Nig-nog, and insults

deborah deborah at
Thu Nov 6 11:38:57 EST 2003

On Thu, 6 Nov 2003 minnow at wrote:
|Why is 'negro' not allowable any more?  Is it derogatory?  And if it is, is
|hispanic and is caucasian?  I always thought of these as being purely
|descriptive terms, nothing to do with any sort of value-judgement at all.

in general, it's rude to use a term for an ethnic group which the group
itself finds derogatory.  In America, the black community has chosen the
terms "black" and "African-American" (though the terminology change
hasn't erased history; the United Negro College Fund and the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People haven't changed their
names, and they're still very important parts of the African-American
community).  "Black" ousted "Negro" in the 1960s, though I'm not sure why.
Possibly just because a self-assigned name is more empowering the name
assigned by others.

Racially acceptable names are a moving target, of course, and the black
American community is far from monolithic in its preferences, like any

Is there anyone here who can speak up from an insider perspective, and
is willing to?  I take it no?  Hmm.  I feel somewhat uncomfortable
having this conversation as it becomes clear that we seem to be leaning,
as a group, toward the white end of the spectrum (I always list my
ethnicity as "Jewish" and not "white", but for the purposes of this
conversation, I think I count as white).

You klingon bastard, you killed my son.  You klingon bastard, you killed my
son.  You ... Klingon ... bastard ... you ...

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