My whole opinion has changed.

Like Tree74Likes

Don't you think that encouraging respectful discourse/positive language is a way to change attitudes for the better? Yes there are gray areas, and neutral terms, but using slurs to as "general terms" isn't going to foster more compassion or respect.. if anything it heightens tensions further. The people who are always complaining about not being able to be rude are usually ones who feel they are losing some kind of social privelege or advantage because "Others" are getting treated with the respect they don't think they actually deserve.

Even if the terminology is sometimes murky, at least you can say the PC person is at least making the effort to be respectful.
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BekkaPoo, I'm with you on the PC thing.
I don't think saying African-American and Caucasian is PC. PC as opposed to what?



Examples of language commonly referred to as "politically correct" include: When I use PC I refer to terms like these.

Thelio, I don't know how old you are, but you sound like a lot of people I know who are really young, and who have convinced themselves that ethnic slurs are just words that have no power / have come up with rappers and others in pop culture constantly using them so they think it's normal. I hear white teens calling each other the n-word all the time and laughing. Then they go say it to someone of African descent and wonder why the person goes ballistic.

I think that yes, ideally and intellectually, there is a big difference in using a slur the way your friend did with the intent to belittle, degrade and hurt, and in using it more casually. And in a perfect world, we'd know that and it would be obvious when to let it slide and when not to. However, this is far from a perfect world, and because context is always open to interpretation, any time you use a slur, there is the possibility of someone being hurt or offended. Even if you're using the word to a very close friend, if you do it in a public forum like on a facebook wall or on public transit, someone else just hearing that can cringe and feel uncomfortable and feel violated.

I have never shouting slurs in public places. And I have never encountered my friends doing it. It always occurs when we are at a private gathering or some sort. But hearing slurs so much in a ďjust jokingĒ way, it never clicked that someone I know would use it any other way. I did feel violated.

I don't think that your casual use of slurs means you can't still call out your friend who used one, but as you can see, it complicates the issue from what should be a simple matter of saying you are offended to feeling that you first have to justify yourself or that he can use your use of language as an out.

Thatís the thing. I feel I should tell him, ďHey we all have freedom of speech, but that just came off as hateful and mean for no real reason whyĒ. But as you mentioned, my use of such words makes me feel as if Iím a hypocrite. Iím also in the dilemma that his wife is my best friend, and I go to visit them every time Iím on Baltimore. I donít want things to be awkward. But then I feel I have to speak up for sake of the children and ending the ignorance cycle. I feel so conflicted.

I think what is more important though is that, whatever happens with him, his behaviour was a springboard to a learning experience for you. As wild hair said, you have now grown wiser - so in a way, he did you a favour because in the future, you will be more careful about how you use slurs.

This is true. I guess I can thank him for that.

The other thing to think about is the origin of the actual slurs being used. For example, "cracker" actually insults Black people just as much because it comes from the term "whip-cracker", for slavedrivers, so it is continuing to speak of people as if they are in that position over us. "Mutt" is a derogatory term about "race-mixing" implying that "purebreds" are on a higher footing. Are these really the ideas you're intending to get across? I find that some people are really weird about having friends of another group. I have tons of white friends and have never felt the need to draw attention to it by calling them "crackers." It's obvious to all of us we are from different ethnic backgrounds - so what?

I learned about the history of cracker in African American History. And Iím not sure if ďmuttĒ offends me or not. I think mullato offends me more because he is derived from mule. I donít want to put across any idea that one group of people is better than another. I grew up in a diverse environment all my life. I knew people were different, but they are still people. I was also raised to that words are words and donít let them bother you. My family is like this; my familyís friends are like this. I have heard slurs about every group come from that group. And my friends are of different ethnic backgrounds, I donít greet them with a slur, but there are times when we will say a term in referring to each other. After this incident I know I will be mindful of what I say, if I ever even use a slur again. Iím also not sure how I will react if I hear a slur. I think I should mention something to him, I donít want to fly off the handle towards a friend if they use a slur in a joking way.
Originally Posted by Amneris


WTH does "jew him down" mean? her computer is "being jewish". I grew up around jewish people as well, Baltimore has a big community. i know the stereotypes, but I would had been totally clueless of what they meant.
Originally Posted by thelio
I'm in the Baltimore area now and I don't hear it here, either. But the phrase "Jew him down" and what that woman said in my dorm room lo those many years ago, it's a reference to the stereotype that Jewish people are cheap, which I had literally never ever heard before. Had no idea.

--
Sent from my phone, please excuse typos or brevity.
Originally Posted by MichelleBFT
yeah I have heard of this stereotype. my dad does home improvement and house painting. Are you familar with the mt. washington or roland park area? there is a big jewish population there. my dad has done work there. Once when i was a little girl i went with him to a job. he told the homeowner the cost. my dad asked him something like, "does that seem fair?" the guy laughed and said,"yeah, it seems kinda cheap though, and thats coming from a jew". i was too young to get it. but didnt see anything wrong. he told a joke and they laughed. i got older and discovered that is was a stereotype.

But "jew him down"? really? it makes it seem as if being a jew is something bad.
Originally Posted by thelio
It means to haggle over a price to get the cheapest possible price. It does come from an old sterotype of Jewish people being cheap. You don't hear it much any more because it's considered insulting. My neighbor for some reason missed the memo.
curlypearl likes this.
I'm confused here?

How can you throw around terms like "cracker" and "mutt" but now be hurt and offended over the use of [Mexican slur]?

How were you distinguishing between them?

I'm assuming no one involved is Mexican? (And can therefore plead innocence if called on the carpet?)

Are you hurt bc of the word they guy used on FB or bc he is not sympathetic to Trayvon Martin?

With regard to it being awkward bc it's your best friend's husband...that' understandable. But really, the burden is on the person throwing around slurs, not you.

Seriously, this is 2012. If your friendship w/ his wife is damaged bc you objected to his use of racial slurs, it might be that you two/three have already grown further apart than you realize.

If I can just vent here for a second about my own "nonPC" mishap yesterday...

I was walking down the hall, quietly talking w/ a gf. I offhandedly mentioned going out to grab a quick bite w/ a male friend but it wasn't a big deal bc he is gay. And she more loudly than she should have exclaimed, "Gay??? Ewwwww."

I looked behind me to make sure no one was w/in earshot...and would you know it, one of the only two openly gay people at our job was behind us. I was/am mortified.

And I need to go speak to her.

But back to the OP. I am starting to hate the term PC. It seems so ridiculous and obsolete. I think the concept needs to be re-branded. Maybe "culturally aware" or "culturally accurate?"

Either way, I don't think calling people ethnic slurs has anything at all to do w/ being PC or not.

And people who use offensive language need those behaviors challenged.
Springcurl and Amneris like this.
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You have a point there. "PC" has become a semi-insult. "Culturally aware" is a nice phrase, I think.
Amneris likes this.
WTH does "jew him down" mean?
Originally Posted by thelio
It means haggling with someone for a lower price. I have no idea how a computer can be "acting stingy," though.

I don't see what the big deal is with being PC. I mean, it's not exactly hard for me to not say ethnic slurs...
curlypearl likes this.
You have a point there. "PC" has become a semi-insult. "Culturally aware" is a nice phrase, I think.
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
Thanks, Suzen...I just might try to get that copyrighted!

OMG. A while back on this board a conversation was taking place about someone's loved one killing himself. And the term "commit suicide" was used several times.

Well, I had been a suicide hotline volunteer for several years so I knew that the MH community is trying to move away from the term "commit suicide" as it is believed to stigmatize the person, basically accusing him/her of "committing" a crime, like "committing" murder, etc.

So I offhandedly mentioned this, thinking the info might be helpful to the person writing about the tragedy, like "FYI." (The preferred term is "completing suicide." (Or even killing yourself or taking your own life.)

And I was jumped on and accused of being PC brainwashed! LOL Me?!

IRL I have said it's probably better not to say someone in AoD recovery is "staying clean"...bc of the stigmatizing insinuation that people struggling w/ addiction are "diirty."

Few people get it.

Hello? What year is this?
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Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 03-30-2012 at 10:42 AM.
I'm confused here?

How can you throw around terms like "cracker" and "mutt" but now be hurt and offended over the use of [Mexican slur]?

How were you distinguishing between them?

I'm assuming no one involved is Mexican? (And can therefore plead innocence if called on the carpet?)

Are you hurt bc of the word they guy used on FB or bc he is not sympathetic to Trayvon Martin?

With regard to it being awkward bc it's your best friend's husband...that' understandable. But really, the burden is on the person throwing around slurs, not you.

Seriously, this is 2012. If your friendship w/ his wife is damaged bc you objected to his use of racial slurs, it might be that you two/three have already grown further apart than you realize.

If I can just vent here for a second about my own "nonPC" mishap yesterday...

I was walking down the hall, quietly talking w/ a gf. I offhandedly mentioned going out to grab a quick bite w/ a male friend but it wasn't a big deal bc he is gay. And she more loudly than she should have exclaimed, "Gay??? Ewwwww."

I looked behind me to make sure no one was w/in earshot...and would you know it, one of the only two openly gay people at our job was behind us. I was/am mortified.

And I need to go speak to her.

But back to the OP. I am starting to hate the term PC. It seems so ridiculous and obsolete. I think the concept needs to be re-branded. Maybe "culturally aware" or "culturally accurate?"

Either way, I don't think calling people ethnic slurs has anything at all to do w/ being PC or not.

And people who use offensive language need those behaviors challenged.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone. as i mentioned, my friends and I have used these words around each other in joking way. we have never said it as an insult. i have never used any as an insult. i never saw anything wrong with using it in a joking way. this friend posted on fb using the word, but it wasnt in a joking way. it wasnt in the context we have used it. when i saw it it made me feel some kind of way. it wasnt a joke, and it didnt seem right. as i said, i feel like a hypocrite confronting him about this, because i have used this words, though not in the same way.

I mention the tayvon martin case just to set up the incident of why he even posted about an hispanic.

the point of my post is that i never saw any harm of the slurs. i always thought that if they were used in a hurtful way it wouldnt bother me. As a child when i was called the n word in a hurtful way, it didnt bother me, i laughed it off. now years later, a friend post a racail slur about a race im not, and didnt even direct it too me, but it churned my stomach. i dont know if im being over sensitve, or as been mentioned I am growing up therefore becoming wiser. i wanted insight into this. i wanted others opinions on this.

as you mentioned, if this ruins a friendship, maybe we have grown apart which i hope is not the case. i am certain i have to respond to this. i have to confront him and just deal with the after math.
i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone.
Originally Posted by thelio
It is belittling, though, regardless of your intention.
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WTH does "jew him down" mean?
Originally Posted by thelio
It means haggling with someone for a lower price. I have no idea how a computer can be "acting stingy," though.

I don't see what the big deal is with being PC. I mean, it's not exactly hard for me to not say ethnic slurs...
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Right! What would it cost me to call a person by a name they would prefer instead of a name they find distasteful?
curlypearl likes this.
i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone.
Originally Posted by thelio
It is belittling, though, regardless of your intention.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
Intent is not magic.
Springcurl, curlyarca and Eilonwy like this.
i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone.
Originally Posted by thelio
It is belittling, though, regardless of your intention.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
Intent is not magic.
Originally Posted by Saria
Hir and zie? I love it!
Saria likes this.
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG

I'm confused here?

How can you throw around terms like "cracker" and "mutt" but now be hurt and offended over the use of [Mexican slur]?

How were you distinguishing between them?

I'm assuming no one involved is Mexican? (And can therefore plead innocence if called on the carpet?)

Are you hurt bc of the word they guy used on FB or bc he is not sympathetic to Trayvon Martin?

With regard to it being awkward bc it's your best friend's husband...that' understandable. But really, the burden is on the person throwing around slurs, not you.

Seriously, this is 2012. If your friendship w/ his wife is damaged bc you objected to his use of racial slurs, it might be that you two/three have already grown further apart than you realize.

If I can just vent here for a second about my own "nonPC" mishap yesterday...

I was walking down the hall, quietly talking w/ a gf. I offhandedly mentioned going out to grab a quick bite w/ a male friend but it wasn't a big deal bc he is gay. And she more loudly than she should have exclaimed, "Gay??? Ewwwww."

I looked behind me to make sure no one was w/in earshot...and would you know it, one of the only two openly gay people at our job was behind us. I was/am mortified.

And I need to go speak to her.

But back to the OP. I am starting to hate the term PC. It seems so ridiculous and obsolete. I think the concept needs to be re-branded. Maybe "culturally aware" or "culturally accurate?"

Either way, I don't think calling people ethnic slurs has anything at all to do w/ being PC or not.

And people who use offensive language need those behaviors challenged.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone. as i mentioned, my friends and I have used these words around each other in joking way. we have never said it as an insult. i have never used any as an insult. i never saw anything wrong with using it in a joking way. this friend posted on fb using the word, but it wasnt in a joking way. it wasnt in the context we have used it. when i saw it it made me feel some kind of way. it wasnt a joke, and it didnt seem right. as i said, i feel like a hypocrite confronting him about this, because i have used this words, though not in the same way.

I mention the tayvon martin case just to set up the incident of why he even posted about an hispanic.

the point of my post is that i never saw any harm of the slurs. i always thought that if they were used in a hurtful way it wouldnt bother me. As a child when i was called the n word in a hurtful way, it didnt bother me, i laughed it off. now years later, a friend post a racail slur about a race im not, and didnt even direct it too me, but it churned my stomach. i dont know if im being over sensitve, or as been mentioned I am growing up therefore becoming wiser. i wanted insight into this. i wanted others opinions on this.

as you mentioned, if this ruins a friendship, maybe we have grown apart which i hope is not the case. i am certain i have to respond to this. i have to confront him and just deal with the after math.
Originally Posted by thelio
I totally accept what you say. And I'm not trying to beat you up. But I'm just curious - what exactly is the "joke" in calling someone a cracker or a mutt? Why is it funny to reference inequality and marginalization due to race?
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i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone.
Originally Posted by thelio
It is belittling, though, regardless of your intention.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
Intent is not magic.
Originally Posted by Saria
Hmm. Interesting.

This brings to mind something my sister and I were talking about. She has a 16-year-old son, and she works in his school. Recently a couple of students were arrested for making threats against teachers on Facebook. Their defense was "We didn't mean it, we were just fooling around." She says she hears this all the time from the kids, whenever they do something stupid or rude or get in a fight. I didn't mean it, so whatever bad effect my action has is not my responsibility?

ETA: In fact, the result of my bad action is actually your responsibility because you were offended/ insulted/ harmed by it? Something wrong with that thinking.
curlypearl likes this.
i have thrown around all kinds of slurs even this one. but it was never to belittle anyone.
Originally Posted by thelio
It is belittling, though, regardless of your intention.
Originally Posted by Springcurl
Intent is not magic.
Originally Posted by Saria

"Magical Intent is the principle by which someone who has said or done something offensive, hurtful, rage-making, marginalizing, and/or otherwise contemptible argues that the person to whom they've said or done it has no right to be offended, hurt, enraged, alienated, and/or otherwise disdainful because their intent was not to generate that reaction."

I have never done that. if I say something that hurts someone and they call me on it, I apologize and ask why. I have never said slurs in front of people I didnt know. They have always been in private functions with friends.

I'm not attempting to make excuses for using the words. I just dont want you curlies thinking I go around calling every black person the n word or white person the c word. It is always an exchange between friends in front of other friends. It actually started as a joke in high school. a greeting among black youths was, "whats up my n..." my non-blacks friends starting saying similar things but with other terms, such as the c word or h word. so now I have a group of friends who use these terms towards themselves as well to others in our group and as far as i know no one has been offended.

after this, i will probably discuss this also with them the next time we have a gathering, which we try to do every month. this particular group of friends live in dc where i live and is very diverse. this friend knows none of them, so like all of you can give me input of the situation.
I'm with some PP's on the issue. I have friends from various backgrounds. It would never occur to me to use racial or ethnic slurs with them in any context. I refuse to even use the n word around my black friends because of what was stated previously-it's easy for people who don't share your background to try to excuse their use of slurs when people of color are using them and it can make you seem hypocritical for you to call them out on it if you use them yourself. For instance, I once dated a Jewish guy. He wasn't that observant and I'm not sure that it matters in this context. Anyway, he once questioned me why some black people use the n word around each other and at first, I couldn't really come up with a good answer. At first, I gave the answer that there are some blacks who feel that by us reclaiming the n word and using it in a positive or neutral context, it will lessen the hurtful meaning of the word and we'd gain power over it, much like the way women try to reclaim the b word, but he wasn't having that. Then I stated that those blacks who use it tend to be ignorant and have self esteem issues and have internalized negative stereotypes about themselves, which he seemed to accept, but I'm not sure that answer is true for all those blacks who do use that word. In the end, there really is no acceptable reason for us to use it, because as previously stated, it gets problematic when a white person attempts to use it and they get shot down and that white person hasn't a clue on why. Ultimately, how hard is it to show respect for someone by using the term they'd prefer?
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WTH does "jew him down" mean?
Originally Posted by thelio
It means haggling with someone for a lower price. I have no idea how a computer can be "acting stingy," though.

I don't see what the big deal is with being PC. I mean, it's not exactly hard for me to not say ethnic slurs...
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
Right! What would it cost me to call a person by a name they would prefer instead of a name they find distasteful?
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
Exactly.

It seems to me that most of the people I come across who complain about being PC are really complaining about not liking that people like to choose for themselves what to be called. I guess some people don't like losing the power that comes with being able to put everyone who is different into a tiny little box and keep them there.
"...just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face." ~Harry Dresden


yeah I have heard of this stereotype. my dad does home improvement and house painting. Are you familar with the mt. washington or roland park area? there is a big jewish population there. my dad has done work there. Once when i was a little girl i went with him to a job. he told the homeowner the cost. my dad asked him something like, "does that seem fair?" the guy laughed and said,"yeah, it seems kinda cheap though, and thats coming from a jew". i was too young to get it. but didnt see anything wrong. he told a joke and they laughed. i got older and discovered that is was a stereotype.

But "jew him down"? really? it makes it seem as if being a jew is something bad.
Originally Posted by thelio
Speaking generally its been Pikesville that's been sort of the focal point of the Jewish community in the area, but Mt Washington is adjacent to Pikesville. My husband lived in Mt Washington when we met.

--
Sent from my phone, please excuse typos or brevity.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because itís dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that itís about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being ďPC,Ē youíre not being forward-thinking or unique. Youíre buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and youíre keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
WTH does "jew him down" mean?
Originally Posted by thelio
It means haggling with someone for a lower price. I have no idea how a computer can be "acting stingy," though.

I don't see what the big deal is with being PC. I mean, it's not exactly hard for me to not say ethnic slurs...
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
She was implying that the company she was arguing with over service on the thing was being cheap. I shortened the story about bit.

--
Sent from my phone, please excuse typos or brevity.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because itís dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that itís about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being ďPC,Ē youíre not being forward-thinking or unique. Youíre buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and youíre keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.
This goes back to the discussion we were having on this board last week about the R word. And this post:

when people get mad at other people saying that something they did was racist/sexist/homophobic/whatever
I donít get it

itís like

If you were hanging out with your friend and your friend turns to you and says ďhey I donít know if you noticed but you just stepped on my foot, can you please stopĒ, I am guessing most people would say ďoh man, Iím sorryĒ and maybe watch where they were walking a little better

You probably would NOT:
yell at your friend for accusing you of stepping on their foot
deny that you had stepped on your friendís foot
argue with your friend over how you step on everyoneís feet equally, so it shouldnít matter
insist that you didnít step on their foot that hard, so it couldnít have hurt them
get offended over the implication that the way you walk is wrong
say ďokay, but what about MY foot?Ē
step on your friendís foot more to show how it isnít even a big deal and nobody cares about people stepping on each otherís feet anymore
reference that one time when your friend stepped on YOUR foot and you didnít complain
tell them you didnít mean to do it, so youíre not responsible for stepping on their foot
deny that your friend has a foot
and I mean sometimes the person isnít even a friend or someone you know but that doesnít matter, donít ****ing step on people
emthefantastical likes this.
"And politically correct is the worst term, not just because itís dismissive, but because it narrows down the whole social justice spectrum to this idea that itís about being polite instead of about dismantling the oppressive social structure of power.
Fun Fact: When you actively avoid being ďPC,Ē youíre not being forward-thinking or unique. Youíre buying into systems of oppression that have existed since before you were even born, and youíre keeping those systems in place."
Stolen.

Right! What would it cost me to call a person by a name they would prefer instead of a name they find distasteful?
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
Some people are just effing hard-headed.


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