A follow-up on the n-word. {via completely cauchy}

The power of a word to incite and excite. There’s a racy discussion going on over here that is well worth a read and a reflect.

A follow-up on the n-word. | completely cauchy..

Racist invectives have always intrigued me, being a ‘mongrel’ mix of Southeast Asian and Caucasian, myself, but I have never been able to relate to the charge of emotional energy that surrounds  these words, and to the viciousness that permeates and grips the opposing armies of this issue…probably because I don’t believe there is such a thing as a pure-blooded, pure-race human being…of ANY race.

I think that drawing imaginary racial lines between one  skin color and another is dangerous, period.

This cuts both ways, and also applies to Reverse Discrimination…that often patronizing and condescending form of support for one group—typically minority or perceived as being ‘disadvantaged’—that seeks to treat the symptoms of racism, but clings to , nevertheless, and PERPETUATES the outdated belief that one group of people is somehow a different kind of human being than another group.

Somewhere in every racist’s past, in everyone‘s past, there will be someone, your ancestor, who’s got a drop of the blood—the very race—that you revile when you call someone a nigger, or chink, or gook, or wog, or what-have-you.

Isn’t it high time to get over the idea of your pure, unsullied, unbroken racial heritage…black, white, yellow, brown, red, green and all the colors in-between? The concept is obsolete, passé, fogeyish. If you insist on clinging to the idea, it’s out of piggish narrow-mindedness, and not because it has foundation in reality.

That modern humans originated in Africa from a Mitochondrial Eve and her “sisters” has so much evidence in its favor that only a Neanderthal would argue for being separate from the others (and be right!)

The theory is presented to the general public in this accessible series:

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

—from South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein


7 thoughts on “A follow-up on the n-word. {via completely cauchy}

  1. I have always believed that there is only one race on earth…. the HUMAN race. Any differences are no more important than a difference in eye or hair color, except for cultural (and sometimes medical) reasons. There might be other important differences, but most cross what we call racial lines.


  2. I laughed at gook and wog. still am. .. ahihi.. guess i’m shallow. but yes, reverse discrimination and the martyr complex many good-meaning people seem to proliferate, its probably a catholic thing. then again, most people inherit their anger, guilt, beliefs, etc. theres a choice somewhere and either you brave it by abandoning that sort of mindset or remain playing that part knowing its all just a play. easier for us mudbloods I think. I don’t associate with any-one race either.


  3. This is a great piece of succinct writing on a heavy subject.
    The post on the n-word @ completely cauchy carried a powerful message. The images of those quilts blew me away. It makes a pretty big impact to see harsh language on a quilt!

    Although it’s pretty clear that science has shut the door on any discussion about the existence of ‘race’ within humankind I doubt we’ll ever be rid of our ‘racist’ tendencies. Tribalism seems to be quite well entrenched in our nature. Just like Dr Zeus’s Sneetches, humans seem committed to finding ways to prove that ‘our mob’ is better than ‘their mob’. It’s pretty messed up isn’t it. Where does this stuff stand when we consider that all living things sprung from the same spark of magic (a breath of life in an apparently empty universe) and we’re all only a few dna strands of separation from chimps!

    About 15 years ago I visited Bermuda, a very small Island, where I met this guy who was having a terrible time trying to do research for his book. I remember heaps of people were really pissed off with him about the book and I managed to find out why… He was doing a genealogy of the Island.
    No prizes for guessing that after more than 300 years of living together, regardless of skin colour and apparent ethnic origins, he was absolutely positive that he could prove they were all related.
    I’m not sure if that book was ever published… People don’t like to have their illusions messed with.

    As for the Neanderthals. Given the way we treat ‘others’ maybe they did protest that they were ‘different’… They won’t make that mistake again.


    1. Actually, David, one point I WAS trying to make was that I don’t subscribe to this tip-toeing around ‘harsh language’…I’m a writer, there is no such thing as an “off-limits” word. It’s not the arrangement of a bunch of letters that matter, it’s the mindset, attitudes, and emotions of a person that actually affect other people.
      One is not less racist just because he never says ‘nigger’ openly…as I said, there IS such a thing as Reverse racism…a patronizing, ridiculously ‘reverential’, and cozening attitude towards other people, based solely upon the color of their skin.

      The racist tendencies you suggest are natural to humankind are actually rather difficult for someone like me to even artificially reproduce…a German grandfather and a French grandmother on one side, a Spanish grandfather and Chinese grandmother on the other side, born in Manila, carrying a US passport, brought up speaking both English and Tagalog, married to a Russian-Czech who is descended from Abram Petrovich Gannibal, Peter the Great’s adopted African son. Where do I begin to ally myself with one tribe, or one skin color, or one culture?

      No, racism is not natural, “you’ve got to be taught to hate…”


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