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AstralFire
2009-10-29, 04:40 PM
"All of these dolls are of girl babies, though. I don't want her to grow up a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that and if she did I'd be supportive but you know that'd be so hard on her, you know how people are to Jen. So I have to find her a boy doll."

This gets so many WTF points.

She's not a homophobe, but she knows about as much as one.
Not going to touch the issue that she thinks what kind of dolls you play 'mommy' with determines your sexuality.
Or that she indeed thinks that it's standard to have sexual thoughts about your 'children' when playing house. :smalleek:

Fax Celestis
2009-10-29, 04:47 PM
Well, you know.

I used to *ahem* "play house" all the time, if you know what I mean.

...I was in college at the time, but the point still stands.

Jade_Tarem
2009-10-29, 04:52 PM
Oh no. Transformers. What happens if she plays with Transformers? She'll become a Borg! A Borg lesbian!

Mr. Mud
2009-10-29, 04:56 PM
:smallsigh:. "I don't have a problem with gays, but damn, I sure hope my Jimmy aint a queer!" statements irk me more than I can describe. Alas, hypocrisy is the lubricant of society :smallannoyed:.

potatocubed
2009-10-29, 05:00 PM
Oh no. Transformers. What happens if she plays with Transformers? She'll become a Borg! A Borg lesbian!

If only playing with Transformers made you a cyborg. I'd have been kicking the Terminator's ass by the age of six.

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-29, 05:02 PM
I played with barbies as a kid and made clothes for them....what does that say about me? :smallwink:

Alteran
2009-10-29, 05:07 PM
I played with barbies as a kid and made clothes for them....what does that say about me? :smallwink:

If it means what you imply it does, why are you winking at the entirety of this mostly-male forum? :smalltongue:

Thiel
2009-10-29, 05:16 PM
I played with barbies as a kid and made clothes for them....what does that say about me? :smallwink:

And even more worrying, what does it say about me that I played with Lego men?

Bendigeidfran
2009-10-29, 05:18 PM
...Or plushy animals? (Still do:smallredface:)

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-29, 05:19 PM
And even more worrying, what does it say about me that I played with Lego men?

I never had Lego, it's one of things I am going to get when I get my own place. When you grow up you can buy toys for yourself :smallbiggrin:

Blayze
2009-10-29, 05:32 PM
Lego's awesome. Could probably build yourself a house out of the stuff.

charl
2009-10-29, 05:37 PM
Lego's awesome. Could probably build yourself a house out of the stuff.

It's already been done.

Alteran
2009-10-29, 05:53 PM
It's already been done.

Indeed it has. On the subject of lego houses, this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214729/James-May-size-Lego-house-wants.html) has a headline that I find inexplicably hilarious.

Ichneumon
2009-10-29, 05:53 PM
When you grow up you can buy toys for yourself :smallbiggrin:

This has been my sole motivation for the past 5 years on why I should get my own place...

Ikialev
2009-10-29, 06:08 PM
Indeed it has. On the subject of lego houses, this article (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1214729/James-May-size-Lego-house-wants.html) has a headline that I find inexplicably hilarious.
He just gives away a lego house? 0o

alchemyprime
2009-10-29, 06:12 PM
Wait... if playing with Transformers makes you into a Borg lesbian... Hm... do they have a doll of Katma Tui? I wanna be a chick Green Lantern. :smallwink:

Anyway, yeah. That angers me. Mostly because I was the kid my dad thought I was gay. Even after three girlfriends.

The fourth one just convinced him I like TOMBOYS. Myes...

Anyway, yeah. That's no bueno to over hear.

Starscream
2009-10-29, 06:14 PM
I played with He-Man as a kid and didn't turn out gay. And he was a shirtless muscular guy in furry panties.

Solaris
2009-10-29, 06:16 PM
This has been my sole motivation for the past 5 years on why I should get my own place...

It's frikkin' awesome.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't ordinary girls - hetero- and homosexual alike - play with dolls of both genders?

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-29, 06:19 PM
Yes, the female ones generally outnumber the male dolls, at least with my sister's barbies and kens.

Worira
2009-10-29, 06:24 PM
As far as I know, the stereotype is that boys who play with dolls grow up to be gay, and girls who play with toy trucks and such grow up to be lesbians or tomboys.

Kneenibble
2009-10-29, 06:30 PM
It's true. I played with Barbies and I am unrepentedly queer. BEWARE, PARENTS. PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

@v Gay men have kids. :smallmad: Traditionally or vitro.

Totally Guy
2009-10-29, 06:32 PM
:smallsigh:. "I don't have a problem with gays, but damn, I sure hope my Jimmy aint a queer!" statements irk me more than I can describe. Alas, hypocrisy is the lubricant of society :smallannoyed:.

But if Jimmy is gay, then the guy's bloodline ends with Jimmy. He wanted to leave something behind so that when he passes on a part of him will always be influencing this world. His genes will have made a difference to humanity.

Of course he wouldn't have a problem with Jimmy himself or his homosexuality but he'll need to reassess his own significance in the world. Maybe he could do some good deeds in hopes that he'll be remembered for them, but compared to a legacy, living on in memory is fleeting. Have some sympathy for the guy.

KilltheToy
2009-10-29, 06:50 PM
The irony here is that I just read an article on Yahoo about how people simply hide their bias against certain groups. This really proved their point.

So what if your "playing with Barbies" consists of ripping said Barbie's heads off, only to re-attach it and rip it back off? I may have done that one time out of boredom.

Cobra_Ikari
2009-10-29, 07:00 PM
Hmm. Not that it relates to your experience, but I had my own "overheard while shopping" experience today. Involving a 50-something year old man trying to convince his wife to wear a skintight catsuit. Not sure if he meant for Halloween or...something else. Or which would be preferable. >.<

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-29, 07:03 PM
The irony here is that I just read an article on Yahoo about how people simply hide their bias against certain groups. This really proved their point.

So what if your "playing with Barbies" consists of ripping said Barbie's heads off, only to re-attach it and rip it back off? I may have done that one time out of boredom.

Or looking up their skirts, I remember this was talked about in Kindergarten Cop.

charl
2009-10-29, 07:04 PM
Or looking up their skirts, I remember this was talked about in Kindergarten Cop.

Spoiler time!
There is nothing under Barbie's skirt.

:smallbiggrin:

Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll
2009-10-29, 07:16 PM
Does that mean that playing with Barby makes you lesbian, but only for transgender people, or what? What is it called if you are only attracted to eunuchs?

Starscream
2009-10-29, 07:18 PM
Does that mean that playing with Barby makes you lesbian, but only for transgender people, or what? What is it called if you are only attracted to eunuchs?

That you played with Ken.:smallbiggrin:

Catch
2009-10-29, 07:43 PM
It's true. I played with Barbies and I am unrepentedly queer. BEWARE, PARENTS. PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

But I played with Barbies too! Does this mean...?

Wow, I had no idea. Gonna have to call the girlfriend.

"Hey kiddo, listen. Weirdest thing: Apparently I'm gay. Yeah, I had no idea either, but the pink bug must have bit me that one time at day care when I fixed Barbie's Dream Van. Sara and Mandy were dressing up the girls for camping and those shoes did not match. Seriously. What? Sure, I'm down for shopping, I'll come pick you up."


"All of these dolls are of girl babies, though. I don't want her to grow up a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that and if she did I'd be supportive but you know that'd be so hard on her, you know how people are to Jen. So I have to find her a boy doll."

Two related stories:

Last Christmas I was working for Target, because the money was alright and I thought glaring fluorescent lights and the equally baleful gaze of haggard shoppers might distract from my burgeoning seasonal affective disorder. Anyway, I was fielding calls for the toy department, and I'd run back to the stockroom to fetch something or other, and the girl who was covering for me pushed through the doors with a "you've got to hear this look."

Some lady had pulled her aside and asked this question, literally: "Excuse me miss, do you have any more regular baby dolls? These are all colored."

Now, our store was close to a few uppity white suburbs, but the city of Chicago is a half-hour drive from there and Cook County has the largest density of black people in the country. How can you be that out of it?

Now, same store, a year earlier.

It was my first month at the store, Christmas again, and I spent my day basically running everywhere because no one knew where anything was, including me. But, if you have a red shirt and act like the whole thing was old hat, people would follow you and assume you knew where you were going. So one lady grabs me, with this real uncomfortable look on her face, holding onto one of those construction paper Christmas lists for underprivileged children that people can pick up at churches and schools.

"Excuse me, um, I'm trying to get some of the things on this list..."

"Sure. What can help you find?"

"Well, one of the items is a baby doll, but it probably should be, um..." she trailed off, wincing. "Do you have any babies that are, um African?"

I was interrupted by the floor phone ringing and I had to grab the call, so I passed the guest (Target's preferred slang for customers) onto Steve, who was covering the electronics department across the aisle. I'm on the phone with some lady asking about animations dinosaurs or something and I hear Steve's voice over the walkie talkie:

"Uh, team members, do we have any 'African' babies?"

Jamar's voice cuts through his, dry and too loud. "You mean BLACK? Yes, tell the guest we have plenty of BLACK BABIES."

I'm pretty sure the lady was mortified, and the woman on the other end of my phone couldn't understand why I was laughing.

Prak
2009-10-29, 07:50 PM
The irony here is that I just read an article on Yahoo about how people simply hide their bias against certain groups. This really proved their point.

So what if your "playing with Barbies" consists of ripping said Barbie's heads off, only to re-attach it and rip it back off? I may have done that one time out of boredom.

To quote Bart Simpson:
"Malibu Stacey: disturbingly fun to play with when no one's watching..."


Or looking up their skirts, I remember this was talked about in Kindergarten Cop.

or placing them in lewd sexual positions, much to the consternation of the female friend they belong too.

skywalker
2009-10-29, 08:30 PM
"All of these dolls are of girl babies, though. I don't want her to grow up a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that and if she did I'd be supportive but you know that'd be so hard on her, you know how people are to Jen. So I have to find her a boy doll."

This gets so many WTF points.

She's not a homophobe, but she knows about as much as one.

At least she's trying, eh?


Or that she indeed thinks that it's standard to have sexual thoughts about your 'children' when playing house. :smalleek:[/LIST]

I don't think they're thought of as children, not Barbies, anyway.


It's true. I played with Barbies and I am unrepentedly queer. BEWARE, PARENTS. PROTECT YOUR CHILDREN.

@v Gay men have kids. :smallmad: Traditionally or vitro.

I also played with Barbies, and am at least marginally bi, but vociferously opposed to being physical with men.

Also, gay men have kids occasionally. Not nearly as often as straight men.


Some lady had pulled her aside and asked this question, literally: "Excuse me miss, do you have any more regular baby dolls? These are all colored."

Now, our store was close to a few uppity white suburbs, but the city of Chicago is a half-hour drive from there and Cook County has the largest density of black people in the country. How can you be that out of it?

You don't have to be out of it, just set in your ways. It was probably an older woman, yeah? That term (and thinking of them in terms of vs. "regular") were very common "back when." Location doesn't really have anything to do with it. Age is a more prevalent factor. My grandmother wears being "out of it" almost like a badge of pride.


It was my first month at the store, Christmas again, and I spent my day basically running everywhere because no one knew where anything was, including me. But, if you have a red shirt and act like the whole thing was old hat, people would follow you and assume you knew where you were going. So one lady grabs me, with this real uncomfortable look on her face, holding onto one of those construction paper Christmas lists for underprivileged children that people can pick up at churches and schools.

"Excuse me, um, I'm trying to get some of the things on this list..."

"Sure. What can help you find?"

"Well, one of the items is a baby doll, but it probably should be, um..." she trailed off, wincing. "Do you have any babies that are, um African?"

I was interrupted by the floor phone ringing and I had to grab the call, so I passed the guest (Target's preferred slang for customers) onto Steve, who was covering the electronics department across the aisle. I'm on the phone with some lady asking about animations dinosaurs or something and I hear Steve's voice over the walkie talkie:

"Uh, team members, do we have any 'African' babies?"

Jamar's voice cuts through his, dry and too loud. "You mean BLACK? Yes, tell the guest we have plenty of BLACK BABIES."

I'm pretty sure the lady was mortified, and the woman on the other end of my phone couldn't understand why I was laughing.

You see, this shows perfectly the situation white people are confronted with. They're trying to avoid the first situation, but when they try to use a more acceptable term, they are ridiculed. It's a no-win. I'm dating a girl right now who was a journalism major, worked in a government sponsored call-center, and is trying to get into law school. She cannot use the word "black" to refer to an "African-American" someone. It is literally no longer a part of her vocabulary.

AstralFire
2009-10-29, 08:40 PM
Skywalker - I was working in the baby toy section at the time, not the barbie section. And there is a difference between African and Black. African-American is the 'formal' term for black, at least in the US, but that's different.

On a related note, when I was actually at the Barbie section, this old woman asked me if I was gay. I just kind of stared at her, because it's half true and I didn't know how to respond. Therefore I didn't write a thread about it because it wasn't funny.

Trog
2009-10-29, 08:41 PM
And even more worrying, what does it say about me that I played with Lego men?
It says you are attracted to geometric people whose gender is determined solely by their hair. :smallwink:


or placing them in lewd sexual positions, much to the consternation of the female friend they belong too.
Large-sized Han Solo was always getting it on with Barbie at my house. :smalltongue:

Prak
2009-10-29, 08:46 PM
It says you are attracted to geometric people whose gender is determined solely by their hair. :smallwink:
Kinky.


Large-sized Han Solo was always getting it on with Barbie at my house. :smalltongue:
Damn. I never thought to bring my large GI Joe Duke over...

rubakhin
2009-10-29, 08:49 PM
Huh. I'm gay, and I never played with Barbies. Maybe it works the other way around for some people. If only I had been given a Barbie as a child. All this could have been avoided.

:smallsigh:

Cobra_Ikari
2009-10-29, 08:51 PM
Huh. I'm gay, and I never played with Barbies. Maybe it works the other way around for some people. If only I had been given a Barbie as a child. All this could have been avoided.

:smallsigh:

Aww...but you're, like, the prettiest boy I've ever seen. If you were straight, you'd be mobbed by anime fangirls nonstop, and half the world's gay population would cry themselves to sleep every night. *hugs*

Starscream
2009-10-29, 08:56 PM
Damn. I never thought to bring my large GI Joe Duke over...

I used to bring guy toys over when I had to play at my cousins' house. They had a massive Barbie collection.

I hate to reinforce gender stereotypes, but I basically had my toys declare war on theirs. Snakeyes would start decapitating Ken dolls, Mumm-Ra would hijack the pink Ferrari, Skeletor and Raphael would hold wild parties in the dream house.

It wasn't long before I was no longer invited to play Barbie. Mission accomplished. THEN the My Little Pony wars began...

skywalker
2009-10-29, 09:03 PM
Skywalker - I was working in the baby toy section at the time, not the barbie section. And there is a difference between African and Black. African-American is the 'formal' term for black, at least in the US, but that's different.

Ok, if we're going to be that pedantic about it, I'm going to insist no-one call me "Caucasian." Because I'm not from the Caucasus. (altho I think, coincidentally enough, Rubakhin might be? Wouldn't that be a strange coincidence?) Anyway, yeah. I don't think someone should be laughed at for trying hard not to be offensive when stories like the first one happen too.


Damn. I never thought to bring my large GI Joe Duke over...

Dude... Barbie cheating on pretty boy Ken with manly soldier G.I. Joe is like a cultural trope... I see that joke like once a year at least...


Huh. I'm gay, and I never played with Barbies. Maybe it works the other way around for some people. If only I had been given a Barbie as a child. All this could have been avoided.

:smallsigh:

Generally speaking, heterosexual boys start off seeing girls as gross, icky, and then gradually discover otherwise. Homosexual boys tend to go in reverse. :smalltongue:

AstralFire
2009-10-29, 09:12 PM
Ok, if we're going to be that pedantic about it, I'm going to insist no-one call me "Caucasian." Because I'm not from the Caucasus. (altho I think, coincidentally enough, Rubakhin might be? Wouldn't that be a strange coincidence?) Anyway, yeah. I don't think someone should be laughed at for trying hard not to be offensive when stories like the first one happen too.

'Caucasians' don't even originate from Caucasus. The entire term is a misnomer and is scientifically rejected and the term is slowly being phased out. However, there is a big difference - the population of the Caucasus is much, much smaller (and has a correspondingly much smaller representation) than the entire continent of Africa. Most people do not even know what the Caucasus is. Generally it's only used to 'sound sciencey', and its counterparts are Mongoloid (rarely used because it got associated with Down's Syndrome), Negroid (recalls Negros and something a bit less stilted and more offensive), and Australoid - not African, Asian and Australian Aboriginal.

Thus, if you use the term 'Caucasian,' most people will understand that you mean 'Euro-American' or 'white' or something similar. Using the term 'African' could just as much mean the transfer student from Ethiopia or the girl who's had her family here since the 1600s. So what she did was more akin to calling you European (assuming you're white; insert continent-an here.)

And I don't think anything's really wrong with laughing at her. She certainly doesn't seem malicious, but then, I got laughed at when I got pushed by someone, teetered forward and caused a chain reaction in a fragile display to bring a third of it down. That wasn't my fault, but it doesn't make the whole thing any less silly or humorous. It's not the same as cruel ridicule.

Innis Cabal
2009-10-29, 09:16 PM
'Caucasians' don't even originate from Caucasus. The entire term is a misnomer and is scientifically rejected and the term is slowly being phased out. However, there is a big difference - the population of the Caucasus is much, much smaller (and has a correspondingly much smaller representation) than the entire continent of Africa. Most people do not even know what the Caucasus is. Generally it's only used to 'sound sciencey', and its counterparts are Mongoloid (rarely used because it got associated with Down's Syndrome), Negroid (recalls Negros and something a bit less stilted and more offensive), and Australoid - not African, Asian and Australian Aboriginal.

Thus, if you use the term 'Caucasian,' most people will understand that you mean 'Euro-American' or 'white' or something similar. Using the term 'African' could just as much mean the transfer student from Ethiopia or the girl who's had her family here since the 1600s.

Those themselves have been phased out of the scientific community. Those terms are only used by society, not by science as a whole to group certain types of people togather. Calling someone any of those while accurate from a social stand point (Maybe...i'd probably snicker) is no longer using an excpected means of classification.

AstralFire
2009-10-29, 09:19 PM
That too. I didn't want to get too tangential, though, and forgot to add it back in. x.x

Catch
2009-10-29, 09:29 PM
You don't have to be out of it, just set in your ways. It was probably an older woman, yeah? That term (and thinking of them in terms of vs. "regular") were very common "back when." Location doesn't really have anything to do with it. Age is a more prevalent factor. My grandmother wears being "out of it" almost like a badge of pride.

Nope. She was an appropriately-aged mother with a 5 year-old, probably mid-thirties and a six-figure income by the cut of her clothes. Just an idiot.



You see, this shows perfectly the situation white people are confronted with. They're trying to avoid the first situation, but when they try to use a more acceptable term, they are ridiculed. It's a no-win.

Yes, it's so hard being white, not knowing what words to use. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the dominant culture or something? You'll never, ever experience discrimination in America for being white, so the least you can do is stomach a little ribbing when you act overly-sensitive.

The lady said "African." Not African-American, not dark-skinned. African babies. If you can't appreciate the silliness of it, you're probably too hung up on political correctness. Average black people just don't care.



I'm dating a girl right now who was a journalism major, worked in a government sponsored call-center, and is trying to get into law school. She cannot use the word "black" to refer to an "African-American" someone. It is literally no longer a part of her vocabulary.

What if a person is Hatian? Dominican? There are large black populations in the UK, in Australia, Israel, Brazil, the Philippines and a few others, and there are plenty of people who would be offended at being called "African-American" whey they are, in fact, neither African nor American.

I go to a Chicago college, and "black" is the functional term, just like "white." And really, it's only white people that make race matter. They're so worried about sounding like racists that they separate themselves from other people using vocabulary, as if black people need to be placated or they'll call Jesse Jackson on their speed dial. I get that the media demands hyper-sensitive terminology for consistency, but it makes race relations even harder when you can't even talk about black people without hesitating.

skywalker
2009-10-29, 09:34 PM
Thus, if you use the term 'Caucasian,' most people will understand that you mean 'Euro-American' or 'white' or something similar. Using the term 'African' could just as much mean the transfer student from Ethiopia or the girl who's had her family here since the 1600s. So what she did was more akin to calling you European (assuming you're white; insert continent-an here.)

Which would be fine, technically more accurate than calling me "Caucasian," and ostensibly more politically correct than calling me "white." Not that I care, but I'm not running around calling people "African American" either.


And I don't think anything's really wrong with laughing at her. She certainly doesn't seem malicious, but then, I got laughed at when I got pushed by someone, teetered forward and caused a chain reaction in a fragile display to bring a third of it down. That wasn't my fault, but it doesn't make the whole thing any less silly or humorous. It's not the same as cruel ridicule.

I see someone being the opposite of malicious. I see someone trying to be culturally conscious and failing. It wasn't just laughter, there were jeering comments over the radio. I just don't think the situation was handled very well from a customer service perspective. You might joke about it in the back room later, but you don't ridicule (yes I see it as that) a customer who made an honest mistake across a store. She might have even just been reading off the list, you know?

AstralFire
2009-10-29, 09:34 PM
Now that the 'oids' have been debunked, honestly, 'black' and 'white' are pretty much the best blanket terms. Catch and I agree that your girlfriend feeling like she's forced to use African-American for whatever reason is pretty silly, but as a half-black person, I can't say I've ever seen a black person really care about whether they were called African-American or black. (That doesn't make A-A an obsolete term - it is more useful to describe the history of black people in America as the history of African-Americans.) African, however, is just flatout silly.

Laughing at her over the phone was poor CS from a business standpoint not if they didn't hear her, but I still don't see anything wrong about it from a moral standpoint. It was, in fact, silly.

Catch
2009-10-29, 09:40 PM
I see someone being the opposite of malicious. I see someone trying to be culturally conscious and failing. It wasn't just laughter, there were jeering comments over the radio. I just don't think the situation was handled very well from a customer service perspective. You might joke about it in the back room later, but you don't ridicule (yes I see it as that) a customer who made an honest mistake across a store. She might have even just been reading off the list, you know?

Coming from someone who was there, it was fine. She got her baby doll, was grateful for our trouble, and left. Jamar was just goofing off, and it was only the employees who heard, and most of us were laughing with my friend Steve, who happened to repeat "African" because he was so bewildered by it. Jamar was almost-honestly confused as to why someone would ask for an African baby doll, as if she wanted one with a kitenge outfit.

You're acting like we dropped a spotlight on an old lady with a heart problem and then ridiculed her to death.

skywalker
2009-10-29, 09:50 PM
Yes, it's so hard being white, not knowing what words to use. Am I supposed to feel sorry for the dominant culture or something? You'll never, ever experience discrimination in America for being white, so the least you can do is stomach a little ribbing when you act overly-sensitive.

Completely out of line. The person in question was trying to be culturally aware, in my opinion. Being ribbed for that makes people go the other way.


The lady said "African." Not African-American, not dark-skinned. African babies. If you can't appreciate the silliness of it, you're probably too hung up on political correctness. Average black people just don't care.

I understand that, I was lamenting that some of us have been taught that average black people do care.


What if a person is Hatian? Dominican? There are large black populations in the UK, in Australia, Israel, Brazil, the Philippines and a few others, and there are plenty of people who would be offended at being called "African-American" whey they are, in fact, neither African nor American.

Technically, Haitians and Dominicans are "African Americans." I know, I know. Just saying.


I go to a Chicago college, and "black" is the functional term, just like "white." And really, it's only white people that make race matter. They're so worried about sounding like racists that they separate themselves from other people using vocabulary, as if black people need to be placated or they'll call Jesse Jackson on their speed dial. I get that the media demands hyper-sensitive terminology for consistency, but it makes race relations even harder when you can't even talk about black people without hesitating.

Yes, I am agreeing with you about this. Not that lady's fault that she's a product of the "hyper-sensitivity culture," tho is it?


Now that the 'oids' have been debunked, honestly, 'black' and 'white' are pretty much the best blanket terms. Catch and I agree that your girlfriend feeling like she's forced to use African-American for whatever reason is pretty silly, but as a half-black person, I can't say I've ever seen a black person really care about whether they were called African-American or black. (That doesn't make A-A an obsolete term - it is more useful to describe the history of black people in America as the history of African-Americans.) African, however, is just flatout silly.

She doesn't feel forced at all. She has been programmed, I kid you not. We can be laying in bed chatting, I can mention "black people," and she will respond "yes, African-Americans blah blah blah..." It is the absolute opposite of a public place. I have just referred to the race in question as "black people," so I will clearly not be offended if she uses the term "black." But "black" is a color, not something you ever call a person in her mind. This is not a unique phenomenon to her, unfortunately. I understand that you don't care. I don't care either. But white people have been made to believe that black people do care, and we shouldn't make fun of them for accepting that and trying to work around it.


Coming from someone who was there, it was fine. She got her baby doll, was grateful for our trouble, and left. Jamar was just goofing off, and it was only the employees who heard, and most of us were laughing with my friend Steve, who happened to repeat "African" because he was so bewildered by it. Jamar was almost-honestly confused as to why someone would ask for an African baby doll, as if she wanted one with a kitenge outfit.

You're acting like we dropped a spotlight on an old lady with a heart problem and then ridiculed her to death.

Uh, dude:
I'm pretty sure the lady was mortified, and the woman on the other end of my phone couldn't understand why I was laughing.

You're likewise blowing my side of this out of proportion as well.

MCerberus
2009-10-29, 10:01 PM
I find the toy stores seem to bring out the worst in people for some reason. Between trampling for Elmos, hoarding, general greed and envy, and snake oil salesmen promising your baby will be a genious, I no longer even shrug at the constant presence of secret police running around in Toys 'R' US when buying a stuffed animal for my nieces. Retail toys are a blackened window into the abyss.

My nephew gets Star Wars toys... or will get Star Wars toys when he's above 3. Have to convert people to geeks early you know. :smalltongue:

Trog
2009-10-29, 10:03 PM
It's "black" and "white". Using anything else is usually going to get someone questioning you or making fun of you or what have you. :smallwink:

Catch
2009-10-29, 10:04 PM
Completely out of line. The person in question was trying to be culturally aware, in my opinion. Being ribbed for that makes people go the other way.

Exactly. My entire point was that "cultural awareness" is a spin word for "fear of black people." It's not a big deal, but white folk make it into one.



I understand that, I was lamenting that some of us have been taught that average black people do care.

I get that. The only way to get past the programming is to actually interact with people on a human level. Once I stopped worrying about saying "African American" I had loads of black friends and could actually relate to them.



Uh, dude:

Mortified asking the question, and shopping for a black baby. We had our laugh after she left. Also, I never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Fiction Writing major. :smallwink:


You're likewise blowing my side of this out of proportion as well.

We're both arguing ideological points, so I can tolerate a little heat. Nothing personal, but the situation was silly. If she had asked for a Caucasian baby, I would have snickered too.

Pyrian
2009-10-29, 10:41 PM
My preferred way to address someone's race is not to. :smallcool: I think it far better to simply not specify. This has led to some pretty weird occurrences:

Friend: "You never told me [person] was [race]!"
Me: "I didn't think it mattered."
Friend: "Well, yeah, it doesn't, but..."
Me: "Mm-hmm."

lsfreak
2009-10-29, 11:02 PM
What if a person is Hatian? Dominican? There are large black populations in the UK, in Australia, Israel, Brazil, the Philippines and a few others, and there are plenty of people who would be offended at being called "African-American" whey they are, in fact, neither African nor American

I had this happen to me. Someone was attempting to be politically correct by referring to "African Americans." The main problem being that we were discussing people who lived in France.

I, too, prefer not to mention race. Or sexual orientation. Or pretty much any other category of a person. Occasionally leads to problemshilarity when someone has a gender/sex-neutral name.

AstralFire
2009-10-29, 11:04 PM
My preferred way to address someone's race is not to. :smallcool: I think it far better to simply not specify. This has led to some pretty weird occurrences:

Friend: "You never told me [person] was [race]!"
Me: "I didn't think it mattered."
Friend: "Well, yeah, it doesn't, but..."
Me: "Mm-hmm."

Agreed. I only specify race when it's pertinent - like when quick visual identification is needed.

skywalker
2009-10-29, 11:12 PM
Exactly. My entire point was that "cultural awareness" is a spin word for "fear of black people." It's not a big deal, but white folk make it into one.

I still disagree that it is "white folk" making it into one. I don't think it is someone's fault if they've been taught by a... I don't know what the word is. Cultural pathology? That has been encouraged by both blacks and whites.



Mortified asking the question, and shopping for a black baby. We had our laugh after she left. Also, I never let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Fiction Writing major. :smallwink:

I. See. How nice? :smallwink:


We're both arguing ideological points, so I can tolerate a little heat. Nothing personal, but the situation was silly. If she had asked for a Caucasian baby, I would have snickered too.

Yeah, I would have too. It sounded a little different when originally described.


My preferred way to address someone's race is not to. :smallcool: I think it far better to simply not specify. This has led to some pretty weird occurrences:

Friend: "You never told me [person] was [race]!"
Me: "I didn't think it mattered."
Friend: "Well, yeah, it doesn't, but..."
Me: "Mm-hmm."

I prefer this policy as well.

Quincunx
2009-10-30, 02:24 AM
An early internet acquaintance addressed me in some bafflement, well before social networking sites, and after about a year: ". . .wait, you mean you're not black?" To this day, that one baffles me.

Back somewhere near the topic, the most face-crumpling conversation I've overheard was the discussion in a charity shop about how greedy and rude it was that the head of the department at college X didn't resign now that she is married, let some other woman have the post, after all there's not that many places where a girl could be head of department and she has her husband's income doesn't she? . . .

Katana_Geldar
2009-10-30, 03:43 AM
In my experience, the people who are overly sensitive to Non-PC stuff have no idea that a lot of what they are trying to stop usually doesn't offend the people they are trying to protect. It's kind of catering to the intolerant, in a way.

And it's coming up to the season to be politically correct...ho ho ho...

Totally Guy
2009-10-30, 04:28 AM
A more interesting one around these parts is the word Asian.

Asian is used here to refer to someone of Pakistani, Indian and similar descent. This someone from east Asia might be called oriental. And if my understanding is correct in places that use the word Asian to refer to someone from East Asia it is usually unacceptable to say oriental.

It cause all kinds of confusion when you go online.

Edit: Is it Hanlon's Razor where you assume ignorance before malice. I think we've got to accept that each us is ignorant about something.

KuReshtin
2009-10-30, 05:18 AM
I think we've got to accept that each us is ignorant about something.

"Our combined knowledge is merely a small island in a vast ocean of ignorance." - Can't remember who said that.

Totally Guy
2009-10-30, 05:30 AM
"Our combined knowledge is merely a small island in a vast ocean of ignorance."

Said Paul Chuckle to Barry Chuckle.:smalltongue:

BritishBill
2009-10-30, 11:02 AM
Oh no. Transformers. What happens if she plays with Transformers? She'll become a Borg! A Borg lesbian!

LOL thats hilarious!!

Coidzor
2009-10-30, 11:20 AM
My preferred way to address someone's race is not to. :smallcool: I think it far better to simply not specify. This has led to some pretty weird occurrences:

Friend: "You never told me [person] was [race]!"
Me: "I didn't think it mattered."
Friend: "Well, yeah, it doesn't, but..."
Me: "Mm-hmm."

But I did ask what they looked like earlier so I'd know who they were! :smalltongue:

skywalker
2009-10-30, 10:37 PM
A more interesting one around these parts is the word Asian.

Asian is used here to refer to someone of Pakistani, Indian and similar descent. This someone from east Asia might be called oriental. And if my understanding is correct in places that use the word Asian to refer to someone from East Asia it is usually unacceptable to say oriental.

You are correct. This might be an even more telling (in America) generation-gap thing.

daggaz
2009-11-02, 03:39 PM
Hey, just because I tore the legs off of insects and tortured little animals when I was a child, doesn't make me a sociopath... Oh wait. Yeah it does. *goes back to stalking people on the internet*

Hehehhe.. ok but yeah, some people are just so dumb its a shame they ever figured out how to reproduce.

Syka
2009-11-02, 09:44 PM
I forget the exact context, but my mom had a lady (Japanese I believe) go off on her when she said something about oriental in reference to ethnicity. "I'm not a rug! Oriental is a rug! etc".

My mom is one of the least PC AND least prejudiced people I know- if you're a person, and you haven't done anything to hurt her or those she cares for (or, obviously, anything socially awkward like, ya know, killing someone or raping puppies, etc), you have her respect until proven otherwise. She's not PC because it's "right" or anything, she can be quite unPC in fact; but she is also not prejudice and never has been. Needless to say, though, she has NEVER EVER used Oriental in reference to ethnicity since.

AstralFire
2009-11-02, 09:48 PM
Oriental was actually used as a slur in many regions not too long ago, and was even defined as such in the dictionary in regards to people. Its use as not-a-slur, however, and the fact that it was never universal has made that an easy slip from the public consciousness.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-02, 10:11 PM
A comment - somehow it's not okay to slur only those people who look/make love differently. "Eurotrash" is, apparently, not a slur and is perfectly okay to say despite the fact that it pisses off every single European out there. But it is okay to say it because, well, Europeans are white, therefore they can never, ever be persecuted or feel insulted. Because, you know, they're white.

charl
2009-11-02, 10:13 PM
A comment - somehow it's not okay to slur only those people who look/make love differently. "Eurotrash" is, apparently, not a slur and is perfectly okay to say despite the fact that it pisses off every single European out there. But it is okay to say it because, well, Europeans are white, therefore they can never, ever be persecuted or feel insulted. Because, you know, they're white.

I don't mind being called Eurotrash. In fact I've referred to myself as such on many occasions.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-02, 10:24 PM
I don't mind being called Eurotrash. In fact I've referred to myself as such on many occasions.
I was more making a point than a big deal about the word. That a word is just a word, despite the negative connotations it may have. It may surprise people that out of about a dozen black people I know, not one minds being called the n-word - to them it's just a slang word that means a black person. Yet there's a group out there dead-set on making the word a taboo because they feel it's insulting. But if you taboo all the words that can potentially be insulting, you won't have very many words left that you can actually say out in public.

And there's no guarantee that the new words won't acquire the old connotation. For example, in a large part of non-English speaking Europe (Germany, Poland, Russia, Italy for sure, other countries - haven't asked people from there so don't really know) the n-word (the one that ends with an O, not R) was and I'm guessing still is just a word for a black person. African American, on the other hand, has acquired the meaning of a lazy, well, African American on welfare who has nothing better to do (because he's not working) than to go after people that use the n-word. Often goes hand in hand with suing for using said word to get rich.

Serpentine
2009-11-02, 10:27 PM
As far as I know, the stereotype is that boys who play with dolls grow up to be gay, and girls who play with toy trucks and such grow up to be lesbians or tomboys.I miss my Tonka trucks v.v Also, I never "got" playing with Barbies, but I love My Little Ponies. What does that say?
The lady said "African." Not African-American, not dark-skinned. African babies.I'd like an African doll... <.<
A more interesting one around these parts is the word Asian.

Asian is used here to refer to someone of Pakistani, Indian and similar descent. This someone from east Asia might be called oriental. And if my understanding is correct in places that use the word Asian to refer to someone from East Asia it is usually unacceptable to say oriental.

It cause all kinds of confusion when you go online.Here, "Asian" normally brings to mind Chinese, Japanese and Koreans, then India-Pakistani etc, and then wider Asia, Indonesia etc. Almost never the Middle East, interestingly...
It makes me sad that so many of the cooler words are "bad" v.v For example, I think Oriental is beautiful (though I believe some Asians prefer that term), and Mongoloid is fun and brings to mind a specific facial type, and Negress just sounds so exotic to me...

It's my understanding that "Eurotrash" refers to a very specific (fictional?) group of Europeans. Like Bruno, and ABBA :smalltongue:

Dracomorph
2009-11-02, 11:08 PM
I don't mind being called Eurotrash. In fact I've referred to myself as such on many occasions.

Sort of like the American relationship with the word Redneck, then: some people get terribly offended, wot wot, and others take no offense at all.

AstralFire
2009-11-02, 11:14 PM
A comment - somehow it's not okay to slur only those people who look/make love differently. "Eurotrash" is, apparently, not a slur and is perfectly okay to say despite the fact that it pisses off every single European out there. But it is okay to say it because, well, Europeans are white, therefore they can never, ever be persecuted or feel insulted. Because, you know, they're white.

I've never heard that and I'd sock anyone who used it in a serious context. I don't approve of racism on any count.


I was more making a point than a big deal about the word. That a word is just a word, despite the negative connotations it may have. It may surprise people that out of about a dozen black people I know, not one minds being called the n-word - to them it's just a slang word that means a black person. Yet there's a group out there dead-set on making the word a taboo because they feel it's insulting. But if you taboo all the words that can potentially be insulting, you won't have very many words left that you can actually say out in public.

Don't use it on me or my dad. Trust me. It won't end well. I've got more pride for myself than that.

Trog
2009-11-02, 11:36 PM
I was more making a point than a big deal about the word. That a word is just a word, despite the negative connotations it may have. It may surprise people that out of about a dozen black people I know, not one minds being called the n-word - to them it's just a slang word that means a black person. Yet there's a group out there dead-set on making the word a taboo because they feel it's insulting. But if you taboo all the words that can potentially be insulting, you won't have very many words left that you can actually say out in public.
Those friends of yours are the exception and by no means the rule. Try using that word on a stranger and I'll sign your cast later for you if you like.

And a word is merely something that is intended to convey meaning. If a word has widespread negative connotations which reflect poorly not only on the person it is used against but the also on the person using it it'd be a good idea to avoid using such a word if you wanted to avoid having that poor reflection. If you are in an in group and use a negative word to refer to yourself or to others in your in group it is assumed you couldn't mean it in the negative way it can be taken by others outside of the in group using that some word. And while I understand the idea of "taking back" certain words some words have a very very long way to go before society at large accepts them in that manner.

skywalker
2009-11-02, 11:55 PM
Those friends of yours are the exception and by no means the rule. Try using that word on a stranger and I'll sign your cast later for you if you like.

The problem is that this attitude:
Don't use it on me or my dad. Trust me. It won't end well. I've got more pride for myself than that.

Is considered acceptable, while if I were to take offense to this word:
Sort of like the American relationship with the word Redneck, then: some people get terribly offended, wot wot, and others take no offense at all.

People would tell me to grow up. Quite the double standard there, honestly.

I personally hate the idea of being called a redneck. But I'm far more likely to laugh at Jeff Foxworthy than to tell him to shut up, sort of that in-group thing, I guess. But if I were to hit someone for calling me a "redneck," would I get the same reaction as AstralFire for violence over his pejorative? I doubt it.

It's either a bad example, a double standard, or both.

Serpentine
2009-11-02, 11:58 PM
If a term applied to you is offensive to you, then take offence. Claiming that because you "shouldn't" take offence at that others "shouldn't" take offence at theirs is pointless at best.

Coidzor
2009-11-03, 12:06 AM
Generally though, people shouldn't be breaking bottles over one anothers' heads, so keep that in mind too.

AstralFire
2009-11-03, 12:06 AM
In addition to what Serpentine said:

I'd sock anyone who was actively racist towards another person in my presence. I don't tolerate racism in my presence. When it comes to me and the (many) races that I am, however, I take it. It is better to defend another than yourself. You have more objectivity in such a situation. When I said "it won't end well," I'm talking about the verbal scorn you're apt to receive in such a situation. I am by nature an aggressive person; as a result, I don't like to use physical means when I'm not in a state to control myself.

Additionally, again, you are comparing words of significantly different severities. Though I do not approve of the word 'redneck' and don't use it, it is certainly much more context-dependent than many other slurs.

SurlySeraph
2009-11-03, 12:36 AM
It seems to me that the politically correct word shifts every so often, and the former politically correct word gradually becomes considered offensive. Ni**** -> Negro -> Afro-American -> African-American is certainly an example of this, as is Oriental -> Asian. "Hispanic" is slowly being replaced with "Latino," though I have yet to hear of anyone taking offense at being called Hispanic.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-03, 01:01 AM
It seems to me that the politically correct word shifts every so often, and the former politically correct word gradually becomes considered offensive. Ni**** -> Negro -> Afro-American -> African-American is certainly an example of this, as is Oriental -> Asian. "Hispanic" is slowly being replaced with "Latino," though I have yet to hear of anyone taking offense at being called Hispanic.
Funny, when I lived in Oregon 10 years ago, a lot of Mexicans would get offended at being called Latino and preferred to be called Hispanic.


Additionally, again, you are comparing words of significantly different severities. Though I do not approve of the word 'redneck' and don't use it, it is certainly much more context-dependent than many other slurs.
Yes, but see, here's the problem. Is there a certain logarithmic sliding scale that you can use to determine severity of insults? I would certainly consider the stereotype of a gun-toting hick in a pickup married to his cousin to be more insulting than the modern stereotype of a black guy hanging out with homies and selling drugs on the street and I'm sure many "rednecks" would as well.

AstralFire
2009-11-03, 01:12 AM
Funny, when I lived in Oregon 10 years ago, a lot of Mexicans would get offended at being called Latino and preferred to be called Hispanic.

Yes, but see, here's the problem. Is there a certain logarithmic sliding scale that you can use to determine severity of insults? I would certainly consider the stereotype of a gun-toting hick in a pickup married to his cousin to be more insulting than the modern stereotype of a black guy hanging out with homies and selling drugs on the street and I'm sure many "rednecks" would as well.

I'm speaking purely of the word here; I think this is made evident by the fact that we are using one uncensored and the other by indirect reference. You need a certain context to make one inoffensive; the other is somewhat more neutral. Bigoted feelings behind one or the other are equally bad any way you slice it, hence my statement that I won't stand for racist behaviors toward whites any more than I will about races that I am a member of.

Pyrian
2009-11-03, 01:19 AM
All the rednecks I know call themselves that. (Of course, the only way I know someone is a redneck is if they call themself that. :smalltongue: ) I just don't see much conflation between a primarily cultural slur and a primarily racial slur. "Redneck" is more like "nerd" or "emo".

skywalker
2009-11-03, 01:22 AM
It seems to me that the politically correct word shifts every so often, and the former politically correct word gradually becomes considered offensive. Ni**** -> Negro -> Afro-American -> African-American is certainly an example of this, as is Oriental -> Asian. "Hispanic" is slowly being replaced with "Latino," though I have yet to hear of anyone taking offense at being called Hispanic.


Funny, when I lived in Oregon 10 years ago, a lot of Mexicans would get offended at being called Latino and preferred to be called Hispanic.

I think I have some insight into this one. It could come from the association "Hispanic" creates with Spain. Mexico especially has always had a cultural... "respect" for Spain. The highest class of people in colonial Mexico came from Spain, the "peninsulares." I knew a darker-skinned Mexican who was convinced his lighter-skinned roommate didn't want to be seen with him because of this lingering effect. One who prefers to be called Hispanic might enjoy the slightly higher "caste" indicated by this label and association with Spain.

By contrast, a lot of people from Latin America are starting to resent constant association with Spain (just as we have seen with black people in this thread who dislike association with Africa via "African-American"). That is why "Latino" is being popularized currently.


Yes, but see, here's the problem. Is there a certain logarithmic sliding scale that you can use to determine severity of insults? I would certainly consider the stereotype of a gun-toting hick in a pickup married to his cousin to be more insulting than the modern stereotype of a black guy hanging out with homies and selling drugs on the street and I'm sure many "rednecks" would as well.

It's the "married to his cousin" part that really stings.

EDIT:
All the rednecks I know call themselves that. (Of course, the only way I know someone is a redneck is if they call themself that. :smalltongue: )

What if I took the word "redneck" and replaced it with the word we are referring to by indirect reference? For me, the statement would still stand true. Thoughts?

EDIT2:
I'm speaking purely of the word here; I think this is made evident by the fact that we are using one uncensored and the other by indirect reference. You need a certain context to make one inoffensive; the other is somewhat more neutral. Bigoted feelings behind one or the other are equally bad any way you slice it, hence my statement that I won't stand for racist behaviors toward whites any more than I will about races that I am a member of.

I disagree. I always find the word offensive, except when used by members of the "in-group." There is context I suppose, in that I mentioned Jeff Foxworthy jokes, but then again there is also context (or so I've heard) that makes a famous Chris Rock routine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/*****s_vs._Black_People) inoffensive when performed (or referenced) by black people.

Myshlaevsky
2009-11-03, 01:23 AM
All the rednecks I know call themselves that. (Of course, the only way I know someone is a redneck is if they call themself that. :smalltongue: ) I just don't see much conflation between a primarily cultural slur and a primarily racial slur. "Redneck" is more like "nerd" or "emo".

That just made me picture redneck emos.

AstralFire
2009-11-03, 01:25 AM
Eh what?

I do not resent connection to Africa. o.O I prefer 'black' to 'African-American' because the latter is a bit of a mouthful, but both are strictly different from the term African.


What if I took the word "redneck" and replaced it with the word we are referring to by indirect reference? For me, the statement would still stand true. Thoughts?

EDIT2:

I disagree. I always find the word offensive, except when used by members of the "in-group." There is context I suppose, in that I mentioned Jeff Foxworthy jokes, but then again there is also context (or so I've heard) that makes a famous Chris Rock routine (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/*****s_vs._Black_People) inoffensive when performed (or referenced) by black people.

Divorced of intention, simply put, the word is not on the same level. Very few racist terms are in this country; few have the same level of historical weight. Words are not interchangeable; I cannot use the same situations for redneck, or the n-word, or the racist term for Koreans (which is also applicable to me, and I've been called that one.) You're trying to do a one-to-one substitution of phrases layered with specific emotional meaning, and language does not work that way.

It's like if I took away someone's football and gave them a Game Boy Brick. The original. They are both large, handheld objects used for entertainment in the form of games, sure, but that's about as far as the similarities extend.

Pyrian
2009-11-03, 01:33 AM
What if I took the word "redneck" and replaced it with the word we are referring to by indirect reference? For me, the statement would still stand true. Thoughts?The word we're not using stands for a race, not a culture. It's characteristics are generally immediately apparent, rather than behavioral. If a redneck, nerd, goth, or emo shows up to work in scrubs I have no idea they're a redneck, nerd, goth, or emo (or some combination :smalltongue: ).

SurlySeraph
2009-11-03, 01:34 AM
That just made me picture redneck emos.

CRAAAWLIN' IN MAH SKIIIIN! THESE HERE WOUNDS, THEY AIN'T GONNA HEEEAL!

Dracomorph
2009-11-03, 01:45 AM
The word we're not using stands for a race, not a culture. It's characteristics are generally immediately apparent, rather than behavioral. If a redneck, nerd, goth, or emo shows up to work in scrubs I have no idea they're a redneck, nerd, goth, or emo (or some combination :smalltongue: ).

Hairstyle would probably be your first clue. :smalltongue:

Cobra_Ikari
2009-11-03, 01:53 AM
CRAAAWLIN' IN MAH SKIIIIN! THESE HERE WOUNDS, THEY AIN'T GONNA HEEEAL!

...

<3

:smallamused:

skywalker
2009-11-03, 01:55 AM
Eh what?

I do not resent connection to Africa. o.O I prefer 'black' to 'African-American' because the latter is a bit of a mouthful, but both are strictly different from the term African.

Fair enough, but there are some who do. I must have mis-read your post.


Divorced of intention, simply put, the word is not on the same level. Very few racist terms are in this country; few have the same level of historical weight. Words are not interchangeable; I cannot use the same situations for redneck, or the n-word, or the racist term for Koreans (which is also applicable to me, and I've been called that one.) You're trying to do a one-to-one substitution of phrases layered with specific emotional meaning, and language does not work that way.

You can't ever divorce either word of intention, however. Someone always says either word with the intention of meaning something. I will grant you the historical weight. However, I will not grant that one requires context while the other does not. I would say that most Southern, rural white folks find the word offensive outside of the in-group, and a lack of popular education on the subject doesn't make it less true.


The word we're not using stands for a race, not a culture. It's characteristics are generally immediately apparent, rather than behavioral. If a redneck, nerd, goth, or emo shows up to work in scrubs I have no idea they're a redneck, nerd, goth, or emo (or some combination :smalltongue: ).

My point was that I know people who refer to themselves with "the word," and they are the only people I would even think of describing that way. You see?

I also don't think that derogatory terms for race are so special compared to other derogatory terms. Race-based meanness doesn't hold any particular special place in the "irrational meanness pantheon" for me.

Serpentine
2009-11-03, 02:01 AM
This is looking an awful lot like certain arguments on feminism. And it looks like this:
People X are offended by A.
People Y tend to not be offended by B, and/or are expected to not be offended by B.
It is a double standard for people X to be offended by A when people Y are not, or are not expected to be, offended by B.
Therefore, people X should not be offended by A, and/or people Y should be offended by B.
This is not self-evident logic. Like I said: If you're offended by it - and, more importantly, someone actually uses it - then be offended by it, and chastise the person who used it. If you're not offended, then quit whinging about it. It is NOT double standard for someone to find one thing offensive and another not - it's just life, and language.

skywalker
2009-11-03, 02:08 AM
This is looking an awful lot like certain arguments on feminism.

Now, now. No reason for that. They don't particularly compare, IMO.


It is NOT double standard for someone to find one thing offensive and another not - it's just life, and language.

No, but it is a double standard to find AstraFire's attitude more acceptable than mine. You see?

AstralFire
2009-11-03, 02:15 AM
You can't ever divorce either word of intention, however. Someone always says either word with the intention of meaning something. I will grant you the historical weight. However, I will not grant that one requires context while the other does not. I would say that most Southern, rural white folks find the word offensive outside of the in-group, and a lack of popular education on the subject doesn't make it less true.

I said it's somewhat less true for the word, not that it was completely free of context requirement. And I think it's very hard to argue otherwise. One is a primarily racial disparaging term; the other is also socio-economically based. One has indisputable origins in a group of majority using it against a group which they held strong power against for centuries; the other has somewhat disputed origins as a neutral, disparaging, or (rarely) empowering term. One is much more frequently banned than the other; your claim, if I understand it right, is that this is due to a double-standard.

My response is that it is not a double standard, and this is merely symptomatic of the differing histories of the words and the historical severity of their associated uses. Certain words simply do not have proper equivalents in other situations. If you've studied electricity, for example, many attempt to use a 'river' analogy to explain the relationship of amperage, voltage, and power - but it always falls flat because it's not terribly analogous. This is much the same. It would be a true double standard if and when people stand by and condone its usage as a term of disparagement - I'm not going to pretend it doesn't happen. But it is not happening in this topic, and it is not going to happen anywhere in my presence as long as I can help it.

At this point, I'm going to state that I'd like you to make certain what I've said before you make statements about it. So far you've attributed to me an absurd claim that I find African-American to be an offensive term, as well as that I would respond with violence if anyone used a disparaging remark about me (...in all seriousness, I try to avoid violence, but I'm only likely to do it on behalf of others), and confused my statement that one term is less context-dependent to mean that it is context-free.

Pyrian
2009-11-03, 02:16 AM
My point was that I know people who refer to themselves with "the word," and they are the only people I would even think of describing that way. You see?You're bringing this up in response to my point. It suggests you don't get my point, because it's not an appropriate response. A person's status as a redneck is mostly voluntary. A person's racial status is entirely involuntary. Whether they choose to identify as such makes a difference for a redneck, and has no effect on a person's race.


I also don't think that derogatory terms for race are so special compared to other derogatory terms. Race-based meanness doesn't hold any particular special place in the "irrational meanness pantheon" for me.A slur of a congenital trait has inherent offensiveness beyond an otherwise equivalent slur based on chosen, developed, or even cultural traits.


No, but it is a double standard to find AstraFire's attitude more acceptable than mine. You see?You have been given more than adequate grounds by which to distinguish them. Historical, congenital nature, and cultural weight.

Serpentine
2009-11-03, 02:18 AM
No, but it is a double standard to find AstraFire's attitude more acceptable than mine. You see?I don't think so, but then at this point I'm not entirely certain what your attitudes are - except that I've summarised my understanding of yours.

skywalker
2009-11-03, 02:43 AM
I said it's somewhat less true for the word, not that it was completely free of context requirement. And I think it's very hard to argue otherwise. One is a primarily racial disparaging term; the other is also socio-economically based. One has indisputable origins in a group of majority using it against a group which they held strong power against for centuries; the other has somewhat disputed origins as a neutral, disparaging, or (rarely) empowering term. One is much more frequently banned than the other; your claim, if I understand it right, is that this is due to a double-standard.

My response is that it is not a double standard, and this is merely symptomatic of the differing histories of the words and the historical severity of their associated uses. Certain words simply do not have proper equivalents in other situations. If you've studied electricity, for example, many attempt to use a 'river' analogy to explain the relationship of amperage, voltage, and power - but it always falls flat because it's not terribly analogous. This is much the same. It would be a true double standard if and when people stand by and condone its usage as a term of disparagement - I'm not going to pretend it doesn't happen. But it is not happening in this topic, and it is not going to happen anywhere in my presence as long as I can help it.

I understand your point. You believe (correctly) that your particular word is intrinsically disparaging. I believe that my particular word is also intrinsically disparaging, which other people appear to disagree with.

I was particularly taking umbrage with dracomorph's post. I have no idea what "wot wot" means, but the post seemed a bit flippant, as tho of course those Americans who were terribly insulted were being silly. Perhaps I was mistaken.


At this point, I'm going to state that I'd like you to make certain what I've said before you make statements about it. So far you've attributed to me an absurd claim that I find African-American to be an offensive term, as well as that I would respond with violence if anyone used a disparaging remark about me (...in all seriousness, I try to avoid violence, but I'm only likely to do it on behalf of others), and confused my statement that one term is less context-dependent to mean that it is context-free.

I am sorry about the African thing. I imagined you to be one of those people who is insulted by the term. They are out there, trust me. I made the claim that you would use violence if someone made a disparaging remark about you since your original statement on the matter "It won't end well," was made right below "I've never heard that and I'd sock anyone who used it in a serious context. I don't approve of racism on any count." So you see, it was easy to suspect that you would respond with violence, since you hadn't yet clarified it. With the context thing, you have misunderstood my misunderstanding. I meant to say that both words are equally context free.


You're bringing this up in response to my point. It suggests you don't get my point, because it's not an appropriate response. A person's status as a redneck is mostly voluntary. A person's racial status is entirely involuntary. Whether they choose to identify as such makes a difference for a redneck, and has no effect on a person's race.

If someone calls me a redneck in whatever context (for whatever reason), how does the fact that I have chosen to own a gun, drive a pick up, or what-have-you make it any less offensive beyond the historical weight? A person chooses a lot of things, slurs based on which we consider to be very bad.


A slur of a congenital trait has inherent offensiveness beyond an otherwise equivalent slur based on chosen, developed, or even cultural traits.

I'll assume this is because the person cannot choose to be otherwise? I do not understand how this makes it more offensive than slurring someone based on their sexual orientation or similar.


You have been given more than adequate grounds by which to distinguish them. Historical, congenital nature, and cultural weight.

I abide by the historical context. I disagree that a congenital nature makes any difference. I also think the cultural weight is misplaced, for the reasons I have outlined.


I don't think so, but then at this point I'm not entirely certain what your attitudes are - except that I've summarised my understanding of yours.

The idea was that my attitudes were the same as AF's, with the exception of a different word coming into play.

Dracomorph
2009-11-03, 08:25 PM
I was particularly taking umbrage with dracomorph's post. I have no idea what "wot wot" means, but the post seemed a bit flippant, as tho of course those Americans who were terribly insulted were being silly. Perhaps I was mistaken.

What if I were to call you a geek?

It's not that I don't think you have the right to be annoyed when you're called a redneck, it's that I consider it such a minor insult that it should not automatically produce a reaction. Therefore, I assume most outrage at the term to be posturing and bluster. Sometimes it isn't. Of course, if you asked me not to call you that (which I didn't), I wouldn't. I just don't assume that it is an offensive term to everyone I meet.

Certainly, I think the assertion that 'redneck' is a term not offensive to all Americans is true, even if you disagree with my tone.


If someone calls me a redneck in whatever context (for whatever reason), how does the fact that I have chosen to own a gun, drive a pick up, or what-have-you make it any less offensive beyond the historical weight? A person chooses a lot of things, slurs based on which we consider to be very bad.

Think punk rocker with a mohawk.

You have taken up the symbols and traits of a subculture, and yet wish to dissociate yourself from it? That seems counterintuitive. And that is why its impact is supposed to be lessened; you have chosen to take up these things. The assumption is that you have also chosen to, if not embrace, then at least accept the perceptions that come with them.

That may not be true for you, but that is the assumption that is made when people see that manner of self-presentation. And that is why it's considered less offensive.

zeratul
2009-11-03, 08:51 PM
Now, now. No reason for that. They don't particularly compare, IMO.



No, but it is a double standard to find AstraFire's attitude more acceptable than mine. You see?

The mistake your making here is assuming that any deragatory word has the same weight as any other deragatory word. The word to which Astral Fire is reffereing is (particularly in the USA) verry weighted when used by someone not of that race due to the words history. The word has come to be associated with 300 years of racism and is considered dispickable to use when not used by someone of the race to which it reffers. On the other hand "redneck" generally carries verry little weight. While some people take offense to it, it has absolutley no historical connotations to add to it's offense, and people sort of interperit it's offensiveness on ther own. That's why one is sort of finitely considered bad, while the other words offensiveness depends on weather that particular person finds it offensive.

Raz_Fox
2009-11-03, 09:21 PM
That just made me picture redneck emos.

Dammit, I just spat all over my keyboard.

I hope you're proud of what you've made me do, sir.

skywalker
2009-11-04, 12:49 AM
Certainly, I think the assertion that 'redneck' is a term not offensive to all Americans is true, even if you disagree with my tone.

I agree completely.


Think punk rocker with a mohawk.

You have taken up the symbols and traits of a subculture, and yet wish to dissociate yourself from it? That seems counterintuitive. And that is why its impact is supposed to be lessened; you have chosen to take up these things. The assumption is that you have also chosen to, if not embrace, then at least accept the perceptions that come with them.

That may not be true for you, but that is the assumption that is made when people see that manner of self-presentation. And that is why it's considered less offensive.

I own a gun because it is a practical thing to do. I may or may not be driving a truck because it is the practical thing to do at the time. It is not a voluntary association in the sense that I said "I think I'll go look like a 'redneck' today."

I've been called a redneck merely for telling people where I'm from. I certainly didn't choose where I was born.


The mistake your making here is assuming that any deragatory word has the same weight as any other deragatory word. The word to which Astral Fire is reffereing is (particularly in the USA) verry weighted when used by someone not of that race due to the words history. The word has come to be associated with 300 years of racism and is considered dispickable to use when not used by someone of the race to which it reffers. On the other hand "redneck" generally carries verry little weight. While some people take offense to it, it has absolutley no historical connotations to add to it's offense, and people sort of interperit it's offensiveness on ther own. That's why one is sort of finitely considered bad, while the other words offensiveness depends on weather that particular person finds it offensive.

I think I'm doing the opposite of assuming that. I think I'm saying "this derogatory word does not have the same weight as this other derogatory word, and why is that?" I understand that it carries very little weight, but I question why it carries a smaller weight, beyond the historical background of the other word. I understand that it carries a smaller cultural weight and I accept that there is some historical context for that, but beyond a certain point the recognization of one as a terrible slur and one as simply mildly disparaging slang is a failure of the culture to treat both sides as equal.

To put it another way, someone in this thread chided white people for being "scared to insult black people" or something similar. Then, it is said that you'd better not say that word, for fear of insulting a black person. By contrast, no one seems to care about insuting the white person, which I think is what the original question was in the first place (Well, not the original, but original to this discussion), IE Why are we (as a culture) afraid to insult black people and not white people, and as I asked, isn't that a double standard?

Pyrian
2009-11-04, 01:15 AM
You twist your argument into all these weird contortions to make it look like more of a double-standard than it is.

First, you have the premise that centuries of slavery and decades of civil rights abuses don't matter enough to count for anything. You acknowledge it, and then somehow dismiss it out of hand, with no real explanation.

Then, you have the premise that redneck is a racial slur. There are racial slurs specifically for white folks, and I'm not going to type them, either. Redneck isn't really one of them. Redneck is about a subculture.

Once you get through all that, to any outside eye, it looks like you've pre-decided there's a double-standard and will seize on any argument you can make to rationalize it.

But let's say we accept all that. Let's say there is a double standard. Let's say it's true that calling someone a black slur is inherently more insulting in our culture than calling someone a white slur. What does that say? What it says is that your dismissal of the historical issues is severely premature!

Dracomorph
2009-11-04, 01:29 AM
I own a gun because it is a practical thing to do. I may or may not be driving a truck because it is the practical thing to do at the time. It is not a voluntary association in the sense that I said "I think I'll go look like a 'redneck' today."

I've been called a redneck merely for telling people where I'm from. I certainly didn't choose where I was born.

In what way is a gun a practical matter? Certainly, there are a few locations or professions in the States where that could be true, but generally it's a sign of hunting as a hobby, or having an interest in guns as a hobby. Neither of these is bad, but they both have their associations. Certainly, they both involve matters of choice over necessity.

You're right, you didn't choose where you were born. You also didn't choose the culture you were born into, which I think is more relevant. You do, however, choose whether you continue to live as a member of that culture, which throws in one more of those 'opt-outs,' as it were.


I think I'm doing the opposite of assuming that. I think I'm saying "this derogatory word does not have the same weight as this other derogatory word, and why is that?" I understand that it carries very little weight, but I question why it carries a smaller weight, beyond the historical background of the other word. I understand that it carries a smaller cultural weight and I accept that there is some historical context for that, but beyond a certain point the recognization of one as a terrible slur and one as simply mildly disparaging slang is a failure of the culture to treat both sides as equal.

To put it another way, someone in this thread chided white people for being "scared to insult black people" or something similar. Then, it is said that you'd better not say that word, for fear of insulting a black person. By contrast, no one seems to care about insuting the white person, which I think is what the original question was in the first place (Well, not the original, but original to this discussion), IE Why are we (as a culture) afraid to insult black people and not white people, and as I asked, isn't that a double standard?

This is because blacks and whites are not, in fact, treated equally in the United States. Ideally and in theory, yes, but absolutely not in practice. African-Americans are shafted in a variety of subtle ways, but that is a discussion not for this board, I think.

skywalker
2009-11-04, 01:52 AM
You twist your argument into all these weird contortions to make it look like more of a double-standard than it is.

Or maybe we were just misunderstanding each other to start with?


First, you have the premise that centuries of slavery and decades of civil rights abuses don't matter enough to count for anything. You acknowledge it, and then somehow dismiss it out of hand, with no real explanation.

What more am I to say after I acknowledge it?


Then, you have the premise that redneck is a racial slur. There are racial slurs specifically for white folks, and I'm not going to type them, either. Redneck isn't really one of them. Redneck is about a subculture.

I disagree. As I said, I have been called such based merely on my place of birth. I also don't think today's culture refers to all black people using that word, so much as members of a certain subculture, when it uses the term at all.


Once you get through all that, to any outside eye, it looks like you've pre-decided there's a double-standard and will seize on any argument you can make to rationalize it.

It is the natural order of an argument to use various means and examples to communicate. Is it not just as easy to say that you have pre-decided there isn't a double standard, etc, etc?


But let's say we accept all that. Let's say there is a double standard. Let's say it's true that calling someone a black slur is inherently more insulting in our culture than calling someone a white slur. What does that say? What it says is that your dismissal of the historical issues is severely premature!

So the double standard is acceptable based on the historical issues?


In what way is a gun a practical matter? Certainly, there are a few locations or professions in the States where that could be true, but generally it's a sign of hunting as a hobby, or having an interest in guns as a hobby. Neither of these is bad, but they both have their associations. Certainly, they both involve matters of choice over necessity.

Not being a necessity does not make something impractical. My belief in the practicality of owning a gun is not something to get into here. My point is that I do not do any of these things to identify myself with that subculture. I made a choice, but not to consciously associate myself.


You're right, you didn't choose where you were born. You also didn't choose the culture you were born into, which I think is more relevant. You do, however, choose whether you continue to live as a member of that culture, which throws in one more of those 'opt-outs,' as it were.

A culture that, as far as I'm concerned, doesn't deserve the derogatory label it's given. I can move out of this state, stop driving a truck, and sell my gun, and fewer people will probably call me that. Some still will. Some always will. Can the same process (with different actions) not be applied to an inner-city black youth?


This is because blacks and whites are not, in fact, treated equally in the United States. Ideally and in theory, yes, but absolutely not in practice. African-Americans are shafted in a variety of subtle ways, but that is a discussion not for this board, I think.

Don't you think one step towards being treated equally is being treated equally linguistically? Policies that attempt to "balance out" problems do not help. They tend to create resentment more than they help, and further fan the flames of intolerance because of resentment over "unfairness," etc.

Dracomorph
2009-11-04, 02:42 AM
Not being a necessity does not make something impractical. My belief in the practicality of owning a gun is not something to get into here. My point is that I do not do any of these things to identify myself with that subculture. I made a choice, but not to consciously associate myself.

The idea isn't that you make a choice in order to associate yourself, it's that you understand association is a side effect. Your reasons for owning a gun are largely irrelevant, outside of necessity, which somewhat removes the label.


Don't you think one step towards being treated equally is being treated equally linguistically? Policies that attempt to "balance out" problems do not help. They tend to create resentment more than they help, and further fan the flames of intolerance because of resentment over "unfairness," etc.

I would agree, on the condition that using derogatory language was equally detrimental to both parties, which just isn't the case.

Apologies for not addressing you more fully, it's late and I'm tired.

Felixaar
2009-11-04, 03:36 AM
Believeing that any one factor will ultimately determine a child's personality later in life is plain silly - ultimately, it's the combination of billions of factors that decides even the slightest of characteristics.

Like, for instance, I walked. I never crawled, just started walking. Everyone thought this meant I would grow up to be moronic. And it's totally not true, my moroncy is because of a totally different reason.

*reveals large bumps on his forehead* tennis racket and golf ball. cant remember which is which.

Hyuk!

Serpentine
2009-11-04, 09:44 PM
I have a question for you, Skywalker: What actual, real persecution or discrimination is attached to the word "redneck"? Is a person identified as a redneck likely to have more trouble finding a decent job? Have there ever been lynch mobs targeting rednecks? Has there ever been serious debate about whether rednecks count as human? Whether they have souls? Whether killing them counts as murder? These are all attached to and associated with and reflected by the so-called "n-word". Oh, there's the stereotype of stupidity and/or incest attached to the word "redneck", but has that ever had any real-world consequence, beyond the odd dodgy joke? Without a good example of how the word "redneck" has a real-life practical negative impact, then no, that word absolutely cannot compare with the one used to slander black people.

Real-life example: the owner of a popular corner store in my town regularly refers to Aboriginals as "*****"^ (not ******^^, but closely equivalent) and also has made it policy to take the money off of these people - and ONLY these people - before making their food. I would not be at all surprised to discover that he refers to real country people as rednecks or hicks or whatever, but he certainly doesn't make company policy based on that status.

^ like the Australian cheese
^^ related to Nigeria

Anuan
2009-11-04, 10:44 PM
I would like to beat this man in the head with a shovel.
Just sayin'.

Lupy
2009-11-04, 11:18 PM
I am proud of this thread for staying unlocked.

I would like to bring up a different scenario, because I agree with Serpy that Redneck and the "n-word" carry very different connotations. Now consider how differently most people, at least where I live, react to the "n-word" and a very derogatory remark about Judaism or the Jewish people. I'll give an example: People have been suspended from my school for using the above mentioned word or making fun of black people, but complaints about being made fun of with very offensive remarks about Judaism and Jews are regularly ignored.

EDIT: After thinking about it for a moment, Hispanics are mocked much more than blacks or Jews, and no one ever gets in trouble for it. This seems very wrong to me.

Coidzor
2009-11-05, 12:42 AM
Wait, are we still discussing whether redneck is on the same magnitude level or class as ******?

One's much more of a label that can be positive or negative depending upon context and the other is a racial slur that is still in active use as a racial slur even as it is bandied about as a general term in the process of reclaimation.

Often times the same people who are using it in the latter also use it in the former...

Plus, it's generally the US or at least black-white relations we're talking here which are still... well, strained.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 12:46 AM
but complaints about being made fun of with very offensive remarks about Judaism and Jews are regularly ignored.Seriously? I mean, it seems kinda like Jews tend to be a bit more self-depreciative than black people, and so such usages might be more often used in good humour, but if it gets bad enough for complaints... That's pretty awful. But I'd say that more indicates a problem with your particular area, rather than... race relations, I guess, in general.

The thing that gets me about the corner store guy (aside from the fact that otherwise I like him) is that it would be perfectly reasonable for him to make it general policy to take the money when an order is made. If he's concerned about theft - a legitimate concern - this would make sense. But it's only from aboriginals, noone else :smallsigh:

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-05, 01:06 AM
That's pretty awful. But I'd say that more indicates a problem with your particular area, rather than... race relations, I guess, in general.
Nope, it's a fairly common problem in the States. Despite the fact that being a Jew has much, MUCH, exponentially MUCH more stigma and history attached to it.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 01:44 AM
I've told you a hundred million times, don't exaggerate.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-05, 02:06 AM
I've told you a hundred million times, don't exaggerate.
I wasn't exaggerating. Jews have about 3200 years of history throughout most of which they were violently persecuted by many different groups, from ancient Egyptians and Romans to modern Germans, 19th century Russians and medieval everyone. Blacks have about 300 or so years, with only 120 or so years when they were actually persecuted for actually being black, since the US civil war until 1980's (slavery doesn't count as purposeful persecution against blacks particular - they were in no way different from, for example, white slaves captured by Turks or Berbers, they were simply easy to acquire for white slavers - coastal African tribal chiefs sold POWs from other tribes to white slavers).

Now here's a question. Why is it okay to say whatever you like to Jews about Jews without risking any form of official persecution (except maybe getting beat up by the person you're talking to), but it's not okay to call black people the n-word, which is basically just a word for a black person? Heck, the n-word is even censored on this forum akin to the f-word so we have to discuss it by referring to it without actually saying it.

Pyrian
2009-11-05, 02:21 AM
I dunno about your premise, Don. Mere hints of anti-semitism are leapt upon and torn apart by vicious badgers. I'm drawing a blank on what a jewish slur would be, but the things that are said to people who merely disagree with certain policies regarding a certain country do not exactly support the idea that you can freely slander jews in the United States.

AstralFire
2009-11-05, 02:22 AM
...

Final statements:
I do not support racism in any way. I am half-black/half-Korean, I date an Italian-American, I went to a HS with a very large Jewish/Indian/Korean population, etc yadda yadda yadda.

The Jewish people over the centuries are probably the most persecuted culture in the world. Despite this, by the first third of the 20th Century, racial tensions among 'whites' in America (which were split among the various home nations) began to significantly ease, culminating in a lot of acceptance-by-guilt after the extent of the Holocaust was understood. Jews have also historically been able to protect themselves to some degree by developing a culture that capitalized on making the most of little - see usury.

There is no exaggeration; the Jews have had it bad. But this goes back to my statement that you cannot simply substitute words on a simple basis. (Despite this, it does irritate me that racial humor about Jews is more acceptable than that of other races in some ways. Then again, I hear a lot more 'watermelon and fried chicken' jokes than I'd like to; you are always going to have something of an apples and oranges effect with racial comparisons of ANY kind. Different types of jokes get told about different groups.)

All of that said, I heap ire on whoever decided that this needed to be brought into this thread.

As if this thread wasn't so colossally and unpleasantly derailed in the first place, when the waters were starting to calm out of people simply being tired of beating this subject to death, we had to throw a third socio-ethnic group in as a major component! :smallfurious:

Screw this, I am officially done with my own thread. :smallannoyed: Thanks a ton.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 02:25 AM
As far as I've ever been aware, it isn't. But, I've only ever met one (atheist) Jew. That I know of.

And I don't know that at least 2000 of that time can really count. Jews AND blacks have been heavily persecuted in modern times. To the best of my knowledge, Jews haven't been enslaved anytime in the last 500-odd years. Does the Holocaust and largely (I think) non-violent persecution and prejudice that (again, I think) has largely been eliminated for the last 60 years outweigh centuries of total enslavement that only ended 150 years ago, economic and government oppression (don't forget Africa itself), widespread physical assault, and ongoing inequality and discrimination that is very much a contemporary issue? I don't know. But if it does, it's not by much - certainly not "much, MUCH, exponentially MUCH more".

Pyrian: I think there's nose-references? And I don't get the "watermelon and fried chicken" thing. Everyone can agree they're tasty!

AF: Awww. But it was interesting :smallfrown:

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-05, 02:45 AM
And I don't know that at least 2000 of that time can really count. Jews AND blacks have been heavily persecuted in modern times. To the best of my knowledge, Jews haven't been enslaved anytime in the last 500-odd years. Does the Holocaust and largely (I think) non-violent persecution and prejudice that (again, I think) has largely been eliminated for the last 60 years outweigh centuries of total enslavement that only ended 150 years ago, economic and government oppression (don't forget Africa itself), widespread physical assault, and ongoing inequality and discrimination that is very much a contemporary issue? I don't know. But if it does, it's not by much - certainly not "much, MUCH, exponentially MUCH more".

For example: History of Jews in Spain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Spain). This, while a more extreme example, still mirrors most of Europe of the last 1000 or so years. As for enslavement, again - the slavers didn't target Africans because they were black. They targeted Africans because it was the most economically viable to get slaves from there. Heck, capturing white people from countries you were at war (e.g. English to French) with and sending them to work on plantations as slaves was common practice during the 1600s in the Caribbean.

I'm drawing a blank on what a jewish slur would be.
Exactly my point. They simply don't take words that could be considered mildly offensive (like "k___" okay, another censored word on the forum) and blow their meaning out of proportion. Remember, I'm talking about slurs and names, not about racism or Anti-Semitism in general.

billtodamax
2009-11-05, 02:56 AM
I've told you a hundred million times, don't exaggerate.

*giggles inappropriately*
Ahem.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 03:23 AM
^ :biggrin: Ah dads... Ain't they grand?

For example: History of Jews in Spain (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Jews_in_Spain). This, while a more extreme example, still mirrors most of Europe of the last 1000 or so years. As for enslavement, again - the slavers didn't target Africans because they were black. They targeted Africans because it was the most economically viable to get slaves from there. Heck, capturing white people from countries you were at war (e.g. English to French) with and sending them to work on plantations as slaves was common practice during the 1600s in the Caribbean.For how many Jews would this be at the forefront of their minds when they think of Jewish history and Jewish insults, much less general knowledge? For how many African-Americans, on the other hand, are the slavery and commonplace physical abuse and prejudice that happened just a couple of generations ago at the forefront of their minds and common knowledge?
I'm not making any judgements at all on which history is "worse", or even particularly which is more relevant to modern bigotry. I am saying that one is not "much, MUCH, exponentially MUCH more" than the other. That is, point-blank, no ifs ands or buts, straight-forward exaggeration.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-05, 03:58 AM
For how many Jews would this be at the forefront of their minds when they think of Jewish history and Jewish insults, much less general knowledge? For how many African-Americans, on the other hand, are the slavery and commonplace physical abuse and prejudice that happened just a couple of generations ago at the forefront of their minds and common knowledge?
The Holocaust happened a little over 65 years ago. I'd say that's more recent than the slavery. I'm also fuzzy as to how exactly a Spanish word that means "black" that in English refers to a black person an insult to black people who prefer to use exactly the same word translated into English and how does it bring into the mind associations with slavery.

Especially since black people use it to call each other in everyday conversation. If it's an insult, shouldn't it be a universal insult? I.e., it's not okay for black people to call each other that either. Otherwise it's not exactly an insult.

And it's also interesting double standard when one race can use this word and it's naturally assumed they are using it at face value (e.g. "black dude", akin to "Asian" or "Spaniard") and when the other race uses said word, it's naturally and automatically assumed they are using it as an insult. Especially interesting when it's universally applied to everyone who's white, including, for example, Swedes or Russians or Austrians who have had absolutely nothing to do with the Americas, the slave trade or Africa and whose ancestors were probably fighting each all the way back in Europe other when the slave trade occurred.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 04:24 AM
The Holocaust happened a little over 65 years ago. I'd say that's more recent than the slavery.More recent, more intensely brutal, and also of much lesser duration. Furthermore, with regard to their relative continuing impact, if anything the Holocaust improved the lot of Jewish people (to the best of my understanding), whereas the slavery background still has on-going negative consequences.

Especially since black people use it to call each other in everyday conversation. If it's an insult, shouldn't it be a universal insult? Otherwise it's not exactly an insult.I believe it's called "taking back the word". Are words like ****** (bundle of sticks), *** (cigarette) and queer never insulting, just because some homosexuals use it themselves? You cannot tell me that, in most or at least much of its usage, "the n-word" is not used with intent to insult.

And it's an interesting double standard when one race can use this word and it's naturally assumed they are using it at face value (e.g. "slave") and when the other race uses said word, it's naturally and automatically assumed they are using it as an insult.I don't know how much sense I can make of this, but in relation to "N", as I said above, it generally is used as an insult when used by someone not of that race. When one race uses a particular word to slander, belittle or stereotype another, it can generally be assumed that that word is intended as an insult. When the race at whom it is directed uses it, I think it can pretty much be assumed to 1. not be intended as an insult, and 2. be part of an attempt to rectify the damage it has done and can do and/or claim it as part of their identity - whether successful or not is another matter. Not a double standard.

Especially interesting when it's universally applied to everyone who's white, including, for example, Swedes or Russians or Austrians who have had absolutely nothing to do with the Americas, the slave trade or Africa and whose ancestors were probably fighting each all the way back in Europe other when the slave trade occurred.1. What?
2. I don't know, but I suspect "N" began its usage in the Americas and spread, with its insulting intent, from there around the world.

Personally, I think this argument is pretty pointless ('course, most are...). I think I've pretty much said everything I have to say on this topic, interesting though it is.

Don Julio Anejo
2009-11-05, 04:47 AM
Sorry, I had a mistake in my post ("when one race can use this word and it's naturally assumed they are using it at face value (e.g. "slave")", change slave to "black dude" or "Asian" or "Spaniard." Couldn't correct until much later because the forum was backing itself up.

You cannot tell me that, in most or at least much of its usage, "the n-word" is not used with intent to insult.


2. I don't know, but I suspect "N" began its usage in the Americas and spread, with its insulting intent, from there around the world.

Yest but see, not it didn't. It's a Spanish word meaning "black." In fact, it still means black. Citation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_Negro_%28Amazon%29) It didn't start in the Americas, it started in many Romance languages (such as French, Spanish or Italian) that use that word to mean "black" as in the colour black. In (parts of Europe that I know about) it has no insulting intent attached to it. Shouldn't "black" have the same insulting meaning attached to it then as well?

I don't know how much sense I can make of this, but in relation to "N", as I said above, it generally is used as an insult when used by someone not of that race.

When one race uses a particular word to slander, belittle or stereotype another, it can generally be assumed that that word is intended as an insult.
Isn't that generalizing all of the white people out there? Especially those who have nothing in common. Especially since Arabs, for example, are also white. And so are Scandinavians. And Slavs. None of these groups had remotely anything to do with the slave trade in the Americas or the persecution of black people. Why would they mean it as an insult? It most likely wouldn't even occur to them to associate the n-word with slavery and persecution since that's a cultural connection restricted mostly to North America (and possibly to English speaking countries because they share a lot of their culture).

When the race at whom it is directed uses it, I think it can pretty much be assumed to 1. not be intended as an insult, and 2. be part of an attempt to rectify the damage it has done and can do and/or claim it as part of their identity - whether successful or not is another matter. Not a double standard.
1. Doesn't make any sense. If something is an insult to a group, I certainly wouldn't want even an ingroup member to use it on me. For example, I wouldn't want someone who was born out of wedlock calling me a bastard (despite the fact that I technically am one, my parents didn't marry each other until a year after I was born). Because the word itself is an insult and it's primary meaning at this moment in time is as an actual insult rather than a word to mean someone born out of wedlock.
2. Huh? Makes no sense.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 05:00 AM
Yest but see, not it didn't. It's a Spanish word meaning "black." In fact, it still means black. Citation. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_Negro_%28Amazon%29) It didn't start in the Americas, it started in many Romance languages (such as French, Spanish or Italian) that use that word to mean "black" as in the colour black. In (parts of Europe that I know about) it has no insulting intent attached to it. Shouldn't "black" have the same insulting meaning attached to it then as well?We're not talking about "negro". I believe its status as an insult is a bit ambiguous, or at least so dated that not many people really use it as an insult anymore.* The status of the actual word in question, with two "g"s and an "er", is not at all ambiguous.

Isn't that generalizing all of the white people out there? Especially those who have nothing in common. Especially since Arabs, for example, are also white. And so are Scandinavians. And Slavs. None of these groups had remotely anything to do with the slave trade in the Americas or the persecution of black people. Why would they mean it as an insult? It most likely wouldn't even occur to them to associate the n-word with slavery and persecution since that's a cultural connection restricted mostly to North America (and possibly to English speaking countries because they share a lot of their culture).Such people probably wouldn't use it. Doesn't change the fact that its primary usage is undeniably insulting. Slut is an insult. Skank is an insult. ****-for-brains is an insult. And the N-word, regardless of its very specific non-insulting occasional usage, is an insult.

1. Doesn't make any sense. If something is an insult to a group, I certainly wouldn't want even an ingroup member to use it on me. For example, I wouldn't want someone who was born out of wedlock calling me a bastard (despite the fact that I technically am one, my parents didn't marry each other until a year after I was born). Because the word itself is an insult and it's primary meaning at this moment in time is as an actual insult rather than a word to mean someone born out of wedlock.
2. Huh? Makes no sense.You're not them, and they're not you. You cannot expect everyone to be, act and react exactly the same as you.
If one of your best friends called you a cretinous idiot (or whatever) in fun, would you find it genuinely insulting? And if you did not, would you then not find it insulting if a stranger called you a cretinous idiot (or whatever) in full seriousness? Intent is always the important thing.
Anyway, can anyone testify to ALL black people of African descent referring to themselves or each other as "N", or are there, in fact, a significant number of such people who prefer that noone at all use it?

*I think it might be kind of like "savage" and "native". Not necessarily insulting or racist or whatever in itself, but indicative of very dated thinking.

KuReshtin
2009-11-05, 05:57 AM
Since the Swedes wee mentioned in the discussion and hinted at that we don't use the 'N'-word as an insult, that's not true. OK, so it's a Swedified version of it, but it's still used as an insult.

It wasn't always as emotionally charged as it is now, though. Hell, when I grew up, there was a confectionary item that was widely referred to as 'negerboll' and no one cared until someone started going PC and all of a sudden, it was changed to 'chokladboll' instead. At the time, i thought it was really stupid, mainly because I was about 10 at the time, but it makes sense now.

With regards to the bastard insult, that is something that I really couldn't care less about if someone calle dme that, mainly because it's a true description of me. I was born out of wedlock, and if someone calls me that, I'll just smile at them and aske them how they knew. It diffuses the situation real quick and I end up with the upper hand.

Serpentine
2009-11-05, 05:59 AM
Yeah, there's a big difference between a friend saying "ah ya bastard!", and a stranger saying "your mother was a whore who gave birth to you out of wedlock!"

KuReshtin
2009-11-05, 06:06 AM
Yeah, there's a big difference between a friend saying "ah ya bastard!", and a stranger saying "your mother was a whore who gave birth to you out of wedlock!"

This is very true. However, some* intended insults from complete strangers are just humorous enough to not be worth getting upset about.

Even if a complete stranger were to call me a 'fat bastard' with all ill intent he could muster I'd just reply with a calm:
"Yes. Yes I am."

*Obviously, there are also some insults that are worth getting upset about.

GoC
2009-11-05, 07:20 AM
My opinion: If you take offence at something obviously not intended to be offensive then there's something wrong with you.

In fact, it is always foolish to take offence.

Anuan
2009-11-05, 07:27 AM
Pyrian: I think there's nose-references? And I don't get the "watermelon and fried chicken" thing. Everyone can agree they're tasty!


Both are part of the Soul Food diet that was eaten by black people in the South. Also fried catfish.

Trog
2009-11-05, 09:11 AM
*pokes head in, clutching bowler cap to chest. Looks around*

Trog's almost afraid to bring the humor in here.

*walks in anyway. Unzips Trog costume and flips back head revealing a pasty bald white guy underneath*

I'm not even sure where to begin here. Well, my best friend that I've had since I was in middle school (mid '80's we're talking here) is black. Technically half black. But for all race relations intents and purposes he's black.

I've been with him when some punk kid dropped the n-bomb. I chased after that kid just as angry as he was at the insult with the intent to beat the **** out of that racist kid. We never caught him though as he made it home before we could. If we had caught that kid I honestly don't think I would regret giving him a fair beating for that. My friend taught me a valuable lesson then. He said "they learn that from their parents." Which I believe is true, sadly.

I'm still friends with him and I still play DnD with him and I love the guy. I named my second born son after him, in fact. He is my brother, basically.

I know he has to deal with people judging him by the color of his skin every day. Some times this is bad, like that example. Sometimes it is (humorously) good. My friend also often gets approached and greeted like a friend by random black guys. Many of which he has never met before in his life. He sort of laughs at it. I always sort of envied that part of it. But it comes with a huge negative though in that you have to deal with others' racism against blacks your whole life. So I don't envy him for having to put up with that.

It's funny, the other day he and I went to a chili cook off downtown and he runs into a guy (someone he actually knows this time) and he introduces me to this other guy. The guy looks at me like he just got introduced to the devil. He was black. I'm, white and pale with a shaved head. It made me chuckle.

I dunno. Mostly I don't see race. Especially not as a kid. I went to school with all sorts of kids, though mostly they were white I guess. I don't think there was anyone I treated differently based on the color of their skin or their ethnicity. I had friends who were Asian, Jewish, Black, White, etc. I default to treat people like individuals, I guess. Often it is only later that I realized that the person might have had a racial or cultural identity at all (Me a few years back: "Whoa... I just realized... Tim Sanchez from High School was... Hispanic?! Weeeeiiiird.").

In college I took a class called Racial and Cultural Minorities. The class was filled with white people. One guy there was black. At one point in the class we were talking about racial slurs and the professor asks us all to come up with as many racial slurs as we can for our own race. The black guy stated that he had never even heard of half of the slurs that the predominantly white class came up with for white people. This also was true of all the slurs he came up with for blacks. I forget the point of the exercise. I think it was something like that there are many more divisions between people than just race. Or something like that.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I felt I should contribute something to this thread and I guess that's my contribution - some of my experiences and such.

*zips back up the costume, looks around, flashes a peace sign (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XkRWwyNulk) and walks off*

faerwain
2009-11-05, 09:38 AM
However, some intended insults from complete strangers are just humorous enough to not be worth getting upset about.


True. My friends and I still snicker about the time a complete stranger passed me in his car and yelled angrily at me : "Ey, you Husky!!"



I dunno. Mostly I don't see race. Especially not as a kid. I went to school with all sorts of kids, though mostly they were white I guess. I don't think there was anyone I treated differently based on the color of their skin or their ethnicity.

Well, I confess, as a kid I treated my African-German classmate differently:smalleek:
By which I mean that I stumbled around her with an incredible crush because she was hotter than hell :smallbiggrin:

Anuan
2009-11-05, 10:49 AM
*snipped*

I've been in a similar situation, though a lot of the time it was in reverse, kind of. My cousin Leroy is black. A lot of my cousins are black, along with a lot of friends I had back then, but this is a cousin I hung around with a lot. We were best friends for years, practically brothers. He basically lived at my house a lot of the time.

I grew up in a very small country town. Racism was abundent, though it was mostly classism; most of the black people lived on one side of the railway tracks, a decidedly poorer area of town. This didn't help to get rid of the general attitude that any of the black kids around were violent troublemakers, liars and thieves.
Leroy didn't cop much because he was a fairly charismatic kid, and he had a lot of family members and was good at sport.
Me? Before I started learning martial arts, I was the already-unpopular weird kid who hung out with black kids. This sometimes made me the subject of harassment, including physical. I got in more than one fight for refusing to talk down about friends and family members using racial epithets.
Leroy never knew that until we were about fourteen. I'd started taking up martial arts at that point, and I could defend myself to the point they were actual fights instead of beatdowns, and Leroy was lifting weights and playing football. He found out about a couple of guys who'd come at me for the reasons I stated above.
Turned out none of them were game enough to come out and fight when he went and confronted them.

Rutskarn
2009-11-05, 11:19 AM
:smallsigh:. "I don't have a problem with gays, but damn, I sure hope my Jimmy aint a queer!" statements irk me more than I can describe. Alas, hypocrisy is the lubricant of society :smallannoyed:.

What about the equally common, "I've got nothing against gay people, but jeez, I hope I'm not gay!" sentiment among adolescents?

Also: yeah, that's pretty weird stuff there. I'd just shake your head and move on. Education will come.

For some.

Eventually.

GoC
2009-11-05, 12:01 PM
What about the equally common, "I've got nothing against gay people, but jeez, I hope I'm not gay!" sentiment among adolescents?
That's different. Heterosexuality is part of their identity.
"I've got nothing against adopted people, but jeez, I hope I'm not adopted!"