Saturday, March 20, 2010

Obama Australia visit given racially insensitive operational title

The New South Wales police use a computer program to come up with operational titles:

"Various groups of nouns belonging to a selection of themes are entered and the operation name is generated from an existing database," a spokeswoman said last night.

Police seeking an operation name ask the computer to provide one. "This was the case in this instance," she said.

The computer generated operational designation for Obama's visit was quickly and quietly axed, however:

US consular officials were aghast when briefed by their counterparts in the NSW Police Force about the title, Blue Gum. In America, a "bluegum" is offensive slang for a lazy African-American who refuses to work.

Contacts in the NSW police inform me that they are relieved computer-generated alternatives to Blue Gum were 86ed. Some of the computer-suggested alternative operational names for the now cancelled Obama visit:

Flash in the pan


Monkey business

Ace of spades


Hey Hey

One term wonder



And those are the names that are reproducible.


Anonymous RNB said...

I am fifty-seven years old. I have lived that entire time in the American South, and not in a monastery. I have never, ever heard the phrase 'bluegum' or 'blue gum' used in any way, let alone as a racial epithet.

2:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A reference from 2005:

11:09 AM  

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