Do you challenge prejudiced and/or offensive phrases whenever you encounter them? - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Do you challenge prejudiced and/or offensive phrases whenever you encounter them?

I pose this question b/c I was at a relatives house last week and my sister-in-law kept using the terms "half caste" and "coloured" to refer to bi-racial and black people respectively Yet as I was with relatives I felt that I should keep my mouth shut and say nothing. But if that wasn't bad enough then my 10 year old nephew used the term coloured too

I guess my questions are - do you let offensive terms go in certain situations or do you make it a point to always challenge them?

Is there anything wrong per se with letting them go unchallenged?

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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
Is there anything wrong per se with letting them go unchallenged?
Well, there is the chance is somebody beating the shit out of your 10 year old nephew. People who are offended can react unpredictably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
I pose this question b/c I was at a relatives house last week and my sister-in-law kept using the terms "half caste" and "coloured" to refer to bi-racial and black people respectively Yet as I was with relatives I felt that I should keep my mouth shut and say nothing. But if that wasn't bad enough then my 10 year old nephew used the term coloured too

I guess my questions are - do you let offensive terms go in certain situations or do you make it a point to always challenge them?
Well, what country are you from? What culture are you from? I don't know how offensive those terms would be in your culture/country. I used to challenge that sort of thing all the time, but the reality is, that's a contentious way to spend your life. In a family situation, sometimes dicretion is best. You might pull your brother aside and point out to him that his son could be at some risk if he uses terms like that in public.

If you personally find it offensive, you can say something like 'hey, you're gonna talk how you're gonna talk, but I gotta tell you I find your using terms like that offensive. I have friends who'd fall into those categories and I KNOW they'd be offended."

This too, can be handled by talking to someone privately, rather than having a public confrontation over family dinner.

In a workplace situation, I ususally handle it with a discrete request to HR asking them to remind everyone in general about policy vis-a-vis offensive language.

A lot of the reason we avoid language like that in public places in the USA is that that language reminds everyone of a time when Blacks were not protaected from Whites under the law, and Whites took advantage of that fact to commit a lot of violence against Blacks. (Of course, a lot of Americans look back at that time fondly.) And the USA went through about a decade of 'civil unrest', called 'The Rebellions' or 'The Riots', depending on whose historians you're reading, before the government decided that granting Blacks equal protect under the law was better watching the cities burn.

When I hear people use terms like 'half-caste' (not much used in the northeastern USA) and 'coloured', I tend to examine them carefully, as I may be dealing with someone who like to see Blacks again denied equal rights. Is your sister-in-law such a person? How should I know? But sometimes we temper our language in the interest of everyone 'getting along'.

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Last edited by Volcana; Nov 15th, 2004 at 01:07 AM.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
Well, there is the chance is somebody beating the shit out of your 10 year old nephew. People who are offended can react unpredictably.

More later.
Yes I know plus doors will be closed in this day and age if somebody, whatever age, uses terms like that. But I still felt in that situation say nothing, afteral they're family. However, with hindsight perhaps it was wrong of me b/c then the ignorance just festers.

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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 01:05 AM
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I dont really pull people up just for using politically incorrect words. I listen to the way in which they said the politically incorrect words - like if someone calls a gay person a 'fag' but is using the term without TRYING to be derogatory, I'd let it go.

But if anyone at my work, or in my family ever says anything blatantly racist or homophobic or hateful in general, I usually end up in an argument with that person.

I havent really spoken much to my grandmother in the last 7 or 8 years because one day I got into an argument with her over the 'white australia' policy which she said she agreed with. Never felt the same about my grandma after that.

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 01:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
I pose this question b/c I was at a relatives house last week and my sister-in-law kept using the terms "half caste" and "coloured" to refer to bi-racial and black people respectively Yet as I was with relatives I felt that I should keep my mouth shut and say nothing. But if that wasn't bad enough then my 10 year old nephew used the term coloured too

I guess my questions are - do you let offensive terms go in certain situations or do you make it a point to always challenge them?

Is there anything wrong per se with letting them go unchallenged?
If you thought your nephew will use it sometime in the future I think you should say something about it. If you think it's for the good for that person them you should challenge them. If you don't care about that person or you mighty get your head kick as the result than no.
I'm always challenge on these comment because it's not fair and I'm a minority myself so I do know a thing about prejudice. Anyway it's nice to debate something like this after all these US politics in the last few weeks,

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 01:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
Yes I know plus doors will be closed in this day and age if somebody, whatever age, uses terms like that. But I still felt in that situation say nothing, afteral they're family. However, with hindsight perhaps it was wrong of me b/c then the ignorance just festers.
I added some to my previous answer. You don't have to be confrontational to make the point.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 02:10 AM
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Well I mean I have to say if something truly out of line was said then I would say something. Ive said something to my grandfather and constantly remind him about his lack of PC.

For the term gay it doesnt bother me. In fact when poeple say " actx's music is gay" and then apologise to me for using the word gay it offends me more then that uses. I have a sense of humour about it. But I did get upset this one time not so long ago, when people just were really being horrible about the whole gay thing, however I already have had beef with this person (although he knows Im gay, he thinks im shagging his girlfriend...WANKER) so I didnt say anything. And its not like every person who has unmarried parents gets offended by the term bastard.

As for the tern 'halfe-cast' its kinda complicated, because a lot of bi-racial people ive met dont mind the term, and freely use it to describe themselevs. In fact I think there is even a poem called Halfe-Cast. I cant remember how it goes...but it takes the pissout of people who use it as a derogatary term, and celebrates the mix of cultures.

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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 03:17 AM
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I work with someone who uses a lot of slang (wrong word maybe) but she says a lot of stuff like the person above me said --for example...she'll say "i hate these shoes, they are so gay or so queer'...i used to bite my tongue before but now i point it out to her and tell her she needs to find a new word to use, not only because it has the potential to be offensive to someone, but those terms are so 1978...get with it girl

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 03:23 AM
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When someone around says the "n" word I tell them that word is extremly racist and basically that is the end of me and that persons relationship or friendship..I think it is extremly word and the word "wetback" also..Im white but it kills me when someone says the "n" word to someones face

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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My mother's old boyfriend used to use the "n" word quite freely, and I went ape shit on him each and everytime. I was horrified that my mother would spend her time with such a backwards hick. He eventually did stop using it around me...
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 04:46 AM
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I always call people out on things. I get especially mad when people use the term "gay" to refer to something.... i.e. "that's gay," or when they say "that's mighty white of you" (which is a popular phrase in the south it seems) to refer to someone who does something 'good.'


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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 06:42 AM
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There has been a rise in the usage of the word "gay" to describe things that are broken, or unappealling....especially amongst teenagers and I do find it troublesome.
It appears that their parents do not consider it offensive...and would actually prefer them to say that "gay" as opposed to "shit" or "fucked".
I hear it used all the time at school and I do make an effort to stop and question their choice of words....
This is my place of work and I do not want to hear that sort of crap all day long, so I do make an attempt to address it.

My partner and I had eggs thrown at us a few months ago...which I wrote about in another thread somewhere....just walking at my local beach. The young men involved were aged between 15-25....and hurled a string of abuse "******s etc"...the usual dull stuff. It is too risky to confront a pack...had there only been a few them I might have made a serious attempt at thumping one or two, but there is nothing you can do when confronted with 20 or more.
Considering that I wasn't wearing my pink tu-tu and stilletoes at the time, and was dressed in a pair of boardshorts and a singlet, I was dumbfounded by the assumptiveness of the behaviour....we were targetted on an assumption and nothing more. I could have been with my Brother or my Dad and the behaviour would have been the same I have no doubt.

From what I have since heard from the police...the group of thugs target any group visually or potentailly different...Asian people, Islamic people and anyone they consider may be gay. Not much you can do.

I am pretty defiant though and continue to attend this same beach...as I have lived in the area a long time and refuse to be frightened by such behaviour...that is my own personal protest.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 07:05 AM
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Usually, I just won't deal with them anymore. None of my friends are racist or homophobic or prejudiced in anyway, so that's a good thing.

If I faced what bionic71 faced in public. I'll just go about my own way and busy myself with thoughts. I usually do anyway. People like that are not worth my time.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
I pose this question b/c I was at a relatives house last week and my sister-in-law kept using the terms "half caste" and "coloured" to refer to bi-racial and black people respectively Yet as I was with relatives I felt that I should keep my mouth shut and say nothing. But if that wasn't bad enough then my 10 year old nephew used the term coloured too

I guess my questions are - do you let offensive terms go in certain situations or do you make it a point to always challenge them?

Is there anything wrong per se with letting them go unchallenged?
Well, I'm English and "coloured" is about the least offensive term I can think of. Where I am come from its totally inoffensive and very common, certainly less offensive than "dark","darkie" and a lot of other far worse terms I could list. I would have thought it was less offensive than using "black. What term would you like people to use?

I guess every area is different, but I think you are going to find this term very common in a non-offensive context.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old Nov 15th, 2004, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelena4me
Well, I'm English and "coloured" is about the least offensive term I can think of. Where I am come from its totally inoffensive and very common, certainly less offensive than "dark","darkie" and a lot of other far worse terms I could list. I would have thought it was less offensive than using "black. What term would you like people to use?

I guess every area is different, but I think you are going to find this term very common in a non-offensive context.
Black is less offensive than coloured in the UK and USA.

Mixed heritage or bi-racial instead of half-caste. Half-caste means "half class".

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