Author Topic: The n-word and its use  (Read 6758 times)

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Offline Harmony

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #105 on: May 29, 2018, 06:10:15 PM »
I'd argue that what Roseanne said wasn't racist.  But that isn't what I'm talking about AT ALL. 
Awesome.  But that is what I am talking about.

Ok, fine.  But when you post this:

And as an example of what Stadler is talking about, let's look at cancelation of Roseanne due to her "racist tweet."

It sounded like you were getting into the discussion between me and Stadler.   :chill

Offline Podaar

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #106 on: May 29, 2018, 06:12:01 PM »
I'd be interested in hearing those arguments. I admit to not being immersed in all the particulars or the context of what set Rosanne off on that particular tweet, but frankly, I find it hard not to see it as--at least--dog whistle racism.


Offline XeRocks81

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #107 on: May 29, 2018, 06:17:03 PM »
itís kind of like blackface.  At this point the intention behind it almost doesnít matter.  Thereís a history of reducing black people to apes in caricatures.   Sure it was referring fictional movie apes not real ones but still. 

Offline El Barto

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #108 on: May 29, 2018, 06:23:24 PM »
I'd be interested in hearing those arguments. I admit to not being immersed in all the particulars or the context of what set Rosanne off on that particular tweet, but frankly, I find it hard not to see it as--at least--dog whistle racism.
Her point was most likely that the VJ person in question looked like Zera from PotA. However, in the post-context world there's an assumption that any sentence that references a black person and an ape is automatically racist, and this is what some of us are pushing back against.
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #109 on: May 29, 2018, 06:24:35 PM »
She made a tasteless tweet.  But it wasn't racist. 

Maybe, maybe not. The issue is that someone thought it was racist, and that is all that matters these days.

I was going to chime in on the current discussion, but I have nothing to add that hasn't been said.

Being in SBUX country, news of their DAY OF TRAINING ON HOW TO NOT BE RACIST is a hot topic in my local news today. Saw this gem which put things in perspective, from Richard Levick, the CEO of an international crisis communications firm: ďThis is probably the greatest crisis response since Johnson & Johnsonís Tylenol three-and-a-half decades ago." For reference, that had to do with people dying from taking cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Clearly something similar to a couple guys being asked to leave a place of business while not engaging the business in any sort of transaction.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #110 on: May 29, 2018, 06:30:05 PM »
She made a tasteless tweet.  But it wasn't racist. 

Maybe, maybe not. The issue is that someone thought it was racist, and that is all that matters these days.

Exactly. 
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Offline Stadler

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #111 on: May 30, 2018, 07:02:55 AM »
I'd argue that what Roseanne said wasn't racist.  But that isn't what I'm talking about AT ALL.  ABC knew very well what they were in for with the reboot.  So I don't feel sorry for anyone in this scenario except for the crew and other behind the scenes folks on that show who are now unemployed through no fault of their own.

The problem in this discussion is that people keep trying to bring social media into it.

My whole point was going off of Stadler's post about not being able to enjoy an artist because people might construe he's racist or pro-child molestation or whatever.  Social media was never part of that discussion.

I'll use Mel Gibson because I can admit that I have admired some of his work in the past and will occasionally still indulge in a movie of his from time to time.  NEVER, not once, has it occurred to me that someone would think me anti-Semitic for doing so.  And if someone actually accused me of that, I'd never even spend a millisecond worrying about it because I know it to be patently false.  Just like someone has faith in their religion, I have faith in myself to KNOW I am not harboring any ill will toward Jews.  If someone wants to think that then a) they don't know me at all and b) their opinion doesn't bother me because see "a".

When I get all defensive about it then it comes across like maybe I'm over compensating for something.  It makes it look like I'm not very sure about it at all.

Last thing - if I let my fear of someone's opinion on Mel Gibson keep me from enjoying a movie he's in even BEFORE I get to watch it, then I'm behaving like a victim.  I'm letting my fear of being labeled run my life.  FUCK THAT.

You're looking more inward than I am.   I'm with you; I don't let anyone keep me from enjoying anything (I'm a Kiss fan, nuff said).   But it's bleeding out from that; it's not limited to just "that look" anymore.    Your kid's best friend's mom says to her precious little bundle of joy, "I don't really want that Harmony, Jr. kid coming over anymore" because she saw you looking at a Mel Gibson movie at RedBox or whatever it's called at the supermarket?  Still cool?   


Offline Stadler

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #112 on: May 30, 2018, 07:10:15 AM »
She made a tasteless tweet.  But it wasn't racist. 

Maybe, maybe not. The issue is that someone thought it was racist, and that is all that matters these days.

I was going to chime in on the current discussion, but I have nothing to add that hasn't been said.

Being in SBUX country, news of their DAY OF TRAINING ON HOW TO NOT BE RACIST is a hot topic in my local news today. Saw this gem which put things in perspective, from Richard Levick, the CEO of an international crisis communications firm: ďThis is probably the greatest crisis response since Johnson & Johnsonís Tylenol three-and-a-half decades ago." For reference, that had to do with people dying from taking cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Clearly something similar to a couple guys being asked to leave a place of business while not engaging the business in any sort of transaction.

I mean, I've worked in Corporate America long enough, and taken enough training in that time, so I get it, but "Training in how not to be a racist" from my EMPLOYER smacks as so much thought police... what next?  Will my employer "teach" me how to vote?   Educate me on the best places to get an abortion, should I ever need one?   

Offline sylvan

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #113 on: May 30, 2018, 07:20:34 AM »
The Starbucks thing blows my mind. Are people actually buying into this? First of all, STARBUCKS didn't call the police on two black guys, some dumb ass INDIVIDUAL did that. STARBUCKS didn't handwrite "Beaner" on a Latino's cup, some dumb ass INDIVIDUAL did that. So apparently that means that ALL Starbucks employees need racial bias training, and we're supposed to believe that it will influence people who already found it acceptable to call 911 on black guys for waiting for a friend before ordering, or writing "racist" terms on people's cups. Why can't Starbucks just fire them and move on? "Some dumbass, not STARBUCKS. We've fired said dumbass and are moving on..."

Offline kaos2900

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #114 on: May 30, 2018, 07:26:22 AM »
In regards to Starbucks, that was nothing but a publicity stunt and to try and keep they're "progressive" image.

In regards to Roseanne, i could care less. I think the fact that so many people care about what her opinion is and the state of a crappy rebooted TV show is more concerning that what she said.

Offline Harmony

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #115 on: May 30, 2018, 07:58:10 AM »
Your kid's best friend's mom says to her precious little bundle of joy, "I don't really want that Harmony, Jr. kid coming over anymore" because she saw you looking at a Mel Gibson movie at RedBox or whatever it's called at the supermarket?  Still cool?

More than cool.  I don't owe my kid's best friend's mom a goddamn thing and if she's that shallow and judgmental then I want nothing to do with her anyway.  Why would I?

Offline Harmony

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #116 on: May 30, 2018, 08:02:26 AM »
I'd be interested in hearing those arguments. I admit to not being immersed in all the particulars or the context of what set Rosanne off on that particular tweet, but frankly, I find it hard not to see it as--at least--dog whistle racism.

Many people are focusing on the ape part of her tweet and forgetting the rest.  She also implied that VJ was a super secret Muslim extremist too.   ::)

But hey, it doesn't matter today because she's blaming the Ambien she took.


Offline El Barto

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #117 on: May 30, 2018, 08:10:26 AM »
She made a tasteless tweet.  But it wasn't racist. 

Maybe, maybe not. The issue is that someone thought it was racist, and that is all that matters these days.

I was going to chime in on the current discussion, but I have nothing to add that hasn't been said.

Being in SBUX country, news of their DAY OF TRAINING ON HOW TO NOT BE RACIST is a hot topic in my local news today. Saw this gem which put things in perspective, from Richard Levick, the CEO of an international crisis communications firm: ďThis is probably the greatest crisis response since Johnson & Johnsonís Tylenol three-and-a-half decades ago." For reference, that had to do with people dying from taking cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Clearly something similar to a couple guys being asked to leave a place of business while not engaging the business in any sort of transaction.

I mean, I've worked in Corporate America long enough, and taken enough training in that time, so I get it, but "Training in how not to be a racist" from my EMPLOYER smacks as so much thought police... what next?  Will my employer "teach" me how to vote?   Educate me on the best places to get an abortion, should I ever need one?
Yeah, this is where you and I part ways on this one. While we're both highly bothered by the policing of thought, this doesn't qualify. They have ~300k employees and training them to not be dicks is about as important as training them to draw those goofy tulips in milk. This is a business decision.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #118 on: May 30, 2018, 08:18:53 AM »
Your kid's best friend's mom says to her precious little bundle of joy, "I don't really want that Harmony, Jr. kid coming over anymore" because she saw you looking at a Mel Gibson movie at RedBox or whatever it's called at the supermarket?  Still cool?

More than cool.  I don't owe my kid's best friend's mom a goddamn thing and if she's that shallow and judgmental then I want nothing to do with her anyway.  Why would I?
I think the difference is twofold. For one, you're just some chick posting on a music forum. If you were a person whose name and image were crucial to their livelihood (forgive me if you're secretly Debra Harry) you'd want a little more truthiness with regards to your standing. Moreover, there's a problem now wherein as long as a factoid is presented in a half-humorous way it hits 500k people within minutes. If somebody crafts a silly meme with your picture and "I admire anti-Semitic Mel Gibson" and it hits half a million people before you're even aware of it you'll very likely be far more concerned about it. Facebook and twitter have the unfortunate ability to spread bullshit like wildfire and the modern crowd digs the shit out of that very aspect.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #119 on: May 30, 2018, 08:20:39 AM »
I'd be interested in hearing those arguments. I admit to not being immersed in all the particulars or the context of what set Rosanne off on that particular tweet, but frankly, I find it hard not to see it as--at least--dog whistle racism.

Many people are focusing on the ape part of her tweet and forgetting the rest.  She also implied that VJ was a super secret Muslim extremist too.   ::)

But hey, it doesn't matter today because she's blaming the Ambien she took.

I'd be a lot happier if she would defend it. Comparing a woman to a fictional movie character is not the same as calling black people apes. It's high time people started to learn this.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #120 on: May 30, 2018, 08:28:09 AM »
Your kid's best friend's mom says to her precious little bundle of joy, "I don't really want that Harmony, Jr. kid coming over anymore" because she saw you looking at a Mel Gibson movie at RedBox or whatever it's called at the supermarket?  Still cool?

More than cool.  I don't owe my kid's best friend's mom a goddamn thing and if she's that shallow and judgmental then I want nothing to do with her anyway.  Why would I?
I think the difference is twofold. For one, you're just some chick posting on a music forum. If you were a person whose name and image were crucial to their livelihood (forgive me if you're secretly Debra Harry) you'd want a little more truthiness with regards to your standing. Moreover, there's a problem now wherein as long as a factoid is presented in a half-humorous way it hits 500k people within minutes. If somebody crafts a silly meme with your picture and "I admire anti-Semitic Mel Gibson" and it hits half a million people before you're even aware of it you'll very likely be far more concerned about it. Facebook and twitter have the unfortunate ability to spread bullshit like wildfire and the modern crowd digs the shit out of that very aspect.

2 things.  I wish I were secretly Debbie Harry and this is exactly why I am taking social media out of the conversation.  I've said this several times now and will probably be criticized for repeating myself but I will continue to say it as many times as I need to.

I'm talking about real life.  Not being a famous or even semi-famous person.  I'm talking about face to face interactions and conversations.  I'm talking about not putting myself in the framework of being a victim before I've even gotten out of the gate in life.  I'm talking about being confident in yourself enough to proudly admit you are a KISS fan and not giving a rat's ass who judges you for it.

Online Ben_Jamin

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #121 on: May 30, 2018, 09:05:22 AM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/kendrick-lamar-interrupts-white-fan-after-she-raps-the-n-word-onstage/ar-AAxB7XU?li=BBnb7Kz

Just read this article. In a nut shell Kendrick Lamar invited a white girl on stage to rap/sing along to his song and she did. The issue is that she said the N word. I guess I don't understand this. She sang the song word for word and she is obviously a fan of his since she was at his concert and and knew the words. She was not being racist by any means. He seemed nice enough and let her "try" again, but the whole story just seems odd to me.

I know I'm late to this....

That is just bullshit. Its almost Hypocritical to invite a (white) fan to sing along to a song that blatantly says NAEGGA. He likely did it to cause this very convo we are  having now
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2018, 10:41:50 AM »
I mean, I've worked in Corporate America long enough, and taken enough training in that time, so I get it, but "Training in how not to be a racist" from my EMPLOYER smacks as so much thought police... what next?  Will my employer "teach" me how to vote?   Educate me on the best places to get an abortion, should I ever need one?   

My snarkiness resulted in inaccuracies in my post. This "training" isn't about how not to be racist. It is to illustrate that you that you are in fact racist, but are unaware of it because lies within your subconscious.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2018, 10:43:34 AM »
Yeah, unfortunately, that sort of thing has increasingly crept into the typical "preventative" training through the years.
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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #124 on: May 30, 2018, 11:05:38 AM »
Do we even know what the Starbucks training entailed? Here's a short film that was produced for and used in the Starbucks training yesterday. I think it makes a good point. To me, that point is that people of color have an extra level of psychological anxiety they have to deal with in public spaces because of, in many cases subconscious, racial bias. I know people don't think it exists in themselves, but I know I see it within myself. And I think if you listen with an empathetic viewpoint to the testimony of a lot of black people, they will give you innumerable examples of how it has affected them. How long before we believe them? And maybe Starbucks isn't doing this just for good publicity, damage control, or solely for business purposes. Maybe at least part of why they're doing it is because they think it's really a problem and want to try and address it. Frankly, I'm happy a large corporation is doing something like this.

Short film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=o__5xvIE3bU

Offline Chino

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #125 on: May 30, 2018, 11:13:40 AM »
Do we even know what the Starbucks training entailed?

Quite a bit of info this thread. Seems like it was more about diversity and not knowing each individual's life situation than it was race.

https://old.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/8n3hm6/starbucks_employees_how_was_your_implicit_bias/

If anyone doesn't know how Reddit works, you can minimize each parent comment next by clicking the " - " sign to the left of the username.

Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #126 on: May 30, 2018, 11:19:50 AM »
Off-topic, I don't "get" Reddit at all. I don't understand value people extract from it.

And maybe Starbucks isn't doing this just for good publicity, damage control, or solely for business purposes.

Ignoring for a moment the merits of this training, being familiar with this business as a native PNW'er, they most certainly doing it for "good publicity, damage control, or solely for business purposes."
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Offline Chino

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #127 on: May 30, 2018, 11:24:57 AM »
Off-topic, I don't "get" Reddit at all. I don't understand value people extract from it.

It's a forum for just about any topic you can imagine. Reddit is great when you're not stuck in an echo chamber of a sub. I use it to discuss miniatures, rc trucks, stocks, aquarium stuff, hydroponics, stuff in my home state, individual video games, etc..
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 11:34:03 AM by Chino »

Offline Kattelox

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #128 on: May 30, 2018, 11:28:40 AM »
Reddit is great... it's no different than a forum. You can learn a lot... lots of times I just google "Reddit (insert subject I'm curious about here)" and read funny anecdotes or actually learn a lot. Not all social stuff is cancerous if you just use it constructively
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Offline Cool Chris

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #129 on: May 30, 2018, 11:32:53 AM »
It doesn't look like a forum, at least as I think of them, but dtf.org is my model as it is the only forum I read and post on. I value the discussion that happens here (most of the time). Reddit just looks like people saying random things without any discussion, but I might just not be used to its structure

Carry on.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #130 on: May 30, 2018, 11:52:37 AM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/kendrick-lamar-interrupts-white-fan-after-she-raps-the-n-word-onstage/ar-AAxB7XU?li=BBnb7Kz

Just read this article. In a nut shell Kendrick Lamar invited a white girl on stage to rap/sing along to his song and she did. The issue is that she said the N word. I guess I don't understand this. She sang the song word for word and she is obviously a fan of his since she was at his concert and and knew the words. She was not being racist by any means. He seemed nice enough and let her "try" again, but the whole story just seems odd to me.

I know I'm late to this....

That is just bullshit. Its almost Hypocritical to invite a (white) fan to sing along to a song that blatantly says NAEGGA. He likely did it to cause this very convo we are  having now
It was definitely a setup. It certainly doesn't help that the four line chorus he had them rap had like 6 instances of nigga in it. Having said that, what it would really come down to is if he was using nigga himself throughout his show. If he was censoring himself than she should have known better. Moreover, other people on stage, and her in an earlier instant, also censored themselves, so she knew it was at least something of an issue. In any case, once again I'll say that people need to learn to understand context and quit getting butthurt over unintentional "slights.".
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Offline bosk1

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #131 on: May 30, 2018, 12:12:30 PM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/kendrick-lamar-interrupts-white-fan-after-she-raps-the-n-word-onstage/ar-AAxB7XU?li=BBnb7Kz

Just read this article. In a nut shell Kendrick Lamar invited a white girl on stage to rap/sing along to his song and she did. The issue is that she said the N word. I guess I don't understand this. She sang the song word for word and she is obviously a fan of his since she was at his concert and and knew the words. She was not being racist by any means. He seemed nice enough and let her "try" again, but the whole story just seems odd to me.

I know I'm late to this....

That is just bullshit. Its almost Hypocritical to invite a (white) fan to sing along to a song that blatantly says NAEGGA. He likely did it to cause this very convo we are  having now
It was definitely a setup. It certainly doesn't help that the four line chorus he had them rap had like 6 instances of nigga in it. Having said that, what it would really come down to is if he was using nigga himself throughout his show. If he was censoring himself than she should have known better. Moreover, other people on stage, and her in an earlier instant, also censored themselves, so she knew it was at least something of an issue. In any case, once again I'll say that people need to learn to understand context and quit getting butthurt over unintentional "slights.".

Maybe.  But I'm kinda willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on that unless there is other information.  Speaking from experience, when I was selected to get up and do my thing with Y&T onstage years ago, when my number was called, my mind was just racing from that point on, and I was kind of oblivious to EVERYTHING.  I can totally see if her mind went blank and she was basically rapping on autopilot, whether she SHOULD have consciously known better or not. 
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #132 on: May 30, 2018, 12:28:16 PM »
https://www.msn.com/en-us/music/news/kendrick-lamar-interrupts-white-fan-after-she-raps-the-n-word-onstage/ar-AAxB7XU?li=BBnb7Kz

Just read this article. In a nut shell Kendrick Lamar invited a white girl on stage to rap/sing along to his song and she did. The issue is that she said the N word. I guess I don't understand this. She sang the song word for word and she is obviously a fan of his since she was at his concert and and knew the words. She was not being racist by any means. He seemed nice enough and let her "try" again, but the whole story just seems odd to me.

I know I'm late to this....

That is just bullshit. Its almost Hypocritical to invite a (white) fan to sing along to a song that blatantly says NAEGGA. He likely did it to cause this very convo we are  having now
It was definitely a setup. It certainly doesn't help that the four line chorus he had them rap had like 6 instances of nigga in it. Having said that, what it would really come down to is if he was using nigga himself throughout his show. If he was censoring himself than she should have known better. Moreover, other people on stage, and her in an earlier instant, also censored themselves, so she knew it was at least something of an issue. In any case, once again I'll say that people need to learn to understand context and quit getting butthurt over unintentional "slights.".

Maybe.  But I'm kinda willing to give her the benefit of the doubt on that unless there is other information.  Speaking from experience, when I was selected to get up and do my thing with Y&T onstage years ago, when my number was called, my mind was just racing from that point on, and I was kind of oblivious to EVERYTHING.  I can totally see if her mind went blank and she was basically rapping on autopilot, whether she SHOULD have consciously known better or not.
Yeah, I'll buy that.
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Offline contest_sanity

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #133 on: May 30, 2018, 01:11:46 PM »
Well, first off, re: the Kendrick Lamar thing. The girl was unsurprisingly going to get on stage and sing the song the same way she always sings it in her car or whatever.

I would argue that white people using any form of the word is at the very least problematic, except perhaps in a totally descriptive context (and even that sometimes still makes me feel weird: for instance if the title of this thread had instead used the full word). As to WHY it is problematic, I'm not surprised many people have not thought about it, or at least not given enough empathic listening to that perspective which says: white people shouldn't use it even though people of color (at least many of them) have reclaimed usage of a form of it. So, in my view, ignorance can be a justification for the lack of ill-intent, but that still doesn't mean it's not a problem. Really, we have to have honest, sometimes complex, conversations about this stuff.

Do I personally wish the girl had handled it differently? Yes. Could Kendrick have also handled it differently? Perhaps. And maybe he deliberately wanted to start this larger conversation, which is possibly a good objective, but I too would hate for this girl to get labeled a "bad person" for what happened. Of course, this gets into a larger discussion of striving to disassociate racially problematic acts from categorizing the person who does them as a bad person. People will always defend their own character. And attacking someone else's character is not usually a great way to have a productive conversation. Maybe Kendrick could have turned it more into a teaching moment, and maybe privately he did. I'm not sure. I mean, even publicly he still gave her a second chance. But I think I can simultaneously wish it was handled a little differently on social media afterward AND still wish she had chosen to censor herself.

I know it doesn't make my opinion more valid, but I have thought about this issue A LOT, being a white language arts teacher in a mostly minority school where this word is ubiquitous vernacular, who also loves hip-hop and even makes my own hip hop. It's a complicated thing, and I go back-and-forth on certain complexities of the discussion at times. In general, though, I tend towards "white people just shouldn't say it."

Lastly, Ta-Nehisi Coates' response to this same question had some good insights, I thought, particularly that being a white hip-hop fan who self-censors using the n-word provides a small window into how black people have to navigate the world being extra-careful about their actions in ways that most white people do not.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO15S3WC9pg


Offline Stadler

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #134 on: May 30, 2018, 01:18:42 PM »
She made a tasteless tweet.  But it wasn't racist. 

Maybe, maybe not. The issue is that someone thought it was racist, and that is all that matters these days.

I was going to chime in on the current discussion, but I have nothing to add that hasn't been said.

Being in SBUX country, news of their DAY OF TRAINING ON HOW TO NOT BE RACIST is a hot topic in my local news today. Saw this gem which put things in perspective, from Richard Levick, the CEO of an international crisis communications firm: ďThis is probably the greatest crisis response since Johnson & Johnsonís Tylenol three-and-a-half decades ago." For reference, that had to do with people dying from taking cyanide-laced capsules of Extra-Strength Tylenol. Clearly something similar to a couple guys being asked to leave a place of business while not engaging the business in any sort of transaction.

I mean, I've worked in Corporate America long enough, and taken enough training in that time, so I get it, but "Training in how not to be a racist" from my EMPLOYER smacks as so much thought police... what next?  Will my employer "teach" me how to vote?   Educate me on the best places to get an abortion, should I ever need one?
Yeah, this is where you and I part ways on this one. While we're both highly bothered by the policing of thought, this doesn't qualify. They have ~300k employees and training them to not be dicks is about as important as training them to draw those goofy tulips in milk. This is a business decision.

No, I get that.  We're not that far apart there; I think where I keep going is that I don't trust the SJWs of the world to see the difference you and I just agreed on.   Next it will be schools; then it will be "brown bag lunches at the subdivision community center", etc. etc.   I don't want schools lecturing my kid on how to treat people.  I want her to learn the old fashioned way; by facing people one on one and realizing that they are just like you, whether fat, skinny, black, white, Muslim, Jew, Christian, whatever. 

My experience - which is worth little, I grant you - is that real change is not from forced lectures, but from organic growth.

Offline Stadler

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #135 on: May 30, 2018, 01:22:40 PM »
Your kid's best friend's mom says to her precious little bundle of joy, "I don't really want that Harmony, Jr. kid coming over anymore" because she saw you looking at a Mel Gibson movie at RedBox or whatever it's called at the supermarket?  Still cool?

More than cool.  I don't owe my kid's best friend's mom a goddamn thing and if she's that shallow and judgmental then I want nothing to do with her anyway.  Why would I?
I think the difference is twofold. For one, you're just some chick posting on a music forum. If you were a person whose name and image were crucial to their livelihood (forgive me if you're secretly Debra Harry) you'd want a little more truthiness with regards to your standing. Moreover, there's a problem now wherein as long as a factoid is presented in a half-humorous way it hits 500k people within minutes. If somebody crafts a silly meme with your picture and "I admire anti-Semitic Mel Gibson" and it hits half a million people before you're even aware of it you'll very likely be far more concerned about it. Facebook and twitter have the unfortunate ability to spread bullshit like wildfire and the modern crowd digs the shit out of that very aspect.

Well, I was going for the angle of "affecting other people".   I know that the last thing I want is to explain to my kid why her best friend doesn't call her anymore (actually, I had to do that with her mom, so I know it sucks).   But whatever; maybe it doesn't bother other people like it does me.  I can accept that.   It is what it is.   I know I'm an acquired taste for some and I'd just prefer that if that's the case it be because of who I am authentically, not some caricature or meme.

And if you are Debbie Harry, a) I want your autograph, and b) you still look fine at 70.   

Offline bosk1

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #136 on: May 30, 2018, 01:27:54 PM »
I would argue that white people using any form of the word is at the very least problematic, except perhaps in a totally descriptive context (and even that sometimes still makes me feel weird: for instance if the title of this thread had instead used the full word). As to WHY it is problematic, I'm not surprised many people have not thought about it, or at least not given enough empathic listening to that perspective which says: white people shouldn't use it even though people of color (at least many of them) have reclaimed usage of a form of it.

With regard to your first sentence, I don't think many disagree, at least in present company.

With regard to your second sentence, I'm not sure why there NEEDS to be any thought to why is it problematic.  People understand that it is, so why do we need to get into the why of it?

But issues like this Kendrick Lamar incident muddy the waters.  When it is used in popular music, and music is by design meant to be sung along to, it muddies the waters.  In Kendrick Lamar's defense, it didn't look like he personally had any ill intent.  It just seemed like the incident wasn't thought through very well, and then wasn't handled well in the moment when it went wrong.  But in my opinion, I think we are too hypersensitive to certain things, like the use of that word.  Hyper-awareness is good, because it leads to greater understanding.  Hyper-sensitivity--i.e. where we collectively gasp at even the unintended or innocent use of the term without regard for context--seems counterproductive to me.  It prevents any sort of understanding or common ground to be found.  This girl was dumb, or just caught in the moment, or whatever.  But I don't think use of the word in that context makes her a de facto racist or even racially insensitive.  I mean, maybe she is.  But maybe we {the collective we) could have more productive conversation and understanding if we didn't overreact to any use of the term. 

Here's an anecdote:  Years ago in law school, an elderly White professor used the term "niggardly" in class.  It was used perfectly in context.  There was not a hint of anything racial in the discussion whatsoever.  And yet, a couple of Black students took offense and made a huge issue out of it and tried to generate publicity and have the man's job threatened--simply because they had no idea what the word meant and wrongly assumed that since it sounds like the N-word, it must be racist comment.  Yeah, in this day and age, we're best avoiding archaic terms that sound like hotbutton offensive terms.  But, again, we've gotten to the point where we are so hypersensitive that we often overreact, and often wrongfully so.

EDIT:  And, yeah, I'm probably just restating what I and others have said on the subject in the past, but I keep hoping that approaching it from different angles may be helpful somehow.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2018, 01:37:26 PM by bosk1 »
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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #137 on: May 30, 2018, 01:43:29 PM »
I agree we are at that point, but I disagree that we've only recently gotten there. We've always been there. We just have MUCH more ways of hearing about things and expressing our opinions, compared to the past.
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Offline bosk1

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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #138 on: May 30, 2018, 01:46:58 PM »
You mean the point of hypersensitivity?  No, I think it is a fairly recent development.  In the '70s, you could hear it used on public TV.  I mean, not without any objection.  But not the mass outrage even a private, "innocent" use the term will elicit today.  Unless I misunderstand your point, I don't agree.
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Re: The n-word and its use
« Reply #139 on: May 30, 2018, 01:48:25 PM »
I basically agree with you, Bosk. My one quibble might be that while perhaps she wasn't purposefully being insensitive, the act still hits a lot of black people as being insensitive. Doesn't mean she's a bad person or was being malicious, yet she could still possibly stand to learn a little more about why, perhaps, she should alter her singing habits in the future.

Also, Chris Rock: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdlGeqwHjLE