Spinoff of Obscenities on TV thread

Discussion in 'General' started by bkimberly, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. bkimberly

    bkimberly Well-Known Member

    One of the basketball players last night was heard saying "You my n*****" and I cringed. I hate that word and have never used it. I told my parents that if they used it around my children they would no longer see them, so they have stopped. I have said stuff to neighbors and others who felt it was acceptable and they have refrained also, I just do not like the word. So my question is why is it okay for a sports or rap star to use it but not the common run of the mill white person? Is it not offensive when they say it? Or is it a double standard?
  2. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    I don't see it as a double standard at all. An African-American calling him or herself/a friend/an audience n****** isn't offensive because it is coming from someone who is a part of the group that (still is in some places) referred to as that in a derogatory manner for years.

    I think the same holds true for any minority group. I know my parents have made plenty of "inappropriate" jokes about my brother who has cerebral palsy and mental retardation and the care he has required with close family and friends who would understand. They are wonderful parents and have given him an incredible life and if they want to make a joke about it, who the heck cares? However, if someone were to say the same things that my parents have said, we would be FURIOUS and extremely offended. It is their right to say what they want when it comes to their own personal situation, IMO.
  3. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    I think it is a double standard and it is offensive. That word is used by young people I work with and I do not like to hear it there and would not want my children to think it was a normal acceptable word.

    I can only speak for myself. But if a woman was talking and kept using the word *itch I would personally be offended for myself and my daughters. If a person was talking about men or boys and kept saying "male body part)s" I would be offended. My uncle had a brain injury because of a fall as a young boy. Back when he was a child it was acceptable to call him a "retard". My Grandmother and relatives most likely used the word when talking about him but that does not mean that today it should or would be acceptable to use the word even as a joke. I would like to think that if my Grandmother was still alive she would not still use the word because it is an unacceptable, offensive word.

    Words are offensive and it does not change just because someone is comfortable saying the word themselves.
  4. Her Royal Jennyness

    Her Royal Jennyness Well-Known Member

    I don't know how I feel about black people saying the N word. On one hand I very much dislike that word and all the bad connotations that go with it, but on the other hand I feel like it's an ownership thing like siblings. "The only person that can beat up my brother is me." Maybe I'm a starry eyed hippy sometimes, but I wish people were nicer to each other.
  5. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    Where's my ten foot pole? [email protected]

    ETA - Just want to add that not all black people feel it is appropriate for them to use "N" either. So, the "They can say it but we can't" thing isn't necessarily true. However, there is a different connotation in most cases when a white person says it to a black person than a black person saying it to another black person.

    I personally wish no one would say it, and none of my children, black or white, will be allowed to say that word.
  6. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    Cheryl, I hope it didn't sound like I was saying my parents call my brother a "retard", because they certainly don't. But they have said things before that, unless it is YOUR life, YOUR child, etc., you (general) don't have the right to say it and they do. Sometimes a sense of humor goes a long way.

    Kelly, you said it better than I did. I just think that it is hard for us (white people) to "judge" the use of that word among black people because we can't understand how hurtful the word is and we can't understand why it is/seems okay for other black people to use the word. We've never been called that word.

    I agree, I wish it were a word that would just disappear.
  7. bkimberly

    bkimberly Well-Known Member

    But in doing these things it gives the impression to others that it isn't a big deal. In hearing your parents make jokes I'm sure others thought it was okay even though it really wasn't. I have to agree with Cheryl that if a woman starts throwing B**** around or even worse C*** I am offended BIG TIME! I don't like for my girlfriends to joke with any of those words. It is not nice and I truly believe it gives others the impression A)it is okay or B) I don't think very highly of myself.
    1 person likes this.
  8. MamaKimberlee

    MamaKimberlee Well-Known Member

    I have another thought - I have always had a lot of tolerance for African Americans who use the N word because I believe words DO have enourmous power, and by having the courage to "co-opt" the word and the meaning and use of it within a the black community, they (and I) hope to diminish the ugly power the word holds in the white world.
    2 people like this.
  9. bkimberly

    bkimberly Well-Known Member

    I like that thought but I just don't think rap stars rapping and using the word along with athletes are doing a good job at diminishing the ugliness of the word. I wonder how many of those rappers or athletes actually know the word means "an ignorant person". In other words when the basketball player last night said "You my n*****" he essentially said "your my ignorant person". Or in other words he called his friend a dumb***...just food for thought. :popcorn:
  10. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for the other stuff, but this I disagree with. Not any of my parents' friends or family EVER made a joke about my brother. They realized that it was my parents' right to say whatever they wanted and it was their role to listen, laugh, and support them. Everyone knows how much my brother means to my parents and everyone knows how much of their lives my parents have dedicated to him - a stupid joke didn't change any of that.
  11. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    Here's an interesting commentary from a black man about the use of the N-word. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=19256805

    Really, it's all about the intent of the word.
  12. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    I think that is the key regarding that word or any other similar word, intent.
  13. momof5

    momof5 Well-Known Member

    I was always told by my black friends that they don't feel the word n-i-g-g-a is offensive but if it ends in "er" , it is. I don't ever use the word and I teach my kids neither form of the word is okay. If we are having a Girls Night Out we may have a few drinks and throw the "B" word around in a joking way. I think it is all in how and when the word is used in the case of me and the "B" word. If someone I am not really, really good friends with would call me a "B" I would be very angry.
  14. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    if a friend of mine made a joke about their child's disability I might listen and laugh but not because it was funny but because I wanted to be polite and not judge them for making such a joke. It is their right to say what they want that is true but just because I might laugh it does not mean I think what they said was necessarily funny. I can see how they might think this though. I would not want to make them uncomfortable. To be honest my laugh might be more out of discomfort than true laughter at a joke about a disabled child. I would support them in their lives but if I was asked outright if I though a joke like this was funny I would have to tell them at that time No. If I felt it would not hurt them. That would be a touchy area for me because they are my friends and I would not want to hurt them. I hope your parents friends did not have these same thought as they heard your parents joke about your brother. Maybe they did think the jokes were truly funny.
  15. debbie_long83

    debbie_long83 Well-Known Member

    I agree. I work in a school that is predominately black and the kids like to throw around the "n" word a lot. However, our principal, who is also black, does not like the word and considers it profanity, as do the teachers, both black and white. If he hears a child say it, whether they are black or white, he would write them up for profanity.
    Please note that when the kids I'm talking about use that word, they mean it in a negative way.

    ETA: spelling
  16. jjzollman

    jjzollman Well-Known Member

    Yep, they thought they were funny because they were good, very good friends, and they saw the awesome job that my parents did raising my brother and they also recognized that if my parents couldn't laugh about the 1,000,000th shi**y diaper they had changed by the time their son was 26 years old, or the 1,000,000 meal they had spoon fed my brother by the time he was 26, or the thousands of sheets they had changed at 3:00 a.m. because his man-pee just didn't always stay put in his diapers for the overnight, or the thousands of times they cleaned poop or puke off - and I'm not talking baby poop, no, I'm talking teenager and grown man poop and puke - of him, the floor, themselves, the bathtub, the hours of sleep they NEVER got because their adult son still didn't STTN, etc. then my parents might just as well sit down and go crazy and die. Life was really freakin' hard and the jokes made them AND their friends feel better about it. So, IMO, joke joke joke away and then take darn good care of your kid like my parents did/still do.
    3 people like this.
  17. Her Royal Jennyness

    Her Royal Jennyness Well-Known Member

    I think what Jori is trying to say is that there's a difference between making light of a hard situation and ridiculing someone.
  18. fuchsiagroan

    fuchsiagroan Well-Known Member

    Similar to how the GLBT community took back the word "queer."

    Isn't the n-word just a debased form of "negro" (which just comes from Latin/Romance language words for black)? (Of course, "ignorant" is one of many awful connotations bigots put into the word later...)
  19. bkimberly

    bkimberly Well-Known Member

    I stand corrected, I swore I saw it in a dictionary years ago (back in college), but you are correct.
    I did also see an interesting word in my search:

    negrophile- it means a white or other nonblack person who is especially sympathetic to or supportive of blacks.
  20. Christel

    Christel Well-Known Member

    DH's friends (black) throw it around all the time, DH sparingly. This group of friends are all highly educated who don't use it outside of their group but they don't consider it offensive, any more than I'm offended if my teenager calls me "old woman". I think intent is part of it, but that doesn't explain it all. After all, not anyone with good intentions could call someone that in conversation and not offend. Culture is a lot of it also, I think. My son can be sarcastic with me, jokingly, because it is our family's culture to relate to each other that way. The friends we have that are black have said before that they consider it a way to hold on to their blackness (I know, I'm sorry, but I don't know how else to put it) in a culture where you feel like you are consistently being pushed to "fit in". This makes sense to me because I tend to want to rebel when I feel pushed into conventions also.
  21. fuchsiagroan

    fuchsiagroan Well-Known Member

    I never thought of it that way, but it makes sense - what could be more rebellious than appropriating a word that none of us here even wants to type out on the screen?
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