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CHAT: A real education was Re: CHAT: Re: Ebonic Christmas

From:Padraic Brown <pbrown@...>
Date:Friday, January 14, 2000, 15:47
On Thu, 13 Jan 2000, Ajin-Kwai wrote:

>First of all, it ain't 'nigger' (which is what non-blacks use to denigrate >blacks), but 'nigga'. And it really depends how it's used. It can be >just as offensive coming from a stuck-up, out-of-touch black as it can be >from a white. Or it could be a term of endearment on anybody's part.
Well, nigga is just a phonetic spelling of nigger. But I must say this zone of the thread has been quite the education for me! I don't know what to say - you all actually call each other niggers? JHC, I know I'm probably as out of touch as anybody can be for living around DC; but now that I am in touch, I think the experience is a dimming one. I was listening to the radio last night when there was a segment on the flying of the CSA's battle flag over South Carolina's Statehouse, most curiously only since 1962. This is seen by many American blacks as a symbol par excellence of racism in the US. One caller (I think he was black, but I don't know for sure) said, seriously, that blacks ought to coopt this flag as their own symbol - hopefully with the effect that the whites will give up flying it. On the surface this seemed like a damned clever idea - but on a little deeper reflection it seems stupid. Same with using nigger. It's a dirty word, and the mouth that speaks it (apart from illustratively) is dirty. Term of endearment? No thanks. Padraic.