September 12th, 2006

obey

Nigger

So, I had a falling out with someone.

It happens.

I used a word they found offensive. They tried to explain to me, I tried to explain to them.

Neither of us was _right_. We just differed in our opinions over appropriateness and context.

I tried to get through to them, to explain my point of view.

And I failed. And this disappoints me, because I wouldn't have made the effort if I didn't consider them a worthwhile person to talk to. They wouldn't have been on my friends list if I wasn't interested in what they had to say.

What also disappoints me is people who then decide that because we had a disagreement over something that they consider trivial, that she was an idiot, or not worth listening to, or that her opinion didn't matter.

nwhyte asked me if I'd feel the same about an icon with the word "Nigger" in it. And he's right to, because, to the person I was talking to, the word "Retard" was just as bad. And I know that more people will feel the word "Nigger" is unusable, in any context. It might get across more strongly the fact that this person found what I was saying reprehensible, no matter what justifications I might make about irony.

Now, _I_ don't feel that way. And that's my choice. I have to make my own judgements about word usage, context and what's reasonable. There are some words and contexts I'm fine with, and some I'm not.

But I wouldn't attack someone for being more offended than I am, or dismiss them for pointing out usage that they found offensive.

And I wish you wouldn't either.