Racism or not?

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  • Quote from elfqueenofrohan


    The thing is, people do not know whether you mean to be offensive.


    That's their problem.

    "Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realise that we can not eat money" - 19th Century Cree Indian.

  • Quote from elfqueenofrohan

    it's not for you to decide whether people should or shouldn't be offended by it, but I think it's common courtesy to respect other people's feelings enough to not use it, without having a tantrum about lack of freedom of speech.


    I think we’re in danger of confusing a simple word with the idea of showing basic respect to others. If someone doesn’t want to be called something - be it “nigger” or “plantpot” then surely it’s a matter of common decency not to call them this if we want to respect their feelings. If the word is being used with intent to offend then of course we shouldn’t say it, unless we want to offend somebody...


    Crucially it is the desire to offend part rather than the means to offend that would make it wrong for me a lot of the time. With your Nazi example there’s nothing wrong with the swastika in itself. As a symbol I believe it originates in Hindu (is it?) culture. However waving it about in Israel is presumably purely designed to offend and so I’d consider it wrong.


    There are undoubtedly times when we don’t feel so keen on respecting the feelings of others. If you were in a blazing row with a black girl who was hurling all sorts of abuse at you should you so overly concerned with respecting her feelings? You’d presumably be more than happy to call her other names...


    What I guess I’m trying to ask is basically is the word intrinsically wrong – or is it only wrong if used in certain contexts? Surely it has to be the latter...


    Finally – John makes a valid point in that if a child were to see it on TV then this would be the parents fault. You may not have known that big brother wasn’t foul mouthed – but you’d also know that it’s trash television aimed at the lowest common denominator so could have taken a reasonable guess.
    If you could clarify what you meant when you say “Racism, whether ignorant or not...”? Surely racism requires an awareness of your view of superiority?


    And a quibble...

    Quote from elfqueenofrohan

    Cybw's disillusion that not using racial slurs = illiberal.


    Doesn’t that mean you think my view isn’t an illusion, hence true ? :p

  • Quote from elfqueenofrohan

    Oh I see. Because you don't think they should watch it, it's okay for us to put whatever shit on we like? :rolleyes:

    Nope, I just don't need to justify some kind of censorship of TV to you, whether done by the State, the TV companies or by parents... because TV generally is against my principles :rolleyes:

    Quote



    social stigma isn't an "only issue".
    It's huge.
    It's ruined many people's lives..... I do not think you should dismiss it...
    you may disagree with it. but that doesn't make it something to disregard.

    No, I think you'll find you're talking about rascism. Not the word "nigger". That is just a word that can be used in a rascist way. Social stigma.

    Quote


    The thing is, people do not know whether you mean to be offensive.
    If you're going to use a racist word you must have an inkling of an idea that someone might mistake it as offensive - and to some people it's offensive even when the people using it have no idea what it means.

    Yep, thats why I don't use the word myself. Doesn't mean I think it should be banned though :rolleyes:

    Quote


    The whole point of this discussion was to open this debate up more - which is what C4 wanted to do (yes along with getting more publicity).

    Bullshit. C4 have no interest in debates, their business is getting the maximum number of people staring blankly at a screen displaying whatever C4 choose.

    Quote


    It's apparently such a taboo we cannot even discuss it anymore. But it is very relevant because what BB has proved is that people in UK ignorantly use words which, because they can't comprehend them as offensive, must not be able to offend someone else.

    Mm, if the intended recipient of the word isn't offended and the word wasn't intended offensively... then why should it be censored and why should people be offended? Words can change their meaning and if a word isn't used offensively and the intended recipient doesn't take offence... then as far as I'm concerned, there is no need for offence... if C4 hadn't chosen to smear it across our TV screens then there wouldn't have been any problem! :insane:

  • Quote from Cybw

    With your Nazi example there’s nothing wrong with the swastika in itself. As a symbol I believe it originates in Hindu (is it?) culture.

    Jain, I believe :D

  • People don't understand the difference between a symbol and the meaning behind the symbol. Like thinking the word nigger is evil. Its just a word. It's the intent with which it is used that makes it evil. The same with the swastika. The logo isn't evil, but it's the intent that makes it evil.

    "Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realise that we can not eat money" - 19th Century Cree Indian.

  • Quote from Walking Barefoot

    People don't understand the difference between a symbol and the meaning behind the symbol. Like thinking the word nigger is evil. Its just a word. It's the intent with which it is used that makes it evil. The same with the swastika. The logo isn't evil, but it's the intent that makes it evil.


    Spot on :thumbup:

  • Seeing middle class white men arguing the right for themselves to use abusive language at whomesoever they want is quite particularly distasteful, and the proclomations of superiority over those who stand up to say they find some language foul and disgusting is not much better.

    They want the right without the responsibility. :)

    I was raised with "due care and consideration", old school values I suppose.

  • Quote from Dapablo

    Seeing middle class white men arguing the right for themselves to use abusive language at whomesoever they want is quite particularly distasteful, and the proclomations of superiority over those who stand up to say they find some language foul and disgusting is not much better.

    They want the right without the responsibility. :)

    I was raised with "due care and consideration", old school values I suppose.



    Its the mind behind the mouth it comes out of and the ears and the mind that it goes into.....not the language, its not about superiority, foulness or disgust, its not about right or responsibility or due care and consideration, its censorship of a word.....what are old school values about any way, repression of children by the establishment and not much else.:)

  • Quote from Dapablo

    Seeing middle class white men arguing the right for themselves to use abusive language at whomesoever they want is quite particularly distasteful, and the proclomations of superiority over those who stand up to say they find some language foul and disgusting is not much better.


    Where does race come into this? Also where does class come into this? How can you tell what class any of us are? How can you tell what race we are? Are you just assuming we are all middle class white men? That's quite racist in itself.

    "Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realise that we can not eat money" - 19th Century Cree Indian.

  • Quote from Walking Barefoot

    People don't understand the difference between a symbol and the meaning behind the symbol. Like thinking the word nigger is evil. Its just a word. It's the intent with which it is used that makes it evil. The same with the swastika. The logo isn't evil, but it's the intent that makes it evil.


    No I DO understand the difference between symbology and and the use of a symbol with out actually refering the the symbols true meaning.


    The N word is not really an example of that... It's history has never, well until the rise of (some) Hip Hop :rolleyes:, been that positive a label...


    Quote from african_american_history

    The history of the word nigger is often traced to the Latin word niger, meaning black. This word became the noun negro (black person) in English, and simply the color black in Spanish and Portuguese. In Early Modern French niger became negre and, later, negress (black woman) was unmistakably a part of lexical history. One can compare to negre the derogatory nigger and earlier English substitutes such as negar, neegar, neger, and niggor that developed into its lexico-semantic true version in English. It is probable that nigger is a phonetic spelling of the white Southern mispronunciation of Negro.


    No matter what its origins, by the early 1800s it was firmly established as a degenerative nickname. In the 21st century, it remains a principal symbol of white racism regardless of who is using it. Social scientists refer to words like nigger, kike, spic, and wetback come from three categories: disparaging nicknames (chink, dago, nigger, etc); explicit group devaluations ("Jew him down" or "niggering the land"); and irrelevant ethnic names used as a mild disparagement ("jewbird" for cuckoos having prominent beaks or "Irish confetti" for bricks thrown in a fight). Racial slurs (over time) have victimized all racial and ethnic groups; but, no American group goes through as many racial nicknames as Blacks: coon, tom, savage, picanniny, mammy, buck, sambo, jigaboo, buckwheat are some. Many of these slurs became fully traditional pseudo-scientific, literary, cinematic, and everyday distortions of African Americans. These caricatures, whether spoken, written, or reproduced in media, and material objects, reflect the extent, the vast network, of anti-black prejudice.


    http://www.aaregistry.com/afri…_the_word_a_brief_history


    Not really the same is it? :whistle:

  • I think Channel 4 acted in the way that they had to after the whole thing with Jade in Celeb BB. They had little choice if they wanted to keep their programme on the air.


    I do think though, that an overreaction like this means that words such as these continue to have power because people make such a big deal out of them.


    I also understand that we should be allowed to use what ever words that we want to but if a word offends so many people then is it really worth using it regardless of what context it is being used in?

  • Quote from tekno slave

    The N word


    Are you afraid to use the word nigger in the context of a discussion for fear it will offend?

    "Only when the last tree has died and the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught will we realise that we can not eat money" - 19th Century Cree Indian.

  • Quote from starpoi

    I think Channel 4 acted in the way that they had to after the whole thing with Jade in Celeb BB. They had little choice if they wanted to keep their programme on the air.

    Now, if I remember correctly... they didn't show this footage as it happened. They waited until the peak viewing time to display it so that it would be seen by the maximum number of people, causing the maximum amount of outrage and thus giving them the maximum publicity... when they could've just hushed it up. Could be me but that stinks of "publicity stunt" not C4 being pious. :rolleyes:

    Quote


    I do think though, that an overreaction like this means that words such as these continue to have power because people make such a big deal out of them.


    I also understand that we should be allowed to use what ever words that we want to but if a word offends so many people then is it really worth using it regardless of what context it is being used in?

    I think we should be allowed to use it... that doesn't mean we should use it!

  • Quote from John

    Now, if I remember correctly... they didn't show this footage as it happened. They waited until the peak viewing time to display it so that it would be seen by the maximum number of people, causing the maximum amount of outrage and thus giving them the maximum publicity... when they could've just hushed it up. Could be me but that stinks of "publicity stunt" not C4 being pious. :rolleyes:


    They just put it in their show, just like they do with everything else that happens. There is a lot of stuff that doesn't go into the live streaming that they save for the main show. Yeah, they gained from it as they got more viewers but I think there would have been outrage if there was any sniff of racism and they had tried to cover it up.


    Quote


    I think we should be allowed to use it... that doesn't mean we should use it!


    Indeed, that's basically what I said :)

  • Quote from starpoi

    They just put it in their show, just like they do with everything else that happens. There is a lot of stuff that doesn't go into the live streaming that they save for the main show. Yeah, they gained from it as they got more viewers but I think there would have been outrage if there was any sniff of racism and they had tried to cover it up.

    but... but... it wasn't even rascism... it was just a word :insane:

  • I know it wasn't but the way that viewers and Ofcom react to this kind of stuff meant that they couldn't keep it in. They lost their sponsorship on the celeb BB because they didn't do anything about the Jade event (which I don't think was really racist either, she was just a twat) and it would be bad business sense to keep something in that might loose them their money and possible future series etc.

  • I dont use the N word myself,I'm uncomfortable even writin it here-but I'm not sure why because I dont believe words in themselves have power.But theres a taboo about me usin it as a white woman and i dont feel I have the right to challenge that-because I'm 'white' and 'dont understand' what its like to be 'black'.Although I understand discrimination and oppression and had no more choice about bein born white than a black person has.

    But i have (and do) freely use other words that could offend various groups if they chose to take offence,so I'm confused about the power the 'N word' has over me in that respect.
    I'd never use a word to knowingly offend someone but I tend to assume people arent goin to get upset because my intent isnt malicious.If someone objects to me usin a word I wont use it around them-but thats the same whatever the word,if someone doesnt like bein called ginger I wont call it them,thats just basic respect isnt it?

    Racism isnt just a black/white thing though.We are all prejudiced,its natural.We are all the same,but we are also all different and part of how we define ourselves is in relation to our differences.In big brother the girl was usin the n word to show she was 'street'-i.e.that she wasnt bothered by the difference in colour.Is it twisted to think that shud be a good thing?
    The resultin furore seems devisive and its sick that people get holier than thou over usin this one word,but are happy to slag off,and discriminate against,other groups.Pikeys,Americans,the French,Gays,'white trash',Muslims,Christians,people with mental health or learnin disabilities etc
    Not even sure what my point is now!Hypocrisy probably.I just find it interesting that we as a society get so hung up on offensive words that we kind of miss the point about examining our own underlyin attitudes,which is what makes the difference in how we treat each other.Its not honest.Maybe what we should be sayin is 'Yes i am racist-against groups that its socially acceptable to slag off of course-but I will try hard not to let my natural prejudices affect the way I treat people,and hope it goes both ways"
    I'll shut up now!Sorry 4 the essay,its been one of them days!

  • Quote from Walking Barefoot

    Are you afraid to use the word nigger in the context of a discussion for fear it will offend?


    No I refuse to use terms that point out factors about an individual that are unchangeable, to use as a weapon against them....:whistle:

  • I think, once again, that it all boils down to context.

    There are lots of different ways to say words, you can say them insultingly, you can use them to be dismissive, you can use them as a means of jokey banter ... Or you can use them to deliberately cause offence.

    As for Big Brother; well I think she was just being a bit overfamiliar without thinking of the consequences.

    How many people on here call stardust "the lezza"? To me it was simply a (possibly) overfamiliar exchange of banter not much different to that.

    I really don't think she was being racist, just daft; not daft for her choice of words, but daft for using them on national television.

    Apart from anything, kicking her out has stifled the debate .. and that is far worse.

  • Quote from John

    but... but... it wasn't even rascism... it was just a word

    okay how do you know it wasn't, how does one do rascism then ?

  • Quote from Dapablo

    okay how do you know it wasn't, how does one do rascism then ?

    Noun


    racism

    • The belief that members of one race are superior to members of other races
    • The belief that members of one ethnic group are superior to members of another ethnic group.
    • The belief that capability or behavior can be racially defined.
    • Aggression or discriminatory behavior towards members of a certain race or races.
    • Aggression or discriminatory behavior based upon differences in ethnicity.
    • Ethnically or culturally discriminatory behavior exhibited by members of the racial, ethnic, or cultural group dominant within a society.
    • The practice of asserting or assuming racially or ethnically defined cultural dominance.
    • The perpetuation of racial, ethnic, or cultural dominance of some groups over others.
    • Opportunity inequality resulting from preferential treatment towards others of a similar cultural background.
    • The act of using political, judicial, civil, and educational systems to oppress one based on their ethnicity.

    Not a single definition mentions using a word (that can have racist connotations) in a non-derogatory way... ;)

  • Quote from john

    Noun


    racism

    • The belief that members of one race are superior to members of other races
    • The belief that members of one ethnic group are superior to members of another ethnic group.
    • The belief that capability or behavior can be racially defined.
    • Aggression or discriminatory behavior towards members of a certain race or races.
    • Aggression or discriminatory behavior based upon differences in ethnicity.
    • Ethnically or culturally discriminatory behavior exhibited by members of the racial, ethnic, or cultural group dominant within a society.
    • The practice of asserting or assuming racially or ethnically defined cultural dominance.
    • The perpetuation of racial, ethnic, or cultural dominance of some groups over others.
    • Opportunity inequality resulting from preferential treatment towards others of a similar cultural background.
    • The act of using political, judicial, civil, and educational systems to oppress one based on their ethnicity.

    Not a single definition mentions using a word (that can have racist connotations) in a non-derogatory way...


    Language is a form of behaviour.... Agression is not just displayed physically.... So bearing that in mind....





    Main Entry: nig·ger
    Pronunciation: 'ni-g&r
    Function: noun
    Etymology: alteration of earlier neger, from Middle French negre, from Spanish or Portuguese negro, from negro black, from Latin niger
    1 usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a black person
    2 usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race
    3 : a member of a socially disadvantaged class of persons niggers...all the people who feel left out of the political process -- Ron Dellums>
    usage Nigger in senses 1 and 2 can be found in the works of such writers of the past as Joseph Conrad, Mark Twain, and Charles Dickens, but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, but, except in sense 3, it is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry.


    Well thanks John, it looks like that debate has been solved.. :)

  • Quote from John



    racism

    • Ethnically or culturally discriminatory behavior exhibited by members of the racial, ethnic, or cultural group dominant within a society.
    • The practice of asserting or assuming racially or ethnically defined cultural dominance.
    • The perpetuation of racial, ethnic, or cultural dominance of some groups over others.

    May I suggest that the use of racial language is covered by these points.

  • Quote from tekno slave


    1 usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a black person
    2 usually offensive; see usage paragraph below : a member of any dark-skinned race


    The key word is probably "usually"


    a little off topic - but Zimbabwe is a fantastic example of where we're too scared to say anything too nasty against a brutal dictator for fear of neo-colonialism. Inflation is in the thousands of percent, lawyers and opposition activists are brutalised, white farmers were turfed out so now they're unable to even feed themselves, AIDS affects a massive percentage of the population, life expectancy is under 40 last time i looked.... and yet he's just opened an exhibition dedicated to himself.

  • Quote from Cybw

    The key word is probably "usually"


    It would have to be usually... but that dosen't distract from this definition...

    Quote from Me

    but it now ranks as perhaps the most offensive and inflammatory racial slur in English. Its use by and among blacks is not always intended or taken as offensive, it is otherwise a word expressive of racial hatred and bigotry.


    Quote from Cybw

    a little off topic - but Zimbabwe is a fantastic example of where we're too scared to say anything too nasty against a brutal dictator for fear of neo-colonialism. Inflation is in the thousands of percent, lawyers and opposition activists are brutalised, white farmers were turfed out so now they're unable to even feed themselves, AIDS affects a massive percentage of the population, life expectancy is under 40 last time i looked.... and yet he's just opened an exhibition dedicated to himself.


    Isn't that more of an example of abuse of power... being brutalised for decades as a nation... more affluent countries exploting the countries involved still and not supplying them with acessiable drugs with which to treat the AIDS suffers..... Rather than a case of 'White shame' and because of that not being able to speak out about it... or is it the case that our governments are too busy bombing the crap out of the Middle East to give a fook about it?;)

  • Quote from tekno slave

    Probably the most offensive and inflammatory slur


    It is one of them yes, but I still don't see how that rules out it's usage. (although this could well go around in circles!)


    Quote from tekno slave

    Isn't that more of an example of abuse of power...
    Rather than a case of 'White shame' and because of that not being able to speak out about it...


    It most certainly is an abuse of power, but our refusual to act is quite shameful really. South Africa has even less excuses, and still offers tacit support to the regime. There's certainly a greater case to topple him than there was to go into Iraq - but I suppose there's no oil in... ill get me coat/tin hat.

  • Quote from Cybw

    It is one of them yes, but I still don't see how that rules out it's usage. (although this could well go around in circles!)


    It is not the word..but the meaning behind it...and of course it's history.




    Quote from Cybw

    It most certainly is an abuse of power, but our refusual to act is quite shameful really. South Africa has even less excuses, and still offers tacit support to the regime. There's certainly a greater case to topple him than there was to go into Iraq - but I suppose there's no oil in... ill get me coat/tin hat.


    Totally agree with that! :D