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Old 06-14-2019, 06:11 AM
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iiandyiiii is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Arlington, VA
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Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
Why throw in “ethnic” at the end? You’re already railing against me for what you say is a slur — and without a word of criticism for BigT for inaccurately hanging a hat on dictionaries in the first place — and you have to add in the bit about “ethnic”, too? If I do wind up shrugging with a switch to “illegal aliens”, would that get me a free pass from you on both the ‘slur’ front and the ‘ethnic’ front?
Because it's used as an ethnic slur. It may be used as other slurs as well, but most of how I've heard it has been against brown-skinned people with Latin American accents (and by those with no knowledge of the target's immigration status). Maybe the origin of "wetback" comes from people swimming the Rio Grande, but it morphed into a generic ethnic slur against Latin American people (and especially those of Mexican descent).

Yes, I'm not aware of "illegal alien" being used or commonly understood as a slur, so I wouldn't be critical of that phrase.

Language is complicated, but not so complicated that it's very difficult to avoid using ethnic slurs.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 06-14-2019 at 06:11 AM.