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The Court Battle over Racial Slurs

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posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:14 AM
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Beginning on January 18 2011, the federal trial over the termination of Tom Burlington, former news anchor from Fox29 in Philadelphia, PA will begin.

You can read a recent news report regarding the case here

In June 2007, the NAACP,at a convention in Detroit, held a ceremony to symbolically 'bury' the racial slur most used when referring to African Americans. The mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, stated,

"Today we’re not just burying the (racial lsur), we’re taking it out of our spirit"




Another reporter at Fox had done a piece on the convention and in the piece, referred to the racial slur as "the N-Word," but had also stated that at the convention, the speakers had used the full word hundreds of times.

Burlington in a staff meeting with 9 people, 3 of which were African Americans, said "Does this mean we can't say the word n****r?"

When asked on why he would use that word in the meeting, Burlington responded that he thought the use of the
word would give the story more credence. Burlington was removed from the air and had subseqently lost his job over the utterance. He is currently employed as a real estate agent and has been unable to get another job in broadcasting.

Burlington claims that African Americans in the workplace regularly use this word with no consequence, in non news related conversation. He is suing the station for wrongful termination.

Was Burlington wrongfully terminated?
Was Burlington singled out for his race?

He seems to think so and U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick said in a December 23 memo that

"evidence...suggest(s) that at least two African American s said the word in the workplace with no consequences."

The judge also stated in regards to this case,


"When viewed in its historical context, one can see how people in general, and African Americans in particular, might react differently when a white person uses the word than if an African American uses it. Nevertheless, we are unable to conclude that this is a justifiable reason for permitting the Station to draw race-based distinctions between employees."



This case potentially will set a federal precedent over the use of the specific racial slur and possibly others as well.

My personal thoughts on the case are as follows:
Mr. Burlington should not have used the word in that meeting.
Mr. Burlington should not have lost his job over his use of the word.

He didnt direct the word at another co-worker, or use the word to refer to anyone else. He used the word in a professional setting, in regards to a piece that they were discussing and airing.

How the court sees it is yet to be determined.




posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:19 AM
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I don't know about this burying of words... I don't agree with changing Mark Twain's works for example.

However, non-blacks shouldn't be prosecuted for the use of the n-word until black people are prosecuted for that use as well, which they use in songs, on TV, etc...



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:40 AM
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Originally posted by gandalph
I don't know about this burying of words... I don't agree with changing Mark Twain's works for example.

However, non-blacks shouldn't be prosecuted for the use of the n-word until black people are prosecuted for that use as well, which they use in songs, on TV, etc...



The recent news of the censoring of Twain's book was in my mind the whole time writing this thread, and in fact since this issue is local to me I have been following it for some time.
In Twain's case, he used the word as a social tool, indicating the harmfulness of the word, his genius is lost when he is censored.
In Burlington's case, he claims that he was using the word in a professional discussion about the actual word, not in a racist mindset.

Has politcal correctness robbed Twain of his genius and taken professionallism out of the news?



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:45 AM
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Ooooo...this is a good court case.

If the courts hold his termination as lawful, they have thrown equality rulings out the window...as it is recorded that his employer allows other employess, based on skin colour to use the word. This is a direct violation of equal treatment laws.

If the court determines that the termination is unlawful, they have made it perfectly legal to use the n-word without legal recourse....


Fun!



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 10:54 AM
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Ive written several posts on this BS. Bottom line.. the govt is loving this. They have engineered blacks to be mind controlled subjects with a trigger word.. the dreaded N word.
Call a white person a cracker all day, but utter the N word and YOU can be charged with a hate crime. Utter that single word and YOU TOO have power over a black person, their behavior, and their thoughts.

Try it.

Speak with a group of blacks.. a normal conversation. Then Say, ""Hey NWORD hand me that remote/beer/soda/pretzel" You too can witness the power of the word. In 1 second after the word is processed by his ro her brain, he or she will change before your eyes into a thug with a chip on their shoulder and act like a sensitive but violent child.

In many cultures there are power words. In mine too, Im a native american. NO power word in the history of the world works the magic of the N word. NO power word prompts a transformation before your eyes liek that one.

Blacks need to realize that not only is the fed govt their communities new slave master, but they have become mind controlled subjects with a very powerful trigger word. Blacks are extremely easy to use for things like riots, flashmobs, violence.. all with one word. ALL the govt or anyone has to do is claim that one group is racist and said the N word. All they have to do is have ONE person from a group say that word and its on..

Whites dont have power words. I can even type cracker here. Native Americans.. none of that junk really gets to us.. redskins is a slur supposedly and a few young ones decided they wanted a piece of the naacp pie wth the mascots.. but as a whole we really and honestly didnt care. We see the folly in allowing others control over us by words.

The NAACP is an evil organization that actually keeps the blacks slaves to words and ideas. Their motivations are dishonest and they pretend they are something they are not. Imbalanced racists like Al SHarpton are products of the NAACP.. though I think he was a failure of a subject. Farakkan knows the power of the word and uses it against white people and uses his OWN people with it.

Bottom line.. blacks need to stop being primitive and realize power words went out with mud huts. Stop allowing yourselves to be controlled by a word for Gods sake..and itws abotu time they got control of their community without the white man "helping" them and tell the federal govt to take a hike



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 11:04 AM
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Originally posted by youdidntseeme

How the court sees it is yet to be determined.



I think context is the key. In this case, Burlington used the word as a referent, no different than using the term "N-Word". He was not using it in a derogatory manner.



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
I think context is the key. In this case, Burlington used the word as a referent, no different than using the term "N-Word". He was not using it in a derogatory manner.


I think that will be the crux of the case.
The context of the use of the word.

Update this morning, as I wrote this post yesterday but waited to publish it:



That was the way U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick framed a dispute before him that had been headed for trial Tuesday, but that has been postponed pending the outcome of a related Supreme Court case.


Taken from a local opinion piece
source Philly.com



posted on Jan, 18 2011 @ 11:51 AM
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reply to post by Advantage
 


Advantage,

Your points are really well made, the word does carry a certain amount of power.
And thank you for bringing the opinion of a Native American, it makes the point a little more salient for others.

But i do have a question, is there no racist of offensive term to the Native Americans?
I took a number of classes in Native American studies back in college and remember the professors lectures a little differently. Perhaps it was simply the setting.



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