An open community 
of Macintosh users,
for Macintosh users.

FineTunedMac Dashboard widget now available! Download Here

Topic Options
#46499 - 09/29/17 04:53 PM U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
When the "N" word was scrawled on a message board at the U.S. Air Force Academy's prep school, Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria delivered a very powerful message of condemnation.


Edited by ryck (09/29/17 04:54 PM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Carbon Copy Clone on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#46508 - 09/30/17 03:16 AM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
The first thing that struck me as I read that article is that Lt. Gen. Silveria was castigating people for harboring the same sort of hatred that, according to his Commander In Chief, "some good people" exhibited in Charlottesville, and I immediately said a silent prayer for his career path. frown

The "N" word is an interesting phenomenon here in NYC...perhaps elsewhere too, in that it has pretty much fallen into the vernacular such that I can safely say that if I'm within earshot of two black men who aren't wearing suits & ties I'll hear it within a couple of minutes.

And it's not just black men who use the word; male Middle Easterners and Hispanics use it too, although, happily, not disparagingly, but not (politically correct) whites. (I don't recall hearing it much, if at all, from women.)

And further, I know upscale blacks who use the word disparagingly in private conversation.

It makes for an awfully sticky situation.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#46511 - 09/30/17 07:29 AM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I applaud and wholeheartedly endorse General Silveria's remarks, but it is distressing, even alarming, it had to be said at all. As an Air Force officer in the Vietnam era, I ran into very few cases of malignant racial prejudice, but I thought that after nearly half a century that would have long since been put behind us. Obviously I was mistaken.

Growing up in North Texas 78 years ago, in my family the use of the "N" word guaranteed my mouth would immediately be washed out with soap. I was assiduously taught never to use any word that might demean or insult anyone, whether or not "they" might hear. It was and is too easy to slip so the 'N" word was expunged from our vocabulary. Today in my social circles use of the "N" word immediately brands an anglo as a "redneck" or at the very least, a "boor".

Maybe I am a coward or maybe I still remember the taste of a bar of Ivory™ soap in my mouth but I avoid any stickiness in a situation by eschewing the use of the "N" word altogether.

That is no different than a group of older women calling themselves "girls" when those same women would be offended and insulted if they were called "girls" by a male. They can call each other "girls" but if you are a male you better %&$@ well call them "women" or in formal situations, "ladies".
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46518 - 09/30/17 08:34 AM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: artie505
The first thing that struck me as I read that article is that Gen. Silveria was castigating people for harboring the same sort of hatred that, according to his Commander In Chief, "some good people" exhibited in Charlottesville, and I immediately said a silent prayer for his career path. frown

When I listened to Lt. General Silveria I thought: "Gee, with a few edits, that's the speech Trump should have delivered after Charlottesville." If Trump had spoken out in that manner, instead of making racists feel more empowered, the USAFA event may not have happened.

Originally Posted By: artie505
The "N" word is an interesting phenomenon here in NYC...perhaps elsewhere too, in that it has pretty much fallen into the vernacular such that I can safely say that if I'm within earshot of two black men who aren't wearing suits & ties I'll hear it within a couple of minutes.

And it's not just black men who use the word; male Middle Easterners and Hispanics use it too, although, happily, not disparagingly, but not (politically correct) whites. (I don't recall hearing it much, if at all, from women.)

And further, I know upscale blacks who use the word disparagingly in private conversation.

It makes for an awfully sticky situation.

I agree. The word even shows up in popular entertainment such as movies and, although usually spoken by black actors. It seems that the acceptability of such speech is dependent on who is speaking, but it still makes me very uncomfortable.

An explanation was given by the Rapper Ice Cube when taking Bill Maher to task for using the word. He said, in part:

"I still think you need to get to the root of the psyche because I think there's a lot of guys out there who cross the line because they're a little too familiar, or they think they're too familiar. Or, guys that, you know, might have a black girlfriend or two that made them Kool-Aid every now and then, and then they think they can cross the line. And they can't.

You know, it's a word that has been used against us. It's like a knife, man. You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool. It's when you use it as a weapon against us, by white people, and we're not going to let that happened again . . . because it's not cool . . . That's our word, and you can't have it back.

. . . It's not cool because when I hear my homie say it, it don't feel like venom. When I hear a white person say it, it feel like that knife stabbing you even if they don't mean to."


Originally Posted By: joemikeb
That is no different than a group of older women calling themselves "girls" when those same women would be offended and insulted if they were called "girls" by a male. They can call each other "girls" but if you are a male you better %&$@ well call them "women" or in formal situations, "ladies".

Yup, and it sounds like the same kind of "word ownership" described above. You can believe that, as a man with two grown daughters, I know better than to make that mistake.


Edited by ryck (09/30/17 08:37 AM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Carbon Copy Clone on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#46519 - 09/30/17 08:36 AM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I applaud and wholeheartedly endorse General Silveria's remarks, but it is distressing, even alarming, it had to be said at all.

<snip>

That is no different than a group of older women calling themselves "girls" when those same women would be offended and insulted if they were called "girls" by a male. They can call each other "girls" but if you are a male you better %&$@ well call them "women" or in formal situations, "ladies".

Your take on Lt. Gen. Silveria's remarks is, very sadly, on the mark, but I stand by my long-held position that public use of a demeaning term by those whom it demeans, regardless of intent, dignifies its use by others...regardless of intent, and I think that Ice Cube's take on it is self-serving.

More: And responding to ryck in a sense, when my daughters began objecting to being called girls I told them to enjoy being girls as long as they could get away with it, because they had their entire lifetimes during which they'd be women ahead of them... Useless exercise. frown


Edited by artie505 (09/30/17 08:55 AM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top
#46525 - 09/30/17 09:42 AM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
Your take on Lt. Gen. Silveria's remarks is, very sadly, on the mark, but I stand by my long-held position that public use of a demeaning term by those whom it demeans, regardless of intent, dignifies its use by others…regardless of intent, and I think that Ice Cube's take on it is self-serving.

I used to believe it was possible to be "color blind", but as I have gotten older and hopefully wiser, I have come to realize that it is impossible for me to "walk in their shoes". Neither can I adequately empathize the experience of being black in a world of white privilege. So I am not in a position to judge whether or not Ice Cube's take is self-serving. But I can easily accept that for him, as well as for millions of other blacks in this country it is true to the point of being a fact of life. That kind of word ownership (thanks for that phrase ryck) doesn't have to be rational but it can be all too real. Telling someone that they shouldn't feel hurt by a name or remark does not soothe the hurt. I never want to unintentionally hurt or demean someone by a thoughtless word or remark. Anyone I would intentionally want to hurt is probably too self-centered to notice the insult anyway.
_________________________
joemikeb • moderator

Top
#46530 - 09/30/17 02:43 PM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: artie505]
ryck Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: artie505
....I stand by my long-held position that public use of a demeaning term by those whom it demeans, regardless of intent, dignifies its use by others...regardless of intent, and I think that Ice Cube's take on it is self-serving.

The one thing I wondered about, in Ice Cube's explanation of why it was okay for blacks to appropriate the word, was how it worked in rap music. This is music where some rappers use the word and then sell their material to both black and white audiences. Does Ice Cube mean that it's okay for the black kid who bought his music to sing along with it but the white kid, who laid out just as much money, can't?


Edited by ryck (09/30/17 02:45 PM)
_________________________
ryck

iMac (Retina 5K, 27", 2017), 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 2400 MHz DDR4
OS Mojave 10.14.6
Canon MX710 Printer
Epson Perfection V500 Photo Scanner
Carbon Copy Clone on 1TB LaCie USB-C
Carbon Copy Clone on 500GB OWC Mercury OTG Pro

Top
#46533 - 10/01/17 12:06 AM Re: U.S.A.F. Academy addresses racism [Re: ryck]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Responding to you and joemike...

First, let me make it clear that despite the fact that I see my way clear to use the "N" word I do not use it.

My problem with Ice Cube's rationale, the reason I find it self-serving, is that he only called out white folks for using the word.

Had he also called out his homies for using it, rather than having embraced their use of it, I'd find him credible. ("You can use it as a weapon or you can use it as a tool." A tool? Reeeally? I'd love to hear him explain how his homies' use of the word is a tool.)

When a white person uses the word it is, may be, anyhow, a knife...straight to the gut.

But when his homies, who've embraced the slur to their disadvantage and that of their brethren, use it, it's a knife in the back (but those same homies might not be so quick to buy his products were he to call them out over it).

[rant] It's not "their word"! It's nobody's word, and it should be expunged from the language, but it can't be expunged, because his homies won't allow it to be expunged! [/rant]
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

Top

Moderator:  alternaut, cyn