Friday, February 20, 2009

Um, maybe you shouldn't say that?

So this week we've talked a lot about race and our society.

The thing that always comes into my mind when this subject comes up is my Dad's Father.

I don't really know why, but he is incredibly racist and has never hid it. I'm sure when I was younger I didn't really notice or understand, but as I've gotten older it's been hard for me to sit and listen to him sometimes. Every time I heard him say the "N" word I can't help but cringe. I understand it's somewhat of a generational thing, but I'm a little white girl from Provo Utah and it still hurts me to hear him say it. I credit my parents for teaching me that having those feelings and saying those things is completely unacceptable.

I've also wondered why the black community feels it is OK to use that word amongst themselves. I would want my friends calling me a bitch over and over because I think it's demeaning and I think it almost has the same connotation to me as the "N" word has to black people. Maybe not, I don't know. Either way, I don't really this it's OK to do that. But then again, I'm not black so I can't exactly speak for any black person. Which is fine. Just a lot to think about I guess.


  1. B -

    I totally's almost like they are in someway proud of using that language among themselves. Like code...and like I said on my blog what about the people who are white trying to act black? If we use that kind of language we would be in deep shiz with the African American community. Also something to think about how does one "act black" or "act white" ?

  2. There does seem to be a double standard. Personally I don't feel like it is alright for anyone to use words like the 'n' word. Even people using it with their close friends, in my opinion, are degrading each other when they use it. But at the same time, I'm not ready to hang some one because they use a word that I don't like. Remember that old saying 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.'

    There really is a double standard in our society, though. Do you remember the Dog the Bounty Hunter incident from a year or so ago? Dog got busted using the 'n' word and lost his show for a while. Meanwhile everyone on the news started debating the use of the word and it was interesting to see how many people were divided on the issue. Ironically it was ok to use the word to talk about someone else who had used it and that was ok, but people were ready to lynch Dog for using it.

  3. Back home I played alot of basketball and we had set teams even though it was street ball. You always played with your closest friends. When we played this one team which was all black the guy that guarded me would always say " I got this big nigga right here." I always thought it was funny it was like role reversal although I never switched it back. The term has changed so much I see girls call their friends hoes and slut sometimes and i always thought that was weird. I don't know why people do that or say that but if i get the chance I will ask him next time I'm home.

  4. It is an interesting predicament. It seems like the "N" word is okay, but ONLY when they say it is. I like how you compared it to being called a bitch to women. I know that my friends and I call each other sluts in jest occasionally, but if they said it too much then I would start to be hurt and believe it. Just like is a stranger or someone I didn't know called me a slut I would be SO offended and probably cry, haha. I know when my brother got engaged he caught me called my friends sluts or hos (this looks really bad as I am typing it, haha) and he looked to his future wife for her to justify this, which she did. Then he said "show me how... call my sister a slut." We both kind of looked at each other and I gave her the go ahead and she uncomfortably said, "Hey slut, how's it goin?" In the end we all just laughed it off, but it really does depend on who is saying it. I knew Brooke pretty well by the time they were getting married so I Wasn't offended. However, if it had been my other brothers wife who I don't know well I might have been offended. It is weird how people pick and choose what people can degrade them and who can't.

  5. I completely agree with Elizabeth. It seems that it is all dependent on WHO is saying WHAT. If me, a little white girl, started dropping the "N" word, then I would totally be seen as a racist. But the thing that I don't understand is why is it okay for a black person to use the "N" word and everyone just laughs it off. I find it offensive in any context. Another point I want to make is why is it okay for a black person to call me a "Cracker"? It seems like whenever that word is used, people just laugh and brush it off. Why is that word any less offensive than the "N" word? Wouldn't that make that black person racist against me? I don't know, I just don't get it. Like Jamin said, there is definitely a double standard.

  6. Today I was reading Newsweek while I was at the Dr.'s office, they did a Q&A with this black author that did research on Abraham Lincoln and his "real" emotions and thoughts towards slavery. One person wrote in asking about the N word and I was shocked because he said something like, oh I heard it all the time growing up and I hear it now, it's not a big deal. Um ok, all about equality, but let's continue using a term that was extremely hurtful to our slaved anscestors? I don't know about that.