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Forums > Off-Topic Discussion > The power of the 'N word' Search   Reply
first123last
Model
Dead account
Posts: 1,291
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Svend wrote:

Well, used in the "music industry", it's actually a reflection of how it is used socially.  Taking the power out of a word by owning it for yourself when no one else can say it is, well.... powerful.  I am not condoning it, and a lot of black people do not condone it either, but it is what it is.  It's taking back the power.

I've never thought of it that way. That's wonderful, thank you Svend.

Nov 07 12 04:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


DougBPhoto wrote:

In other words, might you mean something like...

Sometimes it is a sign of intelligence to know when to shut the fuck up, and to listen & learn.

Yes?

"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses."

The good thing is that she is 16 and will probably grow out of it, we were all 16 once and thought we had it all figured out We all hated the seemingly condescending tone of adults ("you'll understand when you're older").

Sad cases are the people (and there are quite a few in SB for instance) who are thrice her age and still don't know when to shut up and listen when someone with personal experience speaks.

Nov 07 12 04:41 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Svend
Posts: 25,122
Boulder, Colorado, US


Mary Thomson wrote:

I've never thought of it that way. That's wonderful, thank you Svend.

You are most welcome. smile

Nov 07 12 04:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,487
Portland, Oregon, US


Svend wrote:

Well, used in the "music industry", it's actually a reflection of how it is used socially.  Taking the power out of a word by owning it for yourself when no one else can say it is, well.... powerful.  I am not condoning it, and a lot of black people do not condone it either, but it is what it is.  It's taking back the power.

I would agree, it is the intent.

Unfortunately, the result is that there are a lot of impressionable youth who have no clue as to what it is or why it is being said, and they think it is cute or acceptable, because if people they admire are using it, then it cannot be bad.

The problem is that terms like nigger gained power and use because people thought it was acceptable and people they respected (friends/family/whomever) used it.

I don't believe it is really used to take the power back, I think it is used out of selfishness and greed, simply because they think it will help them sell records and make money, or as I mentioned above, it makes them "tough" or "gangster".. none of which is a good or legitimate use of something so vile and disgusting.

Nov 07 12 04:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,487
Portland, Oregon, US


Katarina N. wrote:
"Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses."

Damn, some day I need to learn Russian tongue

Nov 07 12 04:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


Tony Lawrence wrote:

What???   I knew there was a reason I liked you.   I read Kaffir Boy years ago.   Great book.    Its a telling thing that American Blacks have co-op the word 'n' as a greeting and that actors like Sam Jackson, comics and rap artists regularly use it.   Yet Black Americans get angry at those who aren't Black who use it.   I think it should never be used by anyone.

There are a lot of homophobic slurs that are now used by homosexuals when they refer to each other - by using it, they take away the word from "them" and with that act the power it possesses. It's more of a quick solution than waiting 50 years until the homophobes die out and the slurs with them.

So that's the upside, on the downside it also makes it easier for those words to prevail when maybe, they shouldn't. Either way white people shouldn't take a black person's use of the word as justification to use it too. That was my point.

Nov 07 12 04:47 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


DougBPhoto wrote:

Damn, some day I need to learn Russian tongue

The literal translation would be "If you had remained silent, you would have remained a philosopher".

It's similar to the saying "Sometimes it's better to shut up and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt".

smile

Nov 07 12 04:50 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony Lawrence
Posts: 18,966
Chicago, Illinois, US


DougBPhoto wrote:

Damn, some day I need to learn Russian tongue

Katarina is a BAD model.   Bad as in smart.   That's Latin.   I can read Ebonics, some Latin and a little French and Spanish.

Nov 07 12 04:53 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
R A V E N D R I V E
Posts: 15,867
New York, New York, US


Mary Thomson wrote:

I thought as much. It's sad that our only knowledge here only comes from rap haha

haha you and the rest of the world


the loudest black entertainers are like a self-perpetuating minstrel show

Nov 07 12 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
Tis a word, in the dictionary, noones allowed to publicly say because of oversensitivity.

Aaaaand I'm out.

So I guess it's safe to say, I can call you or your mother a cunt or bitch? Or would your reaction be "oversensitivity"? Something tells me no would be the answer. If words are just words, MM wouldn't have brigging and rules.

When the shoes on the other foot, suddenly it's not just a word. Makes me think of a similar topic a few years back on here. Where some expressed the exact same thing. When a well known at the time poster said something to her boyfriend, she was offended. Wait. "Isn't what she said is just a word too?" Context is always important when these type of questions come up.

Nov 07 12 04:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
modeled
Posts: 9,334
San Diego, California, US


http://i.imgur.com/Up4v6.png

Mary Thomson wrote:
I know some people may be offended by this thread, understandably so, but I want to know why the 'N word' hold so much weight.

As an Australian I don't think I've ever heard someone use the term offensively to another person. Not on television, radio conversation or in real life. It features in some of the music I listen to. The only other times it's used in my experience is when someone gets very tanned and posts a photo of their tan lines and someone comments on the picture saying 'you're so black, N.....!'. This usually happens between girls and it's kind of making fun of the music and is used as a compliment because generally tanned skin is considered sexy and healthy here.

The only things I can relate it to would be Aboriginals and the offensive terms 'Abbo' and 'Boons' and increasingly white Australia's racism towards Muslims and their reference to them as 'Rag heads'. Do any Americans use these terms and find them offensive in their home country?

What does N___ actually mean now, in today's culture?

I know I could google it but I enjoy MM discussions.

Also, this thread stemmed from the Advertisement one using the term broads.

Nov 07 12 04:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


Tony Lawrence wrote:

Katarina is a BAD model.   Bad as in smart.   That's Latin.   I can read Ebonics, some Latin and a little French and Spanish.

I am allowed to be smart now that I'm retired. The guide book for glamour models no longer applies to me. smile

Nov 07 12 05:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WR Photographics
Posts: 1,328
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada


Art Silva Photography wrote:
Shhhh don't say Nikon in a room full of Canon shooters?

sorry I'll let myself out  tongue

PENTAX

so there.
sorry.

Nov 07 12 05:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Katarina N. wrote:

When I visited South Africa with my husband a few years ago some whites referred to him as "kaffer" (the equivalent for the n-word in Afrikaans) two or three times - and gave me spiteful looks.

That kind of hate speech isn't exclusive to the US unfortunately.

Exactly. The English called the Indians from India that same word too. And it wasn't  used to give them a compliment.

Nov 07 12 05:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


Presley is pretty much a career http://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-iw5TaUpM1OI/AAAAAAAAAAI/AAAAAAAAABg/oWjr6XtVW8o/s120-c/photo.jpg and has been giving awful, way beyond her pay grade proclamations on everything from to the career options of 5'4" models to social constructs for a while now.

OP, and everyone else, you are probably best off ignoring her.



To answer the question OP, it has an extremely ugly history(perhaps some reading on slavery, Jim Crow and the like would be helpful in providing some context) here in the states, and it still used as a slur to wound, insult and intimidate far more often that a non US resident would think. We're far from a post racial society.

As far as it's use in music lyrics, films or amongst black people it's a way of reclaiming the word and its associations to make it less hurtful and vicious (similar to the shifting context of the word "bitch" or "slut" when used amongst a group of female friends vs. a nasty drunken frat boy who tosses it at you when you've turned him down at a bar).


As you can tell by the responses in this thread, even amongst black people there is debate about the worthiness or appropriateness of attempting reclaimation, for a variety of complex reasons.

Definitely something that still is a big deal, for justified reason, for many people, and not something I'd recommend you ever using. They aren't being overly angry or overly sensitive, as black people have had that word and the hateful attitudes behind it pushed at them their entire lives, and you or I can not possibly know how that feels or have any authority to tell someone who's experienced that sort of systemic degradation how they should feel about it or to deny their right to be angry at unjust treatment.
Nov 07 12 05:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Mary Thomson wrote:

My heritage is Afrikaans, my sisters and I are the first to be born in Australia out of my family line. So I do understand the offense of the word Kaffer. I had forgotten about that, but you're right it does have a similar hate to what I imagine the N word does.

Right. But you're not a Black Afrikaan. Big difference. And keep this mind too. White Afrikaans were making sure that the Black natives weren't part of the land/system that they had taken. Hence the Nelson Mandela and south African long ongoing war.

Nov 07 12 05:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Tony Lawrence
Posts: 18,966
Chicago, Illinois, US


Katarina N. wrote:

I am allowed to be smart now that I'm retired. The guide book for glamour models no longer applies to me. smile

Education in the UK is sooo much better then the US.   I'm a victim of the public school system.   What's cool is that Mandarin is being taught in grammar schools now.   The author of this wreck and our resident teen need to understand that part of living in a polite society is what NOT too say.   Even with people of color unless you are a part of their group.  My ex wife would sometimes greet her sisters and friends by calling them bitc5.   I never tried it.   She had a mean left hook.

Nov 07 12 05:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
No. It's over(pretty much) and the word was already a word that was simply made to mean something it doesn't by a bunch of self righteous morons.

The n word as is has nothing to do with black people.

People(who are mostly old or dead) made it that way. And it shouldn't be.

&why with the rap music? If I were black, I would dislike lil Wayne much more so than any one else using the word in its proper context. It really should just be buried. Like 'Davenport'

Seriously. You do know that the 1960's weren't that long ago right? We're talking about people from that generation that are still alive. And even after the civil rights were put into effect back during the 1960's, things just didn't stop. Your point is like saying, Obama's is now president. Racism has stopped. If you think that it's just a word and not meant for Blacks, I'd highly recommend that you read the Yahoo articles where people post some very nasty racist N word shit.

Regarding lil Wayne and like. That's another generalization and assumption. When do all Blacks like and condone what Lil Wayne etc. say? There are a lot of Blacks that protest Black rappers using that word. A little history lesson. Rappers weren't the first to use that word in the Black community. It goes way back and was used more during the 1970's. That's where the rappers got it from.

Nov 07 12 05:09 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


Tony Lawrence wrote:

Education in the UK is sooo much better then the US.   I'm a victim of the public school system.   What's cool is that Mandarin is being taught in grammar schools now.   The author of this wreck and our resident teen need to understand that part of living in a polite society is what NOT too say.   Even with people of color unless you are a part of their group.  My ex wife would sometimes greet her sisters and friends by calling them bitc5.   I never tried it.   She had a mean left hook.

I can't speak to the UK educational system, for I went to school in the USSR. Most of my knowledge and skills are self-taught. It's like Matt Damon said in "Good Will Hunting", why drop 50k on an education you can get in any public library for free? smile

Nov 07 12 05:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KungPaoChic
Posts: 2,881
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
No, i dont waste time getting offended by things. But I'm a 16 year old white year so I don't know anything about anything(;

At least you realize it.

You really know how to make friends don't you?

IMO crap like this makes a good case for why MM shouldn't allow 16 year olds on the site.

But I guess it's not fair to judge all 16 year olds because one sheltered little white girl doesn't know how to behave.

SMDH -- talk about trolling.

Nov 07 12 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Svend
Posts: 25,122
Boulder, Colorado, US


Legacys 7 wrote:

Seriously. You do know that the 1960's weren't that long ago right? We're talking about people from that generation that are still alive. And even after the civil rights were put into effect back during the 1960's, things just didn't stop. Your point is like saying, Obama's is now president. Racism has stopped. If you think that it's just a word and not meant for Blacks, I'd highly recommend that you read the Yahoo articles where people post some very nasty racist N word shit.

To illustrate your point, here is some just from today...   pretty fucking disgusting and a wake up call to those who claim that "it's over".

http://jezebel.com/5958490/twitter-raci … /gallery/1

Nov 07 12 05:13 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KungPaoChic
Posts: 2,881
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


The ignorance on this web site never ceases to amaze.

WTF?
Nov 07 12 05:16 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Tony Lawrence wrote:

What???   I knew there was a reason I liked you.   I read Kaffir Boy years ago.   Great book.    Its a telling thing that American Blacks have co-op the word 'n' as a greeting and that actors like Sam Jackson, comics and rap artists regularly use it.   Yet Black Americans get angry at those who aren't Black who use it.   I think it should never be used by anyone.

I actually gave a reply to a similar point Priesly made. Not all Blacks feel this way. And that's the problem that many whites assume. They assume that if you're Black, then some way shape or form, you're defending rappers using it. I don't see you defending them. And I know that you're not alone.

Nov 07 12 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


Svend wrote:

To illustrate your point, here is some just from today...   pretty fucking disgusting and a wake up call to those who claim that "it's over".

http://jezebel.com/5958490/twitter-raci … /gallery/1

Writing things like that under their real name can have long time repercussions (some of those idiots attend university on scholarships paid by taxes for instance). These folks are the knockout combination of racist and dumb at the same time.

Nov 07 12 05:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Mary Thomson wrote:

I've never thought of it that way. That's wonderful, thank you Svend.

ditto. Just like Italians use words that were meant to put them down, they use it as a way to take power out of the word. Same with Hispanics. Speaking of Hispanics. Using the N word is like calling a Mexican a wet back or a middle Eastern a camel jockey. You just don't say that shit.

Nov 07 12 05:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Katarina N. wrote:
There are a lot of homophobic slurs that are now used by homosexuals when they refer to each other - by using it, they take away the word from "them" and with that act the power it possesses. It's more of a quick solution than waiting 50 years until the homophobes die out and the slurs with them.

So that's the upside, on the downside it also makes it easier for those words to prevail when maybe, they shouldn't. Either way white people shouldn't take a black person's use of the word as justification to use it too. That was my point.

Very well said. Same with many women calling each other bitches. But in a way not to offend each other.

Nov 07 12 05:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
The F-Stop
Posts: 1,423
New York, New York, US


NO?
Nov 07 12 05:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


Legacys 7 wrote:

I actually gave a reply to a similar point Priesly made. Not all Blacks feel this way. And that's the problem that many whites assume. They assume that if you're Black, then some way shape or form, you're defending rappers using it. I don't see you defending them. And I know that you're not alone.

Just gotta keep in mind that one black person is not the authority on all black people, so what works for some might not work for others. As a non-black person I would therefore always tread on the side of caution when it comes to the n-word. You can never go wrong with that approach.

Nov 07 12 05:25 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Katarina N. wrote:

Just gotta keep in mind that one black person is not the authority on all black people, so what works for some might not work for others. As a non-black person I would therefore always tread on the side of caution when it comes to the n-word. You can never go wrong with that approach.

That's exactly my point. Many whites in this country do exactly that. When these types of debates come up, they put all Blacks in one group and try to scapegoat behind your rappers or others saying it. And they know better. It's so predictable and a cliche reply. Priesly girl is a prime example of my point.

Nov 07 12 05:29 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
hygvhgvkhy
Posts: 2,092
Chicago, Illinois, US


hassanchop wrote:
At least you realize it.

You really know how to make friends don't you?

IMO crap like this makes a good case for why MM shouldn't allow 16 year olds on the site.

But I guess it's not fair to judge all 16 year olds because one sheltered little white girl doesn't know how to behave.

SMDH -- talk about trolling.

I'm not trolling, it was an opinion. Sorry if I'm not always a people pleaser:P

& you can speak about growing up with racism, but I didn't. I grew up with a few weeks of history on the subject and every black kid I know call eachother n----s but its okay for anyone else to say. It's stupid. If its an offensive term stop calling eachother that& end the word

I can't find the quote but whoever said we shouldn't take the use of the word as a justification to use it too, I wasn't trying to justify using it. I was saying it doesn't make sense that its acceptable for use by some, but extremely offensive if used in an non offensive way by others. It makes no damn sense. If its such an offensive term, why does anyone use it??? At all?

Nov 07 12 05:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
T
Posts: 53,547
Washington, District of Columbia, US


I love some of you guys...for serious.

My work here was done before I logged on.
Nov 07 12 05:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Russian Katarina II
Posts: 2,515
London, England, United Kingdom


Legacys 7 wrote:

That's exactly my point. Many whites in this country do exactly that. When these types of debates come up, they put all Blacks in one group and try to scapegoat behind your rappers or others saying it. And they know better. It's so predictable and a cliche reply. Priesly girl is a prime example of my point.

Treating a whole group of people as one would treat their dumbest and most ignorant member is a recipe for disaster. We're all part of groups and none of us want to be treated like the dumbest members of our group. The golden and silver rules are well to remember here. Treat others like you want to be treated. Don't treat others like you don't want to be treated.

It's not rocket science and cuts down on a lot of anger, stress and bullshit one might encounter otherwise.

Nov 07 12 05:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Svend
Posts: 25,122
Boulder, Colorado, US


T wrote:
I love some of you guys...for serious.

My work here was done before I logged on.

Love you too, T. wink

Nov 07 12 05:38 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DougBPhoto
Posts: 37,487
Portland, Oregon, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
I wasn't trying to justify using it. I was saying it doesn't make sense that its acceptable for use by some, but extremely offensive if used in an non offensive way by others.

It makes no damn sense.

If its such an offensive term, why does anyone use it??? At all?

Because life is not just black and white.   Just because people are doing something does not make it right, or okay.


Ideally, life is also an ongoing work in process, where learning and personal growth takes place each and every day.

Nov 07 12 05:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Legacys 7
Posts: 33,752
San Francisco, California, US


Katarina N. wrote:

Treating a whole group of people as one would treat their dumbest and most ignorant member is a recipe for disaster. We're all part of groups and none of us want to be treated like the dumbest members of our group. The golden and silver rules are well to remember here. Treat others like you want to be treated. Don't treat others like you don't want to be treated.

It's not rocket science and cuts down on a lot of anger, stress and bullshit one might encounter otherwise.

Sadly a lot of people are about themselves and only want to be treated right while not treating others the way that they want to be treated. I see this shit often.

Nov 07 12 05:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KungPaoChic
Posts: 2,881
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
I'm not trolling, it was an opinion. Sorry if I'm not always a people pleaser:P
Nov 07 12 05:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
kickfight
Posts: 26,450
Portland, Oregon, US


It really depends on usage, but really, that's all academic.

Here's the deal: Black Americans have the primary ownership of the context because it was a word used to define them first as property, and then as second-class citizens. It is in their purview to manage its usage going forward. YIELD TO THEM IN THIS REGARD. It costs you NOTHING to do so, unless you're just looking to start shit. It costs you NOTHING to defer to black Americans on this word, for fuck's sake. You own everything else.

This thread sucks. sad
Nov 07 12 05:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Orca Bay Images
Posts: 32,233
Lodi, California, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
I'm not trolling, it was an opinion.

Your statement was a declaration of fact, not an opinion. And it was an incredibly ignorant and clueless declaration.

The "N" word has nothing to do with color? The word derives from "negro." Maybe you can get a teacher at school to explain it to you.

Nov 07 12 05:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
KungPaoChic
Posts: 2,881
West Palm Beach, Florida, US


Presley ONeil wrote:
Tis a word, in the dictionary, noones allowed to publicly say because of oversensitivity.

Aaaaand I'm out.

And this right here is why I think you knew exactly what you were doing.

You came in and took a gigantic dump in the thread ( OMG look at me!!!) and then announced you were leaving.

Trolling.

Nov 07 12 05:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
T
Posts: 53,547
Washington, District of Columbia, US


Presley ONeil wrote:

I'm not trolling, it was an opinion. Sorry if I'm not always a people pleaser:P

& you can speak about growing up with racism, but I didn't. I grew up with a few weeks of history on the subject and every black kid I know call eachother n----s but its okay for anyone else to say. It's stupid. If its an offensive term stop calling eachother that& end the word

I can't find the quote but whoever said we shouldn't take the use of the word as a justification to use it too, I wasn't trying to justify using it. I was saying it doesn't make sense that its acceptable for use by some, but extremely offensive if used in an non offensive way by others. It makes no damn sense. If its such an offensive term, why does anyone use it??? At all?

Feel free to use the word anytime you like.

Just like these folks.

http://jezebel.com/5958490/twitter-raci … /gallery/1

Nov 07 12 06:00 pm  Link  Quote 
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