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  • Is it really "OK to be white"?

    I started thinking about this after an article about how an online vendor banned a T-shirt with this slogan.

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    So I read this article:


    An online store has removed t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “It’s okay to be white” after public backlash. The shirts were sold on Trade Me, a New Zealand auction website, by the manufacturer VJM

    about how an online vendor banned sales of a shirt with the "It's OK to be white" slogan on it.  personally i think this whole thing is stupid - so far as I know the phrase wasn't racist until it was piked up by certain right-wing groups, so there's no reason to censor out of fear and a narrow understanding.

    BTW i'm posting this here because i think it's a matter of language primarily and not politics

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    16 hours ago, Graham Barnett said:

    BTW i'm posting this here because i think it's a matter of language primarily and not politics

    How do we distinguish them?  everything is political but everything is language too right?

    anyway i think it's a good thing in the end.  it's only a t-shirt and a slogan so I'm not sure it's worth all the ruffled feathers.  ANd yes I realise people will whinge about freedom of speech and so forth but language isn't free and never has been!

    Oh there's also a Wikipedia article about this:


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    • 3 weeks later...

    I think its important for everyone to remember that language has a history.  the age seems to be marked by authoritarian powers who want to insinuate control over as much of public life as they can, and this usually begins with either abolishing or rewriting history (including "Make America Great Again," which invokes and at the same time erases a mythical Golden Age of American history).  This includes attempts to make language static, which does a lot to close down discussion and particularly discussion which reminds us that things change.

    Look at the word "nigger."  That word obviously has a huge emotional charge in America, but it has also been re-appropriated in the last few decades to point to something other than its pejorative meaning (the obvious example: in hip hop and gangsta rap "nigga" tends to mean a fellow black person or gang member or...you get the picture).

    As you all know I'm an old-fashioned political crank in this respect who is totally in favour of hitting people over the head with these kinds of things, so I support the phrase in the spirit of having dialogue about it.

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    • 1 year later...

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