arizona next year and
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
MOM’S LONG CAMPAIGN: Mao Yin had been brought up in Mianyang, Sichuan Province, without any idea that he was the target of a decades-long, high-profile search A Chinese man who was stolen from his family as a toddler has been reunited with his parents after 32 years. Mao Yin (毛寅), then two-and-a-half years old, was snatched in 1988 when he was walking home from nursery with his father. His parents finally embraced him again on Monday in Xian, where he was born. After Mao vanished, his mother Li Jingzhi (李靜芝) quit her job and launched a decades-long search for her son, that included sending out more than 100,000 flyers and appearing on numerous TV shows. That long campaign helped 29 other families find their own missing children and made