Use of the n-word? other slurs?

I live up north now, but when I return to Baltimore, I hear relatives use the n-word in conversations at home. I find it disgusing and in poor taste and tell them so. Do you find people you come in contact with using the n-word - not to mention other ethnic and racial slurs???

Nope. Mostly because if someone uses racial slurs, I cease to come into contact with them. Racism is not something I’m willing to tolerate.

If they’re your relatives I guess that wouldn’t work. You have my sympathies, but unfortunately I can’t offer any good advice.

I sympathize with the OP. ALL of my close blood-relatives are intolerant of “them”. (“Them” is a generic term that can include any ethnic group that isn’t like “us”.)

I still call them on it when I hear them utter such filth.

Sadly, they’re also close blood-relatives to my nineteen-month-old son. I’m hoping that GrizzCub doesn’t pick up any of their vibes about “them”.

You mean “nerd?”

That’s a dirty dirty slur.

I’ve told people that my grandfather was a marine officer from Uganda. It shuts them up. It doesn’t seem to matter that very little sea traffic goes from Lake Victoria to the U.S…

I don’t want to get flamed, so please, be gentle.

I’m white, and I think the n word is horrible. But why is it unacceptable for a white person to use it, but perfectly okay and acceptable for a black person to do so. I think black people who do use it are demeaning their race. After all, you don’t hear white people going around calling each other honkies all the time.

Because “honkies” isn’t a white word, is it? Its a word which black culture has produced. Or am I totally wrong? Its been known to happen…in my corner of the world, there is no word for white people except made by white people except “white people”.

As for my family, they don’t use racial slurs…but they ARE racist to a certain extent. Oh, except to Japanese, of course :rolleyes:

Shudder Twitch It’s not hard to figure out. It’s about subverting a slur and turning it into a group identifier. White people do it too.

Funny, I don’t see many white people calling each other “cracker” or “Mr. Charlie”. “Honkie” has to be the most hilarious epithet ever devised and I’ve never heard it used in real life.

I really don’t care if people use epithets.

The words that get under my skin are faggot,queer & homo etc… These words hold as much hate and hurt that
the n word does, but no one ever mentions these words do they?

Because the former two also mean a tightly wrapped bundle of sticks and the other means someone is strange. With nigger there’s no question about what one means.

Yeah. Pretty frequently, actually. They’re not discussed as much as “nigger,” no, but probably more than any other racial/ethnic/orientation/whatever slur.

What offends me is intent, not semantics. Eg there’s nothing sinister behind the Agatha Christie novel titled “Ten Little Niggers”.

By contrast hearing someone use a “politically correct” term with a negative emphasis is abhorrent. Or take a word like “blackfellas” - used to described Australian aborigines and pacific islanders - I’ve heard that spoken with good intent by a white Australian (and being well received by the subject of it) and I’ve also heard it being spat out as a race-hate insult.

Have you ever been in a situation where white people are a minority for an extended period of time? That’s when it happens.

And I guess I shouldn’t say that like I’m referring to an extensive study, I’m just saying I’ve seen it happen.

It’s not perfectly okay and acceptable for a black person to use “n**er”, at least not around me and many black people I know. However, it has different connotations when it comes out of different mouths. The intention might very well be the same, but that doesn’t change the fact that it tends to connote different things when a white person says it versus a black person. This rests on the assumption that black people can’t be racist against themselves whereas a white person CAN be racist against black people.

I don’t get why many white people seem bothered so much about this particular double-standard. Why would anyone even want to call someone a “ni**er” anyway?

If some spoken the word “white” with such hate and spite in front of you, enough times, that word would change in your mind. Words are only as offencive as the context in which it is said, the history of the word to the listener, and the tone of which it is being said.

Yes, I have been in such a situation and I have never come across any white friends starting to call each other the often-hilarious epithets dedicated to white people. I also don’t see Irish hanging out with other Irish calling each other micks or Italians hanging out with other Italians calling each other dago or wop.

I would assume white people seem bothered by black people calling each other nigger or nigga because it shows a lack of intelligence on the part of the users, regardless of the speaker’s race, because it does denigrate a certain kind of human being. I’m sure that black people chalk it up to empowering themselves much in the same fashion how some young women have adopted the term bitch as something to be proud of.

A rhetoric class I was in featured a section on swearing and racial epithets when discussing the history of English. A girl did her paper on reclamation and how one way to change the meaning of a word is to change the spelling.

You can notice this in a lot of hip-hop music, or even in the way African Americans pronounce the word when they use it. It becomes “nigga” instead of “nigger.” And the conotation changes dramatically. It becomes akin to “brother” in a way.

Not all Blacks feel ‘empowered’ by the N-word. John Mellencamp’s last album has a song that was inspired by one of his backing singers sheer hatred of the word. It features a rap by Chuck D of Public Enemy:

I suspect some of the problem with it may come from the fact that many white people these days are taught that n----r is absolutely the worst word you can possibly say, much worse than ordinary swear words like shit or fuck (I know the n-word is the only word in the English language that feels dirty to me), and it just plain makes us uncomfortable to hear.

(NB: Personally, I’m not offended or anything by black people using That Word. But I do wince a little when I hear it, regardless of context.)