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Religion, Politics and World Events They make great dinner conversation, don't you think? plus Political Film

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Old 07-30-17, 10:28 PM   #3251
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by slop101 View Post
Sez the white guy who's never been the target of actual racism.
Do you know this for a fact? Or are you expressing the opinion that "white" people can never be the target of racism in any time, place, or circumstance?

Would it change your reaction if Abob declared himself to be a "black" guy? What if the opinion came from a well-known black person? Would that make the observation worthy of consideration, or would the speaker be dismissed as an "Uncle Tom?"
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Old 07-31-17, 12:14 AM   #3252
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
I'll just quote myself from the post directly above your question:

"When directed toward Mrs. Obama, it was undoubtedly a racist comment."
Then what are we arguing about? In this thread, about racism, using the term ape to describe black people cannot be an innocuous act.

Furthermore, if you know that comparing black people to apes is considered racist, you cannot use it innocuously in any context, even if you mean they're being a brute.
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Old 07-31-17, 12:56 AM   #3253
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
Then what are we arguing about? In this thread, about racism, using the term ape to describe black people cannot be an innocuous act.

Furthermore, if you know that comparing black people to apes is considered racist, you cannot use it innocuously in any context, even if you mean they're being a brute.
Nope.

Implying that a person physically resembles an ape...or has the intellectual capacity of an ape...is an insult to anyone, regardless of race. But it also has a historical context as a derogatory term just as other derogatory terms are used to defame other groups.

To repeat, the key is the context. Abob was pointing using O.J. Simpson as an example, but we could pick convicted killers, rapists, and assaulters who happen to be black and use the word "ape" to describe them as being a brute. If people generally agree that the word is completely applicable in those cases, is it still off-limits because it has been applied unfairly to innocent people?

Can a religious person be a zealot? Can an Irish person be a drunk? Can a female be a (fill in term)? Can a male be a (fill in term)?

Just because words have been used in stereotyped way to refer to specific, identified groups in the past, does that mean that individuals who fall into that group category are exempt from that label if the shoe fits?

The question is whether the term "ape" is inherently racist or whether it can describe behavior regardless of race. I pointed out terms that have specific connotations regardless of behavior. It's not acceptable to call even those rapists, murderers, assaulters, etc. those terms because those terms are inherently derogatory.

The same discussion comes up when the word "thug" is used. Some people object to that word being used to describe certain races (while being considered entirely appropriate for other races). Others say that if a person behaves in ways that fit the definition, it is appropriate to use it regardless of race. Likewise, why can't "ape" be used to describe a brute...regardless of race? If persons of European or Asian descent behave brutishly, can they be described as an "ape?" If they are described that way, no "racist" connotation is applied; however, if they were called "**********s," "cr***rs," or "f***ts," those terms would be considered offensive...because they don't describe behaviors. They retain their offensive associations expressly due to their usage (in fact, the insult is not only toward the target but toward those to whom the comparison is being made...the idea being that it's offensive to even be considered to be like those groups).

You can't call a "white" person a "**********" without raising objections. The context doesn't matter. You can call a "white" or Asian or Hispanic person an "ape" without objection...because the term isn't inherently "racist." The context makes the difference...just as it should when applied to a black person.

Calling a person an "ape" is offensive regardless of the race of the person if the person's behavior doesn't justify its usage. It's not "racist" if it accurately describes a person's behavior. If "ape" were never used and was replaced with "animal" or "brute," eventually people would raise the same sort of objections since blacks were once considered as or labeled with those terms in past history.

If that argument isn't convincing, consider this:

DVDTalk bans (filters) the use of n***r and f***t. It has no such ban for "ape."

That ought to be enough to convince people of the difference among the terms and how they are generally viewed.
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Old 07-31-17, 08:45 AM   #3254
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

If you're talking about a black person, and you think they're being a brute, then call them a brute because if you call them an ape you're helping to perpetuate racist stereotypes even if that isn't your intention. This isn't hard to understand.
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Old 07-31-17, 09:09 AM   #3255
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
If you're talking about a black person, and you think they're being a brute, then call them a brute because if you call them an ape you're helping to perpetuate racist stereotypes even if that isn't your intention. This isn't hard to understand.
While obviously true for those that actually support racial equality, there will always be some exceptions that add the "all lives matter" perspective in every racially themed thread.
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Old 07-31-17, 04:59 PM   #3256
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by Supermallet View Post
If you're talking about a black person, and you think they're being a brute, then call them a brute because if you call them an ape you're helping to perpetuate racist stereotypes even if that isn't your intention. This isn't hard to understand.
Your opinion is "easy to understand" for you because it is your opinion. I understand that. However, your opinion is not universally shared.

Just as a matter of demonstration, I looked up the word "ape" in several prominent online dictionaries to see if there was even an informal mention of it as a racial slur. Results: nada.

Instead, here is a representative entry (this one from Merriam-Webster):


Definition of ape

1
a : monkey; especially : one of the larger tailless or short-tailed Old World formsb : any of various large tailless semi-erect primates of Africa and southeastern Asia (such as the chimpanzee, gorilla, orangutan, or gibbon) —called also anthropoid, anthropoid ape — compare great ape

2
a : mimicb : a large uncouth person


Despite the "official" definition, in your mind and that of others, it is always a racial slur...but only when describing a black person. It's okay to use the term to describe other races; curiously, actual racial slurs do not have that distinction (as has pointed out). I occasionally hear someone at a flea market brag about "J**wing down" someone to get a lower price. Perhaps you are familiar with the term. I understand that is inappropriate because it is always a slur whether intentional or regardless of to whom it is applied. That is because the term is a allusion to assumed or alleged "miserly" characteristics of a specific people based upon stereotypes. The context is always the same...it's a derogatory characterization of an entire group. There are other slurs aimed at that group which I won't mention...but whenever I hear them, regardless of context, they are always a racial slur and have no other meaning or usage. The intent is always the same.

That is not the case with "ape." We agree that it can be used as an insult (as can hundreds of words) toward black people; we differ in the idea that the word is always "perpetuating racial stereotypes." That is not giving much credit to the listener, who presumably is intelligent enough to understand context.

Just today I was reading the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly and saw a full-page ad for "Miracle Whip" featuring a black youngster with the face of an old black man (resembling Uncle Ben or Uncle Remus from Song of the South). The baby was holding a fishing pole on the banks of a stream and the ad was done in a "retro" style with muted colors, old-style copy, etc. If someone wanted to take offense, they could point out that the word "whip" has specific connections with blacks in this country that it doesn't have with other races (we sometimes hear other words such as "slave" or "chains" being used in connection with black characters in a non-historical context). The point is that the context of the usage is what is all-important, not the word itself. Evidently, the words are not off-limits to one race (and one race only) due to other associations in the past. If someone wanted to take offense, they could. But where does that stop?

I suggest that if you actually think the term is racist, you should advocate for its abandonment in any comparison to humans. You would do that with any other racial slur, right? I've given examples of how the word can have different meanings according to context...just as the dictionaries state. Can you give examples of other words that are fine to use with other races but not to Asians? To whites? To Hispanics? Or are they obvious racial slurs regardless of context?

If the latter, then I would ask that you reconsider your stance that everyone should agree with your opinion of the word. No one is asking that you change your stance, but at least you can consider that others, including black people, may respectfully disagree without ill intent.

We have seem people here who impugn entire regions and/or classes of people with actual stereotyped insults without batting an eyelash who don't hesitate to label others as "racists" because they disagree on the perception of broad terms with multiple uses...such as "ape." I would submit that perhaps those people should look at their own language first to see if there's a beam that needs removing before resolutely attacking others.

Edit: I just Googled the ad mentioned above, and here it is:

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Old 07-31-17, 05:07 PM   #3257
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Let's make this easy...Go out and call a Black Man or Black Woman an Ape or Monkey to his or her face. See what happens...come back and report.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:08 PM   #3258
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
While obviously true for those that actually support racial equality, there will always be some exceptions that add the "all lives matter" perspective in every racially themed thread.
Just as there will always be those who never, EVER, consider any other perspective than their own...even when committing far greater actual offenses than the ones they allege to perceive in others. Not so ironically, those offenses generally tend to be actual examples of the very things they claim to deplore.

It's a common problem, and one that isn't likely to disappear anytime soon (since it's been around for at least 6,000 years).
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Old 07-31-17, 05:11 PM   #3259
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

I love gigantic think-pieces from white people about what minorities should and should not find offensive.

Somehow I'm white and get through my day without using a single offensive or racist term. Ever. It's shockingly easy.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:12 PM   #3260
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
Let's make this easy...Go out and call a Black Man or Black Woman an Ape or Monkey to his or her face. See what happens...come back and report.
If the black man or black woman is committing an assault, rape, or murder, I don't think that offensive terminology is the most pressing problem you have on your hands.

Or that most citizens of any race will be overly concerned with whatever the person is called as long as they are prevented from completing the criminal act. I feel fairly certain that if the victim is black, they're not going to be too wrought up over their attacker being called an "ape." In fact, they're likely to agree 100%.

Again...as Abob tried to explain in his original statement...CONTEXT matters.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:23 PM   #3261
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by Draven View Post
I love gigantic think-pieces from white people about what minorities should and should not find offensive.

Somehow I'm white and get through my day without using a single offensive or racist term. Ever. It's shockingly easy.
I love reading gigantic attack posts (in a "nation of cowards" thread...imagine the irony) from presumably "white people" telling what minorities should or shouldn't find offensive.

Perhaps explaining why the term is ALWAYS a racial slur (but only with ONE race; apparently, it's "non-racial" when used with other races) would be a better fit for a thread about having "honest" discussions of racial issues to foster understanding and finding common ground. It's great that you say that you never use a single offensive term EVER. Good for you. However, if someone were to go through your posting history and find an allusion (or direct reference) to other groups which, as a member of that group, they found offensive, would you immediately stop using those terms? Or would you weigh what they say and whether you thought their objection overshadowed your disagreement re: whether the term is appropriate?

People can be offended by all sorts of things. Some are obvious; others not so obvious. Do you allow members of other groups to determine all of your language usage? That's what you implied above.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:26 PM   #3262
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

And a porch monkey is just a monkey that hangs out on your porch. And a wetback is just someone wearing a wet shirt.

Please.

I could probably post 3 dozen black-people-as-apes pictures and artwork and comics from newspapers or plays and text from secessionist documents or whatever but most of it is so fucking offensive, I'm not going to do it.

I could probably dig up one of my books from my Black history classes and find some in there too, but I've got better things to do with my time.

This Black-people-as-primitive Apes thing is textbook racism from the last couple of hundred years. Seriously.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:29 PM   #3263
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draven View Post
I love gigantic think-pieces from white people about what minorities should and should not find offensive.

Somehow I'm white and get through my day without using a single offensive or racist term. Ever. It's shockingly easy.
And how does your privileged status as a White person know that?

How do you know you're not offending others? Do you ask every single person who listens to your comments if they are offended?

Because if you are not, you are assuming you are not being offensive to others.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:33 PM   #3264
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by GreenMonkey View Post
And a porch monkey is just a monkey that hangs out on your porch. And a wetback is just someone wearing a wet shirt.

Please.

I could probably post 3 dozen black-people-as-apes pictures and artwork and comics from newspapers or plays and text from secessionist documents or whatever but most of it is so fucking offensive, I'm not going to do it.

I could probably dig up one of my books from my Black history classes and find some in there too, but I've got better things to do with my time.

This Black-people-as-primitive Apes thing is textbook racism from the last couple of hundred years. Seriously.
Thank you for proving my point.

The racist terms you used in your first paragraph are ALWAYS racist terms...regardless of to whom they are applied.

And the other examples you list similarly echo the statement that the word "ape" CAN be used as a racial slur. That was established right off the bat.

The question is whether it is ALWAYS a "racial slur." Pulling out examples in which it IS used as a slur or examples of other terms which are always racial slurs regardless of context just restates what was already said.

Context matters; in fact, in this case, it's all that matters.
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Old 07-31-17, 05:34 PM   #3265
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
And how does your privileged status as a White person know that?

How do you know you're not offending others? Do you ask every single person who listens to your comments if they are offended?

Because if you are not, you are assuming you are not being offensive to others.

Yes, but that's different!!!
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Old 07-31-17, 05:55 PM   #3266
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post

Context matters; in fact, in this case, it's all that matters.
Context > The fact that the people who have historically been the recipients of the racist use of the words "Ape" and "Monkey" don't want to be called "Ape" and "Monkey" in ANY context.

^I see how that works now...

Then you and yours wonder why those same people seem to always yell RACISM...
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Old 07-31-17, 06:05 PM   #3267
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Context > The fact that the people who have historically been the recipients of the racist use of the words "Ape" and "Monkey" don't want to be called "Ape" and "Monkey" in ANY context.

^I see how that works now...

Then you and yours wonder why those same people seem to always yell RACISM...
You are ignoring the context that was mentioned...and for good reason.

Are you really arguing that if a person is acting maliciously toward another person...say, a black man beating his girlfriend to the point of unconsciousness or possible death...that people are going to be that upset if someone says, "Get your hands off her, you ape!" Seriously?

If that's the case, I suggest that someone's priorities are seriously out of whack. Because the brute is comporting himself exactly in the manner which would justify the usage of the term regardless of race.

I suggest that you talk to the black victims and their families and see if they're upset that a protector of their daughter/sister used the term "ape" to address the person abusing their family member.

Would that be YOUR response if the victim were YOUR family member? Would you be thanking the protector and considering the context of the statement and the circumstances? Or would you be thinking, "I'm glad that racist stepped in to save my daughter?"

Certain terms are banned and censored on DVDTalk because they are ALWAYS considered offensive terms. Have you contacted or do you plan to contact the administrators to request that "ape" be similarly banned?

If not, why not?

Same question for everyone maintaining that the term is ALWAYS a racist term when applied to black people under ANY circumstance and in ANY context.
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Old 07-31-17, 06:06 PM   #3268
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Creek, if you want to call black people apes, more power to you. But you don't get to dictate the response of other people when you do.
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Old 07-31-17, 06:08 PM   #3269
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Draven View Post
I love gigantic think-pieces from white people about what minorities should and should not find offensive.

Somehow I'm white and get through my day without using a single offensive or racist term. Ever. It's shockingly easy.
You and most other rational white folks. Imagine that!
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Old 07-31-17, 06:14 PM   #3270
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Originally Posted by hdnmickey View Post
You and most other rational white folks. Imagine that!
Yes, we have certainly observed how "most" posters here (the "white folks," at least) manage to get through every day without EVER uttering "a single offensive term."



Why, we're the purest of the pure!

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Old 07-31-17, 06:28 PM   #3271
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

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Creek, if you want to call black people apes, more power to you. But you don't get to dictate the response of other people when you do.
Which is what I said (the part about not dictating the response of other people). It would have been nice if you had acknowledged that rather than just restating it.

But it is most unfortunate that you descend into the "if you want to...," etc. I thought we were going to try to keep discussions on point and not get personal...again. Was that not a resolution recently made?

I have pointed out what I feel is a RATIONAL attitude toward what I find to be an irrational stance...that this particular term is always a racist term regardless of context. I agreed that it can be (according to context). I showed where it could be an appropriate description (according to context and having nothing to do with race). I pointed out actual racist terminology is considered racist regardless of context or to whom it is applied. I pointed out the dictionaries do not identify the term as being inherent "racist." And I pointed out circumstances under which I feel that rational people of any race would not have a problem with the usage.

If that's not sufficiently convincing and the response is to ignore points raised honestly with which I feel that most people would find agreement, then I can certainly see why "we are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues." Actually, I don't think it's so much "cowardice" as just frustration such as that expressed by Abob with his sarcastic sign-off. When points are carefully laid out and not even considered (apparently, not even read by some critics), then why bother debating with those whose minds are already made up and who evidently feel that they don't have to offer reasoned rebuttal when name-calling will do?

It is interesting to note the number who manage to get through every day without ever uttering a single word that could ever be found offensive by anyone.

Who knew?
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Old 07-31-17, 07:20 PM   #3272
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

It was an impersonal you. I don't think you specifically are actually calling black people apes.
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Old 07-31-17, 08:32 PM   #3273
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Quote:
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Which is what I said (the part about not dictating the response of other people). It would have been nice if you had acknowledged that rather than just restating it.

But it is most unfortunate that you descend into the "if you want to...," etc. I thought we were going to try to keep discussions on point and not get personal...again. Was that not a resolution recently made?

I have pointed out what I feel is a RATIONAL attitude toward what I find to be an irrational stance...that this particular term is always a racist term regardless of context. I agreed that it can be (according to context). I showed where it could be an appropriate description (according to context and having nothing to do with race). I pointed out actual racist terminology is considered racist regardless of context or to whom it is applied. I pointed out the dictionaries do not identify the term as being inherent "racist." And I pointed out circumstances under which I feel that rational people of any race would not have a problem with the usage.

If that's not sufficiently convincing and the response is to ignore points raised honestly with which I feel that most people would find agreement, then I can certainly see why "we are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues." Actually, I don't think it's so much "cowardice" as just frustration such as that expressed by Abob with his sarcastic sign-off. When points are carefully laid out and not even considered (apparently, not even read by some critics), then why bother debating with those whose minds are already made up and who evidently feel that they don't have to offer reasoned rebuttal when name-calling will do?

It is interesting to note the number who manage to get through every day without ever uttering a single word that could ever be found offensive by anyone.

Who knew?

But you don't see that you and Abob are also closed minded. You are trying to argue that a word...and I'll go with your Context Argument...used against a Person of Color, Black in particular, isn't Racist. You are trying to make the word "ok" by turning the PoC into a bad person deserving of the name to justify it.

You and Abob don't get, or care that, what a person does when you call them that doesn't matter. It's what's in YOU and what came out of you that shows THE REAL YOU.

As a Christian I'd think you'd get that. If Bernie Madoff had ripped off my Life Savings and I went on an antisemitic rant about him and called him names traditionally used to put down Jews...Sure, Bernie is evil for his crime. But I've just let the world know I have antisemitism in me. His crime does not excuse any Anti-Jewish rants.
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Old 07-31-17, 09:57 PM   #3274
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Is this really a complicated subject?

Yes, certain terms like "ape," "boy," or "you people" can be racist or not depending upon their context.

If the context is, they're being used to describe a black person, it's racist. You can scream about intent all day long, but it can't erase the centuries of context in which those terms were used in a racist manner.
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Old 07-31-17, 11:08 PM   #3275
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Re: We are a nation of cowards for not discussing race issues....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
And how does your privileged status as a White person know that?

How do you know you're not offending others? Do you ask every single person who listens to your comments if they are offended?

Because if you are not, you are assuming you are not being offensive to others.
Because I know what's offensive and what isn't. I pay attention. And if a term falls out of favor, I stop using it. Like "gypped" for example. It has racial undertones I was not aware of so I stopped using it when I found out. Simple.

I didn't dump 20 paragraphs into an online forum about how I should sometimes be able to use the term "gypped". I just stopped.

I am EXTREMELY careful about my language and constantly think about the terms I use. I stopped calling groups of people of different genders "guys". I stopped using terms that disparage women like "you throw like a girl". I attend a gym where people start each class by listing the pronouns they want to be referred to as. And I do it - I don't tell them why they are wrong.

So yes, I am confident that I'm not offending people. And it's not hard at all to do so.
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