"Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

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"Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:15 pm

Apparently 'kaffir' is derogatory. Had no idea.

From Grubstreet:

Americans love the South Asian and Southeast Asian citrus commonly known as kaffir lime, which has a bumpy peel and fragrant leaves that are deployed locally in everything from Pok Pok's super-tall gin and tonics to Le Bernardin's prized escolar, but should everyone have a little more trouble swallowing that name? A social-media campaign picking up steam says yes, tweeting as @KaffirNoMore, with an attached description that reads, bluntly, "Kaffir Lime is like saying N*gger Lime - let's stop & call it Makrut."
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Jo Ann Henderson » Wed Jul 02, 2014 4:24 pm

I guess I ran across this about 10 years ago. I think we may be dealing with similar sounding words that have origins in different locations. The fruit known as kaffir lime is indigenous to SE Asia. The derogatory term I am familiar with as specific to South Africa. This term became known to us during the Pan African movement of the 1970's, but I think the two words have been spelled differently, and I never associated them with one another. They certainly are not pronounced the same if you've ever heard a South African say the word keifer (which I believe is the way I've seen it spelled during that period). I believe the first time I saw it spelled as Kaffir was in the autobiography of Mark Mathabane, Kaffir Boy. So, I question which came first, and whether some people are creating politics where none exist In some circles (in the south) brazil nuts are referred to as "nigger toes" and black-eyed Susan's are known as "nigger tits". What are you going to do? :roll:
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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Hoke » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:37 pm

Yeah, I'd always heard it as "kaffir lime", and was told it was named so by the British, kaffir being a general term of indigenous insult---kaffir, wog, chink, etc.---so common to the colonial powers.

Like Jo Ann, I first heard about the controversy about 10 years ago, and have since seen both Kaffir and Makrut (Hell, Hangar One Vodka even had an absolutely delicious flavored vodka named "Kaffir Lime". And I planted one in my back yard. So I really can't get outraged about it. If the vast majority of people currently using it or hearing it don't realize it is racist in origin...is it still racist???

As Jo Ann says, in the South it was common to call Brazil nuts 'nigger toes'. Didn't know about the sunflowers, however; never heard that one. Doesn't surprise me. Casual racism was so much a part of my society back then you had to make an effort not to fall into it and just accept it.
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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:15 am

Interesting. I had a vague idea that "kaffir" was some sort of racial epithet but I never connected it with the limes. I agree that this is something that will be difficult to get many people up at arms over.

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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:11 am

Hoke wrote:If the vast majority of people currently using it or hearing it don't realize it is racist in origin...is it still racist???

Well, if absolutely nobody remembers it ("vandal" or "hooligan", anyone?) then maybe not. But otherwise, yes, and I don't see any problem using one two-syllable word in place of another.
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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby David M. Bueker » Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:47 am

We could call them Redskins. :twisted:
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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Paul Winalski » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:03 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Well, if absolutely nobody remembers it ("vandal" or "hooligan", anyone?) then maybe not. But otherwise, yes, and I don't see any problem using one two-syllable word in place of another.


Or "barbarian", for that matter.

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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Peter May » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:54 pm

Apart from its use in some old films, the most often I've read the word kaffir it's been used by trouble stirring Muslim's against people like me, i.e. non-Muslims.

If it's going to be renamed, why on earth pick the Thai name for it rather than the Malay, Burmese, Laos, or etc etc names,?

Why not its botanical name Citrus hystrix? We all know what citrus means and Hystrix isn't difficult or easy to get confused with anything else.

Be funny if Makrut in Thai turns out to be an offensive reference to another group.
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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:42 pm

Like calling the British "limeys"? :wink:

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Re: "Hate speech doesn't belong in the produce department"

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:31 pm

Peter May wrote:Be funny if Makrut in Thai turns out to be an offensive reference to another group.

Given the bawdy Australian term "rooting," "Make-root" might offend some, but knowing Aussies, I expect most of them would just laugh and have another beer.
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