The word - "Nigger"
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05-07-2016, 05:28 AM
RE: Nigger
(05-07-2016 03:52 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  
(05-07-2016 03:16 AM)Slowminded Wrote:  Oh, c`mon, demanding the right not to be offended is quite silly, so is claiming that you are bullied by words on a forum.

But the only thing I part company with the left is when they insist on censorship as a blanket solution. The problem with that is that power shifts over long periods of time and you cant determine what a future majority might think and considering when you are a minority, the worst thing you should do is put a loaded gun of censorship into a potential power that may not agree with what you have to say.

So you don`t have a problem with censorship on principle , you just have a problem with it because some day potentially it might be used against you if the power shifts?

If you somehow could get an insurance that you will always be a majority and the censorship will never be used against you , and that you are the only one who could use it, you will be fine with using it against the ones who you disagree with , let`s say Trump?

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05-07-2016, 05:41 AM
RE: Nigger
A couple of points, mainly just to throw my two cents in:

(04-07-2016 10:23 PM)TheBear Wrote:  At the same time, any other derogatory remark in the world, including cracker, honky, faggot, motherfucker, and you name it, are all on the table to repeat.

Derogatory remarks in general are slightly different than racial/gender slurs. Calling someone a motherfucker is considered rude, accuracy aside. However that is a verbal jab aimed directly at that person.

A racial/gender slur has an extra level of sting, like serrations on a knife blade. You're saying that not only is that person lesser, but everyone like them is less worthy. You are painting the individual with the perceived faults of the group and vice versa.

(04-07-2016 10:33 PM)TheBear Wrote:  I'm just putting it out there. Wasn't going for shock value.

Nope. I call bullshit on this one. The thread title is a single word, one that is probably the most volatile slur in popular use. That is entirely designed to attract attention.

(04-07-2016 11:08 PM)TechnoMonkey Wrote:  You are just flat out wrong! I served in my country's military to uphold the constitution. One of the rights in this country is the freedom of speech.

Freedom of Speech refers only to the government limiting speech. A private organization (such as an internet forum) can limit or censor whatever speech it wants.

An excellent speech on this topic is the one Hitchens did in Toronto in regards to hate speech, freedom of speech and religion.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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05-07-2016, 05:51 AM
RE: Nigger
Ooooh. Found a transcript of Hitchens' speech.

The context: Canada had just passed a law regulating hate speech. Hitchens spoke in favor of the motion that ridiculed and denounced the anti-hate speech law.

Hitchens Toronto

Regarding censorship:
Quote:Bear in mind, ladies and gentleman, that every time you violate – or propose to violate – the right to free speech of someone else, you in potentia you’re making a rod for your own back. Because the other question raised by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes is simply this: Who’s going to decide, to whom do you award the right to decide which speech is harmful, or who is the harmful speaker? Or to determine in advance what are the harmful consequences going to be that we know enough about in advance to prevent? To whom would you give this job? To whom you’re going to award the task of being the censor?

Damn. The man was good:
Quote:Do I, who have read Freud and know what the future of an illusion really is and know that religious belief is ineradicable as long as we remain a stupid, poorly evolved mammalian species, think that some Canadian law is going to solve this problem? Please! No, our problem is this: Our prefrontal lobes are too small. And our adrenaline glands are too big. And our thumb / finger opposition isn’t all that it might be. And we’re afraid of the dark, and we’re afraid to die, and we believe in the truths of holy books that are so stupid and so fabricated that a child can – and all children do, as you can tell by their questions – actually see through them. And I think it should be – religion – treated with ridicule, and hatred and contempt. And I claim that right.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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05-07-2016, 06:15 AM (This post was last modified: 05-07-2016 06:23 AM by Tomasia.)
RE: Nigger
(04-07-2016 10:23 PM)TheBear Wrote:  So, why is "nigger" the one word white people need to avoid, even when citing something that someone else said? "He called him the N word!" is about as close as a white person can get. At the same time, any other derogatory remark in the world, including cracker, honky, faggot, motherfucker, and you name it, are all on the table to repeat.

Understandable that all these terms are derogatory and insulting, why is "nigger" the only word in the universe which is completely off the table for whites to utter in our culture?

It's only whites who tell other whites to use the term "N word" in place of nigger when citing someone. Black people don't care. There's too many white people offended on black people's behalf.

I remember when I was in the military I had told someone referring to me as a dot head, would be the equivalent of referring to a black person as a nigger, my white sergeant was so offended by me using the word nigger, he asked some of the fellow black service men to report me, and they just laughed at him.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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05-07-2016, 06:48 AM
RE: Nigger
I grew up in the South in the 60s and 70s and heard many white people use the word nigger, always in a racist and derogatory way. There are still many white people who use the word to demean. I don't think it's worse than words like kike or faggot in terms of dehumanizing and marginalizing a group of people; it's equally awful, though. (Cracker doesn't have the same force. It's derogatory, but derogatory has little effect if it's coming from a group that has no power to keep crackers out of the executive suite or make it impossible for crackers to vote, etc.)

As in the case of nigger, sometimes the marginalized group repurposes the word as a positive (nothing wrong with being black, or liking guys), while also trying to achieve power by controlling who gets to use the word. Meanwhile, some people in the dominant group get offended by one or both of those strategies--how dare "those people" not be ashamed of their defects? how dare they tell us what we can call them? how dare they assume things about our feelings that may not be true?

I understand frustration with taboos and with other people making negative/uninformed judgments about one's personality, based on language. But language is one of the ways we gauge other people's likability and trustworthiness. Some words can make people stop listening to what you have to say. It's not worth it, to me, to say nigger in a verbal conversation rather than n-word; the conversation is derailed. At least, that's what I've seen, and that's what's happened to me when someone else has used that word in conversation with me--at that point, I start thinking about how to get out of the interaction and avoid this person in the future. And I know that's a snap judgment on my part, but not one that I've had reason to regret. (I'm sure there are some wonderful white people who use the word nigger without its being demeaning in intent, somewhere...I just haven't met any.)

In the context of quoting someone else's statement, or talking about Huckleberry Finn, etc., a person's using the word nigger would not offend me.
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05-07-2016, 06:48 AM
RE: Nigger
(04-07-2016 10:23 PM)TheBear Wrote:  So, why is "nigger" the one word white people need to avoid, even when citing something that someone else said? "He called him the N word!" is about as close as a white person can get. At the same time, any other derogatory remark in the world, including cracker, honky, faggot, motherfucker, and you name it, are all on the table to repeat.

Understandable that all these terms are derogatory and insulting, why is "nigger" the only word in the universe which is completely off the table for whites to utter in our culture?

Because you can lose your job. Maybe worse. There are many things you can't say to your boss without repercussions and life goes on.

On a serious note, early 2000s I was a software contractor at an energy company in Kansas city. We had a diverse team. Indians, whites, blacks, Jews, Hindus, Muslims...the works. There was this white Dutch guy, a truly terrible programmer, king of spaghetti code, but an otherwise interesting and entertaining character.

We are walking down the street, me, him and another black colleague on our team. Out of the blue he(Dutchman) asks why we are offended by the N-word. I told him I am not offended by the word. He got to call me the N-word a couple of times, which I took in stride if a bit puzzled. I figured he got his fix of it - I hate to be an unintentional constraint on free speech; though I am not insensitive to people's valid objections.

The other black guy, the main architect on the project, had not uttered a word from when the Dutchman had opened up on the N-word. I got back to my hotel assuming that was the end of it.

Next day at the office, the project manager is at my desk apologizing profusely I don't know for what. What did I miss? It turns out she was following up with me, having fired the amiable Dutchman, as disciplinary action for calling me the N-word. The architect had reported it. I was not even aware of what was going on until this guy was fired. Nobody asked me any questions.

That said, I doubt if the N-word is off the table for whites to utter. I think the proper question should be why do/would normal people look at me funny when/if I utter the N-word? Words mean things. And they can also lead to misunderstandings. It is one of those words which can be easily misunderstood coming from white people. Especially white to black. It may be less offensive when used strictly between whites; or between blacks for that matter.

I have no context in which I use it. No need to use it. In my world, it should be inconsequential. While there are people dealing with bigger concerns than just the ability to say nigger with impunity, I think it should be up to the individual to moderate themselves in terms of speech.

We have to remember that what we observe is not nature herself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning ~ Werner Heisenberg
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05-07-2016, 06:49 AM
RE: Nigger
I guess it depends too on which country you're using which racially offensive word. Here in Australia for example, we have this item in a TV guide about signage at a local football club—in honour of one of its greatest members...

Quote:Nigger Lovers
ABC1, 9.30pm

WELCOME to Toowoomba, home of the E.S. "Nigger" Brown Stand, a grandstand named in honour of a famous local rugby player who was so blond and so pale skinned they called him "Nigger" as a joke. What sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch is actually just a fact of life in the Queensland town where even the local indigenous population barely notice the large sign that hangs over the grandstand to this day.....

We also have a very popular Aussie cheddar cheese brand...

[Image: lightandtaste.jpg]

... it's named after its American creator, Edward William Coon, who patented a method subsequently known as the Cooning process, in 1926. The brand isn't considered racially offensive simply because it's accepted as a legitimate family name.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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05-07-2016, 06:58 AM
RE: Nigger
(05-07-2016 06:15 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(04-07-2016 10:23 PM)TheBear Wrote:  So, why is "nigger" the one word white people need to avoid, even when citing something that someone else said? "He called him the N word!" is about as close as a white person can get. At the same time, any other derogatory remark in the world, including cracker, honky, faggot, motherfucker, and you name it, are all on the table to repeat.

Understandable that all these terms are derogatory and insulting, why is "nigger" the only word in the universe which is completely off the table for whites to utter in our culture?

It's only whites who tell other whites to use the term "N word" in place of nigger when citing someone. Black people don't care. There's too many white people offended on black people's behalf.

I remember when I was in the military I had told someone referring to me as a dot head, would be the equivalent of referring to a black person as a nigger, my white sergeant was so offended by me using the word nigger, he asked some of the fellow black service men to report me, and they just laughed at him.

No, that depends on the individual black person. To claim no blacks ever get offended by a white person saying "nigger" is bullshit. I have had plenty of interaction in my life with blacks as co workers and friends to know you cant make blanket statements like that.

I had a job for 7 years with a mixed kitchen and while blacks use the word themselves at my friends and co workers said at best I could use "nigga", which never did.

But that is flat out bullshit to say you can get away with it all the time, it still depends on the individual.

I will only agree that many blacks even those who don't like the word being used, still don't want it banned by law.

I think all words are contextual and can only be taken case by case. But if you are going to use a word with someone, just as a conversation or joke I think it is wise to know your audience and that person personally. There are things you can get away with saying to those you personally know than saying to complete strangers.

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05-07-2016, 07:00 AM
RE: Nigger
(04-07-2016 10:44 PM)Foxen Wrote:  I think it's kind of like me having to limit myself to I.F. to describe you.

I.F.? Am I missing a good insult?

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05-07-2016, 07:02 AM
RE: Nigger
(05-07-2016 06:49 AM)SYZ Wrote:  I guess it depends too on which country you're using which racially offensive word. Here in Australia for example, we have this item in a TV guide about signage at a local football club—in honour of one of its greatest members...

Quote:Nigger Lovers
ABC1, 9.30pm

WELCOME to Toowoomba, home of the E.S. "Nigger" Brown Stand, a grandstand named in honour of a famous local rugby player who was so blond and so pale skinned they called him "Nigger" as a joke. What sounds like something out of a Monty Python sketch is actually just a fact of life in the Queensland town where even the local indigenous population barely notice the large sign that hangs over the grandstand to this day.....

We also have a very popular Aussie cheddar cheese brand...

[Image: lightandtaste.jpg]

... it's named after its American creator, Edward William Coon, who patented a method subsequently known as the Cooning process, in 1926. The brand isn't considered racially offensive simply because it's accepted as a legitimate family name.




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