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Thread: Do you challenge prejudiced and/or offensive phrases whenever you encounter them? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
Nov 15th, 2004 06:28 PM
Kart
Quote:
Originally Posted by OUT!
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?
Yes, no and no.

I love giving people a piece of my mind about things like this but ultimately people lead their own lives and make their own choices. I have no real issue with that as long as those choices are informed choices.

With terms like 'coloured' and 'half caste' though, I would note that there is a difference between taking offence and actually meaning to cause it. A lot of people often aren't aware of the implications of those words - myself included until I ventured into the realms to WTA board cyberspace.
Nov 15th, 2004 06:11 PM
Barrie_Dude I do challange them when I can, but, I do have some customers that are really stupid with this stuff and, because I depend on my customers for a living, I sort of just sht up or, if I can, I find a way to politlely inform them that I really do not approve.
Nov 15th, 2004 03:58 PM
Dava Excuse me
standing on one leg
I'm half-caste
Explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when picasso
mix red an green
is a half-caste canvas/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean when light an shadow
mix in de sky
is a half-caste weather/
well in dat case
england weather
nearly always half-caste
in fact some o dem cloud
half-caste till dem overcast
so spiteful dem dont want de sun pass
ah rass/
explain yuself
wha yu mean
when yu say half-caste
yu mean tchaikovsky
sit down at dah piano
an mix a black key
wid a white key
is a half-caste symphony/
Explain yuself
wha yu mean
Ah listening to yu wid de keen
half of mih ear
Ah lookin at yu wid de keen
half of mih eye
and when I'm introduced to yu
I'm sure you'll
understand
why I offer yu half-a-hand
an when I sleep at night
I close half-a-eye
consequently when I dream
I dream half-a-dream
an when moon begin to glow
I half-caste human being
cast half-a-shadow
but yu must come back tomorrow
wid de whole of yu eye
an de whole of yu ear
an de whole of yu mind
an I will tell yu
de other half
of my story


Nov 15th, 2004 03:01 PM
Helen Lawson It really depends on who is saying it. If it's like a studio executive or a like a big-time agent or director who has power over my career, I don't say anything. If it's like a carhop or a dress extra, or some other Hollywood underling, I let them have it with a double-barrell Helen Lawson dressing down.
Nov 15th, 2004 02:56 PM
kabuki You bet your chinky, ******y, retarded ass.
Nov 15th, 2004 02:36 PM
TimBo I tell them they are wrong for using the word and treat them with kindness. That usually pisses them off. However, if I get mad, I usually curse and my blood pressure goes sky high and I have to walk outside. lol
Nov 15th, 2004 02:32 PM
OUT!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribbit
No not me. you can say what you want in your own house.
Even in front of the children in the household? Doesn't the legacy of ignorance and possible prejudice pass onto the next generation if that is permissable?
Nov 15th, 2004 02:30 PM
OUT! Thanks Joy!

Yeah it is disturbing for a multi racial child to use such derogatory terms. I think there's a little bit of shadism going on there too (omg am I disclosing too much here?). But with this boy it is also strange b/c my brother is affirming of his Jamaican heritage and takes him to festivals, Jamaican aunts and uncles so it's weird. The mother I don't really speak to so I can't comment. The boy is the older brother of my baby niece - you remember her pic?

I don't think I ever challenge the older generation on such terms either b/c what's the point? It also goes back to the issue of intent and they probably don't think there's anything wrong with what they are saying. As for younger people

Thanks for the advice Joy.
Nov 15th, 2004 02:25 PM
"Sluggy" No not me. you can say what you want in your own house. its if people start using offensive language around others that i say something. but then again my best friends are an African, a homosexual, a muslim, etc.
Nov 15th, 2004 11:40 AM
OUT!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dava
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.
Dan that poem sounds intersting, but I wonder if bi-racial/mixed heritage ppl who don't mind the term fully appreciate its meaning?
Nov 15th, 2004 11:36 AM
OUT! Awww hugs for Shane! Another issue re offensive terms is that there is still a hierarchy (although less so) in what language is acceptable/unacceptable to use. Whilst most would agree that racist language is completely unacceptable, there are many who use homophobic langaue or language offensive to those with disabilities, quite freely. At least that's my experience.
Nov 15th, 2004 11:32 AM
OUT!
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.
Although I disagree with you re the word "coloured" being inoffensive, you raise a good point about the issue of intent. I am sure most people who use terms like "coloured" or "half-caste" are not being intentionally offensive, and they believe it is a perfectly acceptable form of language.
Nov 15th, 2004 11:25 AM
OUT!
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.

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.
I am mixed heritage. Mt mother is white Irish and my father is black Jamaican. Ironically, the boy's mother is mixed heritage/bi-raical too and they both get off on the fact that the boy looks Latin as opposed to "black". Coloured is an offensive term although many Brits think it's fine to use colonial/outfdatred terms like coloured. Yeah thanks for the tip, I know my dad would be furious if he heard the boy use those terms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
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.
I'll let my dad do it for me
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
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.
It's funny you mention the workplace situation, b/c I and I work colleague took a grievance out against a person who used the term half-caste all of the time, despite telling them that we found it offensive. They got the messaige in the end, but bless the man said to me "So what do I call you then?"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
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.
Yes we're playing catch up here. My point too is that language is highly political and demonstrates hoe as a society we have not fully embraced the move to greater social equality by using terms that hark back to an injuste age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Volcana
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'.
Absolutely I am immediately suspicious of such a person also. As I said my sister-in-law is mixed heritasge like me which makes things worse IMO. She should know better plus she is only in her 20's.
Nov 15th, 2004 11:12 AM
OUT!
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".
Nov 15th, 2004 07:19 AM
jelena4me
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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