America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

America's #1 Balance Bike Destination
America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

02 April 2009

My co-blogger will love this one

I'm in a portable toilet up in Boston yesterday, on the service road behind Beacon Street. It's interesting to read all of the obcenities and look at all of the crude pornographic pictures that various tradesmen scrawled onto the walls. One particular scribble stood out among the others. It read:
"I'm sweating like a -igger writing a check."
This is funny to me. Not because I am a racist pig. I am not. It's funny to me that it's the year 2009 and there are still people who are engaged in such petty ugliness- especially during a time when our President is black. On the other hand, maybe I do deserve some complicity, because when I read this 'humorous' statement, I couldn't help but think back to the old stand up routines of Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor, who were of course permitted to make fun of themselves and use the ~n~ word. If they were saying it up on stage, you would laugh, and that would be PC. Am I mistaken?


realelif said...

so can you or can't you be amused? I suppose if the author left a photo of themselves we could decide whether to laugh or not. It's racist if they were white but not if they're black? Think about that. Maybe it shouldn't be funny at all, but that's just what I think.

Murat Altinbasak said...

Elif if a black comedian was talking about the situation- that is, of a black person who is sweating while writing a check, then I would be wildly amused and laugh my ass off. Obviously, it would not work if Jerry Seinfeld or Larry the Cable Guy did it. That would be offensive. That's my point. Black people are great at mocking themselves with humility, and many of them make a fortune off of that, and no one complains. I will not judge myself harshly for laughing along, that's all.

realelif said...

Hey I'm not judging you. Just wondering when our language will change for the better.

realelif said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nomad said...

The original idea was to disarm the power of the racist slurs by the targets of the slurs. I personally think it is an invitation to a fist fight and confusing. Why is it okay for a gay person to call another gay person a name that would provoke him/her coming for a straight person? Or the same for the races. First of all, it is confusing - if it is wrong for Larry the Cable Guy to say these words, it cannot be any better for Eddie Murphy-and secondly, wouldn't it be so much better if these words were retired by all of us? Isn't it time to grown up and stop laughing at the things we should be ashamed of?

Oz Kanka said...

A very interesting post. My take on it is that the term "nigger" was invented by white men as an insulting way to refer to black people.

Today, in our slightly enlightened world it is unacceptable for a white person to call someone a nigger. Black people taking this term and using it amongst themselves, or referring to themselves by the term, is totally allowable because this is a way of putting a bomb under the original usage of the word.

Let's bring the conversation back to Turkey. I'm a non-Turk, non-Muslim and therefore considered by some as a "gavur". This is an insult comparable to a white person calling a black person a "nigger".

So how do we destroy the hatred that that word encompasses? We appropriate it.

I once had a game of darts against a couple of Turks (people whom I had known for quite a while - and they were both secular types) and we named our team Gavurs United.

After the match, which us Gavurs lost, we had quite a discussion about the term "gavur". Their argument was that is is such an insult that we should not use it to describe ourselves. I argued that if it is such a horrible insult then I will always use it to describe myself.

Appropriating the insult is the best way of making the general community understand just how insulting the insult actually is.

It wasn't until the black community in the US actually appropriated "nigger" that white people stopped using it.

dbadioxide said...

lets think about why on earth it is not discriminative if a black comedian would make the same joke?

a black comedian making the same joke should not be an excuse to be more relaxed to laugh about it.

that significant black comedian might be a smart ass who does not care about values and probably tries to get rated more by making joke of himself because he is a black person; so everybody buys it comfortably. (hola holywood)

the split second you start categorizing and start intellectualize the subject, then its done. here we go; welcome to the "discrimination".

perception is very much encrypted to humor.