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Thursday, February 01, 2007

The N, F, and S Words

Lately the news has been filled with stories of famous people making hateful derogatory remarks. Mel Gibson, Michael Richards, and Isaiah Washington immediately come to mind. These three men should be ashamed of themselves, but something tells me they really don't care. All they had to do was a little "apology public relations" with a stint in rehab or a lesson in anger management. They looked contrite sitting in the interviewee's chair while they mustered all their acting ability to react on cue. Did anyone really believe their transparent gestures?

The fact is that in their moment of rage they meant what they said. Their public apologies are media events to protect their assets, their income, and not atone for their sins. At the end of the day they remain hateful people, laughing all the way to the bank.

Anti-Semitic slurs and the "N" and "F" words (you know what those words are) are the most horrible things to call anyone. And now I recently learned about another word…

For the past few months I've been a member of a Native American yahoo group where Native issues are discussed and debated. Because I'm not Native American I've been hovering behind my monitor and reading the posts, not posting anything myself. I'm there to learn and to better understand Native American culture and history.

I was surprised (my ignorance astounds me some times) to learn that the "S" word (squaw) is a derogatory term referring to Native American women as dirty and sexually expendable. For years I've heard the "S" word in songs, in movies, and in conversation and never put much thought into it. Now I know better.

So I implore everyone to add the "S" word to that list of words we find offensive, derogatory, and totally unacceptable.

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