Following ESPN's groan-inducing Jeremy Lin headline, we'd like like to point out a few more phrases headline writers might want to avoid, not only because they're vaguely racist but also because they're clichéd. Content farmers, writers, bloggers, reporters, and anyone looking to spark a debate on PC-ness (or the people in charge of editing anyone on this list): here are some other headlines you should probably think twice about before using:

"Politics in spades: why the Obama veg patch matters" 

The Guardian: March 23, 2009

Why? Yes, the phrase can be about honesty, but "spade" is also meant as a slur against black people. 

 

 

 

 

 


"Barack Obama, Sarah Palin, Lipstick and Calling a Spade a Spade" US News: September 10, 2008

Why? Though Robert Scheslinger is defending Obama here, a different headline might have been a better choice, as this in all its SEO glory could be taken the wrong way. See the entry above.

 

 

 

 

 


"Obama Cakewalk" The Sun: August 6, 2008

Why? Yes, it's supposed to signify an easy win, but the word also has its origins in slavery.

 

 

 

 


"Tiger Woods Peanut Gallery" Golf.com

Why?  It's supposed to mean hecklers or pundits, but historically, the phrase actually refers to a section in a theater where black people were relegated to sitting

 

 

 


The Original "Chink in the Armor?" ESPN: August 22, 2008

Why? Really, do we need to go over this again?

(screen shot via faniq.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 


"Pow Wow Wow Yippee Yo Yippy Yay" CSULB's Union Weekly (college paper): March 14, 2011

Why? As The OC Weekly puts its, it's the Native American equivalent to the very racist "Ching Chong Ling Long Ting Tong"/ this racist, terrible rant about Asians in the Library.

 

 

 

 


"Lott Hasn't Always Had the Most Colored History With Black Issues" Lakeland Ledger: December 12, 2002


Why? The awful "colored" pun in a story about black issues.

 


Experience That 'Very Special Gypped Feeling'

USA Today: December 5, 2007

Why? The term is supposed to be about being cheated but it's really a slur against gypsies. (It should be noted that Minzesheimer is quoting from a book passage.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


And For Good Measure, Just Avoid These At All Costs:

Baby Mama

Nappy Headed Hos

Indian Giver

Welsh on a Debt

Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys