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Old 04-16-2005, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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If I say, "Nigger", And mean no offense, do I still offend

I straight up don't get it. Why would you be offended by the mere presence of a word as opposed to itís meaning, why intentionally not get past itís presence onto what is being said? As previous standards degrade stuff like that is becoming the prevailing norm. As an example of why this bothers me so much, some politician in I believe Washington state caught some serious hell for using the word niggardly in regards to financial workings. Niggardly sounds similar to nigger, so people were offended enough to disregard it's meaning (petty in spending or giving). Zuh?

Nearest I've gotten is folks are referring to deeply rooted connotations and precedents instead of thinking, you said it, and geuss what... now this is happening. *shocked, appauled, and/or chagrined* I'm assuming that thinking so many people would be that simple is as stupid as I've reasoned them to be, so I'll toss it out to you folks as an opportunity to educate someone bent on understanding what it is you've got, becuase I am straight up confounded. Help me internet!

edit: Ill and wrapped in blanket, keyboard shifted in lap resulting in button mashing that submitted thread within near empty post and a title of, "If I say, 'Nigger"

Mod Note: This seems a valid debate....lets try to get over the preconceptions of this word....and focus on the context....we will monitor the results.

Last edited by tecoyah; 04-16-2005 at 02:49 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xell101
Accidentally hit enter. Damn it! FGixing post.
um... I dont get it?
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Use the Edit button

Edit-When I wrote this, the post was quite clearly being edited. I hope my advice came across as stupid rather than rude.
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:56 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Caffeine is setting in; I'm feeling marginally pumped. Ahhh, mental faculties are starting to return. Is there a way to fix the thread title?

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Old 04-16-2005, 02:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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revised...please continue
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Old 04-16-2005, 03:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I dunno, I just have the good sense not to use offensive words when someone who might get offended is present. You don't offend me, but you will offend other people.

It's funny, I know people who curse all the time, but still say "The N Word."
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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The word nigger means one thing and one thing only. It's a derogatory term used to refer to black people. It is perfectly understandable why you would offend someone by using it. (It is not perfectly understandable why some black people choose to refer to each other as "nigger.")

The word nigardly is not derogatory, doesn't refer to black people, and in fact doesn't refer to any specific race at all. Getting offended at its use is an indicator that the person getting offended is an idiot. It's rather like getting offended if I say the word "duck" because it rhymes with "fuck." Doesn't make sense.
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Old 04-16-2005, 04:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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niggard

n : a selfish person who is unwilling to give or spend [syn: skinflint, scrooge, churl]

nigger

n : (ethnic slur) offensive name for a Black person; "only a Black can call another Black a nigga" [syn: nigga, spade, coon, jigaboo, nigra]

A frame of reference for this discussion....lets keep it within these bounds....to keep the thread from going away
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Old 04-16-2005, 05:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In the early part of the 20th century the word Mick was a derogatory term for the Irish Immigrants who were first making their home in the US. In Ireland, the term Paddy was an extremely deragatory term used by the English for the Irish. Being of Irish descent I"m not sure I would choose to be offended by it, but I also didn't live in either time and I don't know what it would be like to have that term used in my direction.

Practically every ethnic group, even non ethnic group, has somesort of slur directed at them... Kikes, wops, fags, there are more... but at the risk of offending everyone on this board, I'll hush. The words themselves mean nothing. It's not the word that is offensive, it's how the word is used that is offensive.

I could tell a friend of mine that they are being a dumbass, and that would not be considered offensive, if I used the same word on a person I don't know, in a different situation, then well I might be asking to get my butt kicked.

No, using the word nigger, if you mean no offence, is not offensive, but you have to know your audience, and they have to know that you mean know offense.
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Old 04-16-2005, 05:19 AM   #10 (permalink)
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It's just another word. Nigger for you, Polack for me.

My father is first generation Polish, my grandparents emigrated between World Wars. Nobody tells more Polack jokes than my grandfather and my dad. I never knew the term Polack was derogatory until high school. Words only have the impact that we give them, if you are looking to insult me, you'll have to do better than Polack.

That said, this is one of the few contexts where I would use the word.

Last edited by StanT; 04-16-2005 at 05:23 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 05:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
No, using the word nigger, if you mean no offence, is not offensive, but you have to know your audience, and they have to know that you mean know offense.
i think that is the main problem. people tend to jump on people if a derogatory word is used in public instead of trying to understand why that particular word was used. to me, it seems like everyone "looks" to be offended so that they may make a stand or possible "go off" on somebody. not everyone does this i know, but it is noticeable to myself.

i'm a white dude, there really isn't a word out there that could offend me. on the other hand, many people that are offended from certain words weren't even affected by the actual ocurence or formation of the word. by this i mean those that believe they should be repayed for slavery by the government. they weren't involved in slavery, but want to reap the benefits of an unfotunate event. there may be other examples of this, but i don't know of any.

i just think people are too touchy these days. everything seems to be offensive to someone.
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakran
It is not perfectly understandable why some black people choose to refer to each other as "nigger."

This is what I find totally unacceptable. The same black people who call each other nigger are usually the first ones to get offeneded if a white person calls them nigger.

So yes, if you say nigger and mean no offense you still offend, but if you're black somehow it's ok.

Last edited by samcol; 04-16-2005 at 06:16 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:24 AM   #13 (permalink)
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It's the same with any ethnic slur, if both people are of the same ethnicity, and one uses the word directed at another, they both share the same shared cultural experience, so it's really not negative.
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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it is offensive because the majority of black people find it offensive when it is used by a white person... a white person cannot use the word claiming they dont mean offence, because they have the knowledge that it causes offense.
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Old 04-16-2005, 06:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samcol
This is what I find totally unacceptable. The same black people who call each other nigger are usually the first ones to get offeneded if a white person calls them nigger.

So yes, if you say nigger and mean no offense you still offend, but if you're black somehow it's ok.
I think thats too general of a statement, I almost certain some black people would be offended being called a nigger, no matter what who called them it. I believe its just that person specific thoughts on the matter. For Myself, I don't care is someone comes and tries to insult me by using racial slurs. Really, to me your skin is just a feature of a person, and does not depict who they are
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:34 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Do my actions have consequences if I don't intend them?

Yes.

If someone is offended, then you were offensive. That doesn't mean that your freedom to offend should be abridged, but this is the way the world works.

Put another way, if you unintentionally run over my foot with your car, it's still gonna hurt.
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Old 04-16-2005, 07:56 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
It's the same with any ethnic slur, if both people are of the same ethnicity, and one uses the word directed at another, they both share the same shared cultural experience, so it's really not negative.
Sorry, I'm not buying it. If it's offensive, it's offensive. If someone tells me "don't say nigger" and then turns and calls his friend a nigger, it's hypocracy. Plain and simple.

It's no different than me going to a catholic church and telling the priest to fuck off. It's an offensive thing to say to a catholic priest, even if the person saying it is catholic.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:00 AM   #18 (permalink)
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If it hurts someone to use a word or say something I'll respect their wishes. I don't say the word. I do believe words and symbols have negative connotations that come along with them. Same with the whole the swastika is just a pattern argument. It stands for something. The word itself stands for a period of time when a lot of people believewd in white superiority and that blacks were a lesser being. it is condescending. Words do hurt and there's no reason to use one's that do.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:03 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I see several issues here.

First is the very real harm meant by those who used the term "nigger" in the past. IMO, it cannot be ignored nor should it. This word has never been used for a good thing.

Second is the almost surreal use it enjoys today among black youth. I suppose it is supposed to be a friendly put down but if they use it, then they need to expect that other people will start to want to use it.

Third is the irrational sensitivity to words that even remotely sound like it, the word "niggard" being the best example. This is ignorance, plain and simple. For some, to whom the difference has been pointed out, it is either a) willful ignorance,r b) racial baiting or c) an example of victimhood in which the hearer decides they are a victim regardless of the fact.

I firmly attribute the last phenomenon to the left who insist on perpetrating minority "victimhood" status with what I call the "you deserve" attitude. You "deserve" good grades, regardless of what you've learned. You "deserve" a job here regardless of your legal immigration status. You "deserve" admission to that school regardless of others being more qualified, etc.
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I think the main problem with acceptance of this word is that it's probably the most offensive word in the English language right now. I am not a person who is offended by language, you can hurl swears around me all day and I won't bat an eye. But if you said "nigger", I'd pay attention right away. There's no real precedent for it being anything other than a racial slur (except among black youth), so that's how it's interpreted.

In contrast, "faggot" is widely used as a catch-all insult by kids today, even before they know that it refers to sexuality and what being gay means. If you consider its origin, "faggot" is a terrible thing to call a gay person, but it's not really as offensive as I assume it used to be.

EDIT: "Every word is a prejudice." -- Friedrich Nietzsche.

Last edited by Slavakion; 04-16-2005 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 08:52 AM   #21 (permalink)
 
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i imagine that it must be frustrating for folk who see the world through the fiction of the Heroic Individual to run up against social limitations, even at the level of word usage.

it must be frustrating for those who view the world through the lens of the Heroic Individual to find situations where the focus of the Individual Will changes nothing about a social situation, even at the level of word usage.

frustrating because the framework within which the construct of the Heroic or Rugged Individual operates cannot account for social questions except to see in the distortions of what they have to understand as normative--the world as an abstract field across which the unlimited extension of will can be played out. american conservatives have regressed behind john stuart mill--they have not even caught up with liberal philosophy of the 1860s.

one way of thinking about this problem for the Heroic Individual might be that the Heroic Individual is itself incoherent, conceptually, analytically and politically.

so the question that began the thread is really why cant a white person use whatever words he or she wants in whatever situation he or she wants because what is important is the absolute extension of unconditioned will. the entire position is simply crazy.

another element that surfaces in reading through the thread so far is the matter of projection:

for example, lebell talks about "victimization" as a trope of "the left" even as conservatives make use of the same trope all the time.
the difference between the story of victimization on the right and other versions of it is that for the right it operates as reinforcement of a project of aimed at total political domination, a narrowing of the ideological situation to one within which questions of social inequity will be addressed by ignoring them--the right uses its claims to victimization as a device to argue for a narrowing of the purivew of the state, for example, and by doing that also argues for the elimination of mechanisms that previously had functioned to redirect resources toward those excluded from the benefits of capitalism.
and why should the right worry about structural inequality, about the barbaric effects of capitalism as a system, left to itself? they also decided that the effects of capitalism can be "understood" by blaming those most heavily effected by it....

so here: the fact of the matter is that the history of particular words is sedimeneted around them, and you can't just wish it away. obviously the problem is history and its persistence.
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Old 04-16-2005, 09:58 AM   #22 (permalink)
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This entire discussion is precisely one of semantics.

There is an historical value to the word nigger that requires consideration. But in the same sense, I may personally have had a history of negative connotations of any word - maybe frisbee - which results in my extreme discomfort when the word is used in any fashion. Does the use of the word frisbee around me then become a faux pas on the part of the person using it? Assuredly, their intent is harmless as the social history of the word is harmless. Now, social history would also define my displeasure at the word frisbee to be absurd. If someone who had no clue that I hated that word were to be informed, they would consider it some form of crazy. Would that give them license to continue using it in front of me, as they clearly do not intend to be insulting? Would my further discussion of the word help me overcome the negative connotations I apply to it? It is nothing but a word - it is the issues I attribute to it which hold the negativity.

At present, I would say the the word nigger is currently only usable in the context of the discussion of the word. The more the word is discussed, the better chance that the negative issues attributed to it will be more accurately framed.

Nigger is not the problem. Race relations is the problem.
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:07 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I don't care, but I still don't say it. While I don't understand why people are offended to their core by this word (there really is no reason to be that offended at ANY word), I do recognise that it has such an effect. I don't want to offend people, so I simply avoid it.

I suppose that is it possible that this is a case of perspective. As someone whiter than the sun, I have no way of knowing what it is like to be african-american/black american.
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:30 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange Famous
it is offensive because the majority of black people find it offensive when it is used by a white person... a white person cannot use the word claiming they dont mean offence, because they have the knowledge that it causes offense.
Even if it directly pertains to a legitimate discussion I am not able to make refence without prancing around it like I was in sensitivity training. Meaning is irrelevant, they are offended becuase they arbitrarily decided to be. In respite of proper logic they can get away with making it taboo and chastising all who fail to stick to that. They arbitrarily decided it is instrinsically racist even when conspicuously out of racial context, and we nodded our heads and went along. They are offended by nothing but what they put into the word, they are being offended by connotations and assumed values in respite of the fact such assumptions are inappropriate, it legitimizes an unthinking, engrained reaction that hidners communication, that one must go out of ones way to develop or foster the development of, it's god damn stupid. It's a veritable pavlovian response. What gets me the most is that it's unthinking, and we're ceding and catering to em'. They simply need bellow their lamentations, induced by imaginary plights, and we'll accomodate their special needs. The local school system has become nothing more than a bastion of liability and lawsuit that folds to every huffin' puffin' jackass to come their way, their ability to operate has suffered greatly for this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roachboy
said some stuff...
The question that began the thread isn't why can't I say what I want, it's why the hell do they disregard what I say and get offended by something I'm not even communicating.

Bob: Why are they fighting?
Tim: He called the other one a nigger.
Bob: I am deeply offended!

...is on level with...

Todd: Let's drive to the store.
Jeffers: I hate wheels! I am offended by your car?
Todd: Why do you hate wheels?
Jeffers: They're just so god damn round!

I can see the thought processes behind a lot of it, I'm fundamentally on a different page and view the one they're on as being unsustainable and needless hindering to their own efforts, all as a result of not moving the hell on. If you move on, it will then exist in history, and history only affects you as much as you will have it, and rampant racism is there, why not let a relics of those go where ti should?

edit for articulartion: I think that one of the best ways to prevent someone from moving on is to get them to fixated. We're facilitating their fixation, as are they. This is my prime source of confusion and why it rubs me the wrong way, we're facilitating this and bending over backwards to accomodate it. It seems counterintuitive and conspicuously unwholesome, as well as counter productive towards ends that are supposed to justify such means.

Last edited by Xell101; 04-16-2005 at 10:35 AM..
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Old 04-16-2005, 10:45 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Xell, there really is rarely a reason to be offended by anything. Offence is irrational by nature. Just because the offence is irrational, does not make it any less of an offence.
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Old 04-16-2005, 11:09 AM   #26 (permalink)
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It's less of a specific greivance and more of an item which illustrates a general principal. This is representative of the failings of society to let folk know that sometimes you need to shut up and deal with it. What all my problems with this derive from is that they're making it others peoples business and forcing them to adapt, they've made it other people's business when the problem lies within themselves, or there are already ways for them to deal with these things established.
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Old 04-16-2005, 12:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Shouldn't the intent also factor in?

I mean, in and of itself, any "slur" is just a word. Doesn't the intent of the speaker define whether the word is seen as a racial slur or not?
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Old 04-16-2005, 01:56 PM   #28 (permalink)
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I don't understand what the point of this thread is.
The case cited in the original post was a simple misunderstanding about what was said and the aide was later brought back with all forgiven.
So what are we talking about? You're going to have to give a better example. I can think of no real-life example of when a non-African American needs to say the "N word" to an African American. It's a non-issue.
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:15 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xell101
I straight up don't get it. Why would you be offended by the mere presence of a word as opposed to itís meaning, why intentionally not get past itís presence onto what is being said? As previous standards degrade stuff like that is becoming the prevailing norm. As an example of why this bothers me so much, some politician in I believe Washington state caught some serious hell for using the word niggardly in regards to financial workings. Niggardly sounds similar to nigger, so people were offended enough to disregard it's meaning (petty in spending or giving). Zuh?

Nearest I've gotten is folks are referring to deeply rooted connotations and precedents instead of thinking, you said it, and geuss what... now this is happening. *shocked, appauled, and/or chagrined* I'm assuming that thinking so many people would be that simple is as stupid as I've reasoned them to be, so I'll toss it out to you folks as an opportunity to educate someone bent on understanding what it is you've got, becuase I am straight up confounded. Help me internet!

edit: Ill and wrapped in blanket, keyboard shifted in lap resulting in button mashing that submitted thread within near empty post and a title of, "If I say, 'Nigger"

Mod Note: This seems a valid debate....lets try to get over the preconceptions of this word....and focus on the context....we will monitor the results.
The word itself when used by a non-black person is inherently offensive. You can't mean no offense, the word itself used by non-black people is offensive. If I hit you in the face with a lead pipe but I mean no offense, are you still offended? It's the same thing, only on a psychological level when a non-black person uses the term.

And black people rarely call each other "nigger", theres a slight difference between that and "nigga". The reason this started was primarily in reaction to white's derrogatorily calling blacks that term, they attempted to mitigate some of the damage of the term and in essence make it there own.

And as for other racial terms being similar, there's a big difference in degree. The same things are not implied between calling someone a "nigger" and a "polack", especially in America. Nigger doesn't even imply humanity, it implys that someone is an animal, or property.

And, what would someone find to be a non-offensive use of the word nigger? I personally can't think of any. It really has nothing to due with the terem niggard, IIRC the words have totally different origins.
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:20 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roachboy
...snip...
I assume your "heroic individual" (a la Daniel Boone?) is related to the worship of the mythos of "the founding fathers", but regardless, I have no idea where this enters into the conversation.

Likewise, you go into a discussion which distills down to that old horse, "da man/system has got me down".

In any event, I do not buy into your assumption that capitalism or conservatism is the problem. Nor do I buy into the corollary that they are the answer. The answer to this question and the larger question of empowerment of ALL people lies in the middle, not the extremes.

To the right are the pure capitalists that would abolish every social program and who would leave many without a safety net of unemployment, medical insurance and retirement. To the left are those leftists/communists that would enslave the business owner to the worker and ultimately, the worker to the state, all for their own good (see my sig).

And in that same light, the far left use minorities as their tool, promising to free them from "the man" and essentially playing them for chumps while using their votes to get to power.

No, I will always prefer a system where the individual can rise on their own initative and not be reliant on handouts from the state. If this is the "heroic individual" that you scorn, then I will proudly identify myself as such.
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:26 PM   #31 (permalink)
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"Nigger" is offensive slang for a black person. There are other words that are not offensive that can be used in it's place, ie black or African. I would never use it outside of discussion of the word itself regardless of whether there were any black people around.

It's commonplace for members of a certain group to use epithets within their group in a playful manner, but for outsiders to do the same is considered offensive. Black boys calling each other "Nigga" isn't offensive, while it would be for any other group. I don't understand it either, but then again, I'm not black, so I have no frame of reference.
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Old 04-17-2005, 06:35 AM   #32 (permalink)
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I imagine the word "niggardly" will soon be unacceptable to use because of it's sound alike quality. If enough people are offended when it is used it makes no difference if the meaning of the word has nothing to do with racism. After what happened in the David Howard incident I don't think many polititians will use the word again to describe a miserly condition. Newpapers will avoid using the word as well.

I know that language is always evolving but it is sad that in this case evolution should be caused by ignorance and people's over sensitivity to anything that sounds remotely racist.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:39 AM   #33 (permalink)
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At the beginning of the thread, xell asks "Why would you be offended by the mere presence of a word as opposed to itís meaning...?" As I interpret that, it assumes that there can be a disconnect between such a singular word and it's meaning, and I don't believe that's possible for anyone who communicates with words. I assume the word nigger has a definite meaning for any conscious adult who speaks English.

The word is one of those rarified words that is all about power. As with some other words (such as fuck, etc.), it has an undeniable historical offensive meaning, and it retains its vulgarity clearly today. It ought to be on a list like George Carlin's "7 words you can't say on television" (is it?). I think that language naturally has an order to it, and we psychologically reserve a few words (such as nigger, fuck, etc.) to have a persistent punch that will always be recognized as powerful, offensive, edgy, etc. (Lenny Bruce used this idea over and over perfectly in his comedy, teasing knee-jerk reactions to language until he got arrested.) Most of the time, we experience these words socially and at a distance, and we can keep our reactions and emotions about the words we hear in check and in personal perspective.

At the same time, there is no denying that people deliberately use these words at times to offend or intimidate or degrade people in an attempt to show power over them, and I think that a natural or common fear or mistrust of the worst of vulgarities (such as nigger) shouldn't be lost. Some people seem to suggest that we ought to "get past the presence" of the word and "not take offense" to the words. Why would we want that? I know I don't. I want words to adequately express my thoughts and emotions, and I want a range of words to do that. By the same token, I have to allow the same breadth of words and meanings for other people to do the same, in the hope that I can, through language, begin to understand their point of view. Thus these words and the meanings behind them, ugly or not, have to exist and exercise their power. In the same breath, I have to say that at some point I expect to be offended, and to a certain degree I welcome that feeling. Speaking and hearing certain words in certain contexts provides for me a visceral feeling that some honest idea has been conveyed, even if I think it's ugly and it offends me. That conflict makes me think.

I teach my kids that the word nigger stands in for a meaning of hate. From what they have been taught so far, they broadly associate the word with slavery and the civil rights movement in the United States. Of course they hear the word at school and on the bus, etc., but now they can see the casual, even ridiculous meanings and usage of the word against the backdrop of what it means more seriously to others in history and in their community. I hope that they can distinguish context but still have a healthy respect for the (negative) power of the word.
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:25 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lebell
First is the very real harm meant by those who used the term "nigger" in the past. IMO, it cannot be ignored nor should it. This word has never been used for a good thing.
I disagree. The word has been used for a good thing. Namely, comedy. You know that scene in Scary Movie 2 (yeah, I know it wasn't a cinematic masterpiece) where the old white people are jovially singing Mystikal's "Shake It Fast", and that one guy in particular doesn't shy away from singing that part of the song with the n-word, all with a big goofy grin on his face? That was a good thing because it made me laugh. Meaning is use, and the use in this case was, if anything, a slam against rich old white people (haha they're so not cool).

Nevertheless, I don't use the word unless I do it in a context in which I'm sure it won't be misinterpreted. I'm even hesitant then.
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Old 04-17-2005, 10:44 AM   #35 (permalink)
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If only as adults we could remember the childhood adage "I'm made out of rubber you're made out of glue, whatever you say to me, bounces off of me and sticks to you."

Personally I tend to avoid a lot of "offensive" words. I'm the peacemaker type of personality so will avoid the confrontation if I can.

On the other hand, I feel that if I become offended because of something someone said to me or about me my offence is a reaction. I dislike being reactionary because I'm giving the other person control over my emotions.

I'd like to think that I can avoid being offended most time. It's not that it doesn't happen. In most cases I feel like the resonsibility lies 60% with the offender and 60% with the offended. Unfortunately that only exists in an utopia. It's the goal that we should strive for.

As for Nigga - as was mentioned before, a lot of it has to do with the motives behind using the word. I had several black friends in college and on occaision I did call my girlfriend Nigger Girl. She KNEW my motives were without malice and so never took offense. A stranger on the street would not know my motives so it would be wiser for me to avoid the term in the general public. There are so many other words in the English language that I'm not loosing much of my vocabulary.
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Old 04-17-2005, 02:32 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Quote:
the difference between the story of victimization on the right and other versions of it is that for the right it operates as reinforcement of a project of aimed at total political domination, a narrowing of the ideological situation to one within which questions of social inequity will be addressed by ignoring them--the right uses its claims to victimization as a device to argue for a narrowing of the purivew of the state, for example, and by doing that also argues for the elimination of mechanisms that previously had functioned to redirect resources toward those excluded from the benefits of capitalism.
1) How are blacks "excluded from the benefits of capitalism? Yes, most are born into poverty, but man more whites are too. The best thing about capitalism is that if you have a new idea or are highly skilled you WILL advance.

2) Ok, so we cant fight racism by ignoring it. What you suggest is that to fight racism we forcibly take from others (depending on race) to give to others. This creates a feeling of, yes, victimization that saps much of the empathy others may feel for minorities, and gives racists a feeling of validity. Instead of pulling out the weed of racism you're planting the seeds of the future.
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Old 04-17-2005, 04:04 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manx
Nigger is not the problem. Race relations is the problem.
Hear hear!

My personal take on it is that dirty words are power words, and all anatomical, excretory, and theological have been de-tabooed through overuse (I just told my dog to "shut the fuck up"). So we're glomming onto the next word we can find. Nigger. OK. I'll avoid it. Not a word that I need to use, so why make a big deal of it.

Of course, if some idiot of a dusky hue cuts me off it traffic, I may make judicious use of it as a word of power, but I would do the same for any iethnicity, gender, religion, or political leaning visible at a distance.
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Old 04-17-2005, 04:29 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tophat665

My personal take on it is that dirty words are power words, and all anatomical, excretory, and theological have been de-tabooed through overuse (I just told my dog to "shut the fuck up").
Perhaps in some contexts, but they're far from acceptable in most formalized social situations, and they're still considered rude by most people. Any student using one of those in my classroom is going to be in detention, and heaven help them if they use it directed at me. I'd be very surprised and likely to complain to the manager if a store clerk used that language with me, and if a parent does in a conference or on the phone, that conversation is over right then. We wouldn't use them if they didn't hold more power than other words; otherwise you'd likely have just told your dog to shut up (which, by the way, has become more offensive over recent years).

Quote:
Of course, if some idiot of a dusky hue cuts me off it traffic, I may make judicious use of it as a word of power, but I would do the same for any iethnicity, gender, religion, or political leaning visible at a distance.
So, it's ok to call a black person a nigger if he's done something to upset you? What is the distinction between that and the racist use? I'm not making an accusation, mind you, just asking for clarification.
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Old 04-17-2005, 07:34 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilda
So, it's ok to call a black person a nigger if he's done something to upset you? What is the distinction between that and the racist use? I'm not making an accusation, mind you, just asking for clarification.
The distinction is this. Calling someone a motherfucker just doesn't cut it anymore. It's just not filthy enough. It's been bleached of its taint by repeated use. All that's left is racial and relgious epithets. Which I hand out impartially as appropriately inappropriate to those who boil my blood. Be the same thing as poking the evil eye at a fishwagon or howling, "Get back in your kitchen, dumb twat" at the professional woman who just cut me off because she was yakking on her cell phone. Powerful language hurts. If it doesn't, then it has no power.
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Old 04-18-2005, 03:16 PM   #40 (permalink)
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It depends on who says it. If a Republican says it, it's automatically offensive, even if it's the "niggardly" case. If a former Klan recruiter who has a (D) after his name says it, it's apparently OK.
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