Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Meaning of Racial Slurs

One of the first things that one learns in a language is to understand the meaning withint context. Without understanding the context, one is bound to misunderand what is spoken or written. Today's poltical correctness has done just that. It takes "racial slurs" out of their contextual situatedness and misunderstands the intent of such "racial slurs".

Today's "political correctness" doesn't leave any room for affirming social norms. Social norms are what first formulated the "racial slurs", but the political correctness of our society isn't able to use such "racial slurs" for fear of personal insult, or being divisive. Political correctness has undermined the cohesiveness in our cultural values and norms. As a result, our society suffers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. epitomized a social transformation in our society, but such transformation was not to usurp the values and norms of culture itself, such as hard work and industry, but to call the nation to a more ethical or principled judgment about "people of color". He wanted the nation to be united by "character", which upheld the values of creative industry, hard work, productivity and giving back to society, as well as giving equal opportunity to those who'd been second class citizens.

Today's "civil rights" mentality undermine the "right to free speech" when it has racial implications. Such speech occurs because of the value of social norms. The "slave-owining class" had certain expectations about their human capital. They wanted strong and able men and women to work the farm, do the housework and alleviate the upper class from similar duties. But this "norm" came about almost 100 years after our Founding. Our Founding was based in the Protestant work ethic, where all that were able bodied helped.

The Protestant Work Ethic was the hard work and industry that produced prosperity for the "founding generation".  The Indians were useful to help the founding generations to know how to cultivate and live "in the wild". But, while the "founding generation" learned from the Indian, the Indian was not viewed as an equal, but as a "savage". The savage acts out of instinct and not out of rational principle. Such judgment upheld the social value of law and education. A civilized society did not function on or by instinct, but by a government. Today, mulitculturalism undermines American society and it 'founding values' because of political correctness.

Racial slurs like, "He's acting like a nigger",  has a valid use in language and culture. "He acts like a nigger" came from a culture that valued hard work from the slave. Is the value of hard work still important to our culture, or is "political correctness" a more important value to our society? What we have lost is both the distinction of character when it comes to the worker or the "owner". The worker should work to the best of his ability, while the owner has an obligation to treat the employee with equal respect and honor. Our cultural value is "equal under law".

I think "political correctness" has undermined our society's virtues and furthered society's vices. No longer is there any speech that discriminates, or oppressess. And there can't be any social taboos, or mores that are limited by such language. Surely, one would not want to be labeled as "acting like a Nigger", freeloading off their "masters". Nor would one want to be labeled "acting like a Jew", and be understood to be materialistic and greedy. These colloquialisms have lost their force in society, because of political correctness.

Because Political Correctness has undermined the force of social taboos that uphold society's norms that benefit society and its people, we have lost as a nation, and our culture's values have shifted from hard work and prosperity to entitlement and sloth.

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