Racially offensive terms - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-15-2005, 12:07 PM
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Please note that this is the first time I've started a topic in the Heap. If it is inappropriate or otherwise against the rules, please delete. Thank you.



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In an effort to salvage what I consider to be a hilarious thread, I thought I'd post this as a separate topic. In the thread, a poster made a comment that some took as a racial slur, although the poster claims he did not mean it in that way.



Unfortunately, not everyone is familiar with the subtleties of what is considered offensive, especially when the terms are older and less frequently used. In fact, many such terms have been dropped from the common vernacular because they *are* offensive... and thus younger people may not have even heard of them, much less understand their unpleasant history.



On the other hand, some would argue that the terms in question are so specific that it is unlikely that they would ever be used randomly in a purely innocent fashion. Consequently, the protestation that "I didn't mean it racially" would be unlikely to be true.



All else being equal (that is, if there is no prior evidence of racial hostility), do you believe it possible for someone to use a racial slur without meaning to do so? If so, how much allowance (if any) should be made in such cases for such an offense?



Discuss among yourselves.
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#2 Old 04-15-2005, 12:15 PM
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In regard to the thread you are talking about...



I don't know what the intent of the person who made the percived offense, but I can only guess, judging from past behavior.



I can easily see myself having made a comment with the guilty word, not meaning anything by it, because the stereotype I hold of "shoeshine boy" is that of a young boy in a baseball cap, with a morning paper route, trying to make money for ice cream and baseball cards. I was raised in a white (and yes, racist) community and not exposed to some of the stereotypes that some people were. I know a lot more now, but the older pictures in my head are the ones that endure.



The BIG difference I see is that when I say something that steps on someone's toes, and I realize I was wrong or ignorant about something, I have a tendency to apololgize and I would have definitely edited my post. There is a lot about the world that I don't know, and I always hope that people will be forgiving when I screw up, if I have a little humility about it.
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#3 Old 04-15-2005, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by renaissancesun View Post




The BIG difference I see is that when I say something that steps on someone's toes, and I realize I was wrong or ignorant about something, I have a tendency to apololgize and I would have definitely edited my post. There is a lot about the world that I don't know, and I always hope that people will be forgiving when I screw up, if I have a little humility about it.



True. I've noticed that everyone is discussing this, but FR. Maybe I was too quick to assume that he meant nothing by it.

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#4 Old 04-15-2005, 12:22 PM
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interpreted it the same as Buddha. Why else pick *shoeshine boy*? Anybody with any cultural awareness about racist stereotypes in the US knows this has racist connotations. Of course, FR, I don't know if you are just totally in the dark about the racial connotations of words or what. Honestly, all of you who are denying it are either "playing dumb" or maybe aren't old enough to be aware of these connotations, or live in a region where these issues don't come up much. Where I live, anybody who doesn't know you should be careful with "shoeshine boy" isn't paying attention.



In truth, I didn't realize that shoe shine boy was a racial slur. I honestly thought it was kids who shined shoes for money. The only time I've ever seen a "shoe shiner" was in Chicago airport...and it was a black man with a chinese kid. Or was it the other way around?



ANYWAYS....



I sometimes think we are a bit over the top with worrying about offending people. I think it's why so many people enjoy comedians like Chris Rock or Bernie Mac or some Canadian ones that none of you would know....they don't mind saying the sterotypical differences between cultures. And a lot of people feel relieved when they can laugh at those difference without worrying about who they are going to offend.
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#5 Old 04-15-2005, 12:30 PM
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In truth, I didn't realize that shoe shine boy was a racial slur. I honestly thought it was kids who shined shoes for money. The only time I've ever seen a "shoe shiner" was in Chicago airport...and it was a black man with a chinese kid. Or was it the other way around?





Maybe this should be ANOTHER thread all together, but I have wondered why the majority of shoe shine guys in the airports are black. It still makes me feel a little uneasy when I see a white man getting his shoes shined. But, the other part of me thinks, well what's wrong with it, it's just a job.



But getting back to the context of FR's comment, my first reaction wasn't, "OMG, how could he say that?" and that isn't because I'm too young to "get it". I thought it was more of a political jab than anything else. However, his following comments like "boy" and "I thought you were white", suggested that he knew he was pushing buttons.
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#6 Old 04-15-2005, 12:32 PM
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No, once the "I thought you were white" came out, then I knew what it was all about.



But I really didn't see anything wrong. I'm almost 30, so I'm not that young, but I never grew up in the US. We have our own issues here.
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#7 Old 04-15-2005, 12:39 PM
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I sometimes think we are a bit over the top with worrying about offending people. I think it's why so many people enjoy comedians like Chris Rock or Bernie Mac or some Canadian ones that none of you would know....they don't mind saying the sterotypical differences between cultures. And a lot of people feel relieved when they can laugh at those difference without worrying about who they are going to offend.





I don't know what thread you are talking about, but I do agree with the above statement. You listen to some of those comedians and it's hysterical. And then we are 'allowed' to laugh at how PC we really are.



We're so concious of being PC and not offending anyone, that I think statements that aren't offensive come out as being offensive.
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#8 Old 04-15-2005, 12:52 PM
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I didn't think it was racial, just judging by the post. But I'm relatively new and know nothing about the posters tendency to make similarly questionable comments in the past.



But in general, no, racial comments should not be tolerated. Rascism is the epidemy of ignorance. And yes, I believe someone is capable of making a comment which may have no intent to offend, but does. At the same time, if they say that wasn't what was meant, then we should take them for thier word.
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#9 Old 04-15-2005, 12:53 PM
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Keep in mind, the same poster in the past has linked to cartoons on anti-Jew hate sites, and recently mentioned his dislike of black men dating white women.
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#10 Old 04-15-2005, 01:01 PM
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I hestitate to comment on this subject because I am new here and don't know FR at all, so I don't know what his true intentions were. I can only say that when I read what he posted, my first thought was that it was racist. And judging by Tame's reaction, he thought so as well.
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#11 Old 04-15-2005, 01:02 PM
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Hey, but FWIW, it didn't bother me.



I always consider the source.
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#12 Old 04-15-2005, 01:14 PM
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The "shoeshine" part didn't bother me as much as "boy" did. It's considered so offensive here (I live in the Deep South) that many black women don't call their male children "boys".
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#13 Old 04-15-2005, 01:40 PM
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ok so ill ask...



what does the racial slur "shoeshine boy" mean?
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#14 Old 04-15-2005, 01:48 PM
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ok so ill ask...



what does the racial slur "shoeshine boy" mean?

You can use "shoeshiner" to describe someone if that is what they do, of course. It's the context. Shoeshiner, elevator operator, and some other classic jobs were some of the only jobs blacks could get after slavery and beyond. It developed a racist connotation in depending on how it was used.



Kind of like referring to an asian person as a laundry folder or something.



http://www.angelfire.com/geek/APRACE/glossary.html (A pretty thorough list with lots that I've never heard of.)
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#15 Old 04-15-2005, 01:58 PM
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I never realized "shoeshine boy" was a slur either.



I'm sure I say things all the time that offend someone or another and don't even realize it. But if I do realize it, I am usually pretty good about apologizing for it.



In the Book of Coop, deliberately using racial (or other)slurs in order to harm someone is not okay. But using them in a joking fashion with the proper audience is just fine, I think that helps ease tension between groups of people.
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#16 Old 04-15-2005, 02:02 PM
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I think it's definitely possible to use a racial slur without meaning to. I didn't see FR's comment in context, so I couldn't speculate as to his specific intent.. though I'd hope it was innocent.



I've never heard "shoeshiner" used in a racial capacity. Whenever I think of someone shining shoes it usually brings to mind a young boy in a tweed vest and newsboy cap with a rag over his shoulder. Guess it shows how much I know!
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#17 Old 04-15-2005, 02:13 PM
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I've never heard "shoeshiner" used in a racial capacity. Whenever I think of someone shining shoes it usually brings to mind a young boy in a tweed vest and newsboy cap with a rag over his shoulder. Guess it shows how much I know!



Same with me. Shows that shoeshiner isn't a Canadian term.
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#18 Old 04-15-2005, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Thalia View Post




http://www.angelfire.com/geek/APRACE/glossary.html (A pretty thorough list with lots that I've never heard of.)



Wow. I just finished skimming that list. Very disturbing. I had no idea there were that many racial slurs out there.
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#19 Old 04-15-2005, 02:14 PM
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I always consider the source.



bingo.
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#20 Old 04-15-2005, 04:49 PM
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My husband and I call eachother "Nigga"......we've watched the movie Friday a few too many times. We have realized though, we need to stop calling eachother, and our son that, because he might call somebody Nigga without knowing it could be offensive. We are far from rascist. I don't know that I actually answered the question posed....sorry.
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#21 Old 04-15-2005, 05:05 PM
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In honour of FR's indiscretion, I ate a milk chocolate-covered flaky pastry with a whipped cream filling
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#22 Old 04-15-2005, 05:22 PM
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I found this (from the posted list) quite amusing:



Cheeser--Canadians--Used primarily in northern Washington State, refers to Canadians who cross the border to shop for big blocks of inexpensive American Cheese.
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#23 Old 04-15-2005, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by FreshTart View Post

II sometimes think we are a bit over the top with worrying about offending people. I think it's why so many people enjoy comedians like Chris Rock or Bernie Mac or some Canadian ones that none of you would know....they don't mind saying the sterotypical differences between cultures. And a lot of people feel relieved when they can laugh at those difference without worrying about who they are going to offend.



Chappelle!







The Rev
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#24 Old 04-15-2005, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MollyGoat View Post

I found this (from the posted list) quite amusing:



Cheeser--Canadians--Used primarily in northern Washington State, refers to Canadians who cross the border to shop for big blocks of inexpensive American Cheese.



Oh that's great! I like that one!!!
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#25 Old 04-15-2005, 06:20 PM
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That list lists "Roo" as an offensive term for Aussies.... something to do with the way we walk? WTF?



And "caneater", because we drink a lot of canned beer (known here as "tinnies")?



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#26 Old 04-15-2005, 06:32 PM
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I call my husband a Kraut and he calls me a greasy WOP
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#27 Old 04-15-2005, 06:35 PM
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^^







Love is in the air
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#28 Old 04-15-2005, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Rev View Post

Chappelle!







The Rev



OMG...Chappelle makes me laugh so hard I tinkle in my pants. The skit about the blind black man who thinks he's white...then when he find's out he's black, he divorces his blind white wife because she's a "****** lover". That skit just kills me!!
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#29 Old 04-15-2005, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by sky73 View Post


But getting back to the context of FR's comment, my first reaction wasn't, "OMG, how could he say that?" and that isn't because I'm too young to "get it". I thought it was more of a political jab than anything else. However, his following comments like "boy" and "I thought you were white", suggested that he knew he was pushing buttons.



Exactly.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#30 Old 04-15-2005, 11:29 PM
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OMG...Chappelle makes me laugh so hard I tinkle in my pants. The skit about the blind black man who thinks he's white...then when he find's out he's black, he divorces his blind white wife because she's a "****** lover". That skit just kills me!!





That was one of the best comedy sketches I have ever seen.
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