This place matters

This place matters

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sticks and Stones

Someone I know posted a link to this article on, in which a reporter tracked down some teens who used the N-word to describe the president over Twitter - students who display their school's names on their profiles and post under their own names. Then the reporter called the kids' schools to make them aware of this.
Jeremy and I just had a spirited discussion of this and he's brought me around to his opinion that this was kind of a dick move on the part of the reporter. I mean, I'm certainly not sorry for the kids - you've got to learn sometime that we're accountable the things we say under our own names on an international forum. However, calling their schools to tattle on them is maybe a little lame. And snooty. And a tiny bit creepy.
But this post isn't about that. It's about the argument that always comes up when the question of whether white people should use racial slurs. The old "they" can call "us" anything they want argument. I'm not saying that black people should be calling white people horrible names. I'm asking whether this is a thing that happens. I've known a lot of black people, including my fair share of racist black people, but the closest thing I've ever gotten to a racial slur was when someone once called me a white bitch. Which, to be fair, is a factual statement. 
I'm not saying there aren't any black people running around shouting honky out the car windows, I'm just saying that if that language is as common and socially accepted as folks seem to think it is, I must be deaf. 
I listen to rap and hip hop, which are supposed to be scandalously anti-white, and I've yet to hear a cracker or honky or any other slur against white people. I mean, Eminem calls himself white trash, but again, factual statement. I even Googled "racist rap lyrics." That, as it turns out, is an excellent way to stumble onto Neo-Nazi websites. So that's in my browser history now. Awesome. I'm not saying there aren't racist rap lyrics. I'm just saying that in my experience, artists who rap about killing whitey are just as outside of the mainstream as Neo Nazi bands like the late Prussian Blue, which was made up of tween girls (they seem to have reached the age of reason last year, giving up the act and the white nationalist rhetoric last year).
My point: You're not a persecuted minority. Your inability to say the n-word without social consequence isn't a great social evil. And the "why can't I do it; the other guy gets to do it" argument stopped being valid when you were 8 and your mom wouldn't let you ride your bike to the end of your block even if the other kids are allowed.


Anonymous said...

Karen and I enjoyed your post Brigid.
Uncle Pogue/Crout Mike. You probably know this already but this is where Pogue came from:
Epithet derived from the Irish phrase, "Pog mo Thoin", meaning kiss my ass. It is generally not considered offensive.

CNC said...
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