Racial Double Standards (Rant/Discussion)
My Grand Daddy use to say the only times people really say what they think of you is when they're Mad or Drunk..Becuz those are the only times they'll tell the truth....
It seems to me that in this country,White People are Banned for Eternity from ever saying anything considered racially offensive...I guess it coming from slavery,and whites were said to be the dominant race..And now even though slavery ended over 100 years ago,people still become upset whenever they hear a white person say those words...Becuz tn some people's eyes its viewed as a putdown of another race....
Last week Congressman Charlie Rangel used the term ''White Cracker'',when he was comparing the Tea Party to the people that fought against civil rights in the past....I dont hear a loud outcry and anyone complaining about what Rangel said....If you watched black tv shows like Sanford & Son,TheJeffersons you would constantly hear the word Honkie....Black comics can get away with making fun of white people ,nobody would say anything,but if David Letterman or Leno did that ,people would be boycotting their shows..Leno and Letterman are afraid to make jokes about President Obama, becuz they fear they might offend people...
Richard Pryor made a living off using both offensive words &$#%#&@! and honkie,but people thought it was funny..If Andrew Dice Clay uses it, nobody would want him in their clubs....Certain foods like watermelon and rice are tied to different ethnic groups..And if a white people uses it in a conversation about a minority its viewed as racist...There's a kid in Georgia thats trying to start up a White Student Union',he says he's not prejudice,he only wants to show pride in his race..He says if black kids can have their own student union why cant whites?
What he fails to understand is that being white in this country is a priveledge...Its not that they're better then the other races..Its becuz the majority of people in position of power are white and most of them feel comfortable around other whites....
As a white guy, I would probably never say the N word especially around my black friends..out of respect. But I agree that riley cooper probably wasnt being racist. We live in a time where N means dude, guy, man. So it is a common reference now but If I was black I think i may feel uncomfortable having a white guy saying it even if its not in a racist way. But I mean on the other hand I think its almost a good thing because it shows how far we have come and for whites to use that word it means we dont look at it as a black/white thing, we just look at it as everyones friends and everyones people...with that being said I dont think i'd ever use it
What?!?! When a white person says it in the context that Cooper did, its 100% racist. He didn't say it to mean bro or dude or anything of the sort. Some of y'all are making excuses for Cooper that he wouldn't even make for himself. What is wrong with you people?!
The "N" word today and the "N" word 60 years ago don't mean the same thing. Just my opinion.
The key is education and tolerance/sensitivity. Educate yourself and be sensitive to others whether it has to do with skin tone or any other difference. On the otherside people have to have to be comfortable enough in themselves to distance themselves from the ignorant. The who want a better world know better than to use those types of harmful/hurtful words.
I wouldn't be surprised if Cooper lost his job. Not as punishment, but just because he made himself a major locker room distraction. And being an average player, the team might decide he's not worth the headache.
As for the double standard part, I don't agree at all with the op. I would never in any way shape or form defend myself or another white man using the n word based on the fact black guys say it.
i think black people get a little too offended when they hear a white person say nig*a...its all a front lol
This really isn't a double standard at all, in my opinion. Like any word in any language, the meaning of the word "&$#%#&@!" (or "nigga") is open to interpretation based on the context, emotion, and situation with which it was used. However, before we try to break down the annotations in any specific case, it's important to understand where the word comes from and how it's used in modern conversations.
The word "&$#%#&@!", like most English words, is derived from Latin roots, which in this case is "niger" (black). It wasn't always used in a derogatory sense; rather it was simply a casual variation of the word “Negro”. In fact, many prominent leaders and authors (including those who were strongly against slavery) used the word liberally, and without any malice or racist intent. It wasn't until the 1900s (a good while after the end of slavery, interestingly enough) that the word's usage really saw a divide. Southern areas of the United States (particularly rural areas) had continued to use the word freely (as they did with many other less-sophisticated, but more-rhythmic words such as ain't, y'all, etc...) to describe dark-skinned people, . These areas also happened to be areas that were strongly against the extremely divisive and passionate civil rights debate. Pretty soon, America associated the word "&$#%#&@!" as negative. If somebody called you a "&$#%#&@!", they were not a friend of the African-American community. Both white people and black people picked up on this, and as the black-rights movement grew (relatively quickly amongst urban areas) so did the word's taboo.
The catalyst behind the modern controversy of the usage of the word "&$#%#&@!" today was the rap community. What's really fascinating is that the popularity of the word "&$#%#&@!" among rappers, is the exact same reason the word was popular among anti-black rights groups; its rhythm. The immensely popular American scholar/activist Cornel West was quoted as saying, "There's a certain rhythmic seduction to the word. If you speak in a sentence, and you have to say cat, companion, or friend, as opposed to &$#%#&@!, then the rhythmic presentation is off. That rhythmic language is a form of historical memory for black people."
Rap has been versatile since its modern inception in the 1970s, used as a common outlet of expression and activism among African-Americans. It its earliest stages, white people were really not involved at all. Artists were free to use the word "&$#%#&@!" to strengthen the bonds of their own community in a country that still viewed them as a counter-culture. The word "&$#%#&@!" was then being used as a term of comradery, as a reminder of the oppression, struggle and survival that their people went through.
That's where everything got confusing. Now the term could be used as a term of endearment, or as one of the more offensive words in the English language. The simplest way to make the divide was by race. White = unacceptable, black = acceptable. A lot of people didn't understand it, but accepted it for the sake of seeming politically correct or progressive. Nothing's that simple though. Things have gotten much more complicated as black people have continued to assimilate into the majority culture (which has created another divide among African-Americans, but that's a different discussion), and white people have continued to assimilate into the still-growing rap culture. Black people have used the word to insult each other, white people have used it either casually or in the same way it's often used in rap (to express comradery).
Ultimately, whether or not white people should use the word at all has to come down to familiarity. It's a way of connecting with somebody that has struggled with you. African-Americans inherit the right to use it together because of the minority stuggle in the country. White people can use it in the same fashion, though not really for the same reasons. If the word is used with somebody who doesn't understand where you're coming from, it is generally interpreted as aggressive. Rapper Nas had a relevant quote on the subject in his extremely relevant song "Be a &$#%#&@! Too": "Not mad cause Eminem said 'nigga', cause he's my nigga, wigga, cracker friend. We're all black within', okay?"
So what's the problem with white people saying the word "&$#%#&@!" in unknown company? It's inconsiderate. That word brings up different emotions in different people and ignoring that because you feel excluded is extremely selfish. Be conscious enough to know your audience, and if you can't be civil, then just be quiet. Riley Cooper used the word in an insulting way and I think he deserves some backlash from the media. I don't know if he's genuinely racist or not, but his statement was obviously insensitive.
Superb post, very objective, well thought out and informed.
Reminds me of this clip from Tupac explaining the difference between nigga and &$#%#&@!
To continually cause division between the people...
i think the reason why black people are often reffered to as ignorant is because they dont understand that slavery was not that bad conpared to some of the other WORSE things that have happened. the world had felt bad and blacks feel bad for themselves often but if the day ever comes where everyone realizes that nobody owes anyone anything that is the day we will truly be equal..until then we are simply not
"i think the reason why black people are often reffered to as ignorant is because they dont understand that slavery was not that bad conpared to some of the other WORSE things that have happened."
Since when are black people often referred to as "ignorant"?? In addition to being racist, this point is also irrelevant. The enslavement of Africans was horrible and has had a tremendously negative impact on America. Whether or not worse things have happened has nothing to do with anything.
"the world had felt bad and blacks feel bad for themselves often but if the day ever comes where everyone realizes that nobody owes anyone anything that is the day we will truly be equal..until then we are simply not"
The world deserves to feel bad for slavery (which is still around, by the way), and African-Americans are still being affected by slavery. After slavery was abolished, black people were legally "free", but had no resources and no home to return to. As a result, they were all grouped together into the poorest parts of the country (places deemed unlive-able by white people). It was hard to find good work at the time, which is understandable when you have had no access to education and half of the country thinks you should be working for free. Realtors knew that having black people in the neighborhood would hurt their image and drive down the prices of available homes, so even if a black person came into money, they would be confined to only certain areas of the country. This was all consistent from the end of slavery until the end of the civil rights movement. Wonder why black people are often grouped into poorer areas of the country with access to worse education and less income overall? It's less because of racism today, and more because of past racism. White people took away EVERYTHING from a lot black people, and even though attitudes have changed drastically since the end of slavery and majority/minority relationships have come a long way, there's still a long way to go.
So basically: the opposite of everything you said.
SLavery wasnt that BAD? You are joking right?
Slavery was 1 of the Darkest and most Embarassing times in America's history..
People being raised like animals,families broken up and sold,women and young girls as young as 9 and 10 years old raped,people taking from their homes and hung in the middle of the night,not being allowed to learn to read or write.getting beat up for looking looking a white person in the eye.....
Mothers and fathers forced to breed with their own kids,not having the right to vote or own property ..It was like they werent human....I read that alot of slaves commited suicide because they would rather be dead then live like a slave...
And you say SLAVERY wasnt that bad? Alot of the problems blacks face today is becuz of some of the things that happen back then.....And as far as black people being ignorant a majority of the things we use today were invented by black americans.....
Don't forget how slave owners would scare slaves into never running away...
They'd take the biggest, strongest, etc slave and tie him to two horses on opposite ends. Then with all of the slaves watching, they'd let the horses pull him apart.
The use of the N-Word whether it ends in "er" or "a" has always been a bugbear of mine. To put this in context, I'm white and I'm British but I've grown up in a multicultural city and was always told going back over 30 years that the N-Word ending on "er" was racist and should not be used.
As I was growing up and Rap music became more popular I was aware of NWA etc and the N-Word was often used in lyrics, this was before the time of online lyrics and I didn't buy much rap music so I'm not sure which spelling the rappers were using but I assume it was "a" ending.
In more recent years I've heard a lot of younger black/mixed race guys use the "a" ending as a term to greet another black/mixed race person in a similar way to "blood". But I've never really heard it said by a black/mixed race guy to a white guy.
Personally I don't like the use of the word and always think these kids should maybe be made to watch something like Roots to consider how they use the word.
When said especially with any accent or street talk, it's hard to discern which N-Word is being said.
I actually researched this as I saw a play which was set in the 1950's with an all black cast and they used the N-word ending in a as a term of affection between two old friends quite a lot and it has been going on for years and is not just a recent rap based phenomen.
The definition is as follows :-
1. N***a is used mainly among African Americans, but also among other minorities and ethnicities, in a neutral or familiar way and as a friendly term of address. It is also common in rap music. However, N***a is taken to be extremely offensive when used by outsiders. Many people consider this word to be equally as offensive as n****r. The words n****r and n***a
are pronounced alike in certain dialects, and so it has been claimed that they are one and the same word.
2. The term n****r is now probably the most offensive word in English. Its degree of offensiveness has increased markedly in recent years, although it has been used in a derogatory manner since at least the Revolutionary War. The senses labeled Extremely Disparaging and Offensive represent meanings that are deeply insulting and are used when the speaker deliberately wishes to cause great offense. It is so profoundly offensive that a euphemism has developed for those occasions when the word itself must be discussed, as in court or in a newspaper editorial: “the n-word.”
Despite this, the sense referring to a “black person” is sometimes used among African Americans in a neutral or familiar way.
A side note to this, the first song I can ever remember using this was by John Lennon - Woman is the N****r of the World.
i think the reason why black people are often reffered to as ignorant is because they dont understand that slavery was not that bad
If you really believe that, then you are ignorant.
I just want to throw in my 2c, because I think it has to be mentioned.
I would never go as far as to say, "Slavery wasn't that bad," but would it be to much to suggest that the words "Separate but Equal" are just as bad if not worse than the N-Word? I see topics like this come up every year, and I can't believe this part always gets left out.
The logic in these topics either go two ways. 1) You are attempting to be open minded and see that every developing nation has had some form of slavery in its history, so why do people focus on Americas blemish so much? or 2) You point out the etymology of the word, and how it has a rough history, and thus should not be used. I think both of these are actually sound opinions, because both are facts in their own right, and it's highly unlikely to persuade either side to sway from their level of thinking. People seem to forget that the racial barrier in this country isn't just limited to slavery, and that other things have happened to deepen that animosity over the years. How can we go two pages of racial profiling, and no one mention the Jim Crow Laws?
To me, slavery was a privilege of the rich white man. Slaves weren't free/cheap, and just like everything else in this world, the many were owned by the few. That couldn't be helped (at least not as long as those few men held government positions). What disturbs me the most would be the Jim Crow South. Because that wasn't just a few privileged men ruling over the unprivileged, but an entire nation that turned its head the other way. And as a white, anglo-saxon american, and human being that hurts a little. The words separate but equal are one of the worst linguistic illusions I've ever heard, and the segregation that caused is just as great as the slavery it evolved out of.
Not in any way to defend the white mans role in slavery, but it certainly wasn't just white people. Africans enslaved each other and often sold them to white people. There are prisons still standing in Africa where they had enslaved countless people. The Egyptians have carvings of them whipping and beating their fellow man. African men are equally as responsible for slavery.