Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

The ‘R’ Word

with one comment

I was reading an article online on the msnbc webpage which explored the way we use the term “racist” after reviewing recent events concerning President Obama. The article claims that we in the US have been throwing the term around everywhere to the point where it has no more meaning. In the article, John McWhorter explains: “It gets to the point where we don’t have a word that we use to call people racist who actually are. The more abstract and the more abusive we get in the way we use the words, then the harder it is to talk about what we originally meant by those terms,”

I completely agree with this statement by McWhorter. Today we use words without considering the impact of those words and with no regards to their actual or intended meanings. This recent case just highlights these problems. To proclaim everyone in favor of President Obama and his policies in the right and everyone opposed as racists is taking the meaning of the word out of its original context.


Written by justinjayjones

September 21, 2009 at 1:38 am

Posted in Uncategorized

One Response

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  1. I think this is an interesting notion. John McWhorter has a good point by suggesting that perhaps we don’t even have a word anymore that we use to call people racist who actually are – we just toss it around, sometimes in a jokingly way. We simply throw around this term, like other derogatory words and consequently, it has lost its value, or original meaning. One word that our society tends to throw around a lot and that I am particularly disturbed by is the word “ghetto”. I feel it has lost its original meaning and now is used to describe any area that is occupied by blacks.


    September 22, 2009 at 1:48 am

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