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  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    On that note this is one of the reasons Chappelle did not come back for his show. He thought his largely white audience had gotten too comfortable with saying and laughing at the use of the N word and basically it had turned into a minstrel show. Other black people he knew gave him a lot of shit for it. He was achieving the Totally the opposite of what his show had intended to do, which was to challenge and breakdown racism through humor..
    On a similar note: Jerry Seinfeld came under the same kind of pressure from the "Jewish establishment" to back off the Jewish humor in his show in the final years of that show. The feeling among Seinfeld's Jewish critics was that once the show had made it big, the show should be used as a vehicle to teach the world a positive view of Jews rather than make the world laugh at the buffoonish behavior of the largely Jewish cast. But Seinfeld fought the pressure. The big behind-the-scenes philosophy of the show was to make sure that none of the episodes taught a moral lesson (the so-called "no hugging, no learning" rule). The episodes were supposed to be like a Three Stooges episode and end in chaos rather than a moral lesson. Seinfeld was all about going for the big laughs at any cost, and he thought that teaching morals was the death of humor.

    Ultimately, this pressure from the "Jewish establishment" soured Seinfeld on the show and became one of the big reasons he ended the show when he did and also the way he did--in the final two-part show, the characters are all arrested, tried, and jailed for being selfish and failing to help someone in trouble. It wasn't a funny episode at all.

    So I guess it kind of depends on whether a given comedian chooses to be about the teaching of morals or chooses to go for the big laughs. Or something like that.

  2. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    Somewhat useful contribution: It seems to me the groups using the slurs themselves can't even again on its proper usage so I figure its best to just stay away and avoid the headache.
    Yeah, that's kind of the bottom line for most white guys in the real world.

    I take an interest in media representations of underclasses for education or entertainment purposes; maybe I even comment on it or philosophize about it with friends or on message boards. But I don't try to emulate the language or behavior in my daily life in the real world.

  3. #93
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    I don't know why anyone would expect a group that consists of millions of individuals to agree on anything.

    For myself, when someone vigorously defends their right to use a slur that doesn't apply to their own demographic, it doesn't make me think better of them as a human being.

  4. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    On that note this is one of the reasons Chappelle did not come back for his show. He thought his largely white audience had gotten too comfortable with saying and laughing at the use of the N word and basically it had turned into a minstrel show. Other black people he knew gave him a lot of shit for it. He was achieving the Totally the opposite of what his show had intended to do, which was to challenge and breakdown racism through humor.
    That's part of it, buit I think most of it was he freaked out at the fame and attention.

    "D'Angelo. Chris Tucker. Dave Chappelle. Lauryn Hill. They all hang out on the same island. The island of What Do We Do with All This Talent? It frustrates me."
    -Chris Rock

  5. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I don't think those considerations apply here, though. This particular issue isn’t about a majority using a slur to marginalize a minority. Again, I would say that it’s a question of a small underclass appropriating an old slur in order to create an identity separate from “the establishment"; that is, an identity separate from whites and even separate from the majority of their own race.

    Even Jesus said, “You’ll always have the poor with you.” As long as you have underclasses and a love for slang, that’s not going away. The slur doesn’t have to be technically correct or even particularly make sense. IMO, the current use of "nigger" by the black underclass is more about economic class than it is about race.
    You don't believe racial divisions will continue to dilute? Seriously? Which comedian said we'll all be Mariah Carey and Tiger Woods eventually, cause they are right? I am biracial and my child will be further genetically diverse. This is our future. It just is.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    You don't believe racial divisions will continue to dilute? Seriously? Which comedian said we'll all be Mariah Carey and Tiger Woods eventually, cause they are right? I am biracial and my child will be further genetically diverse. This is our future. It just is.
    I agree that racial lines will continue to dilute.

    My point was simply that modern self-identification with "nigger" is more an black underclass phenomenon rather than a black/white racial thing; IOW, nowadays it has its roots in economic divisions more than purely racial divisions. IOW, if you were to get rid of all the whites, I'm quite sure that there would still be underclass blacks calling themselves "nigger” just to distinguish themselves from upper-class blacks.

    It's like blue-collar whites self-identifying as "rednecks" (Jeff Foxworthy and all that): there you have a white underclass distinguishing itself according to economic divisions within its own race, even after the origin of the term has largely been forgotten ("rednecks" were originally field workers, by most accounts).

    Oh well, we're arguing about purely hypothetical matters now, i.e., whether the slur will remain in currency forever or not. I guess time will tell. Meantime, I'll bow out of the discussion.

    For me, the bottom line is what I said in the last post:

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I take an interest in media representations of underclasses for education or entertainment purposes; maybe I even comment on it or philosophize about it with friends or on message boards. But I don't try to emulate the language or behavior in my daily life in the real world.

  7. #97
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    Power is situational because context is always relevant. Just because it's less common doesn't mean it doesn't apply. You can always revise your own definitions, just not everyone else's.



    That does not assume that. It reinforces rather than dissipates preexisting divides. In this context, why deliberately encourage them?
    Exactly.

  8. #98
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Mmm, that would be true if both groups held essentially the same position in society and had the same relationship to the word.
    That's not necessary at all....and frankly, reinforcing an 'outgroup' identity is far more damaging to the group with less aggregate power in society-though in the case of the N word, its still damaging to non-blacks who are raised or live in predominantly black cultural environments where usage of the word is ubiquitous-instead of socially and culturally identifying with neighbors, there is an unnecessary social distance and alienation, often leading to greater negative feelings than would otherwise be the case, to the detriment of both groups.

    And again, the point is not that everybody should have equal social sanction when using that word, the point is that casual usage of the word has negative social consequences.

  9. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by raine_lynn View Post
    Okay, just for future reference, it would've been made more clear that was what you were implying had you not used the term 'racism', since that's a misnomer. White people can not experience racism (power + prejudice) because white people are the ones with institutional power over racial minorities.
    You don't get to redefine a word so that it fits your philosophy any more than Spike Lee does. That's not what racism is and redefining it so that white people can't experience it is intellectually dishonest.

    As for the OP, I think that while white people obviously shouldn't use the word as an insult, I think black people who inject "nigger" into the larger culture in the form of song titles and lyrics need to understand that people are going to repeat it without any ill intent. Popular culture is a public conversation. You can't have your cake and eat it too. The end.
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  10. #100
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    i'm going to read this thread very carefully...but my thoughts on this are..

    1) i'm pretty sure the word as used by blacks means something different when used by whites. that isn't to say that whites can't say the word...they just don't know how to..or when to. if a white person could drop the "n bomb" properly, i'd be very surprised. even if you are black..dropping the n word in certain contexts will get you into trouble..
    2) the word as used by blacks has less to do with race. black people refer to white people as niggas all the time..(because some of them are...)
    3) black people don't say the word "just to say it"...there is a reason they do. and it's not tied up in race.
    4) there is a certain good thing to the word..."niggas is a beautiful thing"...that is hard to tap into when you aren't one...(unless you are).

    "Am I nigger or not?". Growing up, I had to answer this question. I'd imagine many blacks had the same dilemma. It's a tough one to crack.

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