Moderator Keen mentioned that I used "racial code words" in some of my questions, and linked to this wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog_whistle_politics

While I am obviously familiar with racial slurs (n-word, c-word, d-word, etc), this is the first time I've heard of code words... and the article DOES NOT LIST these. I asked some of my coworkers if they were familiar with "racial code words", and they haven't heard of them either.

Is there a list of "racial code words" we cannot use here? Or should I just avoid asking questions about negative actions/situations/characteristics of non-white characters?

  • I know the "n-word" and can make a spirited guess at the "c-word" but which group does the "d-word" refer to (sorry, english is not my first language) ? Dec 29, 2015 at 10:06

2 Answers 2


Given that the whole point of using such words would be to obtain, as Wikipedia states, "the option of plausible deniability"... It makes little sense to build a list or deny their use.

That said, I don't see any racist "code words" in your posts, so you'll have to ask Keen about that. Near as I can tell, you're straight-up saying that certain alien races are inferior / untrustworthy / etc. and asking questions based on the assumption that, in-universe, the other characters would be / should be more racist than they're generally portrayed.

This is an interesting idea. But probably one that deserves a bit more delicate handling, given the prevailing belief that these stories are - at least in a sense - allegories for our own culture. Playing dumb about that aspect is probably not going to serve you well when it comes to getting answers.

  • I've been called racist before when dealing with alien races, but you honestly cannot be racist against something that doesn't exist. So I don't think any delicacy is needed when talking about alien races. Jul 6, 2012 at 22:38
  • @OghmaOsiris To be frank, as a community we apparently decided that there was, as 2/3rds of the OPs questions that are being discussed are about alien races.
    – NominSim
    Jul 6, 2012 at 22:43
  • Near as I can tell, @Oghma, the questions in question were about (in-universe) racism (or a lack thereof). Either we're pretending that fictional racism cannot exist in a fictional universe with actual, sentient races, or it most certainly is possible to be racist in that context. And as I said, if you see these stories as allegorical, then such racism transfers...
    – Shog9
    Jul 6, 2012 at 22:44
  • 1
    I still don't see his question as being racist. The Xmen question i see more as questioning how powerful Storm powers are. Not "why is she allowed on a team when she's black". If someone can link to hi other questions then I might see the pattern. Jul 6, 2012 at 22:48
  • Ok I just read his recently deleted question and it seems like he just doesn't trust that character because it's not human. But I've never watched SG1 so I can't comment on anything else. Jul 6, 2012 at 22:55
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    @Oghma: first question (Klingons are dumb, hostile, not to be trusted) second question (No real explanation here; simply states that Storm doesn't fit. Note that this is probably the least racist, as to the best of my knowledge, Mutants themselves would be the "separate race") third question (Teal'c is modified human / alien host).
    – Shog9
    Jul 6, 2012 at 22:56
  • 4
    Oh - and there's a bit of an obvious pattern here, in that out of three series crammed full of alien races and sketchy misfits, the questions all focus on characters played on-camera by dark-skinned actors. It's certainly possible that this is completely accidental, or reflects a subtle racism on the part of the series' creators. Interesting coincidence though; personally, I would've picked the dude who has to wear an eye-shield to avoid destroying everything around him as among the more useless members of the X-Men.
    – Shog9
    Jul 6, 2012 at 23:04
  • @Shog9 Thanks for the excellent rundown. I edited in my issues with his questions over on the other meta question.
    – user1027
    Jul 7, 2012 at 1:59
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    Ok, I see the pattern now. Yeah it does seem to be a little fishy that they all are black actors playing the characters. Jul 7, 2012 at 2:23
  • @OghmaOsiris - humans are remarkably good an construing patterns out of random data. Frankly, I don't trust the judgement of ANYONE who accuses people of racism on the basis of "code words" - that seems to be mostly the last refuge of people who don't have a shred of proof but want to cast guilt on someone undeservedly. Frankly, the questions were somewhat weak, but none of them was in the least bit racist. Jul 9, 2012 at 1:50
  • @DVK I just said it was fishy, lol. He asked more questions that broke the pattern before he was suspended, so it could have been pareidolia the whole time. Jul 9, 2012 at 3:08

I think the best way to answer this is to make sure that any opinionated claims are supported by facts. Your question contained a number of phrases which didn't really seem to have any proof provided, among them things like:

  • His physical appearance is obviously off-putting
  • the people there really don't like his kind.
  • Plus, he doesn't seem very smart.
  • Assuming you can actually trust him

All of these settings should be backed with at least an explanation as to why this was the case. Notice in the edited version, I either removed these statements, or explained them. His trust has many valid points of concern, but with none listed, you are leaving yourself up for discussion. Same with his appearance, his kind, and his not being smart. Try to back your assertions such as these with some kind of facts.

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