Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does your stupidity make me a racist?

We have now reached a new low in race baiting industry.  It used to be that you had to say something that was actually racist in order to be accused of racism. 

Now, any use of the work 'black', or any word that even sounds like a potentially offensive word will cause you to be accused of racism.

Here are a few examples:

(Dallas News) — A special meeting about Dallas County traffic tickets turned tense and bizarre this afternoon.County commissioners were discussing problems with the central collections office that is used to process traffic ticket payments and handle other paperwork normally done by the JP Courts.

Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections “has become a black hole” because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.

Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud “Excuse me!” He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a “white hole.”

That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.

Mayfield shot back that it was a figure of speech and a science term. A black hole, according to Webster’s, is perhaps “the invisible remains of a collapsed star, with an intense gravitational field from which neither light nor matter can escape.”

Black Hole....the new N-word!

The word 'niggardly' has also caused some angst:
  • In 1999, a white aide to the black mayor of Washington, D.C., resigned after a black colleague complained that he used the term when discussing how he would handle the budget. The aide was later rehired.
  • Debate also was triggered when a North Carolina teacher was reprimanded in 2002 and sent for sensitivity training after teaching the word to her class during a vocabulary lesson.
  • The Dallas Morning News banned the word after complaints were lodged over its appearance in a restaurant review, reported.
  • But Britain's Economist magazine reportedly was simply amused in 1995 to receive a letter of complaint from a Boston reader offended by seeing the word in a technology story
Niggardly, of course, means miserly or cheap.  And it has no linguistic or historical relationship to 'nigger'.  'Black hole' is a scientific term, and it has come into common usage to mean a place where objects get sucked in but never come out.   There is no racial connotation whatsoever.

But this does not matter to the perpetually offended and the profoundly stupid.  They are offended because it sounds like a racist term.  Or as one of these morons put it when the actual meaning of the word was explained to them "what matters is that I thought it was offensive".  

This is an absurd standard.  Now, what I say is not objectively evaluated, but rather, it is filtered through the ignorance and stupidity of the listener.  Your stupidity makes me a racist.

This idiotic standard has led to some very strange statements.  The media are so afraid of offending they always use the term african-american to describe people of color.  Which leads the embarrasment of Nelson Mandela, the leader of South Africa, to be described on TV news as the "african-american leader of South Africa". 

Some apologists for this farce have pointed out that there are other words that have the same meaning, and we could just use those words in order to avoid potential offense.  They are advocating 'separate but equal' vocabulary, it seems.

How far does this go?  May I call a spade a spade? Can I offend someone by stating the weather is a bit nippy?  Or that there is a chink in the armor?  How about those little bugs?  Do we change the name from chigger to something else? 

The new standard for offensive language is now wholly subjective, and apparently based on the IQ of the person you are addressing. 

How do you assess IQ when addressing a stranger?  Well, you cannot base it on appearance, job, title, or anything else. One of the people offended by 'black hole' was a judge!!  Therefore, the only rational standard you can use is the color of their skin, not the content of their vocabulary.

So we find ourselves in a strange spot.  In order not to be called a racist, we must look at the skin color of the person to whom we are speaking, and then avoid certain perfectly normal words for fear of offending them. 

Who is racist now?

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