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Re: CHAT: Ebonic Christmas

From:The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>
Date:Thursday, January 13, 2000, 15:52
> Who of the complainers was actually black? Or are we > just a bunch of white guys whining as were brainwashed > to do so?
The original complainer, yours truly, is a born and bred African-American. I require no brainwashing to find offense in the post. I find your suggestion that to find racist expression offensive is "whining" equally offensive.
> The poem, offensive or not, is an ACCURATE representation > of the COMIC STEREOTYPE of blacks. Based on what? Based > on the fact that black comedians use it in their stand-up > comedy. Oh, and the prospect that only a member of a people > can criticize/joke with those people is a rather pathetic > invention. If it is not offensive in their eyes, why is it > considered offensive at all? If "niger" means "guy" (which > it does, at least to most Bronx minorities and a number of > black artists) why is it offensive coming from whites?
As an African-American, I can tell you without equivocation that I found the post offensive in the extreme. It contained a litany of racist stereotypes that would be offensive regardless of the color of the author. Your supposition that the word "niger" (sic) has the same connotation when used among African-Americans as it does when used by a Caucasian to refer to an African-American is blatantly false. The former is infused with a shared experience while the latter reeks of historical oppression. The two evoke entirely different emotions in an African-American. They should not even be considered to be the same word.
> Abrigon, especcially if he is black (which was the impression > Gray Wizard gave), has done nothing wrong. > Do we know what free speech is?
I have no idea if Abrigon is black. I gave no such impression and I would find the post just as offensive if he is.
> And I have to say it is rather pitiful that until Gray Wizard > expressed his outrage, nobody else seemed to mind. Very, very > genuine, people! This is the kind of snobbish, arrogant attitude > that occurs regularly on these lists, and which hightens nobody's > opinion of anyone here. > > Something does not become offensive just because TV says so. > > Take notes from black comedians--they seem to have no hang-ups > about making jokes about whites. I do not condone it, but > frankly I do not give a damn. > > So how many of those fatally offended happens to be personally > offended as opposed to having an overactive, visually triggered > conscience? > > And, on a final note, the ONLY reason that one could smile/laugh > on the poem: It is NOT true. > > That is the point all of you seem to be driving at, so read it again > and enjoy. If you're really brain-dead, rewrite the title to > "A Gangsta Xmas".
I seems to me that your post only reinforces the malevolence of the poem. If people can still find humor in this kind of racist expression then we have not yet learned the lessons of history. We have not yet overcome and I remained deeply offended by your post as much as Abrigon's. I apologize to the list for continuing this discussion none of which has any place here. David