Getting Fired 101, The Ohio Teacher's Edition: Go Full Racist On Facebook

from the how-does-this-guy-qualify-to-educate-children? dept

This is the week of All Hallows' Eve, when the near-entirety of a mostly staunchly monotheistic religious nation encourage their children to partake in a pagan ritual, because American hypocrisy is as endless as the ether to which it disbands. And, if you're David Spondike, it's all fun and games until some brown-skinned person urinates on a telephone pole. Then it's time for a fun little Confederate rant on Facebook.
I don't mind if you come to my neighborhood from the ghetto to trick-or-treat. But when you whip out your teeny dicks and piss on the telephone pole in front of my yard and a bunch of preschoolers and toddlers, you can take your nigger-ass back where it came from. I don't have anything against anyone of any color, but niggers, stay out!
Don't read that last line more than three times out loud, or your brain might just implode for uttering anything so stupidly self-contradictory. As I mentioned, Spondike is a high school teacher in Akron, where the majority of the student body is African American. In other words, he extra can't get away with saying something so racist and stupid.

Wait, did I say racist? Sorry, here's Spondike with a follow up to tell me why it wasn't a racist thing to say.
"Racism" implies prejudging, which is clearly not what happened here. Making any excuse for allowing one race to use a word and condemning another race for using the same word is institutionalized racism in and of itself, regardless of the justification used.
Yup, he's one of "those guys" who thinks simply using a racially charged term against a minority in anger isn't racist so long as you just say it isn't. Also, apparently there's this idea floating around some of my fellow white folks' brains that if it isn't okay for us to use racist terms then obviously it shouldn't be okay for the target of those words to use them either. A bit of advice: stop thinking that, because it's stupid. You can argue that if you want, but you apparently don't understand the history of word-adoption as an empowerment structure. Oh, and advocating that would put you squarely on the side of Spondike, meaning this guy:
Spondike also has a track record when it comes to disciplinary action brought against him at the school. In 2000, he was reprimanded for throwing a chair against a classroom wall, and using strong profanity against students. A year later, he was disciplined for spitting on the floor after a student in his class fell asleep. And in 2007, he was accused of physically abusing a middle school student, an allegation that was found to be unsubstantiated after investigation by the district and Akron police.
Here's to hoping he never works in a school system again.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 10:42pm

    "Niggers" come in every color. So do decent human beings.

     

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      Hater of oversimplification, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 11:43pm

      Re:

      OP seems to have wilfully ignored what the (albeit stupid) subject of this story said.

      First, he made it pretty clear that he doesn't use "nigger" interchangeably with "black person". He seems to use it to mean something more like a person (perhaps of any colour) who behaves in a certain way. (in this case urinating in public in front of kids). If anything, he means it as a kind of social class.
      In his later follow up, said white man re-iterates that racism would be prejudice based on generalising on race alone, and he has specifically taken issue with individuals based on their actual behaviour.

      I'm no supporter of the subject of this story, but Tim seems to have tried very hard not to look very far into what was actually said.

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:00pm

        Re: Re:

        > > Also, apparently there's this idea floating
        > > around some of my fellow white folks' brains
        > > that if it isn't okay for us to use racist
        > > terms then obviously it shouldn't be okay for
        > > the target of those words to use them either.
        > > A bit of advice: stop thinking that, because
        > > it's stupid.

        > Tim seems to have tried very hard not to look
        > very far into what was actually said.

        Yep. And his comment that this "stupid" idea is only "floating around in the heads of his fellow white people" is in itself ill-informed and bordering on racist.

        Many, many, African-Americans find the use of that word by ANYONE of ANY race or color to be hateful and racist and are offended by it. Just ask Oprah or Bill Cosby how they feel about other blacks using the n-word and you'll get an earful, and it certainly isn't "stupid" of them to feel that way.

        I generally enjoy Tim's articles but this one had some major problems.

        Having said that, the Ohio guy is a jerk and probably shouldn't be teaching children of any color.

         

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          PRMan, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:23pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And sometimes are the same people telling "whitey" jokes in their circle of friends or blaming "the white man" for all their problems. It goes both ways and for the media to only present one side of it is disingenuous.

          That said, I, for one, would rather we all just become color-blind and judge people for their actions and character. Why can't he just be upset that a guy peed on his telephone pole in front of children and leave it at that? There's no need to mention his race, he could have just as easily have been any other low-class person of any race.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:11am

      Re:

      Exactly, "nigger" is not a racist term for a black person. It started out as a neutral term for someone with dark skin, but since the end of the race rights era it has long meant someone unsophisticated.

      Sources: Wikipedia and what Merriam-Webster used to say.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:54am

      Re:

      That. A thousand times that.

       

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      Vidiot (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      Don't make me cite the title of that Yoko Ono tune... on topic, but man... definitely not on pitch...

       

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      Anonymous Howard (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 5:11am

      Re:

      So many politically correct peeps here. Yet, call OOTB 'retarded', and nobody bats an eye.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 11:13pm

    I'mma head off some comments I predict will show here, by saying that racism is a power structure.

    If it ever seems asymmetrical to you, that's because a power imbalance only works one way.

    A white person is hurt as much by the term cracker as by someone calling them an asshole. A black person being called the n-word instead of asshole suffers the additional harm of a microaggression amoung millions of other microaggressions. The cumulative effect of those microaggressions is a reinforcement of the power structure in many ways.

    It's probably best to explain it to white men of the present time by analogy to the microaggressions vs. LGB sexualities and vs. trans* people. How old were you when a classmate/friend was first heckled for doing something a little bit feminine, and called gay, or a wuss? How old were you when you first felt the pressure to be manly to avoid being regarded by your peers as 'gay'? For something that's never explicitly taught, it seems pretty ubiquitous in kindergartens.

    TL;DR: Microaggressions are a primary shaper of our internalized stereotypes and identities, and then later act as enforcers of those again.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 11:37pm

      Re:

      You have already stereotyped yourself by using "a white person" and "a black person". It doesn't matter what adjective you use here, it is the prejudice that is in the heart of the originator of the words to the recipient that matters.

      All humans have the same fundamental blood running through their veins and arteries. We are all genetically related irrespective of the variations of outward appearance.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:57am

        Re: Re:

        No. A black person is black because their skin is black or tones of brown. Just because Asians are Asians because they share the same eye/skin traits (albeit very diversified among them). There's no prejudice in the words themselves but rather in out minds. He's pretty much right in his argument.

         

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          Whitefella who has Blackfella friends, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You miss the point of my comment above, it is about the additional harm. This can be suffered by anyone irrespective of skin colour, race, ethnic group. It can be perpetrated by anyone on to anyone. By using the terms "white person" and "black person" respectively, he is setting up the stereotype of white being "racist" to black when, in fact, it can be either way or both ways simultaneously.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            A power imbalance can work both ways? Both white and black men can be refused more often than the other for job positions, earn less than the other on average, be represented proportionately less than the other in politics?

             

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              JEDIDIAH, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:47am

              You're wrong Mr. Little.

              We have gotten beyond the point where we can assume that a black man in the gutter is there through no fault of his own. Times do change. Even if things are far from perfect, they are also not quite as they once were. Today if you play the race card, chances are that you may only be just kidding yourself.

               

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            Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:27am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I agree with you that it can be either way or simultaneous. From my experiences black people can display mind boggling levels of prejudice against their own 'kin' (I use the term loosely here) and against whites that couldn't care less about their skin color (ie: me). However I disagree that merely using the terms set up any stereotype. How am I supposed to call myself then? Caucasian? Pale skinned? And what about the black people? Dark skinned? Afro descendants? The answer is obvious: all terms are ok. Even the most politically correct term can be turned into an offense if put into the proper context. If you are referring to the tone of the skin there's no problem in adding black, whit, red (indians) etc. What seems improper is to use the term black when the tone of the skin is not in discussion. Then it would be segregation.

            Interestingly the word cracker he describes is meaningless to me. If someone called me a cracker I'd look at them puzzled.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:18am

        Re: Re:

        Truly color-blind... congrats! You have achieved what most of us can only dream of. Next challenge: meaning of life -- get busy!

         

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          Brazenly anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          42.

          If divinity exists, divine mandate determines the meaning of life. Given the impossibility of proving any given view of divinity, this is an unsatisfying answer for the curious. If divinity does not exist, there is no objective meaning and we all must find our own purpose.

          The great thing about meaninglessness is that everything is equally worth zero, no matter how you group it, which allows any subjective seed to take primacy. The biological needs of the human brain provide a seed for each of us to ascribe meaning from a subjective point of view. So, the meaning of your life will be different from the meaning of the life of pretty much any other person.

          I know the meanings I want for my own life, but that is highly personal. Best of luck finding and realizing the meanings of your own.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:38am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Oct 31st, 2013 @ 11:13pm

      Microagressions?!!? Seriously? WTF?

      I didn't know progressives had made up a new word to tar otherwise regular people as racist.

      Apparently everyone who isn't racist is still guilty of racism because.. because.. Microagressions!!

       

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        Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:28am

        Re:

        Microagressions?!!? Seriously? WTF?

        I didn't know progressives had made up a new word to tar otherwise regular people as racist.

        Apparently everyone who isn't racist is still guilty of racism because.. because.. Microagressions!!


        Hi there! Welcome to techdirt! Here you'll find a higher quality grade of conversation than your native lands. Now don't tell me! Let me guess by your accent where you're from...

        Fox News? The Blaze perhaps?

        Here's a person you might not know about: Chester Middlebrook Pierce. Now why is that important? Well because he's Emeritus Professor of Education and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

        Fun Fact: He coined the term 'microaggression' in 1970.

        Microaggressive acts are subtle, usually culturally ingrained and subtle things people do to each other since we're all generally judgmental bastards who want to feel superior to everyone else. To see a good example of microaggression in action, one only has to point their browser to peopleofwalmart.com.

        Or for another example, this very post! You see, there's a stereotype regarding people who post at or regularly agree with the comments sections at Fox News and The Blaze. Using the content and context of your post and denoting a stereotype is a form of microaggression on my part. In fact, so is your use of "Progressives" as a pejorative!

        Fun, isn't it?

         

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          Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:01am

          Re: Re:

          As well as being sensitive enough to be oppressive in enforcing. Not so fun anymore...

          Life is full of bumps and bruises. Attempting to band-aid over them as opposed to focusing on root cause just doesn't work. Have you ever had to deal with someone who treated every little thing that didn't go they're way as a prejudice against them?

          That is how micro-aggression has come to be used Today, even though it wasn't intended to. If someone claims offense even where most wouldn't, it is somehow the fault of the offender, despite them not intending any offense.

          Don't like something someone is doing? All they have to do is claim a credible minority status and suddenly you're painted as prejudiced. This undermines real attempts to address and eliminate prejudicial behavior.


          One of the examples I'm thinking of here was someone claiming that I was prejudiced against those of German descent. I find this interesting, given that the largest portion of my ancestry is German.

          The other was a slacker who eventually violently assaulted someone else where we were working in a manner that could have been lethal. I'm not sure whether there was a legitimate case of racism or not (there probably was), but the guy was also legitimately a slacker with anger issues who evaded these issues by claiming racism against anyone who called him on it.

           

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            Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:50am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Life is full of bumps and bruises. Attempting to band-aid over them as opposed to focusing on root cause just doesn't work. Have you ever had to deal with someone who treated every little thing that didn't go they're way as a prejudice against them?


            Some people are asshats that can't take responsibility for themselves. Others really are just tired of the passive-aggressive crap they have to deal with day-in and day-out.

            On a sociological level, we humans are pretty limited to how we view others that are outside of our monkeysphere. In order to address the root cause, we'll have to go beyond tens of thousands of years of biologically ingrained tribalism that's helped our species to survive. This means teaching tolerance and acceptance of those who are different than us. To use the Left/Right political spectrum, this is generally considered a 'Leftist' or 'Progressive' viewpoint.

            If someone claims offense even where most wouldn't, it is somehow the fault of the offender, despite them not intending any offense.


            "I didn't mean to!" is generally a common excuse of a child that hasn't been taught how to act or behave properly. That phrase graduates to "I was only joking!" as a person grows older and gets chided for something. The solution is for that person to stop doing whatever it was they did.

            One of the examples I'm thinking of here was someone claiming that I was prejudiced against those of German descent. I find this interesting, given that the largest portion of my ancestry is German.


            To me this reads like, "I'm not prejudiced because I have ______ friends."

            The other was a slacker who eventually violently assaulted someone else where we were working in a manner that could have been lethal. I'm not sure whether there was a legitimate case of racism or not (there probably was), but the guy was also legitimately a slacker with anger issues who evaded these issues by claiming racism against anyone who called him on it.


            In this case neither one of us has the full details on the anecdote. Me even less so. Without context I'm afraid I can't really make a judgement here.

             

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              Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "I didn't mean to!" is generally a common excuse of a child that hasn't been taught how to act or behave properly.


              It also happens to be the excuse of someone who legitimately didn't mean to cause offense. Note that this only really applies when there is nothing inherently prejudiced to point to. It occurs because the offended believes so strongly that others are prejudiced against them that they jump to this conclusion rather than the approximation of Occam's razor most people utilize.

              To me this reads like, "I'm not prejudiced because I have ______ friends."


              Not exactly, the claim was essentially that I was racist against myself, based solely on the fact that I didn't go out of my way to be friendly to this person (additional detail of the situation, it really was very ridiculous and didn't end up meaning much overall). They didn't know my ancestry, but it demonstrates how quickly they formed a hyperbolic judgement of my actions due to the excuse of racism. Now, before you jump on me for reducing racism to an excuse, it was in this situation, it isn't in many.

              As to the other case, I'm willing to make this judgement: assaulting someone in a potentially lethal manner is the wrong response to racism unless that has already escalated to violent levels. Again we have a case where racism was used as an excuse. This undermines efforts to stamp out racism and it bothers me greatly that as part of that narrative these actions have been granted increasing legitimacy.


              Finally:

              This means teaching tolerance and acceptance of those who are different than us.


              Agreed, but:

              To use the Left/Right political spectrum, this is generally considered a 'Leftist' or 'Progressive' viewpoint.


              Labeling things in this manner is deliberately reducing a complex issue that needs to be handled carefully to a rhetorical level. Worse, it does so in support of a power structure, which makes it very likely to be usurped and abused in furthering that power structure.

               

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                Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:56am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Grandma Loves you!

                Labeling things in this manner is deliberately reducing a complex issue that needs to be handled carefully to a rhetorical level. Worse, it does so in support of a power structure, which makes it very likely to be usurped and abused in furthering that power structure.


                Sadly it's the reality of the situation at hand in the United States. Do I agree with it? Not at all. I am sad to say it's commentary from people who believe it combined with the policies put in place by the politicians they vote for which reflect this sentiment.

                Go to any politically charged discussion and see who affiliates with which group and read what they write. There's a clear distinction in what people believe and with whom they associate. Tolerance and acceptance of differences has generally been considered a "Left Side" issue while regimented conformity and a strong reluctance towards change falls to its polar opposite.

                It's just a part of natural human existence. There's a whole host of published research on the subject of varied personality traits, brain structure, and political views.

                For a quick read there's this article: Political Views Are Reflected in Brain Structure. But if you want a more in-depth review of the study there's a 2011 issue of Current Biology that published the results from the Ryota Kanai's group at University College, London.

                There are a few other studies that predate this one that a quick search will probably bring up if you're interested.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:33pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Grandma Loves you!

                  For a quick read there's this article: Political Views Are Reflected in Brain Structure. But if you want a more in-depth review of the study there's a 2011 issue of Current Biology that published the results from the Ryota Kanai's group at University College, London.


                  Wow, every single one of those error bars save two overlaps the mean for all other data-points: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/abstract/S0960-9822%2811%2900289-2#Data

                  For a significant result to be established, there can be no overlap between error bars. What this means is that the data shows no significant result and the conclusion of the study ought to be: no correlation was found.

                   

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                    Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:53pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Grandma Loves you!

                    The sample size is too small for my tastes (90 subjects tested), but it correlates with an earlier study done in 2005 which shows similar results from a different test.

                     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 11:23pm

    Lesson:

    Do not use racial slurs when angry.

    That goes for everyone, white, black, yellow, christian, hindu, muslim, jew, budhist, russian, japanese, australian, american, democrat, republican, communist, capitalist and so many others that I can't even remember them all(the reasons to hate others).

     

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    Whitefella who has Blackfella friends, Oct 31st, 2013 @ 11:29pm

    You really don't understand "racism"

    Timmy,

    You really don't understand "racism". This whitefella you are reporting on needs a good kick in the backside for his stupidity. But your own reporting indicates that other than that the blackfella he was responding to was just as stupid for doing his actions in front of preschoolers and toddlers (of which how many were probably black or white or brown).

    I come from a land where where "racism" is a subtle thing. It depends on things like "which town are you from", whether you are catholic or protestant, whether you have one drop of black in you or not, whether you are Serbian, Greek, Croat, Russian, Vietnamese, Hong Kong Chinese, Singaporean, Sinhalese or Tamal, biker or bikey, or a myriad of other variations.

    Forget using the word "racism", just use the proper term "prejudice". Stupidity is stupidity and that is a common trait shown by all men, women and children the world over.

    Highlighting a whitefella doing something stupid as you have only just shows your prejudices and doesn't actually do anything constructive. Had you highlighted the stupidity of both sides and made some salient point about that, I could then have appreciated the article.

    I generally find your articles to have some salient point that allows for constructive conversation, but every so often, you just seem to lose it and it shows a significant character flaw in you.

    tl;dr Time to shut up and go back to the grandkids.

     

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    A Sullivan, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:06am

    It's a hyperbole thing, you wouldn't understand

    Clearly he believes, like Mr Gagner, that hyperbole is essential to "attempting to be funny."

     

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    Pieter Hulshoff (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:37am

    Kinda reminds me of

    It kinda reminds me of this rant by Chris Rock.

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:00am

    While I don't agree with the way in which he posted, I do agree with what he said. I just wouldn't have used the 'n-word' to get my point across.

    It's hard to look at this man as a jerk or anything worse because his post has a point. To urinate in front of someone's home and when there are children around is just not right.

    Oh, and he's right about the 'n-word'. It really is institutional racism when black people call each other that word but they only cry racism when a white person uses that word. This is why racism still exists in this country because the black community continues to apply 'racism' when white people use it but don't take that same attitude when another black person uses it.

    It's a double standard. Either it's racism and it applies to everyone or not at all.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:40am

      Re:

      "It's hard to look at this man as a jerk or anything worse because his post has a point. To urinate in front of someone's home and when there are children around is just not right."

      Bullshit. It's very easy to get the point across without calling out a single race or using racial epithets. It would also be wrong if white, hispanic, asian or other people did the same thing (also enough to get on sex offenders lists in many places if children are indeed present). Pissing in someone's yard is a dick move no matter the colour of the person's skin.

      He's not a jerk because he's annoyed at people doing those things. He's a jerk because of the way he chose to express his opinions, and the way he singled out a particular race for abuse.

      "It really is institutional racism when black people call each other that word but they only cry racism when a white person uses that word."

      This argument always confuses me. How is it racism if two people of the same race do something to each other?

      Similarly, a woman can hit another woman without being a misogynist and a child can beat on another child without being accused of child abuse. That doesn't mean I, as a man, have the right to do the same thing just because it's "OK" for them.

      Same here. If two black people do something to each other, it's not racist because they're the same race. If a white person does it, racism can be implied (even if unintended), especially with language that's historically loaded with racist connotations.

      There's no double standard either. A double standard would be if the black guy could use racial abuse against a white guy without question but the white guy couldn't retaliate in kind.

       

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        Joe Dirt, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:31am

        Re: Re:

        "If two black people do something to each other, it's not racist because they're the same race. If a white person does it, racism can be implied (even if unintended), especially with language that's historically loaded with racist connotations."

        So, using a different analogy, if a fat person calls another person fat, that's OK? The one who was called fat has no right to be upset because the person who insulted him has the same shape?

        It's not even remotely close to the truth. A racially charged word is racially charged for everyone, not just people of a different race. When people make statements like yours, they only perpetuate the racial divide.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "So, using a different analogy, if a fat person calls another person fat, that's OK?"

          Yes. Or, at least, if that person uses it as an insult it's due to something other than prejudice against fat people. The words might still be offensive, but the connotations of the words mean something different in context compared to if a skinny guy did the same thing. Another analogy - two gay guys calling each other a "fag" might be OK, or at least not imply homophobia, but it would mean something different if a straight guy did the same to a gay guy.

          Is that really difficult to understand? This isn't exactly complicated. Words have different meaning based on context, and one of the things that changes context is the identity of the person saying the words.

           

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            Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That. Or if said gay is friends with an hetro and they call each other fag, wuss, whatever (personal experience). I think his words may have been poorly chosen but to argue he's racist is a stretch.

             

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Or if said gay is friends with an hetro and they call each other fag, wuss, whatever (personal experience)."

              Yep, again it's context. There's different expectations and connotations surrounding a person you're good friends with compared to a relative stranger. Friends sometimes throw insults at each other that are fine because they both know it's a joke, whereas the same words would be insulting or worse if meant seriously.

              It's amazing that some people are unable to understand how language works in basic social interaction like this.

              "I think his words may have been poorly chosen but to argue he's racist is a stretch."

              Racism was definitely implied. He didn't rant against everyone who might do such a thing, nor rant against the specific person who did this, he ranted against a particular race.

              He may not have *intended* to come across as racist, but as a teacher and role model he should at least be aware of how his words can be perceived by others. Especially since he apparently teaches in a school with a mainly black population.

               

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                Joe Dirt, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:51am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Friends sometimes throw insults at each other that are fine because they both know it's a joke, whereas the same words would be insulting or worse if meant seriously."

                And what happens when, due to your continued use of these slurs among your friends these 'jokes' are overheard by someone who isn't in on the joke? or maybe you forget where you are and they slip out in a mixed, public environment?

                Stop using these slurs in your everyday speech and soon enough, they won't pop up in posts like this obviously confused teacher any longer.

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:07am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "And what happens when, due to your continued use of these slurs among your friends these 'jokes' are overheard by someone who isn't in on the joke? or maybe you forget where you are and they slip out in a mixed, public environment?"

                  Then some people might be offended or take them the wrong way and I'm responsible for that. But if I call my friend a dumb twat in front of others, even on a regular basis, that doesn't give anyone else the right to call me that. Is that really hard to understand?

                  You must be so confused in normal social environments.

                   

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              btr1701 (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              > Or if said gay is friends with an hetro
              > and they call each other fag, wuss, whatever
              > (personal experience). I think his words may
              > have been poorly chosen but to argue he's
              > racist is a stretch.

              It's more than a stretch, it's an impossibility.

              "Gay" is not a race.

               

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            Joe Dirt, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:42am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            It is attitudes like yours, that perpetuate racism and other prejudices.

            I understand your logic, I just think it's flawed. Based on your analogies, it's OK to demean one person with language that most would find offensive, just because the person making the statement is similar in appearance, or sexual preference.

            Everyone should find terms like faggot, nigger, or spic offensive. They were never intended to be terms of endearment or joviality.

             

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Everyone should find terms like faggot... offensive"

              Better tell these guys, they must be causing people to break down in supermarkets! http://mrbrains.co.uk/products/

              Words change meanings dependant on the context. Context changes depending on who is saying the words, the target of those words, the audience, the situation, whether anger is behind the words, etc. The context of two friendly people of the minority using a word between each other is different than someone of a different social or racial group using the word in anger.

              "They were never intended to be terms of endearment or joviality."

              Words also depend on cultural norms - calling someone gay nowadays means something totally different to what it meant 100 years ago, even if the old definition is technically correct. It's irrelevant what a word was originally meant to say, if the current cultural norms say it means something different.

              Again, this isn't hard to understand.

               

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                Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                However, the idea that a word's meaning is more dependent on who is saying it than on the tone and context is folly. Two members of a minority may well use the word to demean the other either from a self-loathing point of view or to state that the other is somehow more a member of that minority. Additionally, someone outside that minority may use the word as a term of respect, especially after having been given such an example by those who are a member of that minority.

                Another example of a slur for illustration:

                The word 'nerd' was devised as a slur and still carries some of the connotation. It has largely been rendered inert through those who see the intelligence level of that community as a point of pride. However, there are many nerds who consider certain nerdy activities to be, well, nerdy and they use that word as a derisive. They may be a nerd, but they'd never be that nerdy. The fun one here is that LARPers and D&D players often view each other in this way, each adamantly maintaining that the other is the epitome of nerdiness.

                Note also the way that the community shrugged off the derision of the word (for the most part). It was not by using it amongst themselves with a different meaning, but by owning that portion of who they were and being proud of it. If you take offense to the word itself, you have not done that, even if it is only a subset of the whole society from whom offense is taken.

                Be proud of being you. The next time someone slings a slur you're way, stand up and say something along the lines of "of course, I'm really quite glad to be a ___." Leave it at that, don't sling anything back, even if what you'd return with would be true. The next time someone lobs one of those words your way without meaning anything negative, take it for what it is intended to be, a gesture of respect and support, maybe with a little mild teasing.

                Kids might have difficulties with bullies, but by the time your an adult you really should have learned how to deal with them.

                 

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                Joe Dirt, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:01am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You seem to think I'm fairly simple don't you?

                I've traveled extensively. I've been to over 15 countries for extended periods and I know that different cultures have different social mores.

                I thought we were discussing this post and prejudicial language in the USA, today. If we are going to expand the scope of the discussion, I'm game. Hell, lets legalize prostitution and drug use, like in Amsterdam. Better yet, lets outlaw any religion other than Islamic, like in Saudi Arabia. Let's go back to living in Longhouses like the Iroquois and have sex next to our sleeping (or watching) kids. Ask a kid from the UK what his mother did the first time he used the word 'bloody'. Ask an Aussie to define the word 'pissed'.

                All of the above examples aren't really relevant to the discussion at hand. The point of my comments, from the start, is that you can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't have a racially, or prejudicially charged word only sometimes. It undermines the efforts to eliminate what is a universally unacceptable behavior.

                 

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                  PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:56am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I've traveled extensively. I've been to over 15 countries for extended periods and I know that different cultures have different social mores."

                  Then why are you so resistant to the idea that the context of the words spoken matter to their perceived meaning?

                  "You can't have a racially, or prejudicially charged word only sometimes."

                  Yes you can, depending on the context. This isn't limited to racial or prejudicial words. I can call my best friend an fucking asshole all I want with no repercussions, but I shouldn't be surprised at receiving different treatment if I said that to my boss or a cop. That would be on my head for not being intelligent enough to know that the words weren't appropriate in that context. Same here - words mean different things depending on who they are being spoken by or to, and the context within which they are spoken.

                   

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                    Joe Dirt, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:03am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    "I can call my best friend an fucking asshole all I want with no repercussions, but I shouldn't be surprised at receiving different treatment if I said that to my boss or a cop."

                    I see the issue now. You treat your friends like shit and think everyone is the same as you. I can tell you honestly, that I don't call my friend an asshole unless he is being one, and I expect to experience repercussions. I'd do the same to my boss or a cop if they were being an asshole also.
                    You see I think all of the social problems in this world are based on misunderstandings in communication. I treat everyone the same. There is nothing I say to my brother that I can't say to a stranger. The same goes for men vs. women. It's a simple concept really, treat everyone equally, regardless of sex, race, sexual preference, religion, nationality, or penis length. Although I will readily admit that I don't ask my brother, "Who's your Daddy?" like I do my girlfriend :)

                    In all seriousness, thanks for at least having a fairly respectful debate about a very contentious subject. That seems to be something that's hard to come by nowadays.

                     

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            Brazenly anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Actually, the fat person could be prejudiced against fat people and either in denial about their own weight or self-loathing. I understand the desire to use certain words as "power words" when they were being used against you, but this process is not complete until the meaning of the term has completely shifted.


            Maintaining that the word remains charged and cannot be used by the group that was originally using it negatively, even if they were to use it in the new positive manner, curtails the effort to render the prejudice inherent in the word inert. That word remaining in the societies lexicon with such a dual-meaning then perpetuates the tension between the two groups, breeding additional prejudice. Allowing the word to fully transition by not reserving the new meeting to an "in" group would be a far better course of action.

            See "queen" as a slang term for gay men for reference to a word that has truly been neutralized, or really even any kids nickname. The tone of voice and/or context of a word is important and prejudging the meaning of the word based on who is saying it is as foolish as prejudging people based on skin color except in one instance. Prejudging that the word is a good thing, even when it wasn't intended as such, is how these barbs lose their strength.

            Basically, to take offense at a word drives its use in the wrong direction. Pretend it was a compliment and the prejudice inherent to it will die.

             

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:33am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Actually, the fat person could be prejudiced against fat people and either in denial about their own weight or self-loathing."

              True, but we're getting into something that would require more specifics to properly argue, I think. It's not impossible for people of a group to hate the group they belong to and use language accordingly, but it's less likely. Peers often innocently use language between themselves that would be offensive outside of their peer group. That doesn't mean that people outside that peer group suddenly have licence to use it without criticism.

              I agree with the rest of your points, but changing language like that - especially language with strong negative connotations - takes time.

               

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                Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                It does take time, but many have taken up the stance that the word is never acceptable from outside the minority group, even from someone who is incredibly close and has the license to tease about just about anything else. This stance halts the process completely, especially once it is handed down over multiple generations.

                 

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            btr1701 (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:12pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            > two gay guys calling each other a "fag" might
            > be OK, or at least not imply homophobia, but
            > it would mean something different if a straight
            > guy did the same to a gay guy.

            So how does this theory jibe with the explanation we were given by Rachel Jeantel in the Trayvon Martin trial that white people don't have any right to be offended when a black person calls them "cracker"?

            You see, the philosophy of modern political correctness doesn't just stop with "it's okay when that word is used between two black people". It further decrees that white people have no right to ever be offended by anything said about them, that indeed it's impossible for them to even be the victims of racism in the first place.

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:32am

        Re: Re:

        >How is it racism if two people of the same race do something to each other?

        Internalized racism.

        Regardless, there's a different social dynamic happening, sometimes, when black people call each other the n-word. Reclamation and all that jazz.

        There's a bit of debate as to whether reclamation is positive as a general idea, but my particular slant on it is that reclamation can't really be harmful if there's actual proselytization occurring anyways. There are quite a few racist groups in the states who actively advocate against any sort of racial equality and who do encourage using slurs such as the n-word. So neither the word nor the context of it is going to go away So you may as well attempt to change/deflect the meaning of it.

         

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        Vektor, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:38am

        Re: Re:

        "This argument always confuses me. How is it racism if two people of the same race do something to each other?"

        Racism is a two-way street pal. Can you seriously not see how it's racism if a black person tells a white person "Hey! You can't say that word! That's my word and you can't say it because of the color of your skin!". Treating someone differently because of the race they were born into is the very definition of racism. It is most definitely racism if a black person gets offended when a white person says the N-word but doesn't get offended when another black person says it in the same context. It's prejudice against someone due to the color of their skin. It's racism. Now I must ask you, is that so difficult to understand?

         

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          PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:53am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Can you seriously not see how it's racism if a black person tells a white person "Hey! You can't say that word! That's my word and you can't say it because of the color of your skin!"."

          No, because that's not what's happening. If you can't understand why, maybe you should try to work out why words change meaning with context, not to mention why you're so desperate to be allowed to use a racial slur.

          Do you also get angry about sexism because you're not allowed to call any random woman on the street a bitch, even if you just heard her female friend say that word to her? Do you get angry about ageism because you can't say the same things to a 6 year old girl as you can to a woman in a club? Do you complain about class discrimination because you can't talk to your boss the same way as you talk to your brother? Or are you just angry at this one word being out of your reach?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:57am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "No, because that's not what's happening. If you can't understand why, maybe you should try to work out why words change meaning with context, not to mention why you're so desperate to be allowed to use a racial slur."

            Why don't you try actually reading my post? Here I'll highlight the relevant part for you.

            "It is most definitely racism if a black person gets offended when a white person says the N-word but doesn't get offended when another black person says it in the same context."

            Notice that last part where it says "IN THE SAME CONTEXT".

             

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              PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:47am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Except that's impossible. Changing the identity of the person saying it changes the context. It doesn't matter *which* part of the identity you change, be it the specific personal relationship you have with that person (friend, colleague, relative, stranger, etc.), the gender, age, religion or even race. Changing one of those things changes the context.

              Put it this way: at one point in my life I had a girlfriend who was in the same demographic as my sister. Same gender, same age, same race, same nationality, same social and economic background. But there were things I could say to my girlfriend that would have been taken totally differently if I said them to my sister, and vice versa. One characteristic of the person (in this case the type of personal relationship) makes all the difference to how my words are interpreted.

              Equally, there are things I can say to male friends that would be unacceptable to say to a female friend, even if everything else about that person is the same - changing the gender changes the context of what's being said. There are things I can say to one friend that the other friend may be offended or made uncomfortable by. We don't tend to think about these things consciously, but it's there.

              That's how it is with words with racial connotations. All other things being equal, certain words mean something different coming from a person of the same race to what they mean coming from someone of a different race. Changing the race of the subject changes the connotations of what's said.

              That's not racism, it's a simple fact of language. Most words are neutral in most contexts (for example, if I say hello to a black guy, it means the same as if I say it to a white woman), but some words are not neutral depending on the race of the person being addressed.

              You're not being prejudiced against just because the word you want to use has negative connotations in the context you wish to use it.

               

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                Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Actually, those racially charged words only have different meanings if you accept that race is a valid differentiation. In doing so, you perpetuate the fallacious basis on which racism is founded. Yes, they currently have different meanings based on this contextual difference, but that is not something that should be defended, as it shouldn't matter.

                It is an ugly truth that does not have the same level of validity as certain other forms of contextual change, such a different kind of relationship.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:18am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Actually, those racially charged words only have different meanings if you accept that race is a valid differentiation. In doing so, you perpetuate the fallacious basis on which racism is founded. "

                  Thank you. This is what I'm trying to say. If you bring race into the equation then you are engaging in racism, it's really as simple as that.

                   

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:13am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "All other things being equal, certain words mean something different coming from a person of the same race to what they mean coming from someone of a different race. Changing the race of the subject changes the connotations of what's said."

                I agree, only that IS racism. Treating someone differently because of their race makes it racism. Telling someone they are allowed or not allowed to do something because of their race is racism.

                "One characteristic of the person (in this case the type of personal relationship) makes all the difference to how my words are interpreted."

                Yes, and if that characteristic happens to be the race of the person, then it is racism.

                 

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:43am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Notice that last part where it says "IN THE SAME CONTEXT"."

              Sure, but as long as our history of black subjugation in America exists, equal context will NEVER happen, so the question is equal parts boring and moot...

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Sure, but as long as our history of black subjugation in America exists, equal context will NEVER happen"

                Of which I personally had nothing to do with. I try to take things that people say in the same context regardless of race and I would expect the same courtesy in return.

                 

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:24am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Of which I personally had nothing to do with.Of which I personally had nothing to do with."

                  The very concept of historical context involves you having nothing to do with the historical context. Your point has no meaning.

                  "I try to take things that people say in the same context regardless of race and I would expect the same courtesy in return."

                  That's one way to do it and I largely agree with you. But what do you do when someone fails that standard back at you? Do you just stomp your feet and refuse to take their experiences and context into account as a matter of principal? You can, certainly, but I don't know how far that gets you....

                   

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                Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:31am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                As long as the practices persist, perhaps, but eventually history must retreat into the past as little more than a dire reminder of the costs of certain mistakes. I'm not going to get into a discussion of whether or not we are sufficiently moving towards equilibrium or not, but it must be acknowledged that there is a point where an event in history is moot with regards to the people of Today.

                Or can someone who can find evidence of Roman descent file a legitimate grievance with the descendants of Nero?

                I do understand that 300 years of oppression takes a while to fix, but we should all be targeting this being a non issue folly of the past within the next 1000 years, like using slugs to cure colds, or the Holocaust, or the establishment of the state of Israel (perpetuated as a means of reparations, but with those reparations stolen from people who had no part in causing the need for them).

                 

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                  qw, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:30pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  or the establishment of the state of Israel (perpetuated as a means of reparations, but with those reparations stolen from people who had no part in causing the need for them).


                  This view on the creation of the state of Israel is insufficiently nuanced. Israel wasn't a Palestinian state stolen by immigrant Jews from a Palestinian Arab people.

                  It was a mandate controlled by the British Empire, previously controlled by the Ottoman Empire, not an independent Palestine colonised by Jews or Brits.

                  The land was owned by Palestinian Arabs and Jews, the majority of whom began immigrating into the area from the mid 19th century, in roughly equal numbers, and in the majority of cases the immigration of both Jews and Arabs happened according to the laws of the country at the time. i.e. They were immigrants, NOT colonists.

                  The creation of Israel was a messy business, and it had very negative and dispossessing consequences for some of the Arabs who lived there, which persist until this day. Much of what happenend was wrong, and many people were affected, but it wasn't simply taken wholesale, neither were there clear good guys and bad guys as, in human history, there frequently aren't.

                   

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:51am

        Re: Re:

        This argument always confuses me. How is it racism if two people of the same race do something to each other?

        Please explain the loiter squad blackface hat events and how the hats are no longer for sale on the website?

         

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        nasch (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re:

        Pissing in someone's yard is a dick move no matter the colour of the person's skin.

        Literally.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:30pm

        Re: Re:

        "Pissing in someone's yard is a dick move no matter the colour of the person's skin."

        Unless the person doing the pissing is female, then it really isn't a "dick move" at all now is it?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:43am

      Re:

      "Oh, and he's right about the 'n-word'. It really is institutional racism when black people call each other that word but they only cry racism when a white person uses that word. This is why racism still exists in this country because the black community continues to apply 'racism' when white people use it but don't take that same attitude when another black person uses it."

      It's the difference between calling your wife of ten years "sugartits" in your bedroom, and calling a six year old girl you run into at McDonalds "sugartits."

      Based on who you are, your relationship to the person you're talking to or about, and the knowledge of the audience (if any) of that relationship makes the same word be a term of comedic endearment, or a downright creepy pedophilic utterance.

      This is not a difficult concept to understand.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:40am

        Re: Re:

        "t's the difference between calling your wife of ten years "sugartits" in your bedroom, and calling a six year old girl you run into at McDonalds "sugartits.""

        This may be the simultaneously most funny and most useful analogy for explaining this that I've ever seen. Bravo.

         

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        Vektor, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:29am

        Re: Re:

        I thought the question was about racism? How is it valid to compare racism to ageism? As a society we regularly practice ageism (21 to drink, 16 to drive, 18 legally an adult). Your analogy just proves what you were trying to refute.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Based on who you are, your relationship to the person you're talking to or about, and the knowledge of the audience (if any) of that relationship"

          I don't see him arguing about age.

           

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:02am

      Re:

      Thank you. I dunno if there's a female term for nigger but I call my girlfriend a nigger (I'm almost milk white she's in the brownish field) and it's not prejudice. In fact any word may gain the status of prejudicial if proper context is added. What he's condemning is the behavior and relating it as to why people have such prejudices. But society is so stuck into its prejudicial mindset that nobody recognizes that while he chose the words badly he has a very strong point.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:42am

        Re: Re:

        "I dunno if there's a female term for nigger but I call my girlfriend a nigger"

        Okay, and I'm not going judge here now that I've gotten over my visceral reaction....but why would you do that? Seriously, I'm curious. I'm fully on board that context, relationships, and community matter....but why? Just shock value of those around you?

         

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          Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I'm not sure, she calls her sister that has a very light brown tone of skin "yellow" and her brother that is much darker than herself "monkey". And she calls her mom nigger too.
          I call my sister "nuisance" regularly and it is an affective way (people often get shocked but they understand when I explain it's normal).
          Like I call a homosexual friend of mine (he is male, I'm male and hetero) fag/faggot and he calls me a wuss.

          I've also learned when I went to Chile that the word "weon" (would be something close to faggot) used to be the worst type of cursing but they use it regularly among friends (just to add some other foreign experience).

          I'm not quite sure why we do it but you see, the words are inert if you choose them to be so. And to reply directly to your question I don't know why I call her that way. It seems natural to both of us.

           

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          Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Gentle ribbing is expected between two people who are extremely close to each other. This is indulged in across the board and is one of the signs of a healthy relationship. When said in a joking manner it also functions somewhat as a show of respect and support, understanding the struggle and making light of the enemies behavior.

          If your first instinct on hearing the word is laughter, it is hard for the word to be used to wound you. In fact, confounding those who would use it that way by smirking at them is a very entertaining experience and one I highly recommend.

          The next you would be insulted, try and fake a choked laugh and a muted smile instead. If they didn't intend to offend, this will be the end of it. If they did, you'll wreck them more thoroughly than any insult you could possibly sling back, and have a good laugh at their expense too.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:18am

      Re:

      As a black person I can tell you that black people who are using the n-word is an attempt at diffusing it's power and "taking it back". I personally don't use it and it still holds a lot of fucked up head tripping weight with me as much as I know it's just a word.

      It comes from years of racism growing up and yes it is also part of learning history. It is mind blowing to learn about slavery and American history especially during WWII and the civil rights movement. To know all that my ancestors (and other minorities) have gone through after learning about the US Constitution and what this country is supposed to stand for... and then, to be a kid and have numerous people treat you like you're less than them in various ways. It's like getting punched in the stomach, and it sends your head spinning, it's just mind boggling to be treated that way. You feel embarrassed for no good reason and when you're young enough and told this enough you might believe it. These days, it's not so bad when it happens. I still feel insulted, but these days it's mostly a sadness to know racism (among other prejudices) still exists out there.

      P.S. I do think black people can be racist and the words "reverse racism" sound ridiculous to me. Anyone can be prejudiced. BUT, the existing social structure, social & written history, political structure and economic history has clearly put the power into the hands of white America. And because of that, I doubt being called a honky is as demeaning and hurtful to a white person. (Especially considering the history of the word and how downright clownish it sounds.)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:43am

    I would have called him far worse without even using the n word. 99.9% of the time the N word is used by black people.
    Seriously, every time I've heard it dropped in the last few years was by my black neighbors.

    Just saying.

    If you have to go piss that's alright but FFS he could have at least attempted to be a little private about it. Not everyone wants to see some stranger whipping his dick out in plain view with no regard.

    Honestly if it were me and that many people were around I would have just asked to use someones bathroom first.. If they told me no then I'd have my reason to go where ever, but I'd still try to be private as possible. Especially if there were kids around...

    Why? Because I wouldn't my kids exposed to that.

     

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    kenichi tanaka (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:50am

    The only thing black guy proved was just how much of a jerk and asshole he was for exposing himself to a bunch of kids. If he had done that in front of my house, I would have grabbed a basebat and chased his ass down the street.

     

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    anon, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:56am

    Cry all you want but this is a good example of why racism exists in the first place.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:16am

      Re:

      Indeed. Though it still isn't right to treat people poorly, if you want poor treatment of your family/religion/race/whatever to stop, exercise your influence over those people to act in a way that doesn't shame you for being associated with them.

      Barring that, you've done your part and you can now ignore that poor treatment as bigotry.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 2:20am

      Re:

      And that is because...

       

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:03am

      Re:

      You mean the kneejerk reaction to the wording he used instead of noticing the criticism towards peeing on the streets in front of kids? Hypocrisy I tell you.

       

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      Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:36am

      Re:

      Because idiots take anecdotal evidence and apply it to the entire population? I think we have ample reason to lambast them.

      Or are you talking about the use of the word and the strange reaction that has evolved in response? While that may assist in the perpetuation of racism, it is not where it comes from.

      I will say that it bothers me that we are talking about firing someone over something not connected to work, though. At the very least there needs to be a long discussion between the boss and the employee prior to such a severance.

       

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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:49am

    Freedom of Speech

    This man shouldn't be fired. He was upset at what he seen and voiced his being upset. Just because people can take offense to it that doesn't mean he should be punished due to your fragile and delicate thin skin. The individuals who people should be upset about are those who exposed themselves and urinated at the mans house. Also in over 13 years he only had 2 write ups. Dang that man is Ghandi reincarnated. Or we should use the cyber bullying law and have him andhis family in jail with huge legal fees eensuring that he will never be able to provide for his family. Yeah that is a much better reaction.

     

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      Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:00am

      Re: Freedom of Speech

      Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Consequence.

       

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        JEDIDIAH, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:53am

        Arbeit Macht Frei!

        > Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Consequence.

        Sure it does. Otherwise it's not really freedom then.

        You have just given us a great example of doublethink and NewSpeak. By your rationale, we all have the "freedom to murder".

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:39pm

          Re: Arbeit Macht Frei!

          They are not the same thing. Freedom of Speech is more of a legal concept where as not all consequences are of the legal variety.

           

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          nasch (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:17pm

          Re: Arbeit Macht Frei!

          > Freedom of Speech does not mean Freedom from Consequence.

          Sure it does. Otherwise it's not really freedom then.


          It means freedom from consequences from the government, not freedom from all consequences. Obviously. To expect nothing you say to have any consequences for you is silly.

           

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          Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:52pm

          Re: Arbeit Macht Frei!

          Logical Fallacy: False Equivalence

          You've lost the argument with the first post.

           

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    quayph, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 3:51am

    Ok, he's a racist, but why all the fuss over tacking a leak?

    O, the guy is a racist and therefore, by definition, a total douche-bag. However, I don't get his reaction, or those of some of the comments here.

    You and I take leaks all the time. Every day.
    If you're out in the countryside you go and do it against a tree or bush. You might turn your back to the crowd, but you don't have to find any "privacy".

    "To urinate in front of someone's home and when there are children around is just not right."
    Why the "when there are children around" part?

    If you're at a public urinal there's no separation between children and adults.

    "Why? Because I wouldn't my kids exposed to that."
    What? Exposed to someone taking a leak? Oooooh, he has a penis, he pisses with it, How wrong!

    If someone pissed on my actual house, or on the path to the door, I would probably shout at them, but pissing in the bushes?

    I feel that the worst part of this story is how people get so worked up about body parts and bodily functions. It's not like the guy started stroking it. Now *there* would be a reason to go ballistic.

     

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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:04am

    Better than me.

    Piss off. How dare you think that your better than me and can dictate what words I am allowed to say. Sticks and stones break bones but words won't ever hurt me. You saltine crackling, squinting eyed, wet back, niger dee. Dee dee 4 eyed queer animal fucker. Oh and your breath stinks too fatty.

     

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    Capt ICE Enforcer, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:06am

    Better than me.

    Piss off. How dare you think that your better than me and can dictate what words I am allowed to say. Sticks and stones break bones but words won't ever hurt me. You saltine crackling, squinting eyed, wet back, niger dee. Dee dee 4 eyed queer animal fucker. Oh and your breath stinks too fatty. I apologize if i forgot anyone in this list.

     

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      PaulT (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:22am

      Re: Better than me.

      "How dare you think that your better than me"

      "Oh and your breath stink"

      Like Mr. Spondike, you can't seem to use the English language properly, even without the childish rants and racial slurs. Maybe we are better than you, I certainly don't have a problem with doing any of those things in the correct manner.

      You can both say whatever you want, you might just not have the privilege of teaching children while you do it. That's not a bad thing, on the evidence presented here.

       

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    Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:15am

    I'm absolutely appalled by many of the posts in this thread

    Would he have used the term if the guy peeing in front of his house was white? Almost certainly not.

    Did he use the term with the intention of insulting the guy who peed on the pole? Almost certainly yes.

    Fair enough, he was angry and wanted to lash out. He might believe that he wasn't being racist because he didn't mean it to be. But tough. The word is an insult, and it's explicitly used for black (or wannabe) black people. I can tell my friends to fuck off and they're not offended. Doesn't stop the phrase being an insult.

    Unconscious racism is still racism, even if you believe you're not racist.

    And to the comment that suggested that racism against blacks continues because they don't behave....Jesus H Christ on a bike. That's both appalling and incredibly stupid. And it's racist.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:39am

      Re: I'm absolutely appalled by many of the posts in this thread

      >Unconscious racism is still racism, even if you believe you're not racist.

      This.

      Put simply, I think we can generally agree that we all feel everyone's against racism? And we all are against racism?

      If racism was a purely external notion to our brains, and the above is true, then why does racism still exist? I'm not talking about racism existing as crazy people on street corners advocating the death penalty for PoC criminals, I'm talking about the systemic disadvantages faced by PoC. Stuff that can be seen through stats like median wage, class mobility, political representation and such.

       

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      Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:52am

      Re: I'm absolutely appalled by many of the posts in this thread

      Would he have used the term if the guy peeing in front of his house was white? Almost certainly not.

      I'd think of something as offensive. Cock sucking fag comes to mind (hey, you asked!)

      And to the comment that suggested that racism against blacks continues because they don't behave....Jesus H Christ on a bike. That's both appalling and incredibly stupid. And it's racist.

      Actually I've discussed that with black people before and we agreed with this. This is not only true for blacks with shitty behavior but goes for poor people being assholes just because they believe their poverty entitles them to be assholes (ie: throw garbage anywhere, disturb the neighbors with loud sound etc) and filthy rich and empty celebrities who are spoiled brats that got their riches easily and now think they are entitled to anything.

      You see, it's not restricted to a single class, color of skin or type of human. A chunk of the representatives of said population keeps established stereotypes alive, unfortunately. The problem I see in his sentence is that he is generalizing.

      Note that I'm not agreeing with this mindset, I'm merely saying he has a point though again the wording was poorly chosen.

       

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        Ninja (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:53am

        Re: Re: I'm absolutely appalled by many of the posts in this thread

        Ah, let me add the whites with their self entitlement to supremacy giving them a reputation of being douches towards blacks. Unfortunately the racism keeps going because of those few idiots.

         

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      JEDIDIAH, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:42am

      You really have zero imagination

      > Unconscious racism is still racism, even if you believe you're not racist.

      If that person was white, I would call them "white trash" or "trailer trash". What alternative would you suggest when the person in question is obviously not white enough to be called white trash?

      There's actually already an obvious candidate. It's just taboo.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:57am

    Two main points:
    1) Words aren't racist, people are. I can say nigger till the cows come home but that doesn't mean I spend my weekends dressed in white burning crosses. By the same measure I can refer to someone by whatever pc term you want and treat them like scum. Look at the actions not the words used.

    2) I'm not comfortable with the school of thought that says "only black people can say nigger" it a double standard. If you prohibit someone from doing something based on the colour of their skin you are being racist.

     

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      Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:41am

      Re:

      1) Words aren't racist, people are.

      True. However, choice of words suggests underlying intention. Using the words as insults doesn't make the word automatically insulting, but may encourage others. In the same way, you shouldn't swear in front of your children.

      2) I'm not comfortable with "only black people can say nigger"

      Perfectly reasonable. But, given the connotations and the influence it can have on others, it would be better for no one to use it. When people stop being racist, then the words can be free.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:30am

        Re: Re:

        The guy wrote what he did to insult another guy who deserved mocking. If he were a white man we'd be having this discussion about homophobia (see ninja's suggested insult above), a woman sexism ect.

        I'm not sure how an n-word free world has any bearing to the level of racism. I'll still be able to deny black guys jobs, do my best to stop them voting and get my cop buddies to stop them in the street. I'll just have to call them something different.

         

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          Donglebert the Needlessly Obtuse, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 7:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The racism isn't in stopping them doing things, it's about identifying them as different in order to justify stopping them things. That's why most people chose to reject language that's very reason is to perpetuate segregation.

           

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        Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:19am

        Re: Re:

        In the same way, you shouldn't swear in front of your children.


        Let's address this particular fallacy real quick. There is nothing inherently wrong with certain strings of sounds or letters. What is and is not considered a swear word varies over time and between different cultures. So what makes a swear word special?

        Swear words are usually resolved for a strong negative emphasis. Therefore, using them constantly implies a great amount of negativity and usually aggression. So go ahead and teach these words to your kids, in their proper usage. You'll only hear them when there are more pressing matters to attend to, as that is when they are appropriate.

        We now return you to your regularly scheduled racism debate.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:14am

    Am I to assume that it is ok for whites to piss on said pole?

     

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    Ragnarredbeard (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:28am

    Author's Double Standard

    I don't get the "confederate rant" part. There was nothing about the Confederacy in Mr Spondike's comments. Seems to be a completely gratuitous slam, which marks the author (Timothy Geigner) as racist and prejudiced as Mr Spondike.

    And no, I'm not a southerner. I'm also not a guilty white liberal trying to look good for other people.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:04am

      Re: Author's Double Standard

      Or his rant against monotheistic religions, i.e. Christianity. People like Tim are just as bigoted as the people they complain about but somehow fail to see it in themselves. It is sadly ironic that many times when people like him rail against bigots they expose their own bigoted views.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:07am

        Re: Re: Author's Double Standard

        "People like Tim are just as bigoted as the people they complain about but somehow fail to see it in themselves. It is sadly ironic that many times when people like him rail against bigots they expose their own bigoted views."

        Interesting. Please define my bigotry. How am I a bigot? What bigoted belief has my writing exposed?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:43am

          Re: Re: Re: Author's Double Standard

          This is the week of All Hallows' Eve, when the near-entirety of a mostly staunchly monotheistic religious nation encourage their children to partake in a pagan ritual, because American hypocrisy is as endless as the ether to which it disbands.

          How did a post about a racist remark from a teacher turn into an opportunity to rail against religion?

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 4:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Author's Double Standard

            "How did a post about a racist remark from a teacher turn into an opportunity to rail against religion?"

            Excuse me, but pointing out the hypocrisy of the religious is not "railing against religion". Learn to read, young Padawan....

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 5:28am

    the origins of All Hallow's Eve

    This is the week of All Hallows' Eve, when the near-entirety of a mostly staunchly monotheistic religious nation encourage their children to partake in a pagan ritual, because American hypocrisy is as endless as the ether to which it disbands.

    Counter-arguments to consider, with source citations:

    There is a lot of new mythology about Halloween that has been invented to claim that Halloween is a pagan holiday. It is not, and it never was a pagan holiday.

    The earliest surviving record of an annual commemoration of a saint or saints dates to the 2nd century A.D. There is no reference to any pagan festival.

     

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      Liz (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:22am

      Re: the origins of All Hallow's Eve

      Counter-arguments to consider, with source citations:


      Except for the pagan harvest festivals that happened all over Europe before the First Century BCE. The most well known being Samhain of the Gaelic Celts who's traditions make up some the modern Halloween celebrations we know of today.

      Then there's the Roman celebration of Feralia. In late October the Romans traditionally commemorated the passing of the dead. Plus the Halloween tradition of "Bobbing for Apples" may have come from the Roman celebration of Pomona.

      Also your Lutheran Church website is a dubious source for historic information. Especially since All Saints Day was established by Pope Gregory III in the 8th Century between 731Ė741. This is several centuries after the date given by your source.

       

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      JEDIDIAH, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:59am

      Re: the origins of All Hallow's Eve

      Samhain is an ancient holiday that a newer religious authority could not quite stamp out. Celebrating Halloween is not quite hypocrisy but rather more the manifestation of the human will. Despite their best attempts, a conquering power could not quite annihilate and older culture.

      The same goes for Easter and Xmas. Both are manifestations of this in their own way.

      A more modern example is the Soviets. They tried to co-opt and secularize Xmas because they could not quite strip a people of their Xian traditions despite really wanting to. Xmas morphed into Soviet New Years but still retained it's basic original character.

      Even in America, history begins before July 4th 1776.

       

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    ethorad (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:08am

    Pot / kettle?

    Strikes me that Tim is veering towards racism here. To quote: "it's time for a fun little Confederate rant"

    Given the rest of the article, he's clearly using "Confederate" in a derogatory manner to mean racist. In addition the event happened in Ohio, which to the best of my knowledge wasn't even in the Confederate States (although I confess I don't know where David Spondike comes from)

    Maybe Tim is using the "C-word" to shock, or emphasize his point - but then that's an excuse that our Ohioan teacher could also use.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:39am

      Re: Pot / kettle?

      "Strikes me that Tim is veering towards racism here. To quote: "it's time for a fun little Confederate rant""

      Ok, I'm really tired of this sort of bullshit. It's the same argument trotted out when you talk about religion, particularly with Islam for some reason. Attacking Islam, even going so far as to say "Islam is a horrible thing" is NOT RACIST, because Islam is not a race. It may be prejudicial, it may be over-generalizing (though I don't think so, if the argument is formed properly), but it sure as shit isn't racism.

      The same applies to the Confederacy, for reasons so obvious that if you need to have them explained to you, you have deeper issues...

       

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        ethorad (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:32am

        Re: Re: Pot / kettle?

        I did say "veering towards" - I understand that the Confederate states is not a race, any more than a religion is a race. To clarify - Tim was not being racist, but was being prejudicial towards a group of people with a shared cultural background.

        As a group of people defined by their birthright the group "people who were born in a particular place" and "people who were born with a particular skin colour" are the similar in that there is no personal choice and both can be singled out and tarred.

        I was merely pointing out that he was generalising by linking Confederate to racist. By making such a broad comment, he was tarring an entire group of people with a negative trait. If he was to imply that all of a certain race had a negative trait, it would be racist - hence my comment that applying a negative trait to all of a certain group, defined by where they lived rather than any particular active choice, is being just as prejudicial as someone who applies negative traits to everyone of a certain race (or religion for that matter).

        Oh, and there's no need for bad language or personal insults.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Pot / kettle?

          You re-qualifying what you say about Tim is very courteous. I can personally assure you he appreciates it.

          "I was merely pointing out that he was generalising by linking Confederate to racist."

          Well, when Tim wrote that, he having a little fun with hyperbole, but it seems to me that a nation willing to die for slavery on its own institutionalized racism is one worth linking to another racist asshat....

          "Oh, and there's no need for bad language or personal insults."

          But without them, I/Tim/me/he would have nothing....

           

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            Ironies Dog, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 6:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pot / kettle?

            "But without them, I/Tim/me/he would have nothing...."

            This must be one of the saddest things ever, no joy, no peace, no laughter. How gray (dark, dismal, or gloomy, dull, dreary, or monotonous) is your life?

            Tears of dismay that one should live such a life. Truly, the dark side is so miserable.

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 7:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pot / kettle?

              "This must be one of the saddest things ever, no joy, no peace, no laughter. How gray (dark, dismal, or gloomy, dull, dreary, or monotonous) is your life?"

              You should ask that of yourself, since you live in a way unable to detect a joke....

               

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                Ironies Dog, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 12:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pot / kettle?

                "You should ask that of yourself, since you live in a way unable to detect a joke...."

                Sadder still, that you consider the original

                "But without them, I/Tim/me/he would have nothing...."

                a joke. I find humour in many places and in many ways, little one, but your comment didn't even register on anything but the sad-o-meter. My youngest grandchild can be so serious and so funny at the same time, it is a delight. My own jokes are generally so obtuse that only one or two people actually get them. So I understand obtuse.

                You need more practice in front of the mirror.

                 

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            ethorad (profile), Nov 4th, 2013 @ 5:50am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pot / kettle?

            Been doing some reading on causes of the American Civil War over the weekend. Iím a bit of a history nut, but so far have really focused on European and Far Eastern history Ė not much of North American history. Iíve always thought that the cause of the ACW was more nuanced that just slavery/anti-slavery Ė ie including things like economic differences, state v federal power etc, in particular as slavery didn't seem to confined to just the Confederate states. While thereís never really a simple reason for wars to start (WWI wasnít really started by Archduke Ferdinanz being shot, the war was coming and would have found another trigger if that hadnít happened) it does seem that slavery (and hence racism) underpinned a lot of the conflict between the Confederate and the Union states.

            Iím aware that history is written by the victors and nobody is going to write that the losing side was right but hey we won Ė however I donít think thatís having a big impact on this.

            Anyway, tl;dr: The original comment isnít as much hyperbole as I originally thought, and my comment was poorly worded in an attempt to make my point. Apologies for any offence. And thanks for prompting some additional reading! Am off to buy some ACW books to read over Christmas.

            PS Just noticed you have the same underlying username as Tim, hence referring to you in the third person in my response above.

            PPS You may have nothing without bad language, but at least you have that! :)

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:26am

    Without the racial context: "A man gets fired from his job for insulting someone who was exposing himself in front of children."

    The real racist here is whoever decided he deserves to be fired, because skin color. Its painfully obvious he wouldn't have been fired if the guy he insulted had been white.

    Most people nowadays are just conditioned to react badly to racism. And that can be a good thing sometimes, as far as it keeps them from engaging in such behavior themselves. But there can never be true racial equality so long as some races are declared to be worthy of more protection than others.

    An insult is an insult is an insult. It shouldn't matter what color anyone's skin is. Now, whether public exposure/urination warrants being called names on the internet is a matter of opinion. But I doubt the exposer would've got much sympathy anywhere if not for the race card, no matter what the mean teacher-man said.

     

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    scotts13 (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 6:34am

    Not playing the game

    The biggest transgression here is stupidity. The 'n' word is forbidden, for whatever reason - fine, don't use it. You have to keep up with your list of forbidden words; they change all the time. Call the a**hole who uses your neighborhood for a toilet something else, and be done with it.

    Personally, I think the author, as mentioned above, is as "racist" (whatever that means this week) as the subject of the article.

     

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    Richard (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 8:13am

    "Dang that man is Ghandi reincarnated."

    Oooh, the irony!

     

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    jcvillar (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:15am

    what's a racist?

    What if the teacher had been black? Same conclusion?

    Someday, I would like to hear a Liberal define "racist" instead of just tossing the word about upon a whim. Anybody on the TechDirt staff care to take a shot at it?

    Also here's a tip: Don't throw around the insult "stupid" so carelessly. It is known red flag indicating psychological projection, very much confirmed by this article.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:54am

      Re: what's a racist?

      "Someday, I would like to hear a Liberal define "racist" instead of just tossing the word about upon a whim. Anybody on the TechDirt staff care to take a shot at it?"

      Well, I wouldn't identify as capital "L" Liberal, but I'll take a shot at it.

      Racist: the conceptualization of generally negative properties or potentials of a population based solely or mostly on group genetic heritage; must be not virtually true.

      Example: Niggers are stupid, or, Crackers can't dance, Asians have more potential for math than whites

      Example of something NOT racist: African Americans are over-represented in the American prison system (note this may or may not be true, but allows for causes outside of genetics or the culture of African Americans).

       

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        Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re: what's a racist?

        Please provide the word for the conceptualization of generally positive properties or potentials of a population based solely or mostly on group genetic heritage that is not virtually true.

        Racism is prejudice applied to a race. Prejudice is a judgement made with a less than adequate understanding, with its etymology derived from the idea that the judgement is made prior to acquiring understanding though not necessarily implying that understanding will be established.

        To see racism only through the lens of negativity allows a massive loophole for any racist to escape through, they need only maintain that they hold a positive view of everyone but the group they are racist against. Therefore, racism must also apply to the positive case as well.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:18am

          Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

          That's simply not correct. The heart of racism is superiority and you don't gain superiority by unduly praising another race. The only time racism is applied to positive outlook is when that positive outlook is held about the race of which the subject is a part.

           

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            Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

            Ah, but your definition does not specify that racism can only be perpetuated against a race you don't belong to, nor should it really. After all, while extremely rare for it to be overt, someone can hold racist views against their own race, especially when in a position where someone else with said views wields sufficient influence over them.

            Is it, or is it not, racist to prefer one race that is not your own over another race that is not your own? It is a semantic loophole opened in the definition where none need exist.

             

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

              "Is it, or is it not, racist to prefer one race that is not your own over another race that is not your own? It is a semantic loophole opened in the definition where none need exist."

              Sorry, but I can't get past that I find the semantic question profoundly uninteresting because of its lack of practical application. When blacks begin lynching other blacks because they think whites are superior as a race, then we can have this discussion. It's a semantically silly position when you think about it.

              1. A black person willing to kill blacks because whites are better should have killed themselves first, if they actually believed that universally.

              2. A white person only hiring asians at the accounting office because of misguided notion about math universally applied to race should have fired themselves first.

              The hypothetical doesn't make sense, and doesn't occur any way. It just isn't interesting as an argument....

               

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                Brazenly Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:55am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

                2. A white person only hiring asians at the accounting office because of misguided notion about math universally applied to race should have fired themselves first.


                If the White guy hired the Asians because "Asians are smart," the Hispanics because "Hispanics are honest," and the White guys "on merit," with Whites making up a smaller percent than is found in the general area, are they or are they not racist against the Black guys they didn't hire?

                Can we legally go after them for racist practices if they hired White guys only when no Black guy was in the running, in order to exploit this loophole? We use language as the basis of communication and therefore it forms the basis of law as well. If we adamantly define words such that loopholes exist in the words, then those same loopholes will come to exist within the laws.

                Provide one good reason that we should have different words for positively phrased racism and negatively phrased racism. They are both logically fallacious and both therefore deserve scorn, so there is no great connotative need to do so as with awesome and awful (both drifting from the same original meaning).

                 

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                btr1701 (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

                > 1. A black person willing to kill blacks
                > because whites are better should have
                > killed themselves first, if they actually
                > believed that universally.

                That doesn't make any sense. If such a hypothetical black person existed, he'd be more likely to kill himself *last* than first, just to make sure the job got done.

                 

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 4:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

                  "That doesn't make any sense. If such a hypothetical black person existed, he'd be more likely to kill himself *last* than first, just to make sure the job got done."

                  Ugh, well done. How the hell did I not come up with that at first?

                   

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 1:43pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: what's a racist?

            That's simply not correct. The heart of racism is superiority and you don't gain superiority by unduly praising another race.


            What about antisemitism, where the most common trope is that Jews control all the money/governments/world/lizard spaceships?

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:40am

    What he said was racist

    If he had used Thug, Hoodlum or Punk, it would not have been racist. The fact he picked a word that describes the color of the persons skin, that is what makes it racist.

     

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    crade (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:42am

    "This is the week of All Hallows' Eve, when the near-entirety of a mostly staunchly monotheistic religious nation encourage their children to partake in a pagan ritual, because American hypocrisy is as endless as the ether to which it disbands"

    Way to deuce on my favorite non-holiday! :(
    Christians are actually open minded, tolerant and inclusive enough to embracing of outside cultural influences enough (for once) to adopt something as obviously foreign to Christianity as Halloween and you want to flog them for being hypocritical? Now who is hypocritical?

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      "Christians are actually open minded, tolerant and inclusive enough to embracing of outside cultural influences enough (for once) to adopt something as obviously foreign to Christianity as Halloween and you want to flog them for being hypocritical?"

      Er, it isn't hypocritical to point out that the religious (not only Christian) in this country are only dogmatic when it suits their own prejudices. They'll celebrate Halloween but lose their shit if a nativity scene on public land is taken down. That's on you people, not me....

       

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        crade (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re:

        Bah, many people always use dogma for their own ends (prejudices is being generous imo), but that has nothing to do with celebrating halloween. There is no contradiction between celebrating halloween and being upset that a nativity scene is taken down, rather it would be hypocrital to prevent people from celebrating halloween (or even more some ritual that hasn't yet been accepted into christian dogma) while losing your shit when people do the same to your nativity scene.

        Also, racism is not the only form of prejudice and don't "you people" me, I'm not even christian lol :)

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "There is no contradiction between celebrating halloween and being upset that a nativity scene is taken down, rather it would be hypocrital to prevent people from celebrating halloween (or even more some ritual that hasn't yet been accepted into christian dogma) while losing your shit when people do the same to your nativity scene."

          Oh, but there is. The contradiction is that the same person who insists that removing a nativity from public land is offensive to their religiosity because of how important it is to them cannot then turn around and partake in a ritual that is historically the competitor of their religion. Either either the faith is dogmatic and important or it isn't. They can't insist on having their nativity AND insist on participating in paganism, at least while remaining intellectually consistent.

          "Also, racism is not the only form of prejudice and don't "you people" me, I'm not even christian lol :)"

          My bad....

           

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            crade (profile), Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:33am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Except that christian dogma and the pagan rituals that they have absorbed are so intertwined as to be indistinguishable to your average christian. In the otherwise more dogmatic it would more likely be chalked up to misunderstanding than hypocrisy, it has just been accepted as christian mythos without current understanding, much like a christmas tree. Even so I still much prefer to think of halloween as an olive branch even though I know at heart it's more of an error in modern christians.

             

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              JEDIDIAH, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:04pm

              You mean there's a literacy test?

              That just means that your average Xian is a moron. They aren't even educated about their own religion which they claim to hold in such high regard.

              Spend 2000 years discouraging (religious) literacy and this is bound to happen.

              Xmas was suppressed by many Xian factions for a number of years because of it's pagan influences.

               

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    bob, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 10:17am

    worst written tech dirt article in a while

    perhaps the article was written emotionally, but it seemed to lack all of the thinking and consideration I usually see in the TD articles I read. skipping past the race argument which has been well covered by other commenters, this was another "illogical argument" issue I had with this article..
    "Oh, and advocating that would put you squarely on the side of Spondike, meaning this guy:"
    that's like saying the liberals who are for gun control are like hitler, cuz he was for gun control too.
    it's just moronic logic.
    nowadays, a sombrero is racist.
    racism has come to sit in the eye of the beholder.
    I remember the definition of "racist" as being something along the lines of "having a policy or belief based on race"
    which was an affirmative stance by someone. I know words and meaning change over time, but sometimes when the meaning changes, the word becomes somewhat irrelevant to its original meaning without having become disassociated with it, and then you get universities (learned people) saying that dressing up on halloween in a sombrero is racist, and dressing up as a cowboy is just as bad.
    so now racist just means "might have offended someone if they knew about it".. which is everything from being a different religion, race, or belief system.

     

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    Alt0, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 11:54am

    That kid got lucky

    Were that to happen outside (or on) my property, there would be no yelling, no name calling...
    A call to the local authorities, along with some discrete video is all required to see that kid on the sex offenders registry along with some minor jail time/fines.

    Pulling your pecker out in front of kids for any reason (even to pee) can be not only a very rude act, but also one that is "frowned upon" by local law enforcement in my area. There is really no need to engage in racism when there is a handy "public lewdness" charge staring you in the face. I am sure the local authorities will handle the name calling and such on the way to jail.

     

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    Comprehensive Dental, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    To differentiate is to discriminate.

    It's odd that even as a high school teacher, he doesn't realize that racism doesn't necessarily imply prejudice. Racism has many facets, and prejudice is among them, but not solely. It is possible to hold racist tendencies even when one exercises the prudence of non-prejudice. To differentiate or recognize a distinction is, in and of itself, discrimination, and when discrimination against another race occurs, it is racial discrimination.

     

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    Anonymous, Nov 1st, 2013 @ 4:46pm

    How is that last line in the first statement self-contradictory? There's a difference between people of color and niggers just like there's a difference between caucasians and white trash.

     

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    Christine, Nov 2nd, 2013 @ 4:42pm

    David Spondike

    hey moron! take a look at david spondike's youtube statement before you make anymore comments, you prejudice bastard!

     

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