Friday, January 16, 2009

The Power of Words

I was recently lambasted for the use of a certain word(s) used to denegrate people of particular ethinc backgrounds.
I refuse to be deterred, since I did nothing wrong.
We as a nation have been browbeaten, blackmailed, and lied to long enough when it comes to the utilizaton of vocabulary. Certain groups will have us believe that even the mere mention of a word is grounds for accusations of racism, bigotry, and hate.
Anyone can use any word or words they want -within context- without offense.
Even though offense is defined by the offended, and distinctly difficult to defend ones self against, when it comes to vocabulary within a defined context, those who choose to take offense have no ground to stand on.
For instance, it is nearly impossible to discuss constiutional law, if the word "whereas" is not allowed within that conversation. Read any text on the subject; the word is used nearly every other sentence! Few quotes, few arguments, few counters can be conducted on the subject without the use of the term- and very very few.
In a television show called "Cold Case", they had two episodes concerning racism. In both episodes, they used the word "Critter", first spraypainted on a wall and then on a car, as a replacement for the term "nigger". How can you expect to even begin to have a discussion of racism if you cannot even expose the terms used to offend? How can you defend yourself against it, or even know what it is when you see it, if it is never discussed? Kids are gonna be so confused!
Soon there will be a whole generation who don't even know that the use of that term is considered to be racist, since they hear it on a regular basis from some people, and it is fully accepted; yet no one else is allowed to use that word. The first time a single digit aged white child use that term, they will be reprimanded. They will ask why, and you had better have a damned good answer for them when it happens. Just saying that some people don't like the word won't cut it with the next generation of 12 year olds when half their friends use it, and the other half can't. And telling them that only black people can say it with impunity and whites can't will only DIVIDE the races even more. So much for equal rights, eh? Kids see it for what it is.
The fact that I am being implicitly prohibited from the use of any word at all absloutely infuriates me. You have no idea how angry I am about it. I love words. All words. Any words. No one has any right to restrict mine or prohibit mine, as long as I am within the constitutional amendment of free speech. And last time I checked, there were no specific words outlawed by my country, my constitution, nor my concience.
You can disagree, argue, and tell me to shut up all you want. But you CANNOT prohibit me. You can't even accurately accuse me of racism or bigotry in this case, or any for that matter, since I will not use any words in a manner describing such behavior.
What is considered to be racist vocabulary now will only continue to be considered racist vocabulary for as long as the divisions are kept. I do not divide. I utilize vocabulary based on intelligent discourse. A word is just a word, until meaning and intent are placed upon it. If you can't see the difference between people such as myself and real bigotry, I pity you- and dismiss you summarily and without recourse.


MoonliteSonata said...

I won't comment on the article posted at antistrib, but I will here. The use of lanaguage as an artifice to continue the divide really angers me, and I'm sick of people telling me what I can or can't say for fear of "offending". I don't generally use slurs or profanity, because I am a lady, not because I am afraid of what someone will think of me.
Being called a cunt by a certain commenter on the other thread doesn't upset me; the fact that in one he said he never would call anyone that then turned around and did highly amuses me, really. He has no credibility at all, and as I stated in my last sentence in the article, I dismiss him summarily and without recourse.

A NON Y Mouse said...

NOBODY is truly politically correct in their thoughts!
We are all prejudice to to our own personal experiences. You can't program a person to encounter another human being with absolute unbias. That is what makes us human. A word may have a different interpretation, and definition according to who listens to it; therefor NO word can be considered inoffensive to someone. Political Correctness is an illusion and ever changing.

MoonliteSonata said...

Excellent point on the impossibility of PC thought and prejudice. There are no words that would definitively never offend- since offense is in the mind of the offended, absolutely any word could be interpeted as offensive, if one decides it is.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

Good points. I agree, totally.

russwrites said...

Lately Ive been struck by a particular word - kafir, kuffar or kaffir - used liberally in the MSM and by the global Muslim community.

I grew up in apartheid-era South Africa and the word 'kaffir' was the SA term for the N-word. Today the word is seldom used in polite company and that's how it should be.

However, the fact that the word is used so often by Jihadi's (a kaffir is a non-believer) and no one even points out that the term is inherently racist never fails to astound me.

Nonetheless your comment "What is considered to be racist vocabulary now will only continue to be considered racist vocabulary for as long as the divisions are kept." is most apt in this context.