Using the "N word" in discussions about the word. Racist?

And if somebody asked that you not use the word “retarded” while having a discussion about insulting language used against people who are mentally retarded, what would you do? Everybody here agrees that using “nigger” as an insult is beyond the pale.

lol: what did I JUST do? :slight_smile:

Mushroom, MUSHROOM!

Bravo. :smiley:

I had to google this to understand what the hell it meant. I’m so glad I did!

What about using the word “niggardly”? It’s a perfectly innocuous word, yet whenever I say it I always fear that some ignorant PC policeman - nah, that’s redundant - some PC policeman will take offense.

Actually, that one, single stupid incident of overreaction has been so overplayed in the media, on message boards and news groups, and in bars across the country that I doubt that you could be gigged for it by anyone other than a tiny group of offendserati who have been hiding from the real world for the last two decades. (And that sort of offenderati is more likely to spend so much time reading that they would know what the word actually meant, anyway.)

If you are quoting a Dave Chapelle routine or someone who has used it, I think it is pretty silly to say “n-word” when it would be obvious to anyone listening to you that you are not saying it or condoning it, but merely quoting someone.

However, I never have understood why other racial epithets are no big deal except this one. Why could George Jefferson call Tom Willis “honky” twice an episode and get big laughs, but the outcry if Tom had ever called him a “nigger” would have been enormous? Why is it ok when NBA player Charles Barkley makes stereotypical white guy comments (can’t jump, dance. etc.) but when golfer Fuzzy Zoeller made a stereotypical black guy joke at Tiger Woods (something about fried chicken) it is a Big Deal?

I say get over it with regard to getting upset over any word. Sticks and stones and all.

If you write N* or N-word, then you are a complete tard*

  • short for bastard**
    **what did you think it was short for?

Because “honky” is such a silly word that was not even prevalent in all black communities of the country (at the time that All in the Family and The Jeffersons were first broadcast) and was actually unknown to the white community, at large, until the middle 1960s. In contrast, nigger was an explicit insult that was widely known and had been hurled at blacks for many decades, specifically as an insult.
In the early 1970s, the constrast would have been analogous to some adult refering to a child as a shitstain only to have the child respond “You’re a poopy head.” The terms did not carry equal weight, even if the desire of the person hurling the insult was the same.

tomndebb, I like your analysis, but it implies that if I made up right now a silly sounding euphemism for blacks with no historical weight, then it could be used without impugnity, which we all know is not the case.

True. But since the black population, as a minority that has suffered persecution and oppression, is still disparaged and discriminated against in this country, your new word would appear to be an extension of the ongoing persecution while a black using a disparaging word against whites would still be perceived as shouting “doody head!”

What about “cracker”? If wiki is to be believed, it has deep roots and is no doubt insulting. Nonetheless, the term is frequently used by Chris Rock et al and I have a hard time getting worked up about it.

The odd thing is, is that whites just don’t get worked up about racial epithets like blacks do. I usually laugh when I have ever been called cracker honkie, whitey or whatever, even when the person saying it is trying to offend me. I can’t imagine getting pissed off at even an ethnic slur.

that would be a whole other debate, whether blacks are justified at getting so pissed at being called racist names. I guess its just another difference in the races.

If white people are willing to experience three hundred years of slavery, followed by two hundred more years of lynching and Jim Crow, followed by an additional few decades of poverty and general discrimination, then they will have earned the right to be offended by the word “honky”. And as a bonus, they’ll be able to sing the blues.

Or, more likely, the difference between groups who have power and have not suffered persecution and groups who lack power and have suffered persecution, regardless of ethnic background.

What about the Jews? Persecuted for far longer, and just about as recent as Blacks. Take the Mel Gibson deal- a minor outcry at best, and mainly from the movie industry. If Mel had asked the cop “are you a nigger” instead of “are you a Jew”, how would that have gone over? How many marches would there have been in Malibu?

Also Jesse Jackson & “Hymietown”- how different would that have been if Joe Lieberman had referred to “Niggertown”?

tomndeb, please disregard my last comment, I see you mentioned “lack power” in your last post, something which would render my comments about the Jews invalid. :slight_smile:

Yeah, I think most white people do find those terms amusing. It’s because they aren’t threatening and there’s no real persecution behind them. Although it’s a little surprising to me if you can’t even understand why someone would be pissed about that kind of thing. Can I take a few wild guesses here? You’re a Christian, probably with ancestry in northern Europe, and your family has been in this country for several generations. Tell me if I’m wrong. I’m imagining that you’ve never encountered much real prejudice against you or any group you’re a part of.

It’d be a very lonely debate for you, I think, if you were saying they aren’t justified.

“Minor”? It was front page news for over a week. How many marches were launched when John Rocker was mouthing off a few years ago (without even the excuse that he was drunk)?