~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

The “N” word and the A,B,C of racism here in Australia.

Posted by carolom on June 21, 2016

*Dedicating this updated post to Nova Peris today after the man who sent her messages with these words in them, pleaded guilty:

 

The Intergenerational Impact of Australia’s Racist History

I have often thought that those divisive, racist terms, Australia’s equivalent to the word,  the ABC of racism, have not been publicly outed here in Australia.

It’s as if those derisive names and derogatory terms have gone underground yet still live and perpetuate in the collective psyche today, erupting occasionally but generally not aired or brought to the light of public discussion and transformation.

I pre-empt the following with an apology to those who are offended.  In the context of the word discussion it is important that we acknowledge the toxic, pervasive impact of the words abo, boong & coon and the inference of the superiority of one group by the demonising of another.   Dehumanising words that  were instilled in the post European settlement consciousness  of  this country.

As a migrant child in the  60’s hearing the adults use the terms in a derisive, mocking, disdainful manner transmitted their racist origins down through the generations and their legacies are alive and breathing long after the first people who uttered them have gone.

That old adage that you can’t heal it until you claim it is as relevant when discussing collective language and divisive stereotyping as it is when discussing personal  mental, emotional and spiritual wounds.

It is the very early days of recovery from the violence of colonisation in this country and naming and accepting responsibility for the impact of the language of Australia’s history of apartheid that was linguistically coded into our schoolyards and policies in very recent times, is another step in the healing process and journey of restorative justice.

An Aboriginal Woman said to me recently: Unless you have experienced it, a person could never know what it feels like to have your culture, your tribe and community demonised to the point where just the word “Aborigine” triggers fear, distrust and loathing in people who have never even sat down with us and had a yarn.

Australia’s history of colonisation, which was an invasion into an occupied country whose inhabitants had   highly sophisticated systems of governance & environmental practices, is the story of many first nations people right across the globe. Domination, theft, rape, genocide, kidnapping of children and loss of language and identity and the slow and painful inter-generational recovery for a nation of people living in the post traumatic state.

I sometimes wonder if people outside of Australia are aware that there are uniquely Australian counterparts to that loathesome and highly political word “nigger’

They are words that imprison the innocent and are not discussed openly  in Australia or made accountable for the role that they have played in demonising one race in order to serve the agenda of another.

Deep within the psyche and at the fore front of many people’s thinking & belief systems, the ABC – abo, boong and coonof Australia’s shameful & very recent past is still very much alive and breathing  a fresh generation of racism despite progress being made in some areas of Reconciliation and healing.

This is what the women in our Aboriginal Women’s Healing groups have told me over and over and when an Aboriginal grandmother is standing at the bus stop with her three grandchildren and a car full of teenagers drives by and calls out boongs, it is evidence that the virus of racism is still beng transmitted in Austraia today.

Click here to read “The Virus” – a story of how racism is ‘caught’ in the schoolyard…

Definition of boong in the Urban Dictionary reveals the derogatory intent of the term:Urban dictionary Definition of ‘boong’

Many Warriors are still in chains.

For more on this topic, I highly recommend the following book “Blood on the Wattle” which details the history of some of the massacres across Australia. It is a hard book to read but one that should be read by every Australian.
libro140.jpg

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19 Responses to “The “N” word and the A,B,C of racism here in Australia.”

  1. i appreciate your discussion on this. i am north of the equator but have a chat friend in perth. the depth of his racism is disturbing, and much like what i see in the states in terms of attitudes towards native americans. it makes me sad.
    thanks for taking a stand and outing this truth. i know i won’t change my friend, but im glad to know others share an attitude of healing about australia’s past.
    many blessings,
    sue o’kieffe

  2. judyb12 said

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention; i really had no idea of the depth of racism in Australia (being a northern hemisphere dweller). To answer your question, no, people outside of Australia generally have no idea that these terms exist.

    • Judy, what you say is true. Most Americans have very little idea of the racial problems in Australia. As I read Carol’s post I realized how similar our history of racism is to that of Australia’s. We like Australians are trying to make amends. However, we have two groups to whom we must make amends, African Americans and Native Americans. I believe we are making progress. Certainly we have raised awareness and are well on the way to progressing towards total equality. Great piece, Carol.

  3. carolom said

    Thank you for your feedback Sue and Judy.

    Australia is a long way from the rest of the world in distance but from the immediacy of the Internet, many of the stories that Aboriginal people are asking to be told, and those who support the struggle for Justice can be heard.

    The story of Australia’s extensive history of abuse of human rights and the impact it has on today indicate that it is the early days of recovery in the land of the Dreamtime.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to read the A,B,C of Racism and share your feedback..

    Carol

  4. Thank you, Carol, for writing about this! I had no idea that there was this kind of racism in Australia (I am north of the equator too).

    I never heard those words … But I am glad that any healing is being done to heal from violence of any kind!!

    I am so glad that there is a movement of taking power and reclaiming pride and self-respect! thank you again!

    ~ Diane Clancy
    http://www.dianeclancy.com/blog

  5. carolom said

    Thank you for your feedback Diane….as you can see Australia’s deep and destructive history of racism and its own unique language is not known outside of Australia in the same way that the African slavery and Native American / Native Canadian human rights issues are known.

    We are in the very early days of recovery as a nation and for Aboriginal people both individually and collectively…it is important that this story be told.

  6. Bob Gilmore said

    Golly gosh, I find it deeply disturbing and offensive that you can qualify the actions taken in Australias past in the language of genocide. I do hope that you simply do not understand the meaning of the word genocide, which would indeed be forgiveable. However, to push your interpretation of Australia’s history with full knowledge of the what the word actually means and when it has occured displays a startling insensitivity that contrasts greatly with what I take from your above discussion to be an informed and politically correct leanings. On your mention of the “Dreamtime”, a question I would like to pose is how a “nation” of people with no common language managed to construct a religion that they all share? Spare me, if they did have religion it was not a common all pervading “land of the dreamtime” fantasy, it was something more in line with their state of civilisation. It seems as if your imposing your own ideas on how they should have lived rather than the reality.

  7. carolom said

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genocide
    Genocide: “Genocide is the deliberate and systematic destruction of an ethnic, religious or national group”.

    From the poisoining of watering holes, the shooting of whole tribes, the kidnapping of children from families through to the strategic introduction of alcohol, Australia has a history of crimes against humanity that can not be denied.

    Assuming that it takes a ‘common language’ to unite people is a very western paradigm that demonstrates a lack understanding of the deeply Spiritual, and the mythology, metaphysical and cosmology -much of it unspoken and unseen – that are the threads that weave many disparate tribes with common threads. Much of it ‘unspoken’ yet carried along the songlines and in the art and dance and music AND story telling of the oral traditions.

    You state that you are offended Bob…can you imagine how offensive it is to Aboriginal people to have the truth denied when whole tribes of Ancestors were murdered throughout the post- European invasion years? The movie “The Tracker” is a very good place to start in re-educating your belief that Australia does not have a history of genocide.
    i have added the cover of “Blood on the Wattle -A history of massacres and maltreatment of Aborigines” to the blog entry for your interest also.
    It is a book that every Australian should read in order to reveal the genocide that is the very foundation of white settlement in this country.
    http://www.walkabout.com.au/booksMaps/booksMaps00021.shtml

    “I was given [Blood on the Wattle] by a cousin of mine who works for Aboriginal Affairs and I was in a daze. I mean, I was just reading page after page after page of massacres and really the only thing that I knew of my Aboriginality was that I belonged to the Wiradjuri tribe. Then I came to the page where most of the Wiradjuri tribe were wiped out…” – Evonne Cawley, The Midday Show, 18 May 1992

    I am going to make an assumption that you have not had personal ‘First contact’ with Aboriginal people Bob, because I am sure that if you have, you would shift from “offended” to an educated position of Acknowledgement at the very least…

  8. Dear Carol
    I hope this finds you in the best of good health and spirits

    The widely acknowledged and accepted meaning and interpretation of genocide is found in the United Nation Convention on the “Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide” and to which Australia is a signatory.

    I have copied through to article 4 of the Genocide convention below for readers perusal (the full version may be accessed via) http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/p_genoci.htm – in the hope it may clear up any uncertainty with regard to the generally accepted meaning of the word genocide or what constitutes an act of genocide.

    It may also be of interest to some that whilst Australian Governments agreed to sign onto the Genocide convention, Australian Governments of the day (1949?) were still actively acting out upon Aboriginal Peoples the very things the Genocide convention and related articles acknowledge as acts of genocide and Australia having become a signatory to the genocide convention purported to prevent and protect against. In fact, one may strongly argue as I do that the physical, spiritual and cultural genocide of Aboriginal Peoples continues to this very day.

    Far from politically correct leanings there is a plethora of evidence-based research by noted scholars that have written extensively on the subject of invasion and the subsequent colonization process as it pertains to the historical “settlement” of Aboriginal country.

    In fact, an examination of early British/Australian, proclamations, acts, policies and legislation etc from 1770 which have essentially determined the relationship between British King and later successive Australian Governments and Aboriginal peoples would of themselves easily fore-fill the criteria and definition as expressed in United Nations Convention on the Prevention of Genocide. (Please refer articles 1&2 following at end).

    In relation to the word “Dreaming” as I see it, is essentially a generalized blanket-term used by non-Aboriginal people (originating from early anthropologist in the main) to describe Aboriginal “spiritual life” (for want of a more apt interpretation) that they (anthropologist) could attempt to frame into a generalized western cultural construct of religious values and beliefs.

    Unfortunately, for many people the word Dreamtime or Dreaming in a western European context conjures up all kinds of lazy romantic, fantasy laden misconceptions to the point that some people will often dismiss Aboriginal “spiritual life” as myth or a “childish” system of mere beliefs paralleling nursery rhymes and the such and attempt to render Aboriginal ”spiritual life” as culturally and religiously/spiritually inferior.

    The fact, however, remains that Aboriginal Peoples across Australia have and do share similar values, beliefs and practices that acknowledge and express a unique and deeply “spiritual” way of life and world-view through which we are all seamlessly connected to each other through Mother Earth. Even though it is indeed true that the collective social organization of Aboriginal Peoples encompasses many distinct languages, geographical locations and originally between some 500-600 nations.

    That Aboriginal so-called “spiritual” life is nothing more then a “state of civilization” as suggested by Mr. Gilmore is, I find, an interesting perspective, though I remain unsure as to what Mr. Gilmore may be implying by his reference to“their state of civilization”? Are we to interpret that in the Darwinist evolutionary view of the world, or do we perhaps, put it in the context of the ascending scale of humanity as put forward by anthropologist Max Muller in 1870 that places the Aryan supreme and the Aboriginal as the lowest of the low?

    What is interesting to note is that in the face of what appears to be almost insurmountable obstacles such as geographical barriers land, sea etc, the many distinct language and cultural differences and a number of religious campaigns/wars throughout the western world, the relatively young and so-called “western” religions not only came into fruition but have continued to flourish throughout the world all without any due regard to any universally shared language and or location. So I fail to understand Mr. Gilmore’s implication in his statement that “people with no common language managed to construct a religion that they all share”?

    Suffice to say may I add that the spoken word is but one form of meaningful communication.

    Perhaps, Mr. Gilmore may oblige us and elaborate further?

    Thank you for the opportunity – (Please find genocide convention below).

    Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

    Having considered the declaration made by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 96 (I) dated 11 December 1946 that genocide is a crime under international law, contrary to the spirit and aims of the United Nations and condemned by the civilized world,

    Recognizing that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity, and Being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required,Hereby agree as hereinafter provided:

    Article 1

    The Contracting Parties confirm that genocide, whether committed in time of peace or in time of war, is a crime under international law, which they undertake to prevent and to punish.

    Article 2

    In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

    (a) Killing members of the group;
    (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
    (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
    (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
    (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

    Article 3

    The following acts shall be punishable:
    (a) Genocide;
    (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide;
    (c) Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;
    (d ) Attempt to commit genocide;
    (e) Complicity in genocide.

    Article 4

    Persons committing genocide or any of the other acts enumerated in article III shall be punished, whether they are constitutionally responsible rulers, public officials or private individuals

  9. Bob Gilmore said

    Thank you for your response Carol, and I will have a look at Mr Elders’ book if and when I can get my hands on it. There are a few points of yours I would like to question, and if I may, put into context the reasons why I would say that the term genocide is both offensive and inapplicable. You cite the poisoning, shootings, kidnappings and even the “strategic” introduction of alcohol. These are all issues I am well acquainted with.

    As a student of history however, I have not once come across documented empirical evidence of these issues to the scale by which they could be classed as the destruction, of ethnic groups etc. No doubt there were confrontations in Australian colonial history, a natural consequence of the meeting of two vastly differing cultures, but this is all they were, confrontations. Tasmania, that witnessed the worst of such confrontations, provides some interesting examples on the intention of the settlers there. Hugh’s Fatal Shore discusses the conciliatory policy taken by George Arthur in the 1820s. Page 450 shows an interesting contemporary government poster promising equality in justice regardless of race, which ‘was echoed in the policy and the practice of the colonial administrations’.

    How does that saying go, assumption is the mother of all misunderstandings. Your “assumption” of my lack of “First contact” (a phrase I am unfamiliar with) with Aboriginal people is incorrect. My home town in the south east of NSW has one of the largest Aboriginal populations (I’ll assume you know which town it is), and I have had both school friends and work colleagues who were indeed Aboriginal (although we considered it irrelevant). However my understanding of the spiritual and social complexities of Aboriginal society is limited, although I believe there is ample empirical evidence on which I could form an opinion. And yes living in a western nation it is easy therefore for me to view Aboriginal culture in my western paradigm, something I make no apologies for.

    To Mr Hartley, I am very familiar with the Convention and again, you cite proclamations and acts (from 1770 even, did not Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrive in 88? – if it is Cook/Banks etc you are referring to, I think a more in-depth examination of their policies towards all the native peoples they encountered is required) as well as a ‘plethora’ of evidence. I would like to see and examine such evidence instead of mere rhetoric.

    It is good you mentioned Muller and the “Aryan” thesis, for this allows me to return to the substance of my previous post. Apart from my evidentiary issues, my problem lies with the label ‘genocide’. Genocide has sadly been committed many times in the past. Since you mentioned “Aryan” we will go the very worst-case scenario, the Holocaust. In normal cases I wouldn’t quote the figures out of an intellectual respect but this continuing and startling insensitivity suggests that it may be required. Six million people, notably people of the Jewish faith, were persecuted and finally, killed. To even compare such instances to our own Australian history is an affront to the memory of those who died, and an affront to all those who fought against the people who were responsible. So as it is by comparison that I draw my offence, let me assume that neither of you have a personal understanding of the true instances of genocide,because I am sure that if you did, you would shift to an acknowledgement that whilst there are instances in this countries’ past that may not be exemplary, as a product of the times they were ethically far and away superior to that which was occurring in much of the rest of the world.

  10. carolom said

    Re:
    “To even compare such instances to our own Australian history is an affront to the memory of those who died, and an affront to all those who fought against the people who were responsible. ”

    Not if you are an Aboriginal person who experienced your tribe being wiped out.

    “So as it is by comparison that I draw my offence, let me assume that neither of you have a personal understanding of the true instances of genocide,because I am sure that if you did, you would shift to an acknowledgement that whilst there are instances in this countries’ past that may not be exemplary, as a product of the times they were ethically far and away superior to that which was occurring in much of the rest of the world.”

    Far and away superior? Poisoning. Kidnapping. Shooting. Murder. Rape. Genocide. Interment into church run prison camps (watch “Rabbit Proof Fence” for a tiny glimpse into the reality of Australia’s past).

    No wonder the ignorance and denial continues when the Black holocaust is trivialised and the true facts of the invasion of Australia are ignored.

  11. Lest we Forget – Terra Nullius

    [In “1770” Captain James Cook landed in Botany Bay, home of the Eora people, and claimed possession of the East Coast of Australia for Britain under the doctrine of ‘terra nullius’

    According to the international law of Europe in the late 18th century, there were only three ways that Britain could take possession of another country:

    1.If the country was uninhabited, Britain could claim and settle that country. In this case, it could claim ownership of the land.

    2.If the country was already inhabited, Britain could ask for permission from the indigenous people to use some of their land. In this case, Britain could purchase land for its own use but it could not steal the land of the indigenous people.

    3.If the country was inhabited, Britain could take over the country by invasion and conquest- in other words, defeat that country in war. However, even after winning a war, Britain would have to respect the rights of indigenous people].

    [The military force stationed in NSW from 1792-1810 was a specially raised unit, the NSW Corps. They were nicknamed the ‘Rum Corps’ because of their monopoly in trading in spirits.]

    [With the establishment of the first colony of New South Wales in 1788, the need for currency soon became apparent. Convicts received no wages and the early settlers and military personnel had their needs supplied from communal stores. With only a small quantity of English and foreign coins brought with the First Fleet, most of the dealings in the first few years consisted of bartering, with rum being the main means of exchange.]

    [The process of extermination is an expression of the law of evolution and the survival of the fittest” there was therefore he concluded, no reason to suppose that “ there had been any liable neglect “ in the murder and dispossession of the Aboriginal Australian]. (James Barnard, the vice President of the Royal society of Tasmania 1890)

    [The survival of the fittest, means that might is right. And we thus invoke and remorselessly fulfill the inexorable law of natural selection when exterminating the inferior Aboriginal (Australian) and Maori races](Social Evolutionist H.K. Rusden explained in 1876)

    Mr. Gilmore, Cook chose to ignore the orders of his British King to consult and gain consent from Aboriginal Peoples (natives) and committing treason Cook proclaimed the above doctrine of Terra Nullius.

    Mr. Gilmore now that it is a well-recorded historical fact that the lie of Terra Nullius as proclaimed by Cook in 1770 was overturned in 1992 during the Mabo case.

    What is there fore Mr. Gilmore, in your learned opinion, the legal basis of British “settlement/sovereignty” over Aboriginal Peoples and country given Aboriginal consent was never sought or given nor has our sovereignty ever been ceded? Surely, you recognize the Mabo decision as something more then just a mere inconvenience of truth?

    Mr. Gilmore you minimize the slaughter and massacres of Aboriginal Peoples as mere incidents and confrontations and to quote you, “as a natural consequence of the meeting of two vastly differing cultures” – a reasoning I am sure both Darwin and Muller would give their whole hearted attention as would the other so-called dis-proven social “thinkers” I have referenced for you above (Barnard and Rusden).

    On the one hand Mr. Gilmore, you appear to acknowledge the Genocide of our Jewish Brothers and Sisters and yet on he other, you deny and attempt to reason away the genocide of my people here throughout Aboriginal country but in just what way Mr. Gilmore are the two mutually exclusive?

    Mr. Gilmore the slaughter of People, the invasion of another’s country, the trampling and neglect of fundamental human rights, dignity and decency, enforced assimilation into a dominant culture construct, continued cultural oppression and yes the genocide attempted or otherwise of a People on the basis of race or on some perceived difference real or imagined, or want for their country is not a question of inevitability or of “natural consequence”, but of choice motivated by greed and history Mr. Gilmore, is yet to teach me otherwise.

    This is all for now

    Good things to you in 2008 Mr Gilmore.

    In the spirit of the sun
    Karranjal John Hartley

  12. carolom said

    Perhaps once Bob Gilmore reads “Blood on the Wattle” he may have a broader understanding of the history of massacres that were intentionally executed across Aboriginal Australia…or perhaps not.

    A few years ago I spent several days reading the file of Lalli Akbar from the photocopies of the hand written notes of A O Neville, the Chief ‘Protector” of Aborigines in W.A. for many years. A man totally committed to a white Australia.

    Lalli and Jack Akbar (an Afghan camalleer) are the grandparents of members of my extended family and their story can be read in the book Linden Girl, by Pamela Rajowski. Rabbit Proof Fence depicted the accurate portrayal of an obsessed and narcissistic character who beleived it was his right to control the life of every Aboriginal person regardless of their Laws and kinships systems…and basic human rights.

    Neville’s obsession with white superiority, the demonising of Aboriginal people and his relentless pursuit of Lalli and Jack lead to them fleeing Western Australia to live in South Australia where they lived in exile for many years.

    Neville’s obsession and belief in white superiority was typical of the attitudes and laws of the time and the ‘mission’ he ran is referred to by many as the prison camp where Aboriginal people were transported against their wishes and many later re-located to unpaid work on stations.
    Australia’s history of slavery is another untold story.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A._O._Neville
    “Neville believed that biological absorption was the key to ‘uplifting the Native race.’ Speaking before the Moseley Royal Commission, which investigated the administration of Aboriginals in 1934, he defended the policies of forced settlement, removing children from parents, surveillance, discipline and punishment, arguing that
    ‘they have to be protected against themselves whether they like it or not. They cannot remain as they are. The sore spot requires the application of the surgeon’s knife for the good of the patient, and probably against the patient’s will’

    In his twilight years Neville continued to actively promote his views. Towards the end of his career, Neville published Australia’s Coloured Minority, a text outlining his plan for the biological absorption of aboriginal people into white Australia.”

    I am sure there would have been an uprising if Black Australia decided they would ‘biologically’ absorb European Australia…but the brain washing of the times promoted the inferiority of Aborigines and therefore eroded all of their human rights.

    Thanks once again Karranjal John Hartley and I am sure you know that my deepest condolences go to your Ancestors and their Children for all that has happened to them since 1788.

    Carol

  13. Cecelia said

    Thank you for directing me to this post. It is excellent. I am trying to gain knowledge and awareness on all issues affecting Aboriginal/First Nations/Indigenous/Native people worldwide. I know so much about Native people here on Turtle Island (USA/Canada) but I have to say that its time to learn about what happened on other territories/continents. Thank you for educating me on this.

    I look forward to reading more blog posts!

  14. Tee said

    Its discusting the use of words used by some people today.
    I am half aboriginal,and i find any words that are slang for aboriginal people really offensive; to me,my people and my ancestors,and yes in the US the word “nigger” is banned. Why isnt all these slang words banned in Australia. Its exactly the same concept and problem that were facing. I am fifteen years old and when i hear these words being used by little kids it really makes me sorry for them because i know that they havnt been taught to know any better. They havnt been taught respect to other cultures and this is sad. I think that every one just needs to be educated and shown,that this is not the right words to use.

  15. Sairs said

    Interesting reading Carol, and all who have responded. Although now i am left with a question i really must ask. I have always been aware that boong and coon are offensive terms, even though the meanings were never explained to me, i knew the were considered “like swear words” and that i was not to say them. But, i am really unable to understand why Abo is in your list of racist words? Please do not consider this as a point of argument on my part – i would genuinely appreciate your advice to me on this. I was never taught that this was a bad word. My understanding was/is that it is just a shortened version of the word Aboriginal. Indeed, i don’t know anyone who takes offence to this word.
    Can you please explain this to me??

  16. carolom said

    Sairs I think Tee probably answered your question in the comment above yours…. I remember hearing about “the abo’s living around the corner” in a way that was said with contempt and the same inflections as the other two words. Words in themself are just letters, it is the intent and meaning they are delivered with that turns them from a handshake to a spear.

    I appreciate what you are saying in so far as you weren’t aware that the term is offensive but of course if you were Black…you would have a different experience of racist-language and how specific words are spoken…, which is one of the main points in this discussion.

    Our experience of racism as non-Aboriginal people is so far removed from being on the receiving end of the demonising of Aboriginal people, that we can’t really know the widespread and systemic roots and bad-fruits of racism in “the lucky country” of Australia behind the ‘mateship” and “she’ll be right” and “no worries” propaganda and sentiment of the poets.

    My friend who – a beautiful Black Ngarrindjeri woman – will be giving a public talk next week and that very word and how it was spoken and what it implied and how that affected her so deeply as a little girl, along with the other two words, will form the introduction part of her speech during Reconciliation week.

    Your sincere question reminds me of a conversation I had with two middle-Australia, very decent women recently who were both expressing their opposition to the public outing of those three terms based on their every day reality that there is no such kind of racism of language like that at their children’s school, which is in an area with a very strong Cultural education program. They were genuinely surprised and shocked that those words are STILL used by SOME people and did not think that having public conversations about our SHARED history of these linguistic spears would serve any purpose.

    Here is an on line dictionary for new English speakers that defines the word and its’ taboo:
    http://www.englishclub.com/ref/esl/Slang/Shortened_Words/Abo_1006.htm

    Thanks for your feedback Sairs…

  17. Kris said

    I used these words as a child. At 37 now I can’t believe how accepted it was and I’m sorry. I hope my kids never hear them, or say them. They won’t be learning it from me.

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