Racial Slur Use: Not a legal Obligation, but a Moral one

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In an article written on Student Activism site by Angus Johnston, the author discusses his take on comments made by Wendy Kaminer. “Kaminer participated in a panel discussion on free speech sponsored by Smith College, after which, she says, she was ‘branded a racist.’” (Student Activism.net) Johnston attend this discussion and said that Kaminer had not spoke accurately about the event. Johnston said that Kaminer had been using “the n-word” to discuss the novel Huckleberry Fin, she continued to use the word and asked the audience what word comes to mind when the word is mentioned, the audience projected the full word. It is said that Kaminer then said “[see I used the word] and nothing happened” inferring that the word can only be harmful depending on its context use. Lauren Duncan, who was also a panelist and had a different take on the use of the “n -word” saying we use the term”n-word” to show that we are aware of the word and know that it may have harmful affects on a group of people. She also goes on with saying that as Professors its important to describe the use of the word, its meaning, and how it can be harmful to specific groups. In addition, she mentions how professors should educate students on how to argue respectfully. All in all, the use of racial slurs should not be a legal obligation but a moral one.

Johnston, A. (2015, February 21). On Wendy Kaminer’s Use of Racial Slurs. Retrieved April 9, 2015, from http://studentactivism.net/2015/02/21/on-wendy-kaminers-use-of-racial-slurs/

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