style guide: racial language


General rules I currently try to follow (click on links for further discussion):




This article sheds light on why many are nervous to talk about race.


They are scared they may say something offensive.


Learning from this post can provide a lot of help to not be offensive.


Avoiding the topic of race, culture and ethnicity does not help move the country toward racial justice, dignity and respect.


Avoiding the topic of oppression keeps the oppression firmly in place.


“WHAT’S THAT MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE”: 346 Words on How to Fix Our Problems


So many of the problems in the United States today could so very easily be solved with a tiny bit of common sense and basic humanity. In the following list (below the image), I propose changes that should happen immediately (yes, utopian), changes that would actually be automatic if we were at all sincere about continuing our “great experiment with democracy.”



Nugent apologizes for using term ‘subhuman mongrel’


“(CNN) — Conservative activist and rocker Ted Nugent apologized Friday for using the term “subhuman mongrel” to describe President Barack Obama.”



Community Village‘s insight:

It amazes me that politicians think they can run their campaign on hate. Republicans think their base of racists will follow them as long as they dehumanizing, disrespecting and devalue Black people.

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Why Are People Angry That Race Was Not Mentioned During Deliberations in Dunn’s Trial?


“Recently, two of the jurors in the case of Michael Dunn have interviewed with CNN. Both were asked if race was mentioned during deliberations.  Both answered “no.”  Then, panels discussing the interviews voiced their disagreement with the jury not discussing race during deliberations.  Some online sources have also criticized those jurors. Even Jordan Davis’ father said he could not see how it didn’t come up since Dunn’s girlfriend gave credible testimony that he used the words “thug music.””



Community Village‘s insight:


I do think bias played a part in Michael Dunn’s actions. I suppose race was not mentioned by the prosecution because a hate crime would require more specific hate speech.


This is the hate speech I heard him use:

  • “rap crap”
  • “son of a bitch”
  • “animals” – when referring to others in the prison.


I suppose the prosecution didn’t want to go down the hate crime road with only those three phrases.

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White rage and white lies: How the right’s language about race created Michael Dunn and George Zimmerman

The way we talk about race remains all wrong — and until we fix it, more young people are going to needlessly die


Community Village‘s insight:


This article goes into depth on what needs to be understood about U.S. race relations.


Talks about implicit racial bias as a pervasive phenomenon, with deep roots in how humans normally think.


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Moving The Race Conversation Forward…

Moving the Race Conversation Forward is a report by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation that aims to reshape and reform the way we talk about race and racism in our country. The paper includes content analysis of mainstream media (finding two-thirds of race-focused media coverage fails to consider systemic racism), analysis of seven harmful racial discourse practices, and case studies of successful interventions to counteract these trends.

The accompanying video, produced by Jay Smooth, expands in an accessible way on the report’s analysis of media’s failure to consider systemic racism. Smooth is the founder of New York’s longest running hip-hop radio show, WBAI’s Underground Railroad, and Race Forward Video & Multimedia Producer.”
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