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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:38 PM
Original message
The test of whether or not a word is racist is whether or not it hurts.
We know the n-word does that. Does 'cracker' do that? Should we call 'cracker' the c-word for fear of wounding any white person who has been wounded or had family members wounded with that term?
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Depends
If you're referring to a female the "c-word" will get you in much hotter water than any inference to race might cause you.

Or we could just stop using such nasty words. I prefer to call people the "h-word" (human). Sounds silly, I know.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. When anger over h-word stupidity flares, sometimes these words come readily to the tongue.
But there is really no word ugly enough to get anywhere near the vile ugliness of freeperite, teabaggerist, crackerian racism.
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. I'm sorry to hear that...
...it speaks volumes of the spirit within.

We should strive to do better.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. Yes, master.
;-)
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Nuclear Unicorn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. I'm no one's master...
...I can't even be master of myself as I'm late to classes more times than not.

But I do know what I WISH things were like.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. I wish people wouldn't presume to know what another person's 'spirit' contains
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 02:21 PM by BurtWorm
based on a few posts on one day in a lifetime. But maybe wishing for world peace would have a better chance of coming true.

PS: Welcome to DU. :toast:
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #17
39. Language changes as well as the popular meaning of words
I will give you an example.. the word NEGRO... until two generations ago it was in wide spread use... Nigger is the perversion of that term.

Now here is one that is in use today... boy. In certain contexts boy is quite insulting... and for instance Mr Wilson the other day stopped himself short... YOU LIE.... BOY.

As a student of language I am aware of that.

As to the C word... in modern use it can and it is an insult, but not with the overall overtones of Nigger.

Oh and welcome to Du...

If I could get a buck for all the words I know that had a different meaning in the past.... Pinche in spanish, aide to the cook... comes to mind... oh that is a very 17th century usage. Avoid it among hispanics of Mexican origin.
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ShockediSay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. Look at recent facts
Rush Oxycontin Limbaugh disparages Philadelphia quarterback Donovan McNabb

The Geriatric Old Party go ballistic on immigration reform, notwithstanding
the support of Sen McCain and Dubya

The only members of that GOP are tokens
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. If people tell me a word is offensive to them, I generally give them the benefit of the doubt and
stop using it. Makes life much simpler.
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BlooInBloo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Sorry - I couldn't read this - I'm still lol-ing at all of the oppressed white folks here.
:rofl:
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
36. I missed the white people claiming oppression, do you have a link?
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. It's called context
In this case, a white guy beat the crap out of a black lady in front of her daughter. The assault happened at a Cracker Barrel. Naturally people are calling the white guy a "cracker" over this.

Cue BurtWorm and others going on about how hurtful the word "cracker" is to them.

I know, right? They're the real victims here, where's all the sympathy for the outraged white desk jockeys subjected to this cruel, cruel word?
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:14 PM
Response to Reply #38
42. So if I called a black man that raped, tortured and mudered a white couple the n word would it be ok
? Given the context does that make it okay?
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:21 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Oh, did we change the subject?
I must have missed that on the itinerary. I thought we were talking about the poutraged white people on this thread.

Say, what are you doing outside the gun forum, anyway? Is it a slow day for "justified homicide" stories?
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #44
46. Funny I thought this discussion was about racism and racist words.
Now do you care to answer the questions.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:44 PM
Response to Reply #46
49. You asked where all the oppressed white people were
I answered. You gave an unrelated strawman-based tangent.

Clearly, you either didn't understand what I told you, or you understood it just fine, and decided that since you couldn't argue, you'd troll instead.

Would it be okay? Yeah, hey, do whatever you want, they're your teeth after all.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. It would take some courage to answer. I understand your position.
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madinmaryland Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #36
48. Have you watched Fox News or listened to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or
Michael Savage Wiener?

According to them, all of the white christian men in this country are oppressed.

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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #48
56. The poster claim oppressed people HERE.
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yodoobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #4
53. Im impressed that you can determine race from the color of our HTML
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 04:53 PM by yodoobo
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. I know it's unpopular, but it's a matter of degrees
Nobody in America ever systemically lynched white people for having pale skin and skinny noses. Whites have never been second- or third-class citizens - nor have they had the non-citizen designation of "resident" on basis of their race. Law enforcement does not double-scrutinize and antagonize white people. Insane protests do not erupt when a white man is elected to office.

Whites have never been oppressed or "out" in this country. As a result, "racial slurs" against them really lack any impact. I mean really? Honky sounds like a popcorn snack. Cracker? Same thing. Peckerwood seems to piss white people off, but mostly because it carries connotations of the person being a violent racist themselves.

However, if we go to a society where whites are an unappreciated minority like say, Japan, then the slurs used there actually do have impact on the people being insulted.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:55 PM
Response to Reply #5
9. Aptly put.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:17 PM
Response to Reply #5
30. There is a matter of degrees...
but the intent is all still bigoted. Words such as "cracker" used as insults are inherently bigoted because it includes the person's race. Now, it may be that whites overall don't find it that offensive, but it's still a bigoted word nonetheless. And encouraging or ignoring the use of it does nothing to help solve other problems of bigotry, if anything, it makes it worse. It definitely isn't a good example to set in terms of bigoted language, that's for sure.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #30
37. Who's encouraging it?
Let's not go putting up straw men while attempting moral equivalency, kay?

The thing that you, and I'm sure many other people (particularly white people) are missing... is that most racism directed towards whites in America, is itself a product of racism from whites. You can't have a society like ours that actively encourages and enshrines racism and bigotry towards nonwhites, and not expect those nonwhites to give some resentful backlash.

Getting up in arms over people saying "cracker" when, in context, said cracker beat the living shit out of a black woman for being black is... Well, let's just say this indian isn't shedding any tears for white people on thisone.
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MellowDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:26 PM
Response to Reply #37
60. I never said you were encouraging it...
but those who use it to describe others are encouraging its use as a legitimate insult.

Now let's put your last sentance in perspective. If some black person beat the living shit out of a white person for being white, you'd be okay with people calling that black person all sorts of racial names. At least, that's how your logic follows.

It's not about shedding tears for whites or anything like that, it's about realizing that using bigoted language of any kind helps to keep it alive. Indeed, calling a white person a cracker because he is racist/bigoted is about the most ironic and idiotic thing one could do.

And the bigotry that whites experience in America is not necessarily so simple as to be a product of their own racism or bigotry as a group. In many cases, it's quite simply the fact that a lot of people steryotype and categorize people in all kinds of ways, according to race, religion, etc. and will be bigoted because it is an unfortunate part of human nature to label whole groups as one thing or another. In other words, bigotry existed before even the concept of race existed, and it happens to white people for other reasons than the fact that some white people are racist.

But please, try to defend the use of bigoted language some more, kay? Your arguments have been so.... well let's just say that they are not convincing arguments.
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Winterblues Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
7. White people feel so superior there isn't much in a racial way you could call them that would hurt
them. Gringo, Yankee, Cracker, none inflict any pain. In fact many would revel in it....
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enid602 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #7
25. names
Oakies, Arkies, rednecks, trailer trash, white trash and other names sting a bit, but were probably invented by other whites who felt that some just did not not live up to the brand.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Yup, those are white-on-white names
In fact the term "white trash" is essentially saying "you're not good enough to be white" - And if they're not "really" white... then what are they?

Cracker, Oakies, Arkies, Hillbillies, Hick, Country-Fried and the like are essentially class slurs - Poor rural people, usually regional (Crackers in Georgia, Hillbillies in Appalachia, etc) and really have little bearing on race most of the time - there are a fair number of black hillbillies and rednecks, for instance.
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:54 PM
Response to Original message
8. Bullshit. You don't need to show wounds.
This is racism not a crucifixion.

That said, "cracker" can be racist but when used by other white people, which it most often is, it is contempt of class.

The word is an insult. Not necessarily a racist insult. If you have contempt for fellow Americans in rural areas, you use it. If you don't, you don't.
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. You're absolutely right.
Very well said.
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TxRider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #8
26. And there lies the problem with legislating speech....
Someone will be offended by almost any word/label/whatever...
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Zywiec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:56 PM
Response to Original message
10. The n-word hurts depending on who uses it.
Ever heard any rap or hip-hop?

Those artists are hurting all the way to the bank.
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notadmblnd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
12. cracker doesn't have the negative connotations
It's all about good and evil when you get down to the bottom of it. The evil is driven by fear. Evil things happen at night, the night is dark, it's hard to see, it's easy to be afraid. Dark equals bad. In the light it's easy to see, nothing to fear in the light. The light equals good.

This idea is something that I think is drilled in people. I think religion and the bible have a lot to do with it. I don't for a minute think it's a valid argument, however, I do think that is how people are taught to associate black and white though.
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Louisiana1976 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
13. To me a cracker is just a saltine. And I'm mostly white....
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:03 PM
Response to Original message
14. I disagree that if a word hurts or not is what defines it as racist or not
It's the intent behind the way the word is used in my opinion. If you're calling a person a name intending to express hatred or intolerance against their race then it's racist.
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Beartracks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
21. Agreed.
Let's look at the opposite case: If a phrase is intended to be racist and hurtful, but is NOT taken that way by the target, we don't then conclude that the speaker was NOT being racist. Simply put, the target's perception is NOT what defines something as racist or not.
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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
19. You pitiful, whining milksop.
:P :hi:
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BurtWorm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 08:59 PM
Response to Reply #19
32. Ow! Racist!


;) :hi:
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booley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
20. Being on top makes up for a lot of words
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 02:31 PM by booley
Individually, a racial slur against a white person is often meant to be hurtful.

And it can be.

But most white people I know (Including me) react more with confusion or a "whatever" because lets face it, most white people have not suffered because they are white. Being gay or a woman or Catholic or Jewish or whatever, sure. But few instances because they were white and in those instances, while bad, have almost never been cases of institutionalized racism.

Lets face it, how can you insult me for being white when I am white and I don't think there's anything wrong with that? It would be like calling me "Two Eyed"

Or to put it in a less politically correct way..

A black guy can call me cracker all he wants. I'm still less likely to be pulled over by the police for no reason.

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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:45 PM
Response to Original message
22. Racism has NOTHING to do with feelings.
Edited on Thu Sep-17-09 02:46 PM by Xithras
Whether or not a word is racist has nothing to do with how it makes someone feel. The bar is much lower than that: Is the use of the word intended to marginalize, dehumanize, or degrade a person based solely on their race or racial history? If the answer is yes, then it's a racist term. If the answer is no, it's not racist.

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Still Blue in PDX Donating Member (633 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
23. People should just not call each other names, period.
Cracker equals white trash. I grew up in a home where "the n-word" was just what we called black people, not in a pejorative way--or at least if it was, I didn't know it. That caused me some grief when I attended a very ethnically diverse high school. On the other hand, I always knew that "cracker" was an insult.

Words change over time. Here's hoping that people do, too, and like another poster said we can just be "the h-word," i.e., human to one another.
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 02:47 PM
Response to Original message
24. That's ludicrous. (nt)
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mia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
28. The Color of Words: An Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Ethnic Bias...
in the United States.

The use of "Cracker" is usually intended to insult. T

http://books.google.com/books?id=UiZQH5gHuggC&printsec=...

No need to call it the "c" word though. We already have one of those.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:11 PM
Response to Original message
29. I've often seen the argument that the person belonging to the oppressed
group get to say.

Leaving out white heterosexual males. Problem with this is many of those are not really on the top rungs of society. So it is permissible to call them names of any kind just because of that? Yes, it's not like being lynched or really oppressed. But isn't it something decent people wouldn't do?
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 05:22 PM
Response to Original message
31. Racism is racism no matter who it comes from.
Why is that so hard for people to understand?
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:11 AM
Response to Original message
33. I knew a guy in the Army that was hurt by being called black. So I guess black is a racist term, eh?
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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:17 AM
Response to Reply #33
35. Well, I for one
find the term "white" racist. I prefer the term Achromatic American, thank you very much. :sarcasm:
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subcomhd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:15 AM
Response to Original message
34. there already is a "c" word. It is
Cheney
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:49 PM
Response to Original message
40. The only thing that hurts white people is calling them racist.
Call them anything but you can't call them racists. That's much much worse than cracker.

And the more racist they are, the more they take exception to you calling them out on it.
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nadinbrzezinski Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:50 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. +1
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:17 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. The only thing that sparks more outrage is when you call an African American a racist.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:22 PM
Response to Reply #43
45. I'm starting to notice a trend from you in this thread, FMD...
Keep posting, let's see where it goes.
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:27 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. It is an interesting topic.
I was quite shocked to be informed by many people here that minorities couldn't be racists. The problem is ever time I question someone who holds that belief they run off and refuse to answer. Hopefully one day a logical person will come along and justify that belief to me.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #47
50. Ah yes, "Some People Say"
Quick! To the CYA Cave!
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Fire_Medic_Dave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #50
57. Run away, run away. Boy you are easy.
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yodoobo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
51. huh? sounds like an excuse
If the word is derogatory and it based on race. its racist.

No mental gymnastics necessary.
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
52. Well. I was never denied a job simply because I'm a "cracker".
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 04:49 PM by johnaries
I was never run out of a neighborhood because I'm a cracker. My great-grandfather was never beaten or whipped because he was a cracker.

The only thing about the word "cracker" that pains me is that it makes me ashamed of all the other crackers who killed Native Americans and stole their land and made slaves of Africans and other atrocities simply because those crackers thought they were "better" and therefore entitled.

It's not the word. Words have power only because of what they are associated with.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #52
61. Don't worry, we're going to get the land back
Eventually. even if we have tp speak Spanish to do it ;)
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lame54 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
54. what the hell will I put in my soup?
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
58. Or the ability to recognize accidental hurting vs deliberate hurting
:shrug:
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OPERATIONMINDCRIME Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
59. Ummmmm, No. That Is Not The Test Whatsoever. Pretty Hilarious To Say So Though.
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 05:47 PM by OPERATIONMINDCRIME
No. In reality, the test is simply an interpretation of what the actual definition of racist is. You might want to look it up. Then, once you know the definition, you could apply it as a test. If the word is spoken in context in which it displays the actual traits of the definition, then the test is passed and it's racist. It really is that clear and simple.
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aikoaiko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 12:02 PM
Response to Original message
62. hurts? The truth hurts, does that make the truth racist?

:shrug:
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