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Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:46 AM

 

Why do so many white people want to use the "N" word?

Seriously?

It's like if anyone criticizes you for saying it, you go ape shit.

I am white and I know better than to use it.

But time and time again I get the BS line "but theeeeeyyyyyy use it!"

So what?

YOU DON'T, OK?

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Reply Why do so many white people want to use the "N" word? (Original post)
Taverner Apr 2012 OP
SidDithers Apr 2012 #1
Taverner Apr 2012 #2
Ter Apr 2012 #32
Taverner Apr 2012 #33
Ter Apr 2012 #41
Taverner Apr 2012 #51
Ter Apr 2012 #54
treestar Apr 2012 #56
Scout Apr 2012 #3
HappyMe Apr 2012 #4
pipi_k Apr 2012 #5
whoawhat Apr 2012 #6
Tom Ripley Apr 2012 #7
kiva Apr 2012 #8
deutsey Apr 2012 #13
emilyg Apr 2012 #29
Quantess Apr 2012 #40
cherokeeprogressive Apr 2012 #44
The Straight Story Apr 2012 #9
RC Apr 2012 #12
Fawke Em Apr 2012 #19
doh1 Apr 2012 #27
Arkansas Granny Apr 2012 #10
HillWilliam Apr 2012 #16
snooper2 Apr 2012 #24
marshall Apr 2012 #11
uponit7771 Apr 2012 #14
izquierdista Apr 2012 #15
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2012 #17
Taverner Apr 2012 #18
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2012 #21
Spider Jerusalem Apr 2012 #39
treestar Apr 2012 #46
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2012 #53
Moostache Apr 2012 #20
MineralMan Apr 2012 #23
MineralMan Apr 2012 #22
Life Long Dem Apr 2012 #25
OriginalGeek Apr 2012 #26
Major Hogwash Apr 2012 #28
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #30
Nye Bevan Apr 2012 #35
nadinbrzezinski Apr 2012 #36
treestar Apr 2012 #43
lonestarnot Apr 2012 #31
Zax2me Apr 2012 #34
cbrer Apr 2012 #37
TeamsterDem Apr 2012 #38
treestar Apr 2012 #42
Whisp Apr 2012 #45
bart95 Apr 2012 #47
Rex Apr 2012 #48
Hepburn Apr 2012 #49
Taverner Apr 2012 #52
MrScorpio Apr 2012 #50
Zax2me Apr 2012 #55

Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:49 AM

1. As Louis CK says, why say "the N word"?...

we all know what word you mean. You say "the N word" and in our minds, we say the actual word. You're making us say it.

Or something like that

Sid

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Response to SidDithers (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:51 AM

2. Same reason you don't say the c-word

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:02 AM

32. Cracker?

 

For some reason, no one is afraid to say that one.

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Response to Ter (Reply #32)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:06 AM

33. See You Next Tuesday nt

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #33)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:45 PM

41. I'm back today

 

n/t

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Response to Ter (Reply #41)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:21 PM

51. No the C word is called See you Next Tuesday

 

As in C U Next oh,....you know...

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Response to Taverner (Reply #51)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 02:53 AM

54. LMAO

 

That totally went over my head. Yeah, that word is considered so vile. But why? Twizzy means the same thing, yet it is much more cutesy.

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Response to Ter (Reply #54)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 10:17 AM

56. There's also "hoo-ha"

Seen that used on soap opera boards. It can't sound insulting.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:55 AM

3. i don't get it either ... i don't have a need or desire to use that word...

but i do feel silly, like a child or something, saying "n-word" or "c-word" or whichever if they are being discussed.

i don't have a need to use them in conversation ... but i won't give up "fuck"

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:55 AM

4. I don't have any desire to use that word.

I don't understand white people that want to use it.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:55 AM

5. I dunno...

I even cringe when black people say it to/about each other.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:56 AM

6. tell one person they can say something and tell another that they cant.

 

that will make anyone want to say anything.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:57 AM

7. Because they are petty

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:00 PM

8. Maybe my friends are weird, but I don't

know anyone, white or black, who wants to use the 'n' word

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Response to kiva (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:15 PM

13. Same here n/t

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Response to kiva (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 10:56 PM

29. I don't either.

 

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Response to kiva (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:33 AM

40. same here!

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Response to kiva (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:51 PM

44. Ditto

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:01 PM

9. Where I live you hear it all the time and folks don't have an issue with it

You walk into a marathon (even if you are white) and someone knows you they say "whaz up nigga, where you been?"

My nephew is white and has many black friends who live next to the station (it's also a good place to buy pot) and we go there about once a week.

Maybe I should lecture both the white and black teens (after telling them to get off my lawn):

"Excuse me young people, some white folks up in the big cities and universities that don't know you want to make sure you are not using certain words in the wrong way. Especially if you are white. We need to be more proper for them, oh and have a spot of tea while hanging out here ok? Makes you look more civilized"

Have heard my nephew say it to his friends - should he stop because someone on the internet thinks only one race can use a word?

Maybe you should come over here, hop out of your car, and tell all them young black and white kids from the apt complex that hang out there what words they can and cannot use and the rules you want imposed on them.

I would pay to see that

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:10 PM

12. I would pay to see that too.

 

I'd even volunteer some DU names for candidates. That sould put the word censors back a step or two for being too presumptuous.

You paint a pretty good word picture there.
"Excuse me young people, some white folks up in the big cities and universities that don't know you want to make sure you are not using certain words in the wrong way. Especially if you are white. We need to be more proper for them, oh and have a spot of tea while hanging out here ok? Makes you look more civilized"

Have heard my nephew say it to his friends - should he stop because someone on the internet thinks only one race can use a word?

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Response to RC (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:29 PM

19. I kept thinking of this:

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:35 PM

27. +1

 

it is just a word that WE give meaning to.


I heard a comedian once tell a joke that he would make the N word the name of a cookie... his rational was that if you give something that taste good and people love, a name they use for hate, you can make the word not so hurtful anymore. He said that when someone calls a white person a cracker, they don't get upset because everyone loves crackers. they think of the food and not the degrading meaning some give.


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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:04 PM

10. I can't figure it out, either. Do they feel they are being discriminated against?

I was taught not to use it when I was growing up back in the 50's. I taught my children, they, in turn, taught their children, etc. I can reference 5 generations of my family where that word has not been used.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:25 PM

16. My mom and grandfolks put it like this

First, if you want to be treated like a gentleman (or lady), treat other people with dignity. Second, any epithet like that word (and a few others I see on DU) is undignified speech; to speak like that is to throw your own dignity away. Why would anyone do that?

I'd still rather keep my own dignity about me, so words like the en-word or effay-gee word are out.

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Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:44 PM

24. It's a brave new World

LOL

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:04 PM

11. There's a difference between "using it" and saying it.

"Using" it means to vocalize it with the intent of either insulting someone or as a way to declare onself part of a group.

To simply speak the work in a discussion about the use of the word--that's a totally different thing.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:16 PM

14. My understanding for younger kids is they don't use it with older people because they understand

...the history behind the term for older generations but amongst themselves and their black peers it's a term of "realness" for lack of better description.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:19 PM

15. I must be getting old

 

When I was young, f^(k and sh!# were bad words that would get you a trip to the principal's office and a whupping at home. N!@@** was merely an offensive word that was not said in polite company. I've seen the polite version change from colored to Negro to black to Afro-American to African-American. With the number of multi-racial children being born, I expect that will lose favor for another term in a few more years.

We didn't even have a "c-word" because that was before they taught sex education (and all the different names for the 'naughty bits') in school. Back then, I don't think you could even use the word "prostitute" on radio or TV, you had to use a euphemism, like "call girl" or "lady of the evening". Certainly couldn't yell "slut!" into an open microphone.

Words change over time. If you called someone a "Papist" or a "friend of Sappho" today, I doubt most people would get the drift. But whatever word you use in whatever circumstance, it says more about the person that utters it than it does about the person it is directed toward.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 12:39 PM

17. The only word that is similar that occurs to me is "Bitch." Bitch is a word that no man should use

with a woman. If a woman chooses to use that word to refer to herself or a bunch of female friends use it among themselves, ok.

The "N" word is a word that no one should use, but if black folks use it to refer to themselves or one another, ok.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:27 PM

18. The C-word is pretty similar

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:53 PM

21. And the "C" word, exactly. There are lots of non-sexist, non-racist insults that can be used...

"Stupid"
"Idiotic"
"Asshole"
etc.

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Response to Taverner (Reply #18)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:29 AM

39. Not really

at least not in Britain; you're more likely to hear it used of a man than a woman here.

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Response to Sarah Ibarruri (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:52 PM

46. True. That is why I get black people using that term

However this is impossible to explain to white conservatives. They just pretend that the discrimination is equal both ways. They will claim that "cracker" is equivalent to the N word, which would only be so in the abstract world of complete equality they create.

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Response to treestar (Reply #46)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 05:33 PM

53. White conservatives know the difference, too, but they're racists and want to play dumb about the

"N" word. They think they fool others.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 01:48 PM

20. Semantics can be offensive to rational people.

Words are just a vessel for conveying emotion.
Emotion, when captured in symbols - be they words or gestures or facial expressions - convey information to another person.
This is essentially what separates humans from the rest of the animal world...we are able to share information on a scale and with a subtly that escapes most other life on this planet. That ability has allowed us to share history and skills beyond the immediate family or clan and it is suspected to be a possible difference between Homo Sapiens and Homo Neanderthal that allowed us to be here at all!

Is it really THAT big of a mystery why someone would direct the word "nigger" at another person?
What emotion is evinced in YOU when you hear it?

If it is revulsion or anger, then maybe that's exactly the point...maybe that is what the person using it intended.
If it is indifference or even affection, then once again that's the entire point - maybe they use it within the context of their own "in-group" and its offense is limited to you as a member of the "out-group".

This obsessive need to control the way other people communicate their emotions or intents is a colossal waste of time. You might as well scream at the skies to stop the rain or howl at the moon with the local canines.

Words are MEANINGLESS without the person hearing or reading them assigning the meaning and the impact. If the word on the page or in your inner ear, translated from electrical signals by YOUR brain is somehow "offensive", well then it might just be your problem and not the rest of the species'....

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Response to Moostache (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:42 PM

23. Words gain their meaning also from the person who speaks them.

Here's how I see it. If some of my black acquaintances wouldn't be annoyed if I used "nigga" in a friendly way, does that mean that I should use that word? I'm sure they wouldn't be offended if I didn't. So I wouldn't. They won't notice if I don't. Someone above described a son, I think, who used the word among his friends regularly. But, what happens when someone who isn't his friend hears it and takes strong offense? Not such a good idea, then. Would his friends take offense if he simply didn't use the word at all? I doubt it very much.

The bottom line is that it's not a word I would use under any circumstance, because there are circumstances where it would cause offense. I cannot think of any circumstances where not using it would cause offense. Simple, huh? I don't seek to offend, so I avoid using language that has the potential to offend. It works a treat.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:11 PM

22. Good question. When I was in grammar school, I learned all

of those words by the third grade. A couple of times, I trotted them out in front of my mother. She was pretty amazing, and never, ever lost her cool when teaching her kids stuff. I think the first one I learned was "fuck." I asked my mother what it meant, since it wasn't clear from the context where I heard it. She explained that it was a word for sex, but that it was one that alarmed and upset a lot of people, so it wasn't a word I should use. That made sense, kind of like I wasn't supposed to tell people they were fat (learned that at age 5).

It didn't take long before I learned to tell when words were being used to hurt people. I heard the words "spic" and "beaner" aimed at the Hispanic kids who made up about a third of the school. It pissed them off. So, it was easy to tell that those words weren't a good idea to use anywhere. The reason was that they caused pain and angered people.

It wasn't too difficult. Since it was never my goal to hurt or anger people, I just didn't use any of those words, but learned other ones I could use that didn't have that effect. I was always surprised that so many people didn't understand that. I still am.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:01 PM

25. The only reason people use a word, is because they feel the word will hurt you.

 

That's why you say, sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. What if GZ just used words?

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:18 PM

26. I do not use that word

because I was raised in a fundamentalist, Baptist, racist household and community. I was in my mid 20s before I ever even heard the word used where it wasn't specifically meant to be a disgusting, degrading insult. That kind of overt racism is one reason I left the church.

fast forward 20 years and I was the manager of a small warehouse. I hired a (white) kid to load and unload trucks. The first day he was very quiet and mainly all about learning his job duties. The second day he began opening up and telling me about himself. The third day everything was "Nigga this" and "nigga that" and "my nigga"... I was highly uncomfortable and told him straight up he could not use that word in my warehouse. He looked at me genuinely puzzled and asked why not? I said it's in incredibly offensive word, surely you know that? That's when he told me a little more about himself - he grew up in a 99.99999 percent black neighborhood. "All my friends are black. All my life I have known almost no white kids my age - I hang out with black people, I play with black people, I date black girls. My friends and I are niggas and we always will be and nothing you believe can change that." (In fact, his neighborhood is less than 4 miles from where Trayvon was murdered)

I literally did not know what to do except explain to him that I never heard that word come from a place of love - he said that's the only place he knew of it from.

Now, of course he knew that there were racists who used the "N" word as a hateful slur but he didn't know those people and they didn't hang around his neighborhood very long. But that isn't the word he was using.

What I mainly learned from that is I get to decide what I mean in my heart and I get choose how to live my life but I don't get to decide what is in another's heart and I damn sure don't get to dictate how another should conduct him or herself.

Out of respect for me and my position he understood that while at work he was no longer in his neighborhood and he behaved appropriately when corporate visitors were around. When it was just us I did nothing to hamper his free expression.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:46 PM

28. Insecurity.

Lack of character.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:16 PM

30. There is one valid use for the word

Regardless of melanin pigment...or not.

Quotes from historic documents when trying to understand that dark history. After that, not really.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:16 AM

35. How about a classroom discussion of "To Kill a Mockingbird"? (nt)

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:25 AM

36. You are in the academic environment

Of course

MLK's Letter from Birmingman is also a perfect example.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #30)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:50 PM

43. I was embarrassed to use in on google

to look up "government N---" to defend right wingers accusations that the phrase made no sense, when Ricky did his slip up.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:20 PM

31. And your obsession with the use of a word or the failure to use a word is what?

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:12 AM

34. When I was in grammar schoool someone black called me a cracker.

 

Curious, I asked, why cracker?
"Cause you white, like a soda cracker" was the response. I remember thinking man, that's the best you can come up with? Small town, I actually still know him today. Wonder if he remembers it.
Don't know if this is the true origin of the derogatory slang term but it was for him.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 04:57 AM

37. NO. Not OK

 

It's a common language, and it's use isn't dependent on the amount of melanin in ones epidermis.

So get over yourself, clean your own act up, and quit thinking your dictatorial attitudes have any place in a modern society.

Or do I get to pick some words too?

OK no one is ever allowed to say "Republican" again, unless you are one.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 06:10 AM

38. I don't think "so many whites" want to use it. nt

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:48 PM

42. I don't want to use it and I don't even want to hear it

And got criticized on this board for not wanting to hear it (as in hip hop music or rap or whoever uses it).

I do not think "theyyyy use it" is any excuse. But it sure enables white right wingers. (If it's so terrible, why do theyyyyy use it, says the righty). I don't think right wingers will ever get it or admit they get it. They want to use it to scare, keep down, keep blacks in "their place" as they see it.

I don't agree with "so many." I don't think even that many right wingers are all that obsessed - maybe the percentage that compromise the birthers and such.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:52 PM

45. I suppose some twist this use into some kind of freedom of speech

bullshit.

I don't understand how erasing a word/s from your vocabulary will be more hurtful to the sayer than the people that take offense. Just immature ignorance as far as I see it.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:54 PM

47. 'so many white people' is a strawman

 

it's a false premise

very, very few have any desire to do so, most just wish the word would go away.

the real issue here, is a chip that somehow ended up on your shoulder - a lot of anger in your post, and you had to 'make up' an arguement, to vent it

what's going on with you? what motivated you to do that?

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 12:58 PM

48. Who are these people?

nt.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:10 PM

49. I simply cannot say that "N-word."

It is just verboten from my vocabulary.

I don't care if others are OK with the use of it, that blacks use it, but for me? It's just a gross word that smacks of racism. It bothers me because when I was a child in the 1950s, I heard it used as a term of hatred. Maybe it's different today, but I am totally offended by the word because I associate racial hatred with it.

BTW: I am an old white woman.

JMHO

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Response to Hepburn (Reply #49)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:23 PM

52. It's a case of putting yourself in someone else's shoes

 

You saw what negative effects can come from people using that word - and being an ethical person you wouldn't want to use it for that very reason

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2012, 01:10 PM

50. I don't even use it

And I'm BLACK.

But, seriously, the only reason that I can think of why they would want to use it is that they're jealous.

God forbid that someone that they think is inferior too them could actually do something that they're not allowed to do.

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Response to Taverner (Original post)

Sun Apr 8, 2012, 03:13 AM

55. So many white people?

 

I don't hear it.
At all.
With the company I keep.

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