The Volokh Conspiracy
Mostly law professors | Sometimes contrarian | Often libertarian | Always independent
Thugs can be white, black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, Australian Aborigine (OK, I'll admit there are fewer of those), and of course the Indian Thugs (apparently as recently as the mid-1800s). They tend to likewise prey on people of all racial groups, though most commonly their own, especially when we deal with everyday thuggery. They are defined not by their skin color, but by what they do. Here I agree entirely with President Obama:
President Obama doesn't regret using the term "thug" in describing the violent rioters in Baltimore this week, spokesman Josh Earnest said Wednesday.
"Whether it's arson or, you know, the looting of a liquor store … those were thuggish acts," Earnest said.
In discussing the riots Tuesday, Obama assailed the "criminals and thugs who tore up the place," and described them as a distraction from the real issues of police brutality.
Some critics ascribe racial connotations to the word "thug" -- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake walked back the term earlier this week -- but Obama doesn't agree, officials said.