Language Shouldn't Be Exclusive
A couple months ago, Joe Rogan, hugely popular internet podcaster, Ultimate Fighting Championship commentator, comedian, actor, and former television presenter apologized for using the word nigger on his podcast. Apparently someone made a compilation of him saying the word several times in different episodes. It got circulated, which prompted the apology.
To be fair to Joe’s critics, Joe did compare a neighborhood of black people to the Planet of the Apes movie he was going to see. Obviously that was a dumb thing to say, but Joe Rogan is not some staunch racist like the compilation tries to make him out to be. The fact that someone dug through years of his old podcast episodes to create a compilation of him using the word nigger, mostly in a neutral context, and the fact that others shared it around as evidence of him being racist, just highlights the dishonesty and vindictiveness of leftist cancel culture.
In his apology, he went as far as to say it “wasn’t his word to use”. It was implied that it wasn’t his word because he’s white. That’s where, in my opinion, his apology went too far. To say that only certain groups of people are allowed to use certain words otherwise it’s offensive is to imbue words with magical properties. Nobody denies that words can hurt, but no word is inherently bad. The context is what matters.
This political correctness has gone too far, especially in universities. I had professors that had no objection to using the word nigger in a neutral context, but even they were too afraid to use it. We have words that professors are too scared to even have purely academic discussions about. Instead, they use “the N-word”, a term referring to the word, as if that’s meaningfully different from just using the word itself.
We should not have “forbidden” language that only certain groups of people are allowed to use. As long as words aren’t being used as insults, I see no reason why everyone shouldn’t be able to use them. It’s not that I have some secret burning desire to say racial slurs. I don’t. I know some people do and those people are hateful. But language should not be exclusive for the rest of us just because a few hateful people use it as a weapon.