Friday, August 02, 2013

Guest Post by SoLow

RACISM, OR NOT?

I grew up in the Philly metro area, did my time as one of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, and eventually made my way to North Portland, Oregon (where I live now). Needless to say, I’ve been around people of all races for my entire life, and I’ve appreciated certain people from all races at one time or another as well. I’ve also met people from all races that were stupid/ignorant or otherwise unpleasant to be around. I’ve never personally cared about an individual’s ethnic background – either I like you or I don’t. But this I don’t understand (and I’m not exaggerating – this entire story literally took place within the past 24 hours).

While most of the neighborhood that I live in has become somewhat trendy/yuppy-fied over the past decade, there are still certain places that are a bit rundown. I stopped for smokes on my way home from work last night and it just so happens that the place where I buy my oxygen therapy at is in one of the more rundown areas. There’s almost always a homeless person or some type of hustler standing around in the parking lot. As I was coming outside from the store I noticed 2 black men engaging in conversation. The 1st part of the conversation that I heard was, “Whaddup nigger?” I minded my business, as usual. But it certainly wasn’t the 1st time I’ve heard it...

At home, not more than 15 or 20 minutes later I was in my front yard tending to my veggie garden. 3 black teenagers (apparently teens – at least they looked like it) were milling around on bicycles in the street/on the sidewalk just outside my place. I heard them reference each other with the word, “nigger” 4 times inside of 5 minutes. “Hey nigger, get over here!” “Hey nigger, when do you have to be home?” You get the idea...

So this morning it’s now all over the news that Riley Cooper – Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver who happens to be white – made the mistake of getting caught on cell phone video with the quote, “...I’ll jump that fence and fight all those niggers.” It was honestly 50% of the news that I heard this morning – SportsCenter, Mike & Mike on ESPN radio, Colin Cowherd on ESPN radio, even on the local morning news that I watch every day. Everybody is talking about it. And they’re not painting it as a pretty picture. Some of the adjectives I heard used to describe it were – "disgusting," "uncalled for," "Neanderthal," "absolutely unacceptable," "offensive," etc.

Call me stupid, but I guess I just don’t get it. I mean, sure, the word itself hearkens back to slavery which, of course, is a bad piece of our history. But if it’s that horrible of a word, why do black people refer to other black people as niggers? And if it’s NOT that horrible of a word, why is it so newsworthy when people of other races use it? Why is Riley Cooper vilified by the media (including at least 1 person I heard who also called for him to be suspended) AND fined by his employer for using a slur that’s so commonly used already? Don’t get me wrong – I don’t feel the need to use the word and I also don’t get why anyone would. But what I REALLY don’t get is what seems to be such a GLARING double standard...

33 comments:

Bram said...

I don't get it either and don't care even a little. I refuse to watch ESPN when they are wasting time with this BS.

SoLow said...

Nice pick for the pic, ALa. :)

Lizzie said...

It was a dumb thing for him to say, but I wonder if it would have been such a news item if a player like Michael Vick or DeSean Jackson or any other of the many players "of color" said something similar. I'm thinking it might not even get a mention.

Zelda said...

I can't get over that our news media is run by such prissy little dorks.

Bram said...

That picture is awesome. I didn't notice at first that he's goon-handing her.

CrabbyOldMan said...


I have always thought that political correctness was stupid and therefore never bought any of it.
I have never believed that nigger, pollack, dago, greaser, wog, cracker, honky, etc. are really "hurtful", "degrading", or "humiliating". Rather, they are simply pretenses that are used to manipulate clueless liberals.
I'd say that SoLow has proven this.

rbb said...

If you don't get it, you won't get it.

Zelda said...

All those phrases can be hurtful, it just depends on the intention of the person using them. But it's silly to pretend offense when no offense is intended.

Zelda said...

But if you want a funny story, my daughter was being teased by this Mexican kid on her school bus. He kept making slanty eyes at her and saying "this is you" while pretending to eat rice with chopsticks. My daughter finally had enough and said, "well this is you," and she got down on her knees (because he's short) and said "Andale! Andale!" in a high, squeaky voice. All the kids laughed and now they're friends.

White people waste too much time placating grievance mongers.

free0352 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
free0352 said...

I figure there are double standards in this world. Its part of life. If one of those standards is its not acceptable for me to say a particular ignorant word I don't like to use anyway - I'll live.

And for the record - I refuse to use the term "n-word," in a sentence except to say I won't use the term. When whites use that term, its fucking cringeworthy. It sounds like kindergarten. I use "racial slur" or just plain "Nigger" when specifics count.

Of course I never direct racial slurs at people. And neither should anybody else, even if you happen to be in the race you are slurring. It makes you sound like a moron. "Nigger" is a slave master's word for a slave. "Nigga" is a stupid black person's word for a slave. Either way; what is the person so named?

Yup. If you call yourself a slave, don't be surprised when people start to think of you that way. If you hear someone use the term as an identifier, you know you're talking to an idiot. If you find yourself using that term, quit it.

Foxy Wizard said...

Once upon a time, I was married into the Puerto Rican culture. My wife's father was black Puerto Rican. Her mother was Hispanic Puerto Rican. There was no distinction, in terms of superiority, between the two. It was just so.

He went into the service as a young man, and my wife commented that when she was growing up, when she rode the bus with him, she had to sit in the back. When she rode with her mother, she had to sit in the front. She didn't know where she belonged. But this was in the US, before desegregation.

I never saw any racism, though, with her or her family.

Same, to a lesser extent, in Mexico and Central America.

The idea of holding onto racism as an excuse for anything, in the black community, seems to be an American phenomenon. It isn't that big a deal in other parts of the world, at least where I have been.

And I wonder how much of it has to do with the Sharptons, Jacksons, Obamas and other race baiters keeping the hate alive for their own purposes.

I find the whole thing pretty weird.

ALa said...

For me, the question isn't whether Blacks can say it and I can't (I wouldn't say it even if I was "allowed") --for me the question is why it's okay for Charlie Rangle, Cynthia McKinney et al to call people "White Crackers" (redundant?) or Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to rile up their crowds with all kinds of racial slurs against Whites, Asians and Hispanics... I don't mind the Nigger/Nigga double standard as I believe that's more like I can talk shit on my sister, but you can't...But, the more blatant double standard that somehow it's morally wrong for Whites to use racial slurs, but others can feel free to call me honky, or creepy ass cracker...that's bull shit.

GIDEON MACK said...

This isn't double standards. It's taking ownership of the word.

This is just the same as you can call your dad an arsehole and mean it (it's personal) - but if I call your dad an arsehole, it's insulting - it's all about belonging (ownership) of the noun.

As a previous blogger says - if you don't get it, you won't get it.

CrabbyOldMan said...

RE: "if you don't get it, you won't get it."

Oh, help me.

CrabbyOldMan said...

OFF TOPIC OFF TOPIC OFF TOPIC

This was a reader comment to the Powerlineblog.com post Friedrich Engels was an entitled Jerk

I have long observed that liberals and progressives incline towards occupations where they are protected from the concept of earning their keep. Government bureaucracy is the most obvious example; Academia is a very close second. Others: entrenched philanthropic organizations; entrenched media concerns.

The pattern is the same -- the avoidance of being responsible for measured results. From that protected enclave they then cultivate their other impulse: development of a ruling class and the control of others.

From your write-up it appears Engels in some way fit that mold (relative to the times, where bureaucracies were far less entrenched than today).

And of course the current occupant of the White House fits this mold perfectly.

They (liberals and progressives) are frightened to their very soul over what's happening in the media and education. Their protective enclaves are being threatened. Hence the retrenchment back into government as the last bastion of safety.

Detroit rattles even that.

They are very frightened. And as such they are getting more aggressive.

Haverwilde said...

Well Gideon and ALa both did a nice job of explaining the "own the name-to control the name" process. And it is a natural and healthy if not a personally pleasing process.
Too bad Gideon had to descend into repeating rbb condescending shit with the final comment. His explanation may very well allow for insight.

Fearthuinn min an Saille said...

It's not a case of reclaiming the word, if it was, it'd be ok for us crackers to use it.

The claim:
http://www.truth-out.org/speakout/item/17894-race-credibility-communication-and-evidence-in-the-zimmerman-trial-and-beyond

The educated response (ALa, you should love this):
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=5574#more-5574

Anonymous said...

Is there a word White people use that Black people are not allowed to use? Perhaps White people should make one up and use it whenever they are around Black People. I vote for "reciprocity".

Zelda said...

Did anyone think Quentin Tarantino was particularly racist when he said it repeatedly in Pulp Fiction? I just really think it's a matter of context and that outrage is very much manufactured. I always get the feeling that if you paid Sharpton enough money, you could stand there and call him racist names all day.

Fearthuinn min an Saille said...

I'll take Ang Lee over Tarantino any day, for social commentary.

free0352 said...

I have always believed Tarantino simply wishes he was black. Really, really bad. He wants to be that white guy who is down with the brothers. To me, it comes off as pathetic and sad. Nobody likes a wannabe. Reservoir Dogs was a great film, Pulp Fiction was okay. Everything else he did isn't for me.

As for racial slurs, that is language for idiots. I suppose if the character you are writing is an idiot, it would be appropriate for him or her to speak that way.

If you are a real life person, try not to be a moron. A good start is to not speak like one. I don't care what the color of your skin is, if the words nigger or nigga come out of your mouth, I'm instantly operating on the presumption you're an idiot and I have no time for you, and if you work for me you're fired. Pure and simple, cut and dried. In the military I wrote A LOT of counseling statements over the years for that type of language. Even if it was a black Marine or Soldier. Even if you were off duty. Zero tolerance.

Hoss said...

When you throw around the word nigger all the time don't be surprised when you get treated like one. I hate that shit.

Took my boy to a park last week to run some basketball games and if I heard the teenagers there say it once I heard it one hundred times in the span of ten minutes. Didn't stop until the first black dad showed up to shoot around with his boy. My 11 year-old even looked at those kids like they were fucking idiots.

free0352 said...

As for white guilt, every time I encounter it I have to resist the urge to tie the individual up and while waterboarding them force them to listen to Minor Threat's "Guilty of being white," over and over for several days without sleep while feeding them LSD tabs, until I can brainwash the progressivism out of them.

White guilt is literally the most annoying, arrogant, presumptuous, trite and conceited thing in our culture today. It literally makes my skin crawl.

Fearthuinn min an Saille said...

Hear hear! Free.

My husband and I were at IHOP yesterday, a group of teenagers were sitting a few tables down from us and having a rather honest conversation (one of them obviously wasn't white, wasn't black either). The entire staff of this IHOP is black. One of the girls in this group decided to segue into what this particular non-white/non-black boy classified himself as on those check boxes. He said he checked Hispanic, because his father was Mexican and his mother was non-white Italian. So she starts going on and on about "but you're not white", repeating the phrase like it's going out of style. My guess is she's an ignorant dolt who thinks Mediterraneans are white and has never studied migration charts or cultural history (hint: Dante wasn't white either). So as we're leaving, I look at our waitress as she's cashing us out and say, "Wow, did you enjoy that conversation as much as I did?" She replied, "Yeah. Some of that stuff just left my mouth on the floor."

I'm glad those kids can be blunt and have that kind of discussion, maybe it's because they are so separated in time from the Civil Rights era, but boy were a few of them ignorant. And not in an "I was unaware of that issue" kinda way. More in an "I'm gonna be hit by a bus some day because I can't think to not step in front of it."

SoLow said...

As one would say, "OFF TOPIC, OFF TOPIC"

I just know a lot of people around here are either Vets or people who support / stand by the military in general. This morning I finished reading No Easy Day, which is the story of Seal Team 6 leading up to and including the raid on Bin Laden's compound. I would ABSOLUTELY recommend this book to anyone who is pro-military. Once I got halfway through it was REALLY difficult to put it down.

Cr said...

JUST AS OFF TOPIC JUST AS OFF TOPIC

Thanks for the tip SoLow.

Rickvid in Seattle said...

Z, in "Black Boy" Richard Wright wrote of an elevator operator who, for 25¢, would let whites kick him in the ass. Yep, Sharpy Al would be right there.
Hoss, you said the magic phase, " black dad." The most destructive thing Dems did to blacks to ensure their subjegation is to destroy the black family and drive out the fathers. Unforgivable

Jpck20 said...


If you don't get it, you won't get it.

Oh so profound!!! Seriously go suck a dick tranny boy. No one gives a fuck what you have to say.


Zelda said...

Honestly, I think you know when people are being insulting. Black people won't take the word back if they pretend offense when none was intended. That gives the word more power than ever. Right now, it's the most powerful word in the world.

CrabbyOldMan said...

OFF TOPIC OFF TOPIC OFF TOPIC

I just saw the Fox News story about Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife both going to the crow bar hotel.
I wonder how much time they will actually serve. Does anyone imagine that they will not get V.I.P. treatment?
Personally, I would love to see both of them along with the Reverund Jacksun go to a Cool Hand Luke prison farm ("shaken the bush boss!").

Haverwilde said...

Off topic too,

She definitely has a cute butt!

RonF said...

Here's my view on this. I have two brothers. When we get together we call each other everything in the book, especially after the 2nd bottle of whiskey. But God help the person who ever uses that kind of language towards any of us in the presence of any of the others.

I figure it's kind of like that.