These are locs not dreadlocks, thank you! (See #4)
Call me p.c. (politically correct) if you want to but there are certain words that I absolutely will not use any longer. (If I ever used them to begin with). Words have power. Words have meaning. As Imam Faheem Shuaibe said in one of his lectures (and I paraphrase of course), words plant the germ of an idea or concept. They’re reflective of a mentality. He argues that we should be very careful about the terms or sayings we adopt because we may be unwittingly adopting the mentality that accompanies the words as well.
So, what are those words or phrases?
1) “Pretty hair”, “good hair”, “pretty eyes”, and their equivalent. Like Bob Marley said, I want to emancipate myself from mental slavery. The aforementioned terms are reflective of a slave mentality. I need not launch into the history of how they came about. Just know that I do not believe they should be used when referring exclusively to straight or loosely curled hair or to uncharacterstically light eyes on a Brown Person.
2) Terrorist. The reasons may be obvious here but I have a problem with this word on so many levels. The main one would be the way that the term has been applied to certain people and not others. Even when the others commit the same kind of acts as the people who are deemed to be terrorists…
3) Mulatto. I admit it. I used to use this term when I was younger but now I know better. Many people who are biracial take offense to it. I heard it was originally derived from the word “mule.” I don’t know but I stay away from it.
4) Dreadlocks. I once had a professor who said, “…cause there’s nothing dread about them!” Back in my ultra Pro-Black days I heard that the term came about when Europeans encountered Africans with locs. They thought locs were dreadful- hence the term dreadlocks. Even if that story is not true I don’t want to imply that naturally textured African hair is dreadful in any way.
5) Fagot, batty bwoy, chi chi man, funny man, sodomite etc. Unfortunately, I am around quite a few people who continue to use those words even though they know how offensive it is to members of the gay community. The way I see it, if you are not concerned about how other people might feel at least you’d consider how upset you’d be if someone referred to you using a derogatory term. Sidebar: I was stunned when one of my Guyanese friends’ uncle came from Guyana and was referring to Black people as “Negroes.” I admit that I use the term when talking to other Black people from time to time but my neck nearly snapped off when I heard him using it. (He’s East Indian-descent).
6) Titties. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. Is this a curse word? And how old are we anyway, 10? I am surprised by the number of grown people who still say the word when referring to breasts. Upgrade, please!
I can’t think of anymore words right now but if I do I will add to the list. What words are no longer a part of your vocabulary and why?