Ok my brothers and sisters I know this doesn't relate to religion so much but it is something that should get us all thinking about the way black people use the 'N' word. Are we dissin our past and perpetrating in our own oppression or are we merely stealing back a word that has been used against it? This is Def Poet Julian Curry and this is a real hard hitting poem and maybe it can help you make up your mind.
One Love,
David

Tags: culture, oppression, poetry, racism, rap, slavery

Views: 151

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I agree man. I get real frustrated when I here other brothers throwing it around like it doesn't have a history.
A lot of people have been using "queer" as an umbrella term for BGLT people. Some don't like it, and I can understand that, because they were abused with that term years ago. I tend to use it, but if someone is uncomfortable with it, I'll desist.

I've seen a lot of lesbians (and some bisexuals) use the term "dyke". I don't have a problem with it, but I do take into account the feelings of people who can't stand it.

I don't understand why "gay" has become so popular (eg. "That's so gay!"), even with kids who I would think should know better.
I don't get the impression that "queer" is generally a derogatory word when used today.

I think it depends on age group, Smiling Eyes. There was a discussion about naming a new, consolidated BGLT group on A|N where a few people expressed discomfort with the term "queer". I'm not sure where the demarcation is, although it doesn't seem to be a problem for people under 30.

I think it depends on context. A homophobe using the term would upset me, while an ally would not.
"Cracker" doesn't quite have the depth charge that "n*****" does. I'm really curious to know if people who use that term to refer to themselves are jokingly acknowledging their racism?
Well, white humorists constantly use the word 'redneck" to make fun of themselves. I use the word "cracker" all the time, as an insult, I assure you. Granted that Southerners of both races can be discriminated against by others, for example, because they are perceived/assumed to be stupid, nevertheless nobody ever got lynched for being a cracker, and you cannot say the same about blacks, Italians, Jews, or Catholics. When I see crackers giving up their racism and their allegiance to right-wing politics--when they stop being a drag on this country--then I'll stop calling them crackers. Until then, they reap what they sow.
When I wrote "jokingly acknowledging their racism", I meant it in a "Yeah, we're Klan members and proud of it" way.

I've seen white humorists call themselves "rednecks". I'm personally not keen on the term when applied to myself, because I grew up on a farm and people assumed that I'd be ignorant and proud of it. Same with "white trash". Maybe I'm not well enough informed, but it does seem that the poorer you are in the US, the more pejoratives there are for you.

Granted that Southerners of both races can be discriminated against by others, for example, because they are perceived/assumed to be stupid,

I've seen examples of both. The accent I have now is different than the one I grew up with because people thought it sounded southern, and I got shit for it when I was a kid. I did my best to rid myself of it. Now I wish I still had it, and I'd just tell people to fuck off.

nevertheless nobody ever got lynched for being a cracker, and you cannot say the same about blacks, Italians, Jews, or Catholics.

Absolutely.
I feel that if its about lyrics, then the history is already understood, so its ok. But, ofcourse, it is a loaded word with a terrible connotation, and mayb should slowly evolve out of common usage? I know its not one of my choice words to ever think up, but I wont break the flow of a good rap or song if its in there.
Thanks for posting this, David. Julian Curry's words should get greater currency.
Well, if takes this form of communication to get through to the culture of ignorance, so be it, though I'm not terribly impressed with this style of discourse. This kind of performance irritates the shit out of me, as does the wild applause. But again, whatever it takes to communicate with a lost generation.

This kind of language speaks volumes about the self-concept of those who use it. When I get on a bus when school lets out, I hear black teenagers yell "nigger" at one another with a frequency and intensity that would make a Klansman blush. And without any sense of irony. It's time to put an end to poverty, and then hopefully the culture of poverty will one day be wiped out.
I love Def Jam poetry man. I tink poetry, especially this style of like performance poetry can hit people real hard wit a message. What I like about protest style poetry and freethought hip-hop is it gets through to people from a different background who wouldnt automatically go pick up a book or look academic stuff up online but they'd listen to da same idea if you put it in a rap song they liked. Then I tink they'd be more inclined to go learn more ideas about atheism, science, philosopy, etc. If I hadn't heard Greydon Square beatz and da likes of Talib Kweli doin Def Jam Poetry I may not have got into atheism to da same extent cos where I come from people don't read no books. Now I eat science and philosophy for beakfast as does my big brother David who posted this.

I used to use da word 'nigga' all da time and I never thought about it cos I used to be involved in gang culture. When my bruv David played me this video it really got me tinkin about how I was betrayin ma history. Without different forms of discourse we only reach da educated middle-classes and ghetto trash like myself miss out. lol
Loved your reply, Baphomet. Thanks for giving your take on this. I agree that this style, used as it is here, would be very effective at reaching those very people we want to reach. I'm an old head. Do many young people listen to Greydon Square? I heard his music on a podcast a while back and was much impressed. Does he get any play on stations that feature hip hop and rap music? I would cheer to hear these lyrics replacing some of the others I've overheard blaring at ear splitting decibels :-)
No problem man. Greydon Square has sold alot of records but I don't know if he gets played on many mainstream hip-hop radio stations. I know alot of folks like myself, who do dig quality hip-hop have 'come out' as atheists after hearing his music. I love alot of different hip-hop but Greydon, and another freethought rapper named Proclaim dat you should check out, bring intelligence not just guns n hos into da rap scene. My brother and myself were both gang bangin a while back but it was our atheism, which Greydon helped inspire as well as seeing the brutality of life, that made us quit that whole gangsta lifestyle and channel our energy into non-violent freethought activism. My brother now works helping kidz in London get out of gangz. I guess music and poetry, just as much as academic books, can really help people change their lives right. I tink this is proof in itself that atheism does not lead to leading an immoral life.

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