CNN has determined that “master bedroom” carries racist connotations, as do several other commonly used terms and phrases, including “blacklist,” “cakewalk,” and the “peanut gallery.”
The English language is fraught with words and phrases that carry racist connotations, say CNN’s Scottie Andrew and Harmeet Kaur, both of whom presented the problematic terms in a piece published Monday.
Many of the phrases used are “so entrenched that Americans don’t think twice about using them,” they asserted.
“But some of these terms are directly rooted in the nation’s history with chattel slavery. Others now evoke racist notions about Black people,” they wrote, concluding that America’s “reckoning with systemic racism” is “forcing a more critical look at the language we use.”
“Master bedrooms” and “master bathrooms” were among the first phrases highlighted in CNN’s analysis. In real estate, the terms are used to describe the largest bedroom and bathroom in the house. The pair noted that the term first appeared in a 1926 Sears catalog, “according to the real estate blog Trelora.”
“It was a feature of a $4,398 Dutch colonial home, the most expensive in the catalog, referring to a large second floor bedroom with a private bathroom,” they reported.
Notably, they admitted that the description “master bedroom” does not have a clear or direct tie to slavery.
“While it’s unclear whether the term is rooted in American slavery on plantations, it evokes that history,” Scottie and Kaur wrote.
Nonetheless, the term is under review by some in the real estate industry due to “slavery-era connotations.” The Houston Association of Realtors, for example, recently announced that it would nix the phrase and replace it with “primary bedroom” to avoid any “misperceptions.”
CNN also pointed to the PGA’s “Masters Tournament,” citing Deadspin sportswriter Rob Parker, who said, “‘The Masters’ must go.” However, the authors, again, noted that the original name “appears to have been a reference to golfers with great skills” and thus did not carry a direct tie to slavery in and of itself.
Andrew and Kaur provided a list of other problematic phrases and terms, including but not limited to “master,” “slave,” “blacklist,” and “whitelist” in the context of computer technology, as well as the “peanut gallery,” “grandfathered in,” “cakewalk,” “lynch mob,” and “uppity.”
The list comes as protesters nationwide campaign for racial and social justice, taking to the streets and, in some cases, toppling and vandalizing monuments while targeting authorities who move to quell the chaos.
President Donald Trump spoke of the left’s widespread efforts to fundamentally transform the United States of America during Friday’s speech at Mount Rushmore, stressing that their goal “is not a better America, their goal is the end of America.”
“One of their political weapons is ‘Cancel Culture’ — driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees,” the president told the crowd.
“This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America,” he continued, calling out the “new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.”