Thursday January 19, 2006

Wall of hate

wall of hate

Nova Southeastern University has come upon a rather, uh, creative way to celebrate the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King: they’ve erected a wall of cinderblocks and inscribed it with as many racial and other offensive epithets as they could think of. Come noon on Friday, they’re going to ceremoniously tear it down. A sign next to the wall reads:

Through the act of constructing a wall representing our oppression of others and bringing down this structure, participants in this event are reminded of the need to act personally and experience the power to create positive change in the future.

No idea how intentional the Pink Floyd reference is, but the writing on the wall quote in the picture suggests it crossed their minds. We also get “Geek,” “Jap,” “Chico,” “Oreo,” “Dyke,” “Puta,” “Lard Ass,” and “Feminist.”

I wonder about that last one. Sure, “feminist” has sometimes been used as a derisive term in recent years, but are we ready to concede that it is “strictly” negative? Is it a word we want to “tear down”? It seems like a halfhearted step into a completely different set of words: “Communist,” for example comes to mind, and it’s much more likely to be intended as an insult . . . wasn’t Dr. King accused of being a Communist?

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  1. Living Will    Thu Jan 19, 11:16 AM #  

    I’d be curious to see an alphabetical list of the actual words that appear. I wonder if older, more obscure epithets such as “mockie,” “square-head,” “nip,” “chin,” and “gash” are up there. The language of contemporary race-baiting and ethnocentrism has become terribly pedestrian.



  2. mek    Thu Jan 19, 08:48 PM #  

    pathetic.



  3. hopeful    Thu Jan 19, 09:10 PM #  

    Gilbert and George’s Dirty Words meets Richard Serra.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/critic/feature/0,1169,731244,00.html

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/cultureshock/flashpoints/visualarts/tiltedarc_a.html



  4. john    Thu Jan 19, 09:13 PM #  

    I actually saw “Arab” and “Love”. In the sort of ignorant media driven anti-Arab environment that is being created it is not surprising that someone is such a dildo as to see the word as negative. “Love” though… They better get back into the classroom at NSU.



  5. Defeded    Thu Jan 19, 10:09 PM #  

    And what’s wrong with a skank?



  6. Lois Terms    Thu Jan 19, 11:03 PM #  

    If “love” makes the list, I’d recommend adding “marriage.” And “work.” But we’ve lost sight of the birdie, here.



  7. Hugh Bris    Fri Jan 20, 01:11 PM #  

    Words don’t hate people. People hate people.



  8. alesh    Sat Jan 21, 09:58 AM #  

    “Arab” is a strange one to include, too, isn’t it? Note the Wikipedia list of ethnic slurs. I sort of hate to nitpick too much; I assume this was done by students, and I’m sure their hearts are in the right place. I’m just saying some of their choices are telling.