Derogatory terms

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by R0ckets03, Jul 3, 2002.

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  1. R0ckets03

    R0ckets03 Contributing Member

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    Reading a thread in the Rockets forum got me thinking (yes I do think sometimes). Some people get offended way too easily. I'm not blaiming anyone. I dont think its easy to offend me, but its not hard either.

    Anyways, I didn't even know the term "chinaman" is offensive to the Chinese people. What is offensive to the Caucasion people on this board? Do some of you get offended by the term "white boy" easily. I use that term jokingly from time to time. I dont think I've ever offended anyone with it.

    The only term that I can think of that offends Indians or brown people would be "camel jockey". I heard plenty of that when I first moved here in 1989.

    What do Mexicans get offended by? I didnt even know there were any derogatory terms for Mexicans or Caucasions. Maybe I am naive as anything, but the only derogatory terms I know are "nigga" and "camel jockey".

    I am not meaning to start a war here, but am merely interested to see what offends people of different nationalities or people of different color. Most of us are adults and should be able to handle this without a major flameout. :)


    Sorry if I've offended someone already. :(
     
  2. R0ckets03

    R0ckets03 Contributing Member

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    And I wanna know this because I dont want to offend someone by mistake.
     
  3. EddieGriffin

    EddieGriffin Member

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    I can't think of any real derogatory term for white people except for "Honky" which I've never really taken offense to.

    I've heard "wetback" and "spic" used for Mexicans/Hispanics.
     
  4. rimbaud

    rimbaud Contributing Member

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    White people have no need to get offended at language because it has never been used against them from a position of power.

    "Wetback" is the Mexican term for which you are looking. Americans of all kinds use that term (North, Central, and South).

    So many more, so little time. If you don't know the offensive temrs, though, then you are not likely to use them...so why worry?
     
  5. Hydra

    Hydra Member

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    Cracker I believe is the term in vogue for AAs to insult Caucasian Americans.

    In America this MIGHT be true, but I would think that when the Moors invaded Europe, or after the end of Apartheid in South Africa, many white people were held under the power of black people, and the danger to them was far greater than that to the average African American today. I am sure that the Arabs thought up plenty of derogatory terms for their white victims after Saladin retook the holy land. To say that the white man has been dominant in every situation is absurd.
     
  6. jlaw718

    jlaw718 Contributing Member

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    rimbaud,

    The social/political position of the offender is not the sole criteria as to whether one's words may offend others.

    As a bi-racial person, I've lived both sides of this issue. The argument that caucasians have no standing to feel offended by language is not cogent and illogical.

    Anyone from any race has the power to hurt with words. Racial epithets are included. The right to feel offended is not exclusive to non-caucasians.

    If a caucasian uses a term to identify a race or group, and that race or group is genuinely offended, the term should not be used.

    Conversely, if a term is used to identify caucasians, and that term is construed offensive, it should be discontinued as well.

    These tests are rather subjective, but need to be applied in a consistent manner.
     
  7. giddyup

    giddyup Contributing Member

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    RM95 called me a cracker just a couple of days ago.... :cool:
     
  8. boomboom

    boomboom Contributing Member

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    "The Man"
     
  9. BrianKagy

    BrianKagy Contributing Member

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    Frankly, having my race used as part of a slur by anyone who I'm not familiar and comfortable with is offensive. If one of my black friends called me "cracker", I would take that as a joke. If a stranger or passing acquaintance did likewise, I'd be angry.

    And I'm 28 years old, so I take serious exception to being called "boy" for any reason by any person. "White boy" is extremely derogatory and offensive.

    I must have skipped class the day they taught us that since the majority of Americans are white, I can't or shouldn't be offended when someone insults me based on my race.
     
  10. DiSeAsEd MoNkEy

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    im a nice giRL...

    i dont know any bad words, but you did forget to mention a lot of them.

    ;)
     
  11. rimbaud

    rimbaud Contributing Member

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    Hydra & jlaw - Both good points that point (haha) to my poor usage of language. I will try to clarify.

    Hydra,

    I do not want to get into history now, nor was that my intent with my initial statement, I meant in the present. More specifically, I meant in this country...I apologize for not being more clear. Your problems with anything involved within my clarified context might be answered in my next response.

    jlaw,

    Excellent post. Again, I should have been more responsible. Sometimes I just throw things out. I know what I mean...everyone else should as well. My flawed logic.

    In any event, of course any words can hurt anyone. I, coming from Texas, dislike it when anyone makes generalizing rude or derogatory comments about Texans. Of course the media is filled with such imagery and talking.

    In any event, my comment was simply that whites (in this country) might not get offended as much, will not bring terms (that are "anti-white) into the public awareness to be reviewed, and often will not understand the true power of ethnic slurs (often saying "who cares" or "big deal") because of the politics of power. Ultimately, there is no real history behind it. They are not as loaded. Does that clarify anything?

    Kagy,

    Interesting point about "boy." You know I have taken issue in the past on this BBS with people calling adult females "girls" instead of "women" and have basically been told to lighten up and stop being so silly.
     
  12. BrianKagy

    BrianKagy Contributing Member

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    I would probably take that more seriously if:

    A) Women didn't identify themselves as "girls" so often

    B) The request came from a woman-- I've never heard a woman take issue with the difference (primarily because I think the terms are used in specific settings).

    C) The use of the term "girl" was used or meant to demean women.

    All of those are assumptions on my part. Your experience with the terms may be different; the women you know may hate the term "girl", or you may have heard it used inappropriately, or as a pejorative.

    That's not how I've experienced it. I've experienced it as a casual term used by both sexes to describe informal gatherings of women. "Girl's night out", that sort of thing. I don't hear it used in formal context, to describe professional women-- "that girl who runs the core team sure is stupid".

    The intent behind using "boy" to describe a man, in the context of referring to a white male as a "white boy", is entirely different. It's clearly meant to impugn the person's masculinity by describing a fully-grown adult as childlike. I don't think there's a similar connotation to girl/woman-- there could be, but I don't think the term "girl" would be used.

    I just don't think it's the same thing.
     
  13. mr_oily

    mr_oily Member

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    I get called everything!:D
    Hot Latin Lover
    Latin Stud
    Mexican Sausage Delivery
    El Grande Chorizo
    Macho Mexican
    etc...
     
  14. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Just about any term in the world can be derogatory if used properly -- just as any word can be a come-on if used properly. The words themselves are not important, it is the venom with which they are spoken.

    I think Kagy has alluded to this already in mentioning that racial slurs from friends are not offensive. I think it can be extended to strangers as well as long as their intent is clearly communicated: if they don't mean to insult you and the use of the word doesn't connote any condescension or lack of respect, it isn't very insulting.

    By the same token, words that are not in themselves at all insulting can be extremely insulting and unacceptable, depending on the attitude it betrays in the speaker. Three recent examples from the BBS are 'Frogs' (for the French), 'Euros' (for Europeans more generally), and 'libs' (for anyone who is not tbagain). 'Frog' is actually a light racial slur, but not often taken seriously in the same way 'honky' is not taken seriously. 'Euro' is an acceptable shorthand and we see it all over the Game Action section. 'Libs' is also a shorthand and shouldn't be any more insulting than the longform 'Liberals'.

    But in the mouth (or keyboard) of someone who obviously feels superior morally, intellectually, and otherwise, it is more insulting than if they impugned the chastity of my mother. In the three examples I mentioned, in every case the writer obviously felt that the defined group were of poor moral character, lacked intellectual precision and, in the end, ran at cross-purposes to their own self-interest. In the end, it is condescension that is insulting, with slurs being only an indicator. What can be more condescending that this?

    As a sidebar, I've noticed that shortening or 'puppifying' words goes a long way toward making something more offensive. This is the case with 'libs' and 'Euros'. It also works for 'Brit', 'Russkie', 'Dem', and many others.
     
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Contributing Member

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    i guess it's all about context....but you will NEVER hear me say certain words, in any context. I've had black friends who call themselves certain words among themselves...even though I'm entirely comfortable with those guys as friends...and in all conversation...I still don't use those words...they just weird me out. My dad said not to say them, and it stuck.
     
  16. DiSeAsEd MoNkEy

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    being called a girl is bad?

    uh oh...

    personally i do not care.
     
  17. mrpaige

    mrpaige Contributing Member

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    I didn't realize "French" was its own race these days.

    I know it's me being anal, but it actually bugs me when folks use 'race' interchangibly with 'ethnicity'. They aren't the same thing.
     
  18. Mrs. JB

    Mrs. JB Member

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    Actually, Brian, I feel the same way about being called "girl" (by strangers) as you do about being called "boy." I am a 32-year-old woman with a wide range of education, abilities and life experiences -- for me to be called "girl" feels in some way to be a diminuation of all that I am.

    Obviously, not all women feel this way. And much like African-Americans who can use the n-word around one another, women often refer to one another as "girl." That seems more acceptable because we instinctively understand what it is to be female in America, so it doesn't feel like a label so much as a wink at one another.

    When a man that I am not acquainted with refers to me as a "girl" (which actually almost never happens) it can feel like a slap in the face. Thankfully, no one has ever referred to me as "little lady." That'd probably get them a tennis shoe to the head. :D
     
  19. Grizzled

    Grizzled Member

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    I think you need to get more specific than “white people” to get to the more traditional derogatory names. There are a lot of peoples who fall into the “white people” category after all. There are fairly well known derogatory names for Italians, Irish, English, French, Poles, Ukrainians, Germans, etc. There are terms based on nationality too. If you want to offend a Canadian, call him an American. ;)
     
  20. Isabel

    Isabel Member

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    "Girl" doesn't bother me too much, but it can if it's used in a patronizing or condescending fashion. (Women often say "Hey girl!" to each other, which is totally different.)

    I try not to be too offended by words, because in general I think people ought not to have such thin skins as they do these days, but there are a few I don't like. I'm 27 and married and I still get "miss", "hon", "sweetie", "dear", etc. Maybe I look really young - I know I dress younger than my age when I'm not at work. Kind of weird to think I still come across as a kid. At least I'm too tall to ever be a "little lady"...
     

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