Well, first off, Jewish American Princess (JAP) is one thing, calling a Japanese person a Jap is another. I tend not to use names that offend but do feel that people should have the right to use them. Otherwise the idea of freedom of speech becomes quite dicey.
Name calling or words have only the power one gives to them. We feed them when we react to them.
Through our lifetime surely “nigger” has gone from being widely used to being the sole ownership of young blacks to almost nothing. In fact, we’re left today with just one letter.
“Queer” was a derogatory word used again in our lifetime to ridicule and demean. The gay population now embraces it.
Both words don’t carry the ugliness they once did in our society any more, generally speaking. The real problem doesn’t reside in the word but the bigotry behind them. And this could be applied to many other name callings.
The recent reaction to using cartoons and comical depictions of Mohammed is an excellent example of how it gets very dicey. Again I do not to use such depictions but feel others have the right to do so. To provoke thought through satire has value. And if it’s base bigotry so be it. Let’s have a discussion.
Belief systems are just that, nothing more. And have you noticed how the stronger the belief the stronger the reaction. Or how some people react to that which they have a strong belief in but not to the belief of others…and they will actually justify it.
So how far does society take this? Does someone make a list of no-no’s that we are prescribed to follow. And who gets on that list? The most sensitive ones for instance who might think making fun of old white males are fair game. Yes, bring in the lawyers to slice the words into bits and pieces.
Let’s just focus for the moment on the recent world reaction to what happened in Paris. First, let’s be honest if this wasn’t to some extent another staged event to be used by politicians and 1% controllers to create divisions, establish “patriot acts”, justify surveillance, and manipulate the masses, then the reaction to it should at least be looked at.
The hypocrisy of world leaders showing up to get their faces photographed for all their own nefarious and self-serving reasons was boundlessly hypocritical. Note Netanyahu showed up uninvited. Talk about hypocritical self-interest.
Our country, the US, didn’t seem to have at least a notable representative there that they advertised to us. Was it because we imprison whistleblowers and that reality would be just too glaring.
Didn’t stop Netanyahu whose government actually has murdered Palestinian journalists.
And Hollande (Je suis Charlie), with the staged embrace with his fellow 9/11 victim, Secretary of State Kerry (“How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake”), no sooner than the event was over then the French government arrested and imprisoned 54 citizens for exercising their freedom of speech rights, one of them a comedian.
One can’t use derogatory words for ethnic Jews, but ethnic Jews are free to use names like Anti-Semites or Self-Loathing Jews especially when they are not even logically descriptive.
Women in Saudi Arabia are not allowed to drive, must be accompanied by a male of their own family when they are allowed to go out, and must wear a veil in public. Now if someone were to satirize that lack of freedom for a woman, he or she should be skewered for insensitivity to cultural customs?
Would that be on the International List of Freedom of Expression But with These Notable Exceptions?
I know a street person , who I see occasionally who was born with achonoplasia, dwafism. She once introduced herself to me. Once while with a group of ultra-sensitive political correctness adherents, I said, “Hello, Tiny,” the name she wanted to be identified by. The absolute horror on their faces would have instilled instant self-reflection and analytical readjustment, and perhaps even terror for having crossed some unforgivable line had I not respected her own choice of her own name.
Yes, my sensitivity is far more important than the awareness that comes from dialogue in bringing to a conscious level all these belief systems and stereotypes and name calling. Better to bury them in the dark corners of human consciousness than bring them out into the open where transparency has at least an opportunity to dissect them, investigate their foundations, challenge their ignorance, and allow all to self-reflect on perhaps an inherent weakness or failing in all of the above.
Are Americans imperialists or fascists? How dare you call me that! We have anywhere between 800 and 1000 military bases stretched all over the globe. We are involved in at least seven wars. Our national self-interests don’t end where another country’s begin, especially when that country has our oil under their sands or any other resource we need.
But how dare you insult me with the truth about myself!
And by the way, don’t a lot of us reinforce this “above all, don’t offend me or anyone on this level of name calling or attacking one’s belief systems” because we want the same kind of protection that in some cases shields us from questioning, challenging, or self-reflecting on the same?