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BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations

Bev and Jerry 04 Dec 10 - 11:30 PM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Dec 10 - 12:03 AM
Slag 05 Dec 10 - 12:46 AM
Skivee 05 Dec 10 - 01:51 AM
Bev and Jerry 05 Dec 10 - 01:53 AM
Joe Offer 05 Dec 10 - 02:05 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Dec 10 - 02:10 AM
Ebbie 05 Dec 10 - 03:22 AM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Dec 10 - 03:28 AM
Georgiansilver 05 Dec 10 - 03:46 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Dec 10 - 03:46 AM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Dec 10 - 04:15 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Dec 10 - 04:28 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Dec 10 - 04:42 AM
Will Fly 05 Dec 10 - 04:57 AM
Will Fly 05 Dec 10 - 04:58 AM
John MacKenzie 05 Dec 10 - 05:12 AM
Little Hawk 05 Dec 10 - 05:25 AM
The Fooles Troupe 05 Dec 10 - 05:43 AM
Will Fly 05 Dec 10 - 05:54 AM
Little Hawk 05 Dec 10 - 06:20 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Dec 10 - 06:38 AM
Bobert 05 Dec 10 - 08:19 AM
Ed T 05 Dec 10 - 09:47 AM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Dec 10 - 09:58 AM
wysiwyg 05 Dec 10 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM
Jeri 05 Dec 10 - 10:29 AM
Backwoodsman 05 Dec 10 - 11:35 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Dec 10 - 11:55 AM
josepp 05 Dec 10 - 12:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Dec 10 - 12:58 PM
josepp 05 Dec 10 - 01:10 PM
Georgiansilver 05 Dec 10 - 01:13 PM
josepp 05 Dec 10 - 01:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM
bubblyrat 05 Dec 10 - 01:50 PM
Big Phil 05 Dec 10 - 01:51 PM
josepp 05 Dec 10 - 02:05 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Dec 10 - 02:29 PM
GUEST,Grishka 05 Dec 10 - 02:42 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Dec 10 - 03:12 PM
Little Hawk 05 Dec 10 - 03:15 PM
akenaton 05 Dec 10 - 03:29 PM
akenaton 05 Dec 10 - 03:48 PM
Bev and Jerry 05 Dec 10 - 03:53 PM
GUEST,mg 05 Dec 10 - 04:51 PM
Little Hawk 05 Dec 10 - 04:55 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 05 Dec 10 - 05:01 PM
Bonzo3legs 05 Dec 10 - 05:19 PM
akenaton 05 Dec 10 - 06:06 PM
GUEST,Allan Con 05 Dec 10 - 06:20 PM
Dave MacKenzie 05 Dec 10 - 06:42 PM
Lox 05 Dec 10 - 07:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Dec 10 - 07:52 PM
JohnInKansas 05 Dec 10 - 09:14 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Dec 10 - 12:27 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Dec 10 - 12:32 AM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Dec 10 - 12:35 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Dec 10 - 03:16 AM
Dave MacKenzie 06 Dec 10 - 05:00 AM
Georgiansilver 06 Dec 10 - 06:54 AM
Little Hawk 06 Dec 10 - 10:32 AM
maple_leaf_boy 06 Dec 10 - 11:19 AM
McGrath of Harlow 06 Dec 10 - 12:16 PM
MGM·Lion 06 Dec 10 - 12:31 PM
Big Phil 06 Dec 10 - 03:30 PM
wysiwyg 06 Dec 10 - 03:31 PM
akenaton 06 Dec 10 - 04:05 PM
Bev and Jerry 06 Dec 10 - 08:00 PM
The Fooles Troupe 06 Dec 10 - 08:03 PM
GUEST,Allan Con 07 Dec 10 - 02:22 AM
Dave MacKenzie 07 Dec 10 - 03:21 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 07 Dec 10 - 01:21 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Dec 10 - 01:51 PM
olddude 07 Dec 10 - 03:24 PM
Backwoodsman 07 Dec 10 - 03:25 PM
MGM·Lion 07 Dec 10 - 04:51 PM
frogprince 07 Dec 10 - 06:36 PM
Backwoodsman 08 Dec 10 - 03:22 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Dec 10 - 04:36 AM
Lox 08 Dec 10 - 05:33 AM
Lox 08 Dec 10 - 05:54 AM
GUEST,Grishka 08 Dec 10 - 07:56 AM
Lox 08 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Grishka 09 Dec 10 - 04:23 AM
Lox 09 Dec 10 - 05:02 AM
Lox 09 Dec 10 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Grishka 09 Dec 10 - 06:21 AM
GUEST,Jim Knowledge 09 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM
Lox 09 Dec 10 - 05:33 PM
Bobert 09 Dec 10 - 06:26 PM
Lox 09 Dec 10 - 06:54 PM
GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie 09 Dec 10 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Dec 10 - 07:36 PM
Bobert 09 Dec 10 - 08:10 PM
Lox 09 Dec 10 - 09:10 PM
Bobert 10 Dec 10 - 08:45 AM
Lox 10 Dec 10 - 02:35 PM
Lox 10 Dec 10 - 02:39 PM
Lox 10 Dec 10 - 03:14 PM
Bobert 10 Dec 10 - 04:41 PM
robomatic 10 Dec 10 - 11:56 PM
GUEST,BobL 11 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM
Dave MacKenzie 11 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM
GUEST,Grishka 11 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM
Bobert 11 Dec 10 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,Grishka 11 Dec 10 - 10:39 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 10 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Grishka 11 Dec 10 - 01:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Dec 10 - 06:27 PM
Bobert 11 Dec 10 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,Grishka 12 Dec 10 - 05:03 AM
Little Hawk 13 Dec 10 - 02:29 AM
GUEST,Patsy 13 Dec 10 - 04:51 AM
GUEST 13 Dec 10 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Grishka 13 Dec 10 - 05:22 AM
Backwoodsman 13 Dec 10 - 05:38 AM
Little Hawk 13 Dec 10 - 11:53 PM
MGM·Lion 14 Dec 10 - 02:35 AM
Little Hawk 14 Dec 10 - 02:49 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Dec 10 - 05:00 AM
Bobert 14 Dec 10 - 09:12 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Dec 10 - 09:21 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Dec 10 - 10:18 AM
Lox 14 Dec 10 - 10:26 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Dec 10 - 10:44 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Dec 10 - 10:47 AM
Backwoodsman 14 Dec 10 - 10:53 AM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Dec 10 - 11:40 AM
Donuel 14 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM
Little Hawk 14 Dec 10 - 01:17 PM
Lox 14 Dec 10 - 01:36 PM
Little Hawk 14 Dec 10 - 01:52 PM
Backwoodsman 14 Dec 10 - 03:26 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Dec 10 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Grishka 14 Dec 10 - 04:22 PM
Little Hawk 14 Dec 10 - 06:23 PM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Silas 15 Dec 10 - 07:12 AM
Little Hawk 15 Dec 10 - 07:30 AM
GUEST,Silas 15 Dec 10 - 07:33 AM
Little Hawk 15 Dec 10 - 07:48 AM
Bobert 15 Dec 10 - 08:41 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 08:45 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,Silas 15 Dec 10 - 08:48 AM
GUEST,Grishka 15 Dec 10 - 09:18 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 09:32 AM
Bobert 15 Dec 10 - 10:01 AM
Little Hawk 15 Dec 10 - 10:07 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 10:11 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 10:12 AM
Bobert 15 Dec 10 - 10:21 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 10:51 AM
Bobert 15 Dec 10 - 10:56 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 10:58 AM
Little Hawk 15 Dec 10 - 11:03 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Dec 10 - 11:24 AM
Bobert 15 Dec 10 - 04:23 PM
Little Hawk 15 Dec 10 - 05:23 PM

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Subject: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 04 Dec 10 - 11:30 PM

We are writing an article about World War II and have included some eye witness quotations which describe certain events. Some of them contain the word "Jap". We know this is an offensive racial slur and was considered offensive at the time. Nevertheless, it was in common usage in America at the time and one of our references is a newspaper article that uses the word "Jap" in the headline.

So, here's the question: How should this word be presented in a text format? Should it read "Jap[anese]? Should there be a footnote explaining the term? Can anyone refer us to a style manual that covers this dilemma?

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 12:03 AM

"We know this is an offensive racial slur"

I appreciate your good intent and scholastic dilemma.

It's all to do with "doing the PC dance". Which ever way you jump, you'll probably be criticized. I'd suggest a 'disclaimer' that sets out your dilemma and then use the historically correct (unbowdlerized) term.

Here in Australia, some have also been trying to stamp out the use of the term 'Jap Pumpkin'- a certain particular species of high quality pumpkin that was originally grown in Australia by the Japanese Market Gardeners. Incidentally, they used to grow food in the Brisbane suburb of Newmarket, where my Grandfather and dad grew up. The term referring to the pumpkin was never a racial slur in Australia (just descriptive - even seeds and seedlings were sold with that name), but now the PC mad clan are trying claim it is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Slag
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 12:46 AM

How aabout a note or line in the Preface which states all quotations are verbatim and the authors do not necessarily agree nor condone any slur which may have been socially acceptable at that point in history, or words to that effect?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Skivee
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:51 AM

I agree with Slag. That's much better than prettifying up the language of of our forebears.
Besides, the whole "Being In The Process Of Fighting Against World Domination By The Axis" probably just barely edges out "Being PC For The Sensitivities Of Future Wankers"in the importance hopper.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:53 AM

Slag:

We like that very much and maybe we'll do it that way. It just seems that this can't be the first time this problem has come up and there should be some authoritative source that we can consult to see what the standard is. But, we can't find any.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:05 AM

I'd agree with Slag's comments, but I think the word should be used in quotes whenever it's used - if it's within a statement enclosed in quotation marks, it should be clear to most people that it's not your words. If you wanted to make that even more clear, you could include 'Jap' in single quotes within your quotation.
To say Jap[anese] seems to be a bit insulting to the intelligence of the reader. The term "Jap" seemed to be common speech through the 1960s. I don't think I ever met a Japanese person in Michigan or Wisconsin, but that changed when I moved to California in 1971.
Hope to see you at the end of the month, Bev and Jerry.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:10 AM

One should always keep in mind the Duke of Wellington's response to the courtesan Harriette Wilson. While she was writing her memoirs in the 1820s after a rackety life in the demi-monde, she wrote to all her former lovers offering to leave them out on payment of an appropriate sweetener ~~

"Publish and be damned," was Wellington's riposte. A useful deadwood-cutting watchword in many situations IMO.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Ebbie
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:22 AM

I don't think I'd put the word or phrase in quotes; I'd be more likely to use (sic), I think.

One thought does occur to me: Where does one draw the line? Charged as PC or not, I just could not relate a story or sing a song about niggers. It hurts to even write the word.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:28 AM

Ebbie just beat me to the traditional (sic) method. ATM, I can't remember what the Latin means...

here it is
Sic is a Latin word that means "thus" or, in writing, "it was thus in the source material".


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:46 AM

I am not so sure that the word Jap was used as a racial slur at the time... it was just a shortened name as is Brit for British... however they were referred to as 'Nips' which was with reference to them being sons of Nippon.. and this was used as an offensive slur.
We 'Brits' referred to the Americans as Yanks during the war but it was not an offensive offering nor was 'Frog' or 'eyetie' ...... I guess I feel some sadness that out society is becoming too steeped in modern 'awareness' to see a nickname or shortened name as lighthearted.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:46 AM

Ebbie: But how then do you read Huckleberry Finn, one of the world's greatest novels? Or Joseph Conrad's The Nigger Of The 'Narcissus'? When things were different, they were different, as we all know.

I had a correspondence a few years ago

No, on second thoughts I think I will start a new thread on this...

Best

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:15 AM

"(sic)" is used if otherwise a printing or spelling error could be assumed. This is not the case here. To mark an expression as slang (or otherwise nonstandard), italics are the thing to do.

Quotations should be presented as closely to their original as possible. Explanations in brackets are sometimes useful, but will never decrease the offensiveness. Use asterisks or dots if you absoulutely must, and if you trust the reader to know what is meant:
"F*** the J**s!" the Seargeant shouted [asterisks by ed.].
Names are often offensive by convention only. Conversely, the nicest euphemisms, such as "Aborigine", will wear off if the underlying conflicts are not resolved.

Japanese are not a race.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:28 AM

But there is a danger of ambiguity with *s. I initially read Grishka's 'sergeant' as denouncing the Jews [see my new thread on Dict Definitions], & only on reflection, within context of this thread, realised she [or 'he'] meant the Japanese.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:42 AM

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream
media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
to pick up a turd by the clean end."


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:57 AM

I think it's perfectly proper to preface a written article with a statement of intent or a foreword which states clearly that quotations from a particular period are verbatim, as found, and that no slut of any kind is intended. The complete quotations can be enclosed in quote marks or, if typeset, can be in smaller type, paragraphed separately and indented to make it clear that their quotations. Numbered sources for each quotation make it even clearer.

sic is inappropriate here - it refers to something like a wrong spelling. For example: "Prazident [sic] Lincoln was present at the time". In this context, sic makes it clear that the mis-spelling of the word President is not by the author, and is being written as originally spelled by the person responsible for the quote.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:58 AM

"no slut [sic] of any kind is intended"... :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:12 AM

oh puck (sic)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:25 AM

I think Slag has the right idea about this.

Racial (or national) prejudice seems to have been the rule, not the exception, during the WWII period (and also in previous wars).

Germans were routinely referred to as "the Hun" in English-speaking nations during WWI...a really disgusting term to use for Germans, in my opinion, but people seem to have taken it for granted at the time.

Japanese were referred to as "Japs" or "Nips", with similar dehumanizing intentions. (The extreme prejudice and hatred I saw commonly STILL directed at WWII Japanese during my youth in North America during the postwar period (in the 50s and early to mid-60s) surpassed in its viciousness any other form of prejudice I've ever directly witnessed. It was almost an unbelievable level of race hatred and gross caricature of another nation. Have a look at some old WWII propaganda cartoons that the American film industry did against Japanese in the 40s. They're on Youtube. You'll see what I mean.)

Italians have been referred to as "Wops" or "Eyeties" and portrayed as cowards (which they were not).

None of this is nice, to say the least, but I wouldn't be surprised if the Japanese, Germans, and Italians sometimes used similarly derogatory terms for the people of nations they were fighting against. It's typical of the ugliness that stems from wartime propaganda, and it's designed to make young soldiers go out and kill the enemy with "extreme prejudice" and no hesitation whatsoever. You're supposed to forget that they are human too.

As for the term "nigger", it has become pretty much the ultimate politically uncorrect term in modern times, but when Mark Twain was writing his wonderful books it was the standard word in the vernacular for most Americans, particularly rural Americans...and both black and white Americans...used when they were speaking of a black person. So Twain had it in his books, naturally, because it was an ordinary term at the time.

That has changed.

It's a disservice to the young people of today to censor the past by changing words that were written or spoken in the past. If we do censor all that stuff, they won't even have any real understanding OF the past, and we will be deliberately making them ignorant in order to supposedly "protect" them from something. That doesn't even make any sense.

I cringe inside when I read a passage about World War I and hear Germans being referred to as "Huns" or "the Hun", because I like Germans and I respect them as a nation. It makes me sick to hear that propaganda term. Nevertheless, I do not want it expunged from every quoted historical account and reminiscence of that time, because I want to know exactly what happened back then so that I can work against the same sort of thing happening now...but being inflicted on someone else entirely. I do not want to be protected by being kept ignorant of the cultural habits of the past.

And the same goes for the words "nigger", "Jap", etc...in the context of a quoted past or an old book from a previous era.

How can we oppose present evils effectively if we are afraid to even look at similar examples of evils that have occurred in the past and thereby understand what happened back then and why it happened? How can we deal with present prejudice if we're afraid to look directly at historical examples of past prejudice?

So, yeah, Slag...I think you have the right idea on this one. Be honest about the past, don't hide what was said or done in the past, but add a qualifying statement such as you have suggested.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:43 AM

Little Hawk appears to vote No for Bowdlerization.

"How can we oppose present evils effectively if we are afraid to even look at similar examples of evils that have occurred in the past and thereby understand what happened back then and why it happened? "

It can be difficult to explain why The Victorians insisted on covering the Legs of Tables... at the same time as pretending to ignore the other depredations they happily engaged in...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Will Fly
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:54 AM

It can be difficult to explain why The Victorians insisted on covering the Legs of Tables

My understanding of this is that it's actually a kind of urban myth. If you look at actual photographs of Victorian interiors, you won't see any covered legs. Plenty of drapes and cloths over table tops, but legs of tables, chairs and other furniture are not covered! There was prudery around in part of the Victorian period in parts of that society, but far less than we might suppose now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:20 AM

I think in Victorian times the main thing was keeping up the outward appearances of virtue...whilst conducting a great deal of vice behind closed doors! ;-) There was a great deal of illicit sex occurring in that society.

Pretty much like now, in other words...hypocrisy was rife...but people were a lot more formal in Victorian times.

If you think about present day politics, for example, the vital thing, again, is keeping up the appearance of political virtue. Meanwhile there is all kinds of outrageous chicanery and dishonesty going on in the halls of power. You can lie, cheat, and steal all you want...just DON'T get caught! ;-) Getting caught is the one thing that is politically unforgiveable.

********

bowdlerization - To remove material that is considered offensive or objectionable from (a book, for example).

Yes, I'm against it. I'd rather let the public freely decide for themselves what is offensive or not than pre-empt their decision by making it for them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:38 AM

···As for the term "nigger", it has become pretty much the ultimate politically uncorrect term in modern times, but when Mark Twain was writing his wonderful books it was the standard word in the vernacular for most Americans, particularly rural Americans...and both black and white Americans...used when they were speaking of a black person. So Twain had it in his books, naturally, because it was an ordinary term at the time.··· Little Hawk

Moreover, Twain was writing about the past: H Finn was written 1870s but set in the 1830s. As LH rightly points out, Jim refers to himself as 'a nigger', without any particular embarrassment.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 08:19 AM

History is history... I think folks understand that... Ebbie's example of Mark Twain is a prime example... The less you say, the better... A short footnote early on should take care of that and make the rest of the reading less cumbersome... In other words, no need for "Jap(enese)"...

Just MO...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Ed T
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 09:47 AM

If you used the term today, the young thay may think you mean jewish american princess?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 09:58 AM

However the propaganda term "Hun" was actually the fault of Kaiser Wilhelm II, when, in a speech to German troops bound for China to intervene in "the Boxer Rebellion", he spoke of "die Deutschen, wie einst ihre Vorfahren, die Hunnen" - "the Germans like their forefathers, the Huns".
....................

Racial slurs are odd things. Call someone from Germany a Kraut and it's an insult, but in France "mon chou" is an endearment. "Picaninny" is seen as offensive, but "Bambino" is fine... Basically it should come down to the intention to offend, but then people will sometimes pretend they didn't mean to offend when in truth they did.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: wysiwyg
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:11 AM

I believe in the Spirituals permathread you will find an example of a disclaimer that can be adapted for your purpose.

~S~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM

Lots of posts and all seem to agree - how rare in BS.

MtheGM (05 Dec 10 - 04:28 AM): Quite right. I was naive enough not to realize the possible misinterpretation. "J*ps" may be better, but I agree with everybody that no asterisks are required here at all.

Nationalist propaganda in the 20th century is a very sad chapter indeed. Newspapers agitating their readers, for financial or petty political reasons, are among the main causes of war. If we bowdlerize quotations we prevent our readers to learn.

Grishka (male first name, = Greg)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Jeri
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 10:29 AM

I agree with Slag's one-note-covers-all.

Labeling each individual usage calls attention to something you don't likely want to become the focus.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 11:35 AM

"Basically it should come down to the intention to offend, but then people will sometimes pretend they didn't mean to offend when in truth they did."

Absolutely, McG. Paradoxically, people wil also sometimes pretend to be 'offended' when clearly no offence was intended.

I'm still a believer in the old adage about sticks and stones. And John McKenzie's quote about Political Correctness has the ring of truth about it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 11:55 AM

Greg: Sorry to have misread your name. I was probably thinking of that bit in T S Eliot ~ 'Griskin is nice. Her Russian eye Is underlined for emphasis.' [from memory].

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: josepp
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 12:00 PM

////I am not so sure that the word Jap was used as a racial slur at the time////

Jap has been a slur since at least the 19th century. Henry Adams proved that when he wrote: "...Japs are monkeys and the women very badly made monkeys."


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 12:58 PM

As for "sticks and stones", sometimes it becomes more a matter or "sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can really hurt you."


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: josepp
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:10 PM

I'm against bowdlerization because it lets people off the hook who don't deserve it. It's revisionist really. Case in point was when Spiro Agnew referred to a Japanese reporter as "that fat Jap." Some researcher comes along and under the guise of not wanting to be offensive changes "Jap" to "dope." But it only serves to blunt Agnew's crudeness and sugarcoat his unpalatable character. He said Jap and it should always be noted that way.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:13 PM

josepp... Jap is short for Japanese...... the slur is likening them to monkeys!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: josepp
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:27 PM

////josepp... Jap is short for Japanese...... the slur is likening them to monkeys!////

Let's not go down this road. I highly suggest it. Jap is a slur and leave it at that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM

When a word or a name is used as a slur, or in a context where it is liable to be understood as a slur, it's a slur. The same word or name used in another context is perfectly fine. Good manners, common sense and proper sensitivity to other people's feelings and it's pretty simple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: bubblyrat
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:50 PM

In English patisserie, a "Jap " is a rather delicious confection. And I believe in calling a cake a cake.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Big Phil
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 01:51 PM

Society if full of plastic sandal, tree hugging, P. C. minded twonks.

Can't see any offence calling anyone from a different Country by a short name, or even a nickname, Brit for British, Froggy for the french, Jap for the Japanese, Paddy for the Irish, Iyty for the Italians, Jerry for the Germans and Aussie for the Australians. Where is the problem, other than in the minds of the P.C. brigade.

Phil*


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: josepp
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:05 PM

Because in America "Brit" is not used to deride or insult British people. "Aussie" not used to insult Australians. I call Irish people Irish and don't use Paddy. I call Italian people Italian. I've never heard of Jerry for German. In America, it's kraut and most German-Americans would not likely be receptive to you calling them that. "Jap" has never been used simply as a shortened form and has never been used as term of endearment. Its history is one of hatred. Can't speak for other countries but that's the name of that tune in America. You can't call someone a Jap here and think that it's okay and they're just being too PC. It's up to you to have the sense to use the proper terms.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:29 PM

In Canada, we welcomed the "Jap oranges" than came at winter time (also known as zipperskins. (See Foolstroupe, above, not meant as a slur.
Most of these oranges on the market here now are Chinese because they are cheaper, but the ones from Japan often are better.

I remember war-time usage, one in particular in the comic strip "Terry and the Pirates" by Milton Caniff. One can identify a Jap because the big toe is more separated from the others because of the type of sandals they wore.
The full set of "Terry...." is being issued in finely bound volumes, much appreciated by those of us interested in graphic literature. Many 'foreign' types appear, but the editors take the adult view and make no comment on usages of the past.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 02:42 PM

Big Phil, it's your own choice, as josepp wrote. You can use any word you like, claiming it to be just letters. You'll be surprised how quickly you can get lonely and hated.

"Froggy" is explicitely insulting, reducing a nation to a dish. Same with using a typical first name, such as "Paddy", thus suggesting "they are all alike". Other labels may or may not be considered offensive, depending on the context, as said before.

To avoid such offenses is a general rule of human behaviour. "P.C." is or was something quite different: rules of language designed to help particular groups of persons (and thus winning their votes etc.), even at the expense of ordinary correctness. I am not in favour of that, to be sure. There are some intermediate cases in which advanced diplomacy is necessary. If you learn that, it's your own advantage.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:12 PM

I remember a BBC situation comedy, aired in U.S. and Canada, about an Englishman who had "made it" and his travels in Europe. In one episode, he objected to travelling on "Frogair." Much beyond Archie Bunker.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:15 PM

"Jerry" was a very common British term used to denote German soldiers or Germans generally, but I don't think it carried much offensive connotation, no more than the German term "Tommy" did for British soldiers. It's a term of familiarity more than anything, I think. "Hun", on the other hand, as used in British newspapers and common speech during WWI was definitely an abusive term, intended to inspire fear, hatred, and loathing of Germans. I doubt that Kaiser Wilhelm anticipated that that would ever happen when he used the term in connection with German troops sent to the Boxer Rebellion. ;-) He tended to make strategic errors of judgement reasonably often...if he had not tried to build a navy equal to the Royal Navy (British fleet), he might not have had Britain as an enemy in 1914. It was a huge error on his part. The Germans and British, after all, had been allies through most of the 1700s and 1800s, and that friendly relationship only broke down when Germany tried to build naval power to rival Britain's. That the British would not tolerate.

It's quite correct that "Aussie" is not offensive. It's an affectionate term. And so is "Kiwi". And "Brit". And "Canuck". And "Yank". All those terms are basically affectionate ones of familiarity, used as much by friends as by enemies. "Russkie" is kind of like that too. I don't think that's true of the words "Hun", "Wop", "Jap" or "Eye-tie". They are terms used toward a hated or despised enemy, certainly not by a friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:29 PM

Call me a Brit and you'll soon see how fuckin' affectionate I become:0(

Call me Jock, Haggis basher,sheep shagger,and I'll give you a friendly smile.....but I draw the line at "Brit"


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:48 PM

My grandfather was a baker during WW1

When he went back to the bakehouse after leaving the forces he found that the famous type of biscuit called "German biscuits" had a name change, from then till the present day they have been known as "Empire biscuits".....isn't war nuts!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 03:53 PM

Wow!!! Thanks for all that insightful help, especially to Susan who actually gave us the words for the note.

In order not to bias anyone, we intentionally did not reveal the whole story at the outset. Here it is.

We not only wrote this article but we are also the editors of the journal in which it will be published. As the editors, we considered this problem and decided to simply leave the quotes as they were with no explanation on the assumption that, like on Mudcat, readers would understand the context. A similar quote appears in another article.

However, the organization that pays for the publication of the journal has said that the term "Jap" is unacceptable and suggested Jap[anese] instead. We did not agree with that and, apparently, no one here does either.

We're still trying to resolve the problem and that is why we asked for your sage advice. By the way, the term "yellow peril" appeared in a quote in yet another article and we tried to delete it because it was mostly tangential to the rest of the article. However, the author insisted on leaving it in and we caved. The organization that pays for the publication does not have a problem with "yellow peril".

Go figure.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,mg
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:51 PM

I do not think you should call Americans Yanks..unless you know they are from the northern states. It is not a term that many Southern US Americans would want to be called. I also am not convinced, although I can not prove it, that the word "nigger" was in common usage as an inoffensive word. Probably by some people..anything is probably by some people..but I think it was a word used to humiliate and abuse and control people. I think other, less inflammatory words were used if intentions were neutral or respectful at least for the conditions of the times....among them "Nigra," "Negro", colored folk etc. mg


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 04:55 PM

Ake - What I draw the line at is being called a ****od***us ***t or a **********ient *****b****er! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:01 PM

-yankee is just part of a word; in the south it was always damnyankee.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bonzo3legs
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 05:19 PM

But we don't mind "ragheads" now do we!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: akenaton
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:06 PM

There' a lot of Celtic abuse in Glasgow.....Go there any Saturday afternoon and you'll see thousands of blue uniformed Glaswegians shouting
      "Fuck the Celts!!"


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:20 PM

"It's quite correct that "Aussie" is not offensive. It's an affectionate term. And so is "Kiwi". And "Brit". "

I think if often depends on how the recipients of the word react to it. AFAIK the word "Brit" certainly on this side of the pond basically came in to use as a term used by Irish Republicans in what was meant to be a derogatory manner or at the very least certainly wasn't affectionate. Can anyone think of British people themselves, or others apart from the Irish, using the term before the 1970s and the "Brits Out" slogans etc? It just seems that the British themselves haven't regarded the word as offensive at all so therefore it isn't. Many people may prefer to be called English or Scottish etc to British (or being a Brit) but that is a different matter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:42 PM

I believe that the Welsh (another derogatory term) are trying to reclaim the name British from the English.

Personally I find the most offensive term in current use is "Sweaty", supposedly just rhyming slang. I usually find that people stop using it when a large hairy Scotsman explains to them the consequences of its further use (preferably in a Rab C Nesbitt accent).


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 07:05 PM

Quotes help.

But context is also important.

The OP in this thread is referring to "japs" specifically.

The OP's point is wholly illustrated by this example.

It is perfectly possible to discuss the issue without milking other terms of abuse.

To start bandying around other terms of abuse is redundant as the "jap" example has already been provided.

Listing other terms of abuse is gratuitous.

Gratuitous use of terms of abuse is questionable.

Monty Python, amongst others, have satirized this type of gratuitous listing of abusive terms very effectively.

But this is allegedly a serious discussion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 07:52 PM

When people who don't like the British call them "Brits", and people who don't like them Americans call them "Yanks" and so forth, these nicknames are loaded and hostile. As with all the others listed.

The slur doesn't lie in the names themselves, but in the way people feel.   And, of course, even if terms like "British" or "American" are used instead, that doesn't really change anything. If the feelings are hostile, those are just as loaded and hostile.
.................

"Sweaty" as rhyming slang? I suppose that'd be "sweaty feet" or "sweaty socks". But what's the rhyme?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 09:14 PM

But we don't mind "ragheads" now do we!!

According to some, calling it a "rag" is deprecative.

In some circles it's considered more PC to call it a small "sheet."

********

Using derogatory terms in one's own speech or writing is offensive.

Misquoting someone else is offensive (even if they're dead).

If you do not preserve the language of prior generations as it was used by them you do not preserve their history.

If you're writing history, quote exactly what was said by the original speaker/writer without apologies.

If you're writing a "popular narrative description of historical events" you can substitute clumsy and meaningless bowdlerizations to your heart's content as long as you don't claim to be quoting someone.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:27 AM

"I do not think you should call Americans Yanks..unless you know they are from the northern states."

I am prepared to respect your opinion, and if you want to behave that way, your actions.

But we Aussies in WWII called all men in US uniform, white (OR black even though the Yanks segregated and treated them badly even here) Yanks as an affectionate term with no care to what part (or what race) of their own segregated bigoted racist country they came from :-) - and indeed many Aussie girls married them. My own mother's sister went back with her choice as a War Bride. We had the slogan "Over Paid, Over Sexed and Over Here!" Interestingly the term "Nigger" was not much in use before we were subjected to the delightful Yank Imperialistic Culture ... :-P we had our own local words for our own local 'ethnics' ... :-)

It is an old tradition here (but not used as commonly now, except when talking about The Ashes - Beating the well loved Poms at Cricket) to call anyone from Great Britain a Whinging Pom - cause you often heard them complain after they had taken the highly subsidized Ten Pound Boat Trip here that things were always better back home, weather, etc. Most of those who did return, couldn't get back here fast enough ... :-)

As far as the term 'Wog' - well it used to be considered somewhat derisory, but some of those of that ethnic descent have now taken over the term themselves and made some very entertaining and funny TV shows and Movies about 'The Wog Boys'.

We have a Muslim comedian, who is side splittingly funny, and has turned inside out many of the jibes that could be leveled at that group.

We even have a cerebral palsy sufferer who is a great comedian here, guess what his funniest material is - we now regard 'Spastic' as no-PC, but that doesn't stop him using it... Steady Eddie.

The old saying "Sticks and stones" seems to work well here. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:32 AM

Google Aussie Newspapers before and during WWII

'headlines Menzies "Jap"'


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:35 AM

Oops - too soon

""Send Slopes back, police course told." "Pity a poor Jap: envied at home, insulted abroad." "Japies still fighting the bore war." "Am I a racist Paki-basher? No, I just hate pomposity." "Finally, real fun with a Chink." Offended? Surprised that a newspaper as reputable as the Herald would use such loaded, pejorative language?

Don't be. All the above are genuine headlines, taken from mainstream Sydney newspapers. In each one word has been changed. Instead of slope, Jap, japie, Paki or chink, the original headline writer used another term: "Pom". "
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/09/1089000343577.html?from=storyrhs


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:16 AM

"As for "sticks and stones", sometimes it becomes more a matter or "sticks and stones may break your bones, but names can really hurt you."

Words like 'Grow' and 'Skin' spring to mind.
Insults are like the radio - if you don't like what you hear, switch it off, don't listen to it. An insult is only an insult if you allow it to be. And the best form of defence against an insulter is.....IGNORE THE FUCKER!

Failing that, I've found that when someone's big mouth finally gets to me and really pisses me off, giving them a knuckle sandwich to chew on quietens them down.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 05:00 AM

Sweaty Socks, to rhyme with Jocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Georgiansilver
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 06:54 AM

I guess we ought to stop referring to 'Mudcat Members' as 'Catters' as it could sound derogatory!... Oh and Folk Singers are no longer to be referred to as 'Folkies'........


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 10:32 AM

Folkies??? Can't stand 'em! Those stupid banjo-pounders and their tofu-burgers! Those dumb bodhran-banging Birkenstockers! ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: maple_leaf_boy
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 11:19 AM

Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: akenaton - PM
Date: 05 Dec 10 - 06:06 PM

There' a lot of Celtic abuse in Glasgow.....Go there any Saturday afternoon and you'll see thousands of blue uniformed Glaswegians shouting
      "Fuck the Celts!!"

I know all about that. Rangers supporters call the Celtic "Fenians",
which is more likely used as a term to describe Catholics rather than
Irish heritage. And Celtic fans call the Rangers "Huns".

The league has cracked down on this in the past few years, banning
sectarian songs and comments from fans. Now, I think that religious
and political behavior shown by fans of any team can cause their
team points in the standings, and they can be banned from the games.

Just before Remembrance days, there were fans waving anti-poppy
banners, and the Celtic officials were on the search to find out
who they were so they can be banned from the games.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:16 PM

"Fenians" is an interesting one, as being a term that is an insult or a term of pride according to who uses it.

"Get tore into yer separated brethren"...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 12:31 PM

===an insult or a term of pride according to who uses it.===
-----
Indeed ~ and there are many such, esp ones with any political or ideological overtone.

An interesting fairly recent [ca last 20 years] such development has been the defiant adoption by some of the black community of "nigger" as a term of pride: think of that hip-hop group of late 80s-90s, Niggaz With Attitude.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Big Phil
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:30 PM

'Twas in the year of 'thirty-nine when the sky was full of lead
When Hitler was heading for Poland, and Paddy for Holyhead
Come all you pincher laddies and you long-distance men
Don't ever work for McAlpine, for Wimpey, or John Laing
You'll stand behind a mixer until your skin is turned to tan
And they'll say, Good on you, Paddy, with your boat fare in your hand
Oh, the craic was good in Cricklewood and they wouldn't leave the Crown
With glasses flying and Biddys crying 'cause Paddy was going to town



MMMMMMMmmm I see Paddy is used here several times, where are the P.C. Police when you need them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: wysiwyg
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 03:31 PM

Had a moment today to find the disclaimer I used in the Spirituals permathread, which I believe I adapted from an academic site:

LANGUAGE USAGE
This project includes historical materials that may contain presently-offensive language or negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record.

I set it off in a different typeface/color to ensure its visibility.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: akenaton
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 04:05 PM

Very good for a "Sassenach" Mr McGrath, but these gentlemen would never use "into"....whin they hid "intae" handy!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bev and Jerry
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:00 PM

Susan:

Yeah, we found it. It's perfect for us because we can place it in the "word from the editor" page at the front of the publication. That way it will cover whatever anyone finds offensive.

Thanks again.

Bev and Jerry


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Dec 10 - 08:03 PM

The word Brit is proudly displayed on the chest of the English cricket Team playing The Ashes in Australia - Brit Insurance is a sponsor.

So one can definitely say that the word Brit is close to the heart of the English.


I'll get me hat ...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Allan Con
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 02:22 AM

I know they have Brit because of the sponsor and being a Scot I'm not too up on cricket but I think it is also one of those typical British anomolies. Although the team is called England it isn't in reality just England. Doesn't the team represent both England and Wales?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 03:21 AM

England, Wales, and I remember they once had a captain from Scotland, so they're not just English, British too.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 01:21 PM

"We 'Brits' referred to the Americans as Yanks during the war but it was not an offensive offering ..."

Hmmm ... not so sure about that. Back in the 80s (I think it was) I saw a film about American servicemen in North West England during World War II. The next morning I had a meeting with an American woman and before the meeting started we made small talk and I mentioned that I had been to the cinema to see a film called, 'Yanks'. As soon as I said it I saw that I had made a mistake and that she was somewhat offended. I could have lied about the film, I suppose, but then it might have been a film that she knew well and she could have quizzed me about it in detail and ... well, even more embarrassment!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 01:51 PM

Interesting ½-story, Shimrod. But not entirely clarified. What biz of hers what film you went to see? What exactly was she 'offended' about ~~ the fact that you had seen it; or its title; or the very fact of there being a film so titled; or your mentioning of it; or just the simple articulation of the word which formed its title:

or what?

I think we should be told.

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: olddude
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 03:24 PM

Yanks and Cowboys and even Hill Billies are terms of endearment in my part of the country ... Heck we name our professional sports teams after them, we name our High School mascot as "Hilly billies" No offense that I know of


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 03:25 PM

She was probably a Serial Offendee, Michael. Some people are only happy when they're 'offended', or can envisage some dopey 'offence' that may be caused to others by something perfectly innocent and harmless.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 04:51 PM

But even then, Bwm, I can't see how anyone could even affect offence just for being told that someone had seen a commercially produced movie which happens to be called 'Yanks". What's to be offended about, even 'serial'-wise?

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: frogprince
Date: 07 Dec 10 - 06:36 PM

Is stonehenge constructed of pom granite?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 03:22 AM

Precisely, Michael, precisely.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 04:36 AM

I think that she was offended by the title of the film, MtheGM, and the fact that, in mentioning the film, I had uttered a word that she found offensive. A silly incident, really. But then she was a bit of a silly woman - good job I resisted the temptation to tell her that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 05:33 AM

Sorry to floccinaucinihilipilificate.

As you can see, I think gratuitous use of unnecessary words can be fun.

I draw a line however at gratuitous use of words that serve to inhibit people, who have been subjected to horrendous mass criminal abuse, from shedding the trauma of their history and moving on to a brighter future.

Gratuitous use of these words says to them "You may not forget, you will be reminded constantly of your old place in society, for no reason other than our stubborn refusal to be considerate."


      ... Why should I? ...


      ... Why shouldn't I? ...



It is interesting to note, that where offensive terms have been gratuitously added to this thread, there has been no development on the ideas being discussed in the thread.

They have been added solely because the poster just had to blurt them out.


For those interested in understanding use of the word "Niggaz" in Hip hop culture:

- many words have been written about "reclaiming" words and changing their connotations from positive to negative.

Listen to the music!

There is nothing positive about it.

The point of using the word "Nigga" in hip-hop is this.

It says to optimistic black people "Don't be Naive - you will never sit at the white mans table - you will always be a Nigga in his eyes".

Listen to the music.

Watch the video.

Look at the contemptuous snarl on the rappers face as he speaks to his peers, caricaturing how he believes white people view black people.

Hip hop culture says "OK - I accept that you define me as scum - and if its scum you want then its scum you'll get".

It says "I don't want to sit at your table anyway, I'm gonna sit at my own table - in fact - being scum, I'm going to steal your table - I might even just shoot you and have your house too".

Of course when whitey has a bad day at work and is feeling disaffected by the system or his workplace, nothing makes him feel better than to turn on some hip-hop and let off a little steam on the subject of how he doesn't give a f***.

So mainstream hip-hop is born, comprising black artists, playing horrendous caricatures of how they believe black people are viewed through white peoples eyes, and white people love it because it lets them let off a little steam now and again.

The consequences are mixed. Young black people get to feel less marginalized culturally, but stereotypes of Black people end up muddying how they are perceived, and eventually confuse their own perceptions of themselves.

But one thing remains constant throughout.

The term "Nigger" is a term of abuse with no positive connotations, whether used cynically by Black musicians, whether used in hatred by racist monsters, or whether used gratuitously by bloody minded old fools.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 05:54 AM

It should also be clarified:


- Books by Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad, amongst others, do indeed contain the word Nigger, and they should never be changed for various reasons to do with the books historical and literary value and authenticity.

- however, to state that all people, including black people, were comfortable with use of this word is not a supportable assertion.

The authors referred to above were white, and for them the word nigger may have tripped off the tongue easily as that was the culture of the day - though to credit Twain and Conrad with so little subtlety or sense of irony would be unwise.

But more importantly, just because a black character in a book written by a white man were comfortable with the word nigger it does not follow that black people of the day were comfortable with hearing it, or with using it except in the most ironic sense.

If you were black, your name wasn't John, or Fred, or Bill, it was "nigger" or "boy".

And if you heard your "name" being called, it meant one of two things.

1. Hurry up, there's a job to do.
2. Prepare to be subjected to a horrendous assault and possibly murder.

"how many roads must a man walk down - before you can call him a man" ...

... or even by his name.


The idea that Black people were comfortable being called Nigger at any point in history is just plain idealistic fantasy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 07:56 AM

Lox, your main argument is quite conclusive. I don't think anyone would seriously object.

But you wrote
Of course when whitey has a bad day...
which is using an offensive word in an offensive context, generalizing on purpose about a "race". And you seem serious about it (please correct me if I misunderstood).

The most controversial idea of "PC" is to accept insulting "those in power". Note that the history of anti-Judaism is full of such excuses.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 08 Dec 10 - 01:45 PM

Grishka,

The word "whitey" does not have the same history as the word "nigger" nor did it ever have the same purpose or the same association with violence and degradation, and consequently it does not have the same power to humiliate or to condemn.

"Whitey" can make us feel a little uncomfortable - but the reason for this is because, just as "nigger" reminds some people that they "come from slaves", "whitey" reminds other people that they "come from slave traders, owners, stealers" etc.

It isn't just about generalization or labelling or pigeonholing, it is about the dehumanizing, degrading, humiliation and permanent inescapable stigmatization and collective psychological trauma of a whole race.

The word "nigger" is not just a stereotype, or a label, or a category, or an insult.

It wholly encapsulates and represents every crime ever committed against Africans and their descendants over a period of hundreds of years by Europeans in the name of progress and civilization, crimes which in a different form are still being committed today.

Thankfully times have moved on to some extent, but ones perceived status as a human being is affected by words, and despite Obamas presidency (which remember around half of America is bitterly opposed to because allegedly he's a Nazi and a communist, not to mention a foreigner etc etc) it remains the case in many peoples minds, that black people occupy a different strata of humanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 04:23 AM

Lox, you are probably writing with good intent, but this time you are totally mistaken. There is no excuse whatsoever for attacking any genetic group collectively; if you are a member of that group yourself, your attacks will always be understood as "except myself and my followers who have done penance enough". To fight racism with racism is both immoral and ineffective.

Of cause, there are many persons who owe their wealth and social position to their ancestors' crimes, and there are subtle mechanisms to perpetuate the benefits and to prevent other persons from claiming their share. To break up these structures is a difficult task, certainly not be achieved by insults based on genetic characteristics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 05:02 AM

I would clarify that I have deliberately not stated to you what my genetic background is, though I reckon everyone else here knows.

I have also deliberately not explained my intent when using the word "whitey".

So as yet, it remains unknown to you whether I was (as you say) attacking a group or distinguishing "myself and my followers who have done penance enough".

As it stands, the idea that I am attacking anyone, or making a distinction as you have described, is an inference on your part, not an implication on my part.

In other words, when you attribute either of those views to me and then knock them down, you are engaging in an argument that exists only in your head, not one that exists on this website.

There is no evidence in my post of me either taking a stance in which I attack white people, or in which I exempt myself somehow from what you describe as collective guilt.

My post very specifically and clearly discusses the history, meaning and use of a word which some people know to be "bad" without knowing why.

1. "Whitey" is not an offensive word.

What is "offensive" in this context?

Does it mean "It hurts my feelings"?

If so then any word could be deemed offensive as what peoples feelings are hurt by is subjective to them.

So what makes "Nigger" offensive?

Well, "offense" by nature is another word for "attack". An offensive word attacks, denigrates, damages, degrades etc etc.

"Nigger" is not offensive in the way that "whitey" is offensive, but in the way that "lebensraum" or "final solution" are offensive.

Those words describe specific events in history and also describe a specific mindset that goes with those events.

There is no affectionate way of saying "final solution", nor is there an affectionate way of saying "nigger", except in the most ironic and satirical of contexts.

In addition, while there are numerous examples of crimes committed against races, whether by the Nazis, by European slave traders, or by Missionaries in South America, or by Pol Pot or Stalin, non of these events is summed up by a single word in the way that the continuing struggle of black people is summed up, pretty much in its entirety, from the days of the slave trade to 2010, by the word "nigger".

There is no more all encompassing word to sum up racial crime than this word.

Now -

My posts are not about Moral value judgements, or about righteous one-upmanship, but about investigating and understanding the significance of words.


If you are interested in investigating and developing in this way too then please engage.

Getting all huffy about my use of an innocuous whiff like the word "whitey" will not win you any prizes and it certainly won't make you any wiser.


You may attribute whatever ideas you choose to me and knock them down to your hearts content, but it will reflect only the goings on of your imagination.

To be clear about my point and the usage and meaning of my words, you need to read and understand my argument.

Any additional, non contextual, interpretations by you of selective decimal fractions of my posts which are unrelated to the clear meaning and intent are not my problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 05:25 AM

Something else to bear in mind,

Hitler died and the nazis were removed from power.

Pol Pot lost power.

Stalin died and the communists have gone.


White people are still the dominant demographic globally. We still have most of the money and most of the power and black people are stiill struggling to be accepted at our table.


In Rwanda, the word "Cockroach" was used by Hutu's to describe Tutsis, and "cockroaches" had to be exterminated.

Only the most cruel person would go to Rwanda and make comments about "cockroaches".

If a Hutu person made comments about Cockroaches, there would be no telling a tutsi to whom it was directed that he shouldn't let it bother him, or he had a chip on his shoulder, or "This is PC gone mad".

You have to digest the enormity of what the word "nigger" represents.

It stands for Hundreds of years of displacing, abusing and murdering millions of human beings in the most repugnant and horrific ways.

It is not a word to be used gratuitously.

Whitey is nothing but an empty quip.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 06:21 AM

Lox, from your writing
"Whitey" can make us feel a little uncomfortable
I concluded that you might be including yourself. It seems that I am mistaken, sorry, but the rest of my arguments does not depend on any assumptions about your person. See here about the word "whitey". We saw before that words can be more or less offensive depending on the context.

Note that I agree with your main point, and wrote so (08 Dec 10 - 07:56 AM).


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Jim Knowledge
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 10:08 AM

I `ad that McGrath of Harlow in my cab other day with `is Arsenal F.C. supporters badge on `is `at. `e `ad this great bundle of old newspapers under `is arm.
I said, "What`s up then MG? Wallpaper getting too dear?"
`e said, "Nah Jim. I`m just researching `ow far back the press used different terms for the nations of this world. I`m advising `em all on that Mudcat".
I said, "Oh yeah. I `ve been keeping an eye on that. But I am dis-appointed they`ve left some out."
`e said, " I don`t think so Jim. I reckon we`ve covered `em all"
I said, "You`re `aving a laugh. What about, "bubbles, "sceptics"
and the poor old redskin!!"

Whaddam I Like??


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 05:33 PM

I disagree with that definiton of "whitey".

I would put "whitey" in the same category as "the man".

When "whitey" has been used by black poets or musicians, it has been used in this context.

"the man" represented self serving and unsympathetic white authority.

The plantation owner was "whitey", the Ku Klux Klan was "whitey", and today Dick Cheney is definitely "whitey".

"the man" later went on to mean authority generally as white groups like bikers etc began to borrow from black speech and culture etc, but it has a definite black root.

Here's an example of how "whitey" was used.

It isn't a poem about you or me, its a poem that attempts to convey a feeling, contemporary to that time, that many Black Americans had, that though he might live in the same town, "whitey" might as well be on the moon for all the chance that black people had of sharing his lifestyle.

"whitey" was a ghetto word, that was sometimes said in anger, and on some occasions even with violence.

But, (forget ballpark), it does not inhabit the same universe or have anything like the same grotesque deformed hideous perverse power, connotations or meaning as the word "nigger".


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 06:26 PM

Ummmm, not to be splittin' hairs here but back when I was teachin' GED in the Richomnd City jail and workin' at a drug treatment half-way house I was usually the only white person in the crowd and learned that "nigga" is a term, of endearment between blacks... I mean, black folks would use it only fir folks they liked...

Proudest day that I can remember was the first time that a black used "nigga" in place of my name and after that day seemed that more and more black folks would do the same... I mean, I thought it was the highest compliment 'cause it was showin' that folks saw me as part of "the culture"...

I tried to reciprocate but, havin' come from a family that was active in civil rights, it never felt right... But it sho nuff felt good to be called "nigga"...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 06:54 PM

Bobert,

I have had your exact same experience.

I also did not use it in reply.

After years trying to work out why, I'm glad I followed that instinct.

I would add that there are many black people who are 100% opposed to the use of "nigga" as a token of fraternity.

I put it to you, that where we perceive it being used as a token of fraternity, it is in fact a representation of camaraderie under tough circumstances: "we're all in this together, and under no illusions about where we sit in society"

This doesn't change its derogatory meaning, it just makes its usage more sophisticated. In this context it represents defiance in the face of everything that "nigger" represents.

As such it becomes a source of strength and for some an exclusive club.

To be an honourary "nigga" means you are trusted.

Often it is said with affectionate irony, with a twinkle in the eye.

But it would make no sense for you or I to use it as we have a ticket out.

No matter how accepted we are as "nigga's" we always have the choice not to be one - which means we can never really be one - because the whole point is that we have the freedom to be "whitey" too if we want.

"Nigga" represents "bondage"

And not the voluntary kind.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Bruce Michael Baillie
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 07:25 PM

I've just read through this thread and I've never seen so much bollocks in all my life, do you people have lives beyond pointless arguing?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 07:36 PM

There's insults that go too far, and for me "Arsenal supporter" is one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 08:10 PM

"Nigga" also means/meant solidarity, Lox... And in that context, there is nuthin' wrong with them term as long as it is being used by black folks... Context is everything...

I mean, let's get real here... Culturally speakin', seems that white folk are way behind black folk on lotta different levels and sometimes just immitatin' 'cause they really haven't spent the time, walked the walk, learned the nuances, heard the stories, sung the songs, spent time in black churches, etc... So white folk lotta time really don't get it at all... Yeah, they got the CD's and they can turn 'um up and go 'round callin' women "bitches" and think that they are all into somethin' that they really know nuthin' about...

Lotta this come outta of a reaction by young black folks in the 60's who were rebellin' against "establishment" black parents and grandparents... I was there and saw it with my own eyes... I knew the parents and the grandparents who my friends were rebelling against... Was a generational thing for young blacks just as it was for young whites...

I mean, their parents and grandparents didn't like their kids callin' each other "nigga' and I understand that entirely... I mean, their parents and grandparents came from another history that was indeed about bondage... The 60s changed that... And with it, the langauge and culture slowly evolved away from "Can't we all just get along" to "Power to the people"...

That's when "nigga" was released from "bondage"... Where Black kids refused to allow "nigga" to be a term that whites used to signify superiority, bondage, fear of control to a term of pride... The black kids threw it back in the face of, not only their parents and grandparents, but also in the face of Jim Crow and Uncle Tom...

I mean, I understand these things... I was a single white face for a long, long time... I mean, in black churches... Teachin' in the jail... Workin' at 2nd and Calhoun at the half-way house... I mean, I'll admit that even with coming from a fmaily that was involved in civil rights, even having had my parents bring a black kid into our family I never had to figure stuff out... The 60s forced alot of figurin' out on lotta us...

So yeah, "nigga" to most white folks is a term that if they don't understand is something they prolly should be real careful talkin' about...

For me??? I have no problem with it but then again I have a much different history and understanding than most white folks... Not that that makes me any wiser, better, worser, 'er... Just they way my life played out back then...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 09 Dec 10 - 09:10 PM

"seems that white folk are way behind black folk on lotta different level"

I don't think its about being behind or in front, its just a matter of each person knowing their history and their own culture and recognizing and understanding the differences.

Thats why its important to understand the history if words too.

The whole thing of "blck consciousness" and "once we were kings" says "we had a unique regal identity before we became niggers".

Black people have such a long history of being classed as "niggers" that it has affected their identity and self perception and black consciousness is a struggle against this.

The word "Nigger" didn't change its meaning after the 60's, look at NWA, and public enemy and the whole of hip hop culture. Defiance and secession from the system is at the core of it - and if you can make eough money to become an independant statem you can boast about what you have and why you don't need anyone else etc.

Yes its solidarity, but the mentality is like solidarity on a chain gang, or among prisoners in a gulag. It is honest solidarity founded on what is perceived as a realistic view of the world.

We are prisoners together, we understand each other, we support each other in struggle and song, we're all we've got.

There are black activists who fight this menatality tooth and nail because they see it as being self imposed bondage when the goal is to be set free.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 08:45 AM

Guess we come from differing backgrounds, Lox...

Reminds me of this guy I knew back then, Greasy Easley, who had a way with words... This was when lotta black street guys would hold their hands over their crotches... One day, I asked him why that was and without missin' a beat he said, "White man got everything else, he ain't gettin' this..."

Yeah it is about words...

Now I know I ain't talkin' about the parents and especially the grand-parents of the folks I knew and hung with but the same mentality/consciousness applies toward folks usin' the word "nigga"... "Nigga", "nigger" were used by white folks as a means of maintaining control... Yes, it was intentionally meant to be demeaning...

So, for blacks to co-opt the word was to take it away from whites that element of control... That's about the best it can be explained and I fully understand why blacks did it...

As fir blacks being out front of white people??? From a cultural point it seems that has been the case for a long time... Especially in music... From blues, to rock 'n roll, to rap, to hip-hop it has been the black influence that has far over shadowed the European/white influences... And also in speech... Seems that alot more black speech has crept into modern culture than of European/white... Even style of clothes... I don't think this is an accident or coincidence... I think that alot of black culture has been around along time and it took a sea-change in our society for whites to accept/appreciate what the black culture has to offer...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 02:35 PM

Bobert,

On the subject of "way ahead" etc,

It depends which end of the telescope you're standing at.

If you gradually mix red and blue water, you'll get purple water.

Its called diffusion.

If you're sitting in the blue cup, you'll comment how much redder the world is getting.

If you're sitting in the red cup you'll disagree and point out that things are getting a lot bluer.

So Yes White culture is evolving to include aspects of black culture, but also, black culture is evolving to include aspects of white culture.

This has been going on for a couple of hundred years.

Its only recently that this process has lost a lot of its cultural taboo amongst white people in general.



But I don't want to dwell on that point.


I would prefer it if you would devote your mind to whats coming up next as I think its crucial.

I agree that taking control of "nigger/nigga" is an oft quoted reason for its continued use among black folk, but I question how succesful this "reclaiming" of the word has been and indeed how possible it is to succeed in the first place.

Hip Hop culture has been so absorbed into the music industry these days, that it is no longer a reflection of grass roots black opinion, but is more a reflection of the kind of stereotypes that record companies think will sell to suburban white kids.

And be under no illusions ... the biggest consumers by a long way of Hip Hop are suburban white kids, many in their twenties and thirties ...

So the record companies sell the stereotype, with the help of the rest of the media - cinema, TV, Magazines etc ... and suburban kids buy the stereotype, and consequently the stereotype - of young black men being hustlers, crooks, promiscuous, murderous, self centred, genitally deformed etc etc is kept on a life support - and the name of the stereotype remains "nigga".

Its packaged by advertisers as "positive" and "reclaimed", but is it?

Wll, while many folk may have attempted to reclaim it, in fact, the music industry and the free market have well and truly taken ownership of the copyright, with the exception perhaps of Jay-Z, who bought his label out, but even he knows who his market is, which is why he is a more successful businessman than many of his more credible peers, and he knows what product they are looking to buy.

I would argue that the best you can say is that a small number of black folk, like Jay-Z, have reclaimed the word "nigger/nigga", but only as a commodity that they can sell for 10 bucks a CD to white kids who can't wait to legitimately get their hands on it.

And that my friend is how the orwellian circle turns in the land of opportunity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 02:39 PM

.






                      100






.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 03:14 PM

Bobert,

Rather than try to convince you myself, I'll leave you with the words of Richard Pryor.




                        
"I was wrong"








.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 04:41 PM

Yeah, Lox, I loved Richard... One cool dude...

Can't disagree with ya' on hip-hop being packaged fir white kids... That's a fact... But it originated in the black culture, just as rock 'n roll, and blues, and soul and a good portion of our pop music today... That's what I was talkin' about... Seems that black folks have *always* been influenced by European culture 'cause it was forced upon them by no choice of their own, i.e. slavery...

I mean, it's very strange to think that back in the 20s and 30s when Black bluesmen were being recorded that these musicans also were playin' all the pop and show tunes of the day... It's just when they got into the recording "studio" (for lack of a better term) they were told to do them "race" songs, i.e. the blues...

So it's no wonder that with civil rights that "Culture Street" was opened up to two-way traffic and that has been alot more profound on white folks takin' in black culture than vice versa... The blacks had 300 years of white culture and reserved their African culture more for themselves.... I mean, right up until the 1900s when some white folks were allowed inside that circle, i.e. Alan Lomax...

As for Richard Pryor??? I understand where he is coming from... There were a lot of blacks that white folks really dug... Richard was one of many... But alot of these folks weren't all that popular with black folks... Bill Cosby is a prime example... To understand this we kinda have to go back to the divide between the black folks I knew in the 60s and 70s and their parents and grandparents... I had the privilege of seein' and appreciating both sides of that divide and being a bluesman have rubbed with both sides of that divide off and on going back to my youth...

So, yeah, I understand Richard... He reminds me of alot of folks I knew back then whos parents won out... That ain't a bad thing at all... I mean, we all went thru some serious battles back then with all the "isms" and all the consciousness raisings by black folk and white folk alike...

Here's where I am with "nigga" today... First of all, it is a little "dated"... I mean, I think that alot of black folks don't use it with knowledge and respect for how it was used by black folks in the 60s and 70s... That's a good thing because it means that we have come a long way... And like you, Lox, I never could bring myself to use it because it as far as I was/am concerned it is a word off limits to white people...

But with that said, I also understand that when white people appoint themselves as monitors of the black culture that there is a colonialism that kinda rides along... That's the part where I go, "Hey, Richard can say what he wants" and so can _____________... That is the rub because "nigga" is being packages to white kids, who like some of the folks who are profiting from rap music today, are clueless about the word, it's history and it's being co=opted by young blacks in the 60s and 70s...

I guess, however, that had black folks not co-opted the word back then and took it away from Jim Crow that it would still be the property of Jim Crow and his kids and grandkids... That's a good thing... Yeah, Redneck Nation still uses the term but in it's European/Colonial "nigger" form and that is bad enough but that's all they have... They can't bring themselves to use "nigga" because even they kinda understand that "nigga" is a term that blacks have co-opted to fight fire with fire and, afterall, rednecks don't want to sound black, for gosh sakes...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Dec 10 - 11:56 PM

Briefly: If you're using a quotation, and it's in quotes, you have to use the original words, otherwise it isn't a quotation.

I think an argument can be made that if the text is directed at children, it should be bowdlerized, but then don't pretend you're quoting anyone. Just leave that out.

If you're writing for grownups, treat them as such.

Growing up in America as I did, I thought the term 'Jerry' for German in WWII was pretty innocuous, like calling him 'Fritz'. And it was mostly an English term. Americans didn't typically use the term 'Jerry' or 'Hun' and I never thought of them as being used or taken offensively. They don't have a harsh tang or reference, at least to this American. The term 'kraut' comes up and defintely has a pungency, because it appears to refer to sauerkraut. But I'm not aware that there is any racial epithet for Germans because they're just white folks. And probably more Americans until recently are at least partially German than any other European stock. I remember reading in Andy Rooney's wartime reminiscence that as the European war settled into an occupation, the Americans discoveed that the people they were most 'like' were the Germans.

Shortening the word 'Japanese' to its first three letters never seemed such a terrible thing to me, but it's how a word is taken not how it is offered that dominates, and I would never use it on my fellow Americans of Japanese descent, some of whom are my relatives. At the same time, a quote is a quote.

As for racial attitudes, the war itself modifed our racial attitudes, and for sure that of the Germans. It probably affected Japanese racial attitudes the least.

As for Mark Twain, I wouldn't change a word of Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain made no casual use of the n word. He knew exactly what he was doing, he was talking about racism, only in words suited to his upbringing and his times. There's a famous interchange that takes only a few lines, but in the passage of question and answer and a single use of the n word, volumes of bigotry are expressed, far beyond any particular race.

one of the main characters refers to a boiler explosion:

"oh dear" says a kind old lady "was anybody hurt?"

"no'm" is the answer, "killed a n-"

Twain knew precisely what he wanted to say and how he wanted to say it.

So did Rodgers and Hammerstein in South Pacific with the song "You've Got to be Carefully Taught"

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear
You've got to be taught
From year to Year
It's got to be drummed
in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
To be Afraid
Of people whose eyes
are oddly made
And people whose skin
Is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught

sung by a character who has been taught and cannot escape this teaching despite being made aware of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,BobL
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 04:39 AM

I always understood "Hun" to be a dig at the Nazis' claim to racial (i.e. Aryan) superiority.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM

Of course, Aryan is a cognate of Iranian.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:22 AM

"Hun" is among the most poisonous propaganda insults ever conceived, because of its connotations "barbaric, cruel, opposed to European culture" (not racist though, since the original Huns were known to associate with any ethnic group willing to pay tribute). To top it, the idea is "they said it themselves, so it's their own fault" (meaning Kaiser Wilhelm, grandson to Queen Victoria; see above), comparable to the anti-Judaist interpretation of "His blood be upon us and on our children" (Matthew 27:24–25).

The words "Jerry" and "Jap" as such have been built like "Aussie", their offensiveness is an effect of history and of the context.

First names and dishes must never be used to describe nations. "Races" must not be referred to collectively at all when talking about societies.

Some names are acceptable if used for national sports teams, but not for entire nations. "Poms win in Oz" sounds cute, "Poms elect Cameron" would be questionable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:35 AM

That's the funny thing about words and context...

Where I live in Virginia the folks who live in the "hollows", commonly known as "hollers" amongst mountain dwellers, are called "Holler Honeys" and commonly use the term pronounced "Hun" in speakin' to one another...

But now if you drive outta the holler and into town (Luray) which is just 9 miles from here the townies are clueless about "Hun" and when the mountain people come to town and use it, especially when it is a male talkin' to another male, they get that strange look...

Now back to the topic, Huns...

LOL...

B~

p.s. That is a true story...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 10:39 AM

Note: an insult is an insult even if none of the insulted is present, or representatives of the target group do not feel insulted. The insulter's reputation may be lost, any valid argument discredited. Take that into account.

For writers the rules are stricter than for sports fans or soldiers talking among themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 11:01 AM

I'd agree that when an insult is untended it may remain an insult even if no none feels insulted. The same can be true when no insult is intended, but someone feels insulted. But I'd draw the line at the situation where no insult is intended, and no insult is experienced.
.........................

I'd say "Hun" was a case of a boast being turned upon the boaster, so that it became an insult, and that's fair enough in principle. I can't see the analogy with "his blood be upon us", which can't be classed as any kind of a boast.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 01:51 PM

McGrath,
where no insult is intended, and no insult is experienced
there may still be listeners or readers who feel "what a rude (or thoughtless) person!" As I wrote, there are some criteria for insults, objective or historical.

If the Kaiser had been killed for his boast (and, better still, for his other more evil and stupid words and actions), you could be right. But, as you know, he spent the rest of his life in the Netherlands, exiled but not imprisoned, not even expropriated. Instead, other Germans were declared fair game by British and French propagandists, even after WWI was over (and even until now, if I take your words for face value). Germany had become a democratic republic, but the propaganda war continued on both sides, in political statements and in newspapers. Millions from many nations died in the in the resulting two wars - do you think that served the Kaiser right?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 06:27 PM

I don't think the World Wars were brought about by foreigners adopting the Kaiser's terminology.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Dec 10 - 07:20 PM

Let me interject something here...

First of all, "my bad" for not reading every post on this thread or I would have responded differently in saying...

... unless in the scope of a larger discussion on American history as it pertains to race it is never okay for either black or white people to use the word "nigger"...

Secondly, the word, "nigga", while somewhat dated in terms of black culture, is a term that white people should not use, again with the stipulation of discussing history or even current events as they relate to the study of race...

And, yes, I have used it in other posts but always in discussions related to current values held by racist white people, i.e. Redneck Nation as an example of how they speak and what they, the rednecks, think... Wish I didn't have that knowledge but I am surrounded by rednecks so I certainly understand their twisted and hateful ways...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 12 Dec 10 - 05:03 AM

McGrath, you don't seem to dispute my main points any longer, so I can easily concede that there are worse things than hateful propaganda. But it helps the warmongers a lot. For young soldiers/fighters, outrage is a stronger motivation than the interests of their governments resp. faction leaders. What I understood about the Northern Ireland conflict seems to illustrate that point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 02:29 AM

Yes, Grishka, all political powers involved in war routinely spout exaggerated propaganda that is calculated to stir outrage and hatred of the "enemy" in the hearts of young soldiers and make them rush out bravely to the slaughter. It's a tactic as old as politics itself....and as dirty.

Germany only became the "enemy du jour" for the English in the 20th century, mainly due to the Kaiser's foolish desire to build a very large navy that could theoretically challenge the Royal Navy. That was when Germany became an "enemy" of the UK.

Prior to that, France (and quite often Spain) had been England's favorite "enemies du jour" since some time in the 1400's all the way through to the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815. The Germans (Prussians) were valued allies of England in the wars against Napoleon, indeed the Germans had long been allies of the English, this alliance being strengthened by the fact that the Prussians were a Protestant power, while France was a primarily Roman Catholic society...and Spain, of course, was as Catholic as you can get. Organized religion played a large part in forming political alliances.

If the Kaiser had not decided to build a very large modern war fleet for Germany in the early years of the 20th century, I doubt that they would have found themselves fighting the UK at all...they would probably have won the First World War against France and Russia with the English opting out of it...and Hitler would never have risen to power and the Nazis would never have come into being.

It would have been another unfortunate defeat for France, as in the Franco-Prussian War before it, but France would certainly have survived it, and I think the world would have been a whole lot better off if things had gone that way instead of the way they did.

And we in the English-speaking world would not have been told for several generations now how very nasty the Germans are, would we?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Patsy
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 04:51 AM

I can remember an expression used when talking about a hypocritical person as 'The pot calling the kettle black' which now thinking about it could be thought of as being a little bit tinged with racism.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 05:21 AM

It seems we all agree again. The past is gone with its nastiness and its excuses. I can boast German, Russian, and French ancestors and I assure you their societies were quite nasty indeed, and their newspapers full of primitive propaganda. Since I'm not a historian, I cannot discuss about fleets, but if a government told me "They are barbarians because they want to be as powerful as we and have an equal share in colonial exploitation", I may not be motivated to give my life in combat.

It's our task not to repeat yesterday's propaganda, even if it did serve an acceptable purpose. More importantly, don't swallow today's, even if you're convinced that, say, the Taliban must be fought. (I remember that in the '80s the Taliban/Mujahideen were praised and supported by western politicians as a bulwark against Soviet imperialism.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 05:22 AM

The last post was of course from me, Grishka


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 05:38 AM

"I can remember an expression used when talking about a hypocritical person as 'The pot calling the kettle black' which now thinking about it could be thought of as being a little bit tinged with racism."

Arrant nonsense, and typical of the perverted thought-processes of the PC-Fruitcake Brigade, who seek to find 'offence' anywhere and everywhere, and when none is found, they invent something anyway.

FFS, the reference is to the blackening of the bottom of cooking utensils in use, especially in years past where they would have been used over an open fire or in an oven heated by a wood- or coal-burning fire or stove. WTF has that got to do with racism?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Dec 10 - 11:53 PM

You're quite correct, Backwoodsman, it's utter nonsense to look for racism in that old expression. It didn't have anything at all to do with race or skin color, it had to do with the cast iron cookware that literally WAS black. All over. And such cast iron cookware was once common everywhere. The pot and the kettle in those days were both made of cast iron, both equally black in appearance, and that's the point of the expression. It has to do with hypocrisy, and absolutely nothing to do with race or skin color.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:35 AM

One is reminded of the idiotic fuss when an MP described some provision in a Bill before the House as "niggardly"!

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 02:49 AM

Yes, that's what immediately came to my mind too. So predictable a kneejerk reaction...yet so pathetically ignorant of the actual meanings or cultural origins of the words in question.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 05:00 AM

It's a joy to know that sanity can still prevail, despite the efforts of crackpots to drive their perverse idiocy into every facet of our lives.
Thanks guys!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 09:12 AM

Sanity???

Hmmmmmmmm??? Where'd you find some of it, B-woodsman, 'cause I been lookin' far and wide and haven't seem much of it in years... And yeah... I've even looked in the backwoods...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 09:21 AM

You're not lookin' in the right part of the Backwoods, Bobert! :-)
Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of thought and a drop of common sense to find sanity in the asylum.
The truth is out there........


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:18 AM

Backwoodsman, in your post of 13 Dec 10 - 05:38 AM you identify Patsy's mistake correctly, but are you sure your tone gives a model of sanity? If you shout about "perverted thought-processes" and "WTF", could it be that you are angry about not being able to contradict her main point?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:26 AM

Ironic that Backwoodsman should get so uppity about Patsy's post, yet completely miss its humourous intent.

So busy beating that drum that you fail to notice that the person you are attacking has in fact made your point for you already, just with infinitely greater subtlety.


But then, as he so obtusely points out, some people are so hung up on their "agenda" that you can't say anything anymore without them jumping down your throat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:44 AM

No, not angry for that reason, Grishka, in fact not angry at all.

But I do get very frustrated when people seek to find 'offence' where there is none, and Patsy's assertion very much read as though this was the case here. Whilst I'm very much against racism, sexism, ageism, every '-ism' where there is discrimination of any kind, I do believe there's a paranoia in society today which drives some people to see 'offence' where none exists - hence my phrase 'perverted thought processes', viz. "Pot calling kettle black - must be offensive to black people", when it's nothing of the sort. Completely false logic, a knee-jerk reaction to the use of the word 'black' in a perfectly innocent way.

Seems to me there's a danger of 'offence overload' happening, where people get so used to hearing about others' constant perception of 'offence' in everything they see and hear, that they become desensitized and fail to recognise where genuine 'offence' takes place.

IMHO. YMMV, and that's your prerogative.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:47 AM

Lox, as has been pointed out many times on this forum, it's not always easy to perceive humour in a quickly written post. If Patsy was joking, I'm happy to apologise. A smiley face at the end of her post would have been a good clue, and saved me from getting uppity.

Simples.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 10:53 AM

And, Lox, you do quite a fair bit of getting uppity, drum-beating, and getting hung-up on your own 'agenda' yourself, so you're hardly in a position to criticise, are you.

As we say in The Backwoods, "It takes one to know one"! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 11:40 AM

If Patsy was joking, I didn't get it either. To me her phrase sounded as if she wanted to cover her back against possible accusations of being racist herself.

"I'm afraid you are mistaken" would be a good answer. "WTF" never supports a claim to superior sanity.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 11:42 AM

Al Sharpon is tring to hoist Rush Limbaugh on his own racist 'pitard'. Sharpton has registered his complaints with the FCC. While it may not be every performer's best career move to be a racist ass hole, it is still legal to be a bigoted idiot.

Republicans like former Sen. Simpson are having field day using recent euphemisms like "monkies and apes to describe the Obama administration and policies. They smirk as if they just got away with saying nigger.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 01:17 PM

The fact that we cannot hear a poster's tone of voice nor see their facial expressions often makes it difficult to be sure just what they are intending to convey in a written post. And that's why people use emoticons. ;-) If Patsy was indeed being ironic or humorous in what she said "the pot calling the kettle black", then I'd agree with her. If not, then I wouldn't.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Lox
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 01:36 PM

AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

What the hell am I doing here!


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 01:52 PM

Lox - I ask myself that very same question every fucking day of my LIFE here!!! (in regards to Mudcat Cafe, I mean, not in regards to life in general...) ;-)

It's a habit, and it just won't go away.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 03:26 PM

"I'm afraid you are mistaken" would be a good answer. "WTF" never supports a claim to superior sanity.

Then we must agree to differ, Grishka - without rancour (on my part at least).

If Patsy was indeed being ironic or humorous in what she said "the pot calling the kettle black", then I'd agree with her. If not, then I wouldn't.

I'm with you on that, LH.

AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
What the hell am I doing here!


Yup. :-)

I've gone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 04:07 PM

Let us not confuse things. Patsy made two points:

a) I can remember an expression used when talking about a hypocritical person as 'The pot calling the kettle black'

- referring to hateful propaganda around WWI and otherwise. A very valid observation, and quite to the point of this thread: name-calling as a guise of hypocrisy.

b) which now thinking about it

- i.e. while I'm typing the word "black" with a negative meaning -

could be thought of as being a little bit tinged with racism.

- i.e. although I (Patsy) don't see any racist implication, I suspect that others might, in which case I do not want to be perceived as thoughtlessly conveying racism. (If she wanted to be ironical about the objectors, she might have written something like "...which some might manage to find a racist tinge in. ;-)".)

We wrote before that this concern is unsubstantiated. Since she did not attack anyone, not even told us not to avoid the word "black" in any circumstance, shouting is by no means justified. A high standard of sanity is marked by refraining from shouting even when attacked. Let the readers decide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 04:22 PM

"... not even told us not to avoid ..." should be "... not even told us to avoid ...". Next time I'll proofread before submitting.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Dec 10 - 06:23 PM

"Ah, yes....it is all coming back to me now..." - Inspector Clouseau, warming up on the parallel bars...


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 06:05 AM

As GUEST, Grishka seems to have a very clear and detailed knowledge of what was in GUEST, Patsy's mind when she wrote the post about Pots v. Kettles, could it be that 'Grishka' and 'Patsy' are one and the same person?

Against the Forum Rules, ladies (or gentlemen, maybe).

PS, Grishka.... where did I shout? I used capital letters as commonly-used abbreviations of a couple of three-word phrases, not to indicate a raised voice. I would have expected someone as perceptive as you appear to be to realise that! :-) :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 07:12 AM

Well, I've just read as much if this thread as I have had patience to. Since when has 'Jap' been a racial slur?

What a load of bollocks. 'Jap' is just a contaction of 'Japenese' Like 'Brit' is a contraction of British.

I am sure our Jap friends are not offended by it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 07:30 AM

You're mistaken, Silas. In WWII and ever since, if not long before, the word "Jap" was and has been used mostly to insult the Japanese and to imply that they are nasty little subhumans. They were also often referred to as "monkey men" or "slopes" (slopehead) or "Nips" (for Nippon/Japan) by the Allied personnel in WWII. The race hatred I saw directed at the Japanese in American war comics, books, and other publications in the 1950s and early 60s was the most vitriolic and extreme racist stuff I have ever seen in the North American culture. It stands alone. It has to be seen to be believed.

Now, I don't doubt that there are some people in this world who've used the word "Jap" with no consciously hostile intention...but they would be the exception, not the rule. In most cases it is used as a putdown, similar to calling an Italian a "wop" or a Jew a "kike" or a "yid".


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 07:33 AM

Rubbsh.

I am in my mid fifties and this is the very first time that I have ever heard that the term 'Jap' could in any way be pejoratve. It is complete nonsense.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 07:48 AM

Fine. So it's nonsense and "rubbish" to you. (shrug) I don't care. That's your prerogative. I don't have to deal with you on a daily basis, after all, so why should I worry about it? You're just one more person in a very big world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 08:41 AM

Yeah, "Jap" falls in the "racial slurs" category and I doubt that you'd find any Japanese who would not be insulted to be called a "Jap"...

Brit??? Hasn't gone thru the same demonetization process but if it had it would be equally offensive... Used to be the word "liberal" was respected but once demonized, always demonized...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 08:45 AM

LH, it's hardly surprising, is it, that there was such hatred towards the Japanese in the 50's and 60's - we had just come out of a world war, and the atrocities committed by the Japanese against allied military personnel and civilians in the Japanese theatre of operations (all carried out in the name of 'Bushido' - Honour) were truly beyond belief.

That's not to say, of course, that 65 years on there should be a continuation of that hatred. But it was perfectly understandable at the time?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 08:47 AM

And it's not to say that allied fighters never committed atrocities either - they may have done, but it's not widely reported if they did.

Just thought I'd get that in before someone gets on my case. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 08:48 AM

And 'Yank' - how does that stack up?


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 09:18 AM

Backwoodsman (15 Dec 10 - 06:05 AM), Grishka is a male first name (= Greg), and certainly I'm not Patsy, which should be evident from our writing styles. -

Where did I shout? Well, "perverted thought-processes" and "WTF" would rarely be pronounced in a soft voice. I only brought that up because of your emphatic claim to sanity, and civilized communication being the broader topic of this thread. Let us finish our little dispute because it is not really important.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 09:32 AM

Grishka, the use of capitals is generally understood to be the cyber-equivalent of shouting. If I wanted to shout, I'D HAVE TYPED IN CAPITALS (I was deliberately shouting there!) :-)

Given that we are not personally acquainted, I'm at a loss to understand how you can possibly know how I speak, what tones of voice I use when I say this or that phrase, so I regard the assumption that I **must** have been shouting as rather absurd.

My use of capitals in my earlier post was purely an abbreviation of phrases involving the use of swear-words, as a preference to actually typing out those words. If that was understood, but the choice of language 'offended', I apologise, but this is, after all, an adult forum, and I hear far worse from children in our local market-place every Saturday.

And I apologise for the case of mistaken identity - however, your claim to know what Patsy's thoughts were (which were far, far from clear to me and, apparently, a few other people) seemed to suggest that you and Patsy might well be one person (and GUEST postings under multiple identities are srtictly forbidden here).


And I agree, let's leave it there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:01 AM

Hatred and/or animosity toward Japanese extended right up until the 80s when then US felt economically threatened by Japan and took a hard swerve toward "nationalism", buckled down and tried harder to compete...

The 50s was easy to figure out... The US lost alot of service men min the Pacific and those memories were still fresh... Plus, Hollywood was crankin' out war movies by the dozens which were, to be honest, purdy hateful toward both the Japanese and the Germans but more so toward the Japanese who portrayed as something less than human...

BTW, seems that one common thread between today, the 80s and the 50s is "nationalism"... The Republican Party, and more recently it's Tea Party affiliates, has been beating the drum 24/7 going back to 9/11...

The difference this time is that the US is not competitive and doesn't really have the courage and will to get competitive because that would involve raising taxes, building a 21st century infrastructure, educating its people and getting off it's nihilistic ass... And we certainly aren't up to that task...

(Sorry for the drift...)

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:07 AM

It was certainly understandable during the war years, Backwoodsman, but I find it very sad that people still feel they must keep that sort of hatred burning and alive for many years after a war has been won and is over. It disgusted me as a kid to see my own young generation being taught to hate the Germans and Japanese when most of us had never even met one, and I think it's shameful for any nation to continue its wartime hate propaganda after the war is over. It doesn't help anyone to do that, it just perpetuates something very negative that people should let go of and be done with. It's as if the war didn't teach the older people anything, but just deepened their need for further revenge on nations that were already utterly crushed.

It made me want to learn a lot more about the Germans and Japanese, because I suspected that they were just normal human beings like the rest of us, and I was right about that. They are. Normal human beings tend to do awful things during wars, because they're under incredible pressure from irresponsible leaders and commanders.

Terrible things always happen in war. Atrocities get committed by both sides, but you heard nothing about Allied war crimes in those days. Not a peep. They were still giving us North American kids the same crude, hysterical hate propaganda in the 50s and 60s as if they wanted to recruit us all to go out and kill yet more Germans and Japanese long after the war was already won! I see no point in that at all. It's stupid. It's vengeful. It's unnecessary. And it's arrogant in the extreme.

If I'd been forced to witness the dreadful wartime German and Japanese hate propaganda, I'd have despised it just the same. I despise all that kind of stuff, no matter who is spouting it at the time. People should have enough maturity to respect their enemies on the field of battle (even if they disagree with their political leaders) and recognize their common and shared humanity and respect the danger and horror the "enemy" soldier is facing, just like they are facing themselves..........but if they did have that kind of maturity, well, maybe our politicians couldn't get us to go off to war so easily, could they?

And that applies to the Germans and Japanese too. You need to trick a people into going to war. You trick them by making them hate and fear some other people. Most will fall for it...and then you have your war...and the arms manufacturers get very, very rich.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:11 AM

Not just in the USA, Bobert. Us Brits lost a lot of men and women fighting the Japanese in WW2, and my dad, normally a kind and generous guy, hated "Those slitty-eyed little yellow bastards" - understandable, given that family-members died in horrific circumstances at the hands of the Japanese.

However, times have changed, and attitudes change too. The generation who went through those times (both sides suffered, different ways maybe, but suffered just the same) are leaving the world. Today, we meet people of many races and nationalities in the modern world and the thing that strikes me often is that.........they're people, just like me.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:12 AM

Sorry, LH - posting at the same time as you. You are right in so many ways.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:21 AM

Yeah, B-woodsman, and the UK suffered the massive bombing campaigns by the Germans...

My uncle, who fought in the Pacific as a marine, was so riled up and filled with hatred of any Orientals after WW II to he re-upped for the Korean War and still hadn't had enough so he tried to re-up for Vietnam when he was pushing 50 years old???

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:51 AM

Yep Bobert, it was something we didn't have to live through (at least, I didn't - born 1947), but I remember the aftermath, the deprivations, food rationing, the guys with dreadful injuries, guys who were shell-shocked and living in institutions, the bombed-out buildings (still around in the fifties).

And I heard the stories from the guys who fought and survived - ex-aircrew, sailors on the North-Atlantic convoys who'd spent time in the sea after being torpedoed by a sub, a relative who was a member of the Parachute Regiment, who was taken prisoner at Arnhem, my old boss who fought at Cassino and in the North-African desert campaign. And you know what, the amazing thing is that those stories always contained humour - when things were shit, they found a joke in there somehow. Amazing!

It was a harder time than we can imagine, but the world has to move on. It has, and it will continue to....hopefully.

All the best, and sorry for the thread drift. Reminiscing is a sign of age, they say.....!! :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:56 AM

Interesting, b-woodsman... Same here... I got a box of letters that my uncle sent home from the Pacific and from reading them you'd think that it was one big joke... Of course, they weren't allowed to talk about anything related to the war in those letters but they are some funny stuff...

Nuthin' wrong with reminiscin' either... Think of it as mental calisthenics...

B;~)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 10:58 AM

Thanks Bobert. :-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:03 AM

Holy crap, Bobert! That's a serious case of war addiction. ;-)

My Dad volunteered to fight the Germans in '42, and he was very intent on defeating them, because his own family had lost everything to the Nazis in 1938. He detested that regime and he wanted to see them brought down, so he enlisted in the British forces to do his bit.

What he found when he actually got there, though, was that war, as he put it, turned out to be the "biggest, stupidest waste of men and material I'd ever seen in my life". He still wanted to beat the Nazis, but he hated the war, and he swore that he would somehow survive it, get back to peacetime society, make something of himself, and NEVER serve in another war upon any excuse! He advised me never to enlist in any war, no matter what the government said.

This was after he'd seen a lot of good men and buddies die, killed a number of Germans in close combat, and saw a lot of other weary and heartsick German soldiers surrender with obvious relief in their eyes at the giddy thought that, by God, they were going to maybe survive this thing after all...all any of them wanted to do at that point was to go back home, be with their loved ones again, and be done forever with that war. It was just a giant tragedy for the ordinary people who were involved in it.

After the war he was good friends with a number of Germans, and they shared reminiscences about the war now and then, but mostly focused on the present.

I know for sure my Dad would not have felt as comradely toward the Japanese, and here's why. He didn't look at them the same way he'd have looked at another white man. In short, he was prejudiced against them because they were Asians, he didn't see them as equals, and I'm sure he'd have detested them if he'd fought against them.

I don't see it that way. I like the Asians just as much as I like anyone else. Things have changed a lot since the time when my Dad was growing up, and some things have changed for the better.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 11:24 AM

We had a POW camp in our town, which housed Italians and Germans at one time or another. They were sent out to work around the town, and one German POW was befriended by my mother's family. Not sure of the circumstances - the family were Salvationists, maybe they came into contact through that work. Whatever, for years after the war, after he was repatriated, he came over from Germany to visit and stay with my grandparents and their family, my uncles and aunts. A truly nice guy, us kids loved him.


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 04:23 PM

Yeah, LH, my uncle was eat up with war... He was 17 in 1939 and tried unsuccessfully to join the German army because my grandmother wouldn't let him but when he turned 18 he marched right into the Marine recruiting office and signed up... He was twice wounded in the Pacific and again wounded in Korea but that didn't phase him... I think it was '65 when he went back to the Marines but by this time a life's worth of bad habits had caught up to him and the Marines turned him down this time...

Very entertaining individual, however...

B~


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Subject: RE: BS: Racial Slurs in Quotations
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Dec 10 - 05:23 PM

So he could just as well have ended up on the other side, eh? Interesting. Some people take to military service and war like a duck to water, and they make very effective soldiers. Patton was like that, but he was a lot higher up the chain of command.


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