Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Bigger than Nigger

"Why can a black guy call another black guy nigger, and a white guy can't?" Kevin asked.

"Why are you asking me?"

Kevin stared at Andy. "You're black. I figured you'd know."

"You're an idiot," Andy replied with a chuckle. "And black people call each other 'niggas.' Only racist white guys call black people 'niggers.'"

"That's a cop-out. You and I both know it doesn't matter how you say it; what matters is who says it. Or more specifcally, the skin color of who says it."

"You think it should be okay for white dudes to go around calling people 'nigger?'

"In a way, yes."

A little perturbed Andy asked, "What if people called you 'cracker' or 'white trash' all the time, just because you are white?"

Kevin shrugged. "I suppose I wouldn't like that."

"Now add hundreds of years of history to 'cracker,' a history of oppression, racism, and violence. Then white people would know what it's like being discriminated against just because they're white."

Keving thought for a moment, then asked, "What if they don't hate niggers because they're black. What if they hate niggers because they're niggers?"

"What?" Andy exclaimed.

"What if people say 'nigger' in reference to someone being poor, racist, uneducated, and, purely coincidently, black?"

"You're proposing that 'nigger' is a derogetory word for someone's socio-economic status? Then why aren't poor, racist, uneducated white people called 'niggers?'

"Why aren't mean women called 'dickheads?' Why aren't gay men called 'dykes?' It just doesn't makes sense.

"What are you getting at?"

"While I agree that calling a black person 'nigger' is not nice or racially sensitive, I don't think it means that you're a racist." Andy looked like he was about to say something, but Kevin continued, "So why is it that any time someone even mumbles 'nigger' Rev. Jessy Jackson busts through the wall like the Kool-Aid man and the ACLU goes into DEFCON 2?"

"'Nigger' is bigger than just the word itself. It's more than just an insult. Whether the white speaker means it or not, the black hearer is going to interpret it with the connotation of racism."

Kevin thought for a moment. "So, if there was another word -- say, uh, 'dontoid' -- that meant 'poor, uneducated, racist, and black,' and 'dontoid' didn't have any of the history or connotation that 'nigger' has, would it be alright to say it -- as alright as saying any other derrogetory statement, that is?"

"Not if the person saying 'dontoid' is white."

5 comments:

  1. I resent how you treat the ACLU :)

    The ACLU wouldn't ever get upset about that ... the org is pro-speech to the XXtreme.

    -hb

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  2. bigger than nigger is niggest.

    too late i already have it.

    TG

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  3. i hate niggers and i dont give a damn what they think about it

    ReplyDelete
  4. That's superfantastic, cowboys fan. I'm sure they don't give a damn what you think, either.

    ReplyDelete

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