Does Use of the N-Word Make You a Racist?

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  1. Sychophantastic profile image88
    Sychophantasticposted 5 years ago

    I've seen lots of people on these forums calling others racists and using certain litmus tests to do so. So I'm wondering what constitutes racism in some peoples' minds.

    Does using the n-word make you a racist?

    If a white person uses the n-word, is that person a racist? If a black person uses the n-word, is that person a racist?

    How many white people in these forums can honestly say they've never used the n-word before?

    I will admit that I have used it in the past a few times in anger, but that I haven't used it in a very long time, partly because I know it's a bad word, and partly because I know that, while it might be applicable in some very, rare cases for horrible people (murderers, rapists and such), it is just not accepted of a white person to ever use that word.

    1. wilderness profile image93
      wildernessposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Seems to me that if it's racist for one person to use it, it's racist for ALL people to use it.  As soon as we separate what people can do or are treated, based on their race, it is racist.

    2. peterstreep profile image79
      peterstreepposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      One action does not make you a racist. But if you use the n-word as a white person you have crossed a number on the Bingo-card for winning the Racist Trophy. This because you can use a lot of other words.
      But all depends on the context. There are a lot of people who will never use the n-word but are racist as hell. Others will swear and use street language constantly, but as push comes to shove, they will help there n##$%@boy neighbour.
      You can not, and it is always dangerous to do, judge somebody by just one action. It's always a series of actions,conversations, tweets, Facebook posts that fills the Bingo-card.
      Fascists have their own card as well but often play together with racists to contest for the Ass*^ole of the Year Award.

    3. Sherry Hewins profile image92
      Sherry Hewinsposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      I have said the word, but I have never called anybody that. It is a recent idea that nobody who is not black can ever say that word. So many popular songs contain it. Is it racist for a white teen to sing along to a popular song?

  2. Live to Learn profile image61
    Live to Learnposted 5 years ago

    I've never used the n word. I honestly don't think most times I've heard it used it was racist. It was used in a derogatory manner. But, it wasn't racist. I think people bandy about the term racist so much that it's lost its meaning.

    1. Aime F profile image72
      Aime Fposted 5 years agoin reply to this

      Someone uses a racial slur in a derogatory manner... but it’s not racist...

      1. Live to Learn profile image61
        Live to Learnposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Thanks for making my point.

      2. Live to Learn profile image61
        Live to Learnposted 5 years agoin reply to this

        Let me ask you this. Let's change the word from racist, to sexist. Since I'm a woman and wouldn't be called out for the question.

        One man, in a market, reaches for the last pineapple and I move quickly to reach around him and grab it for myself. He looks at me and says 'You bitch.'

        A company CEO says ' No bitch can do my job."

        Do you consider both statements sexist?

        1. Aime F profile image72
          Aime Fposted 5 years agoin reply to this

          No. But “bitch” and the n-word are on nowhere near the same level of offensiveness and bitch is pretty commonly used in other contexts. I can’t think of any other context in which the n-word would be used.

          If you were a black person and you took someone’s pineapple and they said “you n....” I would 100% say that’s racist and I would quite honestly find it shocking if you didn’t.

          I think a more apt comparison would be if a man called you the c-word for taking a pineapple, though I still think that word is much less steeped in sexist connotation than the n-word is in racist connotation.

          1. Live to Learn profile image61
            Live to Learnposted 5 years agoin reply to this

            I agree. Given the same scenario the n word would be more inappropriate, but it would not necessarily be racist. Not in my opinion. Racist, for an individual, would involve a body of evidence showing where a specific group was routinely treated differently by that individual. Not a single comment made in anger, targeted at a singe individual in the heat of the moment.

            1. Aime F profile image72
              Aime Fposted 5 years agoin reply to this

              I agree that being a racist would involve a pattern of behaviour/thought and not just one specific example, I just cannot imagine a scenario where someone who isn’t racist would think it was okay to call someone that. Anger is not an excuse. Everyone knows the vitriol behind that word and to consciously choose to use it... I dunno, seems like there’s gotta be something there.

              1. Live to Learn profile image61
                Live to Learnposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                Anger is not an excuse?? Of course it is the impetus behind the useof the word,for a person who could not normally be viewed as racist. I always told my kids that you use foul language because you are too stupid, or too mad.

                This current trend of applauding the ruin of a life by one ignorant viral video is as bad as the video itself. Worse, in my opinion. Because the attack involves a group effort.

                1. Aime F profile image72
                  Aime Fposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                  “Foul language” is different than racial slurs. Sorry, but I don’t accept any excuses for calling someone a racial slur. I’d actually say it’s even more racist if you’re using it from a place of anger rather than ignorance.

                  1. Live to Learn profile image61
                    Live to Learnposted 5 years agoin reply to this

                    I do agree that a foul word and a racial slur are different, however I do not agree that every use of the word can be considered born of racism and meant as a racist slur. I've never used the word because I find it as offensive as the c word used toward women, I (personally) consider it a line I would never cross... but I am not going to pretend that an insult directed at one minority is any worse than an insult directed at another minority. Both are, in my opinion, insults intended as insults made specifically to elicit a negative reaction. Both are meant to hurt another human. The depth of animosity toward either group cannot be determined by a single use of a word.

                  2. profile image0
                    Ed Fisherposted 5 years agoin reply to this


  3. profile image0
    Ed Fisherposted 5 years ago

    Of course it isn't a word that should be used , unfortunately it still is ,
    all through life I have cringed at it's use, Why ?   Because we were taught that it was a negative , it was wrong , it was painful for people to hear . I have no idea how it has recently become a "pop" term used by ANY person of any race .

    On another front of racism , I am wondering how the news media has turned the oft used term "....see something say something..... " into  ".......see a white person say something ....." as if these days by being white we can thus be automatically called "racists "?
    Sooo glad P.C. is dying .

  4. profile image0
    Ed Fisherposted 5 years ago

    I know you ladies don't care about hearing this from an older person , seems like lecturing,  but NONE of these terms should be used and today's lack of such morality , manners and ethics is appalling to some of us ! Including the falsification of such accusatory statements as are so easily thrown around .

    Once , It was called having good manners .

  5. profile image0
    Ed Fisherposted 5 years ago

    It is all so wrong !  Sad part is , it's now culturally cool with some people to use the Ni--er word within the black  race ,  or as young people of any race testing their cultural acceptances between themselves and other races  , I have heard college educated whites and blacks using such language !!!  And I'm thinking  how my mother would have severely punished us for using the term even in a joke . Sad ! What some people have become .


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