Call a spade a spade

Posted by Lewis on November 22, 2004

In Reply to: Mighty white of you posted by DH on November 21, 2004

: ESC brings up a good point:

: I treated you white" can be considered a racial slur. I treated you right. I treated you with respect.--ESC

: as with "Mighty white of you." What's a term for a slur like this, so ingrained that its user doesn't realize it's a form of bigotry--DH

I find that 'white man' expression inherently offensive, as a fellow paleskin.

do other people think calling 'a spade a spade' is saying that somebody would call a black person 'a spade' to their face, not just behind their back?

I've had mixed thoughts on that expression - a spade is clearly a digging implement, but it is also a suit of cards - incidentally from 'spade' - which I understand was an Italian word for 'sword' - earlier packs of cards not having fixed suits and swords being one - along with cups, coins and polo mallets (I jest not!)

'black as the ace of spades' was a common expression (still well in use in the 1970s) describing somebody dark-skinned.

any thoughts?