The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #47148   Message #702282
Posted By: GUEST,Nerd
01-May-02 - 03:23 PM
Thread Name: eena meena mackeracka (children's rhymes)
Subject: RE: eena meena mackeracka
But, WYSIWYG, if you learned it as "Tiger" and never knew it had anything to do with the n-word, then your culture was not transmitting a racist message anymore. You weren't to know that another version of the same rhyme once used to be racist. The version you knew was perhaps insensitive to an endangered species, but not racist.

I grew up in upper Manhattan, where using the n-word would get you seriously f*cked up if not killed, but everyone knew the tiger rhyme, and none of us kids knew it had anything racist in it. When an older black man told us the original, we didn't believe it. Until he showed it to us in a book. Personally, I think "Tiger" is an improvement precisely because it isn't racist anymore (and because if you catch a tiger by the toe you will get what you deserve!)