Skip to main content

View Diary: N-word (186 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think its cool to use . (10+ / 0-)

    And I don't want permission .

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. H.

    by indycam on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 03:15:27 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was not suggesting that it is acceptable for white people to use the N-word (don't think it is particularly acceptable for black people to use it, either).

      I was only repeating the argument I have heard white people use for wanting to use it.

    •  I grew up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      knowing it was verboten, rude, racist, and plain stupid. However, gay was the same, but was appropriated by the insulted to mean something that became mainstream, even among straight people. If the n-word comes to mean 'friends' rather than 'not-friends' maybe it would be OK eventually.
      As a white person of a certain age, I would always consider it insulting in exactly the way this cartoon sets out. I don't know what age K is, but is it a generational issue at present, or still a race issue?

      “The universe implodes. No matter.” -Liam Williams

      by northsylvania on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 03:31:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a white male who grew up the same way, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        probably in the same time frame, I'd say it's a race issue with a generational twist. At least some of the white people K is referring to are of the generations that grew up on hip-hop and other AA popular culture that throws the n-word around all the time, and they may naively suppose the word actually has lost its traditional significance.

        Incidentally, although the white people who complain to K about not being able to use the word may have been men, by no means all the white people who use it or chafe at the restriction are. For example, within the last year or two (her career may already be over) there was a young white woman rapper who called herself Kreayshawn and was apparently very fond of the n-word. IIRC she was more popular with white hip-hop fans than people of color.  

        "Think of something to make the ridiculous look ridiculous." -- Molly Ivins

        by dumpster on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 04:17:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Words can take in different connotations (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright, Wee Mama, northsylvania

          over time, but I think the N-word is way too negative and carries far too much baggage for white people to use.

          Another example that comes to mind is calling women "hos".  I have heard people say that the term has lost its negative meaning, and is simply a term for women now.  Sorry, but the word means "whores", and I don't think that is an acceptable term for women.

        •  Some Black entertainers do give Whites (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          in their audience permission to use the word for each other.

          Myself, I am very proud of my distant Black African ancestry, as I think we all should be, but I'm told that I still shouldn't try it on. OK. Not my call. Certainly telling the Southern Aristocracy that it was all descended from Black Africans was Darwin's unforgivable sin. Particularly under the Alabama "One Drop" rule. Other states allowed people with some small fraction of Black ancestry to be White. Not Alabama.

          BTW, I'm also a kike, a Polack, a Paddy, a Taffy, and a teuchter (ˈtjuxtə in IPA). That last is an exclusively Scottish term referring to a real Scot, not a Sassenach-loving lowland Campbell, or the kind you get in Edinburgh, or the week-end Scots representing Scotland in the British Parliament. It can be used in admiration now, although it was originally meant as an insult. I collected a lot of this stuff on the Dkosopedia page Ethnic and Other Slurs, along with a number of scurrilous anti-Obama images.

          Keep the faith, Keef. Eyes on the prize. The angry White guys are dying off at the regular rate, and their children and grandchildren increasingly don't care about the Lost Cause (or the God, Guns, and Gays program, either) any more.

          The Young South is Ours

          I and others have been saying that we need to reach out and encourage them.

          Neil Gaiman on Anti-South Prejudice

          Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

          by Mokurai on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:33:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm afraid you have your history mixed up. (4+ / 0-)
        However, gay was the same, but was appropriated by the insulted to mean something that became mainstream, even among straight people.
        It sounds like you've confused "gay" and "queer."  "Gay" was not insulting until after we made it the mainstream word for us.  In the first half of the 20th century it was an insiders' code word, and starting in the 1960s the homosexual rights movement began using it as a neutral term for ourselves; it took off when the movement became more militant after 1969.  But within a very few years "gay" became an insult, thanks to homophobes, and now there are people who claim that "gay" as an insult has nothing to do with homosexuality.  I'm not persuaded.  At the same time, some younger gay people think that "gay" was always an insult; that's how quickly things changed, and a reminder what the mainstream really is.

        "Queer" was reclaimed by a new wave of activists around 1990, who were using the approach and tactics of ACT-UP.  They founded Queer Nation.  At around the same time some gay/lesbian/bi academics invented Queer Theory.  That was the word "appropriated by the insulted to mean something that became mainstream."  But as you can see, the history in both cases is very different from that of the "N-word."

      •  Given that the n-word was often the last thing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CenPhx, The Marti, aitchdee

        heard by victims of torture and murder in lynching, that will be a long time coming.

        Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

        by Mokurai on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:01:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site