Is it wrong to use certain words? Or is it just a stigma that's misguided?

Discussion in 'Soap Box' started by meaningless-vessel, Jun 14, 2013.

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  1. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    Disclaimer: Use of certain words in this post some may consider offensive, but it is not directed at anyone.

    So, for a while now, political correctness has been building all over the place. Certain terminology is considered derogatory based upon how some people have been known to use it, but there seems to be a comparison that I think doesn't promote equality - in fact it could be called into question how certain things are ok one way, but not others, when it could be considered an identical thing.

    The use of the word "Paki" - is one example. Now I'm fairly sure there would be some here who have heard it, in some format or another. But what is it? Is it used offensively? If so, then fine, it's potentially crossing racism boundaries. But here's an angle on it that is missed by those hearing it.

    British people are called Brits. Australians known as Aussies. Now correct me if i'm wrong... but isn't Paki simply a shortened version of Pakistani? Which if used in conversation such as "I'm just going to the Paki Shop" would be just as bad as saying "I'm going to the Aussie pub" or "I'm going to the Brit Awards" . However, for whatever reason, it's ok to use the shortened version of British - Australian - even Scottish (Scot) - to name 3 examples - but it's not ok to use the term Paki along similar lines? To me, something like this creates a particular barrier.

    I have a slightly different issue when it comes to use of the word "Negro" or it's counterpart (which I know is filtered from chat). The issue that I have with it, is that it is ok for it to be utilised in certain genre's of music, mainly by people of similar descent, from what i've heard of it/done research into, but it's not ok for other groups of people to use it without being labelled as being racist, even if they are doing a karaoke of the 'explicit' version - it could still go wrong as they could catch eye contact with someone who takes offense to it. And there-in lies a complication of how people react/respond to it.

    To save hassles, I never use these terms. But it's a recent thought that has been prompted by a course I am studying promoting equality/diversity/anti-discrimination.

    What are your views?
     
  2. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Because "Paki" is almost always used as a slur and in a hateful context. Almost always. Not Brit, not Aussie, not Scot.

    As for the use of "ni88er," and its variations, I don't use that word in any endearing way because it's not a term of endearment more than it is derogatory, to me. People who use it between one another use it because that's how they were raised; calling themselves and others around them a "nigga," so they learned it as both a derogatory and a familial/friendly term, but also unfortunately learned the latter before learning it as the former. Hard to change old habits. People should eventually grow out of it and broaden their vocabulary as they learn respect for others.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2013
  3. Sadeyes

    Sadeyes Staff Alumni

    When in 'family' (limited sect of people) there is clearly acceptable language that would/should not be used by those outside the group. Even within the group, it may be difficult to assess whether the word is a racial/discriminatory epithet..for example, the word in Yiddish for black is schwartza/schvartza; it can be used to describe the color (of a person) or may express racism depending upon the context...for many words of that nature, the context and the intention determines the sentiment behind the word...personally, I do not use any words that might be confused in this way
     
  4. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    It's simple. You put the meaning in the word by context and your own personal expression. And from that same point, respect the environment that you are sharing your expression.

    You might not mean something to be offensive, but if people have been subjected to a term in an offensive manner in the past, they will be more inclined to believe that the term being used is offensive, even if you mean it in jest. Besides, it's up to you. Who gives a crap about political correctness. It's about who you are talking to, how you want to come across. If you want to say paki, and get flack, either you state that it's stupid, or realize that perhaps the person giving you flack has been subjected to it, and will be in the future. So making them feel "comfortable" with a term can be difficult. But broad classifications and nullifcations of a term are a dodgy thing. However terms like ****** were as far as I'm aware born out of extreme discrimination. I know people who have black skin say it today because it's a manner of saying "fuck you we'll turn a phrase used against us into something good that only we can say because we're better than it", or something to that effect, but it's still used in context of the person and people around them.

    It's about expression and understanding the meaning behind. Alot of us find it difficult to give someone those extra 5 seconds to decern what their true meaning is behind those words. So just use your head and respect your environment. Don't go into a church and start spewing devil scripture, don't go into a white neighbourhood and call people crackers ect.
    As far as the brtis are concerned. ... They've got a condition called stiff upper lip, get over it, move on sorta mentality. Chinese are chinks, pakistani people are pakis... black people are ******s.. some say they dont mean anything offensive by it, but who the fuck knows. They are all fucking horrible terms, I cringe at saying black people because wtf is the difference between someone who looks chinese or russian or canadian or american or egyptian? Just some physical characteristics and location. It's always difficult to describe someone from those points because it takes away from the individual. So as far as political correctiveness goes... it depends on context and wether or not you give a toss about who you are talking about and talking too/around.
     
  5. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member



    omg prinn you'd hate the expressions from some in the UK. It confused the life out of me because people will say "going down to the chinky"(chinese takeaway) or some other useages in general for paki and such. Flippin nutty here, though I can understand how it's been allowed to spread as it has. But still.. I still have to argue with people that it's offensive, not descriptive. And that stupid justification that "pakistani = paki Britian = Brit" .. Sure, but the usage of that term has been extreamly higher in descriminatory situations rather then general descriptive locals.
    Coming from Vancouver to this... it's a ridiculously slow process that I wish I wasn't a part of. It's so much nicer without the hint of this crap imo.
     
  6. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    I do believe you actually have a point with this thread, here in the UK we have a common type of joke, "an englishman, scotsman and welshman/irishman" which always takes the mick out of the latter, jokes about welsh having intimate encounters with sheep are also common place, down south, us northerners are known as "northern monkeys" and vice versa its the "southern fairies", there a place near here called hartlepool known as the "monkey hangers" and also maccams etc....all is seen as inoffensive and something to laugh about.
    What irks me is that i have seen racial slurrs being made towards white soldiers outside a club before in front of police, nothing was done, yet as soon as they retaliated with a racial slur they were arrested!
    Noone arrests an australian when they call a british person a "pommy"

    There is a choice of it being equal or undermining it all and ending up discriminating on racial grounds themselves and being no better than the racists
     
  7. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    I do believe you actually have a point with this thread, here in the UK we have a common type of joke, "an englishman, scotsman and welshman/irishman" which always takes the mick out of the latter, jokes about welsh having intimate encounters with sheep are also common place, down south, us northerners are known as "northern monkeys" and vice versa its the "southern fairies", there a place near here called hartlepool known as the "monkey hangers" and also maccams etc....all is seen as inoffensive and something to laugh about.
    What irks me is that i have seen racial slurrs being made towards white soldiers outside a club before in front of police, nothing was done, yet as soon as they retaliated with a racial slur they were arrested!
    Noone arrests an australian when they call a british person a "pommy"

    There is a choice of it being equal or undermining it all and ending up discriminating on racial grounds themselves and being no better than the racists
     
  8. meaningless-vessel

    meaningless-vessel Well-Known Member

    Indeed - mock the white it's not considered wrong... retaliate and it is.

    However, I have reference to an incident involving my mother. She was called a fat white bitch by a young lad who got all irate through refusal of service (being asked to leave the shop), who wasn't of white origin. But the end result was a surprise. The lad got found guilty of a racial slur. It can happen - it's just too one-sided most of the time.
     
  9. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    I think the term African-American should be dropped and blacks should be used instead. It's one syllable and it's simple, plus not all blacks came from Africa.
     
  10. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    Narh, I don't think America has grown and matured out of this phrase. "blacks" is still dodgy because people still heavily use this term to associate some discriminatory meaning. It's got a bad stigma still atm, and tbh I don't even call "white" people white, unless I'm discribing someone in a mixed group. African-american kinda sucks because it's long, but it's something I sorta feel is appriopriate and respectful. Like oriental, European, or mediterranean ect. Perhaps those are bad examples, but "blacks" was used in conjunction with ni ggers(excuse the term, but we're adults), and as that term was "phased" out, the next "getaway" term was unfortunately "blacks". Granted the term has been mis-used, it is associated to alot of sly discrimination still where people have an easy get away card, claiming "What? You are black" but in truth, some people still associate alot of horrible attributes to the term.

    Versus Whites, even that is dodgy. I really hate the seperation, and I suggest to people to use decriptive terms like these in the appriopriate contexts and never look at a persons skin colour first to describe them or see them for that matter unless the situation truly warrents it. Whites, yellows, blacks.. these terms have a very bad history of usage, and still have a bad "definition" in many peoples minds. Which i won't get into..
     
  11. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    African American doesn't mean brown, it indicates an American's close hereditary connection to African nations. Black refers only to how people describe someone's skin color but almost always people with sub-Saharan origin, despite, for example, many Asians also having dark skin.

    Neither African American nor black are particularly offensive by themselves, so it depends on how they're used. Almost all African Americans are what whites call black, but not all Americans whites may call black are African; they may be Indian or Latino or Native American, or Pacific Islander, etc.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  12. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I believe that could be said of all people referring to people as black or or African American - not just white American people and I do not think it is any different than white/caucasion/ white/latino etc etc or any of the other 18 definitions on the census sheets
     
  13. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    NYJumpmaster, that has nothing to do with the point I was making, but fine. What PEOPLE, mostly white Americans, would call African American simply due to being darker skinned (black), may not be of close African descent at all since many black people also tend to be Asian and Native American. Clear enough?
     
  14. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Thank you for succinctly proving the point of why there are issues regarding terminology and why some people do not understand terms and usages - as it is defended vehemently as black may be of many different descents - and correctly - and choosing to see white as a single group.....and choosing to say only white people would use that term or "mostly white americans" which is pure play to stereotypes and generalizations and the sarcastic emphasis of "PEOPLE" is far more correct....
     
  15. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    There's no reason for confusion, or an "issue," between what's a color and what's a person. Who doesn't understand the difference between simply being a color and being part of a culture and having a particular hereditary background? African-American refers to the latter and black refers to the former. Why are you being argumentative about that simple fact?

    I'm not offended by being called black, because I am black - actually more brown. If it's offensive to call one WHITE because that person is WHITE, then calling people colors in of itself is offensive, and I don't believe that's necessarily true at all. A stereotype to say that blacks call whites white and whites call blacks black? Pulease. Even children will refer to others with different skin color recognizing their color is different. "My friend Mike is white, he has brown hair..." is not offensive.

    I think you politicized my saying "what whites would call black" instead of taking it for what it was.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2013
  16. Xaos

    Xaos Well-Known Member

    Personally, I have no problem with using the word "paki" when it's in the context you described, I've used it, and I never meant any harm by it, if I hated them I wouldn't buy from their shops, would I? Obviously if some1 is shouting "go back home paki" or whatever then that isn't alright, but it's not the word, it's the context it's in IMO.
     
  17. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member


    yeah... I'm willing to bet you live in the UK. Sorta a trend here. I have no doubt on your sincerity, but there is a high degree on both sides, (racism to geographical description). Tbh some people here justify ni gger to me which is baffeling. Chinese are chinks.. .this is fine here apparently. I really think because of the age of this country that racist terms went through a "phase" and people continue to use them but claim no racism is attached so they can counter racism in some bizarre logic.

    Did you know Jap is short for Japanese? Yeah you won't see me calling someone from Japan that in Canada or anywhere else. Wanna know why

    Because it's strongly been used on a racist front. Im aware of it, and no dodgy logic is going to make me twist that position so it becomes an acceptable term until Japanese people living in Japan develop it as a term in their society and use it. This is what I consider respecting the reality of the past and it's continueing string into our present.
     
  18. Daphna

    Daphna Well-Known Member

    Using tact and consideration when talking about another's ethnic background is always advisable. The USA has a terrible background in dealing with racism. It's so bad that we are still dealing with it today. It may not be as bad but it still exists and it isn't a secret either. It's an unfortunate label but it's an unfortunate reality of our culture that really isn't that far back in history either. Anyway some may disagree with me, but this is my opinion and views. Blessings..
     
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