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For years people have tried to find a slur for white Americans as evocative and offensive as the N-word is for African-Americans. And, frankly, there aren’t many classics to choose from. Honky, whitey, cracker, hillbilly: They all fall flat.
The problem is, “white” refers to so many different types of people that a reference to it as skin color has no negative historical relevance in this country. Sure, calling someone white implies that he or she is a bad dancer, not cool or watches too much “Downton Abbey.” But to find something even close to the power of the N-word you have to use well-known slurs that refer specifically to heritage or race.
I’m lucky. I’m half Greek and the only slur I could find about my people was “olive picker,” which, honestly, I think is nice. At least it means I’m employed.