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Episode 281 — Reappropriation


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#1 July Diaz

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:03 AM

Today Engineer Cody asks Andrew, Naomi Ekperigin, and Andy Beckerman if black people should stop using the n-word or not. Be sure to keep leaving us messages at (323) 389-RACE.

#2 wolfhaley

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 06:08 AM

White people don't need to tell black people what they should or shouldn't say. It's basically telling someone how to act if they don't want other people to act racist or say something racist, somehow putting the blame on them.

#3 pterodactylcackle

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 09:40 AM

With any of these slurs, I think the only people qualified to comment on this are people of the particular group whose slur is being reclaimed. To me it depends a little on the word. I agree that calling other women 'bitches' to reclaim it can potentially be problematic because it can reinforce the idea that it's okay an thing to call women, but at the end of the day, people are always still going to be using it. It's a much more jarring and upsetting thing to be called than simply an 'asshole.' So I think trying to change its meaning and connotation by using it in a different way (more similar to the way men are described as 'boss') is at very least a noble effort. It's the same with 'slut.' The negative connotation with female promiscuity is not going to go away, so using the word in a positive, friendly way takes away some of its emotional power.

When you're not ashamed of being something, its power to injure you is reduced. If you can't make a word less hateful from the perspective of the person using it, you can at least lessen your capacity to be hurt by it. When people see that their attacks are genuinely not bothering/hurting you, they're more likely to leave it alone.

#4 dlo burns

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 12:38 PM

I swear there was a Timberland/lynching mash-up shirt

#5 .....

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 06:21 PM

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#6 wolfhaley

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Posted 20 November 2013 - 07:09 PM

I suppose I should have specified that I was talking about whether a black person should use the n word, but I thought that was sort of implied given the topic. Sorry for that. It would be appropriate to tell a straight person of whatever race not to say that, but my point was that I wouldn't tell a black person they can't say the n word or a gay person they can't say fag.

#7 .....

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 01:48 AM

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