Gluten Fucking Free

If you gathered a group of my friends together and asked them to list my one defining personality trait, they’d all look at each other, nod their heads in unspoken agreement and say, “Thomas curses a lot.” And it’s true. I love to curse. Cursing is awesome. I collect curses the way small children collect butterflies: exuberantly, yet with reverence (my all-time favorite coming from my friend Thalia, who once screamed “FUCKING OUT CHRIST” during a truly epic moment of public angst).

Curse words are the linguistic equivalents of Swiss Army knives. Since I’ve already said it twice in this post, let’s take the word “fuck” as an example. Fuck is a noun, a verb, an adjective, and even an adverb if you try hard enough (#fucktastically). One can use it to convey anger (“Fuck you, Clarence!”), joy (“Fuck yeah, soup!”), or disillusionment (“Fuck it. Just… fuck.”). Cursing makes everything better, and there is no conversation in the world that can’t benefit from the extra emphasis it provides. (“Do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?” “Fuck yes I do.”)

All that shit said, there are a couple of invectives I never use. These are words with only one meaning, that can only be applied to people of color, and only offensively. You can’t slap “-ing” to the end of a racial slur and use it to describe how much you love breakfast cereal, y’know? You can’t replace the “fucking” in “I am so fucking excited right now” with an expression of xenophobia and expect your glee to be infectious.

I posted the following meme on Facebook last night, because a) It’s fucking hilarious, and b) Nazis are stupid, and it’s okay to make fun of them:

wp-image-840284300
Answer: The crackers on the right are palatable.

This morning, a dude I know posted a comment.

“Does ‘cracker’ have the same connotation as ‘nigger’?” he asked.

“It does not,” I replied. And it really doesn’t. The word “cracker,” in and of itself, is about as innocuous as a string of letters can get, and, even when applied negatively, doesn’t have any weight behind it. If a black guy came up to me and was like, “Hey, cracker,” I’d be all, “Hey, Francis” (assuming his name was Francis). There is not a word in the English language that exists solely as an offensive term for white people, and “cracker” is only derogatory if you take it to mean “white and easy to break,” which, honestly? A lot of us are.

I wasn’t sure if dude was asking a genuine question or being a troll, but I figured my short, clear response was enough to end the discussion. I was wrong. Moments later, he posted again:

“It’s a pejorative term for white people — maybe not as bad as ‘nigger’; that’s being debated. Why (according to your logic) is it okay for black people to use pejorative terms for white people but the reverse is racism? Do you see what a silly white person you are?”

He had some other things to say that I’m not comfortable repeating, but which are ultimately moot, because I blocked him. In retrospect, I wish I’d sicced the White Nonsense Roundup on him, although I’m not even sure if those guys could’ve helped much in this situation. I do not think dude is ignorant and just needing education, nor do I think he’s too wrapped up in his privilege to see things rationally. What I think is that he gets off on using the n-word specifically because it’s hurtful, which, as far as I’m concerned, makes him a big fucking racist — which means that cutting him right the fuck out of my life makes me very fucking happy.

I’ll go back to writing lighthearted tales of customer service tomorrow, but in the meantime, don’t be fucking racist, okay? Seriously, don’t suck like that. Punch some fucking Nazis instead.

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8 thoughts on “Gluten Fucking Free

  1. I read somewhere that the origins of the word cracker as a “pejorative for white people” (*insert eyeroll here*) actually has its history in slavery, when white masters would whip their slaves. Working at a leather shop, you’re probably well aware that whips make a cracking sound when used. Therefore, the person wielding it–cracking the whip–was termed the “cracker.”

    But, much like the word pussy (which did not originate from the female genitalia, but is a shortened version of the word “pusillanimous” which means cowardly), no one remembers its etymological origins. Pussy, in modern usage, is conflated with vagina. Cracker, in modern usage, is conflated with a dry, boring, crumbling white thing.

    So, cracker, which historically denotes an abuse of power (and one must HAVE power to abuse it), will never be on par with the n-word, which historically represents oppression, or a LACK of power. Both can be, perhaps, insulting, depending on the sensibilities of those involved, but they are not historically or in modern usage the same.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So, cracker, which historically denotes an abuse of power (and one must HAVE power to abuse it), will never be on par with the n-word, which historically represents oppression, or a LACK of power.

      You just totally won the entire Internet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So I was just poking around trying to see if you were all right (because it’s easier for an introvert to spy on someone rather than just email them outright) when I found your (newish) blog and found I’d been name-dropped. Excellent!

    Though, properly (or improperly), it’s ‘[oh] for fucking out Christ,’ and is (I think?) some kind of mangled version of ‘oh for crying out loud’ that just fell out of my mouth one day. I am tickled you find it useful.

    So you’re okay! I will email you anyway, but I’ll ask here too; I have a postcard to send you. Will the address you gave me get to you?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello hello! I am resoundly okay — hope all is well in Thaliaville too. (And yep, that address will definitely work. Hooray for postcards! Thalia Took postcards are the best postcards.) 🙂

      Like

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