61 2 mins 15 yrs

I wasn’t sure if I would comment on this, since it relates to the hateful Channel 4 programme "Big Brother" BUT…..it appears that Emily Parr has been removed from the Big Brother house for using a racially offensive word to another housemate. The 19-year-old from Bristol was taken out of the compound at 0330 BST and was forbidden from having any further contact with the 11 other contestants.

Emily said: "Are you pushing it out, you nigger?" to Charley Uchea, while they were dancing in the living room on Wednesday evening. Charley said "You are in trouble", adding she was "in shock". Emily replied: "Don’t make a big thing out of it… I was joking."

Now then, I think it is wrong to "evict" some-one for using the "Nigger" word when in fact this word is liberally used in our culture. Take popular Rap music, sung along to in the streets, where it seems that it is almost a word of choice. (Along with "ho", that is) Is it only Black people that can say this word? Why? And what other words should we ban?

Listen, I don’t like the N word and would never use it to describe another person since I simply think it is crude. But there are MANY other crude words – in fact "Big Brother" delights in foul language and reprehensible behaviour. I think the producers of this contrived dross WANTED to find a way to show us all how decent and responsible they are (After last year’s Shilpa/Jade commotion) which is why they sacrificed poor stupid Emily.

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61 thoughts on “THE “N” WORD….

  1. The show itself is offensive to one’s intelligence, and I would almost believe the controversy is scripted for ratings if I thought someone was capable of such a thing. Oh, I do.

    I think the word is sufficently loaded in racist content (perhaps more here in the U.S.) that it is insensitive when used by whites, and over used by blacks (who at least have the target’s right to declaw a term).

  2. Circa 1960:

    Why do black men wear baggy trousers?

    Cos they’re knee grows!

    Geddit?

  3. I was in a Newcastle bar on tuesday night. Every fifth word in most of the songs was "nigger", it was a hip-hop/R&B evening. The words "ho" and "bitch" were also to be found in abundance. The near absence of black people and the scores of women dancing to these "rape fantasies" didn’t escape my attention.

    If the black woman on BB had called the white woman "honky" or some such nothing would have been said and no evictions would’ve occurred. Racism cuts both ways and it is always wrong.

  4. What really angers me is that the eviction of some slapper from Big Brother is reported on the national news.
    Who the hell cares!

  5. DV

    You were right to post it because the BB angle actually draws attention to a more important issue.

  6. Historically the word "nigger" is a term of racist abuse directed by whites at blacks. So rappers are using it in a different context, presumably meant to be ironic or nihilist.

    If the word had gone unpunished on BB it would have implied that casual racism on tv is acceptable.

    I would like to think that if the remark had been "jew boy" or some other antisemitic term the punishment would have been the same, put perhaps I’m being naive here.

  7. Peter

    I think anti-semitic remarks would’ve resulted in eviction. But I really doubt racist remarks about "whitey" would’ve been punished

  8. There should be no great mystery here. As far as a lot of people are concerned, its the most offensive word in the English language.

    SBK,

    "honky" is not comparably offensive, perhaps a combinations of f’s and c’s could get close

    Bernard,

    that may have been funny circa 1960 amongst very thick people, but it sure as hell ain’t now

  9. Richard,

    I suppose I approach this subject as someone who loves words. I find "Nigger" a crude and ugly word, though I make an exception of "white nigger" in the context of my favourite song. It is also a word out of time – it belongs to an era long past. And yet popular black culture celebrates it -it’s all very odd! W

  10. David,

    I used to listen to a lot of hip hop and yes the word is littered amongst the other expletives, but I don’t think we can use rap music as a yardstick for what is acceptable language, especially given the tendency to sink to the lowest common denominator in popular culture. Just as "sex sells" so does offensive language.

    The usage such as it is amongst some black people (and the vast majority do not use it) I would say falls into the human characteristic of distinguishing between members of a group on one hand and outsiders on another.

    In the same way as I might criticise my country, I’d still get annoyed if a foreigner said the same things, or me and my sisters may say things about our parents, which I wouldn’t stand for from someone else, or when a north Londoner insults my beloved south London etc. So the same double standard, which we all possess, means that white people can’t get away with the N word.

    As for that black ghetto culture thing, including the language, according to Thomas Sowell, its actually more a southern thing, which came along with the mass migration of southern blacks to the rest of America at the turn of the last century.

    The change in recent times is that whilst offensive language is now tolerated much more, this word has gone in the other direction. It was always very offensive to black people, but in the past there weren’t that many around to have their opinion taken into account. I think it’s a bit like a foreign swear word which, unless that’s your language, you can’t really sense the power of it.

  11. The 19-year-old from Bristol was taken out of the compound

    and I thought you were going to say shot, which she should have been, along with everyone involved in this inane, puerile programme. It is a damming indictment of the level of intelligence amongst some people – sad really.

  12. David,

    lol!

    His essay "Black rednecks and white liberals" is very interesting, looking at the origins of what some call "ghetto culture" back to the southern states and onward back to the lawless borderlands of Britain where it originated. Difficult to summarise, but fascinating, seen in some of the archaisms in the language, the drinking, the fighting, the music, the approach to religion etc

  13. Being on of the "yoof" I can say thet me and my friends have great fun joking about race, with people of that race or otherwise.

    Classic jokes include:

    Black friend is standing at a vending machine/says he is going to the shops etc. Shout to him from a short distance away "Oi, darkey, get me [insert good available from where he is going here] and step to it before I get ma whippin’ stick out."

    Conversation dries up and there is an awkward silence. Break the silence by saying "….so….which is worse, Jews or Muslims?"

    Some does something you don’t like, for instance, tries to pinch a sip of your drink. Rebuke him by saying "oi, kepp your filthy hands off my drink you Jew!"

    Muslim friend wins at poker. "You don’t want my chips, they’ve been greased with pig fat…and were made by gays… gay women…who are Jewish."

    Ball gets kicked over fence into somewhere with a nasty dog. "Alright darkey, in you go."

    Of course this is all completely in jest and amusing for all and "whitey" jokes are abound and everyone gets on just fine.

  14. As ATW’s resident redneck, may I second Richard’s suggestion of Sowell’s book. The violence of the black underclass and lack of education was the way the entire South was. My mother got through the 9th grade at school in the 30ies, her father had 3 years of schooling. And we got all this from what we call our "scots-irish" ancestors, who as
    Richard rightly points out, came from the very violent borderlands of lowland Scotland, and who I think went through Ulster. I think it still survives in Scotland to some extent in the "whiskey and knives" culture.

  15. Charles: Most common final words from male rednecks before they die: "Hey Y’all. Watch This."

  16. Charles, watch how you spell "whisky"! Other than that, all agreed. I’ve been reading up on the origins of "cracker" and "redneck", coming across the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud, involving a certain Jim Vance, Devil Anse Hatfield’s "ruthless uncle". A distant relative, David?

    http://www.blueridgecountry.com/hatmac/hatmac.html

  17. CL

    I’d like to know what the cookies were made of ;).

    As to the topic in question, it seems to me from the description in David’s post that the word was used crudely but jokingly which is very different form using it in genuine anger or abusively. I think C4 are being a bit too oversensitive , but then again if as I suspect they had made it clear to all the inmates that racial terms were not to be used in any context then clearly this girl would have known that and broke the rules.

  18. CL,

    I think you illustrate that one of the problems is the disappearance between what is considered private and what is public.

    It’s nobody’s business what is said in private, amongst friends. If I talk with my friends, I swear without even hearing it, but if someone who doesn’t know me uses such language, it’s insulting, over-familiar, and presumptuous.

  19. David,

    apparently one of the possible origins of the term is a red sash worn round the neck by those who signed the "Solemn League and Covenant", so I can believe it.

  20. As the point of this show is that the audience vote on who they would like to see thrown out, and as they are supposed to cast their votes on the basis of what they’ve seen of the contestants’ characters, why should this not have been left to the audience to sort out? (Of course, I appreciate that due to the ridiculous Shetty charade this wasn’t going to happen in practice).

    And, as SBK said, if some black contestants had launched into a spiel of equally (or more) racist abuse against a white contestant then of course nothing would have happened. It probably wouldn’t even have made it into the media. But then, whites aren’t a designated victim group, and can’t expect to be treated equally to those who are.

  21. As Richard points out, the "n" word is common parlance amongst young men who are part of a group of friends and I always smile when I hear young white boys greet ea other thus. Those other great borrowings from hip hop – bitch and ho now also feature heavily in male to male salutations. Context is everything and there are terms which have yet to be reclaimed – I heard "coon" being used in racially abusive way last week on the tube (similarly gay men will call ea other "poofs" and "queers" but not faggots which carries a gtr abusive force). You get free sociology lessons on London transport – and maybe you should at the price!

    Incidentally, David, I presume you are of Hugenot stock?

  22. Young black males who emulate the gangsta culture are committing cultural suicide. Young white males who do so are pathetic (the expression for them in these parts is wiggers). Of course, like rabbits, bad television and Bush’s mistakes – they keep multiplying.

    Sara – the Vances may be many things, but French? Dem’s fighting words.

  23. I agree with most of the above but C4 was given money (presumably British govt money) to set up a television station in order to protray black people in a more positive light, so this racial stuff goes against what it was founded on. However, the bollywood actress milked the racial scene last time round, it put her in the spot light and in my opinion thats what got her the votes and how she won BB unfairly. I don’t think she should have won at all, considering her bahaviour, and as for the most recent evictee from the house, she was a kid 19, these kids now use words differently. Like she said it was a joke, all much ado about nuthin

  24. Sara,

    for white people to use the N word as a friendly greeting is a sign of woeful ignorance, and I’d expect they’d blush if called on it. They’re essentially using a foreign word, the significance they don’t understand.

    The tangle everyone’s getting into is searching for what is publicly acceptable, in contrast to what one can say in private amongst friends. Since the obscenity laws have fallen by the wayside, and private behaviour is introduced via films and television, people are all confused. The N word is as irredemable as the C word. Both are terms of abuse. There is obviously a necessity for such words, or else they’d never exist, but using them with people who you don’t know well enough is fighting talk.

  25. Yes it is ignorant – but if I called them upon it I’d be told where to go to. I doubt they’d blush. Its part of contemporary youth culture – amongst young males at least.
    And transport is unique – a public space where private conversations are often loudly broadcast

  26. Wow Sara – in honour of your question for David I’m posting this link for Pete!

  27. Mad

    Don’t inflict that upon anyone – please!

    The surname suggests it – my own family settled around Lisburn and worked in the linen trade. Quite a few also settled on the western coast of Scotland

  28. Colm slugger hasn’t upset me, I feel it has gone very much downhill. The quality of the responses in the threads are not what they used to be, like someone impersonating David in the thread put up by Michael. The language used sometimes. I dunno. Perhaps I’m just burnt out with it.

  29. Charles, watch how you spell "whisky"!

    I think you will find Charles spelt Whiskey correctly! πŸ˜‰

    As for the post itself

    Crap show,never watched it and don’t really care if some cretin got thrown off it. BB has, for me anyway, ruined C4’s reputation and content.

  30. Sara,

    I meant more a black person mocking/denigrading them for it, but you could be right. It reminds me of a CS Lewis quote:

    "The trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."

  31. Sara,

    As best I understand that Vance is of Norman origins, and was originally De Vaux. The Vaux and later Vans family, was prominent in Scotland from the 11th century. The name was introduced to Ireland in the 16th century, (Guess who we followed over?)and became established primarily in the northern counties.Best of all, a Lord Vaux in the 1550’s influenced the young Edward de Vere – the man I believe was Shakespeare.

  32. Chris,

    I’ll leave the spelling issue for a Canadian or Scotsman to take up.

    I’m surprised you think BB has besmirched C4’s reputation, I’d say further confirmed.

  33. I’ll leave the spelling issue for a Canadian or Scotsman to take up.

    Why? We invented the stuff!! what Canadian’s and Scots make is not fit for human consumption!!!

    I used to have some time for C4, after BB I have none.

  34. David

    Guess my lot were just blow-ins!

    You don’t subscribe to the Bacon theory I assume

  35. David – does this mean we can blame your family for the boy racers in Corsas ? πŸ˜‰

  36. Chris

    Agree – the Scots were never able to blend and the Canadian stuff is like Irun Bru with alcohol added

  37. Sara

    Agree – the Scots were never able to blend and the Canadian stuff is like Irun Bru with alcohol added

    Finally! someone (apart from myself) on ATW with brains and taste in relation to Whiskey πŸ˜‰

  38. Whisky, whiskey, it’s all much the same once you’ve added the coke πŸ™‚

  39. What about the theory that Bacon was the son of Elizabeth I? Heard that one?

  40. I think I remember reading that the man that Lincoln would walk to for books was named Vance.

    In the Dallas phone book;

    Vance- 117 entries

    Gaskin- 4 entries

    Yep, were Scots-Irish all right!

  41. it’s all much the same once you’ve added the coke πŸ™‚

    Philistine!!

    In the Dallas phone book;

    Gaskin- 4 entries

    Those poor four innocent souls, I have heard of people being sent to the gulags but Texas??

    What did they do, kill the Pope?? πŸ˜‰

  42. >>Those poor four innocent souls<<

    Must have been a Botany Bay convict ship run aground! πŸ˜‰

    Also, I like the way David says "I reckon." Redneck giveaway!

  43. Must have been a Botany Bay convict ship run aground! πŸ˜‰

    LOL, talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire!

    I don’t think even the Brits would have sent people to Texas, seems a little harsh πŸ˜‰

  44. Richard

    There was a time when a comment like that would had elicited more than just a response, you would have been hung for corrupting the youth.

    Ahhh, them was the days! πŸ˜‰

  45. A Yankee general during the Civil War said that if he owned hell and Texas, he’d live in hell and rent out Texas!

  46. β€œAnd, as SBK said, if some black contestants had launched into a spiel of equally (or more) racist abuse against a white contestant then of course nothing would have happened. It probably wouldn’t even have made it into the media. But then, whites aren’t a designated victim group, and can’t expect to be treated equally to those who are”

    Christ, and ATW call Republicans MOPES

    β€œA Yankee general during the Civil War said that if he owned hell and Texas, he’d live in hell and rent out Texas!”

    LOL

  47. Paul:

    It’s clearly established that non-whites can get away with a hell of a lot more than white people can, in this respect. Try listening to some rap music, for example. If a white musician said something one-tenth as offensive about blacks then he’d never record music again, yet rappers like Ice Cube can incite the murder of white people (and, in his case, Koreans as well) in their records, with no adverse consequences. Equally, consider the fact that racism is always represented as something done by wicked white people to poor defenceless blacks, despite the fact that most racist violence in the UK is directed against white people. What is the reason for these discrepancies, other than that the liberal-left has an ingrained image of whites as perpetrators, and of non-whites as their victims?

  48. Strange how Channel4 has no issue with 6 girls chasing the single bloke around the BB house trying to strip him naked against his will. Quite humiliating him.

    Cant imagine it being accepted if 6 blokes had attempted to strip a solitary girl naked.

    We’d have had cries of attempted rape.

  49. I’m surprised the kind of exhibitionists you get on Big Brother need any help to get naked.

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