Friday, September 2, 2016
"MAYBE, WHEN THEY ARE ALL DEAD...."
Yesterday, in conversation with me and another person, a friend used an anti-Semitic stereotype. I screaked, "Oh, please tell me that you didn't actually say THAT!" She was stunned by my reaction and during the ensuing conversation among the three of us, she said that she didn't know it was offensive or why it was offensive, and that she'd heard it used all of her life. She asked WHY it was offensive, and the other person and I explained the reasons.
She said that she would NEVER use the phrase again and I believe her because I think that she is NOT a bigot. She asked, "WHAT word could I use?" and it was settled that "finagle" would be appropriate.
Later in the day, the third person who had been in the conversation, related how, earlier in his life he'd unknowingly used a derogatory term to describe some music. When he was confronted and told that it was an offensive term for Hispanics, the man said that he had had no idea it was offensive. I said, "But I bet you never used that word again!"
I dream of the day when derogatory ethnic terms are not even in the lexicon. Later, in conversation with my brother, he said, "Our only hope is that maybe, when all the people who use those words are dead, kids won't even know the words exist."