Social Question

josie's avatar

Why don't all perceived minorities insult themselves the way that black people do?

Asked by josie (30931points) May 26th, 2011

I am lucky. I know lots of people and and I am the beneficiary of many wonderful relationships.
Some originated from where I grew up. Some are based on my experience in the service. Some are connections I made with my Arab girlfriend. Some just happen.

Having said all that…

The Arabs I know never call themselves “Camel Jockeys” or ” Ragheads”
The gay people I know never call themselves “Fags” or “Homos”.
The Hispanics I know (fabulous soldiers by the way) do not call themselves “Beaners” or “Greasers”.
The Jews I know (My sister is married to a Jewish guy) do not call themselves “Kikes” or “Hebes”
Occasionally, the black folks I know call each other “nigger”.
That is their business.


What is that all about?

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29 Answers

josie's avatar

Now that is interesting…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Of the black folks that you know that call each other ‘nigger’, what is their nationality?

tinyfaery's avatar

We/they do.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

What? I mean seriously what? First of all, people are minorities, not perceived minorities. Second of all, ALL races and ethnicities have a certain amount of self-deprecation as part of their humor lexicon. Geez. Perhaps, you need more wonderful friendships.

Blondesjon's avatar

I think that they do but not in the “Americanized” way that we get from comedians like Richard Pryor or Chris Rock, though that is changing. Check out Russel Peters and find out how funny bashing Indians as an Indian can be.

@josie . . . i’ll be your wonderful friend . . .

josie's avatar

@Simone De Beavoir

…people are minorities, not perceived minorities
Am I a minority? If so which one?. Your best answer is still a guess.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie Right but that doesn’t mean you’re not a minority. If a person is a minority, they’re so regardless of whether or not they’re perceived to be so. If you read someone as white and their parents are mixed and they grew up within an area where all others were black, let’s say..their experience can still be that of a minority. And yes, please be friends with @Blondesjon – I think that’s a wonderful idea.

FutureMemory's avatar

I play-insult other atheists all the time.

“Yo what’s up, heathen?” etc.

josie's avatar

What’s wrong with @Blondesjon . He’s never done anything to screw up my life. Seems to be an OK guy. Why does it bother you? It is just a social site. Why does it bother you?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@josie Who said anything bothered me? I was agreeing with him.

Blondesjon's avatar

it was perceived agreeing.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Blondesjon Yep. You got that right.

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jrpowell's avatar

There was this thing called slavery where white people called black people nigger and ‘boy’. One of ways to diminish the historical context of the word was to make it meaningless. This didn’t work out as planned.

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Blackberry's avatar

Well, there’s two kinds of black people….lol. That’s a joke I won’t get into, but I would like to think that more and more blacks are realizing that it’s time to stop using that word when referring to other blacks. I don’t see how they could use it if they really knew the significance of it and how it was used in past, so that leads me to believe that they don’t know or don’t care, and both aren’t beneficial.

obvek's avatar

Thank you, Dr. Eugenics.

WestRiverrat's avatar

I don’t think that is totally true.

George Lopez, Larry the Cable guy, Jeff Foxworthy, Richard Prior, Flip Wilson, Williams and Ree.

There are comedians of all ethnic backgrounds that have made a living off of ethnic humor, mainly blowing up and playing off of stereotypes.

I think taking a phrase or word and turning it from an insult into an honorable title dates back to the Revolutionary war in the US. The redcoats called the colonists yankee doodles to insult them. The yankees turned it from an insult into a compliment.

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WestRiverrat's avatar

Lopez probably was a bad example, Freddie Prinz would probably be a better one.

WasCy's avatar

We of Swedish descent often call each other squareheads. Or maybe that’s just my family. There’s even a line that goes back into an antiquity that I don’t want to research (and maybe the real reason that Sweden has been officially neutral in wars for the past 700 years):

Ten thousand Swedes
Ran through the weeds
Pursued by one Norwegian.

Feel free to have at the Norwegians any time. Don’t mess with the Finns, though.

ucme's avatar

I think everybody should practice a little self depreciation once in a while. Keeps a person grounded, a wise move. Sound advice & i’m thick as shit as a rule ;¬}

WasCy's avatar

I’ll second that. You guess which part/s.

ucme's avatar

That would probably be the part where irony failed to register. Unless of course you too are thi…oh never mind.

mazingerz88's avatar

I maybe wrong but when I hear blacks using “nigger” lackadaisically to refer to each other, sometimes it sounds to me like a gesture of camaraderie, of comradeship. What was used against them as a demeaning word, they have almost turned into a term of “endearment”, one that they also look at as a jest but just between themselves.

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anartist's avatar

Of the people I know, some can a do all of the above. And, in particular, I have heard a lot of colorful language, as well as “stereotyping” from Jewish friends about their own, usually in the form of humor.

And gay people I know definitely use the word “fag” sometimes to add a deliberately titillating bluntness to their conversation but sometimes to express degree of behavior much as blacks sometimes did [or still do?] refer to different skin tones like “high yellow” to describe a “degree” of blackness.

anartist's avatar

@WasCy reminds me so of the Navy/Marine mutual put down stuff

Ten thousand gobs
put down their swabs
to take on one Marine.

Ten thousand more
who stood on the shore
saw the bloodiest battle they’d ever seen.

I’d love to hear the Norwegian answer.

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