“gravitationally completely collapsed star”

We may have to go back to using “gravitationally completely collapsed star” for an intersteller object that has collapsed down smaller than its Schwarzschild radius: the term “black hole” is racist — at least, it is according to Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price:

County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections “has become a black hole” because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud “Excuse me!” He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a “white hole.”

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term. A black hole, according to Webster’s, is perhaps “the invisible remains of a collapsed star, with an intense gravitational field from which neither light nor matter can escape.”

This reminds me of the bit in the UK a few years back when some groups created the term “thought showers” to replace “brainstorming” on the basis of the idea that the latter term might be considered offensive to epileptics. And, of course, the numerous incidents around the use of the word “niggardly.”


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One Response to ““gravitationally completely collapsed star””

  1. Pot calling the kettle [censored as offensive] « Twisted One 151’s Weblog Says:

    […] calling the kettle [censored as offensive] In the discussion at NRO’s The Corner on the “black hole” incident and other such foolishness, Jonah Goldberg posts a letter from a reader about an incident in which […]

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