John at Powerline points out
the inanity of the thought-process, if it can be called that, at the New York Crimes
that is a classic of the genre of the subtle bias that infects our mainstream media institutions. John has a good, common-sense explanation for what the Crimes is trying to achieve with its word-play, but perhaps he is not hip to the "trigger-warning" necessitating degrees of separation racial content of every word in the English language.
Let me explain. "Burly" is, of course, a homonym for burley
, which is a type of tobacco
, a very small amount of which is grown in Missouri. Tobacco, of course, was a major crop of the ante-bellum south, which, of course, was harvested in the fields by Negro slaves, and which was an economic engine that sustained the institution of slavery for far too long in our young country's history. Thus, even hearing the word burly, as a homonym for burley (even though about 3% of the population knows it is a type of tobacco), can bring about deep-seated feelings of anguish, bordering on physical pain, over the horror of American slavery that not a single living American has experienced. Thus the Crimes's
exquisite sensitivity over the use of the word "burly" in the case of Michael Brown, given that there is a chance, however remote, that Michael Brown's ancestors were once slaves picking burley tobacco in the fields for the economic benefit of white slave owners 175 years ago.
Which makes me wonder, should I have prefaced this post with a trigger warning given that I used the word "homonym" twice?