Over at Pandagon, Amanda's riffing on Kathleen Parker's lame column about how it's silly for folk to take offense at a white guy using the n-word in his cartoon, because it was a joke, you know, and black folk use that word when they're joking, and it's the same thing, in't it?
Anyway, down in the comments, Left Wing Fox, who doesn't seem to have his own blog, or I'd link to it, gives the clearest explanation of just why this is wrong that I have ever read: so I'm reproducing it in full here:
Somewhat related story; Several years back, on a bus in Vancouver, a chinese lady and a white lady got into an argument. I really don't know what started it, but the white lady was very appologetic, and the chinese lady simply got angrier and angrier. Eventually, the chinese lady shouted out "Dumb Honky!" and stormed off the bus.
Everyone on the bus thought it was hilarious.
Honky and nigger might be equal in meaning, but there's no way they're equal in weight. These words are a form of class warfare, meant to remind others exactly where they stand in relation to you. For white men to use racist slang(and for that matter, sexist or homophobic), it throws the history of slavery, segregation, classism and oppression against the target. It says "You are my inferior".
When African Americans call each other nigger, it's closer to an expression of equality; Don't get a swelled head, you're still one of us.
White people simply do not have that history of opression and horror against them. "Honky" may be racist, but it isn't oppressive: white people simply haven't been the widescale victims of institutionalized racism. Even "Cracker" is intended more to guilt by association than oppress.
Even if the words are coming out of Condi's face on paper, it's still Andy Marlette trying to put a black man in his place for making a comment about a white man.
3 hours ago