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22 April 2019 @ 07:02 am

Certain Chicago native African American exchange student by name Aries Brown, female as i understand, has a sizeable letter published on BBC.com about her difficult experiences at her East European new school, claiming she's been called 'nigger' and generally subjected to a strange combination of rejection and emulation of black people. i can totally believe such experiences in general, and most definitely sympathize and relate to somebody being abused, bullied for their creed ethnicity color etc, but a couple things in her situation make me wonder a bit. first of, while it's no excuse for abuse from the locals, i find it hard to believe she never heard of distrust and sometimes outright hostility to colored and other 'outsider' people in East Europe. she knew, ought to have known what she was getting into when going to a country like say Poland Croatia Hungary and what not, while being black. if she didn't, it means she didn't do her 'homework' in this regard.

secondly, i wonder if she's equally outraged when she hears the 'n' word in her native US, where sadly it's being used today almost routinely and not at all limited, as she clearly wants it to be, to the black community. i have heard it being used by many mainly young folk, especially, shockingly, from such already controversy laden communities as Middle Eastern. Aries ought to know that African American leaders, in particular during Obama's presidential campaign of 2008, tried to run a campaign to stamp the use of this slur out; instead she apparently takes pride in the word now having become almost unalienable part of her community's life. i can understand the concept of taking an insult and turning it into a badge of honor, but i think the concept i, flawed and destructive for soul, in this case the soul of entire community. no Jew in a right state of mind will walk around calling themselves or their friends 'Kike' and take pride in it. if somebody calls you bad names in school, at home and what not, you don't go through life wearing it as a nobility title, you at least try to throw it off like a yoke, and at most try to beat the hell out of those calling you that. so where's your outrage, Ms Aries Brown, when your fellow African Americans and even others routinely use this insult? you say your people appropriated this word and now only they but not whites, are entitled to use it? but like i said, you haven't really got an exclusive hold of it, and plus how is it ok to forbid others to repeat wrongdoings of their ancestors but write your own a blank check to pick this filth up and carry it from this point? this is like few other things a sign of spiritual corruption, very emblematic of the troubled condition your community is sadly in, which by the way in turn contributes in solid part to nasty stereotypes it, and you as its member, face in broader world.

and perhaps most unexpectedly, Aries claims that her last name 'Brown' was given to her ancestors by their white slave owners because brown is color of dirt and they didn't feel like bothering coming up with any other last names for their slaves. i take big issue with this claim, even though i can imagine in her particular case it may have been so. BUT: there are probably millions of absolutely white people with same last name, mostly of English, Scottish, also German background. it's one of the most widely spread last names in English world. what does she think was the reason all those people, usually totally unrelated to each other except on very very basic 'general national' level, got this last name? and why does she assign to this color such a distinctly negative connotation? Brown is a color not only of dirt, but of clay, earth, wood and many other things. not only the last name but the color itself is perhaps one of the most often found. it's the most common color of such noble creature as a horse, for once. i think it's insulting to the word, color and last name to suggest that 'dirt' is the only association and explanation it can have. i'd like to at least know more about this particular Brown family's origins. also, it is a well known fact that often slave owners, feudal lords and other similar figures extended THEIR OWN last names to their subjects/charges/servants etc. thus it's possible that actually Brown would've been last name of a White master. not much consolation there either, true, but still, at least no 'dirty' association.

furthermore, i wonder if Ms Aries Brown is aware of the fact that not all slaves in America were black, that there were thousands of Irish and other people (Irish perhaps especially) who suffered same fate. Hence when it comes to such grand injustice as being denied basic human rights and status, and subsequent abuses coming from it, black people do not have a monopoly on this experience. Like it or not, it's a fact.

finally, while i recognize that today the 'n' word in America and many other countries is a slur and unlike Ms Brown i'd like it to be eradicated fully from everyday use in by ajny community in the US, it should be noted that other countries have their own rules traditions attitudes etc and one cannot come to another country, one that for once probably hasn't even had any hand in slave trade or other such acts (not to say those countries haven't had their share of oppression, crime, genocide and what not), and tell people there what words to speak and what not. a good example: me being Jewish, i'd be insulted if called 'ZHID" while in Russia, and these days also in my native Ukraine, but in places like Poland or Baltic states it's the word 'yevrey' that'd be a slur, which is exact opposite of how it is in Russia or Ukraine, where 'yevrey' is the normal term for my people. i don't find it entitling to any outsider to come in to a totally previously strange place and impose their ideas there.