The dangers of “disparaging”

DISPARAGE

transitive verb
1
:  to lower in rank or reputation :  degrade
2
:  to depreciate by indirect means (as invidious comparison) :  speak slightingly about
This is the definition of disparage according to Merriam-Webster. This is the definition that I will be referring to as I write today, so please view what follows in this light. Here we go…
By claiming to be Christian we believe in salvation through Christ and Christ alone. In doing so we are, by definition, making disparaging claims against anyone who is not a Christian as we claim to know the truth and thus are making an invidious comparison about ourselves as compared to others. Many translations of the bible carry a TM and copyright protections. They should be revoked, or not renewed when it comes back up. Come to think of it, there are quite many books out there that enjoy copyright protections that are rather disparaging toward one group or another. They should be gotten rid of as well.
This is going to be a short post, but please understand that it is not in defense of the Washington Redskins. I actually think that they should change their name, but am exceptionally leery of forcing them to.  Free speech means that there will be things we do not like. Now, just in case there are some of you that believe the patent office is acting in good faith and not being even remotely political about it, let me share with you some fo the rather offensive trademarks that they allow…(full article found here: http://dailycaller.com/2014/06/18/12-trademarks-declared-less-offensive-than-redskins/)

Figgas over NiggasThis pending trademark seeks to cover a line of “Apparel for dancers, namely, tee shirts, sweatshirts, pants, leggings, shorts and jackets.” “Niggas,” of course, is a slang version of the word “nigger,” a term considered highly offensive towards black Americans.

Kraut Kap: Another recently-filed trademark, this one for a line of plastic lids. “Kraut” was made famous in World War II as a derogatory term for opposing German soldiers, as well as Germans in general.

Dago Swagg: A label created for a line of clothing. ”Dago” is a corruption of the common name Diego, and is used in English-speaking countries as an offensive term for those of Italian descent, and occasionally people from other Mediterranean countries as well.

Cracka Azz Skateboards: Unsurprisingly, this trademark was taken out for a line of skateboards and longboards, as well as associated clothing such as bandannas. While the USPTO helpfully notes that “The wording ‘cracka azz’ has no meaning in a foreign language,” “cracka” is a slang version of “cracker,” which in this context is a term of derision for whites, used primarily within the black community.

You Can’t Make A Housewife Out Of A Whore: This trademark for T-shirts and hats appears to imply that women involved in prostitution can never transition into the domestic role of a housewife. Such an accusation would certainly “bring them into contempt or disrepute,” the stated reasoning for eliminating the Redskins trademark.

Blanco Basura: A seemingly innocuous phrase, Blanco Basura, rendered into English, is actually the highly offensive slur “white trash.” White trash is a derogatory insult that typically refers to poor, white Americans, who have a penchant for crime and a patent disrespect for authority. Apparently, they thought they could go unnoticed designing a hateful beer.

Home Cookin Biscuit Head: Intentionality, as we well know, is not required in order for something to be highly, highly offensive. They should’ve done their due diligence before designing this logo for the restaurant industry. The term “biscuit head” has its origins in the Korean War, when American GIs picked this unseemly term to describe the shape of Koreans’ heads.

‘teensdoporn.com’: This is a classic example (Safe For Work) of a harmful stereotype used to justify condescension toward teens in the form of countless hours of sex-ed in high school. It wrongfully supposes that all teens are sex-crazed maniacs, who given the chance, will opt for trading their sexuality on a website for fame and fortune.

Gypsy Soule Women Who Live By Their Own Rules: This line of makeup containers and tote bags is a double whammy. “Gypsy” is a term for the itinerant Romani people that derives from the erroneous belief they originated from Egypt, rather than India. In addition, the “Live by their own rules” component hearkens to the common stereotype that Romani routinely ignore the law and engage in criminality.

Mammy Jamia’s: A company going by the name of A & S Cairns Limited has decided to attach its good name to an antebellum slur used to refer to an enslaved black woman who was in charge of household affairs, particularly caring for white children. The product? Frozen fruits and vegetables. Was it really worth it, A &S?

Uppity Negro: Intended to be imprinted on mugs and apparel, this trademark references the frequently used adjective “uppity” to describe blacks who agitated for greater respect and civil rights in the Jim Crow-era South.

All Natural My Dadz Nutz Carmelized Jumbo Redskins: Available at MyDadzNutz.com, this line of savory peanuts is unlikely to run into trouble for applying “redskin” to a line of peanuts. One might argue the two terms describe different things, and so the overlap does not matter, but that hasn’t stopped the old name for Brazil nuts from fading away. Kaffir limes, meanwhile, are a discouraged name in the Oxford Companion to Food, as “kaffir” is a highly offensive term for blacks in South Africa.

We should be concerned about political uproar censoring free speech and business practice. All of us should, as sooner or later the political spectrum always swings back to oppose “your side”.

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One Reply to “The dangers of “disparaging””

  1. Disparaging remarks, which frequently constitute a form of bullying, are permissible in the workplace provided they are not directed at a legally protected class.

    Among my favorite stories involving racially motivated remarks involved two men. One was black. The other was white. When they argued, the white would call the black the n-word while the black would call the white a cracker. Neither was offended. They both worked together. In fact, they were members of the same labor union.

    The secret of their relationship was they not only respected each other’s talents, they learned defusing trigger words made the workplace run more smoothly.

    Language is much like a living organism. It can adapt and change. In other words, it evolves.

    Ban one word and another will quickly popup to replace it. A good example was communist. Once the Soviet Union collapsed, conservatives quickly replaced that labeling with li-i-i-i-i-i-bral and leftie. Only absolute lunatics believe censorship eliminates the problem.

    By the way, not all Native Americas object to either the Washington Redskins name or its logo. Some of the Cleveland Indian caricatures are another story altogether!

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