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Usage of a specific racial slur.
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Calling someone a b***h has insulting connotations. In certain circumstances, despite the insulting nature of the word. it can be both given and taken in good humor, and that is the only time it is acceptable. If it is going to either be given or taken insultingly, it is not appropriate to use.
It's similar word being discussed here. It's a word with insulting connotations, so if it is going to either be given or taken insultingly, it is not appropriate to use. In the case where there is a
understanding and insult is neither being given or taken, I see no problem with it.
You are still discussing the history of "the word"? Seriously.
The problem here is not the word itself. It is that Tush is not able to understand the concept of how people can tolerate certain nicknames from some, and not tolerate them from others.
You could replace the N word in his question with any other word, like
. That's how Thai people have been calling all westerners for ages. Or
, which is a word that the Japanese use for non-japanese people, and it also stands for "alien". Or
, which is a word that, in Slovakia, is used to both describe a person of the gypsy race, and a
It is completely pointless that the black community is reclaiming something.
If the guy is asking why the sun is rising every day, you will not help him by discussing the chemical composition of the sun.
Do you understand that analogy?
PEOPLE CAN FREELY CHOOSE WHICH WORDS TO TOLERATE FROM WHICH PEOPLE. THEY ARE NOT OBLIGED TO TOLERATE EVERYTHING FROM EVERYONE.
This is a bloody objective fact and I would love any one of you to argument against it. But somehow, Tush isn't getting it, and you guys are wasting a lot of effort on basically side-tracking. Let me give you a few examples of the logical concept that I posted four lines above used in practice.
Asakawa: Say, a bank Manager wants to be called Mr Smith at work but at home his wife called him "Sweetpea". He would likely not react well to you asking him for a loan and calling him Sweetpea. So, what's going on here and does this analogy work in relation to this conversation?
My name is Michal. In my country, a friendly way to address a Michal is by calling them "Mišo". A very familiar way usually used only between family members is "Miško".
Me and my friend Simon, who have known each other for 17 years. You know how we address each other? We use the worst insults known to Slovak language to address each other. And let me tell you, Slovak language is one very good language for rude expressions. And do we actually offend each other? No. And what would we do if someone else addressed us the way we address each other? It would involve violence very probably.
A black guy 1 and a black guy 2 don't mind calling each other the N word, but they mind when someone else calls them that.
See? This is how it works.
By the way...
are you people actually implying that
all black people
are fine when they use the N word on each other, but mind when a white person uses it?
As in... absolutely any black person is guaranteed to be fine when another black person calls them by the N word? Say, a very rich lawyer who happens to be black, when he is addressed by a street thug, who also happens to be black, by the N word, he will be fine with it?
As in... nowhere on this planet are a black guy and a white guy who would be such good friends that they would not get offended if they used "the N word" in their personal conversation?
ALL THE BLACK PEOPLE
RECLAIMING A WORD
Might be just me, but when I see people saying: All people of <race> do <thing>, it usually sounds like a
pretty racist statement
But now I am sidetracking. :-*
lol, bold caps eh?
You're not wrong but this is an interesting case with a lot of history so why not talk about it? Threads don't usually go well if you're only willing to say "this is the only pertinent fact and no other discussion should be done"
I know I am not wrong. And as far as I know, this topic is a guy who is asking for explanation of a logical concept. I posted that explanation. This is not a kind of thread that is supposed to be treated like a bonsai so the discussion keeps flowing. This is a clear question with a clear answer, and adding uncertainty and hazing the answer in mist does not help. Think what you want of my bold caps, my only goal was to actually set the OP on the right track, and if I felt like I have to somehow overpower all the crap posted in this topic, I acted accordingly. It is not like I can actually stop anybody from continuing this discussion, and I am also done repeating the same thing over and over.
Thror I prefer the turn the thread took, this is interesting, the initial question didn't bring that much. And I still think it has to the with that specific word itself, AND its history. This exact question comes up all the time, but you don't often hear "why can fat people call themselves fat but I can't?". It's because this is a specific case. Maybe not to tush, but to a lot of people.
Also plenty of times have we said the word is fine if a black person tells you you can use it with him, but only with him. You need approval by every black person you use it to. And when we say black people, we mean as a community, not every single one of them. I thought this was very clear, but I guess not.
And I still find it somewhat offensive that you think this is comparable to your name or something, it's not.
I simply think you are wrong. And tush needs to know the history behind this specific word because I know for a fact it is not discussed in finland very often, and he meant THIS word or he wouldn't have said earlier what he said about getting beat to death by black people.
I was just trying to keep things light-hearted Thror. It's okay for people to see this as more multifaceted than you do mate, that's all.
@Elura: I disagree that this is a problem of that specific word, because of how that word is actually being used. It follows the exactly same pattern as all the other offensive words in this world. People that choose to be fine when certain people use it are fine, people that choose to be offended when certain other people use it are offended. The N word is not an exception, so It is fine to break the question down to the most elementary component, which is the misunderstanding of the logical concept that I described. If the N word was somehow an anomaly, it would make sense to analyze the word thoroughly, but it isn't. And take that as a subjective statement, I am fine if we agree to disagree.
I could replace any of my "examples" with five others. If you find some of my examples offending, I am sorry.
The difference here is that if I'm offended by being called "blondie", that has to do with me, not the word. But @#$%^& is offensive, and it should be to everyone. In reality it's probably a word that should disappear completely because of what it has become. But I do see that the black community has a right to use it in it's original way. White people have no RIGHT to the original way because that was never ours, when people took it and changed it, we lost every right we could've possibly had.
And I'm sorry Mytie if it hurts your feelings to not be allowed to use a word that doesn't belong to you because of what people did before you were born, but this has nothing to do with you and you making this about you is you wanting to be a victim.
But @#$%^& is offensive, and it should be to everyone.
I disagree completely.
The N word has no particular significance over any other offensive word
, unless you choose to assign that significance to it. Being so concerned about the history of the word, it's past meanings and the wrongs that it caused, I can see why you come to your conclusions. I also believe that quite a lot of people share that opinion with you, because the N word has basically been demonized way more than a simple insult should.
I do not think that is a particularly good way to perceive the word, but it is your way and I can't take it from you. I do not think it is good for Tush to learn that from you, the way you consider some things fundamentally wrong and always offensive.
I wonder if you also think people should never make jokes about the holocaust. If yes, your way of demonizing certain things makes you miss out on quite a few good jokes. You might even consider my ability to joke about the holocaust to be indicative of my disregard for the genocide of the Jews in WW2 and lack of respect for the terrible events that occurred there and then, but that would be an incorrect assumption.
We are worlds apart when it comes to how we see some things. I think your way is quite negative and destructive. Would be nice if this Tush guy, or anyone else who is reading this discussion, didn't learn it.
Just hopping in here to be pedantic as usual:
are you people actually implying that all black people are fine when they use the N word on each other, but mind when a white person uses it?
The answer is no, because even in the OP it says:
I have understood that
N word is like friend
, but it also has racism porpuses
So no, that implication isn't being made. It's obvious that it's slang (or whatever the correct word is for "street lingo").
The N word wasn't always used as a slur.
!@#$%^ is a noun in the English language. The word originated as a neutral term referring to black people, as a variation of the Spanish/Portuguese noun negro, a descendant of the Latin adjective niger ("color black"). Often used slightingly, by the mid 20th century, particularly in the United States, its usage had become unambiguously pejorative, a common ethnic slur usually directed at people of Sub-Saharan African descent.
Sadly to say, back then black people weren't educated. They only knew about the word because that's what people were calling them. They didnt come up with the term.
You keep saying it like they came up with the word and we twisted it into a slur. It was just a way to describe the colored people.
Yeah.. they didn't know latin, so uneducated. Silly savages.
I know the word wasn't always used as a slur, it was made so by white people at a specific time. Like I've said. 500 million times now.
So you're saying the slaves they got that were in Africa knew Latin? And here I thought they had their own language.
But I do see that the black community has a right to use it in it's original way.
So other black people can obviously state they're talking to another black person. Because that's the original use of the word.
They can easily say to each other dude, homie, bro, etc., to portray it. But they can use that word because we used that word first.
Still makes no sense to me. But whatever.
I'm saying they didn't know latin and that has nothing to do with being uneducated. Not knowing what you know doesn't make someone uneducated.
Okay the word might mean black (honestly don't know the complete origin since that's not what's important anymore) but the way it was changed in to a slur by white people has completely changed it. And black people (that I have talked to or read articles by) don't want it to be a word that belongs to white people to bring an entire race down.
Which is why they're reclaiming it.
The word only has as much power as they let it. If continue to think of it as a slur when being called one, then people will continue to call them one.
Much like Asa's queer example, if they embraced it then it would have no meaning. And that means no matter who says the word.
Thing is, there's actually two versions of it: the one that ends in an 'a' is actually the word meaning 'bro, dude, friend' while the 'er' is still an insult depending on how it's said; can ask any black person who runs into the wrong sort down in the South just how much that word can hurt for all the so called 'change in thought' that supposedly exists.
Edit: But yes, it's still in the content; as said here in the thread, there are a lot of words that are used as both a friendly comment and an insult, such as the other word for female dog, ass, the short form of Richard, and many others; I even know someone who uses the F-word in that manner, where $%^&ers are his friends, and stupid !@#$s are the people he dislikes.
Yeah I know about the two versions, my friends and I also used a third version "nig". I mentioned this on my first post.
Much like Asa's queer example, if they embraced it then it would have no meaning. And that means no matter who says the word.
I'm not saying it makes the word okay for everyone to throw around without a thought. I wouldn't refer to a gay friend as "my queer friend" or greet with with "Hello queer". If we had a relationship where that was appropriate then it would be an in-joke between us and not indicative of anything broader than that.
I'm very anti-censorship but there's still propriety. Why on earth would you use the word "nig" casually with friends? I can't begin to imagine a context where that isn't, at best, weird.
The etymology is obvious and as interesting as etymology always is but it doesn't change the fact (as clearly stated in your quote Nathanyal) "its usage had become unambiguously pejorative". I disagree with Elura that the word (any word) should be walled off but one should never use any word in any context without some understanding of the consequential reaction in those around you.
This thread is an illustration for history. It's a comical reflection of what we read about the centuries that have gone by. Throughout history, a group of people has felt wronged by a race, and to right that wrong, they discriminate back against that first group of people. Then, when power shifts, that second group discriminates back against the first. Depending on where you are, and what time you live in, this discrimination is either acceptable or unacceptable. Eventually, this ends in people dying horrible deaths. History shows us that time and again.
You cannot label a group of people as "historically oppressed" and then argue that discrimination against the oppressors is acceptable, or say that it somehow rights things. At what point will that cycle stop? At what point will everyone on Earth finally feel like everyone has been equally oppressed so that we can all move on? It's a textbook example of a vicious cycle.
The black race is "reclaiming a word"? Really? A race is taking something back from another race. Something that was used to discriminate against Group A is being used to discriminate back against Group B. This is where we are at? At what point will Group A no longer be "the oppressed"? At what point will we have discriminated against Group B enough so that we are all equally oppressed?
I have an ancestor that died in the Civil War, on the side of the North. I don't know why he was there. Maybe money. Maybe it was the right thing to do. I don't know. But he did die for the North, and in doing so, contributed his life toward freeing the slaves. Can I receive compensation for that? Perhaps I can be a subset of the white race that can use the N word? Perhaps we should develop social classes of people, each with different privileges, based on what their ancestors did. Good idea right? We can discriminate to end discrimination. Brilliant!
Or, here's an idea: We stop treating people differently based on their skin color. We stop making up rules that apply to how we look. We don't tell a person "you can't do that because you are black (or white, or asian, or whatever)".
But, if we insist on discriminating against people based on their race, we stop being liars about it. We don't try to parade our discrimination around and call it "Justice". That's not justice. That's vengeance. That's settling the score. That score that will never be settled. That's the lie. In two hundred years they'll look back at our discrimination, that we justified as right, and wonder what the hell we were thinking. Somehow, we think that today, we are different than history. We think that we can make these arbitrary social rules, apply them to the various races, and they are just. Then, we look down our noses at the racists of the past. "Oh look how far we've come" we say. "Look how tolerant we are" we say. If that's what tolerance is, selective and justified racism, I want no part of it.
I'm more than happy to point out this double standard. It makes me feel better, to tear the mask of justice off of our social discrimination. It pisses people off. Makes them uncomfortable. I'm ok with that. I have to be. I feel like if I don't point it out, who will?
The word is a slur but you can use it.
The propriety of using the word differs in different circumstances. This is how language works and isn't a racial or discriminatory thing.
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