THE “-ING” THING…I wonder if Geoffrey Nunberg has ever spoken to a black person. Or at least watched the part of “Do the Right Thing,” (script here) where the characters each in sequence recite a string of racial insults, using exactly the “-ing” construction Nunberg is talking about. That movie came out in 1989. The “-ing” form of insult seems like a pretty common and longstanding part of black vernacular. These characters may not be liberals in the latte-drinking sushi-eating sense but (with maybe the exception of the white cop) they’re not political conservatives. I think Nunberg is kind of over-reaching here.

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!