October 17th, 2007

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07:32 am - on Not These Niggaz Again...

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on Not These Niggaz Again... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 17th, 2007 - 06:08 pm (Link)
i understand the moral high ground argument. But the difference I guess I am trying to state is between people CHOOSING to not carry guns and not being ALLOWED to carry guns. Saying "the word nigger is offensive and I will not use it." is one thing. Saying "the word nigger is offensive and therefore YOU can't use it" is another. I haven't stopped you from being offensive. I've just made you become creative about it. I don't see how that helps.

And for the record, I don't think its right that I'm allowed to say the word and you and your pale faced brethren aren't. But then I'm an idealist.
[User Picture]From: sui66iy Date: October 17th, 2007 - 06:52 pm (Link)
Well, the thing about an "offensive" word is that, by definition, people aren't allowed to use it. If they were allowed to use it, it wouldn't be offensive.

So I think you're saying that you feel "nigga" has outlived its offensive phase, and everyone can use it. Which seems perfectly consistent, and certainly would lead to the rise of new offensive words (presuming people are still assholes, which they are). I think the problem is that while "nigga" may have moved on for you, for many people it hasn't. So there's a tension between people who think "nigga" is offensive, people who think it isn't, and people who think it sometimes is (based on who says it and when).

I suspect those latter people are actually the majority at the moment, and the most confused. You're not confused, and your diametric opposites (Mr. Cosby, et al), aren't confused either. So, a question: do you believe that some words are offensive (just not "nigga"), or do you believe that there's really no such thing as an offensive word, and people are just thin-skinned and should get over it?
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: October 17th, 2007 - 07:02 pm (Link)
Oh, its not so much that I think "nigga" has outlived its offensive phase. I think its trying to, though. To be blunt, I'd argue that among other problems, Mr. Cosby, et al, are clinging to the offensiveness and keeping it alive. Obviously the word offends him. The basis of his argument (at least as I see it) is that if the word doesn't offend you, it should. I think there is too much hardship in the world to go out of our way to perpetuate old pain. It's a turn the other cheek thing. If you kill my sister, I will be bitter at him, and probably your whole family. Probably I will raise my children with a certain bitterness towards the Higgins clan as well. But 100 years from now, should Chris Maverick IV teach Chris Maverick V to hate Mike Higgins V as well?

I think by essence no word is offensive. Its the meanings that offend. There was a story in the paper the other day about a teacher getting in trouble for passing out a history test that had the question on it "what is a racially offensive term for a black person" and the answer being nigger. If its inappropriate to even have that conversation then how can the healing begin?

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