|By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 11:39 pm: Edit|
Better not use the "N" word at Williams.
|By Momrath (Momrath) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 01:35 am: Edit|
Life imitates art.
Could someone enlighten me as to what exactly the x-rated phrase means?
|By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 10:53 am: Edit|
Originally, it meant something like:
|By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 07:47 am: Edit|
no... that's the word niggardly.
The word nigger is just disparaging term towards African Americans. That whole incident is shocking, and I am seriously reconsidering applying to Williams.
|By Davidrune (Davidrune) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 07:50 am: Edit|
Thinkingoutloud: Freedom of speech does not give another one the right to insult another. In case you don't understand.
|By Blaineko (Blaineko) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:31 am: Edit|
Oops. Wasn't paying attention...tired and sleepy.
It (the 'N' word) originally meant black...and Nigeria & the Niger River were named specifically for the 'colour' of the people there.
I think, someone lost their job in D.C. when 'niggardly' was used in a city council meeting a few years ago to denote being tight-fisted with a budget. The people on the council thought it was a racial slur.
I did the same; But, now that I'm paying attention and not sleep deprived, I'm a little chagrinned. Thanks Dave for the correction. Hope the above clears it up a little.
|By Driver (Driver) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 12:31 pm: Edit|
I'm all for freedom of speech, but there are certain words which can very rarely, if ever, be used without demonstrating (at the very least) profoundly bad judgement, which I suspect is the case here. I was reminded of the (female) president of the University of Colorado who defended the use of the "C" word in referring to women. She said that as a historian, she had seen many instances of the "C" word being used as a "term of endearment." She was speaking in defense of some of university's football players who had been accused of raping a female kicker on the team, and had used that term to describe the alleged victim and other women.
I will be very interested to learn who this professor is, and what department she is from. I kind of have my suspicions, but it wouldn't be right to speculate publicly. I would guess however, that this person used the expression to mean she didn't want her area to be treated as a second-class citizen within the academic community, and that she felt that her own status at the college innoculated her from any stigma in using rap music lingo in an effort to sound tough, hip, and edgy...instead of racist and offensive. Oops.
It would be a shame for anyone to write this college off simply because of this incident, which it appears that the college is addressing appropriately.
|By Momrath (Momrath) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:35 am: Edit|
Driver, from what I understand, you described the incident exactly as it happened. An offhand attempt at using "cool-speak" turned out to be horribly bad judgment, offense was taken, and an offhand incident has become a campus-wide imbroglio. The department by the way was studio art. There's an article about in in the Record. The crux of the issue is whether on not the word was used with "hostile intent." Seems unlikely (who could be so stupid?), but I for one wasn't there.
When I was growing up two slurs that were absolutely off limits were the N-word and queer. Now, that queer has been appropriated affectionately by gays it's become mainstream and acceptable as an appellation. I think the "perp" here thought the same had happened with N-word, but in fact it is still extremely incendiary. (The C-word seems to be experiencing the same transition from shock to respectability in some circles. Did you read the Gatekeepers?)
The college is facing this issue openly and transparently and will consequently and unfortunately get a lot of unfavorable publicity. This professor really does need a good knock on the head!
I don't think racism or discrimination of any kind is widespread at Williams. To me, the amazing thing about the North Adams newpaper article was that there were actually so few incidents of racial discrimation at Williams and those that they were able to unearth happened years ago. (As one alum wrote on the alum blog, local kids have been yelling insults at Williams students for 100 years.)
|By Driver (Driver) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:02 am: Edit|
Momrath, thanks for the heads-up about the new online Record--my hard copy of the last issue arrived in the mail yesterday, and I hadn't seen the latest issue on the website. I found this letter to the editor by a junior particularly interesting, mostly because he felt free to publicly discuss such a charged issue. I've seen this freedom of discussion each time something like this has come up at Williams--such as the gay emailing issue and the baseball coach's remarks about machismo from last year. I think it's very healthy. This young man makes his point very well--I had forgotten about the Lennon song.
|By Thinkingoutloud (Thinkingoutloud) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 10:50 pm: Edit|
Let's put this in some perspective. Do you remember that traitor Columbia Professor Nicholas DeGenova as we were starting the war in Iraq:
"At Wednesday night's "teach-in" on the Columbia campus, Nicholas De Genova also called for the defeat of U.S. forces in Iraq and said, "The only true heroes are those who find ways that help defeat the U.S. military." And he asserted that Americans who call themselves "patriots" are white supremacists.
De Genova's comments about defeating the United States in Iraq were cheered by the crowd of 3,000, Newsday reported. But his mention of the Somali ambush -- "I personally would like to see a million Mogadishus" -- was largely met with silence."
Columbia University did nothing to DeGenova. In contrast at Williams one professor says she does not want her department to be a second class citizen but when doing so uses the N word, so the school decides to make her wear a scarlet letter and ruins her career. Williams and Columbia are different schools, but they reflect a major problem in academics that results from having so many liberal professors. You can get away with almost any liberal speech (supporting the deaths of American soldiers), but say anything that could be construed as politically incorrect (passing reference to the N word) and all hell breaks out. Free speech at colleges means liberal speech is permitted and anything else is punished.
|By Iska (Iska) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 12:35 am: Edit|
Williams jumped from 24 to 14 in favorableness for blacks. Pretty impressive!
|By Haon (Haon) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 01:35 am: Edit|
One instance such as this obviously doesn't indicate a culture of racism. I'd recommend Oren Cass' piece in this week's Record for more on that subject: http://www.williamsrecord.com/wr/?view=article§ion=opinion&id=5794
On a separate (but slightly related) side note, if the "C" word that Driver is referring to is the same word that I'm thinking of, then its origin is far less offensive than its more widely counterpart, "vagina" (which literally means "a sheath" -- implied to be a place to put one's p enis). The "C" word has a much more convoluted etymology, but it is thought to have arisen from the greek term for "woman" or "queen."
|By Driver (Driver) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 10:31 am: Edit|
Haon, if you were to use that word in addressing one of your female professors, and then made the claim that you meant that she was like a queen, I would bet the entire farm that you would end up in even more hot water than this professor. Anyway, who knew that U of Colorado football players would be so up on their ancient Greek etymology? Who knew? A very positive sign.
|By Haon (Haon) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 05:14 pm: Edit|
Haha, I agree...and I don't think that the etymology of a word makes it appropriate. The fact is that words such as the "c" or "n" word ("d word" the college confidential website for not letting us actually post these words!) are inappropriate because of their context in our society. While it seems likely that the professor using this word did not mean it to be a direct racial slur towards the other prof (rather, as an expression), that does not condone the use of the word. The word in any context is offensive, and the use of it by this professor is inexcusable.
|By Driver (Driver) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 07:56 pm: Edit|
I think that common courtesy, not to mention professionalism, requires that people like college professors conduct their business without throwing around the most offensive words in our current vernacular, even if they think they're doing it cleverly. How hard is it to say "second class citizen" instead of "N___" ?
But I don't think this woman should be fired, and I don't think the school thinks so either....that's why they're spending so much time figuring out what to do. At many colleges, this would have been over and done with a long time ago, and the professor would be gone. I think Williams deserves credit for trying to resolve it in the face of the brouhaha. She committed a huge faux pas, and she will pay a big price, but I don't think it will end her career, nor should it.
Report an offensive message on this page E-mail this page to a friend
|Posting is currently disabled in this topic. Contact your discussion moderator for more information.|
|Administrator's Control Panel -- Board Moderators Only|