29 December 2020

Harmless Words

Dear Black People,

While you're celebrating a teenager getting her life ruined for uttering CENSORED.

I will present you with a choice.

Either it's such a harmful word that it can never be uttered.

OR

The context of its use matters and must be considered before we consider if any harm has been done.

You're already using the latter choice based upon how you speak to each other and letting "musicians" use it extensively in their lyrics.

By ceding that there is a context where the word is harmless, you're admitting that it is not always harmful.

I know you're going to hate this next part, but you're going to have to start listening to how someone meant it rather than how you took it.

Why?

Because that "music" I mentioned earlier?  It's becoming part of everyday American culture.  You are teaching people to use the word on a daily basis in a manner that has nothing to do with race or racism.

When you use it to mean "dude" or "buddy" and that's the only context some young person sees it in, they are not going think anything about using it themselves.

So, either get used to it being used all the time by everyone, or start demanding nobody say it at all, ever.

I think the fact that we have to look so hard for someone to punish for racism as this says that it's rare as hen's teeth.

3 comments:

  1. And, conversely, calling a melanin-deficient person "Cracker" is just as nasty and more negative than using the 'N' word.

    I don't hear large groups of melanin-deficient people greeting each other with "What's up, my Cracker?"

    Though, amongst a certain group of 'native' Floridians, that label is accurate, but even they don't use 'Cracker' as a verbalized label.

    That subset being 'native' white and mixed race Floridians who are descended from the scrub-line cowboys and ranchers. Called 'Cracker' due to the sound of their whips used to chase cattle (and not people, unlike those 'n' people who insist that's what the whips were for.)

    Also used as a label towards a 'breed' of horses used in Florida, the Cracker Horse.

    But...

    Don't call a mixture of Ohio and Louisiana a cracker. That's racist, and mean, and just wrong. Buckeye or various negative terms for Cajuns is more acceptable.

    Better yet, just call me a bad-name that isn't 'racially' or 'group-collectively.' I'll respect you for not using 'racial' or 'group-collective' negative terms.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Also, Dude, "cracker" is not the preferred nomenclature. Saltine-American, please.

      Delete
    2. But that leaves out the segment that's gluten-intolerant. For shame...

      Delete

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