I swear to y'all, I am not being snarky in this post. I know it's going to sound like it, because generally sarcasm oozes from my pores, but I'm NOT, I swear.
My grandma uses the n-word till she catches herself. She was telling a story once, and to describe the woman she was talking about, she said "And she was a nig... a black person." She doesn't mean it offensively, it's just what they called persons of color (POC) in Alabama in the 40's. That's what she learned. Of course, now it's the ultimate in awful things to call POCs, unless one is, of course, black.
POCs founded the United Negro College Fund. Now calling someone a "negro" is offensive.
POCs founded The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Now to call someone colored is offensive.
I think the most recent acceptable term is "person of color." That's why I'm using it. I find the term "African American" to be intellectually dishonest. It's like calling a Native American an Indian. Why, though, is it acceptable to say "person of color" and not "colored person?" Will "person of color" be unacceptable in the future?
The word "retarded" was once used, in a denotatively correct fashion, to describe mentally challenged people. Their mental ability was retarded, so they were called mentally retarded. Now that word is considered offensive, and is generally used as a pejorative term. Although, I suppose, their mental ability isn't retarded as much as it is limited in certain capacities. In any event, that's one term that makes me bristle when used as an insult.
Why is this? Do y'all think it's because words that were once unassuming started being used as insults, making the word itself offensive? Why is it that terms that were once universally accepted are now universally offensive?
2 weeks ago