Melungeon-L ArchivesArchiver > Melungeon > 2001-01 > 0980815951
From: "Elizabeth G. Brett" <>
Subject: RE: [Melungeon] Term for African
Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2001 19:52:31 -0500
Sue, Karlton et al.
The phrase is wide-spread along with the variant "There's an Indian in the
woodpile"...refers to mixed blood or a problem situation (this use came
later). It has a negative connotation and is often and usually used
offensively when used by "outsiders". Used colloquially by families or
communities in a non-negative way.
Someone also asked about the term "colored"...It was used in the USA to
refer to those with African ancestry in common language. In legal or
institutional language it could be Indigenous or African...or sometimes
other immigrants such as Indian (sub-continental), Greek, Arab etc.
The British used it to refer to anyone in their colonies who had dark,
darker, or darkish skin...DEFINITELY in an insulting manner.
I find it is important to know where language and symbols come from and how
they are used. If we don't ask difficult questions...how can we learn?
Some adults feel it is appropriate to slap a child's face for asking what
a four-letter word means. I don't subscribe to those "theories of behavior
Think of a swastika..."Hitler's symbol". It was a symbol of eternal
life...like a medicine wheel...a thousand years before that racist got a
hold of it and made it ugly. It was used by both the Muskogee (Creek) and
certain tribes in the area of Khazakstan and Afganistan. They actually
were Aryan people...not the Germans. (We know Hitler was Whacko...but he
was also very "confused" in his archeological and anthropological history.)
From:Dennis Maggard [SMTP:]
Sent:Monday, January 29, 2001 3:15 PM
Subject:Re: [Melungeon] Term for African
From: White Eagle <>
> List Moderator,
> The Sue and Bobby that sent this RACIST Remark in the email to the
> Should be taken from this List, If they are not I WILL Unsubscribe from
> this List and I am asking Everyone on this list to demand that Remark's
> like that not be tollerated
Neither Sue nor Karlton, who made the initial posting, are endorsing the
mindset behind this particular idiom. Karlton was merely asking if it was
widespread or peculiar to the area in which he grew up -- in fact, he took
pains to not even spell out the offensive word -- and Sue replied, as did
as a matter of fact, that was widespread. No one involved was expressing
any racist beliefs!!
Assistant List Moderator
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