Would You Want Your Daughter Dating a Canadian?

In what passes for ingenuity among yokels, southern racists have discovered a new stratagem for camouflaging their dislike of black people. Instead of using the slurs mostly commonly associated with bigotry (you know what they are), rednecks have taken to calling the irrational objects of their ire “Canadians” instead.

As Toronto’s National Post—an interested party—reports, “‘Canadian’ has apparently become a code word for blacks among American racists.” The practice dates as far back as 2003, when Mike Trent, a district attorney in Houston, sent an e-mail bemoaning “some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant.” (Amazingly, Trent maintains that he was unaware his comments carried any racial connotations, stating, “It would not be impossible or unusual for people from other countries to be on our juries.”)

For this laughable act of backtracking, I nominate him for the 2008 “But Some of My Best Friends Are Black” Award. But I also thank him, and his racist peers, for alerting me to this piece of racist code.

I would warn them, however, that they run the risk of “crossing the streams” with their slurs. Given the effort the right has dedicated to making “Canadian” synonymous with “waiting list” and “delayed knee-replacement-related fatalities,” they might be courting confusion among their base with this new formulation. Imagine the embarrassment of the politician who thinks he’s delivering a knock on “socialized” health care only to have his audience hear him blowing the dog-whistle of “welfare queens” instead.