Post # 31
“While I am still on the side of ‘for heaven’s sake stop dredging up the past to ruin the future’ I can see that it’s really not a great choice.”
Is it really “the past”? Recent unfortunate events – dating back to 2016 – seem to prove otherwise. The “past” is alive and kicking for very many people. With the nice little touch that those who revel in “the past” are now being vindicated and encouraged in their retrograde worldview.
Post # 32
connoations aside, i think mammy is too close to mommy and would just want grandma to have a different name.
Post # 33
If they wanna look like fools then let them. Not your family, not your problem.
If they’re southern I would think they would have swung for something else like Memaw than Mammy.
Post # 34
I actually had no idea that it had a negative connotation, but I’m not from the southern USA.
I would definitely want to know, so I say tell her. I would add that I would also prefer to hear that information from a friend, rather than be confronted in public by strangers after the fact and be caught off guard.
Post # 35
Also irish and familiar with the term Mammy or Mammies but from that context, although this is completely separate and obviously the term didn’t move from the american south to ireland so it can’t be banded as racist here and I haven’t heard of it in the context you are referring too.
As for saying something to your friend or not, that will really depend on your relationship with this friend. Only you can know how it will be received.
Post # 36
Canadian here, I had no idea it was considered southern racist! My only experience with it is more on the “mami” side. It has a very spanish/latin connotation to me, so I wouldn’t want to use it because we aren’t spanish.
Post # 37
I agree with PP. When it comes up again (which hopefully it does), just be like, “Oooh isn’t that a racist term? I’m pretty sure that blah blah blah historical connotation.”
If it doesn’t come up, I might send her an article about the term saying “Look what I came across, eek!” or something like that.
I would sure as hell want a friend to tell ME that if I didn’t know it.
Post # 38
I live in the Southeast of the states, and have never heard the term, although I’m originally from Boston. I would definitely bring it up nonchalantly so she can makie her own decision – She genuinely may not be aware. If I were her, I would want to know.
Post # 39
Mammy is popular where I am from. In Ireland it’s what most people call their mums. I live in the north of England and Mammy or Mam is common. I called my grandma Mam. In the UK you can even buy cards which say Mam or Mammy rather than Mum! If it has connotations where you are from I would polightly mention it but where I am from it has no negative meaning at all!
Post # 40
For those asking about it being taught in the U.S. – I have no idea if those terms are discussed in South USA schools, but north of the Mason-Dixon line where I grew up (western PA in my case), it never came up in school. I only know the racist history of the term because of my own reading of antebellum novels and such.
Post # 41
LadyBear : I mean…I was born and raised in Chicago suburbs. This was definitely part of the curriculum. It’s not just taught in the south. I was also a history major so this stuff is facsinating to me. Maybe other kids weren’t paying as close attention?
Also for those thinking of the term “mami,” that is pronounced differently than “Mammy.” Just FYI.
Post # 42
You should mention it to your friend. It’s better it comes from a friend now insted of them using it and offending people later. Hopefully they are ignorant of the connotations. I would rather know than go around using a racist term.
As for the person who said we should stop bring up the past, I suggest you do a little research on historical trauma and consider the past you are talking about was as recent as 50 years ago. People who lived it and remember it are still alive. Just because some people have the privilege to forget doesn’t mean the hurt has gone away for everyone.
Post # 43
llevinso : To be fair, my school wasn’t particularly rigorous. No AP history and our history classes basically skipped from the Civil War to World War I. We were also (literally) an almost 100% white community (one Asian family and, temporarily, one black family in the whole community), so race wasn’t ever really discussed.
I’m glad to know not everywhere in the North ignored it. Language and its origins/connotations are so important to cultural knowledge and understanding.
Post # 44
Yes I would tell her. But she would be getting a major side eye from me.
I am African American so of course I am fully aware of the term and the negative stereotypes it has represented in the past and in the current. I would be taken aback if I heard a child calling anyone that in public. Save them the embarassment and the potential of offending people.
And Mami (Papi) used in spanish and french culture has a complete different sound than Mammy.
And the Bees saying not the bring up the past….. SIGH…..