19
Feb
10

Hateful Words Are In

On this blog our most popular post so far was “retard” circle-jerk; Selling Blame in Place of Claim.  That is obvious because of the hits it is still generating and because the press has covered the use of the word “retard.”  Yet in democracy the fact that we can discuss this topic, and dialog about what words we use is extremely healthy for a democratic society.

Another big news story is about the attorney who called the woman “wacko” who shot the professors who denied her tenure, brings this point back to mind.  Is this professor wacko?  The fact is that in everyday language you hear hate language daily.  Hate language is regrettably part of human language.  Now maybe some learned “brain” (probably a derogatory comment)  out there can tell me differently, but I would expect that hate words are common in all societies.

The power of language to displace and subjugate people has always thrived.  We are hateful people and we say hateful things – OMG.  Now some of you may be saying hateful things right now. “ #^$*&^” sounds good.  Others may catch the humor.  Hell half of our humor is based on hate type language: stereotypes of ethnic groups, sexual harassment, anti-race and anti –blond or lawyer jokes.  I’m sure tax men have gotten their share of hate language – If you have a good joke that contains hate language feel free to post it.

Let’s look at the definition posted at Urban Dictionary which defines the word wacko:

1. crazy person
2. someone whacked on drugs
3. a stupid act

Example:  When Regan was president, he let all the wackos out on the street with no assistance.

Wacko is one of many hate words thrown around.  The urban dictionary lists the following when you look up wacko (not synonyms):

crazy insane nuts jacko nutcase psycho freak weirdo michael jackson jackson stupid loser loco barack obama moron nutjob mental bitch weird mj crackhead idiot loony pedophile psychotic wacked bizarre creep jihad batshit bonkers john mccain john kerry michael wierd kook deranged faggot sicko kook fringe left angeles slimes goof republican mangaram wingnut anti-capitalist hollywood cnn religion satan

Now it appears that in urban hate language even out politicians’ names become words of hate.

Here in the word of intellectuals, we discuss hate words, hate language, and hate crimes.

Karl Blomberg wrote a piece for the the Miami Student when covering a lecture series on the power of language.  His piece specifically covered a lecture by Dr. Kira Hall, associate professor of linguistics and anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder.  She discussed the impact of hate language on those who are gay.  Those sponsoring the lecture series  hoped  “that people will come away with an understanding of how language can be used at the same time to hurt and oppress people.”

Learning secondary languages to be able to speak hatefully of others is sometimes done.  A person writes: In my family, when we spoke English we were generally being nice. For the nasty backbiting stuff we had a pool of languages that would always leave somebody out of the loop – Hungarian, Yiddish, Romanian, Russian, and Spanish. I learned Romanian completely through the bitter invective of my Grandmother, who hadn’t taught it to her own kids, who in turn, used Russian as a secret language of hate. As adults it came as a surprise to find everybody in the family was fully conversant in Spanish — no one ever told anybody else, because it was only used to whisper nasty comments about people in private. And my Mom has just started to teach me abusive language in Turkish that she learned in the 1940s working at her family’s Sephardic Turkish restaurant in Budapest. (refer to http://www.languagehat.com/archives/002370.php)

Now hate words are insulting to those who are belittled by them, but Hate words can be reversed when used by those who have been demeaned by them according to some.

It may be good to talk about the effects of hate words, and the empowerment of people to use hate words to reverse them, but to many of us, the hate words are personally disgusting.  The N word for instance was taught to me as a term to be avoided, so when I hear it, I recoil.  That is how people feel about “retard” and a whole host of other words.  Sensible people realize that it such terms are socially repugnant.

How about you?  Hit me up with your comment.  You can use as much hate language as necessary.  This is a blog without biased backers – but if someone wants to pay us millions, we will censor all hate comments – we are Americans aren’t we?  “Mark (our  student editor and author of the popular “circle jerk piece), if we get a sponsor I’m giving more coffee money!

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