My whole opinion has changed.

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I have always been the non-pc type. I never say african american or caucasian or anything like that. Neither have I ever been offended by hearing racial slurs. I was taught that we give power to words and if we don't let it bother us, the idiot who used it will look more like an idiot.

So anywho. I'm going to try to keep this short. I think one of my best friends is married to a racist, but I don't think he even knows it or is in denial. That is what I need advice about. Is he racist or just stupid??

Today for the first time in a while I got on facebook. As most of you have noticed most follks are posting about Tayvon. So I'm browsing through the nwesfeed of my friends when I see my bestfriends hubby, who I also consider a dear friend, post about the case. I'm not going to copy and paste. What he said offended me. I am never offended!!! He pretty much went on a rant about the murderer being not white. He used the racial slur for mexicans and further went on to say the truth will come out and maybe Zimmerman(whatever his name is) had just cause. I was stunned. I wanted to comment but no clue what to say, because I am so stunned!

As I have said I am not pc neither are my friends. But seeing this on his wall hurt. I don't know why. it was just so uncalled for. His candor is usually welcoming, but this was so... wrong to me. I didn't even hear him say it just type it and my opinion of him has changed. Is he a racist, stupid, or both?

I know I will never use words like that again. I have done it with friends joking with them. They have done it to me. But for some reason this incident has changed how I feel about those words. I'm not sure if its because its connected to this case or what. I just know its going to be strabge being around him
What did he say that offended you? (The racial slur for Mexicans?)
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Personally, I'm okay with someone having a differing opinion than me about the Trayvon Martin case. There is conflicting testimony about the facts of the case, and I don't like to condemn someone without knowing the full story. I do think the truth will come out.

I would be troubled by seeing someone use racial slurs or a nasty tone about someone's race/ethnicity.
I am non pc like you as well with friends and people I know..well not to the extreme but it doesn't bother me when other people use it in a sarcastic way. But when someone posts it on a public forum or fb, then I'm assuming they really mean it and that is offensive.
wild~hair and thelio like this.
people are not angry that a white person killed a black person or that mr. zimmerman may have been racist. it is simply, at least in my mind, that initially the police did not investigate this crime properly. the assumption was that because trayvon was young and black that he was up to no good and despite trayvon not having a weapon, was still viewed as so dangerous the police did not arrest mr. zimmerman for killing him-they didn't detain him at all. the assumption, for whatever reason, was that mr. zimmerman was innocent of any crime and trayvon must've been guilty of some crime.

i haven't been keeping up with the story, but that is how i see things.
What bothered me is that he said the slur on a public forum for one. Then I just noticed he wrote on his wall that he is entitled to his opinion and beliefs. And if anyone doesn't like it they know what to do.

As I have said me and my friends are no where near pc, but I have never saw any of them post racial slurs on a public forum. I will admit that I have posted "sup cr@cker?" On a friend's wall and in turn they comment back, "nothing much mutt" or something like that. But I have never or witnesses any of them doing anything like this friend.

And yes everyone is entittled to their opinion. Another reason I enjoy his friendship is that we can dabate. But just throwing around racial slurs has never occured in my presents unless it was in the context I mentioned before.

The post just got me to thinking to some past incidents I never thought too much about. I'm starting to think he may not like brown people.
people are not angry that a white person killed a black person or that mr. zimmerman may have been racist. it is simply, at least in my mind, that initially the police did not investigate this crime properly. the assumption was that because trayvon was young and black that he was up to no good and despite trayvon not having a weapon, was still viewed as so dangerous the police did not arrest mr. zimmerman for killing him-they didn't detain him at all. the assumption, for whatever reason, was that mr. zimmerman was innocent of any crime and trayvon must've been guilty of some crime.

i haven't been keeping up with the story, but that is how i see things.
Originally Posted by frau
This is want I take from it as well. Someone was killed but no one was arrested. I don't care what the races are. A child was murdered.

My friend pointed out that everyone is yelling a white man killed a black boy,but he wasn't. That's when he calls zimmerman the slur. I just don't get why he felt he had to use this word.if he was trying to drive hope the message, the only message he drove home was that he is ignorant a possibly a closeted races.
What bothered me is that he said the slur on a public forum for one. Then I just noticed he wrote on his wall that he is entitled to his opinion and beliefs. And if anyone doesn't like it they know what to do.

As I have said me and my friends are no where near pc, but I have never saw any of them post racial slurs on a public forum. I will admit that I have posted "sup cr@cker?" On a friend's wall and in turn they comment back, "nothing much mutt" or something like that. But I have never or witnesses any of them doing anything like this friend.

And yes everyone is entittled to their opinion. Another reason I enjoy his friendship is that we can dabate. But just throwing around racial slurs has never occured in my presents unless it was in the context I mentioned before.

The post just got me to thinking to some past incidents I never thought too much about. I'm starting to think he may not like brown people.
Originally Posted by thelio
This is why I disagree with the use of ethnic slurs in ANY context, even as a joke, even to people you are very close with and even towards yourself or your own ethnic group. While context does matter and people should be able to tell the difference in a racist or a non-racist use of a slur, it's easy for people to try to excuse their use of slurs when people of colour are using them, it can diminish your own moral authority to call it out if you use them, and it just muddies the issue unnecessarily for people who are not that evolved and gives them easy excuses, in my opinion.

If I see people writing words like cracker and mutt on facebook, I report that. I don't want to see that and it offends me.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











Amneris, I use to feel the complete opposite. I felt I could use it with my friends and they could use it with me. I knew they never meant it as a negative hateful remark same as for me. Just this past weekend me and my friend along with others were doing it.

But know this!

I don't know how to deal with it. I feel if I confront him about it, I'm be called a hypocrite. And honestly that's what I feel like. Just last week I was using racial slurs, now I'm pitching a fit because of this situation. I'm not any type of hispanic and it wasn't directed towards me, but if I feel this way now, what if someone did direct a hateful slur towards me. I have been called the n word before, but I was maybe 12. It didn't bother me. I laughed it off and called the person a dumbass. I think in my old age I'm getting more sensitive.
Amneris, I don't always agree with your POV, but +1 definitely to the above. I have heard people use racial slurs and it makes me cringe. If I feel safe, I challenge the user, but often it's in a public place like the subway where I don't feel safe challenging anyone and nobody cares what I think anyway.

What's the point? Slurs are ugly no matter who uses them or whatever context.
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I just wish people (not just in this thread) really understood what PC really is and is not.


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I think in my old age I'm getting more sensitive.
Originally Posted by thelio
I would say you're getting more wise. People are not always what they pretend to be. Some things are important and worth struggling for. Words are powerful.
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One time I was talking with my neighbors who lived on either side. One neighbor used the expression "Jew him down" and then said, "Oh, you're not Jewish, are you?" The other neighbor, who I knew was Jewish, didn't say anything, but left. Neighbor 1 said he didn't mean it as any kind of insult, and in fact he learned it from a Jewish guy. I had a long talk with him about why you don't say stuff like this, even in casual conversation, even when you don't mean it as an insult. He went and apologized to the other neighbor, but I am sure the damage was done. I don't know how he got to be 30 or so without learning this.
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One time I was talking with my neighbors who lived on either side. One neighbor used the expression "Jew him down" and then said, "Oh, you're not Jewish, are you?" The other neighbor, who I knew was Jewish, didn't say anything, but left. Neighbor 1 said he didn't mean it as any kind of insult, and in fact he learned it from a Jewish guy. I had a long talk with him about why you don't say stuff like this, even in casual conversation, even when you don't mean it as an insult. He went and apologized to the other neighbor, but I am sure the damage was done. I don't know how he got to be 30 or so without learning this.
Originally Posted by SuZenGuide
I was eighteen before I heard anyone use any variety of Jewish as an insult. I grew up in a predominantly Jewish area, so the idea that anyone would ever do such a thing was completely foreign to me. When I went away to college a woman told me her computer was being Jewish, ie cheap. (Yea, I still feel the need to translate this because it's still completely foreign to me.) I could tell it wasn't a compliment but I had to ask her what she meant. She was immediately embarrassed, but once she fessed up, I explained to her why it wasn't okay, and that I didn't care what she said but she wasn't going to say ish like that to me, not in my room.

Made me really popular, naturally. Whatever, I transferred away from there as quickly as I could.

--
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? 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.

You may be right wild~hair. I think I am becoming wiser. I'm growing up. i cringe at the thought of growing up, but i guess with it comes wisdom. These words are becoming so commonplace that people throw them around not realizing what affect they could have.

looking back at some things I feel stupid. I have never set out to offend anyone or hurt someone. i never used the words for shock value either. which a part of me is wondering if my friend did it to get people's attention. i also feel he may just be ignorant to alot of things as I once was. yes he is in his thirties, but honestly not too intellegent. He grew up in a most homologous community. he didnt meet a muslim until last year, he is in his mid-thirties. I feel inclined to educate him to the fact that hispanic is not a race. you can be hispanic and white or black. in this case, we're speaking about someone who is a white hispanic. i think if i enlighten him, he will become more aware. I also dont want his kids who i consider my niece and nephew growing up with this idea that it's ok to say these words.
I never understood why people thought being "PC" means they are losing their right to free speech or something. I think that was just hateful propaganda from people who tried to reverse the meaning of what was originally intended by being PC, which was to respect peoples' right to some sort of dignity when referring to their racial/ethnic/sexual/etc. identities. Most of us fall into many overlapping categories..

I also do not like the use of ethnic slurs.. I grew up in a lot of different places and had exposure to a lot of different cultures as a child. I think if people travelled more and had intimate (as in "not superficial") exposure to people different from themselves it could do a lot to reduce that kind of hateful ignorance.
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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?

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 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.

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.

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?
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











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.
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"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.
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.
I always understood PC to mean something more along the lines of calling somebody AA instead of black. I don't think calling someone the n word is a matter of PC. That's just bigotry. Slurs are negative by definition. "Black" always sounded neutral to me. And maybe there is a grey area, but when I criticize political correctness, that is what I have in mind.

However, I do notice that people use anti-PC discourse to justify bigotry of the worst kind, and I do not wish to be associated with them. I also noticed that some people who are close to me are so obsessed about calling out PC behaviour and I just don't see the point. Why does it matter so much to them?

Personally I don't care which term I have to use. It's not free speech I worry about. What bothers me is that there is very little consensus about these things and sometimes the "PC" term is so euphemistic that it actually sounds worse to me. It can often sound like the person's background/ethnicity/religion/heritage is the problem and not the prejudiced attitudes that sometimes thrown their way. When you not only correct someone over something that is so dubious to start with and act like you have the moral highground and they are biggots for not thinking like you, then it's no wonder so many hate PC culture. But, as I said, I think the whole debate is being tarnished by people who cannot differenciate between what's politically incorrect and what's just straight out wrong.

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