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University Apologizes to Students After Lecturer Quotes the Word ‘Negro’ in Material from Black Writers

University Apologizes to Students After Lecturer Quotes the Word ‘Negro’ in Material from Black Writers

“I am extremely sorry that this happened”

This happened in the UK, but it’s easy to imagine something similar happening here.

The College Fix reports:

Lecturer uses word ‘negro’ from black-authored source material, university apologizes to students

Officials at the University of York in the UK apologized to students after an English lecturer read aloud the word “negro” from black-authored source material.

According to the Daily Mail, students were “distressed” upon hearing the word, which came from passages by (black) writers William Edward Burghardt Du Bois and Fritz Fanon.

One of the former’s works actually is titled “The Philadelphia Negro.”

When the offended undergrads complained to English Department Chair Helen Smith, she responded with a letter of apology. Smith noted that while the word wasn’t used “offensively,” she recognized the “considerable distress” it had caused:

I am extremely sorry that this happened, and I have written to all staff in the department to make it clear that they should not pronounce racial slurs as part of their teaching and that if those words appear in texts or on PowerPoint slides, they should be prefaced with an appropriate content warning.

Smith followed that up with a message to the department: Don’t use “negro” henceforth. (Or, as she wrote in her email, “n*gro.”) If lecturers must read aloud the term, Smith suggested the following preface:

I am going to be using quotations which feature racial slurs, in an attempt to fully explore the topic, and in no way to condone the use of such words in other contexts by those who are not members of the specific racial groups who have chosen to reclaim these terms.

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Comments

When did “negro” become a racial slur? It was never used as a slur even when it was acceptable to utter racial slurs.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to randian. | December 27, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    It became a racial slur when the likes of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton SAID it was. Rather than being told to go to hell, non-negroes voluntarily became their Marionettes.

Better preface:
I am going to be using quotations which feature older references to race and nationality, in an attempt to fully explore the topic. These will often include words considered inappropriate in modern usage. In no way do I condone actually attempting to insult people with the use of such words. But, pretty much, if you’re here – in college, taking this course – and get offended or ‘triggered’ by my reading these terms, then please go elsewhere and attempt a degree that has less intellectual rigor and less applicability to the real world.

    HImmanuelson in reply to GWB. | December 27, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    > then please go elsewhere and attempt a degree that has less intellectual rigor and less applicability to the real world

    The problem is that the students that are triggered by such things are likely already in “soft” classes that have little rigor and applicability to the real world. There’s just not much room left to go lower.

How about “Shines”, “Schvoogies” and “Bucks”?

Have these terms been “reclaimed”?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to 3525Tex. | December 27, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    You left out eggplant. Also, “schvartzer”, said with a sneer as only my parents’ generation could say it.

      And here we get into the weeds, because when it is said with a sneer it is a slur, and should be unacceptable. But in my society Yiddish words are often inserted casually in English conversation, for no other reason than that they’re the first word to come to mind, and “shvartzer” is often used with no offensive intent whatsoever, as simply a word for “black”. Sometimes meaning someone with black skin, sometimes the context indicates someone with black hair. And sometimes meaning “illegal” as in “black market”. But PC warriors insist that every time we use it it’s a terrible slur, and we must change our natural conversational habits to suit them. Which of course triggers well-deserved backlash against them.

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