Why of course thug is a code word, a dog whistle melody used to infer criminal Black youth. It allows us to convey “Black” criminals without really saying Black criminals in mainstream media and other popular online discussions. In today’s racially defensive, Liberally aghast idiom, we cannot point out that the common offenders are generally of a certain racial socioeconomic class. So we resort to other conceptual understandings that make our point without owning the word. This is how discourse must be done now in the realm of public debate in order so that you may make a thorough rhetorical point understood by all without risking having the same point lambasted and overruled by distracting allegations of inflammatory socially conscious catchwords. There’s no mightier victor over your argument than chaotic emotional detours devouring the meat and potatoes of your carefully thought out points of discussion.
So even the most civilized among us say “thug,” a word which automatically levels an understanding upon which we can presume subsequent discussion.
And then, there’s the NY Post, a less genteel voice of putative White expression, which is nevertheless emblematic of common utterances of disdain and impassioned expression encountered in discourse.
Devon Coley…yep, thug.
In a more sensitive, politically correct environment, the judge would “turn loose a teenager.”
In a non-existent environment of accurate and neutral expression, the judge would turn loose a Black youth.
But in the real world of mild-mannered mainstream conversation, “thug” tells us all we need to know.
Despite the fact “thug” is code for a “Black” person, it is so much more.
A thug is, by nature, young, poor, criminal and uneducated. In this respect, if we must resort to “-ist” denotations, the term “thug” can also be classicist or ageist. It is not to be construed as a racist term for it is specifically reserved to describe that distasteful concoction of reprehensible ingredients that culminate in one disastrous product of societal cannibalism.
For instance, these examples highlight the fact that the word “thug” is not reserved for Black people…it is reserved for certain types of Black people.