The use of words…

Posted: May 22, 2012 in Publishing

I was in a all night café, having a late breakfast after a few beers. The taxi driver who brought me was mental. It was like ‘Death Race 2000’, he even drove along the pavement, scattering pedestrians at one point. So I was sat with Bulldog. We were laughing about how all black cab drivers seem to be mental where we live, and can’t drive.
The woman behind us finished her drink, then went mental at us. Screaming at us. She called us ‘Racist bastards’, and ‘Narrow minded red-necks.’ She informed us that we were what is wrong with the world, and how the correct term for a black person was African American. Once done, she was about to storm out. I had to stop her.
“I think it fantastic that you spoke out” I said, “It was a brave thing to do, but, we were describing the colour of the car.”

“What?” She said.
“A black cab driver, as in the driver of a black cab, a hackney carriage, as opposed to an ordinary private hire car… not the colour of the dude driving it”
“Oh.” She said.
That got me thinking though. I fucking hate the term ‘African American.’ I don’t know where it came from, but I particularly hate it when a person uses it to describe a black person in here in England. What exactly is wrong with Black? I can think of no more impersonal and unconnected way to describe a person than as two continents. This is my problem with this bullshit PC crap, if your black, you are black. African American is so generic, it seems to ignore a whole race of people, as if too afraid to say black. Tommie Smith, with his Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics was slammed at the time. That Black Power salute was also a human rights salute. Black Power – not African, American power. A win for black people as a whole, every one, not just the ones in America. I hate Caucasian too. I am white. So concerned with being generic and non offensive, they have decided on an offensive word to describe white people. The word Caucasian derives from Caucasus slaves, from the 440,000 square miles of land separating the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Caucasian is related to the Atlantic white slave trade where slaves were valued for being so pale. Essentially from Eastern Europe. Mainly pale skinned white girls with blond hair, that were sold and traded by Arab nations & North Africans. So on a form, when it asks my race, the only one for me to tick, is to say, Yes, I am a little, pale, blond haired, Eastern European  slave girl. What the fuck is wrong with white?
This is it though isn’t it. Trying to avoid the touchy subjects of the past, by being PC. Shit happened, can’t change it. Black is a loaded and powerful word. African American, well who exactly is that? Black is a person, African American is two land masses.

The problem is They now use words to desensitise things.  As an example, I hardly knew my father at all. He was a mental fuck. When he died I got is medical records to see why he was such a cunt. He got blown up in World War 2, and had as they described, suffered from shell shock. Shell Shock? It sounded awful, of war, battle. Shell Shock is when your body has been stressed by so much exposure to combat, your nervous system shuts down. How can you not sympathise with that? Two syllables, Shell and Shock. Blunt and to the point. 
A few pages later, and years on, they started calling it Battle Fatigue. They have added two more syllables and it doesn’t sound as bad. Battle – (fighting) Fatigue (Tired of). Further on, and forward in time, it became Active Exhaustion. What the fuck is Active Exhaustion? Sounds like something your car would get. Any reference to war or battle removed. How can you empathise with someone with that? Just before he died, and present day, they changed it to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.  We have now added an extra syllable AND a fucking hyphen! It is now desensitised, sterile and void of any emotion. Empathy removed. How can you possibly feel sorry for someone with that? This is something that is happening a lot. We no longer have poor people in slums, we have the economically disadvantaged living in subsidised accommodation. The bullshit use of words. Toilet paper became bathroom tissue.
Another example of bullshit use of words. Credit. Credit used to be a good thing. If people said “To Jonny’s credit, he’s written a funny book’ it’s be a good thing. If someone said my son was a credit to me, it would be a complement. The end credits were those responsible for making a film. Now it is used to mean debt. Credit card doesn’t sound too bad. Call it what it actually means, debt card – no fucker would want one. I can’t imagine many signing up for three years interest free debt. Your credit score is a debt score, how eligible you are for more debt? Bullshit with words.
For me, when I say a black person, it’s because I recognise all the struggle and inequality suffered in the past, and they are black. I am not sweeping it under the carpet. I will not use a generic term like African American to satisfy the sensibilities of others. I bet if you had asked Martin Luther King was he African American or black, he’d say black.

  1. Holmless says:

    Oak I fully agree with you. Having grown up in South Africa and lived through the re-introduction of black people into the white areas I have learned that racism is more to do with cultural clashes that skin tone. It is a fact that people gravitate to similar characteristics as themselves, thus birds of a feather stick together and once together protect the group, or protect themselves from vanishing into obscurity.

    Anyway this was not as funny as usual so I think perhaps we need to ship you out to a catastrophe area, so you can live through some hardships, maybe somewhere warm, with waves?

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