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View Full Version : Racism - Are we getting too stupid to realise what this word means?



Kael Valeran
22-12-2011, 02:48
Recently, a football player referred to a black player(Evra) as 'negrito'.


Luis Suarez is suspended for eight matches and fined £40,000 for levelling racist insults at Evra during a game. Liverpool have responded vehemently. Among other objections, they complain that Suarez was convicted on the word of Evra alone, and that nobody else heard the alleged remarks, made in a crowded goalmouth.
Liverpool say that Evra should have been punished for his own insults aimed at Suarez.
There can be some fine lines in this racism business.

We need to avoid the moral panic that turns everybody into headless chickens as soon as they hear the cry ‘r-a-a-a-a-cist’, and we need to think and act coolly.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2077101/Luis-Suarez-racism-punishment-mistake.html#ixzz1hE97HbAq


In Spain, Mexico and almost all of Latin-America, negro (note that ethnonyms, names of nationalities, etc. are generally not capitalized in Romance languages) means "black person" in colloquial situations, but it can be considered to be derogatory in other situations (as in English, "black" is often used to mean irregular or undesirable, as in "black market/mercado negro"). However, in Spanish-speaking countries such as Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay where there are few people of African origin and appearance, negro (negra for females) is commonly used to refer to partners, close friends or people in general independent of skin color. In Venezuela the word negro is similarly used, despite its large African descent population.

It is similar to the use of the word "*****" in urban communities in the United States. For example, one might say to a friend, "Negro ¿Como andas? (literally "Hey, black one, how are you doing?"). In this case, the diminutive negrito is used, as a term of endearment meaning "pal", "buddy" or "friend". Negrito has come to be used to refer to a person of any ethnicity or color, and also can have a sentimental or romantic connotation similar to "sweetheart," or "dear" in English (in the Philippines, negrito was used for a local dark-skinned short person, living in the Negros islands among other places).

Just FYI, Luis Suarez is a Uruguayan footballer. His punishment was probably because of Evra's response to the word rather than the word he said. While he is fined a 'hefty' sum(but not hefty to footballers), people publicly spoke out against the rule and advocate the use of the term 'negrito' as buddies. Lets reconsider this, if Suarez is racist, aren't the people who support his actions racist as well. If Suarez were to get a fine from a private whisper in a game where there are no other witnesses, compared to someone who openly does so in the newspaper, which is worse. Imagine me whispering to a black man saying '******' or publishing on the newspaper saying 'black are ******s', which is worse?

The world's attitude towards the use of the N word has gone absolutely absurd and while we should have zero tolerance to racism, we should also develop zero tolerance to those who incite tensions over a potentially non-racist comment. Its funny how this most commonly affect blacks than other racial minorities.

The point is intent! If there is no intent to insult, it doesn't matter what word is said.

RD
22-12-2011, 03:04
The point is intent! If there is no intent to insult, it doesn't matter what word is said.

Yeah, no, that's not true.

I'll grant you that the guy isn't a racist if he was using a term he thought was endearing. But just because he isn't a racist, doesn't mean that him using a term like "negrito" ("little black person") isn't potentially offensive to a black man or could be construed as racist by a black man.

Here's my stance on racism: If you aren't in the situation, keep your nose out of it. I've never had someone thrown an N-bomb at me in a menacing manner (have been called an n-word before, though, oddly enough - NY, amirite?). I am not a black man, so I cannot imagine what that would feel like. So, if a black man has a term used and is offended, that's the end of it. Whether or not the intent was there is irrelevant. It doesn't make the offender a bad person, but it doesn't automatically take away the hurt to say "Oops, it means something different in my head."

Kael Valeran
22-12-2011, 04:55
Yeah, no, that's not true.

I'll grant you that the guy isn't a racist if he was using a term he thought was endearing. But just because he isn't a racist, doesn't mean that him using a term like "negrito" ("little black person") isn't potentially offensive to a black man or could be construed as racist by a black man.

Here's my stance on racism: If you aren't in the situation, keep your nose out of it. I've never had someone thrown an N-bomb at me in a menacing manner (have been called an n-word before, though, oddly enough - NY, amirite?). I am not a black man, so I cannot imagine what that would feel like. So, if a black man has a term used and is offended, that's the end of it. Whether or not the intent was there is irrelevant. It doesn't make the offender a bad person, but it doesn't automatically take away the hurt to say "Oops, it means something different in my head."

Alright, fair argument, but the N-word is not much of a derogatory term. If one were to call you ****-man, then it is an insult because it is a proper term that can ONLY be used to insult, whilst not referring to any particular trait of a black person. 'Negrito' is only as bad as the receiver wants it to be and as bad as the way the sayer's tone, mood, affect and manner. In the context that he is from Uruguay, Ezra is being too sensitive. I'm not saying that Ezra should be blamed for not knowing its use in Uruguay or its cultural uses, however, jumping to conclusions shows a lot of 'intellect'.

When I went to France and Spain, most people refer to me as Chino, in the most respectful manner. I am not offended, neither should any other Chinese. Perhaps Evra and his fellow French should stop using the term Chino.


Additionally, all papers have cited the 2003 case of Sheffield United’s John Mackie’s suspension for racially abusing a Reading player. Typically the media are seeking to put the two cases in the (ahem) correct perspective by assuring the FA that they needn’t feel the need to be as lenient with Suarez as they were with Mackie (who got a 6 match ban suspended to just 2 games). Why ? – because the honourable Mackie had fessed up to his slur straight after the match in question, unlike the shifty Suarez who still has the cheek to deny doing something that there is no evidence of him having actually done.

However, as the Liverpool Echo noted on February 11th this year :
Less well publicised is Suarez’s charity work which took up much of his spare time in South Africa.
“I care about social inequality,” he said. “Whenever I can I love being active part of organisations that promote solidarity projects.
“Football has got this tremendous power of joining people, without any skin, religion and social discrimination.”
So, there is also a cuddlier Suarez who does some charity work and has gone out of his way to declare a commitment to fighting prejudice. Not proof positive of innocence but equally not the hallmarks of a casual racist. Indeed Suarez carries no baggage of this kind with him. He has played in multi-cultural leagues for many years, and has not come close to being accused of being a racist before. His slate, in this respect, is very clean.
What of Evra’s credibility then? He may be a stand up guy who looks out for even more orphans and charities than Suarez could ever dream of, but there are some central facts surrounding this case that don’t illuminate Evra well.

The ’10 times’ allegation is a key one. It is so plainly a distortion that it must clearly impact on Evra’s overall credibility and is especially light-weight in the wake of leaks concerning the nature of the supposedly offensive term that Suarez may have used.
Admissible or not Evra has had his credibility called into question in the recent past in a relatable incident. He vouched for a Manchester United colleague’s view that a Chelsea groundsman had uttered a racist epithet in his direction in a post match scuffle at Stamford Bridge in 2008.
Evra protested his innocence in the petty violence that ensued, insisting he ‘didn’t touch anybody’ when photographic evidence quite clearly suggested otherwise. Sam Bethell, the Chelsea employee, it was alleged, had called Evra a ‘****ing immigrant’. The FA subsequently banned Evra for 4 matches, exonerated Bethel, and noted that Evra’s evidence was simply not believable. This incident does not a serial false accuser make, but it does not enhance Evra’s standing on the stand.

The varying nuances of the word negrito, though, could become fundamental to this dispute. A CNN website piece from 17th November carries this observation from U.S. radio talk show host Fernando Espuelas, who originally hails from the Uruguay :
“It’s not a slur whatsoever,” said Espuelas, whose show often addresses racism in the Latino community. “It’s a term of endearment. You definitely would not use that if you were angry. It would sound ridiculous.”

Akirai Annuvil
22-12-2011, 09:43
I think we need to fit some squares in here.

Lady Rhonwyn
22-12-2011, 09:53
Racism, for me, is trying to keep somebody down simply because of race and/or colour and no other reason. Not simply using a colour-coded term in an insulting manner.

So, was he insulting simply because Evra was black, or was it because Evra had done something (or because Suarez imagined Evra had done something, they're not always the same!) which hindered (in any form) (or again, Suarez imagined it hindered him...) Suarez?

Zalis
22-12-2011, 14:13
The linked incident sounds more like a bit of culture clash than deliberate insult.

Latin cultures use plenty of other terms of endearment that would insult the average American. Fatty, skinny, etc. I wouldn't call someone that, but flaco or would be an endearing nickname for me somewhere else. My fiancée's family often uses the term pobrecito affectionately, though the literal translation of "poor little [so-and-so]" sounds patronizing or sarcastic to me. I know they mean it in more of an "aww, look" kind of way, so I don't think anything of hearing it said about someone (like my F's little niece). Another example is that the little Korean boy her mom watches is referred to as Chinito in their house, and they love that kid.

There is a lot of stupidity in terms of people liberally throwing the term racism around, but knowing that doesn't mean we won't get in trouble when someone feels insulted. We have to be conscious that much of Western society is hyper-sensitive about the N-word, and we have to be willing to accept the reactions and overreactions if we say certain things. So, we avoid words around certain people. I would never use the N-word, but I have the usual "white people paranoia" when it comes to words used around blacks. (I think African American is overused, especially since we're talking about an international incident) Even around friends (some of my best of whom are black--no, just kidding, but I have some), they're still more comfortable making black jokes, while I wouldn't dare. I guess it's like me making 'white people' jokes around my fiancée, just for laughs.

Lady Rhonwyn
22-12-2011, 14:51
Even around friends (some of my best of whom are black--no, just kidding, but I have some), they're still more comfortable making black jokes, while I wouldn't dare. I guess it's like me making 'white people' jokes around my fiancée, just for laughs.

My sister-in-law is usually the one who makes them... And she is an Afro-Chinese-Caribean-AnyOtherRace-American...

RD
22-12-2011, 16:10
Like I said, I don't think the guy meant any offense, but you can't take away someone else's offense because you didn't mean anything by it. He should have just come out, said "Sorry, in my culture it is a term of endearment. I did not mean any harm by it and I am very sorry to have caused him any hurt." The end.

African American is a stupid term. Of all the black people I know, only one is an African who immigrated to the US. One of my friends is Haitian and she says she checks off "Other" and write "Haitian" in those race/ethnicity boxes because "I'm not African." It's a horribly inaccurate term, but so all are of the "politically correct" terms. Asian is another dumb one because people use it to mean Chinese/Japanese/Thai/Korean, but there are so many countries in Asia.

You have to be really careful with racial humor. I only make racial jokes if I'm with someone who knows me really well and knows I'm not a bigot. It's fine to throw around jokes with your best friends, but if anyone overheard, you could be in some serious crap. A stranger isn't going to know that you make jokes about anyone and everything, including your own race and ethnicity; they're just going to hear the one comment you made and not know if you really believe it or not. I know that, if I don't know a person that well, and they make a racist comment, even if they're like "I'm joking!" there's still a question in the back of my mind.

Racial slurs are never okay. In this case, it sounds like the guy had NO IDEA it could even be considered derogatory.

I'm kind of babbling now.

Art
22-12-2011, 16:31
I use the word "nougat" to refer to people with white and pink colouring. It is intended in an endearing fashion however it is born of white guilt.

Footballers have been a bit too princessy for a while now and having a tantrum out in the public is what these primadonnas do best - I'd ignore it.

If you want to see a strong reaction to sensitivity with Liverpool and football; mention Hillsborough. You'll see solidarity regardless of colour, team, religion or gender.

-Art

Kael Valeran
22-12-2011, 20:55
Even around friends (some of my best of whom are black--no, just kidding, but I have some), they're still more comfortable making black jokes, while I wouldn't dare. I guess it's like me making 'white people' jokes around my fiancée, just for laughs.

I prefer making white jokes, especially when speaking to friends in public, because people will stare at you when you make black jokes. Most of the whites actually laugh it off because it has to be awfully creative for it to be funny.

MixedVariety
22-12-2011, 22:15
I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at, Kael. You saying that basically too many people are overly sensitive to perceived racism, and are perhaps overreacting?

Kael Valeran
23-12-2011, 02:12
Yes, they are overreacting, people(especially americans) shoot at any chance to make a big fuss about anything that refers to skin colour that is not inherently racist. Ultimately, proper education is naturally anti-racist and we usually see such remarks passed among the lesser-educated (many foot-ballers come from the streets). However, is our education really proper? We have nurtured a group of 'educated' people who are overly sensitive to perceive racism, such as FA.

Somehow, people make slandering justifiable by playing the racism card.

RD
23-12-2011, 03:45
Uh, this doesn't even look like it has anything to do with the US, so why are you throwing the "especially americans" in there?

Kael Valeran
23-12-2011, 05:26
Uh, this doesn't even look like it has anything to do with the US, so why are you throwing the "especially americans" in there?

In the 1930s-1950s, there is no ******-scare in the UK. It is a term to refer to black people. There was even a book named ten little ******s. Until Americans came along. "In 1948, the Washington Post newspaper’s coverage of the presidential campaign of the segregationist politician Strom Thurmond, employed the periphrasis “the less-refined word for black people”. In the US, magazines and newspapers often do not use it, instead printing “family-friendly” censored versions, usually “n*gg*r”, “n**ger”, “n——”, and “the N-word”; however, historians and social activists, such as Dick Gregory, criticize the euphemisms and their usage as intellectually dishonest, because using the euphemism “the N-word” instead of ****** robs younger generations of Americans of the full history of Black people in America.

Bloody Americans popularise a term for insult, then go against the very use of that term, after which, create worse references to black people like 'monday' and then start saying, hey, we should use the n word because its part of their history. Fack you Americans! I'm confused! Not only in language, in many aspects of daily living, Americans confuse people all over the world.

For example:
"Hey, people are using forks and knives, lets use hands instead. We invent the BURGER!!" The burger requires 2 hands to eat, is not bite sized and most europeans still use fork and knives when eating the burger.

Anyway, back to the point...
I would think it'd be ruder to call a black person 'monday' than '******'. The reason for using 'monday' is absolutely unacceptable and there is intent to insult in this case. Not so much for '******'.

shawn
23-12-2011, 06:21
Only a ginger can call another ginger ginger.

tapatalked with swiftkey

Rob Van Der Sloot
23-12-2011, 12:41
I think I kind of understand Kael's point. Here in Holland we have to word "neger" which basically means negro. It doesn't have any negative meaning, it just refers to someone of black skin color. But recently there have been attempt to ban the word, as if it were racist. Now I understand if people are offended by the infamous N-word, but "neger" should be fine. We can't go around calling everyone "afro-Dutch-citizens". Not only would that be incredibly silly, but most of them aren't even African. It all comes down to the skin color, and finding a word for it that doesn't offend. But it seems that as soon as people are settled on a word, eventually it is considered offensive again. This endless banning of words is stupid if you ask me. Just call me "white", I'm fine with it, and just call someone of black skin color "neger".

A few years ago a popular type of Dutch candy called "neger zoenen" had to change its name. "Neger zoenen" (which means negro kisses) are basically made of chocolate, with a sweet white creamy filling. I always thought that was kind of cute, but apparently someone took offense, and it had to be changed. *sigh*

http://www.kerstmanpak.nl/afbeeldingen/negerzoenen_big.jpg

RD
23-12-2011, 12:49
Kael, I really wish you would not go on and on about things you do not understand.

The n-word is NOT printed in any magazines here in the US, bastardized or otherwise. The word is not used. You do not live here, so I don't know where you get all this information you throw around about us all the time.

I don't care what other countries think of the word. In other countries, were black people subjected to the slavery and racism that they were here in the US? Black people in the US were not treated like people, even after slavery was abolished (and, don't forget, racism was extremely common here up until very recently). Racism was LEGAL untili the 60s; black people were subjected to it for well over a hundred years (and slavery was common until the 19th century). There are still a lot of people alive who can remember a time when they were less than white people, had to use a different water fountain, etc. Racism is still very much a problem in this country, even in places like Manhattan. In some parts of the country, people are openly racist. Here it's less overt and far less common, but it still is very much a problem (*cough* NYPD).

So, yeah, people don't like the n-word. Yes, it was used as an insult, but I can't believe anyone would advocate for the word to continued to be used as such. You (or I) cannot possibly understand the sting such a word has. I'm empathetic to it (and I would NEVER use that word or tolerate anyone who did), but, as a white man, I cannot possibly relate to what it must feel like to have such a disgusting word thrown at me.

shawn
23-12-2011, 13:21
How come minorities try to use their racial slurs as terms of endearment to one another anyway?

I've heard black guys call each other ******s, *** guys call each other faggots, asians call each other chinks. I don't get it. I can't see me going up to a friend of mine and saying "How's it going, cracker?"

Rob Van Der Sloot
23-12-2011, 13:22
In other countries, were black people subjected to the slavery and racism that they were here in the US?


Yes. Yes they were.

I personally don't like the N-word either. As far as I know it has always been negative. And if not, it sure has a negative meaning today, and is considered very hurtful. However, there are plenty of other N-words in other countries that are not offensive at all. Yet those are being cencored as well. And thats where I draw a line. There is just too much political correctness. As if we have to endlessly apologise for the slavery.

RD
23-12-2011, 16:15
I know this isn't the only country where black people were persecuted; I was more asking about the countries Kael was referring to where apparently it's okay to drop the n-word.

While i've never heard g ay guys use "fa***t" as an endearment, nor have I heard any asian people using slurs in the same way, of course I've heard black people use "n***a" to friends. I do not understand or necessarily agree with it, either, but it is not really our place to say; I recommend not trying to have the conversation / argument with anyone. The reasoning behind using "n***a" (which is different from the "-er" version) is that they are taking the sting out of the word and flipping it to a positive.

shawn
23-12-2011, 16:28
Maybe not endearment.. I guess that's a bit stronger than I intended. But certainly saying it with no ill intentions whatsoever. I've heard a friend say to his extremely flamboyant boyfriend (after he professed his love for Cher), "oh, you're such a ***" or something along those lines. Then they both laugh and carry on. I hear that a lot more than *****, but I know more *** people than black people (which would be none, now that another friend of mine broke up with his gf), so that's to be expected.

tapatalked with swiftkey

Giggles
23-12-2011, 16:49
I hate everyone equally.

Rob Van Der Sloot
24-12-2011, 03:37
I hate everyone equally.

Hahahahaha. Here, have some cake, you earned it.

Kael Valeran
24-12-2011, 03:41
Kael, I really wish you would not go on and on about things you do not understand.

I don't care what other countries think of the word. In other countries, were black people subjected to the slavery and racism that they were here in the US? Black people in the US were not treated like people, even after slavery was abolished (and, don't forget, racism was extremely common here up until very recently). Racism was LEGAL untili the 60s; black people were subjected to it for well over a hundred years (and slavery was common until the 19th century). There are still a lot of people alive who can remember a time when they were less than white people, had to use a different water fountain, etc. Racism is still very much a problem in this country, even in places like Manhattan. In some parts of the country, people are openly racist. Here it's less overt and far less common, but it still is very much a problem (*cough* NYPD).

So, yeah, people don't like the n-word. Yes, it was used as an insult, but I can't believe anyone would advocate for the word to continued to be used as such. You (or I) cannot possibly understand the sting such a word has. I'm empathetic to it (and I would NEVER use that word or tolerate anyone who did), but, as a white man, I cannot possibly relate to what it must feel like to have such a disgusting word thrown at me.

AFAIK, almost every race have been enslaved in history, even the whites. I don't see why we should be apologetic over something that occured the previous or two generations ago. No one should be feeling that they deserve compensation nor should any white be feeling black guilt. For certain the Muslims are not apologetic for enslaving the european Christians. For goodness sake, wake up. There is too much politics in black culture. Even Indians don't complain as much as Americans about racism. American policies love stepping on other countries' toes as if they are the sovereign state of the world.

The fact is, the N-word was fine to use until American culture spread to Europe. Since when did America rule the world's policies, mannerisms, culture and language?

Everyone will respect anyone if you are able to produce grades, get a good job, speak properly, treat others with respect and integrity and follow the law and mind your own business, the race doesn't matter at all.

raspberry jam
24-12-2011, 03:44
How come minorities try to use their racial slurs as terms of endearment to one another anyway?

I've heard black guys call each other ******s, *** guys call each other faggots, asians call each other chinks. I don't get it. I can't see me going up to a friend of mine and saying "How's it going, cracker?"They hide behind their created identities instead of just being who they are. Thus, instead of weakening racism (which cannot exist without group identity), they perpetuate it.

Rob Van Der Sloot
24-12-2011, 11:32
You know, come to think of it. Why have black people never apologised for slavery? If you look at the historical records, slavery existed all over Afrika a long time before the colonisations and transatlantic (white) slave trades. I mean, if we're going to be really politically correct about all this...

Zalis
24-12-2011, 14:00
You know, come to think of it. Why have black people never apologised for slavery? If you look at the historical records, slavery existed all over Afrika a long time before the colonisations and transatlantic (white) slave trades. I mean, if we're going to be really politically correct about all this...

They didn't have the tech to outsource cheap labor to India or China back then, so I can see why people did it. (bottom dollar justifications and all that)