NY Case Puts N-Word Use Among Blacks On Trial

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by bradl, Sep 3, 2013.

  1. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    As a black man, I totally agree with the jury and damages awarded. And to be honest, Anyone who uses the n-word needs to be called out on it. I understand that psychologically, it makes sense to take the word and turn it into a positive instead of letting others use it as a negative to bring you down, but in all fairness, then it would be fair game for everyone to use it as a positive. Hence, that double standard. But that doesn't make the use of it any better, especially when talking down to someone.

    Use of that word needs to stop outright, and hopefully this is a good first step.


  2. Shrink macrumors G3


    Feb 26, 2011
    New England, USA
    Incidental Note:

    Richard Pryor use to use the word constantly in his stand up concerts. Then he visited Africa, and upon his return during his first concert he talked about the word, and forswore it's use from that point on. He said that he just couldn't jusify the use of the word under any circumstances.
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Mar 22, 2010
    No kidding.

    It's one thing to have your friend call you that, but your boss, during a dressing down? It's hard to imagine that is meant affectionately.

    I'd love to see that the end of the word and the controversy that surrounds it.

    Realistically, however, we'll be hearing it for many more years to come.
  4. Technarchy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2012
    It certainly wasn't brotherly camaraderie.

    Black males tend to not refer to black females in this way. It's typically a male to male affair.
  5. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    Can I refer to women as bitches and gays as fags, cause quite frankly that's what I hear so many call each other too. The whole double standard argument is BS.

    The word ***** is used by blacks more as a slang, it's just culture and part of language. The word ****** is what's considered the negative, but most don't even know the word's history.

    Actually the word ****** comes from white slave masters differ pronunciation of the portuguese word Negro(which just means black). It wasn't even considered a bad word during slavery, it was after slavery that many felt ill towards that word, and rightfully so. But to put a stop to evolution of language based on a negative aspect is like giving ownership to that negative aspect. As a black person, I refuse to give ownership of any origins of the word ***** to any aspect of slavery or racism, cause that wasn't it's beginning origins to begin with. People seem to only go back far enough to prove their point. In this case people are just giving the power back to it's lowest point.
  6. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
    You can hear the bleeped version of what the guy said here http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/03/us/new-york-racial-slur-lawsuit/?hpt=hp_t2

    ...followed by a black professor and a black former prosecutor arguing over the verdict. It's interesting... the professor says it was abusive but doesn't constitute discrimination, while the prosecutor says all use of the term is hate speech.
  7. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    The professor was completely spot on IMO.
  8. bradl thread starter macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    Richard Pryor: Here and Now. Great standup performance. I believe it was right before he did Jo Jo Dancer: Your Life is Calling.

    Unfortunately, I agree. It won't be eliminated until they make the change themselves. To do that, they need to have a good, hard, long look in the mirror.

    Either one is not right; that is the problem. There is no way for one person to determine 1) which one is being said, and 2) that it should be construed as non-derogatory or a term of endearment. If it is a term of endearment, I would say that both the person saying it and the one on the receiving end need to really look at themselves and consider if they would use that in front of someone else, let alone their children. Both are wrong; period.

    I refer to my original comments in the OP about trying to make it a positive. It needs to stop completely. Also, you may want to have a look at the word "niggar" in the dictionary. You'll find the roots to that and the N-word there. It didn't come up from white slave masters; it came from much further back than that.

    And here is that double standard. If someone who wasn't black said it, would it be hate-speech? There are cases in which it was deemed so. Just because a black person uses it towards another black person doesn't diminish the hate speech argument one bit. Yes, it was abusive, but either treat it fairly among everyone, or reverse course for anyone who has been convicted of hate speech for using the world altogether. You can't have it both ways.

  9. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
    I heard many say the same as you with no actual explanation. It sounds as if, since you don't like it then it's wrong. And that to me is what's wrong with your statement. Your telling others to look at themselves based on a mutual understanding of language. Like the professor in the CNN link stated, too much emphasis on the words being used and not the context of how it's being used.

    As far as using it in front of children. Lets be real. Mature conversation is mature conversation, and vice versa. My mother certainly never cursed or spoke to me like she would around her friends, and I would get smacked if I was to speak to my mother in street slang like I would to my friends.

    As I mentioned in previous post. The N word comes directly from the Portuguese word Negro(meaning black). The Portuguese sold slaves to Americans and referred to them as black(Negro). The way the Portuguese pronounce the word Negro is very similar to the N word we hear today. The American slave masters just tried to mimic the pronunciation thus how the N word came about.

    What other roots do you think come before that? :confused:

    The word ***** used today is more of a street slang. In reality plenty of non blacks already use it. Hispanics of all colors, Indians, Guyanese, Whites, and etc: use the word ***** amongst each other. Here in NYC, you'll have a better chance of hearing the word ***** from a white skinned Puerto Rican or a white guy who grew up in the hood than hearing it come out of a black person's mouth. If there was really a problem we would see massive amount of racial clashing from the use of the word *****. And it's not just in NYC I see this. I've witness this all over the states and in some other countries.

    The real problem is the Media and those who just can't get over the evolution of the N word. When Jennifer Lopez said ***** in one of her songs, 99.9% of blacks didn't care. But of course you had some so-called black activists and mainstream white media that what to make a non situation into something.

    If Eminem said the N word in his lyrics, I and most other blacks wouldn't care either. I'm pretty sure he says it amongst his white and black friends anyways.

    So you see, the whole thing about who can say what is just a facade made up by a select few and doesn't reflect the reality of how everyday people feel.
  10. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009
  11. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
  12. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Very mixed feelings on this issue.

    First off, I agree with the verdict and judgement. There is no way that sort of language in general, and that word in particular, should be used in a work situation.

    On the other hand, I am more than a little concerned by any effort to criminalize a word, even one as offensive as that one.

    True racial intimidation, yelling the word repeatedly in someone's face, for example, is one thing. But I would hate to see the day come when cops could start handing out tickets or arresting people for casual, offhand, or even emotional outburst where the word was used.

    If society in general wants to see that word go away, then it has to stop using it. And maybe part of that is for African-Americans who do use the word, no matter how amicably or innocently among themselves, to stop doing so. I'm not blaming them for the continued use of the word - but it does give racists at least a certain amount of cover to hide behind.
  13. mobilehaathi macrumors G3


    Aug 19, 2008
    The Anthropocene
    Context, context, context.

    Context is paramount.
  14. Mac'nCheese macrumors 68040


    Feb 9, 2010
    I don't think a case like this criminalizes the word itself. Time and a place for everything. The ruling said its inappropriate to treat a co-worker like this. There are countless words that are inappropriate for a boss to use. The words in and of themselves aren't the problem. It's when and how they are used.
  15. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    The word "darling" is a charming endearment coming from your partner. Coming from your boss it's sexism at best and likely sexual harassment. It's pretty clear that he was not using the n-word in any kind of acceptable context.
  16. elistan macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    Denver/Boulder, CO
    Are said women and gays your friends who have no issue with you calling them that? Then IMO yes, you can, I don't see any reason why not. Are said women and gays your subordinates at work and you call them that when giving them a negative performance review? Then IMO no, you can't, it's very hurtful - even if you're a woman or are gay yourself. Or rather, you can, but be prepared for consequences such as having to pay $25k.
  17. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 604

    Oct 27, 2009

    They are trying to get the case appealed. It's said she said ***** on a regular basis at work and she also has been convicted of grand larceny for about $100,000 which the judge wouldn't allow in trial.

    Watch the video again, it doesn't seem she had a problem with the word *****, but a problem with her boss saying she wasn't acting right. The whole thing was a setup IMO, and a pretty good one.
  18. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    I think the verdict was fair. It is a racist word.

    But . . .

    What if a non white person calls us white trash or some other defamatory word? Will they be sent to court for it? Probably not. But they should be.
    And it's a little suspect how some people can say it and get away with it but others are taken to court. That's either a setup or a way to get revenge vs someone in particular you hate. That's not exactly fair. But with the US justice system as it stands now, I don't think anyone involved understands the words of fair or equality.
  19. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2011
    "fair" 280000$ for a manager acting like a complete ..... ?

    Nah it just shows another thing totally wrong in the US.

    5-10% of that sum plus lots of mandatory civil-service hours, now that would have been fair.

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