The owner of the company that produces the disquietingly popular anti-Obama bumper sticker — “Don’t Re-Nig in 2012” — denies any racist implication. Moreover, she claims some of her best friends are black. I’m sure they have the sticker on the back of their pick-ups.
Ms. Smith insisted that the bumper sticker is not racist. I asked her about the “N” word, for which “nig” is the shortened version. “According to the dictionary [the N word] does not mean black. It means a low down, lazy, sorry, low down person. That’s what the N word means.”
The redneck dictionary, perhaps, but (incredibly trite cliche alert) Webster’s defines it as a “member of any dark skinned race. Taken to be offensive.”
Giving Ms. Smith the benefit of the doubt, I checked the definition of niggardly, a word that has nothing to do with race but is generally avoided due to its uncomfortably similar spelling.