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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 03 February 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 3 FEBRUARY 2018 21 COMMENT inheritance in reference to a view of oneself. A wog remains someone who White privilege frowns and looks down upon. Keeping this derogation alive keeps the worst of White privilege furiously burning. ‘Wog’ is a derogation that accommodates institutionally structured assimilation. Mockery can mock itself but to what common good? In mocking oneself it is often argued as self-deprecating, intending mockery as a vehicle to diffuse tensions between parties. In dissing oneself or of the heritageladen identity, the affected are reduced to accommodating the dominant culture, to allowing the dominant culture to continue peddling itself. The assimilated perpetuate the power of the oppressor and in fact they number up within the armies of the oppressor. They lived with a sense of the inescapable and surrendered to calling it 'reality' and as they became victims instead of the resistance, they left behind those who could not compromise integrity, they left them to rot. lived. My daughter will carry less burden than I did. I carried less than did my parents. They were wogs and dagos, lampooned because of a weak command of the English language, because they were distinguished as having different morays and norms. They were reduced to caricature and maltreated as such. In their mother tongue they were fluent, they were intellectual, and they were not caricatures. Race theories matter despite the argument that identity politics are turning people against each other, fragmenting us. It is true that identity politics has a nasty turn and like all else is exploited, where carpetbaggers ply their wiles. It is a place of lies but also of truths. However the distinguishing of identity is real because we have made it so and continue to make it so, tragically. Stigmatisation and other associative identity issues that prosper discrimination are fact, the norm. To resist understanding the origins of a problem culminates in the perpetual languishing of the problem – in the mires of its unfairnesses. The outrage is reduced and filtered through narrow lenses, dished to audiences but not to revolution. Stampedes may be had but not revolution. We are limited to the narrowest corridors of discourse, to the littlest agency – for instance through comedy, satire, theatre, books, activism, and rallies. These are one-sided conversations and compartmentalised even if they are on the mark in what they are trying to relay. However any agency that can lead to startling change, to reform and transformation, to revolution is stopped. Today's abomination is that we only shout and rage but we do not confront one another and that we are not allowed or do not strive for the platforms that will pit us together in conversation. We are reduced to public spectacles instead of the public interest. In returning where I began, the derivation of 'wog' is not clear but its original and contemporary meanings are clear and aggressively divisive, with the express intention to be cruel and inhumane, determined to separate people, to discriminate. 'Wog' cannot be diffused from its original meaning and use. It is not true as some argue that wog has devolved to a contemporary slang that suggests wog is equivalent in meaning to 'mate'. A 'wog' is not a mate. A 'wog' is someone different. It is a derogatory term and will always remain so. The argument that it's okay for 'wogs' to call each other 'wog' and similarly so with 'niggers', and others damages the positive self, psychosocially is a hit, reducing people to a less-than Calling oneself a 'wog' or a 'nigger' is a self-affirming negative stereotype and imagining contrary to our inalienable common humanity. Wrongs must be railed against, called out, yes to being mediated but certainly not affirmed. Wog and nigger and all other derogations must be dissociated in all their forms and uses. Any association to such derogation diminishes the positive self, the psychosocial self, dampens human worth and shrinks self-esteem and the damage can be irrecoverable. A 'nigger' above all is someone who is not White. A 'wog' is someone who was not White. In the strict definition of what being White meant, a wog continues to be someone who is not White. Being called a wog is about hideous prejudices. Assuming oneself as a wog asserts White privilege and validates White privilege as superior. No nation that peddles a dominant culture is free from the ugliest forms of –isms. Derogations have only one calling, to subordinate. We can discuss critical race theories and frameworks, liberalism's individualised based remedies, collective civil rights scholarship, anti-discrimination efforts, the intersection of this and that, and other critical pedagogy but in the end racism and other –isms are racism, are –isms despite however the morphing. Today, reappropriation of derogatory terms as 'endearing' terms is in fact misappropriation. There is nothing endearing about these terms. There is nothing positive, nothing good in calling oneself or another ‘wog’ and ‘nigger’. They are flouted as mocking, at worst, but are doomed to fail the person whose teeth they grind through. The nuances intended by present day users of ‘wog’ and ‘nigger’, that the derogation has only found a new host to retain their venom. Society has become too complex once again for now to ban derogations such as wog and nigger but our calling out these words, all derogations, can educate understandings as to the power of words. Apparently, 'nigger' is used on Twitter more than half a million times a day, 'wog' is used thousands of times a week. Dr Angelou ordered from her home anyone who uttered derogation, anyone who called the White, 'honky'. Derogations are never euphemisms, they endure toxically. I will never support a ban on any word however I support and urge for education. *Gerry Georgatos is a prolific writer on suicide prevention; he is a suicide prevention and prison reform researcher and advocate with the nontertiary Institute of Social Justice and Human Rights. He is a member of national projects to further develop suicide prevention, and wellbeing and education programs in prisons. Gerry's research has a focus on trauma recovery and restorative approaches. He works firsthand with the critically vulnerable. Gerry has championed the work, to which he has contributed, of the Ngalla Maya Aboriginal Corporation. Gerry is the National Coordinator Support Advocate for the National Indigenous Critical Response Service (NICRS) through Healthcare Management Advisors (HMA), a management consulting firm specialising in the health, human services and biotechnology sectors, funded under the Indigenous Advancement Strategy as part of an Australian Government initiative to assist families and communities affected by suicide and other trauma.
27 January 2018
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