New Frontiers in Hypersensitivity: State Department Officer Says ‘Holding Down the Fort’ Is Racist

Will Rahn, Daily Caller, August 30, 2012

John M. Robinson, the Chief Diversity Officer at the U.S. Department of State, wants America’s diplomats to know that common phrases and idioms like “holding down the fort” are, in fact, deeply racist.

Robinson, who also serves as director of the Department’s Office of Civil Rights, used his “Diversity Notes” feature in the July/August issue of the official “State Magazine” to examine the hateful roots of everyday sayings. In one recent public relations kerfuffle at Nike, Inc., he wrote, the company torpedoed a sneaker called the “Black and Tan.”

“What a wonderful celebratory gesture and appreciation for Irish culture. Not!” wrote Robinson, an adult.

Robinson notes that “Black and Tan,” in addition to being an enjoyably robust alcoholic concoction, can refer to the brutal Protestant militiamen who ravaged the Irish countryside in the early 20th century—which is why Irish bartenders always get so upset when you order one.

In an effort to avoid offending those notoriously fragile Irish sensibilities, Nike pulled the shoe from stores.


And did you know using the phrase “holding down the fort” is the linguistic equivalent of scalping a Cherokee? According to Robinson, the phrase dates back to American soldiers on the western frontier who wanted to “hold down” all that land they stole.

“Handicap” and “rule of thumb” are two more figures of speech that Robsinon, in his wisdom, has decreed offensive. The latter, Robinson says, refers to the width of a stick a man could once use to legally beat his wife.

And in case you’re wondering how he could have done all the etymological detective work necessary to conclude that these phrases came from where he says they came from, and still have time to perform his Chief Diversity Officer duties at the State Department, wonder no more: Robinson doesn’t really know if any of this is true.

“Much has been written about whether the etymologies below are true or merely folklore, but this isn’t about their historical validity,” Robinson writes. “[I]nstead, it is an opportunity to remember that our choice of wording affects our professional environment.”


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  • If you’re already convinced that “racism” exists everywhere, you will have no problem finding abundant evidence of it surrounding you.  MSNBC has devoted its entire existence in the last two days and will again tonight to finding the “racism” to every word uttered at the RNC.  There’s no arguing with people like that.

  • There is nothing we can or cannot do that can’t be attributed to our being born bigots, so why fight it or deny it anymore?  Once you rob that terrifying “R” word of its bite, it becomes rather a comfortable badge to wear.  If that’s what having common sense in matters of race has to be called, then so be it.  It’s only a word; don’t be afraid of it.  If we allow our thoughts and actions to be dictated by language as it is defined by liberals, we are lost.

  • ye ol’ swampyankee

    Another idiot change agent. “Holding down the fort” is a general term” It is not limited to the frontier and  red man. 

    An idiot trying to sound the charge. I’m not following!

    • IanJMacDonald

       I definitely think that we should circle the wagons on this.

  • haroldcrews

    Note to self.  Use phrase ‘Holding down the fort’ more often in my conversations and written comments.

    • I’m assuming the phrases, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat” , “for the love of Pete”, “shake  a
      leg”, “fuddy duddy”, “Flim flammer”, “the cat’s meow”, “too big for his
      britches”, “eight to the bar”, “THat’s Jake with me”, “Jeepers
      Creepers’, “hit on all sixes”, “Bob’s your Uncle” and “down home” are
      all extremely racist as well.  Not to mention, “Egads”, “Gadzooks”, “Ye cats”, and “Odds bodkins.”  I have more.

      • IanJMacDonald

        Other expressions which must be stricken from your vocabulary: “chink in the armor” and “nip in the air.” “Going Dutch” is probably still OK since references white people.

        • MekongDelta69

          So Georgia porch monkey, jungle bunny and “I’ll be a monkey’s uncle” would be verboten also? Just wonderin’.

          What happens to Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone’s coonskin caps? Do they have Diversity and Tolerance Re-education Camps at the Alamo?

      • Sherman_McCoy

        Might I suggest, “There’s more than one way to tree a coon?”  

      • JackKrak

        I suspect that “the”, “in” and “car” will soon be added to list of racist terms.

  • MekongDelta69

    The entire English language should be deemed ‘racist,’ according to this black moron. Wait… Not just ‘racist,’ but… “DEEPLY racist”.

    I’m going to invest $500 and invest in one of those Rosetta Stone or Berlitz boxes to learn Zulu because I’m so terrified of being called a ‘racist.’

    Actually, R.S. and Berlitz should discount their Zulu boxes to around $5 or so, because it only takes a couple of days to become fluent in such a simple language. The Zulu Math box should be even cheaper. It would fit on a diskette from the ’80s.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      Careful, studying the language of primitives has been shown to lower one’s IQ.  

      Go for German, Russian, or any other European or Asian language.  They will raise it.

      • MekongDelta69

        No, no, no. You don’t get it. I’m doing the best I can to lower my IQ so we can all have a ‘level playing field.’

        I think NoBama calls it redistribution of IQ. I’m just a living IQ donor. Just doin’ my part in the new melanin-America.

  • John M. Robinson has the ego of a 12-year old but the body of a man however many years old he is.  He assumes that every word uttered by everyone is somehow a coded reference to blacks.  Why?  Because he’s projecting.  Because he thinks about himself and thinks racially all the time, he thinks that everyone else thinks about blacks all the time, too.  Two white poeple could be talking about pulling crab grass, and John M. Robinson would think of a way to make that “racism.”

    In dedication to John M. Robinson, here is vile naked racism on parade:

  • Biff_Maliboo

    It was hot today. I was sweating like John M. Robinson at a free dance.


    I fixed it.

    • MekongDelta69

      Biff. Biff. Biff. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

      I counted no less than FIVE ‘racist’ words in your post – you hatemonger.

      We’ll let it slide today, but let this be a lesson to you. You need to be more vigilant for tomorrow.

      • Biff_Maliboo

         You’re right.

        19 words total, 5 rayciss words.

        That’s 20%.

        I can do better.

        • Sherman_McCoy

          Life is a journey where we seek to improve ourselves with each passing day.  Good work, Biff!

        • MekongDelta69

          Good. There’s hope for you yet.
          But remember, I izz gots mah eyez on u sun.

  • Fakeemail

    Just like “law and order” is racist.  Maybe it is racist, but it’s true also.

  • loyalwhitebriton

    A “Black and Tan” is one half pint Guinness (black) and one half pint of Bitter (Tan, ie, brown), in a one pint glass. That’s all it is. Nothing more, nothing less.
    I’ve enjoyed more than a few Black & Tans in my time, I can tell you 🙂

    Absolutely astonishing that Mr Robinson can associate a popular mixer with the problems of Ulster. Where does he get his information? Is he making it up as he goes along?

    • Eagle_Eyed

      I was in Ireland a few weeks ago.  To state that the Irish would get deeply offended about a drink order IS actually offensive to the civilized and genuinely nice people of Ireland–yet Mr. Robinson’s ignorance shines through once again.

      I’ll be saying “holding down the fort” any chance I can get, from now on.

      • Sherman_McCoy

        Or how about “keeping down the coloreds?”

  • Racism is social construct and really doesn’t exist. It was invented by Affirmative  Action Diversity officers who created the mythical concept to justify their ability to cure it and to hold high paying government jobs.

  • Church_of_Jed

    Thank goodness we have a Chief Diversity Officer to teach us how to avoid giving offense,

    so that we can constantly monitor, audit, and censor our thoughts and speech for anything that expresses who we are as a people but offends the values of whom we are not.  

    We must put their feelings above our own survival and existence, and thereby we must  lead the charge against our own White privilege for their benefit.  We will weaken oursleves so much that when they stand over us with the spear, we won’t even have enough energy left to say “Please, let me say my last prayer.”

    If you aren’t seeing the good in “the Other” and the bad in yourself, you are definitely a racist.

  • Wow, for once it’s white people being hypersensitive.  “black and tan”.  I’ll remember to say that to the next mick I come across.  Which is probably going to be my brother.

    • Sherman_McCoy

      Is this even true?  Do we have any Irish bartenders out there who can opine? He did say bartenders, you know. Jesus wept.

    • MekongDelta69

      Nah. It’s what John M. Diversity Idiot wants you to think.

  • Church_of_Jed

    Don’t expect to see any more headlines like this when Whites are a minority:

    Jury: Fulton discriminated against white, male job applicant

    In the future, jurors who don’t follow their oath to interpret the facts and the law so as to keep up the good fight against ciminalized White privilege will be jailed for contempt and reeducated as a secret DOJ sensitivity training camp.

  • Church_of_Jed

    The Climate Will Be Improved When White Humanity Stops Complaining About Its Taxes Paying The Salaries Of Federal Judges

    Federal Court Halts Texas Voter ID Law, Citing Effect on Minorities

    And the climate will be improved if all those Whiteys at the GOP RNC will sit down, shut up,  and forget that Clint Eastwood just said, “We own this country”.

  • Chimp Master Rules

    I have a feeling . . . call me an optimist . . . that if a white man gets elected and we really turn the federal government’s focus towards capitalism . . . lots of ex-Black Studies grads now running the civil rights con are going to be out of work.

    i suspect they’ll be the first to go in a leaner, smaller federal government.

    • SLCain

       Not a chance.  They are unfireable.  It’ll be middle-aged white guys who get the chop.

    • Romney was governor of the People’s Republic of Massachusetts….. I suspect that if he is elected it will only be because people need that ILLUSION of change to tolerate the actual stasis.  Obama was selected by the Bilderbergers (or some group either larger or smaller but overall similar in spirit and understanding) precisely because he LOOKED like an extreme change from Bush—but he was NOT.  Both Bushes were heavily involved in “affirmative action” from Colin Powell to Clarence Thomas to Condoleeza Rice.. I’d say that having two successive secretaries of State the same “color” as Obama was “paving the way”—and quite intentionally so.  Romney will not make the Federal government smaller or leaner.  He will continue Obamacare because, in essence, Obamacare was largely formulated IN Romney’s Massachusetts….. Now if the GOP had nominated Ron Paul…..heck, if the GOP had nominated Barry Goldwater’s GHOST…. there might be some hope of a leaner, smaller federal government.  Or we could just abolish the Federal Reserve and the Income Tax and the Federal Government would shrink down to a manageable size in no time.  All the real estate and other wealth controlled by the Federal Reserve could be transferred into an HONEST Social Security Trust Fund, governed pursuant to traditional common law standards of fiduciary duty and actual funding—instead of being the biggest fraud and $14 going on $15 TRILLION dollar swindle in the history of mankind…. Of all the Progressive and New Deal Programs I would save ONLY Social Security and Medicare, and I would save those ONLY because the people were so totally BILKED by the Federal Government which created them with a trail of lies significantly wider than “the rule of thumb” while “holding down the Fort….”

  • RisingReich

    In other news, lunatic Chris Matthews believes the name ‘Chicago’ is now racist.

  • SLCain

    As a more inclusive and racially sensitive alternative to “Holding down the fort”, consider using: “Keeping the wogs at bay.”   Remember, diversity starts with you.

  • IanJMacDonald

    “Rule of thumb,” says Robinson, refers to the width of a stick a man could once use to legally beat his wife.
    Absolute myth, as even a cursory google search on the phrase will reveal.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    Here’s a picture.  BIG surprise.  I wonder who explained the word “etymology” to him.  Or perhaps a white staffer did his writing.

  • Sherman_McCoy

    I like your picture better than the one I found.

  • MekongDelta69

    Uh oh – you said “monkeyshines.”

    I’m gonna have to call Holder and the fellas to come get you…

  • MekongDelta69

    Oh God – won’t you insensitive people EVER learn? You said “handicap.” What an intolerant slob you are. It’s “differently abled”, doncha know.

    Don’t forget – the Diversity business is a multi-centi-billion dollar business. NONE of this nonsense existed when I was growing up. There is a diversity cop on every corner. If we got rid of every one of them, we’d be able to afford to send enough manned missions to Pluto so we could send every last one of these lunatics there. You know how blacks hate cold. Well, -435 deg. F. would be more than cold enough to weld their lips shut so we’d never have to hear another word from these deranged black racists ever again.

  • Ulick

    Robinson’s last name is offensive.  Last names that end in son literally mean “son of [their father’s name]”.  Since so many blacks don’t actually know their father, though, last names ending in son are a constant reminder of their abandonment and/or bastardization.  That’s highly offensive!!!  Robinson should immediately change his last name.

  • “Rule of Thumb” has been a feminist staple lie for decades.

    “An urban legend has it that the phrase refers to an old English law under which a man could legally beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb (though no such law ever existed).”

    “In the United States, many of these scandalous legends have had to do with racism and slaver. Common words such as picnic,[2] buck,[3] and crowbar[4] have been alleged to stem from derogatory terms or racist practices. The “discovery” of these alleged etymologies is often believed by those who circulate them to draw attention to racist attitudes embedded in ordinary discourse. ”

  •  Mr. Robinson , here is one for you STFU moron. More wasted tax dollars on an idiot.

  • curri

    Don’t fixate on this guy, the USG as a whole is the new Evil Empire: 
    As a man who is both living in Europe and who works for the State Department, I feel it is my duty to comment on this post and those prior speaking to Department initiatives with regard to minority populations in Europe and elsewhere. Obviously, I am not using my real name and the views I express here are my own personal views and are in no way sanctioned by the USG, which would be appalled that I was reading such sites, let along commenting on them.
    I apologize in advance if this goes long, but I believe that given the New Right’s interest in Wikileaks and the stories that have arisen out of it that my observations from the inside are relevant and would be of interest to my fellow heathens.
    To be immersed in the Department for any length of time is to know with absolute certainty that the battle of ideas, for the highest seat of power, for the basic outlook of the United States of America is over and it has been won by globalist, multi-culturalist, liberal capitalism. That is to say, the USG is currently fanatically devoted to a world-view that can best be described in shorthand as a mix between the Wall St Journal pro-global business and open borders stance and the ideology one would find in the Office for Multi-Cultural Affairs at a major liberal arts university.

    Mencius Moldbug (whose father was in the Foreign Service, and as he once pointed out to Larry Auster, when a person IN the Foreign Service and a person who grew up in the Foreign Service are telling you, who are NOT in USG that USG is fully and completely committed to the modern liberal revolution and is not capable of being reformed, one should LISTEN) is completely correct in noting that this view has hardened into an ideology and has intertwined itself so thoroughly in the popular mind with what it means to be “American” that nothing short of an intense crisis or a complete breakdown will bring about any change. Certainly, electing this or that Republican makes no difference to the Permanent Government.
    As the post both here and at Alt Right demonstrated, not even clear-thinking members of the New Right have fully taken in that the USG is now the enemy.

    Because, let’s fact it, bravado aside, that’s a difficult thing for an American to accept. It’s much easier for Europeans to accept this; they have a history of governments who need overthrowing. But in the long history of the American Republic, never, I think, has there been a time where the Government of the United States was ideologically committed to the wholesale destruction and replacement of the American people, their history, their identity, their ideals and their very being. The Civil War is a partial exception to that and, I’m starting to believe, a lesson that we Americans for too long smugly ignored.

    —— What Do They Mean by “Democracy”? ——In any case, on to the matters at hand with that background in mind. With regard to the post American Diversity Outreach, it is my sad duty to report to you that the USG is actively promoting this not only in France but throughout the European Union and elsewhere. The US Government views the future and the meaning of the very word “democracy” to mean a democracy on the modern liberal capitalist globalist United States model, i.e. mass democracy with an extremely multi-ethnic population. To that end, historical nations are merely administrative bodies with particular historical backgrounds. A Turkish German is German. A Muslim Frenchman is French. Anyone who says otherwise is evil and will not be tolerated. Moves by any European government to treat their citizens differently based on ethnicity are viewed by USG as the same a denying Blacks in the U.S. civil rights and sends them into a shrieking frenzy. Any political party that opposes this is “monitored” by the U.S. and U.S. political and diplomatic capital is spent to discredit them.

    • David Ashton

      Look up Albert’s proposals for what to do about it.
      As for Britain, many of us have been well aware for a long time about dysfunctional ugliness and despite the national motto “mustn’t grumble” are NOT DEAD YET.

    • anarchyst

      There is one point that you are leaving out. . .I can understand WHY . . .
      It is obvious that the US State Department is populated by dual-nationality types of the “tribe” who have their (native) country’s interests ahead of what is good for the USA.   
      I am reluctant to state the country in question . . . having been censored in other posts. 
      I am sure that you know the country in question . . .
      I am also sure that you can vouch for me that what I am saying is absolute TRUTH. 
      Our country’s foreign affairs” system has been hijacked by these “dual-nationality” foreign globalists who do not care one whit about the USA.

  • Someone actually pays this man.


    • You do. With your tax dollars.

  • TomIron361

    wattaboud holdedoe?

  • “And did you know using the phrase “holding down the fort” is the
    linguistic equivalent of scalping a Cherokee? According to Robinson, the
    phrase dates back to American soldiers on the western frontier who
    wanted to “hold down” all that land they stole.”

    And here I thought it was a simple war term.

    He calls it theft, I call it conquest.  Like all civilizations before us were doing but somehow when we do it it’s “stealing” and we get scolded for it.

    Using the liberal speech codes the Turks stole Constantinople from the Greeks, the should return it to the indigenous people and pay reparations.  Speaking of which they also invaded Anatolia so they should give that back too.  Go back to the steppes Turks!  Anatolia was stolen from the indigenous people!

  • ” To sound the charge” is racist because at some point in history a white guy charged at an Indian.  So it’s racist.

  • MartelC

    How can any competent person function in such a society? How can a human being be human if we are forced to live in a bleak, colorless world where no expression of any meaning is “permitted” Perhaps that’s  the point. 

    Just another example that diversity and freedom are at complete odds with one another. 

    Multiculturalism is nothing new – it’s called Empire- and its authoritarian manner is  the only way to hold peoples together who don’t want to be together. 

  • What about the Black and Tan Coonhound? If it was up to people like Robinson, the dog breed would be eradicated from planet Earth, simply because of it name. Never mind that the breed’s name refers to its coloration and purpose was to hunt raccoons and other smal game.

    Here’s another actual illustration of politically correct naming gone mad:

    One animal adoption center in San Francisco actually started renaming the pit bull terrier as the “St. Francis (after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals) terrier”, because pit bull evoked all kinds of negative stereotypes.

    Maybe we should stop calling female foxes, vixens. The term is often used to describe human females, and can be considered sexist. How about getting rid of the Poland China pig breed, as its names is insulting to Polish and Chinese people?