It's hard not to treat is as a hurricane, Waleed. One of the things that is difficult for a non-American, maybe even for a non-African American to understand, is the degree to which the word conveys the absolute erasure of identity that comes in the practice of slavery in the US. I know that slavery existed, maybe exists, in other parts of the world, but AFAIK nowhere else did the practice make the slave a non-person. In law the slave was literally chattel property, the equivalent of cattle, defined by the Constitution as three fifths of a human being just so that the southern states could have a population count large enough to balance the population of the north. Otherwise the slaves would have been not just chattel, but literally non-persons. That's what "[censored]" means--the erasure of all humanity, an abomination against which African Americans have struggled for a long long time.<br><br>You know, I'm Cuban, and in the US that means that I'm a Hispanic, which means that I'm a minority, which means that I get the same sort of denigratory terms applied to me that you mention are applied to you. But I suspect that like me, you have a pretty good sense of the dignity and worth of your culture, and therefore of your own identity within that culture. But "[censored]" means that the African American has no culture, no worth, no dignity at all on which she or he can rely. The word was deployed as a weapon, specifically to remove the African slave from any sense of belonging to a culture of any sort. And the word still acts in that way. It strips away all of the incredible achievements of the African population of the US--and I mean incredible in a very literal way. From the nothingness that slavery reduced them to, African Americans constructed a language, a literary, musical, and artistic tradition, a place in the practical and then in the theoretical sciences. And all of that work ran against the grain of a social reality that sought to make them, in Richard Wright's memorable phrase, "black peasants," denuded of all sense of worth because they came from a culture that was said to have no worth, and which in any case was deliberately stripped from them by their slave masters by that pernicious word.<br><br>I've seen and heard young African Americans try to recuperate the word for their own use, and I know that in the minds of people reading this there'll be the thought that hip hop, gangsta, and all that stuff uses the word as a badge of honor. I think the effort fails--and I say that knowing full well that there's a lively scholarly debate about the phenomenon.<br><br>I have no doubt that there are African American individuals whose sense of self and sense of dignity is not undermined by the word, and for them no doubt the word is mere breath, no hurricane. And no doubt the numbers of African Americans in that category has increased exponentially in the last half century. But nonetheless, the word is a hurricane.<br><br>____________________________________________________<br>Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,<br>But to be young was very heaven!
_________________________ MACTECHubi dolor ibi digitus
Loc: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Thanks for taking the time to eloquently explain the history of the word, yoyo52..<br><br>The word association with an inhumane action made it a harsh reminder for everybody of the history of it. The action is wrong, the action is the hurricane, inhumane hurricanes are offensive to all human beings.<br><br>www.waleedsgallery.biz<br>
Xplain's use of MacNews, AppleCentral and AppleExpo are not affiliated with Apple, Inc. MacTech is a registered trademark of Xplain Corporation. AppleCentral, MacNews, Xplain, "The journal of Apple technology", Apple Expo, Explain It, MacDev, MacDev-1, THINK Reference, NetProfessional, MacTech Central, MacTech Domains, MacForge, and the MacTutorMan are trademarks or service marks of Xplain Corp. Sprocket is a registered trademark of eSprocket Corp. Other trademarks and copyrights appearing in this printing or software remain the property of their respective holders.
All contents are Copyright 1984-2010 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.