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posted by police_officer339: “I think it's important to always keep in mind the historical significance of the N word. It is a diachronic* expletive used to degrade a race of people. Thought of and utilized to further enable one race to subjugate another . . As long as words such as this are thrown around "willy nilly" we will never, as a society, over come feelings of superiority from one race to another.
*The adjective diachronic (from Greek dia "through" and chronos "time") means "historically", "over time".It is generally opposed to synchronic. It is used, for example, in: diachronic or historical linguistics, the study of how languages and language families change over time. Opposed to synchronic or descriptive linguistics, which studies a language at a specific point in time. [Edited by Don W]
posted by Benevolent Heretic: “donwhite you make a whole lot of sense. Thanks for your thoughts on that. This discussion has really helped me regarding the use of the word. I used to 'agonize' over it, as you say and I have decided that I'm not going to do that anymore. I have never been able to 'shake' the negativity around that word. So, I hereby shake the freakin' negativity I have been carrying around with me and I refuse to buy into any guilt trip or shame I have been feeling for years. I think it's a stupid word just as several others in this colorful language of ours, I will no longer give the word the power to make me cringe in defense of a race when I hear it. [Edited by Don W]
The recent "off cuff" use by blacks is more damaging to the causes of equality than they know. As long as words such as this are thrown around "willey nilley" we will never, as a society, over come feelings of superiority from one race to another.
Originally posted by donwhite
I have said for a long time, “Any white person born before 1954 is prejudiced.”
Knowing I have that affliction, it is up to me to try my best, day by day, to avoid doing those things that reinforce that negative value system I come out of.
posted by Benevolent Heretic: “I wasn't born before 1954 but close - and my parents were born in the first 2 decades of the century, long before 1954. So I did grow up prejudiced. And I've been realizing that in trying to rid myself of prejudice, perhaps I go over the line. [Edited by Don W]
Instead of ending at a neutral place as regards race, I have become too sympathetic, to sensitive, too compassionate, probably out of guilt.
I think my going overboard reinforces that negative value system, just in a different way. It doesn't serve the end result I desire. Instead of true equality, in some ways I have still been serving inequality, just of a different sort.
One thing comes to mind. I live in a small town.. Now when I see a black person, my first instinct is to smile, reach out to them to let them know that they are welcome here. (I feel stupid admitting this).
I love multi cuturalism and frankly we don't have enough black people here to have a representation of the black culture. But part of it is that feeling of not exactly sympathy, but compassion and comfort I wish to give to them. I'm embarrassed to admit this because I don't feel this way when I see other races. I don't feel this way about Asians, when I see them (on even rarer occasion). Bah! I hate it that I still carry this crap around. Will I ever be truly non-prejudice when it comes to black people? Benevolent Heretic Edited by Don W]
Originally posted by ceci2006
And then, the posts get ugly. Every stereotype in the book is raised. And when other posters try to bring up legitimate issues affecting the "race" in question, they are shouted down and insulted.
Few human beings are human enough to move beyond the visceral reaction every beast has to another beast that isn't quite like it.
Racism is part of our animal heritage, and most of us are still animals.
originally posted by Benevolent HereticNow when I see a black person, my first instinct is to smile, reach out to them to let them know that they are welcome here. (I feel stupid admitting this). I do this because I figure they might not feel welcome by everyone and I just want them to know, since they are a drastic minority here, that there are some people here who would not look down on them or whatever.