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Racial confusion:

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posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 07:50 PM
Ok why I think there is racial confusion on just one topic but there are many and would like to have a philosophical discussion on the matter.

I fully understand taking a word out of context, so I will set up the context ahead of time.
The famous book character Tom Sawyer is the protagonist and title character of the Mark Twain novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876). He appears in three other novels by Twain: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), Tom Sawyer Abroad (1894), and Tom Sawyer, Detective (1896).
Sawyer also appears in at least three unfinished Twain works, Huck and Tom Among the Indians, Schoolhouse Hill, and Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy. While all three uncompleted works were posthumously published, only Tom Sawyer's Conspiracy boasts a complete plot, as Twain abandoned the other two works after finishing only a few chapters.
In this book the so called N word appears countless times. It is aproperate because of the time the story takes place and error it was written. So no racial confusion here.
Now the confusion part and I have discussed this with friends of mine who are Americans of color. And they are as confused as me about the double standard pertaining to the use of the word.
I go to a club with my friends and upon walking in they greet there other friends using the N word and exchange shoulder taps and rythmatic hand shakes. The context is a form of greeting stating such things as whats up bro and or hey how have you been and so on. And everyone is happy.
Now I leave for a minute to go to the bathroom or to get a drink from the bar, upon returning one of my other colored friends has shown up, and as always I to exchange the N word greeting to him like I have done for years. But other people in the area all of a suddden are giving me looks that could kill and if I wasn’t with friends they probably would have killed me. So this is to me racial confussion.
My question is:
If a word is offensive and used in a context of negetive I understand.
But when a word is use in a proper context such as a greeting, that you yourself use on a daily bases. Than why if a person of anouther color using the word in the correct context not as exceptable?
And truly no matter what context the word is used in, should it not always be consididered offensive to you, and there fore should you yourself stop using such word altogether? My point being if its good for you to use with out offense than you have no right to call anouther person using such word in any matter and all of a sudden declair it offensive and racist.
Now do you understand my confusion? And are there other people of diferent races or religions that use words classed as hateful words to them in there own everyday language or is this the N word the only one used in such mannor.
I look forward to all your comments and hope to better understand and to be educated in such manors.
And please don’t just say it’s a black thing cause that is not an explanation and does not contribute to helping me better understand.

posted on Nov, 19 2009 @ 11:28 PM
I think it makes perfect sense that some words can be offensive in certain circumstances but perfectly appropriate in others.

For instance, if I say somebody is gay, I might simply be stating that they are a homosexual, or I might be intending it as an insult, whether or not that person actually is homosexual. It could even mean I'm saying that they are happy, though that use of 'gay' is pretty much dead in modern english.

Or imagine that a man named Richard is around, and I shout at him, "Hey, Dick", am I calling him by a shorthand version of Richard, or am I calling him a dick as an insult? One is fine and one isn't.

Going to the example of black people again, if you refer to a black person as 'boy', some people (older ones more likely) would take it as an insult, because it used to be used as a derogatory term for a black man. Depending on your intent, and the experience of the person, they might or might not take offense.

I wouldn't be surprised if things like the n-word are used as you explain in other cultures as well, though I can't think of any examples quite like that. Likely black people are, as you said you are American, the minority you are most familiar with, which is probably why the only example you have relates to them.

I have no idea if I helped, but that's my two cents :p

posted on Nov, 20 2009 @ 07:58 AM
reply to post by DragonsDemesne

Hi and first I would like to thank you for your comments. And I agree that words used under certain circumstances could be offensive and others perfectly appropriate.

I like the thought you put into the words gay, dick and boy. With there vast meanings pending on the way they are used. And I’m sure there are thousands of words such as these.

Using one of your words, dick, no matter who calls Richard hey dick it is not and insult to him it’s a greeting, though I have a friend named Richard who hates his name all versions of it. So he uses his middle name Thomas. But let’s say Richard likes the nick or short name of Dick. Does he take offence towards a person because they use it in its intended manor as a greeting? I would say not at all. After all it’s his excepted name.

If and individual called to or referred to some one else whether there name was Richard or not. As in (oh he’s a dick). That would not be nice and would be considered an insult.

My confusion comes from, when if a word is used for or as its intended purpose such as a greeting. And is accepted by all those around as such greeting. Then why? Is it not accepted for a person of a different background to use the same word in the exact same manor with the exact same meaning? How could it ever be considered offensive?

My above paragraph of questions works with two words, I have come across that strikes up the same reaction. The N word that I opened the thread with. And the phrase (what’s up my brother). Again ten people can say that as a greeting none of which are related through blood to each other and the same happy fancy hand shakes would occur, but the second an person of different background say it. The quick response always seems to be the same (I’m not your bro). So lets take this a little deeper. The mind set of this scenario would mean to an outsider, lets say an alien from outer space who knows nothing of our past a real honest blank slate just wanting to introduce him or herself to a group and witnesses this event of greetings taken place. Would he not also greet the group in the same manor? Then when he is told (I’m not your bro) does he not become confused when all he was trying to do was communicate in the same manor as those in the room. When the context and intent is the same. Should then be the response from all the same?

My goal here if we are to come together as a country then the confusions of such things need to be clarified. One: either stop using such words all together by everyone, or accept all words as there true intent when spoken no matter who is speaking the word. If it’s a greeting than great. But if it’s and intended as an insult there should not be a gang up quick spoken response. It should either be ignored because it’s that persons own ignorance showing. Or calmly explain to the offending person, (hey please don’t use that word or phrase in that manor I find it offensive and would appreciated it if you would stop) this works in ever case, such as Richard, (hey dick) meant as a greeting. But that person doesn’t like that particular shorting of his name by anyone. He simple says (hey man do me a favor I hate that name but you can call me Rick or). The or, would be followed by any other name the individual finds acceptable.

Food for thought don’t you thing? I could go further and deeper but I want to hear from you.

posted on Nov, 21 2009 @ 08:49 PM
I guess the trick is just to learn which people and situations a certain word is acceptable or not. If you have black friends that call each other n-word and don't care, that's fine. If a white guy calls a black guy the n-word in my presence, what I'd do is wait a few moments, see whether the black guy is pissed off or not, and come to his defense if he's offended, and ignore it if he accepts it as a greeting.

Usually I just try to avoid using words that could be taken two ways like that, just in case the person gets mad.

It can be a delicate issue; people sometimes seem to get offended by almost anything. There was one case several years ago that comes to mind. In computer terminology, there is a relationship called a master/slave relationship, where the 'master' device controls the 'slave' device. A black guy was trying to get this renamed because he found it offensive. Now, my reaction upon learning of this was 'are you freaking serious???' :p The thing is, though, each person is unique, and is going to be offended by different things and ignore others, and we don't really have the right to say 'hey you, you shouldn't be offended by that, grow up', because we don't know what they've been through; they really might find it offensive.

posted on Nov, 21 2009 @ 09:01 PM
First let me say that I understand your frustration.

I, a white man, listen to rap, fanatically watch the Boondocks, and enjoy traditionally "black" things. So I am pretty well inundated with the N word.

I have certain black friends that don't mind if, when quoting a show, singing along with songs, I use it. Others do.

It simply depends on who it is that you are around.

For some people it is a "black thing" for others, it's just a word unless it's used in a hateful manner.

I do agree it'd be a lot easier if there was a rule book for things like this.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 08:39 AM
Some people of hate say that there is a war coming and the only thing that will mater is the color of your skin. This I do not believe in, but I do believe that if both blacks and whites can put there differences aside we could become a force to be reckoned with, against all threats to our land whether it be political or not. This battle between us has been going on for as long as we can remember. But there is a bigger threat to all of us as the politician try to take away our freedoms. And the invasion of our land by those whom wish to do us harm.
If we can once and for all put aside our differences and drop this whole politically correct bull, there is no problem to peaceful disagreeing that’s what makes us different. And is one of our fundamental rights. I may not like what you have to say, but I will defend with my life, your right to do so.
At this time of uncertainty unemployment at its highest levels, and corrupt politicians that will hopefully be voted out in 2010. We need to ban together against those whom wish us harm. We are invaded by not only those criminals who have come across the boarder; now were playing with another invader one from afar. This one doesn’t care for any of our laws we are to them nothing more than infidels to be killed. Read my other threads on this threat.
We as Americans must stop this pettiness and put aside our differences. That’s all people Blacks, Whites, Hispanic, Chinese, Japanese, Christians and others to come together before its to late. The threat is real the ones who wish for a one world order and to take away our freedoms that myself and others as our fore fathers have fought for and have given there very life for. Can we just stand by and do nothing, why this is happening around us? I think not.
So once and for all stop the use of or except the word for as there intending use as a greeting or a derogatory remark either way, it’s a word and yes incases words do hurt and cause harm but because of this political correctness has gone wild. And is tying the hands of all of us, its time to stop, time to untie our hands and we can put an end to it just by letting go of the hostilities of the simple words of the past. Then maybe we can start calling things and people by what they truly are. We have to put a stop to so called hate crimes there should be no such thing. Yes it should be a crime to assault someone. And the punishment so just. But the same exact incidence all of a sudden they claim it to be a hate crime cause of a persons color or choice of life style is wrong, and should not have a stiffer penalty. And this is just one of the unjust reasons we need to get rid of political correctness. FBI canceling a conference because the subject matter may insult one person out of 100 officers that were scheduled to attend. Or our own military people no longer allowed to use curse words when training our troops. This is insanity, ask any person who has served in the military prior the last few years, they will tell you how the real army is trained like real fighters mentally humiliated then built back up strong both physically and mentally. We have become a bunch of wimps and weaklings with our hands tied do to political correctness. This has to stop before it’s too late. Before a new war brakes out on our land, the American people will not put up with it for to much longer blood will be shed on our land once again and when that day comes we will put an end to the invaders. Were ever they may be. Wake up America I beg you.

posted on Aug, 22 2010 @ 02:34 PM
I understand what you mean and honestly... I agree with every sentence you wrote down.

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