RhetoricLee Speaking

Linguistic Reparations, Or Why I Don’t Say Ni**

April 6, 2021

The problem with phrasing the rules or norms or whatever you want to call them around the word n-i** as a prohibition, as a thou shalt not, is that not only does it NOT address the more implicit racism of feeling entitled to say the word when there’s no one around “to be offended,” but it also begs the very people to transgress that you’re trying to get to stop transgressing because most people--especially people who fancy themselves edgy intellectuals or truth tellers or the last stalwarts of free speech against woke liberal scolds--when they hear a prohibition, their first instinct is to violate it.

Resources from this episode:

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/linguistic-reparations-or-why-i-dont-say-ni/

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