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james8470

Racial and Sexual Orientation Slurs

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About two weeks ago, @tree_ with the help of his friend @♥Cookie♥ made a post regarding our rules around the usage of slurs. They called into question why some slurs are okay but not others. I couldn't have explained it better myself, so I'm just going to attach a quote of their post.

Quote

Because I'm unaware about other division's rules, I'm making this discussion in the TF2 section of the forums.

As you may or may not know, the word faggot is allowed on xG's TF2 servers. The word originated in the early 16th century and is often used in a derogatory way to refer to a homosexual man. The word nigger, commonly referred to as the n-word is also used in a derogatorily way. It can be used to identify an African American person. It originated in the 1800s as an adaptation to the Spanish word negro, a word developed by the term niger which means black. The n-word, is not allowed in xG's TF2 servers, unlike the word faggot, which is allowed. 

With that history out of the way, I'd like to ask my question: Why is one slur allowed but another one isn't? 

I'll leave it at that. I've added a poll that you can submit your thoughts. If you wish to voice your opinion in more depth you're welcome to. I'm more than happy to have a discussion about this topic. (as you can see by this post)

The poll had more people voting to keep the rule as it is, with some slurs banned but not others, or more people voting to allow the n-word (and presumably all other slurs) than there were people who voted to just ban all slurs entirely. The thread is also locked for some reason. I'm not sure if it was @tree_ who locked it or staff members themselves, and I apologize for opening this up to public comment but I truly think this is something worth discussing.

So to start us off I have a question, why? Does using a derogatory term to refer to someone who's gay somehow less offensive than using a derogatory term to refer to someone who is black? I just don't get it. Sexual orientation and race both play a part in social location, which means social power is involved which is why black people can call other black people by the n-word. However, when a white person uses a slur against a black people suddenly social and historical context comes into play. Same goes for gay people. And that's why we don't allow racial slurs, no? 

By this logic, I'd have to agree with the minority of the voters here - ban all slurs. I just don't see the difference - but by all means please do explain it to me. 

Edited by james8470 (see edit history)

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I wondered for a while why we banned some slurs and not all of them, but I got a better idea of why that is after discussing it a few times with higher ups. Keep in mind, we don't just ban the n-word, we ban ALL racial slurs, no matter what race it means. From what I can understand, the reason we do this is because while slurs like fag can be used in non-offensive, friendly, or playful contexts, there is never a scenario where racial slurs are used in a way not to offend someone. That's quite literally what they're made to do after all, offend someone of that race. 

And while yes, some black people call each other the n-word in a friendly way, keep in mind that they don't use the actual n-word itself, they use it without a hard R, which means something completely different to them. And that's just it, you don't see white people walking around calling each other crackers or mexicans calling each other beaners on a friendly and daily basis. That's because there are very few contexts where people would actually call each other those things to be friendly. 

The same thing kinda applies to the word faggot. Gay people have been know to use it sometimes, but usually not in that way. They usually just say fag or fig or something dumb like that. That's not to say every gay person calls each other that, or that every gay person isn't offended by that, but most gay people here seem not to mind it.

For the longest time, I believed xG either needed to ban all slurs or allow them, because I thought it was stupid to allow some and ban the rest. However, after working as staff here for a while, I realize now that sometimes it can be important to have a gray area when making certain rules. An "All or nothing" ideology can punish everyone for the actions of a few. A good example was the spray controversy months ago. People were getting fed up with porn sprays so they tried to have all sprays removed. It punished everyone for the actions of a few, and I'm glad we didn't go through with it. While fag, gay, the n word, and any other slur are just words and only have power if you give them power, racial slurs almost always have negative meanings, and that's why they are not allowed. 

Maybe we could allow the n word without the hard R? I think with context, that isn't offensive, just like fag. But idk, just my opinion /shrug 

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Quoting myself from the last thread: "Can we just keep the basis that if someone is harassing someone, we punish them? Can we also keep in mind that the people are behind a monitor acting all tough; Literally ignore them. Punish them if they're harassing someone/you. How hard is that?"

This thread has been made before. See here: 

 

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9 hours ago, james8470 said:

So to start us off I have a question, why? Does using a derogatory term to refer to someone who's gay somehow less offensive than using a derogatory term to refer to someone who is black? I just don't get it. Sexual orientation and race both play a part in social location, which means social power is involved which is why black people can call other black people by the n-word. However, when a white person uses a slur against a black people suddenly social and historical context comes into play. Same goes for gay people. And that's why we don't allow racial slurs, no? 

Because of context. I don't call people faggots and neither do I call people niggers, but let me try to give my opinion on this subject. I'm also going to refer to the "n-word" as "nigger", since that is the word we're talking about and we're having a reasonable discussion where I'm not using it as an insult.

As far as I know, it's not like the word "faggot" is allowed no matter what. The word is allowed in a certain context in which you are not harassing someone. For instance, if someone were to call QueenofHeart [or any queer person] a faggot because of the fact that she is transgender, that would be punishable. However, in my opinion the meaning of the word faggot has kind of changed. I'm definitely not denying that awful people are still using it to be homophobic, however, there is a certain episode of South Park that illustrates this situation. To briefly summarize the episode, a ton of bikers start annoying the city and people eventually start calling them fags to the point where everyone just refers to them as fags. At some point people got concerned because of the apparent homophobia that someone did a TV report showing a child a picture of a gay person and a biker, asking whom of the both they think is a "fag". The child pointed to the biker and completely ignored the actually gay person. In other words, in this and in many other instances the word "faggot" is not being used in a homophobic context. If someone on a tf2 server is like "shut up, faggot", in 95% of the cases he doesnt use the term "faggot" to insult gay people, but instead to insult an annoying person.

Does that make it better? Kind of, I think. While I'd agree that nobody should say it, people always will and I don't think we, as a gaming community, have the power to stop people from doing that. Our regular players, yes, probably, but literally anyone who ever joins the servers? I don't think so.

People have already started to describe generally annoying people as "faggots", way before this community was even established, I believe.

However, the meaning of the term "nigger" has not changed. People still mostly use it to be intentionally racist.  There is basically no context where it would make sense to call someone a "nigger" simply because they are annoying. People haven't started doing that and still aren't.

Again, I'm not condoning the usage of either of these words, I'm just trying to explain why there is a difference in my opinion. Not to mention the argument @Elcark made last time, that we'd have to basically start banning everything from here:

If people intentionally use the word "faggot" to discriminate against gay people, then that should be a no go, but using it in a relatively "harmless" context which doesn't relate to discriminating against gay people is something different.

Also, you should watch the episode of south park I was talking about if you have time, it's called "The F-Word".

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2 hours ago, realBelloWaldi said:

Because of context. I don't call people faggots and neither do I call people niggers, but let me try to give my opinion on this subject. I'm also going to refer to the "n-word" as "nigger", since that is the word we're talking about and we're having a reasonable discussion where I'm not using it as an insult.

As far as I know, it's not like the word "faggot" is allowed no matter what. The word is allowed in a certain context in which you are not harassing someone. For instance, if someone were to call QueenofHeart [or any queer person] a faggot because of the fact that she is transgender, that would be punishable. However, in my opinion the meaning of the word faggot has kind of changed. I'm definitely not denying that awful people are still using it to be homophobic, however, there is a certain episode of South Park that illustrates this situation. To briefly summarize the episode, a ton of bikers start annoying the city and people eventually start calling them fags to the point where everyone just refers to them as fags. At some point people got concerned because of the apparent homophobia that someone did a TV report showing a child a picture of a gay person and a biker, asking whom of the both they think is a "fag". The child pointed to the biker and completely ignored the actually gay person. In other words, in this and in many other instances the word "faggot" is not being used in a homophobic context. If someone on a tf2 server is like "shut up, faggot", in 95% of the cases he doesnt use the term "faggot" to insult gay people, but instead to insult an annoying person.

Does that make it better? Kind of, I think. While I'd agree that nobody should say it, people always will and I don't think we, as a gaming community, have the power to stop people from doing that. Our regular players, yes, probably, but literally anyone who ever joins the servers? I don't think so.

People have already started to describe generally annoying people as "faggots", way before this community was even established, I believe.

However, the meaning of the term "nigger" has not changed. People still mostly use it to be intentionally racist.  There is basically no context where it would make sense to call someone a "nigger" simply because they are annoying. People haven't started doing that and still aren't.

Again, I'm not condoning the usage of either of these words, I'm just trying to explain why there is a difference in my opinion. Not to mention the argument @Elcark made last time, that we'd have to basically start banning everything from here:

If people intentionally use the word "faggot" to discriminate against gay people, then that should be a no go, but using it in a relatively "harmless" context which doesn't relate to discriminating against gay people is something different.

Also, you should watch the episode of south park I was talking about if you have time, it's called "The F-Word".

I don't think I could have worded it better myself. Excellent work Bello 🙂

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10 hours ago, Precious said:

Maybe we could allow the n word without the hard R? I think with context, that isn't offensive, just like fag. But idk, just my opinion /shrug 

+1 holy shit finally some sense around here.

3 hours ago, realBelloWaldi said:

Because of context. I don't call people faggots and neither do I call people niggers, but let me try to give my opinion on this subject. I'm also going to refer to the "n-word" as "nigger", since that is the word we're talking about and we're having a reasonable discussion where I'm not using it as an insult.

As far as I know, it's not like the word "faggot" is allowed no matter what. The word is allowed in a certain context in which you are not harassing someone. For instance, if someone were to call QueenofHeart [or any queer person] a faggot because of the fact that she is transgender, that would be punishable. However, in my opinion the meaning of the word faggot has kind of changed. I'm definitely not denying that awful people are still using it to be homophobic, however, there is a certain episode of South Park that illustrates this situation. To briefly summarize the episode, a ton of bikers start annoying the city and people eventually start calling them fags to the point where everyone just refers to them as fags. At some point people got concerned because of the apparent homophobia that someone did a TV report showing a child a picture of a gay person and a biker, asking whom of the both they think is a "fag". The child pointed to the biker and completely ignored the actually gay person. In other words, in this and in many other instances the word "faggot" is not being used in a homophobic context. If someone on a tf2 server is like "shut up, faggot", in 95% of the cases he doesnt use the term "faggot" to insult gay people, but instead to insult an annoying person.

Does that make it better? Kind of, I think. While I'd agree that nobody should say it, people always will and I don't think we, as a gaming community, have the power to stop people from doing that. Our regular players, yes, probably, but literally anyone who ever joins the servers? I don't think so.

People have already started to describe generally annoying people as "faggots", way before this community was even established, I believe.

However, the meaning of the term "nigger" has not changed. People still mostly use it to be intentionally racist.  There is basically no context where it would make sense to call someone a "nigger" simply because they are annoying. People haven't started doing that and still aren't.

Again, I'm not condoning the usage of either of these words, I'm just trying to explain why there is a difference in my opinion. Not to mention the argument @Elcark made last time, that we'd have to basically start banning everything from here:

If people intentionally use the word "faggot" to discriminate against gay people, then that should be a no go, but using it in a relatively "harmless" context which doesn't relate to discriminating against gay people is something different.

Also, you should watch the episode of south park I was talking about if you have time, it's called "The F-Word".

uh, I call people niggers all the time, I honestly dont understand. I use the terms interchangeably, as both have been used as derogatory terms toward specific groups of people. but nowadays I've just seen them used almost equally to any other form of profanity, (we still cant call people kikes though) most people who I see have problems with the nigger word or even the fucking nigga word arent even black, and the word has mostly lost its meaning in todays society.

 

Basically: lol let me speak without a filter you nigger-faggots

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16 hours ago, realBelloWaldi said:

Because of context. I don't call people faggots and neither do I call people niggers, but let me try to give my opinion on this subject. I'm also going to refer to the "n-word" as "nigger", since that is the word we're talking about and we're having a reasonable discussion where I'm not using it as an insult.

As far as I know, it's not like the word "faggot" is allowed no matter what. The word is allowed in a certain context in which you are not harassing someone. For instance, if someone were to call QueenofHeart [or any queer person] a faggot because of the fact that she is transgender, that would be punishable. However, in my opinion the meaning of the word faggot has kind of changed. I'm definitely not denying that awful people are still using it to be homophobic, however, there is a certain episode of South Park that illustrates this situation. To briefly summarize the episode, a ton of bikers start annoying the city and people eventually start calling them fags to the point where everyone just refers to them as fags. At some point people got concerned because of the apparent homophobia that someone did a TV report showing a child a picture of a gay person and a biker, asking whom of the both they think is a "fag". The child pointed to the biker and completely ignored the actually gay person. In other words, in this and in many other instances the word "faggot" is not being used in a homophobic context. If someone on a tf2 server is like "shut up, faggot", in 95% of the cases he doesnt use the term "faggot" to insult gay people, but instead to insult an annoying person.

Does that make it better? Kind of, I think. While I'd agree that nobody should say it, people always will and I don't think we, as a gaming community, have the power to stop people from doing that. Our regular players, yes, probably, but literally anyone who ever joins the servers? I don't think so.

People have already started to describe generally annoying people as "faggots", way before this community was even established, I believe.

However, the meaning of the term "nigger" has not changed. People still mostly use it to be intentionally racist.  There is basically no context where it would make sense to call someone a "nigger" simply because they are annoying. People haven't started doing that and still aren't.

Again, I'm not condoning the usage of either of these words, I'm just trying to explain why there is a difference in my opinion. Not to mention the argument @Elcark made last time, that we'd have to basically start banning everything from here:

If people intentionally use the word "faggot" to discriminate against gay people, then that should be a no go, but using it in a relatively "harmless" context which doesn't relate to discriminating against gay people is something different.

Also, you should watch the episode of south park I was talking about if you have time, it's called "The F-Word".

This.

I personally don't mind the usage of the word, but i understand why other people do.

I wanna add on, the reason why the word "nigger" is still used with the intention to be racist or seen as more offensive is because of the past surrounding that word which a word like "cracker" wouldnt share, along with the current public opinion and politics in the U.S regarding racism, everyone knows racism is bad now, and people know there are extremists who will hunt you down for using the word "nigger" in any context, therefore want to avoid using it, while homophobia is seemingly more common, as two men kissing is just very unappealing to most straight men.

Its also the reason why on a platform like youtube or twitter, you can be banned for using the word "nigger" regardless of context, while if you call someone a faggot as an obvious joke or an insult that has nothing to do with gay people, you probably wont face any repercussions, or at least nothing as heavy.

 

If the media and US politics wasnt as touchy on that topic as they are rn tho, your argument would be completely valid @james8470

Also id say "nigga" should be fine, if it isnt already that is, as its generally known to be a term of endearment and almost never used in a geniunely racist and hateful way, and even then its not as aggressive 

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13 hours ago, Shadower said:

+1 holy shit finally some sense around here.

uh, I call people niggers all the time, I honestly dont understand. I use the terms interchangeably, as both have been used as derogatory terms toward specific groups of people. but nowadays I've just seen them used almost equally to any other form of profanity, (we still cant call people kikes though) most people who I see have problems with the nigger word or even the fucking nigga word arent even black, and the word has mostly lost its meaning in todays society.

 

Basically: lol let me speak without a filter you nigger-faggots

Also this is coming from a black man so if you dont make the word "nigger" allowed everywhere for this african american's comfort, you are a racist piece of shit and i am literally crying and screeching right now

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