We Can't Say What You Can't Say

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You really can't make this stuff up. Apparently, an employee at the University of Virginia said the following during a staff meeting:

I can't believe in this day and age that there's a sports team in our nation's capital named the Redskins. That is as derogatory to Indians as having a team called Niggers would be to blacks.

Problem is, in the midst of denouncing racism, the staffer mentioned the dreaded N-word, provoking offense and criticism. Yes, really. Apparently, some terms are so offensive that they can't be mentioned even in the course of warning people against using them. I understand that some terms are so charged that they'll grate on some folks even in innocuous contexts—but in the obvious absence of malice, isn't that the kind of thing you just pull someone aside to mention later?

No less a figure than NAACP head Julian Bond said of the incident:

My first impulse is that this should be a dismissible infraction—but free speech protections I hold dear tell me that shouldn't be so.

Because of his enormous regard for free speech, Bond will settle for a public apology and mandatory sensitivity training. Meanwhile, over at Volokh, David Bernstein finds an amusing parallel in Monty Python's Life of Brian.

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  1. Scene 4 “the stoning” is the applicable life of brian reference

  2. If Julian Bond, and the NAACP, believe this is ‘free’ speech, then why are they advocating mandatory sensitivity training…sounds like an oxymoron from a moron.

  3. I swear, it seems to me the goal is to have everyone afraid to open their mouths except those who have pre-approval to speak. How in the world is anything of importance going to be discussed at a staff meeting if “fear of offense” becomes a guiding principle of discussion?

  4. As a U.Va. graduate, I have to say I’m ashamed of my alma mater.

    I’m also confused why there’s such an outcry over the word “nigger,” and no similar outrage over the word “redskin.” Surely, if racial epithets are to be denounced regardless of context, Julian Bond et. al. should be as righteously indignant about one as the other.

  5. Lemme get this straight – the head of the NAACP takes the position that anyone who says that the term nigger is derogatory to blacks should be fired? But for the First Amendment, of course.

    Ye Godz!

  6. I count myself as someone who’s skeptical of the those who bash “political correctness,” but this is easily the stupidest thing I’ve heard of lately. I’m embarrassed for Julian Bond, who should know better.

  7. The Ute tribe approves of the University of Utah sports teams being called “The Utes”.

    They aren’t allowed to open casinos or sell cheap cigarettes; so they are probably going with the “I don’t care what you say about me as long as you spell my name right” theory of public relations.

  8. anyone who says that the term nigger is derogatory to blacks should be fired?

    Sounds like Busta Rhymes and DMX had better double their NAACP contributions, just to be on the safe side. The two of them combined say the word “nigger” more often than a grand wizard. But that’s ok, because they’re black. And when Richard Pryor said it, hell it wasn’t just ok, it was damned hilarious. Curiously, it is the white folks who get slammed for being racist by using the word “nigger”, when in fact the qualitative interpretation of the word rests entirely on the race of the speaker, begging the question, who’s the racist?

  9. How gracious of Julian Bond to let a smidgen of civil liberty trickle down to the masses.

  10. I say reporter Rowland of the campus newspaper should be disciplined for writing the forbidden N word in the context of her newspaper reporting. After all, the article talks about expressing disapproval for someone who was expressing disapproval for using the N word.

  11. the goal is to have everyone afraid to open their mouths except those who have pre-approval to speak.

    What better way to negate the freedom of speech than to instill fear of being ostracized at its use? This is what happens when you try to define a word that has no definition. Everything becomes it.

  12. I guess Julian Bond is only 12.5% offended by the term.

    No mention of using the derogatory term “Indian” though. I’m sure native Americans love being called that.

  13. derogatory term “Indian” though. I’m sure native Americans love being called that

    Is it derogatory? I’d say it’s just incorrect.

  14. Do you astute observers of the political scene really not get this? The uttering of The Forbidden Word isn’t what this story is about. The Civil Rights Establishment is primarily offended by the implication that racism against American Indians is real racism. They don’t like anyone horning in on their shtick. The ill-advised use of the N word is just a good hook.

    I think the staffer is absolutely right. “Redskins” is a disgrace. Freaking Jack Kent Cook.

  15. I think there is a distinct difference in the usage and connotation of the words “nigger” and “redskin”. “Redskin”, as epithets go, is a fairly mild one, and as a team name, is invoked as a symbol of bravery and skill, the same as the Vikings or the Cowboys (maybe the last decade of ineptitude are why Indians, er, Native Americans, consider it an insult to have this particular team named for them). “Nigger” on the other hand, is almost never used by a nonblack in a manner that is not pejorative. It’s not just an epithet, it’s a dehumanizing insult, and the reason why you’d never see a team named the “Niggers” is the same reason why you’d never see a team named the “Lazy Shiftless Sons of Bitches”; the name invokes no noble archetypal image that anyone would aspire to, and to be called that is simply to be insulted. The words are similiar in origin but couldn’t be further apart as to the meaning and/or usage.

    As to the controversy, Mr. Bond deserves to be smacked full in the face with the flat of a large spade (haha), be made to apologize to the school and to the NAACP for wasting their time, and give me a dollar for the brain cells that died in agony reading this story. Language is a tool, and while there should be consequences to how that tool is used, you do nothing but inhibit the interchange of ideas by saying “this word can never be used regardless of context”. I also find it curious that nobody’s pointing a finger at the PC dipshit that set this ball rolling in the first place. After all, w/o the Redskins comment there would have been no grist for this particular mill.

  16. rst-
    In fairness, I think the race of the speaker is an important part of the context that determines whether the use of a word is offensive, in something like the way that an utterance that’d be affectionate coming from a friend would be seen as rude coming from a stranger. As George Carlin used to stress, there isn’t really any such thing as an “offensive word” — context is everything. My father sometimes jokingly calls me his “number one spic”–you’d get at the very least a funny look if you did the same.

  17. Why not just make the Redskins play in Oklahoma?

  18. I’m sure native Americans love being called that.

    Strangely, in my experience, I’ve found that to be exactly true.

  19. Julian – the empowerment disempowerment bit notwithstanding, I still wonder with how much exultation it is that the aforementioned DMX and Busta refer to “niggers.” In some contexts, the word implies a brotherhood, and in others, it implies a marked dislike (Busta Rhyme’s “bitch nigga scared ta death” vs. DMX’ “my niggaz”). Neither usage by those individuals is apparently “impermissible” to Bond’s standard, because the word itself, qua symbol, has no inherent badness or goodness. Its definition to the overly sensitive listener (like Mr Bond) hinges entirely on the speaker, and not at all on the context in which the word is used. Your father uses it in a specific context, and because you see and understand that context, there is no offense. Here, the context is entirely overlooked, and the speaker, not the ignorant listeners, is blamed for it. I see no reason why we as individuals should tremble at other people’s inability or unwillingness to evaluate a term in context.

  20. “Why not just make the Redskins play in Oklahoma?”

    Because Oklahoma is already occupied by the “Rednecks”.

  21. RST, what Sanchez is trying to tell you in his distinctive manner is that there’s a double standard in society. It’s been established by 35 years of hard work by the media and academia and identity politics types, but the fact is it’s there, so get over it.

    If I hear one more white guy whine that “well a black person can say the n-word, or Dusty Baker can talk about white players and the hot sun and the media say nothing,” I’m gonna get angry.

    It’s a requisite for admission into the white liberal media establishment…non-whites can call for all-out race war and they’re “expanding the dialogue on race.”
    Whites evoke so much as a whimper, and their careers are over….Those are the rules, so adjust.

  22. As a white person I am very offended by the name of the San Francisco “49er’s”. This name makes people think that all white people are just money hungry gold chasers which is certainly not true. We should change the “49er’s” to the “happy fluffy rabbits” for that surely will not upset anyone, except angery rabbits who feel they are not properly represented…

    Now don’t even get me started on the Cleveland “Browns” that name is an insult to Latinos everywhere and should be changed.

  23. As a white person I am very offended by the name of the San Francisco “49er’s”. This name makes people think that all white people are just money hungry gold chasers which is certainly not true. We should change the “49er’s” to the “happy fluffy rabbits” for that surely will not upset anyone, except angry rabbits who feel they are not properly represented…

    Now don’t even get me started on the Cleveland “Browns” that name is an insult to Latinos everywhere and should be changed.

  24. Dear Concerned Citizen,

    I am sure you’ll get the response, “yeah, well I don’t have to like it,” or something like that …

    Ocassionally talk-radio shows delve into this subject on the illogical position that if there is a “black history month,” why isn’t there a “white history month,” or something along those lines like an NAAWP or something. It infuriates me to know end that whites just don’t get the fact that the other eleven months are white history month and the Congress and corporate America is the NAAWP.

  25. Dave, be careful what you wish for, or future generations will be learning all about John Latino’s exploits at Harper’s Ferry (and the Cleveland Latinos will still have yet to win a Super Bowl!).

  26. It infuriates me to know end that whites just don’t get the fact that the other eleven months are white history month and the Congress and corporate America is the NAAWP.

    Quit confusing society with economics.

  27. Colorado Steve,

    Corporate America?? Corporate America is the most “diverse” place in America…where email is routinely (and surreptitiously) scanned for “insensitive” language, and “diversity’ initiatives abound, including affirmative action…check out how many fortune 500 companies filed briefs defending Michigan’s AA admissions policy.

    Corporate America is very close to seeing the world through your point of view.

  28. Junyo: I hear white/spanish/black/who the heck knows kids in their hoodies saying nigga every day on the 1 train. My only problem with this is repeated hearings make words more likely to pop up in conversation, so even if you mean no disrespect, you might say, “Yeah I was hanging with the niggaz down at the bodego” instead of “Yes, I was chatting with my friends down at the ole grocery store”. J. Bond might get his merkin in a twist over such language, but it’s a normal result of everyday living.

    Steve in CO: I also have a problem with a “White History Month” but I have a bigger problem teaching history simply to make someone feel good. History in school is made boring enough, why don’t we concentrate on whoever made the advances in the past that allow people all over the world to live mostly disease free, with electronics and satellite TV and phones, and how the current political makeup of the world evolved without mentioning the race of the people involved? It’s irrelevant and also probably unknown exactly what race everyone was. For all we know Washington “passed” as white!

    History as a “makes me feel good” subject should be taught at home with as many embellishments, half-truths, and folklore as the teacher wishes.

  29. but the fact is it’s there, so get over it.

    This isn’t something I have to get over. I will use the word nigger and other racial epithets when and if I feel it is appropriate; those “offended” will have to get over it. I prefer ignoring the double standard and the condemnations of the Righteous Offended.

  30. I think everyone is missing the point here. The question is not whether it should be OK to say “nigger” or not. The question is whether someone should be accused of racism for saying, basically, that the term “nigger” is racist and offensive. Has the world become so deranged that you can’t even denounce a racist term without being hauled in front a sensitivity training class? That “Life of Brian” excerpt is spot-on, except that Monty Python KNEW they were doing parody; Julian Bond apparently has no such self-awareness.

  31. Has the world become so deranged that you can’t even denounce a racist term without being hauled in front a sensitivity training class?

    It is not a racist term, however. Otherwise, there is a host of rappers and R&B musicians who would qualify for said sensitivity training class. Were the employee black, and had he said the same thing, the context would have been exactly the same. Would the response have been likewise the same?

  32. “I will use the word nigger and other racial epithets when and if I feel it is appropriate” 4:02

    “(Nigger) is not a racist term, however.” 4:25

    I’ve seen this movie. It doesn’t end well.

  33. I’ve seen this movie. It doesn’t end well.

    What doesn’t end well? If the word is by definition racist, independent of context, then what of its “accepted” uses? Likewise racist, when uttered from the black speaker to the black listener?

    Either there is an objective, non-contextual meaning to the word, or there is not, or the distinction between having a context and not having a context rests entirely on the race of the person uttering it.

    “Racial epithet” is the generally accepted meaning of the term nigger. That does not make the term itself racist. Think about the phenomenon of language as symbols vs. language as conveying being, joe. It’s a really simple concept, surely you grasp it.

  34. Nigger means a lot of things. It also carries various doctrines, depending on context, the controlling of which is part of the skill in using it; or rather the failure to control which gets you in trouble.

    For instance, it means on the one hand all black people; and on the other, black people on the dole, lazy black people, black people with anti-social attitudes (which can be good as well as bad). The trick in using the word is not having an unwanted internal equation between two of the senses, resulting in a doctrine like “all black people are lazy.”

    By and large, a black person can use it without getting into that trouble, and a white person has to work a little more at cutting out the unwanted sense. You can even use it for a cozy mood coming back on yourself.

    It’s not a double standard but rather a difficulty with context.

  35. While we’re splitting hairs, I meant generally accepted “context” above, not “meaning”.

  36. . . . future generations will be learning all about John Latino’s exploits at Harper’s Ferry . . .

    Um, that’s Harper’s Homosexual, if you don’t mind.

  37. I thought NAACP stood for “Niggers Are Actually Colored Polacks”.

  38. I knew it wouldn’t be long before the, “there are black folk and there are …” rationale would be mentioned. Hey, can we not realize that the word is loaded (as rst has pointed out) for white speakers, but not black? Unfair, but hey, so was slavery.

  39. A large subset of the Cambodian kids in my city call each other the N word. Pisses me off in so many directions.

  40. Unfair, but hey, so was slavery.

    Yes, but what is that to me? I owned no slaves. The color of my skin does not make me culpable for southern American farmers having bought slaves, any more than the color of a black man’s skin makes him culpable for the African slave traders who captured and sold from their own “race”. Just as white folks have no reasonable expectation for an “NAAWP”, nor should the NAACP have any expectation that non-beneficiaries of their group would consider it to be in any way a checkpoint for permissible language. A human may speak as s/he wills; what should we care whether the slight of mind are offended? And why does that offense hinge on nothing more substantial than the race of the speaker? For your nitpicking, joe, you couldn’t answer the question, would the reaction have been the same were the speaker black?

  41. I’ve seen plenty of Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins gear being worn by local indian tribe members. Some folks like it, some hate it.

    I can’t believe that a man saying N word is actually a story.

    And I can’t believe there’s a team in Arizona called the Cardinals. Don’t they know cardinals only occur rarely in Arizona, which is on the periphery of their distribution?

  42. Joe, called out again for not answering the question, only dodging…come on man answer his question with a straightforward response.

    It is a sham and a shame that we have divided our society into cults of race. Most people assume that they are one race or another. They believe, and others reinforce, the idea that race is mutually exclusive…that one must identify with white or black or asian or hispanic or indian, but can only choose one. On most applications (federal, state, or local government job apps, college admission apps, etc.) the individual is given just these choices. This just reinforces the cult of race and perpetuates the myth of race. The simple fact is that no DNA test can any person what race they belong to. No DNA test can limit a rapist to a white male. Color is genetic, obviously, but it is such a small makeup of DNA that it is impossible to tell race.

    I think that the idea of race should die a thousand deaths. The only solution is to ignore color and those who perpetuate it as a way to divide the population…including so-called ‘realists’ who see it as an issue to just “get over” cause it ain’t gonna change.

  43. Those of you who so breezily blow off double standards provided they cut in one direction are denying yourself any principled ground for condeming double standards that cut in another direction.

    As for all the blathering about context, lets keep in mind that the context here is a use of the term “nigger” to condemn racist uses of that and other terms. If this context doesn’t excuse the use of the term nigger, then what context possibly could? It sounds like all the learned talk about context-dependent meanings is just code for “look at the race of the speaker.”

    It seems to me that a double standard that condemns an action be a member of one race, but excuses the identical action by a member of another race, is the very definition of racism.

  44. It sounds like all the learned talk about context-dependent meanings is just code for “look at the race of the speaker.”

    Without context a word has no compelling meaning outside of a dictionary. A word is a symbol comprised of various and specific smaller symbols, representing pronounceable parts of human speech alone or in tandem. Context makes the meaning.

    The best example?

    “fuck”

  45. “Because of his enormous regard for free speech, Bond will settle for a public apology and mandatory sensitivity training.”

    Mighty white of you, Julian…

  46. I personally try not to use terms that someone finds offensive. However, I think a person who doesn’t want to understand the context, should be ignored. Especially the persons who make it their business to feel offended even though they were not spoken to. So, Mr. Bond, do something important and mind your own.
    Being German, I have been called a Nazi often enough. I don’t wear the shoe, so why should I feel offended? I can’t think of a nonintentional context to call me a Nazi, except the ignorance of the speaker. Given that fact, any discussion is fruitless and so is taking offense.
    Some people get mileage out of their ignorance, remember the broo-ha-ha over the use of the word “niggardly”? Perhaps we should change the spelling.

  47. This is the reason Huckleberry Finn has become an un-book. The whole point of the story is that Huck comes to see Jim as a real human being, and to abandon his views of him as “property.” But the PC shitheads are so distracted by the term “nigger” that they can’t see the value of the book.

    As for “Native American,” I refuse to recognize it as a legitimate term. Native American, back when Americans spoke English, meant someone born in America–as most of us were. In a more literate age, the PC idiots would have realized the term they were looking for was *aboriginal*.

  48. There’s a complex history to the word “nigger.” (Does anyone have specific information on this? it could fill a book.) What everyone so far has ignored here is the huge difference between “nigger/niggers” and “nigga/niggaz.” The use of the the words among African Americans seems to have been, initially, a way to remove the power the word “nigger” has, to parody it and alter it’s meaning. Here’s the catch: it’s hard as hell for a typical white person to credibly say “nigga” the way it needs to be pronounced – that is (forgive me), eubonically. A white person attempting it sounds ridiculous, and insulting in some sense. Black, though, people are using the altered word, which is why they get away with using it. White people, however, can’t really use the altered word credibly, and thus there’s always a tinge of the full force past of “nigger” whenever a “nigga” is attempted.

    “Nigger” has a very specific, emotionally charged meaning – not too context dependent. “Nigga,” on the other hand, is very versitile, and definately context dependent.

    Another thing that seems to be at issue: obscenities are stored in a different part of the brain than regular words. For everyone, I’m sure, “nigger” is clearly such a word – the obscenity bells ring at maximum volume; for me, however, “nigga” isn’t that way, it is not unambiguously obscene.

  49. rst, I agree that meaning is a reflection of context. I was just pointing out that the only context that seems to matter with “nigger” is the race of the speaker.

    If that is the case, then the context boils down to a racist double standard. Especially when a black person could say exactly the same thing in exactly the same situation and receive plaudits for it, rather than being beat up for it.

  50. Huckleberry Finn has become an “unbook”? Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration? It’s regarded as the Great American Novel by most people who care about such things, and it’s been years since I’ve heard of a school removing it from the reading list.

  51. Dean,

    It did fill a book, and the book was called … wait for it … “Nigger.” Needless to say, it was pretty controversial. Can’t remember who wrote it, but it was very well-reviewed.

  52. whoops, that comment wasn’t for Dean, it was for the anonymous who posted before him

  53. “(Does anyone have specific information on this? it could fill a book.) ”

    There is that book “Nigger”.

    “Another thing that seems to be at issue: obscenities are stored in a different part of the brain than regular words.”

    Where’d you get that from, the Southpark movie?

    Anyway, this whole issue is fairly simple. This guy used the word in an acceptable context and should not be reprimanded for it. But this is the exception to the rule, and most people should avoid it most of the time. Black people can use it more freely than white people because it’s much less likely they’re using it in the dispicable manner that should be shunned.

    All this talk here about “context”… the most important bit of context with use of the N-word is the race of the speaker.

  54. Damn, tried to sign after I hit send… anyway… the above is from me, Andy D.

  55. Sounds like some people here are really itching to use the word …

  56. I, too, have become a bit put off at the excessive claims of those who decry political correctness, even tho a decade ago I published in an academic journal decrying the problem (legitimately). But puh-leeze. Mr. Bond needs to get some perspective.

    As for the term “Indian,” in the article I wrote (for “Academic Questions”) I had to use it because in Wisconsin, whose university system and Indians I was writing about, that is what the subjects themselves insist on calling themsleves. They eschew the descriptor “Native American.” It is hard when the “offended” themselves do not agree on what is offensive.

  57. R.C. Dean writes: “It seems to me that a double standard that condemns an action be a member of one race, but excuses the identical action by a member of another race, is the very definition of racism.”

    I almost always agree with you, so take this opportunity to differ. Julian is right here.

    I am a non-theistic, cultural Catholic. Let some fundamentalist ignoramus rant about The Chruch being the Whore of Babylon and/or the “filthy papists,” and I get pissed. They have no license for such decrees, and their views are rooted in uninformed bigotry. But, I, and other “lapsed Romans,” can piss on the Church as we please. Do you not see why this is normal and natural, without being a P.C. issue?

  58. It’s quite clever to try the semantic switcheroo of “there is a difference betwixt ‘nigga’ and ‘nigger’.” Do, pray tell, how we’d have one without the other. You are stretching credultiy with your apology to the blacks who throw the term out there for all to hear.

    I don’t refer to all blacks as “niggers,” just as I don’t call every white person I see a “motherfucker.” But I know one when I meet one. But that’s just me. Sounds like Mr. Anonymous paid too close attention in his bullshit anthropology class.

    Steve

  59. Why is it problematic for the employee to say the N word but not the reporter? Is it okay to speak the dreaded word only if quoting someone else? If so, could the employee have “gotten away” with it if he/she had fibbed and said they “heard someone say” and then followed that with their redskin/N-word comparison?

  60. joe,

    You should start your own blog where you do nothing but “argue” with your straw men.

  61. Garth – “cunt” has its uses. When you’ve got to drop a harsh verbal elbow on a woman, nothing stops her in her tracks like the C-Word does. Use it judiciously though, its shock value is what keeps them stunned.

  62. Only if you promis to start “joeWatch.com”

  63. And people wonder why the world thinks that Americans are insane. 🙂

  64. I don’t care anymore.

  65. This whole thing started over the Washington Redskins. I have a solution that will solve all our problems. Change the mascot from an Indian to a “redskin” potato. Being a half-paddy myself, I would like to see the potato given the recognition and respect that it deserves (though the way those assholes have been playing this season..)

  66. Right on, Douglas. It is hard to care anymore. These “controversies” aren’t real. They aren’t substantive. It’s this virtual game where certain players are assigned the role of “offenders” and others are assigned the role of “offended.” Meanwhile, no actual offense, no genuine pain, takes place.

    Find me one person out there who felt real, live hurt from hearing or reading about this speaker saying “nigger.” Seriously. Find a single one. You can’t. You will find only people who want to feel hurt by it.

    I’m not saying that no words can cause pain and offense. Just that in these instances — like the “master/slave” thing — they do not. It’s hard to take any of this stuff seriously anymore, or to give a shit.

  67. Reading back over my own post, I realize I instinctively did something as a writer that sums up what rst has been saying: I put quote marks around the word “nigger.” Others have done the same thing throughout this thread, likely without even realizing it.

    Those quote marks are a basic writing tool — a mechanism that indicates I’m referring to the word’s existence as a word. Indeed, if the Cavalier Daily were precise about its use of written language, it would have cast the reported quote this way:

    “I can’t believe in this day and age that there’s a sports team in our nation’s capital named the ‘Redskins.’ That is as derogatory to Indians as having a team called ‘Niggers’ would be to blacks.”

  68. Mona: You’re a hypocrite, just like the ones Jesus warned us against!

    Naughty list for sure!

  69. Sounds like some people here are really itching to use the word …

    Some people here already use the word. If people are afraid of nasty, bad words maybe they should go hide under their beds.

    the word’s existence as a word.

    Indeed, bear in mind the difference between the word and the ideas it conveys. Had he said something like, “…That is as derogatory to Indians as having a team called Spearchuckers would be to niggers.” then, maybe Bond would have a point.

  70. Of course it would have come off differently if said by a black person than a white one, rst. Words gain their meaning from context. One’s race is one element of the context that is taken into account when reading the meaning of a comment about race. Duh.

    It amuses me to see “anti-racists” who think the two greatest violations of racial justice in our society are 1) “black people get to say the N word, and I don’t,” and 2) “there are too many black people being admitted to college.” Right on, dude, let’s wipe out those two issues, and everything will be hunky dory.

  71. Right on, dude, let’s wipe out those two issues, and everything will be hunky dory.

    Who wants to wipe them out? Joe, you’re not paying attention. That “black people get to say the N word, and I don’t,” doesn’t indicate that there is some grand social iniquity so much as it compels many of us white folk to not give a flying rat’s ass what black America thinks about our usage of the word. And the problem for those who care isn’t that “there are too many black people being admitted to college.”, but rather that some blacks are being admitted to college because they’re black, i.e., the admissions scoring system puts them above an admissions eschelon solely on the basis of their race, cf. Michigan.

  72. “Of course it would have come off differently if said by a black person than a white one, rst. Words gain their meaning from context. One’s race is one element of the context that is taken into account when reading the meaning of a comment about race. Duh.”

    I agree that word’s meanings come with context, which is why it is odd for the NAACP to take exception to this use of the word. A white person is flagging it as the exemplar of offensive and insensitive language. Does anyone really think that the person who made such a comment needs an education about sensitivity?

    This sort of thing is what makes the NAACP seem more and more dated to me. Any relevant messages they might have get obscured by their insistence that we live in antebellum times.

  73. rst, the fact that you don’t give a flying rats ass comes through in each and every one of your fourteen posts.

    Jason, in this case, the absurdity of the Staff Union and NAACP’s reactions is so overblown that I can only attribute it to anger at the comparison of anti-American Indian racism with anti-black racism.

  74. comes through in each and every one of your fourteen posts.

    Fifteen. And it’s good that you picked up on that, that’s key. If you think that racism can be eradicated or alleviated by having everyone watch what they say, then you’re an idiot.

  75. Y’all sound like a bunch of honkies to me.

    I should know, I am one.

    Words lose their power through use, and gain power through prohibitions against them. South Park can air an episode in which “shit” is repeated over and over. I can say “fuck” all I like and no one (except my mother) will flinch.

    But one “cunt” and heads turn. Cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt, cunt. Seems silly that that word is taboo, doesn’t it? But it is: how often do you use it, or hear it used?

    The N-word *is* terrible because of what it connotes as well as the taboo against it’s use. Those who use it in an offensive way (with the intention of offending) are, indeed, assholes. But just the saying of the word should have no meaning, no power. (Of course I am so chicken-shit I won’t even write it down.)

    So bully for all of us making fun of the PC crowd!

  76. I wonder what would have happened if, rather than mentioning a hypothetical team called the N—–s, he had simply said “what Chris Rock said.”

  77. I found this site while writing an essay for my Comp II class. I was writing on the usage of nigger in society. I am white, but I have African friends (not black. Aboriginal African) who would be offended by the use of nigger. Why is that? It has nothing to do with slavery. Also, I was wondering if there could be found a comparison on the usage of shit, fuck, and bitch compared to nigger, on Southpark episodes. That show seems to be puching the PC envelope, but they still seldom use nigger to my knowledge.

  78. Oh stop complaining you darkies. Injuns, mexicoans, hymies, slanty-eyes, and negros are safest obeying those of European-Caucasoid origin. We own the world.

    88

    Kraus

  79. Oh stop complaining you darkies. Injuns, mexicoans, hymies, slanty-eyes, and negros are safest obeying those of European-Caucasoid origin. We own the world.

    88

    Kraus

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