How to Join Member's Area Private Library Search Today's Topics p Login
Main Forums Discussion Tech Talk Mature Content Archives
   Nav Win
 Discussion
 The Alley
 Hasta Cuando?   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  5  ]
 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24
Follow us on Facebook

 Moderated by: Ron   (Admins )

 
User Options
Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Admin Print Send ECard
Passions in Poetry

Hasta Cuando?

 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


0 posted 01-12-2008 07:00 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer


Florida is running a contest for songwriters to submit new songs to be  the state anthem. Until now it has always been "The Old Folks at Home" (Way down upon the Suwanee River) by Stephen Foster but, since that song contains the following line...

Oh darkies, how my heart grows weary

..it is now considered too racially biased to retain that position of honor.

Hasta cuando?....or, for non-Spanish speakers, until when? How long will this nonsense go on?
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


1 posted 01-12-2008 07:58 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

         Are you actually asking a serious question?

          Not only are you unbothered by this straightforward racist stuff, but you're actually standing up for it.  I'm fond of the Foster song, too, but that line is a terrible insult.

     I ask you to remember my comments about your Villanelle.  I ask you to remember my request actually to ask rather than passively accept silence as agreement about my perception of a bias in that case.  I do not ask about whether you have followed up.  In fact, I would rather not know; that's your business, and I otherwise enjoy you and your stuff, and I respect your skill.

     I would now simply ask you to notice that the same sort of material has come up again, and once again you have taken a (certainly defensible, by the way) too easily
characterized position.  Simply notice, that's all.  Sincerely yours, BobK.
Essorant
Member Elite
since 08-10-2002
Posts 4689
Regina, Saskatchewan; Canada


2 posted 01-12-2008 10:05 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I am not familiar with the term "darkies".  It seems informal and rather coarse, but I don't see how it should be automatically made out as "racist".

  
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


3 posted 01-12-2008 10:40 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, I'm not sure what your meaning is there, Bob, but if it's any reference to the possibility of my being biased or racist, you could not be more wrong. I sincerely hope you do not have that impression or you would be sadly mistaken.

Apparently, Foster used the term "darkies" in his song as a descriptive word, possibly because their skin was dark (just a wild guess). To call that line..

Oh, darkies, how my heart grows weary


straightforward racist stuff and a terrible insult is one heck of an exaggeration. I see nothing racist there at all, certainly nothing demeaning. It was written a century ago. I've heard of no black marches decrying the fact that someone called them darkies, have you? I've never even seen the word used anywhere else before.

How far does social correctness go? Shall we rid the libraries that contain any such material written in the 1800's? Do we burn Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn? Demolish Uncle Tom's Cabin?

What do you call racist? If you mean descriptive words that distinguish one race from another, is that racist? I've always considered a word or comment racist when it was an intentional insult or degrading remark against a specific group based on race. Do you see that in that line of the song?

I find it incredible that anyone would protest against that line to the point of removing it as a state song.

Straightforward racist? Well, you are entitled to your opinion, sir. Obviously we have progressed to the point where it is and I think that's sad.

oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


4 posted 01-13-2008 09:00 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Balladeer:

Re" "What do you call racist? If you mean descriptive words that distinguish one race from another, is that racist? I've always considered a word or comment racist when it was an intentional insult or degrading remark against a specific group based on race. Do you see that in that line of the song?"

Yeah, that's racist as in demeaning or a slur.  Granted, there was a context and time when folks like Stephen Foster through Al Jolson could get away with that and have it chalked up to the tenor of the times.  Melville, Mark Twain and Joseph Conrad were something else altogether.  They "worked" with the nature of their times, which involved accepted, foolish hatred.  They neither condoned or accepted it.  

Times have changed a bit.  We don't refer to "darkies" so much as we do to "Blacks." "Black's" is a less repulsive term, perhaps, but it is still a PC way of being racist and mean.

Again, striving for that PC-ness, racists have adopted more mellow terms, still equally fraught with hatred for the "other."

This goes on and on.  Where does "dink" come from, or "sand (     )?

You couch your inquiry in terms of "political correctness," which I think is just a jab to generate responses.

Personally, I don't think you've ever demonstrated that you are either dedicated to PC or it's antihises.

What's wrong with accepting that some outdated views and words are no longer useful or effective?

Personally, I think Floridians should nominate Jimmy Buffet's "Cheese Burger in Paradise."

Is their a slur for Haitian sugar cane workers in Florida?  Does it add anything to use it?

You are brighter and more reasonable than this, Balladeer, and I don't know what makes you gravitate towards such ideological nonsense.

On the other hand, your presumably faux outragenousness keeps things hoppin'!

Best, Jim      

Umm. I had to delete per PiP's sensibilities a word frequently associated with Vietnamese combatants.  Interesting. Darkies, chinks, dagos, spics, bohunkus, yids, sheenies, micks, dykes, and queens didn't seem to offend PiP sensibilities.  Don't know what to make of this, other than some nastinesses may be more acceptable than other nastinessess.

Is it PC rules, or is PC higly selective?

Jim, again         

[This message has been edited by oceanvu2 (01-13-2008 09:34 PM).]

oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


5 posted 01-13-2008 09:14 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

ESS:  Do you truly live in a cave?

Incredulous, Jim Aitken  
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


6 posted 01-13-2008 10:04 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Jim, I must live in the same cave as Essorant. I assure you I have NEVER heard the term darkie used anywhere else in my entire life. I would even go so far as to say I'd bet Toerag's car that the vast majority of Americans have not, either.

I know what you mean about selective PC. Over in CA I tried to use the word gobbly**** and I couldn't because the last four letters spell out the slang name for what we called our Viet Cong friends years ago...go figure  
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


7 posted 01-13-2008 10:32 PM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Balladeer, I have to admit you make me laugh and think at the same time.  "Darkies" has a long history as a slur, going back to the "darkies" who unloaded freight in Louisiana, through political discourse in New York, Chicago, Newark, and Indianopolis.  Whatever.

If you haven't been exposed to "Darkies"  before, well, that's just one less ugliness no one's life needs, but I don't think it can be dismissed as being something other than a perjorative.

My only serious thought is "why should Florida go there?" when there are so many other places to go.  PC PC PC PC!

Maybe Obama will win the Democratic party nomination and the county will get to look at the notions of mixed race and "mullato" and what that's all about.

I'm not sure whether we agree on much or not in general, but I've always enjoyed the reasoned conversations.

Best, Jim
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


8 posted 01-13-2008 10:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Why should Florida go there?....my exact question. My guess is that one person saw it, decided to make an issue of it, demanded that the state change the anthem which has stood for over 100 years and the state figured it was better to go ahead and make the change and make it a big issue rather than making it a big issue.

Agreement is never a necessity, Jim. Reasoned conversations are and it's always a pleasure having your involvement
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


9 posted 01-13-2008 11:35 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Mike?  You've never seen nor read 'Gone With the Wind?'

As unlikely as that is -- it brings to mind my favorite Rhett Butler quote;

"With enough courage, you can do without a reputation."
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


10 posted 01-13-2008 11:43 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

seen it...never read it. If you're stating that the word "darkies" is in it, i didn't see it or, if I did, don't remember it as being memorable enough  to remember.

Afraid I don't understand the point about the quote, reb...
Local Rebel
Member Ascendant
since 12-21-1999
Posts 5742
Southern Abstentia


11 posted 01-13-2008 11:57 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Yep Mike -- It's in there.

And the quote simply means that it's highly unlikely that anyone in the South  (a)hasn't heard the word 'darkie' and (b)doesn't know that it is, in the spectrum of racial epithets, right up there with the 'N' word.

'Boy', 'Darkie', 'N' -- they're all interchangeable.

You know -- you were there -- you saw the water fountains -- the seperate schools -- the balcony at the movie theater -- as we've slowly been wiping away the vestiges of racism from this land the question 'How Long?' should also be reserved to the African Americans to ask...

so... Courage man...
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


12 posted 01-14-2008 12:10 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Reb:  Thanks for affirming I'm neither isolated nor nuts.

Best, Jim
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


13 posted 01-14-2008 12:35 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

My copy of the New Oxford American Dictionary cites "darkie" as a varient spelling of "darky," a noun which is"informal, offensive a person with black or dark skin."

     I did not find it listed at all in The Webster's New World Dictionary.  If anybody wants to check other dictionaries, why not?  If the word is in The New Oxford American, it will be in the OED, should Essorant be interested in a more detailed history of this old american word.  Balladeer, whom I seem to recall has dipped into various online dictionary sources seems to have oddly missed this chance to research this word that would set the teeth of a good 10% of our population on edge.

     As I said originally, Balladeer, I happen to have nice memories of the song from childhood and personally enjoy it.  That doesn't mean the line from the song isn't racist.  Stephan Foster was a part of his world, which was a racist world.  Nobody said we have to throw the song out of every songbook in America, though some might wish to say so.  But in a time when a substantial portion of the citizens of the state of Florida are African-American, that line makes the song extremely poorly chosen to represent them and the state of which they are a part.  

     If they'd had a vote on the song originally being chosen, Balladeer, what's your guess?

     Balladeer, I went to a very liberal social work school, among other places, and had more than my share of run ins with political correctness.  I found a fairly good guide to be a matter of ordinary politeness.  If I was doing something that hurt somebody else's feelings, while what I was feeling was annoyance at being bothered, it wasn't political correctness.  It wasn't always a perfect guide, put it worked pretty well.

     About Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, the last time I read either one of them, the objectionable N. word was used frequently, yes, and there is a pretty good reason that there's not a huge movement to get them off the shelves of libraries today.  Even by African Americans.  When you toss them into your list, I can't believe you aren't being disingenuous or spouting someone else's undigested propoganda.  Let me give you a hint:  Some people actually consider Jim to be the actual Hero of Huck Finn; or if not the hero then probably the most enlightened figure in the book.  The use of the N-word simply underlines what dirt-wads most of the rest of the characters actually are.  Twain was not only America's beloved humorist, he was a deeply disillusioned and saddened man who thought deeply about the racial situation in the America of his day.  Anyway,  Enough of this.  Best to you, Balladeer, and to the rest of you there;
affectionately your, BobK.
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


14 posted 01-14-2008 12:36 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LOL! Well, you have either placed me in the wrong place or the wrong time era, reb

I never saw the water fountains or segregated schools. My high school had blacks and whites and we all drank out of the same fountain and the local bijou had no balcony, but, then again, I grew up in Missouri.

I know those things existed in our past, of course, and we have taken giant steps to rectify those times,with still a long way to go. Having said that,however, I think the IMPORTANT things are what need to be addressed...equal job opportunities, equal housing and educational opportunities, etc etc. I find that changing a state song because of the word darkie does not fall into that category. You may associate the word with equal importance that the N word holds but I consider that unlikely. I've heard blacks rebel against the N word, and with good reason. I've heard no such protests against darkie. There is a point where silliness takes over. Do we go back in time and eliminate all film clips of Boston Blackie..ban the Maltese Falcon because of the character Sam Spade? Kick out one of the song standards of our country because the singer sings to the field hands and refers to them as darkies?

During one of my golf matches a young black fellow joined our threesome. At one point he hit a good shot and I called out "Nice shot, boy!' As soon as the words came out,I thought "Oh,damn!" but the kid looked at me and smiled because he knew that I hadn't meant it in a racial way. What a shame that we have progressed to that point where something like that could have provoked a racial incident or having darkie in a song from a century ago could ban it.

You may group boy, darkie and the N word together as being equally abhorrent but I can't buy it. If darkie were being used today in a derrogatory manner as the N word is, then ok. I would doubt anyone has used it in over half a century.
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


15 posted 01-14-2008 12:54 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Mike: You're being disengenuous.

BokK:  You're being polite.  It's a filthy insult.

Jim
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


16 posted 01-14-2008 12:57 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The use of the N-word simply underlines what dirt-wads most of the rest of the characters actually are.  

Bob,with all due respect, if you are not a politician, you should be That is an amazing piece of justification. Mark Twin (who is almost a god in my book) did not simply use the N word, he named one of his main characters with that same word.

I must assume that, if there were a movement today to ban all Mark Twain books who used that word, you would be agreeing with them, along with Local Rebel. If not, I can't understand why you would not feel the same about "The Old Folks at Home".

Thanks for your participation..
oceanvu2
Senior Member
since 02-24-2007
Posts 1007
Santa Monica, California, USA


17 posted 01-14-2008 01:49 AM       View Profile for oceanvu2   Email oceanvu2   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for oceanvu2

Hi Baladeer, you're a bit wrong here.  Foster was born, raised, and lived much of his life in Pittsburg, PA.  It is probably true that he had romantic/emotional notions about the "South," but he had no direct experience of it.

Foster wrote lyrics for a living, which in those times, meant creating playable and singable music in sheet music form for the widest possible audience.  "Authenticity" had nothing to do with it, it was a call to a romantic, emotional response that could be sung in middle class white parlors, by the white, sheet music purchasing public.  He did what he did, and he did economically OK, if not fabulously during his lifetime.

The point of the discussion has nothing to do with Foster, the popularity, or longevity of his song.  I think it has more to do with, in a contemporary context, how can the State of Florida (and we haven't even gotten into "My Old Kentucky Home) cling to a sentimental racially loaded tune just because it is traditional?  Racial insults against almost everybody are "traditional."  Why should they be honored or perpetuated?

Yappin', Jim
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


18 posted 01-14-2008 04:24 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

         You have changed the subject at least twice, once to "Old Folks at Home," and once to try to put the polar opposite of my statement about Mark Twain into my mouth.

     It would be interesting to discuss either of your attempts to divert the discussion with you.  I suggest that we do it after we get this unpleasant business about the word "darkie" out of the way.  I notice that you haven't taken up my invitation to use your usual internet resources to check out the word yet.  Nor have I.  I am a man with a slight hearing loss in both ears, and I've heard the word my whole life. Of course the KKK was fairly common in Ohio, even when I was growing up.  Later, when I moved to finish high school in Virginia, I spent my last year at a segregated white high school.  We didn't have to worry about black and white water fountains; there weren't any blacks to share water with at all.  They all got educated downtown using the texbooks that the school board thought were too beat up and obsolete for the likes of us white folks.

     Perhaps I am much older than you are, Balladeer.  I'm 59;  you're what, 45, 50?

     I really am glad you had that experience on the golf links.  It shows me that you really do have some sense of what this is all about and that it's really supposed to be a human interaction between two sets of human beings who are trying to treat each other decently.  I'm glad you felt that sense of having made the gaffe that everybody experiences sometimes.  When it's an honest mistake honestly made, most times everybody can live with it without much of a problem.  Mostly we'd all rather help each other out.

     If you didn't know about the word before, though, you know about it now.  You know that there's a decent proportion of decent folks that are going to feel wounded and hurt every time you use it.  You know there's a difference between a song that uses the word just floating around out there in the open, where it shouldn't be censored, and a song with a line like that representing a group of people that it smears and demeans.  At the very least, you know that a lot of them feel that it does.

     At a minimum, Balladeer, that's pretty rude.

     And at least read what I said about Mark Twain before you turn it around 180 degrees.  Maybe we'll talk about that after we get this other unpleasant business settled.  When you keep changing the subject, it's like talking to a squid; you keep disappearing in a cloud of distractions.
Yours in confusion, BobK.  PS.  I hope the material on the free verse was useful.  That's very good stuff indeed.      
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


19 posted 01-14-2008 06:10 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Do we go back in time and eliminate all film clips of Boston Blackie..ban the Maltese Falcon because of the character Sam Spade? Kick out one of the song standards of our country because the singer sings to the field hands and refers to them as darkies?

Of course not, Mike. No more than we go back in time and eliminate Mein Kampf or Aryan supremacy. We necessarily accept the darker moments of human history (of which there are plenty), and hopefully we learn from them.

We don't, however, honor them. We don't promote them as the way we want society to continue. Yes, equal job opportunities, equal housing, and equal educational opportunities are the "important" things. I don't think that means treating someone with respect is unimportant, though, and I suspect you don't either. Equal opportunity ends with jobs, housing and education, but it begins with respect and dignity.

If you're really all that okay with the word, Mike, start using it in daily discourse. The next time you're on the links with a black man, call him darky a few times. In a non-hateful way, of course. Then, please, let us know how that works out for you?


Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


20 posted 01-14-2008 08:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer




     You have changed the subject at least twice, once to "Old Folks at Home," and once to try to put the polar opposite of my statement about Mark Twain into my mouth.

Sorry you feel that way,Bob. The name of the state song, the Suwanee river one, is Old Folks at Home, which is the topic of the thread, hardly a change of topic. I don't see where comparing to Mark Twain is off-course, either. You refer to the word "darkie" as straightforward racist stuff and a terrible insult, yet you take the N word abundantly used in another piece of writing and give it a free pass. There is nothing consistent there, sir. How you can condemn one, which was used one time, and support another which was used freely with a word that is widely still used and condemned today,makes little sense to me. I see no consistency in your protest. Also the only valid comparison to me and a squid is that we both use ink.  

If you didn't know about the word before, though, you know about it now.  You know that there's a decent proportion of decent folks that are going to feel wounded and hurt every time you use it.

Bob, I would never even consider using it under any circumstances, not because I consider it to be such a racial insult but because it sounds like such a silly word. If I were in an argument or something and in the heat of the moment and wanted to use a racial slur - which is hard to imagine me doing since i can be much more creative - would i scream out "Oh, you darkie!!!!"?.  I find it unlikely even though it would probably stop the fight due to the other person doubling over in fits of laughter.

btw....bless you, my son,  but I am 62 and more than willing to share my experiences with younger people like you  


how can the State of Florida (and we haven't even gotten into "My Old Kentucky Home) cling to a sentimental racially loaded tune just because it is traditional?

Jim, racially loaded? The word darkie, an archaic word at best used in one line in an inoffensive manner and you call it racially loaded?? Thank God neither one of us exaggerate!

When I referred to the song being sung to blacks, I was referring to the lyrics. It reads, Oh, darkies! How my heart grows weary!...which means, if performed, the singer would be singing to field hands or plantation workers. I was not referring to the audience.

If you're really all that okay with the word, Mike, start using it in daily discourse. The next time you're on the links with a black man, call him darky a few times. In a non-hateful way, of course. Then, please, let us know how that works out for you?

That's my point, Ron. I would have  never used it anyway...wasn't even aware of it. I could do it in South America, where negro, fatty, skinny and other descriptive words are used as terms of affection or respect....but not here.

I'll do one better, Ron. On the golf course I'll call one of my black partners N... Jim or Bill or whatever, and then take Bob's advice and explain to him that N-word simply underlines what dirt-wads most of the rest of the players actually are and is acceptable.  Think that one will fly??

Peace to all.....

Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


21 posted 01-14-2008 09:18 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Don't explain it to him, Mike. That's telling and it doesn't work. You have to show, not tell. As, of course, you very well know.

If you can effectively show a deeper meaning, be it for unfeeling robots or wooden dummies, such that the story reveals something very different from what the raw, individual words otherwise seem to say, then yea, you will have pulled off something very similar to what Mark Twain did with his black characters and the bigots surrounding them. Show, don't tell, and the words matter less than the meaning when the meaning betrays the lie behind the words. That's what Twain did. That's what I've seen you do countless times in the past. That is not, however, what Foster did. And somehow, I think you're smart enough to recognize the difference.

Mark Twain wouldn't be a suitable comparison -- even if we were trying to make Tom Sawyer representative of everyone in a state. Nobody is doing that, though, nor would it likely be suitable should someone try. So far as I can tell, no one is trying to demonize the song, Mike. But it sure as heck shouldn't be honored as suitable representation for the whole state.


hush
Senior Member
since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


22 posted 01-14-2008 01:16 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Mike... how is it possible that you are (barely ) old enough that you could be my grandfather... (don't take it too hard, you're actually closer in age to my dad...) and I know the term darkie is offensive, yet you apparently don't. Do you like to be called whitey or cracker?

I looked the song up on Wikipedia, and read the lyrics... I see that Foster intended for the song to be told in a black narrator's voice. I personally don't think it was meant in an offensive way, but you have to be able to recognize the potential for offensiveness. Wiki also noted that the word 'darkies' is often substituted with 'words like "lordy," "mama," "darling," "brothers" or "dear ones"'.

So, is there a proper use for offensive words in music and literature? Is it possible to effectively explore a time and place by using the vernacular of the time? Of course. But do you want a song sung from a former slave's viewpoint in self-depreciating terms as your state song? For the sake of tradition? Really Mike?
Bob K
Member Elite
since 11-03-2007
Posts 3860


23 posted 01-14-2008 03:20 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K

Dear Balladeer,

         I acknowledge an error.  I attributed the use of "My Old Kentucky Home" as an example to you.  You did not use it.  I then mistakenly called "My Old Kentucky Home" "The Old Folks at Home."  You were upset by this, and it enabled you to attempt to confuse things even further.  I think you were under the impression that I had listed all the attempts I had found of you trying to change the topic in an attempt not to have to deal with the use of that highly unpleasant word "darkie" in the State Song of Florida.  

     I see now that you had seen my attempt to be  respectful as a weakness on my part.  That is just as well.  Your use of either  Boston Blackie or Sam Spade would serve as two additional examples of your willingness to attempt to use red herrings to draw attention away from a specious train of reasoning.  Argumentum ad absurdum was considered suspect by Aristotle and everybody who's written on the subject since.

     The best reason for considering it, oddly enough, is that it's also a logical fallacy to disregard an argument based on the prior thinking of the person who's made it.
They have to be considered one at a time.

     These still fail the sniff test.  They have nothing to do in type or kind with a discussion about the morality of being willing to use racist language in a racially mixed state that sides with extreme elements of one faction against the dignity right to representation of the other.
It is a simple obfuscation.  

     You still persist in distorting my comments about Mark Twain.  Are you doing so on purpose?  Have I in some fashion been unclear about my admiration for Mark Twain,
or are you simply attempting to distort my reasonably clear statements for some purpose that I don't understand here?  Is there some third alternative I haven't mentioned, such as using a discussion about Mark Twain to change the discussion from one about the use of racist language
in what should be , at least today, a reasonably bias free environment—should we take your statements at face value—and turn it to a discussion of something completely off the subject?  

     Something worth discussion, no doubt, but once again, after we've finished our discussion of this reasonably unpleasant used of the word "darkie" in the State song of Florida.  Which, need I remind you, you initiated.

     Did you expect silent acceptance?   Not from me, and it looks like you've made a number of other folks wince as well.  I still refuse to believe you have ill intentions.  Best wishes, BobK.
Ringo
Deputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 10 ToursDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 02-20-2003
Posts 3696
Saluting with misty eyes


24 posted 01-14-2008 05:25 PM       View Profile for Ringo   Email Ringo   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Ringo

I just happened across this thread, and while I don't have anything to add to the current direction that this thing seems to be circling, I do have a couple of questions in the general neighborhood.
Actually, I would like to begin with a statement about something that... irritates me (and not a few of my darker skinned brothers). 90% of the "African Americans" in this country have never been outside the country, much less have been to Africa. 99% of them are not African Immigrants. The majority of them are decendants of men and women who (forcably) immigrated here at least a century and change ago. If I ask to be called a British American, according to my heritage, then people's minds short circuitbecause they can't understand what I am talking about, yet if I don't use the phrase African American, then I am insensitive and racist..and there is no inconsistency. Anyhow... enough about that.

On the subject of using the term "darkies" once in a song that was written a hundred and change ago by some guy who lived his entire life in Western and Northern Pa.and being a racist for it...
The state legislature of Florida (or whomever is raising the dust around this)has decided that the use of this one term one time in one song was FINALLY offensive and racist after how many years, and we are forced to capitulate. Samuel Clemens uses a phrase that is universally accepted as offensive and racist, and he is required reading in every high school and university in the country... and there is no inconsistency.
Someone uses the word "boy" and people are ready to lynch him in a manner to make the Sheets proud(oh... I apologize,was that an offensive term for the KKK?? Should I apologize in a genuflect for being so rude?), and yet Mel Brooks uses the almighty "N-Word" numerous times in his movie "Blazing Saddles" and is considered to be a movie making genius...and there is no inconsistency.
Anyone who is not of the highly pigmented persuasion uses the "big one", and it is the gallows for them, yet young children are taught around the nation to root for the "Redskins", "Braves", "Chiefs", "Indians", and "Blackhawks".. not to mention the "Canuks" (all of which were used in a derrogatory manner at one time or another)... and yet there is no inconsistency.
If I were to win the Powerball Lottery for $380 million and I started a college scholarship program for underpriveledged whites ONLY, I would be in front of the ACLU kangaroo court so fast, I wouldn't have time to cash the check, yet... and somehow, this doesn't stop my kids from being excluded from being considered for the United Negro College Fund... and there is no inconsistency.

This, gentlemen, is a complete NON-ISSUE. Until EVERYONE is protected from so-called insinsitive and racially charged words (especially those used in songs that no adult remembers all of the words to any longer), then one particular racial group should not be protected while everyone else is left to swing in the breeze.

I would stick around and add more, yet it is time to call my lawyer and sue the Cracker Barrel chain for using THAT word. I find it an insensitive and racially charged word that is insulting to fine white trash all over the country.


What would you attempt to do...if you knew you could not fail?. www.myspace.com/mindlesspoet
 
 Post A Reply Post New Topic   Go to the Next Oldest/Previous Topic Return to Topic Page Go to the Next Newest Topic 
All times are ET (US) Top
  User Options
>> Discussion >> The Alley >> Hasta Cuando?   [ Page: 1  2  3  4  5  ] Format for Better Printing EMail to a Friend Not Available
Print Send ECard

 

pipTalk Home Page | Main Poetry Forums

How to Join | Member's Area / Help | Private Library | Search | Contact Us | Today's Topics | Login
Discussion | Tech Talk | Archives | Sanctuary



© Passions in Poetry and netpoets.com 1998-2013
All Poetry and Prose is copyrighted by the individual authors