While researching skin-lightening creams, I started to wonder if fair as in “just,” fair as in “beautiful,” and fair as in “light-complexioned” were etymologically linked. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, these three usages emerged around the same time and share the Proto-Germanic root fagraz. It seems that, for English speakers in the Middle Ages, light skin was bound up with virtue and beauty, which isn’t surprising.
When you tell me that you like my skirt, or dress, or leggings, what do you really mean? Do I look weird to you?
Professor Kleiner: Last Wednesday you submitted a letter to the editor that explained and defended your use of the N-word during a class on James Baldwin. I understand that some people will disregard your letter, and that is their choice.