I hope the people who slammed Barack Obama for questioning the police force's handling of minorities in the Henry Gates case can read about this.
This time its another professor (from the English department at Central Connecticut State University), named Ravi Shankar. (No, not the great Indian musician Ravi Shankar, this is a different one.) Yet for some reason this story hasn't captured America's attention like Gates' case did.
To summarise, Shankar was pulled over in NYC for a breathalyser test. He passed this with no problem, but then was suddenly apprehanded - there was a warrant out for his arrest. Well, someone who looked like him anyway. Actually, scratch that - the warrant was for a 5'10", 140 lb white male. Shankar is 6'2, 200 lb Indian male. As you can see from his picture (left), he's not particularly "white". At least they got the "male" bit right.
Pushing him into the police van, Shankar overheard one cop say "Always a good day when you can bag a sand nigger."
He was then taken to a cell. This was Friday night. Not until Sunday morning was he allowed to contact his family or speak to a public defender.
If you ever want a two-word phrase that marks you out as an absolute racist redneck douchebag, this is it. If you haven't heard it before, it tends to refer to people of Middle-Eastern descent. (Yes, Shankar is Indian, not Middle-Eastern...)
Seriously, how bad is this term? Think about how many "wrongness" buttons are pushed by its use.
* The term "nigger", for a start. Implies hatred of black people. Nuff said.
* Blacks, Arabs. All the same, aren't they? The only difference is that some live on sand, apparently.
* Indian people, Middle Eastern people, they're also all the same, right?
(hat tip: Sepia Mutiny)