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View Diary: White Iowa teacher tells black student to address him by saying, ‘Yes, sir, master’ (193 comments)

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  •  Pull the other one.... (8+ / 0-)

    ....it's got bells on it, as the British say.

    I wonder if the teacher pronounced "master" as "master" or "massa."

    At the very least, the teacher is world-class insensitive and stupid. And no, counting the definitions in a dictionary does not settle the question. If a person of any race uses "Yes, massa" with regard to a superior, it clearly conveys the idea that that person considers s/he is being treated like a slave. The context couldn't be clearer.

    This is the landscape that we understand, -
    And till the principle of things takes root,
    How shall examples move us from our calm?

    (Mary Oliver, "Beyond the Snow Belt.")

    by sagesource on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 09:44:30 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phenry

      If the teacher said "Massa" or attempted a certain accent, then there is absolutely no question this fits the bills of a boneheaded, insensitive, racist comment.

      It would be interesting to find out, wouldn't it?

      •  In current American usage, in what situation (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Onomastic, Vita Brevis, Silencio, BMScott, suka

        would a young person address someone as "Master"?  Dictionaries are valuable, but a lot of their examples just don't apply.  A teacher addresses a black student this way, and you think maybe he's talking about a British schoolmaster?  or a Master plumber? Or...  what?

        The reasonable assumption is that he was referring to slavery.  That's clearly the way the student heard it.  You really have to stretch far beyond credibility to assume the student was wrong.

        --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

        by Fiona West on Tue Jun 10, 2014 at 02:40:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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