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  1. #61
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    That's $175,000 US (that's about 40 AUD, right?). Will you be mailing a check or using wire transfer?
    I'm of Irish descent, so I can call you Mick. I call my dad Mick. For the rest of the money, you'll have to try to extradict me out of Hutt River Principality, where I'll be hiding for the forseeable future. Good luck with that.

  2. #62
    homo-loving sonovagun anii's Avatar
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    The short answer: if you're a member of the subpopulation, you can use the slur. Preferably out of range of an amplification device.

    On a more clinical note, this is Mr. Jackson's 2nd verbal gaffe in a week. It might be time to administer the MMSE.
    There's reason to be afraid, and reason to open your heart. ~ Seal

    Refreshment for your ears: www.kexp.org

  3. #63
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I don't especially like that test. The whole issue here is the reaction black people have to white people using that word, and whether that reaction is something the speaker has to avoid, or the listener has to take responsibility for and examine. I get that you're trying to illustrate the emotional overtones the word carries, and the test is good for that, but it's not a good test to determine if one SHOULD be able to say it, only whether they CAN.
    Should the word have been used hundreds of years ago when it mutated from a color adjective to a derogatory term against a group of people? What caused the words to come into use? Slavery. I think it's clear that when used by a non-black person it's typically meant to inflict psychological/emotional harm. You're putting the responsibility on the person who uses it, not the person who received it. To me that's like hitting someone in the head and then asking the person why do they feel pain when you should be asking why'd you hit the person in the head. When nigger made the jump from a color descriptor to a negative character descriptor the game changed.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I would never use the term that way because my good intentions wouldn't be clear to strangers. (I've never used it, either, but I've never really had a close black friend.)
    But what good intentions can you possibly have? Why would you want to say it? How do you signal good intentions to a black person by calling them nigger (or nigga)? Signal good intentions by giving them your check card and PIN or an all expenses paid vacation to Bora Bora.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatsWhatHeSaid View Post
    I don't think one person's reaction really settles the issue either, though. It's like you talking to your partner and you suddenly say something that brings up a sore memory for them and they tell you that they're offended and you have no right to utter that combination of words. It's not that clear how to apportion responsibility in that case. The point isn't to say that romantic relationships and race relations are the same, but that being offended isn't always determinative.
    It's not one person's reaction. It's a group of people's collective reaction. And it's a collective reaction to a word that has history of brutalization. If there's one word that encapsulates America's ugly past it's nigger. Why were black people so outraged about Michael Richardson's comments a few years ago or Don Imus. And in the example you give, I think that if you want to begin to understand why this offensive reaction a good starting point is your local bookstore and checking out the African-American Studies section. There are a gazillion books, articles, op-eds, dating from hundreds of years ago why the offense is there. I remember the first time I read Ida B. Wells' Southern Horrors and Other Writings. My throat was so tight and I was so angry at white people that I couldn't even talk to my roommate at the time. I had to leave the room because at that moment she represented all the...I can't even think of a good word, but she represented all the wrongness with America. I was afraid I was going to smother her with my pillow. Or how proud I felt when I read David Walker's Appeal. There's a very rich body of work about this subject if you want to take steps to understand.

    Before I move any further, I want to make sure I understand what you're saying. You don't think there's just reason for the offense some black people feel (not all because some don't care) when a white person casually calls or refers to them as "nigger"? The reason why I say this is when you say "apportion responsibility" it seems like you're alluding that black people are equally responsible for nigger being a derogatory term. I could see that scenario happening if in Africa black people called themselves nigger FIRST and then white people came along and started calling them that also. But that is not the case. When nigger collected it's current denotations and connations it was largely used against black slaves by their white oppresors. This doesn't mean that even the lo hundreds of years ago that black people didn't use the terms amongst themselves in the same way white people meant it against blacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grayscale View Post

    one might say "who are you to say that/you dont know what it's like", i cant help but think... who do you think you are to suggest that someone insulting you it's inherently worse than when they insult me? when i get insulted, i can get over it--hey, that guy called me X, he must think my face is ugly

    perhaps there is something im missing, but the reason i ask is because it seems strikingly familiar to a lot of other things society accepts as universal truth without a second thought.
    OK, think of the absolute worse thing someone can say to you. This thing strikes at the very core of your being, it's like a raw and exposed nerve. You think you've numbed that portion of yourself so comments directed at that part of you don't hurt. You may not believe that you actually embody these traits, but it rankles you just the same. The imagine a complete stranger, someone who knows nothing about you or your character having a passcode to unnumb that part of you. You try to snatch away the keys from them but you can't grab them. That's the way the word nigger works. Anyone who wants to hurl it at you as insult can.

    Somebody calls me stupid or fat, I'm like whatever. Of course that doesn't bother me. Those aren't words related to your character or who are you as a person. You can be as dumb as a broken toilet, but still be a caring and compassionate person. Here's some of the past uses of the word:

    Easton averred that often the earliest instruction white adults gave to white children prominently featured the word nigger. Adults reprimanded them for being "worse than niggers," for being "ignorant as niggers," for having "no more credit than niggers"; they disciplined them by telling them that unless they behaved they would be carried off by "the old nigger" or made to sit with "niggers" or consigned to the "nigger seat," which was, of course, a place of shame.
    Those are character descriptions. Being fat or dumb is a state of being that you can change. Core character traits are deeper and historically being a nigger has been associated with a flawed and irreparable state of being.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    The bolded part presupposes that there is, and continues to be, a race-based power hierarchy- that any given black person is from birth, regardless of circumstance, in a less privileged position within society than any given white person because of their genetic heritage (and the history associated with it). Not that I personally don't agree with you, but it can be argued that this isn't the case.
    Argue away. And when you've made it, check reality to see how it lines up against your argument. Your race (or sex or maybe sexual orientation) is not something you can wash off at the end of the day. What's happened is nigger has become synonymous with black. It's like pointing at the wino on the corner and saying, you don't want to be like that person. And personally I think ultimately it's not about race it's about money and power. The world according to Tony Montana.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix
    And personally I think ultimately it's not about race it's about money and power.
    Yes, most of us are "useless eaters" to some people! The great horde of unwashed heathens. We'd all do good to remember this when we seek to look down on others. Someone, somewhere has your number and is detailing you right down to your DNA for your worth or will be soon.

  5. #65
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    But what good intentions can you possibly have? Why would you want to say it? How do you signal good intentions to a black person by calling them nigger (or nigga)? Signal good intentions by giving them your check card and PIN or an all expenses paid vacation to Bora Bora.
    I don't think the issue is whether or not whites wants to use the word nigger, it's that they don't want you telling them that they can't.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  6. #66
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think the issue is whether or not whites wants to use the word nigger, it's that they don't want you telling them that they can't.
    Why not? You're told everyday what you can and cannot do. Is it because a group of people you don't want to listen to is telling you you can't? Who's doing the telling makes a lot of difference, I suppose. I hope we don't go into you're not the boss of me stuff.

  7. #67
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    I don't use the word "nigger" socially at all. I wouldn't really think to do it, either. I do listen to music in which it's tossed around casually, but I know not to cross the line even amongst my black friends. I do, unfortunately, have a tendency to use "faggot" as an epithet. Not against gay people, oddly enough. It's just a very common derogatory term in my social circle. Anyone else notice this phenomenon? And other terms about which we normally don't give a second thought, like "paddy wagon" or "white trash?"
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #68
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    It's not one person's reaction. It's a group of people's collective reaction. And it's a collective reaction to a word that has history of brutalization. If there's one word that encapsulates America's ugly past it's nigger. Why were black people so outraged about Michael Richardson's comments a few years ago or Don Imus. And in the example you give, I think that if you want to begin to understand why this offensive reaction a good starting point is your local bookstore and checking out the African-American Studies section. There are a gazillion books, articles, op-eds, dating from hundreds of years ago why the offense is there. I remember the first time I read Ida B. Wells' Southern Horrors and Other Writings. My throat was so tight and I was so angry at white people that I couldn't even talk to my roommate at the time. I had to leave the room because at that moment she represented all the...I can't even think of a good word, but she represented all the wrongness with America. I was afraid I was going to smother her with my pillow. Or how proud I felt when I read David Walker's Appeal. There's a very rich body of work about this subject if you want to take steps to understand.
    It makes me /facepalm when I see stuff like this. Did her ancestors have anything to do with how your ancestors were treated? If she's anything like me, or a large portion of white Americans, her ancestors had absolutely nothing to do with it (they were still in Europe or they were native Americans, who were treated far, far worse than Africans). I think it's bullshit that you equate something with me, that my ancestors took no part in, simply because of the color of my skin (ironic, isn't it?). Actually, it's not bullshit so much because you make that correlation, it's bullshit that you have this attitude of righteous indignation as a result.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  9. #69
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    My black friends don't even need to explicitly tell me I can't. They and I both know, implicitly, that I wouldn't.
    Last edited by SillySapienne; 07-17-2008 at 11:10 PM. Reason: Dana is the shit!!!
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  10. #70
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Why not? You're told everyday what you can and cannot do. Is it because a group of people you don't want to listen to is telling you you can't? Who's doing the telling makes a lot of difference, I suppose. I hope we don't go into you're not the boss of me stuff.
    You should ask them, not me. I'm working on making slurs against my ethnicity illegal.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

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