mighty white

I’m sorta defecient on what has been broached before, so please don’t flame me if it’s been discussed before (man, i hate saying that).

But, I’ve heard the phrase “mighty white of you!” serveral times.

It’s said without a trace of reservation, so could it possibly mean what it sounds like?


The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it–Oscar Wilde

“…without a trace of reservation…”

So to speak.


“Excrement. That is what I think of J. Evans Pritchard, PhD.” --Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society

Chris’ Homepage: Domestic Bliss

I had a roommate that said that. He also said (when he thought you did something wrong), “Oh, you silly silly Negro.”

Since they came from the same mouth, I’d venture that the topic phrase is racist.

I had a roommate that said that. He also said (when he thought you did something wrong), “Oh, you silly silly Negro.”

Since they came from the same mouth, I’d venture that the topic phrase is racist.

Yeah, sounds racist to me, but the variety of different mouths i’ve heard it come from, either they didn’t realize what they were saying,or it doesn’t mean what i think.


The only way to rid yourself of temptation is to yield to it–Oscar Wilde

Hey, AWB? That roommate wasn’t a 6’5" brunette, was he? Where did you room with him? Guy I used to know always said both of those things…bugged me to death.

The first time I heard this, it came from one of the Dirty Harry movies.

Eastwood gets out of his car in a bad neighborhood. There’s a gang of black youths standing around, and they offer to watch the car for him. It’s obvious they’re screwing with him. To show them he’s a real badass, he responds with, “Well, that’s mighty white of ya.”

So, yeah, I’d have to say that it’s definitely a racist remark; probably meant to show that white people are real dependable, stand-up folks, while black people can’t be trusted and are basically lazy, undependable bums.

I hope to shout that I am not construed as a racist in the above post.


And the problem with small furry animals
in corners is that, just occasionally,
one of them’s a mongoose.
Terry Pratchett, Witches Abroad

It’s racist connotations should be obvious…


Yer pal,
Satan

I have no idea of the origins of the phrase. When I was a little kid, watching reruns of bad westerns, I assumed it referred to the old “white hat”=good guy and “black hat”=bad guy thing. Hey, it was the major frame of reference I had.

But no matter the origins (of the saying or the white/black hat symbolism) I agree that it appears strongly racist.

Veb

It is certainly not obvious that the term is racist in origin, though it definitely cannot be used without being seen as racist today.

According to Jesse’s Word of the Day, the origin of the term is racist because this sense of the word white arose in the nineteenth century, but he does not establish that it arose as a result of that period’s racist attitudes, merely that it was concurrent. There is an alternative explanation, for which he himself gives evidence, that the sense of white meaning righteous evolved from a much earlier use of the same word to meaning morally pure; innocent – which usage dates back to the tenth century, seven centuries before white became a racial term.

I think almost every time I’ve heard it used it’s been in a sarcastic or deprecating way. I may have heard it used otherwise in movies where they’re trying to depict some racist bigot, but in my experience it seems to be more or less equivalent to “well, that’s the LEAST you could possibly do.”

It’s always had racist connotations to me.


You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

Wow, it has an older meaning that has nothing to do with race!

And all these years I’ve been saying it like the Kingfish, for added effect.

There was never a time, in our lives, when this term would have been seen as not having racial implications. But there is no reason to assume that it was originally a racial term.

Wow! I am stunned that, with the exception of torq, everyone here assumes that this is a phrase which would imply racism on the part of the user. When I and my counter-culture friends of the late 60s/early 70s used this phrase, it was exclusively employed to mean the exact opposite of racism on the part of the user. If I said “That’s mighty White of you”, the implication was that you were a condescending, hypocritical bastard, just like the “Man” (read: white bigot) who would generously employ a “token Black”, all the while prepared to lynch them if they looked at their daughters. In other words, you were “White”, in the worst, bigoted, racist sense of the term, rather than a free-thinking, we-are-all-brothers, revolutionary, like me.

I hope that explanation made sense. If not, I may have to have another go at it once I get some more caffeine in the system. In any event, I’m curious as to whether those who viewed this phrase as racist are too young to remember when Paul McCartney was in another band before “Wings”.


Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

-Tom Waits

Duh, don’t be ridiculous. We all know McCartney founded The Who.

Coldfire


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Ahem. Yes…well, I guess that answers my question. Time to go to work. Where did I put those paisley bell-bottoms? Damn, I’m old!


Reality is for people who can’t handle drugs.

-Tom Waits

My former husband used to tell me I was okay,“for a white girl”. So one day,we’re in a bar,some black folks are at the table;he knew them,I didn’t. He said something like,you’re alright. And I said,for a white girl. He started shaking his head back and forth fast,squinching his eyes. I’m like,what??You say it!

Paul McCartney was in a band called Wings?

Sir Paul McCartney, the classical composer?


Uke

Ukelele Ike: I understand your confusion. It was hard to catch Paul whe he was with Wings, since they were always on the run. < rimshot >


You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.