Beyoncé to revise song to remove word widely used as ableist slur in UK

Maybe not a fabulous example as it was released in the 90’s and the context should be clear to people in the US (at least it is for me because I was fed a steady diet of BBC programming on PBS in childhood since we only had one TV, like most families back in the day). The songs at issue here were released in the last couple years? Beyoncé I think has less of a viable excuse than Lizzo due to age differences. I’m glad both artists recognized their failures and are working to fix them, and I hope the do better in the future. Lizzo, particularly, has a whole career ahead of her (I hope, I do dig her work).


Honestly, she has a good point.


Perhaps more relevant, I understand that the 3rd entry under “White” is an unspeakable slur in the USA.

That’s not an especially common term in the U.S. but its offensiveness depends on context.


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… the fact that someone among the people involved could have noticed the news stories when the Lizzo song was criticized and redone.

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Hannah Diviney, the Australian activist who brought this to the attention of Lizzo and, shortly after, to Beyonce, discussing the term on the BBC, also discussing the appropriateness of white ableist advocates calling this out.

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I’m disabled. I think it’s entirely inappropriate.


The woman who led the complaints is an Australian, living and working in Australia, she is white and has spastic cerebral palsy, she has expressed her concerns about policing the lyrics of African-American singers and songwriters as a white woman. It’s only 10,000 miles out, the term is offensive – full stop – no matter which side of the globe you are on.


I tell people “It’s not a niche market, and it’s fiercely competitive. You’ll have a much harder time standing out.”


Too right.

In comments that ended up as collateral damage, @Mindysan33 wondered why the concept of ‘not actively being a jerk’ seems to be so lost on so many people, especially nowadays.

My reply was:

I really think it’s a matter of people who feel like shit trying to make other people feel like shit even more than they do; especially when the people they target are lower in the social caste system than they are.

LBJ was an honest asshole

LBJ originally said it regarding racism, but that mentality extends to all manner of fucked up inhumane behavior, IMO.


some maybe. it always depends a bit on perspective. i got kind of indignant one day when someone called me out on “long time no see.” i couldn’t believe it had racist roots.

as it turns out, i was called out by an intermediary because a coworker who was indigenous couldn’t bring themself to tell me how hurtful it was to them

to me, it was just an off handed slang thing to say. to them, just overhearing it said had huge negative connotations

it’s hard to know what our positions in life render invisible. but it’s worth trying to root out things with painful legacies. if it’s just meaningless words to me, there are other meaningless words i can use that cause less harm


I never knew about “long time, no see” or “no can do”:

Now that I do know, you’re absolutely correct; I can easily find other phrases & idioms to replace them.


AFAIK that’s a term the community themselves request to be called by (at least in the UK).

Although the practice of recording ethnicity on the census itself is something that looks barbaric and dangerous from a German perspective.


It was offensive even in that context, which is why that character has a different (if phonetically similar) name now…

Indeed. I linked to that to show that the term is common enough to be used on official paperwork and can confirm anecdotally that it’s used as a self-identifier in the UK. I avoid using the term here as I’ve been moderated on a different USA-based forum as ‘that term is never appropriate’.

It’s not a perfect comparison. Not least as I’m unaware of anyone using Beyonce’s removed word as a self-identifier.

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