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February 4, 2008

What, not malt liquor?

Good luck trying to figure out from his obituaries what Earl Butz is best remembered for. (Does that even make sense?). The NY Times says "Mr. Butz made a remark in which he described blacks as 'coloreds' who wanted only three things — satisfying sex, loose shoes and a warm bathroom — desires that Mr. Butz listed in obscene and scatological terms."

As Burro Hall recalls, Butz's actual words were, "I'll tell you what the coloreds want. It's three things: first, a tight pussy; second, loose shoes; and third, a warm place to shit."

And Nixon came through with how many of those?

Here's a fun anecdote about how the incident was reported at the time:

The Associated Press sent out the uncensored quotation but, according to Columbia Journalism Review, only two newspapers printed it: Wisconsin's Madison Capital Times and Ohio's Toledo Blade. Other newspapers said Butz had derogatorily described blacks' "sexual, dress and bathroom predilections," or that he had said "a tight [obscenity] ... a warm place to [vulgarism]," or otherwise cleaned up the language. ("Courageously." David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times commented, "...no editors dropped 'shoes' from Butz's remarks and substituted 'an article of footwear.'")

Two newspapers provided ways for readers to see Butz's uncensored remarks. The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in Texas announced that the original statement was available in the newspaper office, and more than two hundred people came to read it. The San Diego Evening Tribune offered to mail a copy to anyone who requested it, and more than three thousand people did so.

Posted by Daniel Radosh

Comments

Bil Keane gets a pass?

Ida Know about that.

u ever get him confused with the holocaust denier?

i do, sometimes.

What's necessarily derogatory about the actual quote, apart from the use of the word "coloreds"? It just seems that tight pussy and a warm place to shit are pretty common wants. Is "loose shoes" some sort of racist code? Or simply better than tight shoes?

"...we can't say 'dyke' on the air, we can't even say 'lesbian' anymore, it's 'women in comfortable shoes.'"

- "Good Morning Vietnam"

"Trouble first arrived in November 1974 during an informal meeting with reporters in Washington when Mr. Butz, using a mock Italian dialect, criticized on Pope Paul VIís opposition to using artificial birth control as a solution to world food problems."

Um, what? Criticized on?

David: "All"

Sorry, there's an implied "implied" in that, that is, an implied "all" or "only" in Butz's statement.

For those compiling their own NYT Euphemistic Stylebook, whenever you see the words "satisfying sex," in the Times, what the writer means to say is "tight pussy."

Earl Butz is best remembered as Nixon's Secretary of Afro-culture.

@TG Gibbon: Can't help you with the "on," but Balk thinks he knows what the mock Italian comment was.

I can't believe Nixon went to China and yet there's no record of Butz making a "no tickee, no shirtee" joke.

I think most racists tend to specialize.

Slate has the full quotes and the context in which Butz said them, and some of the reporting at the time.

"a tight [obscenity] ... a warm place to [vulgarism],"

I'd like to see this sort of solution more often today. Not only does it point you more contextually to the 'hidden' word, but it's wonderfully provocative on its own. A tight obscenity, indeed!

A Warm Place to [Vulgarism] is one of my favorite blogs.

I think that Pope joke is on my grandmother's tombstone.

"The Oriental is primarily interested in big dick, a market for ill-fitting footwear, and a warm place to make ill-fitting footwear for starvation wages until he dies anonymously and prematurely." - Earl Butz

Pussy is scary and dangerous, didn't you know? And shit? Well, shit is just icky. (I swear I will NEVER understand who The New York Times thinks it's writing for.)

Hey now, don't be hatin'. Pussy can indeed be scary and dangerous.

I thought that was going to be a link to this.

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