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Response to misanthrope (Reply #4)

Sun May 13, 2018, 06:09 PM

11. in the case you raise, region is an important part of the context

but it's still beside the point -- he was just citing it as an example. an imperfect example to be sure, but simply an illustration of a cross-cultural norm.

for instance, my son calls me "Dad" and it makes sense between us for him to do so. it would not make sense for some stranger i just happen to meet on the street to call me that, such would be an indicator of abnormal circumstances of some kind, or as he says, "at least i hope so". and, as he says, if a random person on the street greeted me as "honey" or "darlin", that also would be at least abnormal, given the regional norms of where i live. when a white person starts frequently using the "n-word" to refer to others, that too is an indicator of abnormal circumstances, at least i hope so. and that is his main point, as i see it.

he also points out the importance of white people showing restraint on the matter -- that white people having a word that is, at least, socially awkward for us to use is just a little hint of what it's like to be black in this culture, so refraining from using it has its own value.

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