You Don't Get To Decide What Is Offensive For Marginalized People
Start writing a post
Race

No, You Don't Get To Decide What Is Offensive For Marginalized Groups Of People

When people are offended by words or make a big deal out of them, it's not just "snowflake liberals" being oversensitive.

441
No, You Don't Get To Decide What Is Offensive For Marginalized Groups Of People

Language.

Language is way more powerful than we realize. We use words as a foundational way to communicate on a daily basis. Words can be a beautiful thing and have the ability to spread a lot of positivity and happiness in our world.

But, they can also be damaging. They can offend people and hurt them. Words can completely denigrate someone's religion, someone's race, someone's ethnic background, someone's sexual orientation, or even someone's personal identity. I think it's really important to talk about derogatory language, especially in a society that gets bashed for including individuals that get "offended easily."

First, I want to make something clear. I 100% agree there are extremists that take things way too far. I do think there are things that are said or done that people shouldn't take too much to heart. I think there are times people just need to brush it off their shoulders and let it go (To give an example, I'm referring to the "Baby It's Cold Outside" ordeal as well as the push to exterminate the term "man" from the English language. Yeah, that's a little extreme, in my opinion).

However, I'm not referring to these rather extreme and ridiculous cases. Instead, I'm referring to blatant, emphatic disrespect, specifically towards marginalized groups of people, such as people of color, members of the LGBT community, immigrants, and essentially, any group that does not fit the category of a straight white male.

Let me break this down even further. The n-word, let's say, is rooted back into times of slavery. It is derived from a time African Americans were literally forced out of their homelands and dehumanized by white people to work for them. Today, it is still a word of a lot of controversies, particularly the use of the word with an "a" at the end instead of "-er."

A non-black person does NOT get to tell a black person the use of that word with an "a" at the end is not offensive, or that they shouldn't be offended through the use of that word. Why? Because white people are NOT black. We do not have a place or say to decide what words rooted in so much hate and degradation are offensive towards those groups of people. It is a word I have come to truly despise over the years, and personally, wish no one would use it ever.

Let's look at something else. The word f***** is a disparaging term often used to discriminate against the LGBT community. Coming from a male that identifies with that community, I can tell you how offensive that word is. It is another word rooted in hate. It is rooted in intolerance, in prejudice, and in bigotry. People are still getting killed every single day because of their sexual identity, and that word is the emblem of their abuse and murder. If you are straight, do not tell me it's not offensive.

Because you're not the one that has to deal with the ongoing scrutiny by society. You're not the one that has to endure the struggles we have to. You're not in our position, so you'll never be able to fully understand. So, educate yourselves, and learn to empathize.

Derogatory language is of course not limited to just people of different races or sexual orientations. Our (well, not if you even want to consider him "our") President Donald Trump has been the talk of offending people since before the 2016 presidential election. He is known for slandering women, calling Mexicans criminals, and tearing apart immigrant families. Mike Pence, our very own Vice President, believes in conversion therapy and advocates against gay marriage.

Don't you see? Don't you see the effect words can have on people? Don't you see how they can reflect hatred and spread toxic elements throughout our society? When people are offended by words or make a big deal out of them, it's not just "snowflake liberals" being oversensitive. They are actual human beings with a sense of moral character and a proper sense of virtues. Learn the difference.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Adulting

Unlocking Lake People's Secrets: 15 Must-Knows!

There's no other place you'd rather be in the summer.

935981
Group of joyful friends sitting in a boat
Haley Harvey

The people that spend their summers at the lake are a unique group of people.

Whether you grew up going to the lake, have only recently started going, or have only been once or twice, you know it takes a certain kind of person to be a lake person. To the long-time lake people, the lake holds a special place in your heart, no matter how dirty the water may look.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Top 10 Reasons My School Rocks!

Why I Chose a Small School Over a Big University.

112723
man in black long sleeve shirt and black pants walking on white concrete pathway

I was asked so many times why I wanted to go to a small school when a big university is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure a big university is great but I absolutely love going to a small school. I know that I miss out on big sporting events and having people actually know where it is. I can't even count how many times I've been asked where it is and I know they won't know so I just say "somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin." But, I get to know most people at my school and I know my professors very well. Not to mention, being able to walk to the other side of campus in 5 minutes at a casual walking pace. I am so happy I made the decision to go to school where I did. I love my school and these are just a few reasons why.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lots of people sat on the cinema wearing 3D glasses
Pinterest

Ever wonder what your friend meant when they started babbling about you taking their stapler? Or how whenever you ask your friend for a favor they respond with "As You Wish?" Are you looking for new and creative ways to insult your friends?

Well, look no further. Here is a list of 70 of the most quotable movies of all time. Here you will find answers to your questions along with a multitude of other things such as; new insults for your friends, interesting characters, fantastic story lines, and of course quotes to log into your mind for future use.

Keep Reading...Show less
New Year Resolutions

It's 2024! You drank champagne, you wore funny glasses, and you watched the ball drop as you sang the night away with your best friends and family. What comes next you may ask? Sadly you will have to return to the real world full of work and school and paying bills. "Ah! But I have my New Year's Resolutions!"- you may say. But most of them are 100% complete cliches that you won't hold on to. Here is a list of those things you hear all around the world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Lifestyle

The Ultimate Birthday: Unveiling the Perfect Day to Celebrate!

Let's be real, the day your birthday falls on could really make or break it.

73465
​different color birthday candles on a cake
Blacksburg Children's Museum

You heard it here first: birthdays in college are some of the best days of your four years. For one day annually, you get to forget about your identity as a stressed, broke, and overworked student, and take the time to celebrate. You can throw your responsibilities for a day, use your one skip in that class you hate, receive kind cards and gifts from loved ones and just enjoy yourself.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments