Why not “coon” or “wog” or something along those lines? Racism, they say, is prejudice institutional power, and minorities generally lack the latter.Now there’s not much point in getting into an argument (as many have done) about whether or not this definition is correct. But the important point is that (in America, at least) white prejudice and minority prejudice come from completely different contexts, and should be judged differently.The kids told me that there was a dark-skinned student whose nickname was “Zangi.” Since carving their names is popular pastime among the students, he carved it. How could anyone not well-integrated into the Georgian language community really be certain about such a subtlety?
To explain why will require a bit of philosophical jargon. Thin concepts are ideas which are strictly descriptive or strictly evaluative.
For example, “table” and “good” and “dog” and “ugly” are all thin concepts.
[UPDATE 6/14/13 I recently spent a good deal of time travelling around various parts of Georgia with some black Americans.
Many Georgians came up and wanted to have their pictures taken with my black friends, as expected, but I have changed my mind and no longer think that this behavior is racist.
“Negro” is thin, since you can say “That guy is a Negro, and I really admire him,” or at least that’s what someone might have said in the 1940s. ” These exclamations are strictly ordered by increasing offensiveness.
Aside from the dated sound it has acquired by now, it is not an offensive word. The question here is about exactly how offended a black person ought to be at being called .
This was the extent of the Georgians’ interest in my black friends.
Nobody tried touching their hair, or pulling any other funny business.
The standard example is “courage.” If I describe someone as courageous, I’m teling you that the person faced something dangerous or frightening, but you know that I approve of them for that.