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Old 2007-03-02, 09:59 AM   #1
Civ
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Default New York City bans the "N" word.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070301/...york_word_dc_3

Quote:
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City symbolically banned use of the word ****** on Wednesday, the latest step in a campaign that hopes to expunge the most vile of racial slurs from hip hop music and television.

The City Council unanimously declared a moratorium that carries no penalty but aims to stop youth from casually using the word, considered by most Americans to be the most offensive in the English language.

The New York City measure follows similar resolutions this month by the New York state assembly and state senate, and supporters of the ban are taking their campaign to The Recording Academy, asking it not to nominate musicians for Grammy awards if they use the word in their lyrics.

Many rap artists and young New Yorkers toss the word around as a term of endearment or as a substitute for black, angering some black leaders who consider those who use it as ignorant of the word's hate-filled history in slavery and segregation.

"This could be the beginning of a movement," councilman Albert Vann said.

Councilman Leroy Comrie, a sponsor of the moratorium, said the campaign against the word has gained strength since comedian Michael Richards spewed it in a racially charged tirade in Los Angeles.

The Laugh Factory club where Richards performed has since banned comedians from using the word there and the former "Seinfeld" television star has apologized.

"The Michael Richards incident really brought it to another level. It has forced people to express their outrage. Many people had been seething quietly," Comrie said.

Comrie also asked TV network Black Entertainment Television to stop using the word in its shows. Representatives of BET did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Grammy spokesman said he doubted the academy's 11,000 voting members would support any measure that might censor artists.

"They are not going to be supportive of something that excludes someone simply because they are using a word that is offensive," said Ron Roecker, vice president of communication for the Recording Academy.

The city resolution calling for the moratorium traces the etymology of the word from the Latin "niger," meaning black, to its first documented written use in 1786 as a term slave masters used to label their African slaves.

Use of the word by blacks exploded with the rise of rap music in recent years, and some black comedians like Chris Rock continue to use it in their routines.

"What, is there a fine? Am I going to get a ticket?" Rock mocked in a Reuters interview when asked about the City Council move. "Do judges say, '10 years, ******!"'

Rock said politicians were trying to divert attention from real problems: "Enough real bad things happen in this city to worry about how I am going to use the word."

(Additional reporting by Christine Kearney)
I just read this and I have to admit that I have questions regarding this law. First off, I would love to see all racial, ethnical, sexual preference, and other slurs not be used and we would look at each other based on quality of character rather than things we cannot change about ourselves (though a lot of people would disagree with the sexual preference one); however, I don't know if forcefully banning the use of a racial slur is the proper way to go about achieving this. That being said, I have questions about this new law.
  • Won't this cause something of a I-can't-have-this-so-I-want-it-even-more effect? Sort of like how (what seems like) a lot of US TFans want an MP Megatron without the orange cap. I wonder if this just won't cause an increase in the usage of the word outside (and inside) of NYC in retaliation of this censorship.
  • I could be mistaken but doesn't this law violate the US' freedom of speech amendment; therefore, being unconstitutional?
  • Will this cause usage of other deragatory slurs against black people to increase? I've heard literally dozens of other slurs used, so will banning just one of them really make a dent in the real problem of dealing with racism?
  • While they were at it, why didn't they just ban all slurs (racial, ethnic, sexual)? I wonder if other groups are now going to scream discrimination because slurs against other minority groups aren't banned. I also wonder if white people aren't going to scream "why not ban the word 'cracker' as well"?
  • I'm assuming this law is banning everyone in NYC from using the "N" word. Why didn't they just focus this on entertainment, which could be enforced? How is this going to be enforced on everyone since there aren't enough police officers to do this as well as deal with other crimes?

 

Last edited by Civ; 2007-03-02 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 2007-03-02, 10:20 AM   #2
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Quote:
considered by most Americans to be the most offensive in the English language
That's not very imaginative...

Don't see how this is going to work, really. And it isn't words that are offensive, it's context and people.

They can do it for certain media -- the FCC (?) has its hand gripped around the gonads of TV and advertising for common scatological and reproductive "obscenities". As a general blanket ban, unconstitutional.
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 02:35 PM   #3
zigzagger
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Lightbulb Re: New York City bans the "N" word.

Quote:
Originally posted by Civ
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070301/...york_word_dc_3

Why didn't they just focus this on entertainment, which could be enforced?

…And then, once again, we arrive at the issue of social context. Speaking conversely, in the context of hip-hop culture, in general the word has be used not necessarily in a derogatory manner rather, its usage within “Black communities” themselves have stripped it of its harmful connotations, making it a word that empowers a community rather than dehumanizing it (sort of like how LGBT communities have reclaimed the work “queer”). Yeah, this issue most certainly touches on that "freedom of expression" bit.

I agree, that racism is more of an institutional concern, and though I am not doubting the intentions behind enforcing such a ban (well...okay, I sort of am), I can only see minimal results from banning the usage of the word, when the problem is more implicit rather then explicit.
 

Last edited by zigzagger; 2007-03-02 at 02:44 PM.
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Old 2007-03-02, 02:38 PM   #4
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Oh, deary, deary me. Just another over-reactive approach to a perceived problem. Frankly, I never want to see any language diminished because words are objected to on grounds of being sexist, racist, agist etc. as all words have history and you would lose that along the way. Eventually, you could run out of words. Eventually, you can't say what you need to say because it's been censored. By all means pursuade people to change their use of language, but don't go for an outright ban, since it smacks of control and, of course, once something is banned outright, everyone will want it. Wouldn't be surprised if the word doesn't now be heard on more lips than before.

Er... how do you actually discuss banning a word if you can't say, write or sign it?
 

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Old 2007-03-02, 02:41 PM   #5
slartibartfast
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It's censored here though.

kramer did all this ? he must be so chuffed that his legacy lives on. dave chapelle only got three emmy nominations in comparison.
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 03:34 PM   #6
Denyer
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Originally posted by slartibartfast
It's censored here though.
The staff tend to prefer metal to rap...
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 03:48 PM   #7
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metal is the law eh ?
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 04:07 PM   #8
Denyer
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http://www.myspace.com/alecempire6666

Kiss of death.
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 04:24 PM   #9
zigzagger
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Quote:
Originally posted by slartibartfast
metal is the law eh ?
Singing like that should be banned. Surely, it must be in violation to some noise ordinance.
 

Last edited by zigzagger; 2007-03-02 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 2007-03-02, 04:49 PM   #10
slartibartfast
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touché.
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 09:31 PM   #11
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I think c*nt is probably more offensive than n***** personally.
 
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Old 2007-03-02, 10:54 PM   #12
Civ
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Quote:
Originally posted by me
Why didn't they just focus this on entertainment, which could be enforced?
Oh geez, I'm a blockhead. I was looking at that solely from a practical "how can they enforce such a law" and forgot to look at the social context. Sorry about that and I basically agree with what Denyer and rubicon said.
 
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Old 2007-03-03, 12:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by slartibartfast
metal is the law eh ?
It was good, but where were the solid Tungsten drums (to be beaten with hammers)? That would have been some needed justice. The filaments in bulbs give out a sharp air of "I am hotter than you" while we can't stare back at them.

Denyer, the page isn't loading.

edit: It works now.
 

<img src=http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y58/fasaaad/Sig.jpg border=0 alt= />

Last edited by Axe; 2007-03-03 at 09:51 AM.
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Old 2007-03-03, 02:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by StoneCold Skywarp
I think c*nt is probably more offensive than n***** personally.
That would be my big two. For me, I probably find "n" the most disgustingly vile word in existence, but it's a close thing. This ban is a bad idea, though, very unconstitutional, and, as evidenced by them talking to BET, would largely aim at those whom the word is seen as a slur against.
 

Last edited by LKW; 2007-03-03 at 02:52 AM.
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Old 2007-03-03, 03:29 AM   #15
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I am reminded the documentary Do You Speak American, where the narrator talked about the word b**** with some students. In order to better see how they use the word (an impowering way) they made him repeat after them: "I made that test my b****".
 
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Old 2007-03-03, 10:39 AM   #16
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Is bitch on the auto-censor? Fairly sure not... I don't even understand that one; dogs tend to be far more pleasant than people...

It's all place-holders; I don't think I've ever used "c*nt" to refer to actual genitalia... and it isn't as if shouting "you vagina!" at someone does anything but make the speaker look stupid. It's just a throwback to sex being considered a taboo -- just as there's very little scatological left in "sh*t" (common usage being "I got my sh*t together") there isn't anything sexual in most uses of reproductive swear words.
 
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Old 2007-03-03, 11:20 AM   #17
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I remember about 8 years ago, a senior student called me a "sex chromosome". It hurt then, but now its a fun memory (I can relate with the stress he was undergoing at the time).

Has anyone ever heard SOB pronounced like sod with a b? The phonetic resemblance is uncanny.
 
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Old 2007-03-03, 03:56 PM   #18
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I was suprised when, amoungst the rest of the who ha about it, some people moaned about "The One Who Isn't Michael" Jackson on Big Brother being racsist for calling Jade goody "White Trash", Which, ignoring the fact that she's as close to a dictionary definition of it as your going to get, I not sure what's supposed to be so offensive about it....
 
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Old 2007-03-03, 05:11 PM   #19
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Yeah, that doesn't seem like much of a slur - an insult, sure, but not powerfully offensive. Of course, none of the insults aimed at whites seem to have much power - "cracker"? Oh no, he called him a "honky!" Probably a benefit from being the group that's been in power, rather than the oppressed...

The thing about words like "c" and "n" is that their meaning, when used as slurs, is based in the deepest, most ignorant and disgusting hatred and stupidity, in the utter dismissal of other people as completely beneath. The original anatomical basis is no longer the point, because it's no longer what the insult is based in.
 
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Old 2007-03-04, 08:39 PM   #20
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Come on. The 'N word' has been reduced to so much comical slag any statement that it's offensive is some what redundent.
 

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