A hundred years from…

A hundred years from now, on a colony planet, if an Indian man wanted to use a casual racial slur against an Irish man, would he use one of the ones currently in vogue, or would new ones have been invented by then? I'm thinking the latter, maybe something that plays on the pale skin or red hair or the fact that on this planet, the Irish came over as laborers for the agricultural regions -- hard, dirty, smelly work. Inventing ethnic slurs is not actually my favorite thing, though interesting, in its own way. This is the sort of science fiction that you don't think about when you're a ten-year-old dreaming of rocket ships.

6 thoughts on “A hundred years from…”

  1. I have a feeling it would be a word in use today that nowadays is completely innocuous.

    Or maybe ‘leprechaun’?

  2. Why don’t you just change the ethnicity to people of African descent and call them n*****? Because that’s what you’re proposing here, despite both groups having evolved beyond their origins in America of cheap, uneducated labourers to first world status.

    And if you still want to go with it, I’d find both the traditional slurs or being referred to as a leprechaun incredibly offensive.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    cc, I’m not sure I understand you, but I think you’re arguing that in the future, the Irish (and other ethnic groups) couldn’t possibly become exploited and insulted laborers again? I wish I had such a rosy vision of humanity’s future.

    And of course ethnic slurs are offensive. That’s the point. The character that uses them isn’t a nice guy.

  4. It’s more that I can’t see that the socio-economic factors that led to the exploitation of Africans, Irish, Chinese, etc could easily exist again, unless your future legalizes kidnapping, eliminates birth control, and/or sees the total annihilation of a wide geographic or planetary area that precluded anyone from making a living.

    As for picking a slur, use any damn word you want. Done in context people will figure it out. But using current or prior slurs rubs salt into old wounds.

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