Your Teen's Slang Could Get Him in Trouble

high school footballSo, I understand that the whole point of slang for any given demographic -- in this case, teenagers -- is to turn the notion of being misunderstood on its very head: Oh yeah, you don't get what we're trying to say? Now you're really gonna be clueless, because we just invented an entire secret language and nobody's translating for you, old man!

The way I see it, slang is a pre-emptive strike on the part of adolescents everywhere. It's their way of making sure we don't understand them before we're even tempted to make some humiliating attempt to "get inside their heads." Communication breakdown: Accomplished.

But what most teens don't get is that sometimes, just every once in a while, it would actually be to their benefit if we had a secret slang-decoder ring. It would've helped out the Ohio teens recently accused of racial intimidation for something they wrote on a banner at a football game ... that actually wasn't racially charged at all.


I'm going to explain what the banner said now, but bear with me, because I just found out the origin of this term myself.

Apparently, the high schoolers unrolled a big piece of fabric with the phrase "You Mad, Bro?" spray-painted on it. According to Urban Dictionary, "you mad, bro?" is what you say to "make a raging person rage even more by asking the most ironic question." So, as an insult directed at a losing team, that makes sense, right? The crowd's already fuming because their team just got pummelled by yours, so to make things even worse, you're all like, "Aw, you mad, bro?"

Obnoxious teen behavior? Yes. Racial intimidation? HUH?!?!

Wait, because the word "bro" was used? "Bro" is as much surfer dude as it is hip hop. In fact, it has quite a flexible position in the cultural lexicon, all things considered. What's "racist" is making the assumption that race was being referred to in the first place.

Now the incident is being "investigated," and why? Basically because some lame adults misinterpreted the meaning of the latest teen slang.

Do you think these teens are guilty of "racial intimidation"?


Image via Jamie Williams/Flickr

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