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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

The N-word

So, there is a special N-word that no one can say except the people who object to it? Wow, America is buffaloed! Is this a historical first? Has there ever been another such forbidden word in the history of The United States of America? A word that if spoken, everyone understands that is justification to vilify you, to even strike you in public?

This is a different phenomenon from social disapproval of common English sexual or scatological swear words, which intensify, shock, and offend, while signifying a close personal relationship. The prohibition on the N-word for only certain types of people, types of people who are not always easily identified, seems to me to be a passive-aggressive way of demonstrating that there is to be no close personal relationship between those allowed to speak the N-word and those who may not. My 2¢: And with that I disagree whole-heartedly, there will be close personal race relationships in my world. When I taught sociology at Ohio State University from 1983-1985 and briefly in the Arizona Community College District, good race relations were a chapter in the book that I wholeheartedly taught, but I certainly did not expect this interpretation.

Some primitive cultures had separate languages for men and women in which it was taboo to speak the language of another gender, but the N-word is just one word that only certain types of people are allowed to speak, types of people who are not always easily identified. I think the race-specific dichotomy of may-use/may-not-use the N-word may be a first in the history of humanity! This sets a very bad precedent. It erodes American freedom of expression. What if I announced that no one could say "pfft" in my presence or I would call them evil incarnate and punch them in the nose? I would be hauled off the loony bin.

Caption: Drawing The Curtain On Freedom Of Expression

by Annmarie Throckmorton 2018

Caption: Bingo Board of racist slurs and other proclamations

to the masses—screen captures, 2018

Caption: screen capture - Fox News reports discrimination a generation later, 08-26-18.

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