John M. Robinson, the Chief Diversity Officer at the U.S. Department of State, wants America’s diplomats to know that common phrases and idioms like “holding down the fort” are, in fact, deeply racist.
Robinson, who also serves as director of the Department’s Office of Civil Rights, used his “Diversity Notes” feature in the July/August issue of the official “State Magazine” to examine the hateful roots of everyday sayings. In one recent public relations kerfuffle at Nike, Inc., he wrote, the company torpedoed a sneaker called the “Black and Tan.”
“What a wonderful celebratory gesture and appreciation for Irish culture. Not!” wrote Robinson, an adult.
Robinson notes that “Black and Tan,” in addition to being an enjoyably robust alcoholic concoction, can refer to the brutal Protestant militiamen who ravaged the Irish countryside in the early 20th century — which is why Irish bartenders always get so upset when you order one.
In an effort to avoid offending those notoriously fragile Irish sensibilities, Nike pulled the shoe from stores.
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