Black Hole is a racist term

Not from The Onion:

A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon.

County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term. A black hole, according to Webster's, is perhaps "the invisible remains of a collapsed star, with an intense gravitational field from which neither light nor matter can escape."

Other county officials quickly interceded to break it up and get the meeting back on track. TV news cameras were rolling, after all.

If there were cameras rolling, then this might show up on Youtube sooner or later.

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Bad Move

"Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term."

He just kept digging. Everyone knows that science is a racist.

I was going to say that "white hole" doesn't even make sense, but I guess that's why I'm not a theoretical physicist.

Attention all citizens:

  • The color white is to become "pigment-challenged".
  • The 1929 financial crisis is to be called "somber Tuesday".
  • Perfectly-absorbing objects are to be described as "reflectivity-challenged bodies".
  • The last shopping day before Christmas is to be referred to as "Obscure Friday".
  • The 14th Century epidemic of plague is to be called "achromatic death".
  • Underground trade is to be defined as "reduced visibility market".
  • Look out for those nasty "null-albedo holes" in space.

Also, funerals' attendance is now expected to wear bright green.

The Mgt.

Also, funerals' attendance

Also, funerals' attendance is now expected to wear bright green.

As a Martian American, I find this offensive.

As funny as it may seem to

As funny as it may seem to some of you, associating "black" with bad and "white" with good when these same terms are also used to separate people into racial groups does lead to some social problems, no?

The fear of ninjas ?

The fear of ninjas ?

Not funny.

Not funny.

Ninjas are funny

I think I mentioned before that for some reason ninjas these days are used for comic relief. I don't think it was always that way. I wonder when the switch happened. Maybe it was just all those really bad movies that had ninjas in them as a cheap plot device. Eventually, the ridiculousness of the movies rubbed off on the ninjas.

I didn't say ninjas weren't

I didn't say ninjas weren't funny, I said that Arthur's dismissive comment was not funny. There is a reason stories like the one described in this thread continue to pop up. It is worth taking seriously the problem that we use value-laden terms to label different racial groups.

I wasn't challenging you

Not everything I write in response to you is a challenge. In this case, I was taking the opportunity to talk about the funniness of ninjas, and I needed to reply to your comment and not Arthur's for that because Arthur mentioned the ninjas but you mentioned the funny.

It's not funny!

Not funny.

Found a picture for that.

Only insofar as people are

Only insofar as people are looking for reasons to be offended. No one thinks that the fact that the color green is associated with both envy and environmentalism means that environmentalists are envious.

Besides, the "black" in "black hole" doesn't reflect a value judgment. It refers to the fact that light can't escape from the event horizon. In fact, only one of the examples Jesrad gave (Black Tuesday) uses the term "black" in a normative sense.

Picking nits

Nitpick: that's actually two examples, counting "black market" ;)

Actually, four

Actually, four examples:

Black Death:

The term "Black Death" was introduced for the first time in 1833. It has been popularly thought that the name came from a striking late-stage sign of the disease, in which the sufferer's skin would blacken due to subepidermal hemorrhages (purpura), and the extremities would darken with gangrene (acral necrosis). However, the term is more likely to refer black in the sense of glum, lugubrious or dreadful.

Black Friday:

The earliest uses of "Black Friday" come from or reference Philadelphia and refer to the heavy traffic on that day, an implicit comparison to the extremely stressful and chaotic experience of Black Tuesday (the 1929 stock-market crash) or other black days. The earliest known reference to "Black Friday" (in this sense), found by Bonnie Taylor-Blake of the American Dialect Society, refers to Black Friday 1965 and makes the Philadelphia origin explicit:

JANUARY 1966 -- "Black Friday" is the name which the Philadelphia Police Department has given to the Friday following Thanksgiving Day. It is not a term of endearment to them. "Black Friday" officially opens the Christmas shopping season in center city, and it usually brings massive traffic jams and over-crowded sidewalks as the downtown stores are mobbed from opening to closing.[7]

The term Black Friday began to get wider exposure around 1975, as shown by two newspaper articles from November 29, 1975, both datelined Philadelphia. The first reference is in an article entitled "Army vs. Navy: A Dimming Splendor," in The New York Times:

Philadelphia police and bus drivers call it "Black Friday" - that day each year between Thanksgiving Day and the Army-Navy game. It is the busiest shopping and traffic day of the year in the Bicentennial City as the Christmas list is checked off and the Eastern college football season nears conclusion.

The derivation is made even more explicit in an Associated Press article entitled "Folks on Buying Spree Despite Down Economy," which ran in the Titusville Herald on the same day:

Store aisles were jammed. Escalators were nonstop people. It was the first day of the Christmas shopping season and despite the economy, folks here went on a buying spree. . . . . "That's why the bus drivers and cab drivers call today 'Black Friday,'" a sales manager at Gimbels said as she watched a traffic cop trying to control a crowd of jaywalkers. "They think in terms of headaches it gives them."

Okay, two and a half.

The "black" in "black market" means hidden, not bad. I always thought that it was called the black death for the first reason, but I'll grant you that one. "Black Friday" is half and half. It may have negative connotations for bus drivers (this is the first I've heard of it), but it has positive connotations for retailers.

Whitewash

Yeah, don't let these guys whitewash this away. Obviously this is the white elephant in the room. Don't let anyone complain that you are making a white whale of this as that's just white noise. Terms and phrase like white power, "That's white of you", etc. are all positive terms. They are going to wipe out in the white water of your argument. Soon they be putting up the white flag.

With positive phrases like, White lightening, white heads, white trash, white as a ghost, dumpling white, white as a sheet, he turned white, and white cracker it's no wonder whites do so well.

White Power

I am so glad my bank account is in the white. I am going to wear basic white to the next formal dance I go to ,if ever.
Dave

Ach, you stole my lines! All

Ach, you stole my lines! All of them! :)

heh, a "white hole"...

heh, a "white hole"... wow

So he responded to a racist comment with another racist comment? Where are those "two wrongs don't make a right" people when you need them? Somehow I doubt anyone is going to ask Mr. Price to apologize for his insensitivity.

What I find more concerning is that a judge is siding with this nonsense and demanding an apology. I really hope the apology doesn't happen, but sadly many people have become slaves to political correctness.

Responding to (a perceived

Responding to (a perceived to be) racist comment by inserting a different race isn't an expression of racism. It's a way to demonstrate his point. This is essentially the same method used in this essay criticizing gendered language.

Granted, it seems pretty clear that he wasn't familiar with the concept of black holes in science, which is why this all seems silly to us. But it isn't surprising why this happened. The term was being used to describe something in a negative way, and he didn't like the association of "black" with something bad.

Don't be Ni--ardly

It all reminds me of the controversy concerning the word niggardly

Where the African/American on the commission didn't understand the derivation of the term and reflexively went into overdrive because of the way it sounded,thereby showing his ignorance. He wasn't the one who had to apologize. Then things got silly.So don't use this word anymore. I am not running for office so I will.

Dave

Racist Remarks

I think that Commissioner Price needs to explain his racist reaction. The fact he made the white hole comment proves he's a racist and uneducated. And the idiot judge that stuck up for him is also an idiot.....

Intent matters

In his case there was an intention to be racist. So it was the only race conscious and negative statement used in the whole affair.

There is only one way to describe this

and it matches the color of the Commisioner's complection.

THE first popular use of "black hole"

was to describe a city of white people.