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Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Jack Morris under fire for using Asian accent during Shohei Ohtani at-bat

Tigers announcer and Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Morris was criticizing after using an accent to answer a question about Shohei Ohtani in Detroit’s game against the Angels on Tuesday night.

Morris was asked by Bally Sports play-by-play man Matt Shepard what the Tigers “should do with Shohei Ohtani?” during his at-bat in the sixth inning.

Morris responded by attempting to use an Asian accent and saying, “Be very, very careful.”

The 66-year-old Morris apologized before Ohtani’s next at-bat.

“Well folks, Shohei Ohtani is coming to the plate and it’s been brought to my attention, and I sincerely apologize if I offended anybody, especially anybody in the Asian community for what I said about pitching and being careful to Shohei Ohtani,” Morris said.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 18, 2021 at 11:37 AM | 515 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: jack morris

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   301. nick swisher hygiene Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:41 PM (#6035943)
298 shows some perspective…

ok, flip fantasia!
   302. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:46 PM (#6035944)
Are you trying to argue he did not in fact drop the nbomb in front of a group of students who were on an educational trip?
Yes. He did not in fact do that. He mentioned the word. He did not use it.
   303. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:50 PM (#6035945)
and yet he still did say the n word to a bunch of school kids and he knows he was wrong to do it, just seems like you dont get it. which is hardly an issue with wokeism it is just your lack of sensitivity i suppose?
He groveled in a desperate attempt to save himself. He doesn't know he was wrong, because he wasn't wrong.
   304. Brian C Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:59 PM (#6035946)
“Wokeism” is about power, not about principles; not everybody can afford to value principles over outcomes. If I can stop Milo from speaking at my university, I will do so regardless of liberal concerns about free speech, because I regard stopping* him as a step on the way to producing a more just/equal society.

Cool story, bro - bringing about social justice via being distracted by right-wing hucksters from several years ago. Tell me, how is that false dichotomy between principles/outcomes working out for you? Good? Hey, I know, maybe if we all work together, we can get one of Ben Shapiro's posts flagged on Facebook!!!!
   305. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 23, 2021 at 11:59 PM (#6035947)
to answer for your own actions isn't fear or intimidation, it is in fact accountability ,
This is just sophistry. Giving something a label doesn't change what it is:

"The death penalty is unjust and cruel. Even murderers don't deserve that."
"No; having to answer for your own actions isn't unjust or cruel; it's just accountability."


Maybe it's not fear or intimidation — but simply saying, "No, it's accountability" doesn't refute that argument. It just labels it.
   306. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6035948)
a few months later the employee and employer released joint statements saying they were parting ways, the woke crowd dont seem to have been remotely the deciding factor.
Do you think that when a politician says that he is quitting to spend more time with his family, that the politician is quitting because he wants to spend more time with his family?
   307. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:31 AM (#6035961)
"Wokeism " is just a label that appears to have no fixed meaning , if we are going to go down that path. if you want to reduce a conversation to nothing.
He wrote an apology saying he was wrong as he was leaving, that doesnt sound like groveling to me, sounds to me like someone who wouldnt apologize for a long time finally realizing that there are ways to discuss racism with teens that dont require you to drop offensive racist terms, which by the way is always true.
   308. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:34 AM (#6035962)
Not sure how theoretical phantoms disagreeing on what racism is precludes me from having my own understanding on what I think it is, or how I have experienced in in a huge diverse city after living through a time when it was a lot more open in the workplace and in general than today.
   309. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:52 AM (#6035963)
When she left there was quite a bit of information we do not have and I have pointed that out several times. Did the 20 co-workers get her fired? does not seem so, as the company directly told them they were not going to fire her and they ( the coworkers) dont decide who the company hires, the company was aware of her tweets and it was several months later she was let go.
So you wish to assume that it could only be the twitter posts she made when she was 17 , but we cannot possibly know that. and thats the problem, as outsiders to the hiring and firing practices of a company we are left to guess. My guess is no ,they werent the deciding factor since they hired her in spite of knowing her past.
   310. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:49 AM (#6035967)
After spending more time researching the story of Alexi McCammonds story at teen vogue I think I have found the tipping point, two companies with their own "diversity" issues ( burts bees and Ultra) threatened publicly to pull all their ads over her hiring. At that point Alexi and teenvogue seemed to have agreed to part ways. I do not think that advertisers were in the right to do this but it seems to have been the deciding factor.
   311. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 09:31 AM (#6035973)
Andy, I wonder…are you really a 60s left guy, or are you just an American free speech absolutist?

I'm a former 60's civil rights worker with a lifelong interest in the totalitarian / authoritarian mentality, an interest that's been concentrated on the evils of fascism, Communism and racism, all of which are based on a desire on the part of the strong to dominate the weak in order to maintain their real or perceived privileges. I am not a "free speech absolutist" in the way it seems you think I am. I wish Facebook and Twitter had banned Trump in 2015 once it was clear where he was going, and I wish that they were much more proactive in removing disinformation than they are today.

I mean, the First Amendment is OK and all, but the idiosyncrasies of American jurisprudence, which in practice have basically equated speech with money and done very little to fight white supremacy,

I loathed the Citizens United decision and its underlying principle of Money = Speech. At the very least I think any nonprofit organization that engages in political activities should be required to post a list of all their donors.

But neither Don McNeil nor Jack Morris nor Lani Guinier (to take a difference example of the same phenomenon) were either trying to overthrow the government or trying to promote racism. Big difference.

are really not the only way to work toward a more just/equal society. So much liberalism, so little taking institutional power seriously.

Maybe you skipped over the part where I denounced institutional racism, which AFAIC should be the primary target of anti-racism campaigns, not isolated individuals who may or may not even be racists.

Maybe read a little critical race theory? Don’t worry, it’s not a required course!

Oh, for Christ's sake. I was reading about CRT when it was little more than an academic cult. But at this point CRT is like the elephant whose various body parts a group of blind men are touching and assuming they understand the whole.

And stop caping so much for Black conservatives; it’s just not a good look for white folks, regardless of how significant their library holdings….

Wait, are you seriously trying to say that John McWhorter is a "conservative" in the way that today's Trump-loving, gay-baiting "conservatives" define themselves? If you do, I'd suggest you expand your reading list yourself. Or does "conservative" just mean anyone who opposes the idea that people should be judged by their worst moments?

“Wokeism” is about power, not about principles; not everybody can afford to value principles over outcomes. If I can stop Milo from speaking at my university, I will do so regardless of liberal concerns about free speech, because I regard stopping* him as a step on the way to producing a more just/equal society.

That'd be a lot more convincing if there were the slightest bit of evidence that all that "antifa" #### had ever accomplished anything more than given the GOP a simplistic new talking point.

Ask yourself, are you living in a hypothetical society when you attack “wokeism” & “cancel culture” / defend free speech in this weird reflexive way? Is the precise American instantiation of the principle just a means to an end, or are you taking it as an end in itself?

Short answer: It's both. I oppose "wokeism" and "cancel culture" both on general principle AND because in the long run they're totally counterproductive. No matter how virtuous they see themselves, and no matter how much Fox News tries to inflate their influence, they're never going to accomplish anything that's both positive and lasting. I'm a fan of the long run war against racism, which today should be centered on voting rights, not getting bogged down in fleeting sideshow battles. YMMV.
   312. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:40 AM (#6035989)
"he mentioned the word he did not use it". he used the word in a conversation , he did not allude to it, or substitute a less offensive term , he used the n bomb while talking to some teens. He may not have used it as an insult against anyone but even he admitted on his way out the door that he could not defend using it any circumstance. so take that up with him .
"In asking the question, I used the slur itself,” McNeil said in his note to the staff. “I should not have done that. Originally, I thought the context in which I used this ugly word could be defended. I now realize that it cannot. It is deeply offensive and hurtful. The fact that I even thought I could defend it itself showed extraordinarily bad judgment. For that I apologize.”

He appears well aware he used it , even if you are somehow trying to deflect his usage with the word "mentioned".
   313. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:45 AM (#6035992)
Andy
Curious how you see the right wing mob of usual suspects who ganged up and went after the 22 year old ex-AP writer Emily Wilder? Do you see that as cancel culture or as something different?
   314. WokeeRedneck(WR) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:52 AM (#6035994)
Is it true that if you say the unredacted "n-word" in the mirror three times at midnight Ice Cube appears and calls your mother a whore?
   315. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:56 AM (#6035995)
Andy
Curious how you see the right wing mob of usual suspects who ganged up and went after the 22 year old ex-AP writer Emily Wilder? Do you see that as cancel culture or as something different?


I only vaguely recall the Wilder case, but my reaction would depend 100% on whether her views had actually colored her reporting. If there was any objective evidence of that, then her firing was justified.

But if it no such evidence was produced, then it looks like the AP was just covering its ass from the same sort of reflexive outrage that you see so often on Twitter, and yes, it would be an example of CC.

Reporters have political opinions, whether they admit it or not. Reporters shouldn't let those opinions be reflected in the text of their reporting. Since I hadn't read Wilder's dispatches, I'm really not able to say much more than that.
   316. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6036001)
She was only at AP for 2 weeks , according to her she had an entry level support job at a domestic bureau and did no reporting in that 2 week period. she was fired for a tweet she made that the AP said went against their policy although according to Wilder they never told her what the post was or how it violated their policy.
   317. . Posted: August 24, 2021 at 12:41 PM (#6036002)
If leftists hadn't started the cancel culture to begin with, non-leftists wouldn't have then started using the same tactics themselves. It's rather bizarre to now complain that the same tactics are starting to boomerang back, albeit still slightly.

Obviously, the answer is to get rid of cancel culture, but the leftists will never agree and so here we are.
   318. . Posted: August 24, 2021 at 12:43 PM (#6036004)
He appears well aware he used it , even if you are somehow trying to deflect his usage with the word "mentioned".


And Cersei Lannister was "well aware" of her transgressions when she voluntarily did the walk of shame.
   319. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 12:49 PM (#6036005)
She was only at AP for 2 weeks , according to her she had an entry level support job at a domestic bureau and did no reporting in that 2 week period. she was fired for a tweet she made that the AP said went against their policy although according to Wilder they never told her what the post was or how it violated their policy.

On the basis of what you say, and assuming there's not more to it,** then yes, Wilder was the victim of the same sort of reflexive corporate CYA that gets decried when it goes in the other direction.

** Such as calling for the destruction of Israel; parroting memes involving Jewish stereotypes; etc.
   320. WokeeRedneck(WR) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 01:12 PM (#6036010)
>If leftists hadn't started the cancel culture to begin with

I remember when the hippies were aghast that the Dixie Chicks weren't enthusiastic supporters of a Republican president and demanded their censure. I wish Dalton Trumbo was around to make a movie about but he'd been cancelled twice by then, the second time irrevocably.
   321. Mr. Hotfoot Jackson (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 03:26 PM (#6036031)
>If leftists hadn't started the cancel culture to begin with


Paul Robeson says hi from about 5-odd decades before the Dixie Chicks. And the Weavers. And the Hollywood 10 (speaking of Dalton Trumbo). And, going by the Wikipedia (not definitive, of course, but still) roster of the blacklisted from those days, at least a couple of hundred others.
   322. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 03:58 PM (#6036045)
Paul Robeson says hi from about 5-odd decades before the Dixie Chicks. And the Weavers. And the Hollywood 10 (speaking of Dalton Trumbo). And, going by the Wikipedia (not definitive, of course, but still) roster of the blacklisted from those days, at least a couple of hundred others.

Too bad that you can't copy images directly onto BTF, but this link shows a picture of Red Channels, a book that was commonly referred to as the Blacklisters' Bible, a 213 page book naming 151 names, that came out in 1950. Its listed names were constantly added to for years after that. And as you'll note, as it only covered radio and TV, and not the movies, the names listed within were only a portion of those affected.

The author of the introduction to Red Channels later started a bulletin which kept naming more and more names, until one of those names (John Henry Faulk) sued him and eventually won a libel suit that effectively put the blacklisters out of business. But it took about 15 years before that happy denouement was achieved.
   323. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:05 PM (#6036083)
I'm so old, I remember when lefties were in favour of free speech...
   324. Hombre Brotani Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:30 PM (#6036089)
I'm so old, I remember when lefties were in favour of free speech...
Nah. It was always lefties who kept saying, "No, you can't use the n-word" because they hate free speech. "But why do THEY get to say it, and not ME?," asked the brave 1A defender.
   325. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:40 PM (#6036092)
”he mentioned the word he did not use it". he used the word in a conversation , he did not allude to it, or substitute a less offensive term , he used the n bomb while talking to some teens. He may not have used it as an insult against anyone but even he admitted on his way out the door that he could not defend using it any circumstance. so take that up with him
The use-mention distinction is a well-understood one in law, philosophy, and linguistics. And in Monty Python sketches.
   326. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 06:58 PM (#6036096)
and yet he still admits he was wrong. so I guess go ask him why he thinks so?
   327. AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:08 PM (#6036098)
And yet, this wasn't a legal matter, so the legal distinction is almost entirely irrelevant. (full disclosure IAAL.)

edit: also not a philosophical or linguistical matter. Not a philosopher or a linguist, but neither is anyone else here (probably).
   328. Brian C Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:14 PM (#6036099)
and yet he still admits he was wrong. so I guess go ask him why he thinks so?

Seriously, who gives a flying #### what he thinks? It obviously has zero bearing on the point that Nieporent is making. This is the most pointless appeal-to-authority fallacy that I've ever seen.

Again, why these dumb little childish responses? Do you honestly not have anything to say that's more sophisticated than this nonsense you're churning out? Do you really care so little about the social justice issues that you're pretending to care about that you can't be bothered to think harder about what you say than an average third-grader?

Please grow up.
   329. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 07:55 PM (#6036111)
Every one of those Stalinist show trials wound up with the defendant making a full confession of guilt. McNeil's admission of "guilt" was just about as convincing.
   330. Lassus Posted: August 24, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6036128)
If leftists hadn't started the cancel culture to begin with

I'm obviously late, but this is a hilarious assertion.
   331. Brian C Posted: August 24, 2021 at 10:12 PM (#6036136)
I'm obviously late, but this is a hilarious assertion.

Yeah but still people are giving him too much credit - his greater point was genuinely insane even if it actually was true that "leftists started the cancel culture to begin with."
   332. simon bedford Posted: August 24, 2021 at 10:28 PM (#6036139)
The person in question is not appealing to authority what kind of nonsensical bullshit are you spewing here and why? In an internal memo to his former staff and colleagues he made a complete mea culpa to his coworkers after he had officially left the company. Your response is the most willfully stupid thing on this thread. if you want to just insult what others are thinking try bringing ore to the table than this kind of poorly thought out non content it adds nothing to the discussion at hand.
And Andy this was an email to his staff after he had resigned so not sure what points he was trying to score with them in this case, not sure the show trial analogy stretches far enough to cover this unless you are suggesting the times coerced him into writing it and he actually wasnt sorry in the least?
   333. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:25 PM (#6036152)
In an internal memo to his former staff and colleagues he made a complete mea culpa to his coworkers after he had officially left the company.
You are being disingenuous. No matter how blatant events were in some of these other contexts, you pretend we can't know what "really" happened and that there must have been other factors at play. But in this case, you insist that we must only look at the single prepared statement, even though we have a long four-part essay from McNeil explaining his position, and he does not think he did anything except misjudge how people would react to innocuous things.
   334. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 24, 2021 at 11:50 PM (#6036157)
You are being disingenuous. No matter how blatant events were in some of these other contexts, you pretend we can't know what "really" happened and that there must have been other factors at play. But in this case, you insist that we must only look at the single prepared statement, even though we have a long four-part essay from McNeil explaining his position, and he does not think he did anything except misjudge how people would react to innocuous things.

David beat me to it, but in my defense I was so wrapped up in the Yankees game that I hadn't had the time to re-read the McNeil piece again until just now.

And what David says is absolutely true: That apology was totally pro forma. It was in the form of an explanation of the context surrounding what he'd said. Nobody who reads those four pages with an open mind could come out thinking that he was really "apologizing" for anything beyond having expressed himself in a way that a bunch of teenagers obviously misunderstood. And his resignation was obviously forced, about as voluntary as his "apology". The Times simply bowed to a juiced up campaign against him that had no interest in anything but seeing him gone. It wasn't the Times' finest hour.
   335. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 12:04 AM (#6036161)
I found his rambling 4 part document less compelling , by part 4 there is a fair bit of " I dont remember this" and " I cant recall all of this" etc, and his side of the story is just that, the times by refusing to expand on the "we found new concerns" feb. 8th statement is not helpful so , it does appear to not be a very honest accounting of what happened internally that lead from him being disciplined by the times to his being asked for his resignation, it is pretty unclear, the daily beast article brought forth a rash of allegations that it appears the times either confirmed , or believed without confirmation, or used to pressure this employee out of a job. If its the second or third option thats pretty poor , if its the first then the times seems to be in the wrong not to elaborate.
however the issue of dropping the n-bomb in front of a group of teens could still get you fired here, pretty easily at my workplace ( which has educational classes from the very young up to teens and adults) and after a quick google search it appears that in some cases it gets you canned south of the border as well, is it your and Davids position that these firing are not acceptable?
   336. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 12:19 AM (#6036165)
is it your and Davids position that these firing are not acceptable?
I don't know what you mean by "not acceptable." As a libertarian, I think that in the absence of a contract to the contrary, people have the right to terminate their business dealings whenever they want. (McNeil implies that he could have legally fought it, but I'm not going to argue about the legal merits of a position that he himself chose not to take.) I find it, however, stupid and offensive to fire someone for a fake accusation of non-wrongdoing like that.
   337. Brian C Posted: August 25, 2021 at 12:46 AM (#6036169)
The person in question is not appealing to authority what kind of nonsensical bullshit are you spewing here and why?

It's not "nonsensical bullshit," it's just that you very plainly have no idea what an appeal-to-authority fallacy is. Maybe they don't teach that kind of thing in the big cities, I dunno.

But, now that I've led you this close to the water - drink horse, drink.
   338. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 01:35 AM (#6036171)
a link to wikipedia, well I just knew you would double down on stupid and here we are.
   339. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 01:40 AM (#6036172)
He does not deny using the "n word" in front of some teens, thats not a fake accusation , he admitted to it. nobody accused him of using it towards anyone so not sure what the fake accusation is here.
   340. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 06:59 AM (#6036173)
I'm obviously late, but this is a hilarious assertion.


Without the implied "Twitter era cancel culture," I suppose it could be seen that way -- so I'll explicitly add the "Twitter era" here and de-hilarious-ize it.

I long ago noted the obvious parallels between the righty McCarthy era cancel culture and the modern Twitter-era lefty cancel culture. If anything, the show trial-esque forced confessions are even worse today, and it's truly "hilarious" to see people who see them as objective evidence of anything.

Bu-bu-but, he admitted his wrongoing!!!! Seriously?
   341. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 07:10 AM (#6036174)
John McWhorter used the "n word" in his Times column this morning. He also again correctly skewered white people for denying Black (*) peoples' humanity by holding that Black people were always right when it comes to racial matters. (**) No human being is ever right about everything, nor is any group of human beings, and by insisting that they are, you're effectively removing them from the actual, living human race.

(*) Notwithstanding the fact that this capitalization is itself a rather strange act of sanctification, and thus part of the underlying religion, McWhorter capitalizes so in order to focus attention on more important things, I will go along.

(**) All of us, on some level, know that this is nonsense, and readers who think I am making this point only to white people are quite mistaken. I mean all of us. Neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor redlining renders a people’s judgment of where racism has reared its head infallible.

Treating a people with dignity requires not only listening closely and sympathetically to their grievances, but being able to take a deep breath and call them on aspects of those grievances that don’t make sense. And there will be some, unless those airing the grievance are fictional creations instead of human beings.
   342. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 07:11 AM (#6036175)
He does not deny using the "n word" in front of some teens, thats not a fake accusation


It's not a fake accusation (*); it's a senseless and aggressive and primitive one.

(*) The use/mention distinction which obviously passed far over your head still holds, but it's not the most important point. "He used the n-word, fire him" is a childish and unenlightened perspective.
   343. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 07:39 AM (#6036176)
Context is a thing , as stated before here and in the States dropping the n bomb in front of school kids, or a team of youngsters can get you fired, if you think thats always wrong ok thats your position. but its not the position of many employers and its their childish and unenlightened perspective you are fighting against. Somehow I honestly dont think you care enough about this issue to address it beyond thinking somehow it makes you look thoughtful in a rather stilted online community. it does not.
   344. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 07:50 AM (#6036177)
Whatever could make you think that an employer, particularly a purely for-profit employer, couldn't act in a childish and unenlightened and primitive way?



   345. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:03 AM (#6036180)
however the issue of dropping the n-bomb in front of a group of teens could still get you fired here, pretty easily at my workplace ( which has educational classes from the very young up to teens and adults) and after a quick google search it appears that in some cases it gets you canned south of the border as well, is it your and Davids position that these firing are not acceptable?

It totally depends on the context, and the context isn't something that's always easy to determine. But McNeil's quoting the n-word in front of a select group of presumably precocious teenagers shouldn't have even come close to crossing that line of unacceptablity. Should a teacher be fired for assigning books where the n-word is used repeatedly, just because it makes some students "uncomfortable" or "threatened"? What about books where you can read "white motherfucker" many times within its pages? Should a teacher be fired for assigning books like that as well? Or should their assignments have to be vetted by the producers of Sesame Street? Do teachers have any say in this matter, or should the proper use of quoted language be determined by the most easily offended students?
   346. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:17 AM (#6036182)
That group of teens had probably heard the n-word a combined 10,000 times, possibly more -- as you could say about any group of random teens since teens, both white and black, started listening to hip-hop en masse 20+ years ago.

Hearing it a ten thousand and first time strikes the fair-minded and rational observer as the quintessential drop in the bucket.
   347. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:34 AM (#6036186)
I dont disagree that employers do in fact act in childish and primitive ways, this is the world that we always have lived in . The Editor in chief at the times did go on record as saying his initial response was to fire the employee in question as soon as he heard the allegation, so probably not helpful to McNiels cause that this was the attitude he was up against. I understand that you and many others think they are absolutely wrong, I think of it as McNiel himself thinks of racial discrimination, its a case by case situation and the remedy of the courts were available to him if he feels he has been unfairly judged.
Andy up here the goalposts are constantly shifting as to what teachers can and can no longer teach in the classroom and at what point it is considered ok to introduce material that uses strong language or racist terms etc, I am less aware of how your system south of the border handles this but its on ongoing and evolving situation.
Should the teachers have any say ? yes but times have changed and teachers have to be aware of this, because folks do appear to be getting fired in the states for merely reading material in university that we read in high school without any controversy. So treading lightly on these matters may well be the new norm. is that destroying our society and making us all worse people that some folks now recoil in anger or horror at a teacher dropping a highly offensive racist term? I do not think so, it seems regrettable when it happens in some occasions but the key is educating teachers to the new reality of changing society where folks are far more intolerant of racism and its terminology than they were in a not so distant past.
   348. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:54 AM (#6036188)
There was no sense whatever that McNeil was acting in a "racist" way. So the so-called decreasing "tolerance for racism," can't be the explanatory factor, which means the explanatory factor is something else.

That something else appears to be circumscribing the freedom of thought and expression of white people and white people alone.(*) Some people might be ok with that, but it's important to describe the thing that those some people are ok with accurately, rather than fictitiously.

(*) Had, for example, McNeil not been definitively white -- if he'd been speaking on tape for example -- the outcry would have been far less. It's not the word itself; it's the combination of the word and a definitively white person saying it that's the issue. We know for a fact that no one is trying to reduce the number of times white ears hear the n-word, so that isn't the issue. It's hard to credit a principle that "if it's heard from someone not definitively white, it's perfectly fine; if it's heard from someone definitively white, it's not." At that point, it's not even the word itself; it's the circumscribing of white people.
   349. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:05 AM (#6036191)
Sorry I was not suggesting that Mcniel was racist ,only that in a questionable situation he used a racist term, which seems to be the reason his employee terminated him. He has the courts to remedy this if he feels he has been terminated on unjust grounds.
I think it is more that he was in a leadership role when he said the term, to a group he was accompanying on a times sponsored educational trip , I think that is the context which his direct boss seems to be objecting too. I also do not believe that it only pertains to white people, at least not here in Canada , there have been a few cases were different ethnic minorities have throw slurs at asians or blacks or latinos and been fired for their trouble. perhaps that never occurs in the states although most of the insensitive tweets by Alexi McCammond were directed at Asian individuals.
   350. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:17 AM (#6036194)
It's not really a racist term though, is it, since it's heard by millions of ears per day every single day and has been for 25+ years with nary a peep.

So it's either not a racist term, or it is a racist term and society is extraordinarily racist for passively allowing so many ears, of all races including white, to hear it millions of times per day. Which is it?
   351. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:19 AM (#6036197)
Andy up here the goalposts are constantly shifting as to what teachers can and can no longer teach in the classroom and at what point it is considered ok to introduce material that uses strong language or racist terms etc, I am less aware of how your system south of the border handles this but its on ongoing and evolving situation.

Should the teachers have any say ? yes but times have changed and teachers have to be aware of this, because folks do appear to be getting fired in the states for merely reading material in university that we read in high school without any controversy. So treading lightly on these matters may well be the new norm. is that destroying our society and making us all worse people that some folks now recoil in anger or horror at a teacher dropping a highly offensive racist term? I do not think so, it seems regrettable when it happens in some occasions but the key is educating teachers to the new reality of changing society where folks are far more intolerant of racism and its terminology than they were in a not so distant past.


simon,

I think that students should have every right to complain about the use of "offensive" language in assigned reading. But I don't think that their complaints should be presumptively prioritized over the larger interest of introducing students to great (or even not-so-great) works of literature. And the assumption on the part of some (not all) of these teachers' accusers that merely quoting certain racially charged words is in itself "racist", or even "troubling", is so foreign to any rational way of thinking that I find it hard to believe that anyone in authority would take it seriously.

And obviously when I say "context matters", that also refers to the grade level in question. Works that should be perfectly appropriate to assign in high school aren't necessarily appropriate to assign to sixth graders. And even for high schools, I have no problem with prefacing an assignment of (for example) Huckleberry Finn or The Autobiography of Malcolm X with a note that some of the language within those books might be jarring to a 21st century sensibility. It's the same sort of warning that many TV newscasters give when they're about to show gruesome video footage, and it's a concession I can live with.

   352. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:29 AM (#6036199)
Sorry I was not suggesting that Mcniel was racist ,only that in a questionable situation he used a racist term, which seems to be the reason his employee terminated him.


Right, but the only thing "questionable" about the "situation" was that McNeil was (a) white (*); and (b) identifiable by the listeners as white.(**) Had he delivered the lecture (or whatever it was) by phone or audio only, making him unidentifiable as white -- in other words, not definitively not Black -- the situation would no longer have been "questionable" in the least.

It's a bizarre set of affairs when a definitive defense to the "offense" can be, "But my audience had no way of knowing I wasn't Black."

(*) Or perhaps more precisely: not Black.

(**) Or perhaps more precisely: identifiable by the listeners as not Black.
   353. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:34 AM (#6036200)
Andy
I do not think we are in disagreement on most points here. Perhaps the only one is how a student responds to material that is racist in tone or uses racist language, the current attitude here is to give students a more rounded curriculum of authors but the classics are still taught, Shakespeare etc. The argument that is made here for the inclusion of works that may include passages that may be troubling to the modern student is that it is an opportunity for discussion and understanding of how the historical context has changed over time. The issue is always how do you tell students from an ethnic minority who faces or has faced systemic discriminations how they have to feel about the use of certain languages or depictions? I do not believe you can , I do not think "Hey you are missing a good book here that just happens to include some racist terms and attitudes " so yeah it is troubling because you want to dictate to those who historically suffered under systemic racism , or are still currently experiencing it how they must respond to material that reinforces what they already go through. And almost nobody in authority here would ignore that, nor do they.
   354. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:37 AM (#6036201)
The thing is he was teaching or leading a group of students and he was not Black, would he have been excused if he was of a latin background or asian? Here he would not, not sure if its different in the states but I suspect its the same, so its not simply a question of black or white, but a question of black and not black.
   355. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:39 AM (#6036202)
The issue is always how do you tell students from an ethnic minority who faces or has faced systemic discriminations how they have to feel about the use of certain languages or depictions?


Except that isn't really the issue. The perception of McNeil's "offense" wouldn't be any different if his audience was all white. (I don't know one way or the other -- maybe it was.) Plenty of white people take it upon themselves to stand in loco parentis on behalf of Black people's "feelings."
   356. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:43 AM (#6036204)
but I suspect its the same, so its not simply a question of black or white, but a question of black and not black.


Right -- that's why I eventually said "not Black."

If a dullard white person turns on a hip hop radio station and hears the n-word all over the place, it isn't readily apparent that the artist is Black (*) -- and yet society permits and commercially encourages that dullard white person to hear the n-word hundreds or thousands of times per day. Sounds like a pretty racist state of affairs. Pre hip-hop, the average white person heard the word far, far less.

(*) And honestly, it's patently unclear why that should even matter. How is it "better" for a white person hearing a Black person saying it than it is for a white person to hear a white person say it? Answer: It isn't. It's probably worse.
   357. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 25, 2021 at 09:54 AM (#6036206)
Hyperparsing a scattering of individual events that we don't have full knowledge of, and then pretending our parsing says something about society at large ... yup all that is a sign of the decline.
   358. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:02 AM (#6036208)
For the record his audience was not all white but contained no black people. How a group who experienced systemic racism choose to repurpose an ethnic slur for their own use is not something I think is inherently worse, its common use by some rap artists can be problematic for those outside this community, does it encourage white people to sing a long? yep, does that infuriate some rappers and some people in the black community? also yes. So the question is who is it better to hear a term that has a derogatory racist context in one group ( its historic use in the white community) vs its newer context as a sometimes derogatory or sometimes as an inclusionary or even endearing term ( the way it is used and has been used in rap for a while now) I think the answer is , yeah its worse to hear it coming from the former group that historically inflicted systemic racism than on the latter group that was the victim and continues to be the victim of such systemic discrimination.
   359. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:05 AM (#6036209)
--
   360. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:09 AM (#6036211)
For the record his audience was not all white but contained no black people.


Exactly -- so the "issue" as postulated really wasn't the "issue."

So the question is who is it better to hear a term that has a derogatory racist context in one group ( its historic use in the white community) vs its newer context as a sometimes derogatory or sometimes as an inclusionary or even endearing term ( the way it is used and has been used in rap for a while now) I think the answer is , yeah its worse to hear it coming from the former group that historically inflicted systemic racism than on the former group that was the victim and continues to be the victim of such systemic discrimination.


But that only applies if the white listener knows both the racial identity of the person they're hearing -- there are plenty of white rappers out there -- and knows the "context" and "history." There's no reason to believe either holds. Frankly, there's no reason to believe allowing the term in common currency among dullard white people hasn't made those people more racist -- and future generations will likely conclude that it has.

   361. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:20 AM (#6036213)
Not sure what you see the issue as, that the nbomb can only be offensive if there is a black person to hear it? Because that clearly wasnt the issue. Mcniels boss was Black so they certainly had to hear it and hear first hand from the reporter that he said it . Excuse me for not following here, sorry.
   362. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:21 AM (#6036214)
He does not deny using the "n word" in front of some teens, thats not a fake accusation , he admitted to it. nobody accused him of using it towards anyone so not sure what the fake accusation is here.
The fake accusation is that he said something racist.
   363. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:24 AM (#6036215)
He has the courts to remedy this if he feels he has been terminated on unjust grounds.
As a general principle, no. There’s no cause of action for “That’s not fair.”
   364. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:24 AM (#6036216)
You said the issue was:

how do you tell students from an ethnic minority who faces or has faced systemic discriminations how they have to feel about the use of certain languages or depictions?


But since there were no Black people in the audience, that couldn't have been the "issue" in the McNeil kerfuffle. (It could be in certain classrooms, naturally.) And as I've noted, ears of all races hear the word very frequently. So the "offense" or the "issue" couldn't have been being exposed to a bad word.

that the nbomb can only be offensive if there is a black person to hear it?


Repeating, it's only deemed "offensive" if it's uttered by a non-Black person unambiguously identified and identifiable as non-Black. And once we realize that, we realize it isn't the word doing the offending -- it's something else instead -- and we need to recalibrate. At least if we're rational and honest. Many people are not.
   365. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:29 AM (#6036219)
My comment about "how do you tell ..." etc was directed to Andy about literature courses in Canada and not directly relating to McNeils situation at all, sorry if I worded it poorly or was unclear.
And I agree the courts are not interested in "thats not fair" which makes Mcneils comment about racial discrimination seem absurd. here there are courts that deal exclusively with wrongful terminations, is it not the case in the states?
   366. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:31 AM (#6036220)
I think what is doing the offending is what I stated before, in the context of how the dominant white community historically used it as a racist derogatory comment and the rap/ black community does not use it as a racist term is the difference. I think that is easily understood by most.
   367. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 10:42 AM (#6036224)
@365: We have at will employment in the U.S., so wrongful termination isn’t much of a thing. You can’t fire people because of their sex, religion, race, disability, but you can fire them for pretty much any other reason, good or bad, or no reason at all. (And since it’s rare, no, there aren’t special courts for that.)
   368. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6036227)
Andy
I do not think we are in disagreement on most points here. Perhaps the only one is how a student responds to material that is racist in tone or uses racist language, the current attitude here is to give students a more rounded curriculum of authors but the classics are still taught, Shakespeare etc. The argument that is made here for the inclusion of works that may include passages that may be troubling to the modern student is that it is an opportunity for discussion and understanding of how the historical context has changed over time.


That'd be my perspective. Schools should be about expanding one's horizons, not constraining them, and IMO it's particularly important to give students an historical perspective on how we got to "here" from "there". Which is impossible to do without introducing works that are often "troubling" to our current sensibility.

EDIT: I'd never get a teacher's certification, but I guarantee I could make up a better reading list for any student who seriously wanted to learn how we got from "there" to "here" (in terms of race) than any list used in any school today. And that list would definitely include plenty of openly racist material.

The issue is always how do you tell students from an ethnic minority who faces or has faced systemic discriminations how they have to feel about the use of certain languages or depictions? I do not believe you can

I don't think so, either, but again, that doesn't mean that those students (or their parents) should be given a veto power over the curriculum, which is what some people seem to be saying.

As for the parallel discussion about rap music that I haven't entered, unless some teachers are forcing students to listen to it I can't see why it's relevant even to bring it up. Seems to me that's something between teenagers and their parents. Most rap music seems pretty unintelligible to me, but it'd be kind of hypocritical for someone who grew up loving Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor to complain about any fucking language used by comedians or musicians.

   369. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:09 AM (#6036230)
Thanks David, while I try to keep track of American politics I am not always aware of the intricacies of your system in the more practical day to day situations. Here in Ontario there are several different boards, tribunals and courts you can appeal to depending on the particulars of your situation.
   370. Brian C Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:18 AM (#6036233)
The issue is always how do you tell students from an ethnic minority who faces or has faced systemic discriminations how they have to feel about the use of certain languages or depictions? I do not believe you can , I do not think "Hey you are missing a good book here that just happens to include some racist terms and attitudes " so yeah it is troubling because you want to dictate to those who historically suffered under systemic racism , or are still currently experiencing it how they must respond to material that reinforces what they already go through.

I think two things about this:

1) A lot of anxiety here is created by undue adherence to some idea of "the classics". Books (and art in general) come in and out of fashion all the time, it's really no big deal, and there's really no reason for the Mark Twains of the world to be entitled to a place in the forever canon. One of the great things about humanity is that we produce more than enough good books to fill a school curriculum with really outstanding yet broadly uncontroversial choices.

2) That said, I don't think much of the outcry about any given book usually comes from minorities. In my experience, this is usually the work of the busybody whites, often presuming they know best for the minorities that they see themselves as protecting. It's an oddly colonialist mindset that often has little room or use for actual minority voices.

By and large - again I'm speaking generally here but I think it largely holds - minority frustrations are much more with bigger-picture issues like housing, employment, neighborhood investment, etc. But even the most well-meaning affluent whites are loath to talk about those kinds of issues and much prefer to pretend like they're fighting the good fight with more minor issues like some outdated language in a few books.
here there are courts that deal exclusively with wrongful terminations, is it not the case in the states?

I think one thing that you really should understand is how the utter capriciousness of US employment systems exacerbates the concerns about woke mobs and the like.
   371. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:27 AM (#6036235)
Brian C
It does seem like two entirely different systems, here there are several avenues opened to fight these types of termination depending on which legal grounds one wishes to fight it on , the labour board, the human rights commission, the regular courts all being in play depending on how you or your legal team chooses to move forward.
   372. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6036236)
I think what is doing the offending is what I stated before, in the context of how the dominant white community historically used it as a racist derogatory comment and the rap/ black community does not use it as a racist term is the difference. I think that is easily understood by most.


It is in fact easily understood, yes. But it's beside the important point, which is that a white person can't possibly truly be "offended" by hearing the n-word when white people hear the n-word in common currency tens of thousands of times a day and the culture is perfectly fine with them doing so.

I could easily see an argument that we shouldn't let white people hear the word at all, from anyone, anywhere, because they might abuse the privilege -- but that's nothing like the current culture we have. Indeed, I'm hard-pressed to see why the culture is so blasé about white people hearing it so much.
   373. Lassus Posted: August 25, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6036277)
people hear the n-word in common currency tens of thousands of times a day

If you're trying not to sound ridiculous, try harder.
   374. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 03:56 PM (#6036293)
If you're trying not to sound ridiculous, try harder.


It's actually a conservative estimate for white people in aggregate, which is what I meant. That metric is back-of-the-envelope probably over a million a day.

Watch, for example, Menace II Society (I just did, again, about a month ago) and tell me it would be materially more troubling to hear a white person call a Black human being a "...." than it would be for a Black person to do the very same thing. It's a great movie, I've seen it a bunch of times, and that's tough to watch -- and I have no hesitancy saying that it wouldn't really be that much worse if the words were coming out of a white mouth, in the context in which they're used.

We should also note a couple of additional things the movie shows us. First, it absolutely is inaccurate to say the word isn't used aggressively toward Black human beings because it manifestly is used aggressively -- over and over and over again, including in the course of very violent crime.(*) It hasn't really been "repurposed" in any meaningful sense. It was a term of aggression as used by the plantation owners; it's a term of aggression as used by modern day Black users, including the aforementioned hip-hop artists. Not always, obviously, but very frequently. Secondly, it isn't fully accurate to say the word has been fully "repurposed" for a purely Black audience/usage, because if memory serves, one of the characters uses the term to refer to a white guy, to the white guy's face.

There's obviously no realistic way to block white people from seeing or hearing Black people called ".....," but it's also obviously something that should trouble you, and more than just a little. It's a troubling feature of our cultural life. If you google Kyrie Irving, you will see that he is troubled by it, as well.

(*) It also makes rather silly the idea that the word as used by a white person is somehow "offensive" because it's somehow redolent or evocative of slavery. How could a word evoking an institution a century in the rear view mirror (decades if you want to use Jim Crow) be worse than seeing the word used in the contemporary here and now?? Doesn't make a lot of sense when you actually think about it, does it?
   375. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 25, 2021 at 04:03 PM (#6036294)
the goalposts are constantly shifting

Goalposts are racist. (Please turn yourself in now. Comply. We're doing this for the children. Comply. Batteries not included. Comply. Flag pole in center field is in play. Comply. This has been a recording.)
   376. . Posted: August 25, 2021 at 04:24 PM (#6036299)
Kyrie Irving, on Twitter:

The N-word is a derogatory racial slur!
It will never be...
-a term of endearment
-reclaimed
-flipped
NEVER FORGET ITS FOUL AND TRUE HISTORY!
Throw that N-word out the window, right alongside all of those other racist words used to describe my people.

We are not slaves or N’s
   377. simon bedford Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:16 PM (#6036319)
Yeah there is not some monolith "black" community the only feels one way about the rap community and its use of the N bomb, there are black comedians who object to folks like Chris Rock and their usage of the term. so there are dissenting opinions , but that holds true to most complex issues.
   378. WokeeRedneck(WR) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 05:29 PM (#6036326)
>>He does not deny using the "n word" in front of some teens, thats not a fake accusation , he admitted to it. nobody accused him of using it towards anyone so not sure what the fake accusation is here.

>The fake accusation is that he said something racist.

Boy that must suck.
   379. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:02 PM (#6036352)
As for the parallel discussion about rap music that I haven't entered, unless some teachers are forcing students to listen to it I can't see why it's relevant even to bring it up.
There’s the stupid point about rap music — “How come they get to say it but I don’t?” — and there’s the more relevant point, which is that the word is so commonplace in pop culture that young people can’t pretend to be shocked merely by hearing someone mention it.
   380. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 25, 2021 at 08:50 PM (#6036362)
and there’s the more relevant point, which is that the word is so commonplace in pop culture that young people can’t pretend to be shocked merely by hearing someone mention it.

Oh, they can pretend to be shocked, all right. They can pretend to be shocked about a lot of things, and so can their elders. Pretend shock is almost our national pastime.
   381. The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:35 AM (#6036412)
Pretend shock is almost our national pastime.
The faux fainting sofa was a staple of the old OTP.
   382. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 26, 2021 at 07:38 AM (#6036464)
If you run around imitating stuff you see and hear in pop culture, music, TV, movies, and so forth you will likely get fired and might get arrested. Pop culture is not real life.

I know this comes as a shock to some of you, but honest, it is not. People are portrayed as doing stuff all the time in pop culture that would if done in real life in a normal situation who have consequences. The idea that "It happens all the time in pop culture, therefore I have an open pass to do that thing at work" is so transparently dumb that I am always amused people make that claim.
   383. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 26, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6036516)
Thanks for a set of platitudes that don't actually respond to the point. It's almost like BM posted that comment.
   384. Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:14 PM (#6036524)
Somehow, when black people use the "n" word it seems less hateful than when white people use it. Context is everything.
   385. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 26, 2021 at 01:47 PM (#6036534)
Thanks for a set of platitudes that don't actually respond to the point. It's almost like BM posted that comment.


Hey if you think it is OK to copy words or actions from popular culture at work, and because it is popular culture that makes it fine ... well that is dumb.

Just because someone sings or raps something doesn't make it work appropriate. I mean I would have hoped that would be obvious but it is clear many people on this thread seem to think "but I heard it in a song" is an awesome defense. It is not.
   386. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: August 26, 2021 at 03:48 PM (#6036562)
Somehow, when black people use the "n" word it seems less hateful than when white people use it. Context is everything.

When it comes to the n-word, the various meanings that it's been used for are so historically varied and complicated that Randall Kennedy wrote an entire book about it. Like the m-f word, it can be anything from the fightingest of fighting words to a term of downright endearment.
   387. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:01 PM (#6036565)
Context is everything.
That's the point. The context here was that he was quoting someone and asking a question — not calling anyone the n-word.
   388. simon bedford Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:04 PM (#6036566)
He wasnt quoting anyone he asked the teen in question if the insult was the n word, except he used the insulting term needlessly.
   389. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:21 PM (#6036567)
I think the context was it was a work situation. He wasn't hanging out with his buds, drinking beer on the porch, and singing along with HipHop. He was at work. And work, as it turns out, was not amused.
   390. simon bedford Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:26 PM (#6036569)
It is shocking how little his black boss cared how much hip hop the kids may or may not have heard.
   391. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:35 PM (#6036571)
Context is everything.

If I were to call any of you a tabernak, you'd probably do little more than shrug...unless you happened to be an old Expos fan.
   392. . Posted: August 26, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6036576)
Hey if you think it is OK to copy words or actions from popular culture at work, and because it is popular culture that makes it fine ... well that is dumb.

Just because someone sings or raps something doesn't make it work appropriate. I mean I would have hoped that would be obvious but it is clear many people on this thread seem to think "but I heard it in a song" is an awesome defense. It is not.


As others have noted, the point under discussion re hip hop and the like whooshed way over your head, but even the narrow irrelevancy to which you refer isn't actually true. Pop culture invades the workplace routinely. People listen to the radio at work, including in common areas; big screen TVs are on in common areas routinely in offices; people routinely surf the internet at work. Indeed, given this workplace reality, it's more than a little likely that one or more of the people McNeil allegedly "offended" by mentioning the n-word at work ... had previously heard the n-word at work.

Is the claim here that if you hear a hip hop song at home, the n-word isn't offensive, but if you hear the very same song at work, the n-word then morphs into being offensive? Kind of easy to see how little sense that makes.
   393. . Posted: August 26, 2021 at 05:27 PM (#6036580)
Somehow, when black people use the "n" word it seems less hateful than when white people use it. Context is everything.


Right, but when the context is one Black person aiming it hatefully at another Black person, it's seems way more hateful than when, for instance, a white guy just like quotes Huck Finn or something and doesn't aim anything at anyone. It's the aiming that really makes it hateful.
   394. Tin Angel Posted: August 26, 2021 at 05:37 PM (#6036581)
it's seems way more hateful than when, for instance, a white guy just like quotes Huck Finn


It's true. Practically every sidewalk I walk down I hear white guys standing around and discussing the literary merits of Huck Finn.
   395. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: August 26, 2021 at 06:02 PM (#6036582)
Is the claim here that if you hear a hip hop song at home, the n-word isn't offensive, but if you hear the very same song at work, the n-word then morphs into being offensive? Kind of easy to see how little sense that makes.


I know it is difficult for you, but try to be less dumb.

The clever reader will note I never used the word offensive. It is not about being offensive. It is about standards of behavior at work. If you are employed you might have clued into the fact that work behavior is different than non-work behavior. What is acceptable in your personal life may not be acceptable to do at work.

If you say something in your personal time, have a good time. However, using that exact verbiage at work can get you fired. Why? Because work is typically (yes, there are exceptions) different. There are different standards.

This is not new. Since there has been work, there have been different standards of behavior when people are at work versus not.

Unless your claim is that work is and should be exactly like personal life, that anything you can do in your personal life should absolutely be OK at work? But that seems too ridiculous even for you.
   396. nick swisher hygiene Posted: August 26, 2021 at 08:52 PM (#6036604)
FWIW, as a white guy who’s spent time teaching American lit in classrooms for more than two decades now, things have changed pretty decisively in that particular context.

Ten years ago, I’d have spoken the word “n****r” if reading out loud, if it played a key role in the text, if, say, Countee Cullen’s “Incident” was up for consideration—the “:n-word” alternative seemed infantile.

Today—nope. Events have made clear that the use/mention distinction may obtain in philosophy of language, but not in the contemporary classroom.

I’ve had white students try to persuade me that they had “permission” to say the word—tellling me that they were the kind of white kid a black friend might address as “my nigga.”. I listen, and gently suggest that they might not want to make any assumptions about how far that permission extends….
   397. nick swisher hygiene Posted: August 26, 2021 at 09:18 PM (#6036609)
Also, thanks for 311, Andy—sorry for not seeing it at first.

I agree that voting rights are a crucial fight right now, but it can’t be the only fight—because between the national Democratic Party and the current Supreme Court, it sure looks like it’s gonna be a losing one…..
   398. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 26, 2021 at 10:00 PM (#6036620)
Hey if you think it is OK to copy words or actions from popular culture at work, and because it is popular culture that makes it fine ... well that is dumb.

Just because someone sings or raps something doesn't make it work appropriate. I mean I would have hoped that would be obvious but it is clear many people on this thread seem to think "but I heard it in a song" is an awesome defense. It is not.
Hey, look, it's yet another series of platitudes that don't address the point.
   399. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: August 26, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6036621)
The clever reader will note I never used the word offensive. It is not about being offensive. It is about standards of behavior at work. If you are employed you might have clued into the fact that work behavior is different than non-work behavior. What is acceptable in your personal life may not be acceptable to do at work.
It is 100% solely entirely about nothing else except being offensive. That's what potentially makes it unacceptable.
   400. simon bedford Posted: August 26, 2021 at 10:22 PM (#6036624)
And to quite a few people it WAS offensive that a grown adult said this word to a teen in front of other teens even if it was not directed at anyone. You may feel thats not offensive, but the teens and the teens parents found it offensive, his boss found it offensive, and it got him fired.
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