Saturday, March 29, 2014

N-word, C-word, F-word, Oh My!



So I guess if a staff member overhears a black student using the N-word to a white student, that's okay.

Or if ARHS teenagers decide to do "The Vagina Monologues" again next year, then the C-word will be okay.

Or if student calls another friend, who is not gay,  a "fag" in an endearing sort of way, then that's okay.

Let the witch hunt begin.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was very dismayed by this portion of Rick Hood's comments. He should know that saying these words, no matter how reprehensible, is an expellable offense. I do think they should have a zero tolerance policy for saying the words. And this goes for everyone no matter what color they are. I wonder if they will start disciplining black students for saying the N word.

Larry Kelley said...

And will they differentiate between the six-letter N-word that ends in R, and the five-letter one that ends in A?

Anonymous said...

To me there is no difference. No matter how many letters it is still the "N" word. If a white child said the 5 letter N word would the black community be any less upset then if the 6 letter variety was said? I think not.
No there must be an absolute ban on all versions of the N word being said by anyone of any color or gender or age or socioeconomic status or disability or ... . In other words no one gets to say the word with impunity. Period. This does not mean they get expelled. I don't know what the punishment would be but it must be the same for everyone. Period.

Anonymous said...

I work right in the school and have had such words said to me. Mostly not directed at me. I hear it all the time and the Deans stand right outside my area and I know they can hear this, but they never say anything to the students. I have had students complain about things and be like this is f@*ked up towards me or have heard other students stay that word to others and to other students and they do nothing.
I have even had a staff/administrator say to my face as well as my sons that he wouldn't pass or graduate. That person is still working at the school.

Anonymous said...

Remember when a good swift boot in the ass solved situations like this. The more I hear, the more I think these kids parents need that boot. Looks like a whole generation of young parents who never taught respect. Touchy-feely little babies.

Anonymous said...

Exactly what part of Title VI does Rick Hood think he isn't violating? The definition of racial discrimination is to "discriminate" (or treat differently) similar people, or people who did similar things, on the basis of their race.

See the US Department of Justice's Title IV page.

Note that 46 USC Sec. 2000d-7(a)(1) states that: "A State shall not be immune under the Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution of the United States from suit in Federal court for a violation of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [29 U.S.C. 794], title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 [20 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.], the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 [42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.], title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. 2000d et seq.], or the provisions of any other Federal statute prohibiting discrimination by recipients of Federal financial assistance."

Anonymous said...

Larry,

I do not understand your distinction between the 5 and 6 letter versions of the N word. Would you please explain what you mean? It seems to me that it is a distinction without a difference resulting from regional/historical pronunciation differences.

Anonymous said...

We shouldn't ban words. We need to restrict the media content our children are exposed to until they understand its context and implications. There needs to me more civics classes in grades 1-12. I looked on the Amherst School website and don't see any civics classes listed!

Anonymous said...

He forgot to include the R word.

Anonymous said...

"I do not understand your distinction between the 5 and 6 letter versions of the N word. Would you please explain what you mean? It seems to me that it is a distinction without a difference resulting from regional/historical pronunciation differences."

Have you been living under a rock?
No TV? No internet? No knowledge of current music or comedy? Welcome to 2014!

Anonymous said...

Gazette article today reports a 4th incident, occurring this past Thursday, this time in a boy's bathroom, targeting Gardner.

Tom Porter said...

Interesting ethical situation, one for which the school administration, or school committee - ideally both in agreement - must stipulate a clear policy:

Either, in accordance with the first amendment of the constitution that ensures freedom of speech, the words are permissible, or else, in accordance with rules of polite society (which I believe the school has authority to establish for on-premises behavior) the words are not permissible.

The catch: the rule must apply to all, without exception. That is what's called "equal justice."

I have a preference, but will support either decision as long as it is applied fairly and consistently. I don't believe the school committee nor the school administration have the fortitude to declare a clear policy, but I would love to be proven wrong, and would celebrate that.

Anonymous said...

Time to lock the bathrooms for the school day-
No cold water handwashing, no requests for urine samples, no graffiti in the stalls...

Anonymous said...

So he tries to talk tough, and gives us a message loaded with loopholes.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, everybody needs to stop for a moment and take a deep breath (or two).

Anonymous said...

Not to be a wise guy but what about the a,b,d,e,g,h,I,j,k,l,m,o,p,q,r,s,t words.They should be included too.

Anonymous said...

If the schools had good consistent leadership in the past decade we would not have a problem. The schools are like a bunch of sailboats without sails drifting on the ocean. No direction, no clear mission, just forward momentum guiding by the currents and tides around them.

I feel for anyone in that system be they teacher, student, or parent.

Anonymous said...

Zero tolerance policies always have unintended consequences. If they are serious about zero tolerance I hope the community is ready for negative consequences to otherwise good kids.

Anonymous said...

I wish Rick Hood could have felt this passionate to stand up for the people, against the administration when the math program was in chaos. Instead he sold us down the river. I guess issues of race get his attention. Certainly issues of quality curriculum did not.

Tony said...

We're going to look back someday on how ridiculous grown men and women sounded, furtively using the phrase "N-word". Just cringe-worthy.

Anonymous said...

I don't really understand Hood's position re: expelling students for language and the new policy of not suspending students for misconduct since the goal is to work with the kids and keep them in school. They are still our children, students, adolescents and growing up after all. Is it worse to call someone one of these words than hitting someone or bullying some one? I don't think you can have hard fast rules when dealing with students. You have to go person by person.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 2:49,

It's ok Rick has not understood his position for over 5 years now. If he ever does he will likely change his mind as the direction of the wind changes.

Squeaky firmly in control said...

Cap'n Hood dialin' your 911?


"Clap clap clap clap!"


------> (???) <-------


LOL!


You think these guilty

pretenders give a fck?????


Ni**a please.


Squeaky $ knows $ what $ time $ it $ is.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wBVVZ9RU_c&hd=1


Don't -- believe -- the -- hype.


-Squeaky Squeaks

Anonymous said...

3:10 poster, are You on something. Or You off something that You should be on?

Walter Graff said...

The Amherst School board is a failure. The superintendent Maria Geryk is a failure. As long as you keep those that are in charge in that position, the Amherst school system will remain a failure. as it is today.

Anonymous said...

@Anon12:18

I do not have a TV and, obviously, I'm on the internet if I'm posting to this blog. No, I've no interest in current pop music or comedy. Not everyone has the same tastes or interests (besides the fact that I've partially lost my hearing which makes music and comedy difficult for me). It just might be more helpful to simply answer the questions instead of making snarky putdown remarks.

Care to try?

Anon 10:51

Anonymous said...

Squeaky is wasting days digging digital ditches and picking electronic cotton.

Anonymous said...

These people are super-eduacted…right?
I guess it's true what they say, you can't teach common sense. Richard Marsh

Anonymous said...

Squeeky, you win for most annoying posts.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:51, The shorter 5 letter version is widely used in music and as a slang word these days. Google it along with "lyrics" for an eye opener. It is unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

"The n-word is unique in the English language. On one hand, it is the ultimate insult- a word that has tormented generations of African Americans. Yet over time, it has become a popular term of endearment by the descendents of the very people who once had to endure it. Among many young people today—black and white—the n-word can mean friend."

http://www.tolerance.org/magazine/number-40-fall-2011/feature/straight-talk-about-n-word

Anonymous said...

Walter Graff, will you please take a moment and explain to us why you don't send your kids to the Sunderland Public Schools, which is where you live, but instead continue to choice your kids in to the Amherst schools? If I was someone who is as unhappy (and as obsessed) as you appear to be, I'd do something about it. It's frankly quite sad.

Anonymous said...

“My image of Onyango, faint as it was, had always been of an autocratic man—a cruel man, perhaps. But I had also imagined him an independent man, a man of his people, opposed to white rule… What Granny had told us scrambled that image completely, causing ugly words to flash across my mind. Uncle Tom. Collaborator. House nigger.”

- Barack Obama

Nina Koch said...

6:14, that is a very informative link. Here is a clickable version:

Straight Talk About the N Word

The article features a professor from Arizona State who taught a course centered around that one word-- a very interesting examination of the role and power of language in different contexts. The professor answers some FAQs that I think readers of this blog might find helpful.

The interview is followed by people posting comments on the tolerance.org blog. The comments demonstrate a civil and constructive dialog among people who don't necessarily agree.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Anons 6:11, 6:14 and 7:41.

Anon 10:51

Walter Graff said...

HA! Good one Tony. There is nothing more painfully ridiculous and cringe worthy than a grown man or woman being reduced to sounding like a six-year-old in an effort to avoid even speaking a word outright. We shouldn’t be talking like little kids in the name of protecting ourselves from language that scares us and the sometimes ugly cultural reality it reveals, just as we shouldn't be hiding library books that reveal our past so that newer generations won't have a comparison and understanding of where we were and what we are today. It's a sad state of affairs that we have decided that a word is more powerful than human judgment and reason. It truly is an Orwellian world.

Anonymous said...

Right, now the S/C wants to get involved. What about the bulling of the white student and his parents. Where were you then?

To little, and way to late. Its time for all to get involved in Amherst. This means school officials and the S/C.

Tom Porter said...

I can appreciate Rick's statement, and the obvious personal conviction behind it. The enforcement/response he calls for should, of course, be fairly and equally meted out.

What was the subsequent discussion in the meeting from which the clip is selected? Agree with Anon 10:07 that both SC and Administration need to take action, but it isn't clear to me what the next step is: which body has authority and responsibility for solving this growing problem?

DDr. Ed said...

Nina -- do you agree with me that absolutely no decent human being ought to use that hateful word?

I'm having bandwidth problems right now -- rain and wind gusting to 50 mph doesn't exactly help a microwave transmission -- so I can't see what your professor says -- although I was convinced by what was said at a Huck Finn conference I attended a while back.

So Nina -- agree that absolutely no one should use that word?

Anonymous said...

Nina, how can a dialogue like this happen at the schools among the students and teachers? I think this is what needs to happen, not more top down rulings. Each school is a community.

That said, the N-word thing seems sort of crazy to me. Saying no one can say it or only certain people is like saying He Who Must Not Be Named instead of Voldmort. Also, how can you enforce any social rule anyway on young people? The cat is really out of the bag. Who can stuff it back in?

Their cravings, your savings said...

"Squeeky, you win for most annoying posts."



I am so very sorry, deep down.


May I extend an olive branch?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwVrKwNyl18&hd=1



-Your little Squeaky

Larry Kelley said...

Anon 11:56 AM
Now don't go messing with the SPCA.

Anonymous said...

Nina's link was very helpful. I had never thought about how complicated and intricate the whole conversation around the N word is and could be. I think we need exactly that kind of dialog that the link talks about both as a town community and the school community. It would be extremely important to have the right facilitator for that dialog. I wonder if someone could facilitate this happening? The superintendent would probably need to start the ball rolling at the school level. Not sure who to look for at the community level...someone other than the folks at the NAACP. With Kathleen Anderson at the helm, the NAACP is not the right organization to facilitate this important and delicate dialog.

Anonymous said...

The older gentleman who spoke very eloquently at the SC meeting, who reminded us that we are all one human race, spoke of a group he started in Amherst several years ago called Citizens for Race Amity Now, in fact they held a meeting this past Saturday at the Jones. He/that group would be possible facilitators of "the conversation", I don't really know what their format is however. In contrast, the current Amherst NAACP is at least partially comprised of very angry and uncooperative board members, and President Anderson's commitment to truth and integrity has been called into question as of late.

Anonymous said...

This always gets a laugh for its ingenious description of the word fuck, the origin, and how versatile a word it is in the English language.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXk9EPxZw48

Anonymous said...

The "N" word being said as Ni***r or Ni**a. Will continue to be used on all levels as long as the persons it offends continue to refer to each other in any context. I will never get how a whole group of people can justify calling each other the "N" word. Then dictate who and when it is appropriate to use this word without throwing out the racist card. Respect yourselves and others will follow, drag yourself down and you will wallow in misery!

Anonymous said...

To the Amherst S/C and School Officals.

My union rep. told me the following!

YOU BID THE JOB OFF! NOW DO IT!

Anonymous said...

What the hell does that mean?