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In order to emphasize that we are advancing a universal truth rather than a point of personal privilege, let us make our assertions, first, in broader terms rather than the particular: those who are or have been the victims of some form or other of social oppression—racial, religious, gender, et. al—forever retain the right to use, in whatever way they want, the epithets used against them in advancing that oppression. Those who were not and are not the victims, do not (except under special circumstances, which we will talk about in a moment).
That seems simple enough.
In other words, Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho can make all the jokes in Asian dialect because she is of Asian descent, but comedian Rosie O’Donnell cannot. Ms. O’Donnell, on the other hand, is free to joke at will about lesbians, while for Ms. Cho (unless she is lesbian; I don’t know her well enough to determine), that is forbidden territory. So it is, also, with my Native American brethren, who can ridicule Uncle Tonto all they want. I would do so at my own risk.
There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. The first is the “walk a mile in my moccasins” exception—those who are willing to accept the burdens of the oppressed are also made benefit to whatever perks may accrue (Johnny Otis, the Berkeley native musician who gave up his Greek ancestry early in life to identify himself exclusively as African-American, heart and soul, comes instantly to mind, here). The second exception are those who use ethnic epithets in their humor, for example, as methods of healing rather than hurting. The comedian Richard Pryor had the knack of it, almost always beginning his routines by ragging on himself—by the time he moved on to black people in general (who he almost always referred to as “'n-word's”) and then, finally, to other groups, the effect was more often than not to show the universal humanity in all of us, rather than an emphasis on the differences.
As one friend, who's black, put it, "The use of the word 'nigga' is taking control of ignorance and over-exaggerating the word to strip it of its negative connotation."
Originally posted by Sinter Klaas
China and Japan would probably been used and abused in the same way, if they were not as developed as they were.
By all means... I did not intentionally offend anyone. You can blame my lack of knowledge for my simple use of words,but they were never meant to be taken in a negative form.
Originally posted by LifeIsEnergy
Ahhh.... Whatever. Some one said it is ignorant for me, a White person, to say young Black people are ignorant for using that word. Well, let me tell you, so many of my friends ARE IGNORANT to this subject and that is why their community has falling apart, and unless you also are as active as me and have studied Black history since a child and lived in the Ghettos most your life, then who are you to have an opinion upon this, or upon me. Go to the projects on the southside of Chicago, or to Flatbush in Brooklyn, or in Oakland or in Atlanta or wherever and ask 10 young black kids who Marcus Garvey is, or who Fredrick Douglas is, or who Booker T. Washington is. If any of them can give you a good description of who these people were and what they did, I bet you they won't be the kid who goes around calling their friends "nigga". I am not hear to fluff anybody's ego, or make friends to be cool, I did that for too long. I am here to change what needs to be changed. Enough said.
I never said we should ban anything, I said we should be aware of what we are taking part in. You can try and justify it all you want and claim it is being used to empower themselves, but that really only shows your level of understanding about this topic my friend. With that logic, say you dislike me calling you stupid or ugly, does it make sense for you to then go around calling your friends stupid and ugly? Will that make you feel better? If not, then your proving my point. If so, your still proving my point because that would be ignorant of you to do. Enough said.
[edit on 22-8-2010 by LifeIsEnergy]
Originally posted by WolfofWar
Even if the word offensive becomes offensive, we should ban it!