Date: Mon, 24 Oct 1994 13:55:18 -0700 From: Roger Vanderveen Subject: Re: offending idiot Date: Sat, 22 Oct 1994 10:34:50 CST From: salikoko mufwene In Message Thu, 20 Oct 1994 08:56:23 -0700, Roger Vanderveen writes about frivolous changing of "acceptable" names for non-whites. I am afraid you have trivialized the offense in Chuck's note. As well stated in David Muschell's reply, the offense derives in part from Chuck's grandparents naming their dog a racial/racist epithet. Once posted on the dam, not everybody new "Nigger" was used for a dog. Granted. Besides at the time the dog was named "Nigger," this term was not an accepted designation for Blacks or African Americans. Do you recall any time in the history of the USA when "Nigger" was an acceptable term for African Americans? Sure. It's an acceptable term now, in many quarters. For myself, I do not and would never use it, and cringe when I do hear it used. I will admit that it's not acceptable now among the media and universities, but I know that if many of the readers of this list went off-campus, they would find lots of people using it, especially in the South. For some, there is a negative element, and for others, it's simply the term they've used all they're lives. Who has the right to sit in judgment? I do not know that African Americans would be offended today if you described them as "black" (with or without a cap). I don't get the "cap" reference. And how about negro? While we might find it amusing that names for a particular ethnic group keep changing (and I take no offense at this), the particular incident at issue here is not so amusing (except perhaps in the privacy of our homes). So I can laugh at home, but not in public? Don't ask, don't tell? I doubt that the reason the sign was removed had to do with being politically correct. There is more to the act than some may want to recognize. Chuck has been wise enough to apologize. I, among the people who were offended, accept the apology. But I find your trivialization of the issue ridiculous. All right, then let me use another example having nothing to do with race: idiot, moron, half-wit, mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, special, mentally challenged. Nothing trivial, only individual words. See the connection? =============================================================================== Roger Vanderveen Intel Corporation (503) 696-4331 Hillsboro, OR ===============================================================================