Wednesday, March 31, 2010

"Niggardly" Obama Sign Causing Controversy

Do you remember over a decade or so an uproar over an obscure word? The very obscure word you're seeing in the post title? It looks like for a limited time only it's back!
A sign outside a northern California business that accuses President Obama of being “niggardly” is causing controversy among locals, KTXL-TV reported Wednesday.

The sign, located along a freeway in Acampo, Calif. says “Obama = niggardly” and that he “hurts small biz.” Another part of the sign reads “Buck Ofama.”

One motorist told KTXL that the sign was associated with the Sunny Rose Cafe in Acampo. A telephone listing for the business on Google was disconnected, according to KTXL.

The word "niggardly," despite sounding like a racial epithet, actually means " grudgingly mean about spending or granting” according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary and is believed to have its origin prior to that of the racial slur.

The word "niggardly" gained national attention in the U.S. back in 1999 when David Howard, an assistant to then-Washington, D.C., mayor Anthony Williams, resigned after using the word in a speech to describe the city's budget.
That last paragraph! That was the incident I was thinking about. Kneejerk reaction to a term that really doesn't have a racial connotation other than a similar prefix to the proverbial N-word. Some people ought to put their outrage to rest for a second.

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