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  1. #211
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How many different things can it mean when used by white people towards black people? Virtually all of the interpretations I can think of are negative, but if you can give me some neutral or positive situations when white people say nigger to black people I'd really like to know them.
    Well, one can discuss the use of the term dispassionately, as one would dissect a bug in a laboratory. That's kind of what we're doing now. I am not willing to use it in an offensive way, as we've already discussed.

    But on the other hand, I'm fundamentally opposed to the concept of "forbidden speech." I'd rather live with the N-word than live with censorship.

  2. #212
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Um, the one that Samuel came across, apparently.
    Circular reasoning, Chick. Your assumption isn't allowed to confirm your conclusion.

  3. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    I meant it earnestly. I mean, what black person would use the term "sand nigger" as a pejorative, as though that were somehow worse than the non-sand kind?
    It is a sad reality in humankind that many people will always try to position themselves over others based on the silliest of delineations. White people do it to other white people, black people do it to other black people, one minority will do it to another minority. It's disappointing. Groupthink at its stupidest.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  4. #214
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Oberon, you sincerely think that this random black guy called Samuel, who happens to be of Indian descent, "sand nigger" as an expression of solidarity?

    Wouldn't they both have to be of Middle Eastern descent in order for the whole solidarity thing to hold true?

    The term "sand nigger" I believe is a relatively new term whose inception or popularity, at least, arose after 9/11.

    Also, I do not believe there exists a subculture of Middle Easterner Americans who colloquially refer to each other as sand nigger as a way to instill and promote solidarity.
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    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It is a sad reality in humankind that many people will always try to position themselves over others based on the silliest of delineations. White people do it to other white people, black people do it to other black people, one minority will do it to another minority. It's disappointing.
    So sad, yet so true.

    :sad:
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    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

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  6. #216
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    The term "sand nigger" I believe is a relatively new term whose inception or popularity, at least, arose after 9/11.
    No, I heard it first back in the 80's, among southwest Virginia rednecks.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    I do not believe there exists a subculture of Middle Easterner Americans who colloquially refer to each other as sand nigger.
    No, but an African-American might not know that.

    In retrospect, however, it seems unlikely that the guy talking to Samuel was trying to do anything other than insult him.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    No, but an African-American might not know that.
    Huh? What's that supposed to mean?
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  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Um, historical context and relevancy?

    Black Americans today happen to be direct ancestors of *slaves*. And in the relatively short time since this country's inception, from slavery to indentured servitude to anti-miscegenation laws to segregation, politically and civilly, as a country, "we" have done to this select group of people immeasurable wrongs.
    Are you suggesting that the historical wrongs perpetrated against other ethnic groups are not as important?

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    So what do you propose we should do then, instead?
    I'm not proposing anything practical. Like I said, I do not personally want to use the word or stop black people from using the word. I'm just arguing the principle of it .

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    And what is wrong with words that incite potent feelings and memories?
    Nothing at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Your "we all have to move on" attitude/stance, I must admit, I find to be a bit bewildering.

    Should we move on from the Holocaust?

    From Nagasaki and Hiroshima?

    From the Armenian and Rwandan Genocides?
    To cease attributing a pejorative meaning to the "N-word" in popular usage would not cause anybody to forget what actually happened in history. And Nagasaki and Hiroshima are not analogous to what we are talking about because, wrong as I believe they were, they were not enacted as a means to purposefully destroy a specific ethnic group for ideological race-based reasons. It was not ethnic cleansing.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Orangey, have you read any history about of the word was used historically? You seem to not be grasping the fact that the word, when used by white people towards black people typically is used as a pejorative. The context has already been set. When you go to the doctor they ask you about your medical history. They ask if certain illnesses or diseases run in your family. They do this to know if there's a chance or likelihood of you acquiring some of the illnesses that historically have manifested themselves in your family. In the medical history of America, the word nigger has sent America to the emergency room many times. I think there is little debate to be had over the "proper context" white people should be able to use nigger. The only proper context I think it's appropriate is when quoting or when in a discussion (like this).
    Don't you think that is a bit of an authoritarian attitude? And I'm not sure that I fully understand your "medical history" analogy. Are you saying that we each personally inherit the inequities of our collective past?

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    You are assuming that all things are equal, that nigger is an equal opportunity word and that the people who use it are social equals. It is not. It's whole purpose is to unequalize and disenfranchise. It has acquired other meanings, but what was and is it's primary purpose when used by whites towards blacks?

    Now when it's used by blacks towards other blacks what is it's purpose? I've said repeatedly that the the word has a multiplicity of meanings when used amongst black people. What you're saying is that, no, it doesn't have that flexibility or it shouldn't have it. If you think it's stupid for black people to call other black people nigger, OK, that's fine. It seems to me that some white people see the usage of nigger between black people as an unfair double standard. If black people can say it to one another (which once again the meaning of the word and how it's to be interpreted is dependent) then why can't white people say it casually? Once again, I think you are wrongly assuming that things are equal and level between whites and blacks when they are clearly not.

    The clip I linked to earlier had a two scenarios in it. In the interaction between the white man and black man, the white man realized "hey, I'm white, I don't have to interact with you like this because I know my position relative to you black man." The two black men interacting were portrayed as being equal in status. Calling each other nigger was like volleying a tennis ball.
    I do not think that, like Elisabeth on the show, the use of the word should be as taboo for black people as it is for white people. In fact, that's the opposite of what I'm saying. I think that the word should be allowed to evolve out of its derogatory meaning, similar to what you describe has happened to the word between black people, when used by anybody. I know that this is not realistic, but I am saying that, in theory, if we wanted to be totally rid of the word's negative meaning, we would have to relinquish its connection to any racial group. To make it taboo only suppresses its use but it doesn't allow us to transcend it.

    I understand what you're saying, though. It all rests upon the assumption that there is an absolute race-based power structure in our country. As I am not going to debate that point here (I'm not even sure if I disagree), I think that it is useless to continue on this point. I suppose you could say that transcendence is not possible on this issue until there is real equality between the "races".

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    A white person calling a black person nigger is like dropping a nuke. I think of this as we know the "technology" exists to destroy. It's not going away because the knowledge is already there. OK, so who do we entrust this knowledge to, who are the keepers. who will be able to wield this knowledge, or technology, or power without killing us all? To say just stop using the word is completely unrealistic. People could just stop doing a lot of things and this world would be a better place. I don't think it's about not doing these things, but knowing how and when/when not to. You've got to teach people what they hold in their hands so they'll have a healthy respect of what they're capable of doing to another person.
    As I said above, forcing people to stop using the word is not what I was suggesting.
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  9. #219
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    Also, indentured servants were almost always white people.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  10. #220
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainChick View Post
    Huh? What's that supposed to mean?
    That is supposed to mean that, hypothetically, a black might use the term "sand-nigga" to a person of middle-eastern descent, not knowing that it wouldn't be understood as a term of comradeship.

    But as I said, that's rather a stretch, and I wouldn't hang an argument on that flimsy idea.

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