When is a racial slur OK?

I stumbled on this item in Romenesko via LAO — a former LA Business Journal writer who has been fired (or rather, “dismissed”) over a blog posting that was headlined “Coons For Power.” Ouch.

I wouldn’t think that was smart, considering that he did it for a mainstream newspaper website.

But, you might say, Darleene, you’ve used racial slurs in your blog headlines before, too.¬† Very true, young grasshopper. Of course, I was writing about a show named with those very slurs. I might argue that that makes it OK. But does it?

In my defense, using the name of the actual show, rather than NWC or N*gger W*tback Ch*nk as so many others have chosen to use, has helped quite a few people actually find the show’s website and Myspace page. It’s all that Search Engine Optimization stuff that everyone is always talking about.

One thought on “When is a racial slur OK?

  1. Browne Molyneux

    I think using a racial slur is fine if it’s within the content of the story. I think they thing that bothers me is now the US seems to be trying to do a history “makeover” I regularly use the n word on my site and right it out fully (don’t know if you allow that so I won’t do it here) or another racial slur. Reason being I want people to know this is what people call people in the US. This is what people used to call people in the US. We can’t get rid of race issues by pretending as if something is not there.

    I’m very for freedom of speech, even if it hurts.


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