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  #26    
Old August 27th, 2013 (07:14 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Livewire:
You cannot seriously compare the N word and 'cracker'. When people say that, (or if they that, I've never heard it used) chances are most people would be talking about how good they are in soup. The word simply does not have the cultural significance, stigma, or controversy that the N word carries. White people were not lynched by black people in robes and hoods, chanting the C word as they did it. It was the other way around.
I couldn't have said it better than Livewire did.
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Old August 27th, 2013 (07:14 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Livewire:
You cannot seriously compare the N word and 'cracker'. When people say that, (or if they that, I've never heard it used) chances are most people would be talking about how good they are in soup. The word simply does not have the cultural significance, stigma, or controversy that the N word carries. White people were not lynched by black people in robes and hoods, chanting the C word as they did it. It was the other way around.
My main point is, people give the N word its negativity. It is a word. Nothing more. If yo take offense to it, then that is your problem.
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  #28    
Old August 27th, 2013 (07:31 PM).
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Quote originally posted by snake17:
My main point is, people give the N word its negativity. It is a word. Nothing more. If yo take offense to it, then that is your problem.
You're missing the point. Regardless if you take offense to it or not, you can't ignore the literal centuries of history behind it. It's not just a word, it's symbolic for what people of color have endured in this country. It carries a connotation with it, a horrible and negative one at that.
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Old August 27th, 2013 (07:48 PM).
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"Its not offensive, its just a word! Anyone who is offended by it needs to get over themselves!" - argument used by white people that are ignorant to their own racism while also somehow blaming victims which seems to be a trademark of white supremacy

You can't just...decide what other people should be offended by...that is just...wrong for so many reasons. White people should never use this word in normal conversations. There are plenty of good words to use, so why use one of the worst possible ones even if you think it shouldn't be offensive?
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  #30    
Old August 27th, 2013 (08:04 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Harlequin:
i hardly see how black people reclaiming a word which historically has been used to oppress them is a privilege
hurt white feelings are irrelevant
yep, exactly. its the same thing with the word, "queer-" it was used in contempt towards homosexuals, but today it stands as a reclaimed slur by the LGBT*QIA community and folks even openly describe themselves as queer, like me!

the n-word and cracker really are incomparable. there's a difference between being systematically oppressed and having your feelings hurt. so if a white individual says the n-word they, -as a white person-, enforces its original context which was used to disgrace black people and that's the burden they carry. that's not me saying this. it's history.
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Old August 27th, 2013 (08:08 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Keiran777:
"Its not offensive, its just a word! Anyone who is offended by it needs to get over themselves!" - argument used by white people that are ignorant to their own racism while also somehow blaming victims which seems to be a trademark of white supremacy

You can't just...decide what other people should be offended by...that is just...wrong for so many reasons. White people should never use this word in normal conversations. There are plenty of good words to use, so why use one of the worst possible ones even if you think it shouldn't be offensive?
I try to avoid the word anyway, but I disagree that it it only used as an argument for racist white people. I have had a couple black friends even agree with me that it should not be offensive.
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Old August 27th, 2013 (08:42 PM).
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Quote:
I have had a couple black friends even agree with me that it should not be offensive.
Assuming your black friends are around your age though, generally younger people are more likely to not care. Ask an older black person how they feel about it, and it's a completely different story, especially when you ask someone that was around during the Civil Rights movement.

While I don't put cracker and the n word on the same level, I still wouldn't want to be called a cracker and be equated to scumbags of the 1800's. And I'm sure that most black people don't want to be called the n word because they don't want to be brought back to the times when the KKK roamed the streets.
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  #33    
Old August 28th, 2013 (02:28 AM).
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In my opinion, it should be a word used between friends and nothing more. It should not be glorified in songs, it should not be thrown around. I really don't care about 'reclaimed' words - I still find ***, Queer, etc. offensive and I would imagine there are black people who find ******/***** offensive - no matter who calls them it.

At people saying white people are entitled - what about in songs? I often see people singing out loud on the bus, around town, around school. Why should a white person feel guilty for singing lyrics in that sense? I don't think it should be allowed in songs full stop.
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  #34    
Old August 28th, 2013 (02:45 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Harlequin:
the word cracker never has and never will have the same level of offense that the n word has
the word cracker only serves to create hurt white feelings (oh no :-( oh dear) whereas the n word serves to reinforce oppression and shame

and well
if you're offended by the word cracker
that's just too bad
grow up
this 'double standard' you're talking about is simply a way of expressing your hurt white feelings
I'm not offended by that at all. The N word means Ignorant. It has nothing to do with black people. However, when slavery was a thing, that's just what they called them. It evolved into a racial slur. And I think when that happened they retaliated with the word cracker. It's a double standard, dude.
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  #35    
Old August 28th, 2013 (05:57 AM). Edited August 28th, 2013 by Starlight Sprite.
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It's a word that I avoid using. Aside from respecting rules laid out by society before my birth, I don't consider myself biased against groups of people as a whole. In every race, religion, ethnicity, etc. there are both good and bad people. Sometimes in referring to troublesome individuals, especially if I was personally impacted, an inappropriate word might slip out.
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  #36    
Old August 28th, 2013 (06:11 AM).
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*wonders how many people in this topic are black*

All I'm gonna say is this. If you aren't black, and haven't been put in that situation, then you can't ever understand how uncomfortable that makes you feel. Threatened, even.

I don't think anyone should use the word, I have nothing further to say.
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  #37    
Old August 28th, 2013 (06:45 AM). Edited August 28th, 2013 by Fiery Dash.
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Hahaha, sorry for butting in guys!
I wanna express my opinions too!

I think it's about respecting others and also depends on the current situation you are in.
But in most cases, it is still not recommended to say such things, because every single person have different standards and bottom line. You may accept people calling you that way, but that doesn't mean every single person can tolerate it and have it your way.

Quote originally posted by Rivuhh:
I'm not offended by that at all. The N word means Ignorant. It has nothing to do with black people. However, when slavery was a thing, that's just what they called them. It evolved into a racial slur. And I think when that happened they retaliated with the word cracker. It's a double standard, dude.
Similarly to c**ng ch**g **ong, it has no real meaning, but as a man with Chinese lineage and when people tried to say that to me in a mocking tone. I'd feel extremely offended by it.
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  #38    
Old August 28th, 2013 (07:18 AM).
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I remember the first time I used the word, and I learned my lesson from using it. But after that, I have strong displeasure of using the word. Even though I'm white, I respect the black race and it's a word that my parents have taught me not to use or else they'll slap me so hard it would leave a permanent mark.

I don't even use the word to joke around to other white friends either. It's a rude word and even though it's derived from the Spanish word for black, it's a racial slur. And if it's getting compared to cracker, then that's not a good comparison at all. I don't find cracker as much of an offense as ******, but only because not every white person is a cracker, whereas every black person could be classified as a ******.
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  #39    
Old August 28th, 2013 (08:48 AM).
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Quote originally posted by dbp:
I don't think anyone should use the word, I have nothing further to say.
Not even black people who reclaim the word for themselves?
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Old August 28th, 2013 (10:45 AM).
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Quote originally posted by Moogles:
Not even black people who reclaim the word for themselves?
This right here is a pretty interesting discussion just waiting to happen: Does reclaiming a negative word empower a group and take away power from the privileged? Does it reinforce stereotypes and encourage divisiveness?
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  #41    
Old August 28th, 2013 (12:55 PM).
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Before I post this, let me state that I am of mixed descent (Native American, African-American, and Swedish).

Honestly, I used to feel that there is nothing wrong with either word (they are just words, right?), although I wouldn't use it. Now I feel both words just shouldn't be used at all because they both carry into our history into a hateful time and no matter the context or situation, I feel it shouldn't be used because others may misunderstand or be offended seeing as the word is vulgar.

Obviously some people are quick to call the race card on racial slurs and then go on to use them or portray themselves in a poor manner which is hypocritical and something of a byproduct from various things in our media that is paraded around at times in vulgar manners (such as certain genre's of music using slurs or someone gossiping about another using these slurs).

On the topic of music, specifically certain rap/hip-hop artists, it's clearly a bad image portrayal to all people of descent. Where I live, white males use the 'N' word all of the time to each other and to other black males and the other way around. Sometimes it can be taken a bad way and sometimes it can be taken in another. Honestly all conflict can be avoided if we eliminate these terms from our vocabulary seeing as the history of these words are filled with hate and sometimes misunderstood in their use.
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Old August 28th, 2013 (01:11 PM).
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I do not like people using the word against people or about peoples, though if you listen to a lot of gangsta rap they use those words about their friends like they part of some secret Daft Punk cult and I do not understand why 1 race cannot use it but another 1 can.
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  #43    
Old August 28th, 2013 (01:27 PM).
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Why say "The N word"
It literally means the same exact thing, and only makes it so I have to say it my head.
That being said, I don't care who uses the N word ( I'm half black, and only use the word jokingly). It's always funny to see people freak out about it though, and the only people I've seen freak out about white people using the N word, is other white people.

Seriously, no black person I've met cares who uses the word, even my dad doesn't care. (He still can't get my mom to say it, even after like 18 years lol)
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Old August 28th, 2013 (02:14 PM).
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Quote originally posted by Scarf:
This right here is a pretty interesting discussion just waiting to happen: Does reclaiming a negative word empower a group and take away power from the privileged? Does it reinforce stereotypes and encourage divisiveness?
I think it reinforces negative stereotypes and encourages dismisiveness. I can't use the N word, nor do I want to, it's an extremely offensive racial slur. As such a word has that meaning to me, I don't believe anyone should be saying it due to how racist and disrespectful it is. Now, when black people go around saying that word, I look down upon them as ignorant and rude, as that's what the word is for me. By calling themselves an extremely negative racial insult I believe it lowers the standing of the black community and perpetuates racism.

Call it a reclaimed word all you like but for me the original meaning applies and I think when people use the word it's purposefully racist, unintentionally racist or just ignorant (black people calling each other n) There should be no double standards as it makes me look down upon the group calling each other derogatory terms. I generally get uncomfortable and ask people not to use the n word, and when black people use it I just sigh at their foolishness.
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  #45    
Old August 28th, 2013 (02:32 PM).
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I'm really sorry black people but we use it in the asian community all the time ;;

I don't know. Calling a word "bad" in and of itself isn't a real deal (I mean, if I didn't know ****** existed I would probably invent it to mean "table" or something) but if you use it to make fun of/hurt other people then it becomes bad.

That said, it can be touchy for some people, so don't say it around them, but if you're like some people that I know and you don't really care that it's such a long history of abuse behind that word (though we do realize that it does, don't get us wrong) then go ahead and use it willy-nilly. Just don't say "screw you it's our choice" when a black person walks by and objects to you saying that in front of them. Well, you can, but you can also get your ass beaten in. Your call.
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  #46    
Old September 8th, 2013 (09:03 AM).
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I guess there is no fundamental reason why anyone should be unable to say that word, however, I could never bring myself to say it myself. When I think of the historical significance behind that word it makes me feel somewhat sick.
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  #47    
Old September 8th, 2013 (03:40 PM).
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I think the N word is considered so bad and not used much is because it was largely used in the 19th and 20th centuries as a derogatory term for blacks. People don't want to remember the horrors suffered by many black people during those times. Which brings up another question:
Why do some blacks (and whites) feel that it is okay to use the N word to refer to one another?
Why would they want to a) say a word that a large part of the US society is not comfortable hearing and b) say a word that is considered highly offensive by many people today?
I think the answer to these questions is desensitization. We are exposed to this word in movies, TV shows, music, etc. so much that it has no effect on some people when said.
It's not just desensitization on this word. Desensitization to guns, violence, gore, etc., but that's a topic for another time.

Thanks for reading! I'm not trying to offend anyone with this post and I apologize if I do so!
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  #48    
Old September 8th, 2013 (05:20 PM).
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Personally, I don't use the N word purely because I have no reason to use it. I know for a fact that most, if not all, of my black friends wouldn't mind if I used it (as other friends do + they've asked why I don't use it) but the only time I ever have is if I'm having a chat about the word. Just like in this thread.
I know a lot of other white people who do use the word but only when in conversation with black friends, which seems to be the general consenus that I've seen.

I really don't care if I see black people using the word among others because it's not aimed at me + I don't get offended by words (regardless of how serious the word may be). The only people who I actually have a problem with using the word are black people who complain at a white person for using the term as it was used throughout black history as a derogatory term, yet they'll go and use the word right afterwards to their friends.
In that situation I'll generally say something because I can understand people being offended by the term due to history but for someone to claim that excuse and then use it themselves is just hypocritical and a slap in the face to all people who are offended by the word.


On a final note, one thing I find hilarious is when someone is racist and then uses the excuse - "I can't be racist because my best friend/family member is black" - as if that makes any difference in the slightest. As one of my favourite comedians, Sean Lock, once said "That's just like being in court for murder and saying 'I can't be a murderer because my best friends are alive' ".
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  #49    
Old September 8th, 2013 (07:54 PM).
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Call me a goody goody. I never say bad words unless i am dared to. I seriously do not think that the N word should only be used by Africans. (I grew up in an anti racism community so I use this term.) Freedom of speech right?
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Old September 10th, 2013 (09:31 AM).
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It's really interesting to me how people feel about this word, black and non-black. I'm black; I know that my non-black friends, before we were really close, would test the waters around using it with me first-- usually through small jokes-- to see if I would react. In the past, when I was younger, I had an instinctual aversion to the word. It was innately offensive, and anyone using it towards me was seen as trying to hurt or pull rank over me. My parents taught me to never allow anyone to get away with saying it to me. As I grew older however, I noticed that I was growing less and less appalled by it. I heard it more often and saw other people not reacting with such vitriol towards it. It even began to slip into my own language.

Mostly, I started hearing my dad and grandpa use the word around the time I turned seventeen and they started getting looser with their word choice around me. They weren't offended, clearly. Should I be?

My opinion is basically this: words have power over you only if you let them. Language changes over time-- innocent words get turned into something entirely different, and words thought unthinkable to be spoken CAN adapt into commonplace, friendly phrases. Look at the word, "catfish." A couple of years ago, a catfish was only a type of fish to me. Now, it's so infused with the idea of being fooled by another person into believing they're someone that they aren't that I hear people saying things like, "You sure she isn't catfishing you?," all of the time.

That said, while you can choose to disallow a word to control your feelings, that does not change the contextual history of the word or the intent of the person speaking it. If someone calls me a ****** out of obvious anger and disrespect, I can't just ignore that ****** is a word with negative connotations. I'm not rubber, the words won't bounce off of me. It's irresponsible to try to cover up the past-- stick your fingers in your ears and say you're not listening. ****** IS an offensive word with an offensive history.

It's a complex situation, and I'm not sure if I'm expressing my thoughts coherently. I guess in summary... I feel that we have to recognize that the meaning of ****** has changed over time and that it shouldn't be immediately viewed as a racist sentiment. It all depends on context and intent, like any other word with two or more meanings. Are you reading a book, or are you booking it to Chicago? Are you dancing to the beat, or are you about to get beat? Am I your *****, or am I nothing but a *****?

(As a side note, I absolutely hate it when people who would normally never use the word decide to use it in front of me because I'm black. I find it incredibly offensive. If you're doing it to "fit in" or get shock value out of it, you're doing it wrong. Like I said, intent and context matters. At the end of the day, it's probably best to just not use it at all if you think someone is uncomfortable with it. Not everyone has my opinion on the subject, and like someone else mentioned earlier, people have a right to not feel offended. There's nothing it adds to any conversation ever, really.)
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