The Dreaded N Word Ni--er

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Hal Pollner, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Back in the early 1940's, when I was a schoolboy (and before most of you were born), the "N" word was not used in the presence of Black People, although it was occasionally heard in other situations. It was considered improper and insulting, just as it is today.

    This was 75 years ago.

    However, the terms "Negro" and "Colored" were considered polite and acceptable, even in conversation with Black People, although not so today.

    For example, our parents might ask "Are there many Negroes in your new school classes?" Or "Were there many Colored People in the swimming pool?"

    This is how it was in 1941-1944 when I lived in the industrial city of Wheeling, West Virginia.

    Hal
     
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  2. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    Yet we still have the National Association of Colored People and the United Negro College Fund, neither of which have found the need for a name change.

    I kind of wish we could just refer to people by their name.
     
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  3. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson
    I worked occasionally with a young black guy who was the store maintenance tech. for Sears El Paso. An Army brat, he eloquently explained how he hated being called Black American, African-American or anything else associated with color. He wished everyone would think of him as "American". His name was R. T. Peeples. Good guy! AND, he drove a Datsun "Z" Car!!
    Frank
     
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  4. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    I wish that we could get beyond the unnecessary adjectives and identifiers that are used when talking about people.

    IMO when people feel the need to talk about Black coworkers or Hispanic daughter in laws, Asian friends, etc... it is just a subtle maybe even subconscious form of racism.

    I also feel that if we want to have a strong nation we need to stop slicing and dicing everything along racial lines and focus on issues.
     
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  5. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    No-one would call a Black person an African - Brit, or Jamaican - Brit , here... it just wouldn't happen ..they are either simply British, or whatever nationality they choose to be identified by...
     
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  6. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I don't recall saying any of those words growing up but I do remember the "Afro" hairstyle and didn't that come from
    Afro American at that time.

    Think that was the term used then..late 60's early 70's...or was the Afro later.

    My years are a blur from the 70's...was focused more on raising my kids and being a wife more than the outside world...
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    We knew a really nice black dude that worked as a Host at local Waffle House. He really, and I mean REALLY, kept the front swept and nice looking and greeted everyone that came in. One time, while we were eating breakfast, I called him over to our table and asked him, in a rather low voice, "which do you prefer to be called, African-American or Black?". His reply was, "since I've never been to Africa and will never go there, people can simply call me Black." And, he said this with a smile.

    Wife and I would never/ever use the "N" word, but we know of one guy that would have no problem saying it...…..my wife's girlfriend's husband. There was a nice park in Detroit, along the Detroit River, that he'd go to when he was a teen, but he says the Blacks took it over with drugs and alcohol and "destroyed my park".

    One thing to always remember, Blacks call each other the "N" word a lot, but no other race had better do it.
     
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  8. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Senior Staff
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    I totally agree that we should not identify a person by their skin color, unless we are reporting some kind of a crime to the police and are asked for a description of the person, and then we would naturally have to include that, regardless of what color the skin was. Or for some other reason where we need to describe physical characteristics of a person to someone else.
    I have never even thought of asking a white person what they like to be called (due to skin color ), or a black person, for that matter, as you mention doing with the host at the restaurant, @Cody Fousnaugh .

    Calling people by a slang term relating to their race has always been done, and there is a name for just about any person of any skin color, not just for black people. We also label people by what part of the country they come from, or even what kind of work they do. Using these derogatory descriptions should not be done, but it always has, and is not likely to stop now.

    Where we live, it is a bad neighborhood, and lots of drug users and dealers, some are black and some are white, and they are all just as untrustworthy, regardless of color. It is not skin color that is the issue, it is the behavior and activities of the person, in my opinion.
     
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  9. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    Here where I live the Black population is less than 1%, but growing up in Scotland I never met a Black person ever.. although now that has changed. We knew the odd Asian / Indian families who had corner shops, and because they spoke in the same dialect as we did, no-one thought ever of being any kind of racist towards them. We had hundreds nay probably thousands of Italians . That said... we called them Paki's.. and Eye ties...but it wasn't meant to be racist it was just a way of describing them ...we're going to the ''eye tai'' chip shop.. or the paki shop.. ( all short for Pakistani, and Italian of course, and as kids and even adults we saw no wrong in it, and certainly the Asians Italians took no offence.. we were all Scottish... (they would call us Jocks and Paddy's ) ..but now we can't use those words because they're viewed as derogatory.. although calling us Scots Jocks and Paddy's is still tolerated..

    All that said.. there's every nationality there is in the world I think, living in London.. and a huge majority are of colour... I don't live near them, but I've certainly worked with many.. and with regard your comment @Cody Fousnaugh as to what to call a Black man... why didn't you just call him by his given name..?...Robert or Gary.. whatever it was, why was it important that you needed to give him a title to describe him?
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    The hyphens make sense when you're talking about new immigrants who have become citizens. Often, they speak a different language, come from a different culture, and have special needs that come from being new here. But the generation that is born here should be Americans, not African-Americans, Italian-Americans, or whatever.
     
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  11. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Wife and I were just curious about the two words that many use today...…..AA or African-American and Black. We knew his name, but I wanted to ask him, when talking about race, how he'd like to be referred to and he said "Black" and smiled at both of us. He had absolutely no problem answering the question. He was a super nice guy and I wish more restaurants would hire a Host like him. He was that good.

    Since our Black population is so high, our law enforcement always uses the word "Black" when describing a Black male or female who done a crime. When witnesses here see a Black person do a crime, they will describe the person as "Black" as well. The words, "African-American is not use here hard at all. Only the word "Black".
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Senior Staff
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    It seems like kind of an odd thing to be concerned about. Do I prefer to be referred to as white or as Anglo-American? I don't care. You can call me a cracker or bolillo if you want to, as long as you're not spitting on me or throwing things.
     
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  13. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Another clip from Big Bang that fits here. :)


     
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  14. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Also, @Holly Saunders, there wasn't a single black student in my graduating class of high school. There was one black family that went to the school, but because the school was made up of two Townships and Consolidated (Kindergarten, Grade School, Jr High and High School) in the same building, I never once seen the black family student or students. All of the Black's lived in one section of Ft Wayne, that wasn't the best area of Ft Wayne to live in.

    There were two black guys that I graduated with out of Navy Boot Camp. Never really got to know them, but the entire group of sailors I graduated with got along great with each other.

    When I was in EMS, as a EMT, part of the areas I covered were South Central, Compton and Watts in So California. In fact, one of the guys I worked with lived in Compton and was black. Super, super guy and I really "Praise the Lord" that I had him in my Unit.

    One last thing, my wife was raised on Motown music and, after meeting me, really got me into it as well. There are also black actors/actresses that we really like...…..Octavia Spencer, Morgan Freedman, Angela Bassett, Billy D Williams, Forest Whitaker among others. Terrific actors!!
     
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  15. Holly Saunders

    Holly Saunders Veteran Member
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    @Cody Fousnaugh , there wasn't one pupil of colour ..any colour other than white in my schools.. right from infants to leaving senior school... not one !!
     
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