WHAT’S WORSE? USING OFFENSIVE WORDS OR CENSORING THEM

A question for you:  what’s worse?  An anti-Semite punching a Jew, or calling a Jew a kike?

If you asked me that question I, as a Jew, would talk about the fact that they are both offensive in different ways and probably assure you that either one would result in my best shot at rearranging the face of whomever performed the punching or name-calling.

With that in mind, please note, according to Adam Rubenstein’s article at weeklystandard.com,  that Princeton professor Lawrence Rosen’s class, “Anthropology 212: Cultural Freedoms: Hate Speech, Blasphemy, and Pornography” has been cancelled…

…just one week after he asked the class “What is worse, a White man punching a Black man, or a White man calling a Black man a nigger?”

It is not specified that his use of the word nigger was the reason, but it certainly appears so.

A note to Princeton and the students who attended his class:  words are just that.  Words.  They are phonetic sounds that have meanings.  And those meanings can be profoundly different depending on context.

To illustrate:

-If I say “Nigger is a word”, I am using the term neutrally.

-If I say “I hate niggers” I am using the term negatively.

-If I say “People who use the word “nigger” as a pejorative to describe Black people are ignorant, disgusting excuses for human beings” I am using the word positively to attack racists.

In every case, it is the same word.

It seems eminently clear that Professor Rosen used the word nigger not as a pejorative, but to make a point about different kinds of racial mistreatment.  The idea was to generate intelligent discussion, not censorious fascism.

If that is too hard for Princeton, or some of its students, to understand, maybe it is not as impressive an institute of higher education as I thought.

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