Following ESPN's groan-inducing Jeremy Lin headline, we'd like like to point out a few more phrases headline writers might want to avoid, not only because they're vaguely racist but also because they're clichéd. Content farmers, writers, bloggers, reporters, and anyone looking to spark a debate on PC-ness (or the people in charge of editing anyone on this list): here are some other headlines you should probably think twice about before using:
"Politics in spades: why the Obama veg patch matters"
Why? Yes, the phrase can be about honesty, but "spade" is also meant as a slur against black people.
"Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Lipstick and Calling a Spade a Spade" US News: September 10, 2008
Why? Though Robert Scheslinger is defending Obama here, a different headline might have been a better choice, as this in all its SEO glory could be taken the wrong way. See the entry above.
"Obama Cakewalk" The Sun: August 6, 2008
Why? Yes, it's supposed to signify an easy win, but the word also has its origins in slavery.
"Tiger Woods Peanut Gallery" Golf.com
Why? It's supposed to mean hecklers or pundits, but historically, the phrase actually refers to a section in a theater where black people were relegated to sitting.
The Original "Chink in the Armor?" ESPN: August 22, 2008
Why? Really, do we need to go over this again?
"Lott Hasn't Always Had the Most Colored History With Black Issues" Lakeland Ledger: December 12, 2002
Why? The awful "colored" pun in a story about black issues.
Experience That 'Very Special Gypped Feeling'
And For Good Measure, Just Avoid These At All Costs:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.