“Racially charged” has become a popular euphemism used by politicians, police, and the media when they want to avoid saying “racist.” When the president said African immigrants came from “shithole countries” in a conversation where he also reportedly rejected refugees from Haiti while suggesting that the U.S. should get more immigrants from Norway, The New York Times wrote about “Mr. Trump’s racially charged comments.” In an article by Jia Tolentino in The New Yorker, “Charlottesville and the Effort to Downplay Racism in America,” a photo caption ironically described white supremacist rallies there as “various racially charged incidents.” “In general our policy is to try to be neutral and precise and as accurate as we possibly can be for the given situation,” John Daniszewski, the Associated Press’s editor at large for standards, told CJR. “We’re very cautious about throwing around accusations of our own that characterize something as being racist. We would try to say what was done, and allow the reader to make their own judgement.”
Unfortunately, the term “racially charged” is just a non-accusatory, blame-shifting, bullshit way of saying “racist.” It minimizes the impact of racial discrimination, and is generally just inaccurate, yet its use has increased anyway.
Tolulope Edionwe, a New York web developer (and former intern of The Outline), made a great Google Chrome plug-in to fix just this. You Mean Racist? replaces all instances of “racially charged” in your browser with the much more accurate “racist,” which is highlighted in red.
It works on a variety of mediums, like...
Annoyingly-worded New York Times paragraphs:
And, of course, the most problematic medium of all: tweets.