Kevin Bae

Non-Social in a Socially Networked World

The “N-word” is so toxic you get fired for just debating its use

We’ve reached the point in American society where a single word (we’re talking about the dreaded and oh so powerful “N-word”) is so toxic that not only can you not use it in any context you can’t even debate the IDEA of a legitimate use by non-black people (aka also known as white people).

The online publication Slate has suspended a well-known podcast host after he debated with colleagues over whether people who are not Black should be able to quote a racial slur in some contexts.

Mike Pesca, the host of “The Gist,” a podcast on news and culture, said in an interview that he was suspended indefinitely on Monday after defending the use of the slur in certain contexts. He made his argument during a conversation last week with colleagues on the interoffice messaging platform Slack.

New York Times

To elevate a slur to such heights only serves to give that word more power. It’s just a word. It can’t do anything to anyone. Yes, the word has the nastiest of legacies. But, in 2021, if you have a negative response to its use by people, other than black people, that is really in your control more than anyone else’s.

Mr. Pesca, who has worked at Slate for seven years, said he was “heartsick” over hurting his colleagues but added, “I hate the idea of things that are beyond debate and things that cannot be said.”

New York Times

What’s next? Looking at someone and firing them because they look like they’re thinking it?

Image by 95C from Pixabay