Posted by Steve E on September 19, 2005
In Reply to: Yard apes posted by ESC on September 17, 2005
: : : : : Is "yard apes" a racist slur? Did it in fact originate in slave days?
: : : : : Has it morphed into a generic term for young children -- like "rug rats" and "crumb crushers"? Was this the way this woman was using the term?
: : : : : Discuss.
: : : : : http://greenvilleonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050914/NEWS04/50914006
: : : : : Greenville Tech official resigns over remark
: : : : : Official twice used racial slur to refer to Katrina evacuees
: : : : : Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 4:34 pm
: : : : : By Ben Szobody
: : : : : STAFF WRITER
: : : : : firstname.lastname@example.org
: : : : : A Greenville Technical College official who twice referred to New Orleans evacuees in Greenville as "yard apes" has resigned, school officials said.
: : : : : "She's not a member of this institution today," said president Tom Barton. "Too much damage had been done."
: : : : : Renee Holcombe, formerly an associate vice president for student services with a staff of about 40, told employees in two separate briefings last week that the school's aid for the mostly black hurricane victims staying at the Palmetto Expo Center would include sending yellow buses to pick up the "yard apes," said Barton and senior vice president Ben Dillard...
: : : : : Reached at her home this afternoon, Holcombe said she was "numb and shocked." She declined further comment.
: : : : That's a new one on me. Never heard the expression. But everyone at Greenville Tech seems to have recognized it as a racial slur. I've gotta get out more. I'm not up on my racial slurs. SS
: : : I've heard it used. But as a term for little children, not as a racial slur.
: : When I googled the phrase (which I'd never heard before either) I got a bunch of hits, some using it as a racial slur, but most not. This case is a little closer to the line than the famous "niggardly" resignation of a few years ago, given that the term can in some cases be used as an actual slur.
: I don't think it is a racial slur. But I would never use it in reference to black children because it could be taken as such.
Reading the context provided, I can't imagine why the speaker would not simply say "... yellow buses to pick up the people..." rather than use something which clearly, to me at least, was meant to imply something negative. The issue of an actual racial slur aside for the moment, I believe she meant some type of offensive connotation.