I was looking around social media the other night when something popped up about commonly used phrases and sayings that were originally racist.

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Some of them seemed so innocuous and innocent, having heard them for years and years I thought it was a little far-fetched, but curiosity got the best of me and down the rabbit hole I went.


Not all of the phrases and sayings in the social media video turned out to have a racist origin, but for the 90 percent of them I could find actual history on, they were coined with the intention of putting/keeping people down.

Are these phrases still common today?

Having lived a lot of my life in Oklahoma, it's shocking how commonplace a lot of these are... though it's worth mentioning the racist undertones of most of these have since been converted to other modern-day meanings.

Are they still racist when not used in a racist manner? Eh, that's not for me to say and definitely not a topic for me to moderate. I'll leave that up to you.

Commonly Used Phrases That Are Historically Racist

You'd have to look long and far to find an example of someone using these as they were originally intended today. As they were first coined to oppress, they've become universally accepted as ordinary, everyday greetings and phrases in this modern day.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Sundown Towns of Oklahoma

Even long after the Civil War ended slavery, the deep-seated resentment and hatred of black Americans lived on. While we have thought of and been taught the concept of segregation was primarily a Southern US thing, the stakes were even higher across Texas and Oklahoma.

"Sundown Towns" were whites-only settlements where the local politics and laws served as a warning to (mainly) African Americans traveling through the area. While history has been whitewashed to make it seem less intense, lynching was a common practice toward those not welcome who remained in an Oklahoma Sundown Town after sunset. Only the settlements that still exist are listed below.

Gallery Credit: Kelso

Top Mispronounced Towns That Show You're Not From Oklahoma

Just for funs, try to pronounce these town names before hopping to the phonetics...

Gallery Credit: Kelso

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