Tuesday, February 27, 2007

WTF Are These Ni**as Talkin' About?!!?

The debate over the "n-word" continues, NY1 reports:
A symbolic resolution banning a commonly-used racial slur is one step closer to passing, after the measure was approved by a review committee on Monday. As NY1’s Molly Kroon reports, sponsors hope the resolution will educate teens on the word’s painful history.
What's never clear in this debate is what we're trying to prevent by censoring the word. I believe in having respect for people who bristle when they hear the term, the same way I try not to curse or use the word "vagina" around my grandfather. But if we're noting that rappers all use it, and athletes all use it, and young negroes in general fancy it, particularly amongst their friends, ... then why can't we just accept it? Obviously it's not going anywhere, and it's not like white people pull out their hoods and burning crosses whenever they hear the word (oh wait, they do? D'oh!). The would-be-censors seem to be arguing that by using the word we implicitly give permission to be racist? Like it's a gateway drug leading to .... well I already made that joke. Point being, the logic is very flawed considering how prevalent the word is now. At this point it's a curse-word, not an epithet.

The ridiculousness is compounded when these politicians are passing "symbolic resolutions." WTF is a SYMBOLIC RESOLUTION?!!? Somebody needs to slap these ni**as awake and make them pass REAL RESOLUTIONS about things that matter.


City Council Ni**as Move To Waste Our Time And Money On Bullsh*t


  1. eauhellzgnaw2/27/2007

    I can't stand the word, no matter the context. The fact that black people use it is pathetic. Trying to justify it by claiming that by using it black people take ownership of the word (nigga vs. nigger) and remove its power is straight bullshit.

    However, these types of Civil Rights "leaders" are ridiculous. Beyond the fact that it's impractical and trivial, this shit is public performance pure and simple. And they aren't even doing it to reach the black youth; they're doing it for white people. Behind closed doors they use "nigger" too. They may use it to refer to ignorant black people, but they use it nonetheless.

  2. The idea that people should just accept the word because "rappers all use it, and athletes all use it, and young negroes ... fancy it" is not terribly persuasive. The use of that word is retrograde, lazy, and disrespectful. Besides, plenty of young black people, including in the realms of hip-hop and sports, disdain the use of it.

    That said, a symbolic ban by elected officials strikes me as a damned poor use of legislative time and energy.

  3. This is part of an ongoing war against black people by the city council. No sitting on milk crates, no trans fats, no saying nigger. NYC hates blacks.

  4. Jumper Bailey2/28/2007

    Not keen on the word for all the obvious reasons, of course. But it seems to me that there's a notion afloat that if we eradicate the word from common usage, that we're somehow addressing the underlying issue in some substantive way.

    I'm not convinced that we are.

    Anybody can learn and conform to a new set of socially enforced linguistic expectations, and for the most part, the social rules about the n-word are fairly well understood.

    When white folks use it, it's an expression of racism.

    When black athletes, rappers, etc., use it, it's an "in-group" thing. (Even if other folks decry it perhaps legitimately as evidence of internalized racism.)

    So white folks by and large avoid the term, and those white folks who are inclined to use it generally watch where they do so.

    And in a perfect world, we would see it disappear due to a lack of racism (internalized or otherwise).

    But of course we do not live in a perfect world, and the racism (internalized and otherwise) still exists, so it seems a bit silly (not to mention futile) to attempt to disapprove the word out of existence in the hopes that doing so will somehow make the racism itself go away.

    There is also in all this the implication that the word itself is the problem, and that white people who scrupulously avoid its use have somehow eradicated themselves of racism, or that black folks who do the same have somehow eradicated themselves of internalized racism.

    And my own read of many of the white folks and a few of the black folks I know (all of whom have scrupulously rinsed their vocabularies of the forbidden word), tells me that it ain't necessarily so.

  5. "At this point it's a curse-word, not an epithet."
    word, an interesting way to put it. And does the city council have nothing better to parlay about than the n-word and pedicabs?


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