Posted by TheFallen on October 21, 2002
In Reply to: Saying [N-word] posted by Karl on October 21, 2002
: "However, on the political correctness front I recently watched the film Dambusters - made almost 60 years ago -and, even though Guy Gibson's dog [N-word] got killed as usual, in this cut of the film nobody actually spoke the dog's name."
: Did this bother you?
: Is this political correctness? If the dog's name was "stupid English [c-word]" should they speak that on a movie or TV screen?
: Is this a film suitable for all viewers?
: If it is, is it necessary or even important for the dog's name to be pronounced?
: Is it appropriate to portray to children who may watch the film and may not understand the differences in attitudes over the last very few decades, the concept that to white people, blacks can be likened to animals and that blacks, as a generic people, are no better than dogs?
: Would you name your dog [N-word] and why or why not?
As I've mentioned before (and as will no doubt be featured in the archives), my mother's generation (she's now in her late 70's) quite innocently used the phrase "nigger brown" to describe a very dark chocolate brown colour. I can happily understand why today this phrase would cause offence, but your rant about the "Dambusters" movie is sadly mistargeted. Guy Gibson owned a dark chocolate brown labrador, so it would have been quite natural in 40's England for him to name it "[N-word]" simply because of its colouration. I'm in two minds as to whether the dog's name should have been mentioned in the film - it's been in every cut I can remember - there's no point in sanctifying history, but then again, Gibson's dog's name is hardly central to the history on offer.
However, to make the over-zealous - and sadly typical - leap of misplaced faith that the dog was so named as a deliberate slur against black people, likening them in some way to animals, is ironically archetypal of the very phrenetic and ill-advised political correctness discussed in this thread. I suppose you'd have been equally eager to leap for the cudgels if Gibson had had a Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Whitey?