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"n***a"/"n****r" help me understand this - Page 3

post #41 of 78

rest assured that regardless of what these children say, the racial aspects have not been removed from the word, at least not yet.  Not enough for one to attempt to discuss the word minus race.  And I find it interesting that the group you say are using it are also a minority group.  The true test of whether or not the racial tones of the word have been removed entirely would be if you see white people openly using the word in reference to each other without nary a flinch from anyone of any other race.  When you see that happening, let me know.

post #42 of 78
Thread Starter 

oh no i am not saying the race aspect is being taken out now. it will take many years, maybe a hundred year or so to happen - if it happens. i just find it fascinating that i may be witnessing a change that might happen or might not. yes while i spoke to just a group of about 20 students i would say i have heard it from at least a hundred people using it over the past few months. of course i have also heard its absense amongst other teenage black students. 

 

its like today how we take pink to be for girls and blue to  be for boys when it was vice versa years ago. 

post #43 of 78

This might help you understand more about the use of negative terms in black American culture.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dozens

post #44 of 78


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post

rest assured that regardless of what these children say, the racial aspects have not been removed from the word

How is one young girl expected to speak for an entire race when randomly questioned?  Can you imagine being her and eating with your friends and having an adult woman interrupt that time asking for you to explain an entire race?  At best it is awkward.   


I am a female.  I can't imagine an adult person coming up to me during lunch with friends and asking me to speak on behalf of all women everywhere concerning a negative word, say the word b*tch or the C word.  After all, they are curious and hey, I happen to look "like one" or they saw me running around with other women, so by default I must know how "all of them feel" on all subjects right?  And of course I would be receptive to their questioning as they are trying to understand "all those woman out there"?  

Can you imagine someone doing that same thing to your own daughter?  Your niece?  Your grandmother or mom?  In a workplace it could easily be considered harassment.  


Edited by Sol_y_Paz - 4/8/11 at 9:19am
post #45 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post



true!!! i get you. but one of the most fascinating things that i discovered after talking to the kids in detail is perhaps the race issue IS being taken out of the word. because they told me the asian community uses it too (with the a ending) and they are ok with it. the closest term i can compare it to (that i can come up with it now) is the word 'nazi'. i wonder how it is seen in germany as opposed to here. 

 

makes me wonder if those kids will change when they grow older. will the term no longer be cool for them as it is now?

 

my interpretation is it is such an intensely 'negative' term, that it can also be an intensely 'positive' term. in the sense that calling you the word is saying you are a part of us. kinda intensifying the brotherhood. 
 

 


 

 

I would not say that all Asian community uses the n words.  My niece and nephew are Japanese American there phenotype is very Asian dominant.   N****** in not acceptable for them to say.  Ninja is used as a racial term against them (apparently by their complaints more often than not by blacks born in America.)  They are currently in a unique situation because they are living in a community that is mostly first or second generation Nigerian.  They do not hear the either N words from the Nigerians, unless it is being said to truly hurt.  I would guess from my experiences the could vary in different communties -- but that doesn't mean it is acceptable in all communties.

 

My nephew has one Nigerian friend stand up to an black (American born) because of the Ninja slur.  They added it to suspendable words.   

 

When I came to St. Louis, I was confused by the term Chinaman.  I was hearing this term from the African-American community.  I had to ask what restaurant they were talking about (this was over  20 years ago).  All Chinese restaurants were called this, I am unaware of the origins but I was laughed at for not knowing and being a “stupid white girl”.  I do not know if I was just unaware or if the term meaning had changed that, much but currently when Chinaman is used it is a derogatory remark.  It became a major issue at an employeer that I worked, native St. Louis African-Americans were slinging it towards the Philippians.  It was not acceptable for the Philippians to use the N-word. 

 

I do not think asking is all that bad, many times it is how and when you ask.  The relationship you have with people.  Are you asking to inform or demand and explanation. 

 

When I was in high school, there was exchange of ideas because I had gotten myself a perm. I was in a school that was 95% black and when the conversation started there was confusion on the terms.  This was before the internet so we couldn’t figure I out on your own, you had to ask.  We talked about the difference between white and black hair.  I asked about relaxers and activator (Jerry Curls were in).  I had lived in black communities before but I was too young to care.      

post #46 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sol_y_Paz View Post


 

How is one young girl expected to speak for an entire race when randomly questioned?  Can you imagine being her and eating with your friends and having an adult woman interrupt that time asking for you to explain an entire race?  At best it is awkward.   


I am a female.  I can't imagine an adult person coming up to me during lunch with friends and asking me to speak on behalf of all women everywhere concerning a negative word, say the word b*tch or the C word.  After all, they are curious and hey, I happen to look "like one" or they saw me running around with other women, so by default I must know how "all of them feel" on all subjects right?  And of course I would be receptive to their questioning as they are trying to understand "all those woman out there"?  

Can you imagine someone doing that same thing to your own daughter?  Your niece?  Your grandmother or mom?  In a workplace it could easily be considered harassment.  


exactly.
 

 

post #47 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post

rest assured that regardless of what these children say, the racial aspects have not been removed from the word, at least not yet.  Not enough for one to attempt to discuss the word minus race.  And I find it interesting that the group you say are using it are also a minority group.  The true test of whether or not the racial tones of the word have been removed entirely would be if you see white people openly using the word in reference to each other without nary a flinch from anyone of any other race.  When you see that happening, let me know.

I think your statement would be more accurate without the word other in the portion I bolded.

 

 

post #48 of 78

I am only 23 so it started around my generation. It is like a reclaiming of the word, like it takes the power away from it b/c it is used so often. Where I am from it depends on who says it. Any and all black, latino, and hispanic people can say it. As well as anyone who is half of any of those cultures. (I have no idea why latin and hispanics can say it) Some "ghetto" white people can say it with acceptance too (again IDK why). I personally dislike the use of it.

post #49 of 78



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post



I think your statement would be more accurate without the word other in the portion I bolded.

 

 



thanks for the gentle direction, but i was referring to any other race other than the white people hypothetically using the word.  i knew what i was writing when i wrote that and i'm fine with it. thanks anyway, though.

post #50 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post

Meemee, I respectfully ask this---were you raised in the United States?
post #51 of 78


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post

I am only 23 so it started around my generation. It is like a reclaiming of the word, like it takes the power away from it b/c it is used so often. Where I am from it depends on who says it. Any and all black, latino, and hispanic people can say it. As well as anyone who is half of any of those cultures. (I have no idea why latin and hispanics can say it) Some "ghetto" white people can say it with acceptance too (again IDK why). I personally dislike the use of it.

 

It didn't start with your generation.  It has been going on long before that.  Richard Pryor has some routines about it.  I do not have time to search at the moment but he use to be OK with it...but in his later years he backed off.  
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEVmAbxC14g

post #52 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post


 

 

It didn't start with your generation.  It has been going on long before that.  Richard Pryor has some routines about it.  I do not have time to search at the moment but he use to be OK with it...but in his later years he backed off.  
 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEVmAbxC14g


I'm almost 35, and it was definitely in heavy use when I was in high school.
post #53 of 78

I hear shit fuck cunt cock sucker and mother fucker all the time too. Doesn't make it polite discourse.

post #54 of 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

oh no i am not saying the race aspect is being taken out now. it will take many years, maybe a hundred year or so to happen - if it happens. i just find it fascinating that i may be witnessing a change that might happen or might not. yes while i spoke to just a group of about 20 students i would say i have heard it from at least a hundred people using it over the past few months. of course i have also heard its absense amongst other teenage black students. 

 

its like today how we take pink to be for girls and blue to  be for boys when it was vice versa years ago. 



my point seems to have gotten lost, which was that as of today, the word and race are not seperated enough to start a thread to discuss the word while demanding that race not be a part of the discussion.

post #55 of 78


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post



true!!! i get you. but one of the most fascinating things that i discovered after talking to the kids in detail is perhaps the race issue IS being taken out of the word. because they told me the asian community uses it too (with the a ending) and they are ok with it. the closest term i can compare it to (that i can come up with it now) is the word 'nazi'. i wonder how it is seen in germany as opposed to here. 

 

makes me wonder if those kids will change when they grow older. will the term no longer be cool for them as it is now?

 

my interpretation is it is such an intensely 'negative' term, that it can also be an intensely 'positive' term. in the sense that calling you the word is saying you are a part of us. kinda intensifying the brotherhood. 
 

 


Holy cripes!  Really?  This is what you got out of it?  Ay yi yi.  I just read this whole thread and am seriously disheartened.  There is NOTHING positive about the term and never will be.  The way the kids are using it is an expression but that doesn't make it positive.

 

 

 

post #56 of 78


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post



 



thanks for the gentle direction, but i was referring to any other race other than the white people hypothetically using the word.  i knew what i was writing when i wrote that and i'm fine with it. thanks anyway, though.

Right, I figured you meant what you wrote. Since I disagree with the assertion that it only matters if a person of another race flinches, could you please explain it further?

 

I mean, if a Japanese person in Japan is talking to another Japanese person and uses a term for Korean residents of Japan(minority ethnic group in Japan who don't experience fair treatment in employment, are ostracized at school because of their race, people who have one Korean ancestor are often viewed as Korean and treated accordingly, there's a feeling that the "good" Koreans are the ones who have assimilated the most and seem the most Japanese, can't get citizenship without changing their names--you know the kind of thing) it's just as problematic a term if another Japanese person would be shocked as if anyone else would have an issue.

 

Personally, I think it should be up to the Koreans in my example whether the term is something that other races can use to refer to them, but if any other race gets a vote, all other races should get one--even the majority.

 

 

post #57 of 78
Thread Starter 


Quote:

Originally Posted by gabysmom617 View Post

my point seems to have gotten lost, which was that as of today, the word and race are not seperated enough to start a thread to discuss the word while demanding that race not be a part of the discussion.


but i dont want to discuss the word. i want to understand the people who are using the term (teenagers mostly yes, but not all). what and why are THEY using it. race gives the term its definition

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post

There is NOTHING positive about the term and never will be.  The way the kids are using it is an expression but that doesn't make it positive.

 

i am not talking about you or me or how the general word is seen. there IS nothing positive about that term to you or me. i want to know why the kids are using it (and some adults too). to the kids its a term of solidarity. THAT is what i was trying to understand. to them n***A is a term of solidarity and IS positive yet n****R is a derogatory term they would never use except to insult one of them. 

 

post #58 of 78

I thought it was used as a positive in my generation, my bad.

post #59 of 78

I like thinking about these things. I don't have much contact with black people, since in my country there aren't many at all really (and black is negro, as in  literal translation).

However, this issue could be compared to the use of the term "sudaka" between south americans living in Sapin. When I was there, I felt comfortable reclaiming the term, which was meant as derrogatory towards us by some europeans. But, I fell very happy of being from where I am, there is a history of oppression, even when I think the term is kinda new, starting with a recent wave of south american inmigration to Spain. Locals would find it interesting when I would use the term to refer to something related to my broader culture, and I felt it was strenghetning the kinship between many different SA countries, that are so different, but in a foreign land, we were together.

 

In my country, I also hear a lot the term "russian" towards jewish people, even when not all jewish people are of russian descent. And it is used within the community. Could it be comparable? The same happens with "moishe" but I think that is yddish. I supposse that leaves sefaradi jewish people out.

post #60 of 78

Meemee, you're just not getting it.  I don't think I can explain it or really anyone can to where you can understand.  But thank you, this thread has awakened me to how far we still need to go! I have a biracial son and these issues are very important to me.

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