It’s Come to This: ‘Black and Tan’ and ‘Hold Down the Fort’ Now Racist

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 at 12:13 pm

No, this isn’t from The Onion.

Phrases such as “hold down the fort,” and beverage names such as “black and tan,” have racist connotations and should not be used, according to the State Department’s Chief Diversity Officer John Robinson warned in a column this month.

Robinson prefaced the argument of the latest “Diversity Notes” feature by warning that he was about to make historical claims that may not be accurate, “but this isn’t about their historical validity; instead, instead, it is an opportunity to remember that our choice of wording affects our professional environment,” Robinson wrote in State Magazine.

At that point, he warned that an apparently benign phrase such as “hold down the fort” could strike some people as “negative and racially offensive,” because the phrase originates from forts on the American frontier (Robsinson says, having conceded that his history may or may not be true) when soldiers fought Native Americans.

Or, as Robinson put it: “In the territories of the west, Army soldiers or settlers saw the ‘fort’ as their refuge from their perceived ‘enemy,’ the stereotypical ‘savage’ Native American tribes.”

The link to the story is here. You know what else might be offensive? Rule of thumb. Yes, really.

We really, really need a new administration.

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7 Responses to “It’s Come to This: ‘Black and Tan’ and ‘Hold Down the Fort’ Now Racist”

  1. NateDogg614 on 30/30/12 at 12:41 pm

    Perhaps they should just tell us what words and phrases AREN’T racist. I think that the list would be shorter that way.

  2. Blue Hen on 30/30/12 at 1:37 pm

    Actually, holding the fort has a much older meaning in military affairs. The decision to hold or surrender a fort or town usually meant a great deal in the laws of war. In the Medieval period, a garrison that elected to ‘hold’ wasn’t allowed to surrender. All of this is being ignored so that this drone can justify his/her/its existence. Meanwhile, the State department can’t translate the word ‘reset’ without fucking it up.

  3. Darwin Akbar on 30/30/12 at 2:00 pm

    If we’re looking to cut the federal budget, let’s begin as follows:

    1. Dissolve each and every position in all federal departments named “Diversity Officer;” and

    2. Stop publishing a State Deparment Magazine.

  4. Gunga on 30/30/12 at 3:07 pm

    I ordered and was served a satisfying black-n-tan in Kenmare…the heart of region where the Black and Tans ran rampant without so much as a curious glance. Stooopid people playing stooopid word games when a quarter of the people in this country who want a job can’t find one.

  5. sotto voce on 30/30/12 at 3:10 pm

    So a lunatic “diversity officer” admits he’s ignoring history and then goes on to deny the history behind benign phrases in order to link them to “racism”. John Robinson is either a moron (or a useful idiot) funded by our taxpayer dollars. Just more proof that political correctness is enforced ignorance and thought control and thoroughly evil. Orwell’s ghost is probably weeping.

    I know we’re living in an age of historical amnesia, but just for the record the Black and Tans were a British paramilitary group formed to put down Irish rebels in the 1920’s. Their name referred to the color of their improvised uniforms. In other words, two contingents of white Anglo-Saxons fighting each other and absolutely nothing to do with people of color.