October 17, 2019

"A black security guard at West High School said he was defending himself from a student who called him the N-word last week, repeating the word as he told the student not to use the slur..."

"... which led to his termination Wednesday. Marlon Anderson said he no longer works for the Madison School District after 11 years because of his response to a disruptive student calling him a 'flurry' of variations of the N-word. But Madison School District officials say there is a zero-tolerance approach to employees using racial slurs. 'I just don’t understand getting fired for trying to defend yourself,' Anderson, 48, said.... 'As a black man, I have a right not to be called that word.'... 'As you know, our expectation when it comes to racial slurs has been very clear,' [West High Principal Karen] Boran said. 'Regardless of context or circumstance, racial slurs are not acceptable in our schools.'... During his time at East and West, Anderson said he’s been called the slur by students 'many times,' and it’s resulted in 'restorative conversations' where he explains the history, context and meaning of the slur. Even if he hears students using the N-word in casual conversations with friends, Anderson said he’ll intervene to try and get them to stop, telling them: 'Don’t look at yourself like that. You are not that word.' Boran said the zero-tolerance approach on the use of racial slurs 'has been applied consistently and will continue to be applied consistently.'"

Madison's Capital Times reports.

And that's zero tolerance for you!

98 comments:

Jeff Brokaw said...

So the only sane person in the story gets fired. That’s so 2019.

rhhardin said...

It's seriousness theater. Use the n-word as much as you want, like any other word.

Morons in charge.

Char Char Binks said...

Too bad for him. If a white security guard would be fired for using the word, so should he.

Gusty Winds said...

I guess it's safe to assume that Dave Chappelle won't be working for the Madison School District.

rhhardin said...

The underlying message is that blacks are so stupid that their feelings need to be tip-toed around. Unlike whites, who can deal with anything.

Ken B said...

Cue the Monty Python clip.

Ray - SoCal said...

I feel sorry for the security guard...

The school is in a Legal dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t situation.

Sad the lack common sense.

mockturtle said...

As always, zero tolerance means zero common sense.

Beasts of England said...

’As a black man, I have a right not to be called that word.’

It’s an unfortunate term, but you don’t have the right not to be called such. Freedom of speech protects the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Kevin said...

Oh, if there's such a zero tolerance approach, then I assume all those students who used the word have been punished, up to and including expulsion, correct?

No?

Oh.

Nonapod said...

Apparently NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo dropped an N-bomb in a radio interview today. Just like the Govenor of Virginia's blackface thing, I imagine nothing will happen.

Infinite Monkeys said...

It was not known whether the student would face disciplinary action.

Then it's not really zero tolerance, is it?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Did he use the slur, or did he mention the slur? Seems to be an important distinction

Fernandistein said...

He [Lincoln] said the question is often asked, why this fuss about n-words*?

Why indeed?

*self-censored for google ad revenue. Sigh.

Jake said...

So, do kids get expelled for using it? Or, is that usage tolerated?

henry said...

A different gender would have been let off. Progressive speech controls are as bad as their gun controls.

bwebster said...

"Zero-tolerance" is one of the worst, most pernicious concepts ever to infect our educational system. It basically removes all reason, judgment, and context from any "transgressive" situation. It's a cheap and easy out for hard situations.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Uh oh. Gov Cuomo's gonna got fired.

Bob Boyd said...

Principal Boran is whiteness manifest.

Michael said...

Zero tolerance is ever and always the policy of cowards and fools.

YoungHegelian said...

What?! You expect the people who you entrust your children to for eight hours a day to exhibit a lick of common sense?

What planet did you come from?

Ann Althouse said...

"Oh, if there's such a zero tolerance approach, then I assume all those students who used the word have been punished, up to and including expulsion, correct?"

The policy is for employees.

He could have defended himself without saying the word, and if he knew it was a firing offense — zero tolerance — it's hard to understand why he didn't just follow the rule unless he lost control of himself. Once you put the zero tolerance policy in place, you lose everything if you make an exception. But this case is so bad that I wish they could find a way to say the policy ends now. Get a new policy. But it does perhaps make it easier to say never, ever say the word, even if you're not using the word but only referring to the use of the word.

rhhardin said...

Injun. That's apparently a racial slur. They never tell you what the slur was in stories and it leaves you searching your memory. n-word is pretty specific though.

I don't know if it's single-out theater, though. Spear-chucker might be okay or it might not.

If not, are you allowed to originate a new slur never before heard.

rhhardin said...

The guy should said he didn't use the word, he mentioned it. Same would apply to comments of course, in a sane world. But blacks are so stupid apparently that the distinction is beyond them. That's another message being sent.

gahrie said...

Who wants to bet me that the music played in the gym before basketball games uses the N word?

stever said...

Clearly if black people stopped using the word it might be easier to convince non blacks that its horrible to use it. But that's not happening.

MacMacConnell said...

bwebster said...
"Zero-tolerance" is one of the worst, most pernicious concepts ever to infect our educational system. It basically removes all reason, judgment, and context from any "transgressive" situation.


Yes it's like attending Catholic school in the 50s and 60s. Never argue with a nun.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ignorance is Bliss said...
Did he use the slur, or did he mention the slur? Seems to be an important distinction


You might think so but the rule is that you may not speak the word so context (how it was used) doesn't matter. It is in that sense a "magic" word: once spoken it automatically results in your firing.

I'm sure we all feel sorry for the individual who was fired here. But let's think deeply about this.

There's a tension in the concept of justice between avoiding bias and dealing with people/human situations. Zero tolerance policies are supposed to prevent biased judgement--no person can say of their friends "oh he didn't really mean it, he wasn't using it as a slur" and say of someone they dislike "I don't care if they say they were using it ironically, they must be fired." From a preventing-bias standpoint that's good. The cost of that is the inability to account for situations like this one where most of us--maybe all of us--agree the penalty isn't appropriate in this particular case.

Being able to predict what actions or behaviors are legal/permitted and which aren't is a fundamental aspect of the rule of law. (That' why ex post facto laws/rules/punishments are wrong). Part of that is making the law known and understandable to the individuals it applies to. (That's why unknowable nests of IRS or EPA statues that no person can know are wrong).

In this case the rule was apparently known, and clear. The rule was applied without bias and the result of the application, the punishment, is what was specified by that rule.

In those senses the school's actions were fair and in accordance with the concept of the rule of law. The part to think deeply about, then, is why people who think the outcome is unjust or unfair to the former employee think that. If the process was correct why is the outcome "wrong?"

Mark Jones said...

Remember, "Zero Tolerance" policies are never for the benefit of students or employees. They're for the benefit of the administration, that is, for the "decision makers" who live in mortal terror of having to actually MAKE decisions.

After all, if you make a decision, you risk revealing that you're a fool or an idiot. You risk making a bad/wrong decision, or being perceived as having made a bad/wrong decision. You risk being savaged for not being compassionate enough, not being "woke" enough, etc. Better by far to simply follow the draconian rule and drop the hammer on anyone and everyone involved with an utter disregard for specific facts in the case. Sure, innocents will suffer. But better them than you.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...But it does perhaps make it easier to say never, ever say the word, even if you're not using the word but only referring to the use of the word.

Yes, and further it prevents the predictable problem of the quick evolution of a set of rules that treat different groups differently--if the policy allowed any use of the word then the natural outcome, evident even in this person's reference to themselves as a black person, would be to allow (or minimize punishment for) use of the word by black people and/or POC but disallow use of the word by non-POC. That's due to the belief, evident from the alleged frequent use of the word by POC students, that the word isn't offensive when used by POC. If the official rule allowed for that distinction it would almost certainly be made, even if not officially codified.

So again you've got a question of fairness. Is a rule (explicit or implicit) that "this word is OK for workers of one race to use in certain ways but is never OK for workers of other races to use" fair? That's certainly unequal treatment by race and would probably strike most people as unfair. A zero tolerance rule prevents that unfairness, though at the costs discussed earlier.

Michael K said...

If only he had been a rapper instead of a security guard. Nice rationalizing, Ann,.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

YouTube - Louis CK "Offended by the N-word"

A pretty funny bit that could, if one wanted, inspire deep thinking on the relationship between words, meaning, mental concepts and reality.

Why is saying "the n-word" better than saying the actual word if both serve the function of putting the word/concept/idea into the head/thoughts of the person who hears the speaker?

We laugh at the silliness and apparent hypocrisy of Victorian era people who allegedly found referring to chicken legs too suggestive and so called them drumsticks and employed all manner of euphemism for similar things (while still having plenty of sex, having mistresses, widespread prostitution, etc). In what way, though, is euphemistically substituting "n-word" superior to that earlier practice?

Narr said...

The n-word has become our YHWH.

Narr
YHWH YHWH YHWH!

HoodlumDoodlum said...

I'd guess the more fruitful avenue of approach on this, in terms of finding inconsistencies and/or convincing people there is a fairness problem, is with the policy itself: does the policy name or adequately define "racial slur?"

Anything other than a list of words (or a reference to some other list of words) is going to be a potential problem--how is what counts determined? Why is this word but not that word, how is that decided, and does that ever change (since if the actual list is unclear to everyone you're back to a rule of law problem with foreknowledge).

"You may never speak a word on this list, under penalty of immediate firing." Ok, sure.

"You may never use a racial slur," though, is trouble, since now we need a rule to determine what's a slur and what isn't. If that rule is anything other than "presence on this list" then you've introduced independent judgement (with its problems of bias) back into the situation.

And then, naturally, we have to bring in the damn lawyers.

BUMBLE BEE said...

It could also be possible that zero tolerance of that word is required by the insurance policy. See also Gibson Bakery outcome.

BUMBLE BEE said...

For lily whites the word is terrifying. If one is exposed to the black population, Dave Chappelle's usage is quite usual. Lawyers turned the word into a cash cow. Hence the black reference to said lily whites is "chumps".

Richard said...

The reason for zero tolerance is not that the school administration is too stupid to be able to make reasonable decisions (which of course they are), but to defend the school administration against the charge that they are biased against minorities. Schools were being accused of penalizing minorities for violating rules at a higher rate that the white students. By having a policy that applies equally to everyone, they have a defense against the charge that they are bigoted against minorities.

BUMBLE BEE said...

From the authorization of hate speech laws all the way to the litigation of same, lawyers are responsible for the suppression of free speech.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Michael K said...
If only he had been a rapper instead of a security guard. Nice rationalizing, Ann,.


I don't think it's a controversial idea, Michael K, that a given expression might be appropriate in some situations or contexts and inappropriate in others.

If I pay money to a stand up comic and they insult me personally during the show I won't think that's inappropriate. If I pay money to a physician and they insult me personally during an exam, using the same language, I would think that's inappropriate.

Rappers can use language and say things that would be inappropriate for school workers, interacting with children, to say. That doesn't strike me as controversial, as a concept.

All of that is separate from the question of this particular worker's treatment, of course, but I'm not sure it's fair to imply belief in that concept is evidence of an unsupportable or unusual thought process.

JaimeRoberto said...

The janitor at my middle school was a black man. He was a Baptist preacher in Oakland in his other job, and he came to our music appreciation class to teach us about gospel music. I can't imagine anyone calling him names. Not because he was intimidating. He wasn't. It's just that we weren't assholes, and we respected the teachers and the staff. But then we were in a WASPy, conservative suburb, not some progressive utopia.

walter said...

gahrie said...Who wants to bet me that the music played in the gym before basketball games uses the N word?
--
Calling it "the N word" could have gotten around the zero context rule, no?

iowan2 said...

Mark Jones nails it

Zero Tolerence is because the highest educated people in the building, are scared to death of weighing the facts making a decision and justifying their decision.

These are people with at least one Doctorate, some have 2 or 3. I explained that at a school board meeting. I got howls of protest and paragraphs of babble about fairness. Teachers are fine people. A percentage of teachers. (not near as high as percentage of teachers think) There are enough teachers that should be fired and aren't,(because those Phd's are terrified to fire people too.)

iowan2 said...

Sometimes the word is just the right descriptive word.

The last couple of days, the only thing I could think of when the NBA, China, Labrone, story came up, was that James was China's House, PoC.
See? Sometimes the word just works

MadisonMan said...

Yes, I saw something about a walk-out today in support of the fired worker.
Zero Tolerance means Zero Thinking. Still, if the guy had been white, he'd be out on his ear too.
It's a stupid rule that infantilizes people IMO. As if a word makes them crumble weeping to the floor.

BarrySanders20 said...

Great. Now they are going to have to cancel the showing of Blazing Saddles at the Madison West High School Friday Night Movie Night tomorrow.

Begonia said...

Ann Althouse said...But this case is so bad that I wish they could find a way to say the policy ends now. Get a new policy.

Part of me wonders if the District Administration wants to get rid of the policy and is hoping that they can use this opportunity to do it. The zero-tolerance policy (i think) was put in place after several incidents when staff used the word and the Young, Gifted and Black folks (the people who have been disruptive at school board meetings) were upset.

If that is the case, then the strategy seems to be working. On Facebook, local black activists, including Kareem Caire, have been critical of the policy (see here: https://madison365.com/kaleem-caire-mmsd-give-marlon-anderson-his-job-back-we-have-to-do-better-madison/)

Heartless Aztec said...

When I taught at an inner city school in the last decade the "N" word was the first word I heard EVERY morning and the last word I hears EVERY afternoon. The students would address each other with the "N" word all day long in every type of greeting. I had one floating student - Le Charles - who would wander from classroom to classroom throughout the day. He'd walk in and address my class (exact quote) "All y'all be my Niggas!" with his arms stretched as wide as the smile on his sweet face. All the kids would jump up and down affirming their fealty to Le Charles. I would compliment Le Charles on his rapturous minions and he would leave for a different classroom. Things would settle down and it was back to "Hey nigga' toss me a pencil mine be broken." I attempted writing referrals on the use of the "N" word in all of it's various forms and permutations but was told by an Admins black secretary that the black Admin was just tearing them up. I moved on...

mockturtle said...

A government entity can control you only through punishment of some sort. And making more rules and laws makes it easier. With all the speech-chilling rules and laws we have now, nearly everyone at some point will be guilty. Thus more control.

Bay Area Guy said...

The PC rules on the use of the N-Word are dangerously conflicted:

1. If a white person uses the N word, he must be fired, sued or beaten up. Except for Governor Cuomo..

2. If a black person uses the N word, that's generally ok.

3. If a rap artist uses the N word in a song, that's really good.

4. If white kids buy the Rap song with the N word, that's really good, too.

5. If a white kid sings the Rap song, and sings the N word, well, see 1.

6. If a white Democrat Senator talks about "White N******s," on TV, well, that's confusing. Since he's a Democrat, See exception to 1.

Does that help?

Fernandistein said...

the zero-tolerance approach on the use of racial slurs

I'll betcha two dimes that policy doesn't actually say "Don't say the n-word".

In the n-word culture the n-word isn't a racial slur when n-words use it, so, unlike Lincoln, the n-word guy didn't do anything wrong; he was fucked over by these naughty w-word people.

n.n said...

The double-edged scalpel in progress.

n.n said...

He should submit to reeducation, for what is clearly an utterance of a White Hispanic Han Black African (Hutu, sometimes Tutsi, Zulu)-American manifest.

Tomcc said...

Yikes, what a truly ludicrous outcome!
Is there a list of words that come under the zero-tolerance policy?
Could he have gotten away with using "motherf***er" to express his displeasure?
(If he's a union employee, I'd expect a grievance in short order.)

RobinGoodfellow said...


Blogger Ignorance is Bliss said...
Did he use the slur, or did he mention the slur? Seems to be an important distinction if one were in a sane world.

FIFY

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Where to start?

A...security guard at West High School.... Does the School Dist have an organic police dept? If so, why? (Answer: so the Dist can keep taxpayers unaware of discipline problems. Having usually a bigger budget than the City and County combined, School Dist has the swag to do as they please.)

...Said he was defending himself from a student who called him the N-word. He dissed ya, man, but just chill. Sticks 'n' stones, ya know....

"As a black man, I have a right not to be called that word." Must be in the Wisconsin Constitution, Not found in the national Bill of Rights. What else is in there? Right not to be called an asshole?

...Disruptive student calling him a "flurry" of variations of the N-word. So he actually was *not* called the the N-word.

...A zero-tolerance approach... So why not just cite the disruptive student? Job done. ...to employees using racial slurs. Oh, my bad. Can't city the student. Zero-tolerance may apply only to *employees* and not to students.

"...Getting fired for trying to defend yourself." The N-word and zero tolerance aside, you also escalated the situation into a verbal altercation. Clearly your "security guard" position is more than off-hours watchman, and involves interaction with students. You need better conflict resolution skills.

One must wonder.... Are there other proscribed "racial slurs" or words? Are they listed anywhere? Is even the listing of the words proscribed and cause for dismissal? How is one to know what the proscribed words are if they are not listed?

Hammond also faults the School District for fomenting an unhealthy "race" conscious atmosphere. You idiots escalated the situation by placing so much importance on "race."

MadisonMan said...

Then there's this reaction. I agree with Mr. Claire.

rcocean said...

Well that's 10x of crazy - but its liberals.

Obviously, the purpose of banning the word "Nigger" is its a "fighting word" when directed at blacks by other races. There's no reason to get upset when its used by black people. In any case, firing him for using the wrong word is insane. I guess "zero tolerance" Means "zero intelligence"

The liberal/left is getting more and more totalitarian - as is their want. Don't look for the "reasonable Left" to stop them from getting more insane. They never do.

Yancey Ward said...

I feel like something is probably being left out of this story, but can't really be sure. If it is all as described, then the firing was completely inappropriate and the guard will likely win his appeal or lawsuit.

And, yes, common sense is completely dead and buried.

Sebastian said...

"Nichelle Nichols, the district’s director of equity, partnership and engagement, said “racial slurs of any kind cause emotional and psychological trauma and are an act of racial violence”

So, since the black student who engaged in "racial violence" by first spouting the N-word, he will be expelled, right?

Freeman Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Freeman Hunt said...

Zero tolerance means pledging allegiance to algorithm over human judgement.

n.n said...

Did he use the slur, or did he mention the slur?

With the one drop rule, it is a distinction that doesn't matter. The conflict is resolved through inference, diversity, discretion, and selection.

mccullough said...

Now he’s free to address these lads who called him nigger. I don’t think they’ll say it to his face anymore. They are pussies.

Martin said...

Zero tolerance = Zero intelligence.

libertariansafetyguy said...

This is so stupid it hurts.

Quaestor said...

As a black man, I have a right not to be called that word.

Wow.

It looks like the Madison School District has a much bigger problem than its zero tolerance policy.

Rocco said...

Bob Boyd said...
Principal Boran is whiteness manifest.

Karen didn't ask to see the manager, Karen [Boran] is the manager!

RK said...

Is he black or is he African-American? It might depend on how you're reporting it.

Big Mike said...

I assume that the "disruptive student" (meaning "troublemaker on his way out the door and onto a road that leads to prison"), can I assume that he was expelled from school?

Didn't think so.

Jim said...

In 1973 I was a sophomore in high school. Some of my friends and I were discussing race and sex differences with a 25 yo black math teacher. He brought up John Lennon’s Woman Is The Nigger Of The World and asked us to think about Lennon’s message. Only the teacher didn’t use “the n-word” he said nigger. He thought,rightly so, that we could have a real grown up discussion. Thank you God that I’m not in high school today. Things are so f’d up.

Francisco D said...

it's hard to understand why he didn't just follow the rule unless he lost control of himself. Once you put the zero tolerance policy in place, you lose everything if you make an exception.

You are SO White, Althouse.

ga6 said...

Good for the goose, good for the gander.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

mockturtle said...

A guy used the 'n' word against my ex-husband once. Just once. ;-)

The workplace has a right to ban certain speech on penalty of termination if done in the workplace. But for termination to occur after wrongspeak is used outside the workplace, then they don't. This has happened and continues to happen and it's high time people started strongly objecting to the tyrannical practices of the liberal establishment.

Narayanan said...

What happens if someone choose nigga or nigger or negro etc as prefer pronoun?

Big Mike said...

Once you put the zero tolerance policy in place, you lose everything if you make an exception.

Which is why wise people avoid zero tolerance policies. But people who are liberal are not wise, and only liberals can get a seat on a school board in Madison.

Narayanan said...

What is frightening is that only another negro can make the argument that Claire make to give security guard back his job.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Last school year, there were at least seven cases in which a Madison School District staff member used a racial slur in front of students. All of those employees were either fired or resigned.

Sounds like the rule, whatever its merits, may be being applied consistently.

Anderson said the assistant principal turned on the mic on their radio and moved it close to him, causing other school staff with radios to hear what he was telling the student. Anderson said he felt “targeted.”

I wondered who turned him in/filed a complaint, and this is certainly a different angle on "why," but even assuming someone was targeting him he has admitted to speaking the word. Speaking the word is enough to merit termination and I doubt there's an exception for cases where you were only heard or caught speaking the word because of a coworker's dislike of you.

I also wonder if any of the 7 people fired last school year under this policy were able to successfully appeal their terminations. If not what will they say when this guy's appeal is successful? Oh well.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

..Disruptive student calling him a "flurry" of variations of the N-word. So he actually was *not* called the the N-word.


One of his Facebook posts says the student called him a bunch of things, including a "bitch ass n**ger," so according to him he was.

...A zero-tolerance approach... So why not just cite the disruptive student? Job done. ...to employees using racial slurs. Oh, my bad. Can't city the student. Zero-tolerance may apply only to *employees* and not to students.

In the two articles I read school officials mentioned, both times, their policies against students using racial slurs and that the school district has been making a big effort to punish that kind of thing. One article said due to a student policy change effective this year a student could get 1- 5 days of out of school suspension for using a racial slur against a staff member. The other article mentioned that the school where this happened had some sort of assembly this year about racial issues and talked about the school policies at that time.

One must wonder.... Are there other proscribed "racial slurs" or words? Are they listed anywhere?

Yeah, I had the same question. If not he should argue that the word itself is not a slur if used as he did...but that gets back to violating the idea of zero tolerance for speaking the word.

mikesixes said...

I think most of our government institutions are run by stupid people. Madison West High most certainly is. Words are meaningless without context. The forbidden word that got this man fired was not a slur in the context of his conversation with the student. Anybody with rudimentary reasoning skills would know that. By the way, I've seen no mention of the expulsion of the student who actually did use the word as a racial slur- isn't that what's supposed to happen with a zero-tolerance policy? It's way past time to put an end to politically managed education.

gspencer said...

"As a black man, I have a right not to be called that word"

No, you don't. No one has that "right" which here the fired janitor is contending his right to a power to prevent someone else's speech. And he does not have that power.

Narayanan said...

wise people avoid zero tolerance policies.

And gunfreezones

Narayanan said...

@ gspencer ...
What are you blathering about?

Insult deserve knuckle sandwich. If one can survive giving it.

gspencer said...

"What are you blathering about?" asks someone who doesn't know a thing about the law. Provocation is not a valid legal defense to assault.

Narr said...

We live just a few blocks east of the expensive and ever-expanding university athletic training and practice complex. Some mornings, on my walk, I am regaled by the extremely loud and extremely primitive music that the players must need to get in the right mood for drills.

Lyrics such as "Bitches on they knees, ready to please."

Yes, let's all be super-duper-sensitive!

Narr
Moor, please!

Freeman Hunt said...

What the hell. It's Kafka's The Trial manifest.

n.n said...

"Bitches on they knees, ready to please."

Top holes ready... Socially progressive. Forward looking. Truly, next generation thinking inside the box. One step forward, two steps backward.

bagoh20 said...

"Regardless of context or circumstance,..."

Imagine using standards like that for other rules. It's how you build a stinking pile of blind injustice through lazy posturing.

bagoh20 said...

Let me see; the slur is terrible to black people, so I'll punish one when he gets called it. Yep, that's fair. Hell, I doubt the KKK would have come up with that idea, but they'd love it. Great job!

Browndog said...

Freedom of speech protects the good, the bad, and the ugly.

No.

Only the bad and ugly.

The "good" needs not protection.

John henry said...

So will this book be retitled to "N-word:An Autobiography by Dick Gregory"?

Help Ann make a buck off an offensive word while it lasts.

https://www.amazon.com/Nigger-Autobiography-Dick-Gregory/dp/0593086147/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=dick+gregory&qid=1571364544&sr=8-1

I read the book in the 60's and my recollection was that Gregory wanted as many people using the word as possible. His thinking was that 1) it advertised his book and 2) if widely and commonly used, it would lose it's offensive power.

As I recall. Someone who has read it more recently can correct me if need be.

John Henry

Chief Executive Lawbreaker - Whiny Weasel Trumpkins said...

Sounds like some comments threads.

When it comes to racist idiocy, America really is a very special place.

Tina Trent said...

Well thank goodness all parties are allowed to use the word "bitch" with impunity.

Hasn't racism been declared a "public health crisis" in Madison?

lgv said...

Blogger Freeman Hunt said...
What the hell. It's Kafka's The Trial manifest.


I had this strange feeling I had read this news article before. LOL

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The School Dist created a rule giving students power over staff. They should sit in a corner and ponder the wisdom of "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech." "Nigger" is just a word, and like all words with no intrinsic power to harm. If uttered as a taunt, it is wholly within the power of the hearer to be untaunted. Hurling of the taunt reveals impotency of the hurler.

There are lessons here also about trying to punch above your weight and getting slapped down.

Why did the School Dist pass so foolish a rule? They did it in overzealousness of burnishing "progressive" creds. Well, they created a program empowering students of color allright. Student was empowered to get a staffer fired by taunting him into uttering the proscribed word. For uttering the word himself, the student at most will be rewarded by a having some staffer waste time lecturing him. A win for the student in any case.

How did the unfortunate Mr. Anderson become involved? He was called, as a security staffer, to a situation with a disruptive student. But another staffer (female, and apparently equal or above him in pecking order) seemed to have the problem in hand. Mr. Anderson was well liked by many students, had been asked to speak at a graduation ceremony. Wanting to burnish his reputation as a problem solver, he ignored instruction from the female staffer not to involve himself further.

Finally, Mr. Anderson was overly sensitive to having the taunt of "nigger" hurled at him. Some cause for that must be borne by the School Dist for having made such an issue over use of the word.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"If not, are you allowed to originate a new slur never before heard"

That's what I do. I ride the bus through north Minneapolis to work and back. I hear that word every single day, mostly coming out of the mouths of school-aged youth. The girls are the worst.

Anyway, I do not use that word when I witness incredibly stupid behavior, instead, I have originated a slur that no one can pick up on. It works like a charm and no, I ain't saying what it is. But I highly recommend folks creating their own.

Skippy Tisdale said...

"If I pay money to a stand up comic and they insult me personally during the show I won't think that's inappropriate."

Don Rickles has a sad.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Today we shall learn about Friedrich Gottlob Koenig, great inventor of the steam-powered printing press."

"You made the taboo sounds! You're fired!"

"What?"

"No tolerance! Off with his head!"

jimbino said...

I've had numerous conversations over the years with gummint bureaucrats who've objected to my calling them an "idiot" or somesuch, to which I've responded, "Please just give me a list of the words I can't use." That shuts them up, and they usually just hang up, after which I have no choice but to call their supervisor.

I don't know whom I'd call to complain if Trump hung up on me.