Skip to main content

Reply to "Teacher suspended for ten days, after calling student Nigga!"

I've told you what I think, you've had a load of fun attacking that, now heres something you can attack and possibly get somewhere. Why I think it.

The only uninterested party who is credible, is the one who's opinion decides nothing, and has nothing to gain or lose by the situation. We only have two opinions as to the teachers intent (excluding the teacher as he obviously has the most to lose and is directly involved).

1) We have the negative opinion of someone who was in conflict with the teacher and, as such, has a potential motive to screw over the teacher by not bothering to consider what the teacher meant by the phrase. It is also likely he belongs to the group (#3) that does not consider intent when qualifying speech, rather, looking only at skin colour. This person is also intrinsically involved with the issue, placing him on the same ground as the teacher as far as involvement goes.

2) We have the positive explanation of a student who had enough knowledge to make a judgement call in a personal situation, yet who was apparently uninvolved enough to allow his opinion to remain credible. His statement as to the teacher knowledge of the slang and ability to "rap" with the students is backed up by the video of the teacher explaining use of the word in various situations (including examples which I know, as a teenager exposed to the slang usage of the word, occur). It is possible that he was in conflict with the student in question, however the fact that his opinion matters little in the outcome offsets that to a degree.

3) We have the statements of various other groups, which make no attempt to guess the teachers intent, but simply assume that everytime the word "nigga" is used by a white person, it is meant in a racist fashion. This is despite their own use of the word, infering that despite civil rights movements, the colour of your skin does matter as far as objective treatment in concerned. (To forestall argument, those who have been wrongfully treated deserve compensation, etc etc but this is true of all peoples, the situation simply occurs frequently among blacks. Skin colour is not a deciding factor at all)

Only 1 and 2 offer opinions on intent (intent is important, the difference between murder and mansluaghter for example), while 3 simply says it is always wrong (like killing is considered always wrong). Of the two opinions on intent it is obvious which is more credible (#2, for the slow folks at home). This is why I think that the probability is that the teacher was not being racist. However I also recognise that the lower probability exists, and also that the word is not appropiate for ANYONE to use, so I support the teachers punishment. I do not support the leap to the conclusion that the teacher was being racist simply because there has been cases where the word has been applied in a racist fashion.

THIS IS MY ONLY POINT! INTENT WAS THE ONLY THING I WAS DISCUSSING! EVER! My only thesis if you will. Everything I have said agrees and coincides with this. I'll repeat it again so it is very clear.

The probability is that the teacher was not being racist. I also recognise that the lower probability exists and also that the word is innapropiate for ANYONE to use, so I support the teachers punishment. I do not support the leap to the conclusion that the teacher was being racist simply because there has been cases where the word has been applied in a racist fashion.

So to the undefended part of my argument, why intent is important. Here's why. If the teacher was being intentionally racist, he is a racist, is ignorant, should not be allowed near anyone, and deserves treatment as such. If the teacher only meant to get a response out of the kid by insulting his grammer, then the teacher is somewhat of a jerk and a dumbass (in his method of doing so), and deserves treatment as such. If the teacher was honestly trying to make a connection with the kid (no, I don't think he was, I think he was being a jerk), then he's a naive dumbass and should be treated as such. In any case, the punishment will be the same because this is not an ideal situation where we can determine intent. Where intent does matter is in people's opinions of him. Noone likes to be wrongfully accused, no matter who you are. True, our opinion will not personally affect him, but it's probably good practice to be somewhat of a decent human being and give him the benefit of the doubt. Just because we are shocked at possibilities, does not make those possibilities automatically true, we still should give reason due process. Which is what I've doen to the best of my ability. It's also why the claims that all I'm trying to do is justify use of the n-word are completely meaningless along with the pompous whining about how white people can never accept that they can't do something.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Useless rebuttal (noone will actually read it objectively before they respond) which will probably become the focus of the argument as opposed to the above

"So Jaco ... Using your logic, you'd be okay with someone outside of your immediate peer circle, including an adult in authority telling you to sit down "Bitch" or "Fag" or "Asshole" ... Because you and they have heard it used in your peer circle, even by you? bs You'd run your little teenage Canadian ass to the nearest snitching post to have that adult's head."

Nope, I'd tell him to go fuck himself, if the insult was that clear. Mutual blackmail you dumbass, only he would way have more to lose then me. However if he took a word I used often in a completely idiotic and senseless way (hint: there isn't one, the worst a teacher could do is critique my work ethic), then I would be embarrased as hell and sit down. In any case, if he used a term that was in use by me and my friends to address eachother (as was the word "nigga" in the students case), I'd say hi and sit down. If he insulted my ethnic background, (I'm primarily Dutch, have at it), I'd ignore it if it was groundless (as it would be, it's racism), maybe give it a chuckle if it was witty, and sit down. One question though, why was it neesecary to include the word Canadian? Completely unnessecary, unless of course you're a hypocritical piece of shit.

"What part of cultural loaded word/phrase don't you understand?"

Hmm, read my posts. I don't think the word was used in a racist context, I think it was a critique of language. Intent does matter. If someone is really that offended, and the person is more than a nameless face off the street, they should probably take the time to have a conversation to determine intent and also to make it clear that they don't appreciate the possible slur. We learned steps to problem solving in what, grade 3?

"or maybe because you are white"

That however probably was racist. You could have meant that no white person could fathom the depths of your sorrow, but I'm not betting on it. You could learn something from me simply not caring.

"Sad, isn't it. Many white people have a hard time being told that they can't do something."

Also could be taken as racist, but I'm going to assume you realise it's true of all people, including your own. Noone likes to be told that they can't do something they would like to do. Moving out of the general case, it is racist if you're assuming all white people want to be racist. If you honestly think that white people in general are more arrogant and demanding than your average human, I'd have to lump you in with the hypocritical shit there too.

"IRRELEVANT!!!" (re: my defense against the accusation that I wanted to say "nigga")

Relevant, only because your dumb asses accused me of it.

How are the two cases of bigotry comparable? Well for starters...

Bigot: a person obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices

The students involved take offense at the word only if white people say it. There is, as you say, history to explain why this occurs, however it is still only a reason behind the bigotry and not an excuse for the bigotry. Verdict, bigotry. You obviously think the english teacher was being racist, despite his knowledge of how the students peers used the word in everyday conversation, and from that, his knowledge of how to use it himself in everyday conversation as is the fashion. The connection is obvious, I have no clue how you didn't grasp it. If you want to argue the line between abstract and the applicable, perhaps you had better define clearly what that line is. Right now all your doing is repeating a grey area at me without qualifying it. In any case, this isn't exactly the cornerstone of my point of view, attacking this does nothing. If it makes you feel better to win, I'll admit that there are differences between the two, however the common aspect of prejudice still exists (but only if the teacher was being racist). Note I covered the outcome of the teacher not being racist by using the phrase "more racist." No contradiction.

"Now, this clearly displays your lack of logic or anything that can credibly be called an objective view of the situation."

Read: "I, Nmaginate, pronounce you illogical. Explanation will not be forthcoming."

The teachers sob story? Its the exact same thing as what I've been saying, that he (probably) wasn't being racist. Why the hell did you need me to tell you that? His story agrees with everything I've said, I don't have to justify it, you just have to thouroughly read what I wrote, and objectively listen to what he said. They agree, I've been explaining his story the whole time, I shouldn't have to point that out to you.

"Put simply... whatever the two parties involved in conversation perceive the meaning of a word to be, that's what the word means in that conversation."

I fail to see the conflict. If the teacher was making a parody and the student failed to understand it, then there is nothing more than a misunderstanding. The fact that the student didn't understand (or chose to deliberately not understand), does not change the teachers intentions. Its a conditional statement, the concept works if and only if both parties do understand the meaning. Again, I shouldn't have to explain that.
×
×
×
×