I thank you very much for your comments. They are fair and describe the very parameters of the debate we're having here. I am gratified that you
spoke up and said what you did because your words did cause me to think today.
Originally quoted by Benevolent Heretic
What I have to say is this: Pick your battles. Tony Snow did not use the term "Tar Baby" in the racial connotation. But regardless of how he meant
it, I think it's clear that you took offense to it.
C'est la vie. This is life. People say things and others take offense. It happens in life. Even when the speaker does not intend it to be
You are right. I have to pick my battles. One of which was in the "English as a National Language" thread. Now that it is dead, I have found out
so much more that could have helped me with my case there.
But with that being said, this thread is too a battle. Simply put, it amazes me the lengths of some people will go to defend their right to use a
word that is offensive to other people. The funny thing is that I looked up all the countries that are fighting similar battles over language. They
are numerous. So, the notion of fighting for the right to use a particular word is not exactly a non-issue. As I've read, horrific wars have been
fought about words and the right to use them.
So, the issue here as I mentioned above goes past the point whether Tony Snow meant it or not. The more interesting aspect of this debate is the
denial that the word has racist connotations--to the point of only viewing its "official" context--opposed to the racist legacy the word holds.
My question is, what would you have us do or say to make this right?
First of all, I apologize that this debate has turned ugly. I think that if people would stop thinking unilaterally and explore the meaning of the
word by asking questions, it would be better. However, it also perplexes me that I got a lot of "finger-wagging" and "advice" because I felt the
word was offensive. I wasn't speaking in a foreign language--in this post. I clearly stated my position after I began to research and understand
the entire side of the story. I only knew of the negative connotations of the word, if not that it belonged to "Song of the South". But now after
reading Harris' stories and thinking back to my memories of the film, I now know why it does.
So, the only thing I guess would be to treat the use of the word seriously and to acknowledge that it has an offensive connotation. Now that would
also be wonderful compared to being called a "nut with issues" or that this is "lunacy". I wonder why it is that some people think that a Black
person has issues for finding something offensive in a word usually considered that way in his or her experience. I also wonder why some people have
to give advice or condemnation instead of listening and understanding curteously.
How you deal with it is however you deal with it. We ALL deal with being offended whether or not offense was meant! And in this case, I don't think
My question is what do you want here? In this thread?
Yes that is true. And your answer is a lot more direct than some of the other posters on this thread. Other people here, I find, are not so direct
about their views on race and how the word could potentially be a slur to other people. And because of that, they would rather attack than be curious
and find out.
Only one person did that: dgtempe. She asked me straight out. She did not condemn me. She did not say I had issues. She simply asked me, as you
Other posters felt that they had to brow-beat me to their opinion. I did it on the "English as a National Language" thread and bowed out, hoping
someone else would take up the reigns and continue the discussion. But, without a "straw lady" to lynch, the entire thread fell apart.
Unfortunately, that's what I find happening on a lot of threads here. Without focusing aggression on a particular figure in a thread, the topic just
No one can possibly take a step back and simply discuss the topic. But it takes someone to reach out of unilateral thinking to do that. And it takes
a more courageous person to not "finger-wag" or "dispense advice" or "admonish" and simply listen. It ultimately takes the bravest person to
acknowledge the other side of the argument and ask questions, even when those inquiries hurt you. Not many people are willing to step outside
themselves and see another's point of view. Instead, I think it is more comfortable to condescend and make jokes instead of reaching and grasping
for those feelings buried inside.
ceci, I'd really like to know what you want from the other posters here. Your comments are as valid as anyone else's. ALL of us have had other
posters tell us that what we're talking about is a "non-issue" or that it's worthless or stupid somehow not worthy of being discussed. That's
part of being a member here. That's part of life.
You're right here too. But, I would never tell a poster to their face that their ideas are "lunacy" or "idiotic" or that they "had issues".That
is something you just don't do in a debate. But as I'm finding out, sometimes it is someone's way or the highway. Some people cannot see your
point of view no matter what. Their belief system is too rigidly set in. And sadly, this goes back to unilateral thinking, or how whaaa puts it,
I would like people to understand where I am coming from, that's all. Nothing more. Nothing less. No accusations of "Anti-White racism". No
attachment of "issues". And of course, a treatment of equality in all feelings here. I would do the same if people paid me as much respect. And
that is why I admire you, Benevolent Heretic. You listen with patience, kindness and awareness.
We can agree to disagree, but that same respect is there.
[edit on 24-5-2006 by ceci2006]