Pfhorrest wrote:Or we could do the reasonable thing and not discriminate between who is or isn't "allowed" to use a word based on race. (Which I guess is technically what we assume Twitter is doing now, but banning the word for everyone, the obvious first-thought solution to the specific problem at hand, would also be doing that, and the inability to make exceptions to it based on race isn't a good reason not to do it).
What's the most-common use of the word now, though? It's a term that sends the toughest f-bomb-dropping hardasses to their fainting couches. (Case in point: this thread.) I'm pretty sure it's used more often in the rap-lyric "my n****rs" sense than in the racist "all them n****rs" sense. I know
that's true here in lily-white middle-class Minnesota. ...so we should ban it for everyone? Like it or not, it's a word with two very-distinct meanings, now. So it's sort of like banning "Peter" because, despite being a common name, it sometimes refers to a penis, and someone could be offended by that. (Consider, also, "Dick", which is also a name and a euphemism, and an insult, but probably used as a euphemism or an insult far more often than a name. It also
shouldn't be banned.)
...and there's my main problem with "microaggressions". And macroaggressions, like "n****r". God spared Sodom for the sake of ten righteous men amongst thousands of wicked ones. William Blackstone
said it is better than 10 guilty people should go free than 1 innocent be punished. Preventing the possibility of anyone
being offended by anything
requires the exact opposite. Heck, I'm sure my very existence
, as a middle-class white Christian American male, offends millions of people. I know the very existence of homosexuals bothers folks like the one who shot up the Pulse nightclub... shall we ban homosexuality to keep him happy? Would just banning the word "gay" help?
Banning a word doesn't make the problem go away, it just makes it harder to talk about. If no one could say "housecat", I would still be allergic to them. 1984
was not an instruction manual.
Leave "n****r" out there, so people can see it being used, and say "that guy's a dick."