"Is "Canadian" the new black? Perhaps – that is if you're a racist speaking in code.
Recent revelations that the term "Canadian" is being used to replace racist names for black people have got a Texas assistant district attorney into trouble and have left others wondering what exactly it means to be labelled a Canadian in the American south.
Long derogated as weak-kneed liberals with lax laws and funny monopoly money, Canadians have carried a negative connotation in certain regions of America – but not as a replacement for the N-word.
Earlier this week a columnist with the Houston Chronicle uncovered an email from Harris County assistant district attorney Mike Trent who, in a congratulatory note to a junior prosecutor, used the word "Canadians" to describe blacks on a jury.
Trent wrote of the prosecutor in a 2003 email: "He overcame a subversively good defence by Matt Hennessey that had some Canadians on the jury feeling sorry for the defendant and forced them to do the right thing."
Trent's email remained unchallenged by colleagues who received the email, despite there being no actual Canadians on the jury.
But when Trent's office came under scrutiny this month over an unrelated incident, the email was unearthed, leaving Trent open to accusations of bigotry.
Those accusations are grounded in allegations that the use of "Canadians" was in keeping with the definition listed on an online racial slurs database that defines "Canadian" as a masked replacement for the N-word."
weak-kneed liberals with lax laws and funny monopoly money