Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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"Nappy-headed", offensive?

WoW has been aflutter today not just about the coming expansion (hour and a half until it goes live!), but about the use of the word "nappy" in a quest cutscene. One NPC calls another NPC "nappy-headed".

I'll admit that I had no idea the word was offensive. I did know that it was used only for black folks, and it dates back a long time ago, but I had thought it was probably a valid word to use to describe a certain type of hair.

The topic got me thinking; I was never so invested in racial issues as I am in gender/same-sex ones. I know very little about it, and it took some thinking to remember why.

Back in college (ages ago!) I was a very different person. Pretty much polar opposite of what I am now. (The first election I ever voted in was for a Republican. I made my father happy and my mother sad.)

I was aware my opinions weren't the popular ones, so I basically kept my head down and kept quiet. While my school was just in a boring NY town, nothing much radical going on there at the time, there was a racial issue. (And boy did I stretch my googling skills to find mention of it!)

"Hasbrouck Arrests Throw Campus into Turmoil: Outraged Students Demand Justice"- Over 250 people filled the Lecture Center to offer support and hear the first hand accounts of eight students who were arrested in Hasbrouck Dining Hall on July 29th. The students, one white female and seven black males were arrested after a noise complaint concerning a radio in the dining hall. The students were beaten and held in choke-holds by Campus Police, working in conjunction with the town police force.

Seems so odd to read about now. The eight were listening to a "boom box" (talk about a dated term!) in the dining hall. They're referred to over and over as "the Hasbrouck 8", which makes them seem like something more than they were.

I had been so immature when I was in college. I could have used that issue, or my years there, to learn more about such things, but instead I was close-minded about so much, I hated... well, name a group and I likely hated it. I've never written about this before. It's somewhat embarrassing, but less than it could be for one reason: I grew up.

This may be an unfair thing, but my experience is why I feel bad for all the anti- people out there instead of hating them. Anti-gay, anti-black, anti-whatever. I feel like I grew up, so there's hope others will as well.

I probably shouldn't include this paragraph, but since I won't name names maybe it'll be okay. (Sorry, person, if it's not!) There's someone I know who is somewhat like I was. Over the years, this person has changed. It's slow, it's little steps, but there have been changes. I've never told this person, but I have hope for them, that one day they will change as much as I have. I think it's possible, even though I'm sure this person doesn't even want to change at this point. :) But I'm pretty sure the old-person wouldn't be so happy with who the person is now, so who knows what further changes will come in the future.

I'm aware the last two paragraphs probably sound conceited. "My way is the best way!" I don't know. I'm pro- pretty much everything these days, which has to be better than being mostly anti-, right?

Hour left to Cata. I really need to go to sleep, but my brain is wide awake and racing (not even about WoW, about all these big, RL issues). :/

Edit: I should have written about this sooner. I feel better for it no longer being a secret. I don't like who I was in college, but I'm not that person anymore. I don't really believe in karma, but I'd like to think I'm slowly making up for the harm and negativity I brought into the world back then. Part of me wishes I had grown up sooner, but I know these things take time.
Tags: political, rl
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