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dieheart View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 10:48
I dont understand how this is used as an insult. Africans defeated italy with spears, and the Zulu won a battle against the Dutch with only Skin shields, and Spears. I find that very impressive.

Just about every culture knew, and understood how tactical, and important the spear weapon was. It was the main weapon of the Spartans. So how did this term become derogatory for only Black "negroid" African people?

This is a serious question.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 11:23
I didn't realise it was supposed to be derogatory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 11:24
Outdated weapons tend to become objects of ridicule. In the same way spears seemed laughably primitive to the British of the 19th century - whom I believe coined the term "spear-chucker" - their rifles, sabres and cavalry units seem ridiculously outdated to modern armies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 11:52
It is an insult, though I have only ever heard of it used by people of the United States in reference to African Americans. It is used as a point of reference to the technological gap which existed between European and African people over the past 5 centuries or so.

Ethiopia or not, Africa was effectively carved up like a pie amongst European powers by the mid 20th century. Rifles work better than spears, if you want to dispute that then I challenge you to a duel, I get the rifle and you can have the spear.

Like many racial insults, this one is just another crude attempt at insult, nothing more and nothing less.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 12:50
Originally posted by Constantine XI Constantine XI wrote:

Rifles work better than spears, if you want to dispute that then I challenge you to a duel, I get the rifle and you can have the spear.


What's the initial distance between the two parties? :P
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 12:57
1 kilometer, bring it! :D
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 13:11
Add to that, if its a repeating rifle, gotta love it!
 
CXI, most rifles have an effective range of about 300 yards.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 13:16
Sparten, if I have plenty of ammo and it's a duel where I am fighting for my life, I'll start spewing bullets as soon as I can. I look forward to side-stepping that spear.

Had to address this point:

Quote I dont understand how this is used as an insult. Africans defeated italy with spears, and the Zulu won a battle against the Dutch with only Skin shields, and Spears. I find that very impressive.


The Ethiopans actually were using a lot of reasonably up to date rifles at the time. And in both of the examples you cited, the Europeans were outnumbered many many times over. The superiority of the modern rifle (especially with a bayonette) over the spear should be obvious to anyone.
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dieheart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 16:01
Its pretty obvious to understand in that battle what the better weapon is. My point is none of the europeans would say this about the Japanese, and their samurai. And there were battles where the traditional Samurai refused to use the gun/rifle, and got destroyed easily, yes there are no racial remarks about them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 19:46
I only came across the term reading M*A*S*H , in which Spearchucker Jones is one of the good guys, the undercover full back who leads Hawkeye's football team to victory.
 
I think he also turns up in one or other of the post-Korea sequels.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 23:11
Originally posted by dieheart dieheart wrote:

Its pretty obvious to understand in that battle what the better weapon is. My point is none of the europeans would say this about the Japanese, and their samurai. And there were battles where the traditional Samurai refused to use the gun/rifle, and got destroyed easily, yes there are no racial remarks about them.


Japan today is one of the most developed nations on the planet, many African nations are still tribal and backward. No Japanese today spends his life relying on his samurai for a living, many Africans still rely on their spears to get by. Racism in the USA towards African Americans has traditionally been higher than towards Americans of Japanese descent.

Mix these three reasons, and you have your answer.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eaglecap Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 02:10
Originally posted by gcle2003 gcle2003 wrote:

I didn't realise it was supposed to be derogatory.


Spear chucker has often been a derogatory term used towards blacks in America.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dieheart Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 05:30
Well what about the Native Americans. Same issue, and there are developed area's of africa. Its not like the whole place is tribal, and being tribal is not always a bad thing imo, but either way, I still think its a bs derogatory racist remark.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 08:19
Basically, the people making the racist insults wanted a way of making their targets look primitive and backward compared to their own society. Then someone came up with the idea of spear chucker.
 
The sorts of people who come up with this sort of insult are not necessarily going to be the most incisive and historically aware.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 12:21

Well on the issue of insults making sence, what the hell dose "Seppo" a common Aussie term of endearment for Americans come from? Or Kraut, or Hun for that matter.

The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 12:25
'Seppo'?
 
The reason for 'Kraut' or 'Hun' is obvious, but 'Seppo'?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 12:31
"Seppo" I have never heard of before, sorry but I can't help you there. The word "American" is four syllables, so naturally Aussies are going to find a way to say it shorter and quicker. So we usually say "Yank". It's a friendly enough term, like the nicknames "Aussie", "Kiwi" or "Brit".

Kraut is a reference to sauerkraut, which people in the Anglophone world perceive as being a common German dish. Some people also call Indians 'currys', Asians 'rice' and sometimes even French 'frogs' (a reference to their penchant for frogs legs. These are sometimes considered mildly derogatory, though not malicious, and say more about the person using them and their inability to characterise foreign peoples beyond their cuisine.

The term "Hun" was an erronous perception the British Empire participants had of the Germans in WWI. It comes about through an incorrect perception of Attila and his Huns as being made up of Germans, as they invaded the Roman Empire through Germany and a large part of their forces were allied Germanic tribes. It was the best the British and their Anglo-Celtic Dominions could come up with to demonise a nation of people whom they had otherwise been historically on generally good terms with until a decade before. This sort of nationalistic demonisation of wartime enemies was common currency in the early 20th century's propaganda machines.


Edited by Constantine XI - 16-Apr-2009 at 12:34
It is not the challenges a people face which define who they are, but rather the way in which they respond to those challenges.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Balaam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 06:35
"Seppo" is short for septic tank, and yank rhymes with tank, and an American and septic tank are full of the same things so thats how seppo came about.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 07:29
Originally posted by Balaam Balaam wrote:

"Seppo" is short for septic tank, and yank rhymes with tank, and an American and septic tank are full of the same things so thats how seppo came about.
LOL I hadn't heard of "Seppo" before either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-May-2009 at 15:16

Well, often people cover their fears with humour and insults, and essentially, when we consider that, for example, although England did obviously defeat the Zulu in the 3rd Zulu war in 1879, the fact that, as we see at the battles of Khambulah and Isandlwana, that an army with repeating rifles (a brand new type, if I remember correctly), two machine guns and breach loading cannon could be defeated by soldiers with merely spears, shields, clubs and assaghis was clearly frightening. Remember that in this case, the Victoria covered up, for example, the death of the prince of France in the campaign and Chelmsford's ineptitude in the situation, and the fact that the Zulus captured two cannon and a variety of small arms. I think that it's really an attempt to cover up with humour the surprise when Europeans found out that, despite the fact that they had managed to control various parts of Asia with roughly similar technology (at least when compared to the Africans), but found it much more difficult in Africa.

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