Why Is Coon An Ethnic Slur?


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Nisha Fernandes Profile
Nisha Fernandes answered
Coon is a highly offensive racial slur. It is extensively used both in American and Australian slang. In America it is a disparaging term for an African American person. In Australia it is a derogatory nickname for Aboriginal folks.

The origin and meaning of the slur Coon is rather ambiguous. It is usually thought to be a diminutive form of the word raccoon, which is of course a small and ugly animal. Naturally to refer to people as 'raccoons', is very demeaning and dehumanizes them to a large extent. This is why coon is an ethnic slur.

Some others believe that the word coon originated from the Portuguese word 'barracoos' which alludes to a building that was erected specifically to houses slave for sale.

The term coon was popularized by a coon caricature. The coon was also depicted as lazy, perpetually frightened, idiotic and childish although he was a fully grown adult.
Atothe K Profile
Atothe K answered

I'm from the ARL (American Raccoon League). We find you characterization of raccoons as "small and ugly" to be demeaning and deraccoonizing. Some of us are quite large, as well as good-looking.

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