The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #39304   Message #557176
Posted By: Jeri
23-Sep-01 - 04:04 PM
Thread Name: Slavery-Era Song, 'Run, ======, Run'
Subject: RE: Slavery-Era Song, 'Run, ======, Run'
I have a problem with making the ugly parts of our culture dissapear, and using euphemisms or 'talking around' terms, to me, implies that we're playing hear-no, see-no, speak-no-evil, and also implies that people are unwilling to tackle the subjects head on. Hiding monsters in the closet only makes the monsters stronger.

Anybody who wants to know the truth will not rely on simply recognising the word in a thread title and making an immediate judgement. When we think "somebody might be offended," or "I'm personally offended because it might hurt somebody else" we are taking away the right of the person/people we think we're protecting to make their own decisions. We are possibly eliminating honest discussion.

There is a word: "nigger." It is used today by people who hate and demean others. It's also used by people to refer to themselves. It may have been used in the past, possibly with less hatred, but possibly just as much, if not more contempt. It was used in a lot of songs by African Americans, and a lot of white people now sing those songs. If they sing those songs without changing them (or post they lyrics, or start a thread), they may just be honoring the historical truth of the song, or they may be trying to convey hate. If the singers/posters don't indicate their intentions, and you don't ask, it's just another door slammed shut. The lyrics are in the DigiTrad the way they were collected because we need to remember the bad things along with the good.

I personally think we need to quit being so afraid of language and communicating openly. It's the fear that gives the word its power.