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IS "MURZYN" word RACIST?


Trevek 26 | 1,703    
15 Feb 2010  #121
The problem is, what happens if the situation changes?

In Britain it was not really considered a 'problem' in the mainstream until the 1980's, I'd say. Look at some of the TV programmes which were made in UK, especially in late 1970's, which cannot be shown now.

An example in Poland would be the jelly sweets I've seen on sale called "Nigger Lips". No way that would be allowed in UK or US (in NY you aint even allowed to use the 'N-word'!).

At the moment it might seem like gnat-straining, but how long before someone tries to bring some kind of legal action either within Poland or within EU? Don't kid yourself that it might not happen.
marqoz - | 195    
20 Feb 2010  #122
Most Blacks in poland and those in Uk who are conversant with the word Murzyn dont like the word.

Thanks for the input. I'll be cautious not to address you as murzyn.
Pibwl - | 50    
20 Feb 2010  #123
As a word, "murzyn" is perfectly neutral. I can't even imagine HOW to speak it in an offensive way. Racists would definitely use other words, or at least put a word "murzyn" in a derogatory context, but the word itself is neutral.

However, the problem I see is, WHY use words describing somebody's race at all? That's why using any word pointing out, that somebody is not white (by default), may be considered racist. What for is referring to one's skin - unless there is a reason to do so?

Regarding "Murzynek Bambo" - it was written in other times, when "colonial" attitude to poor, uneducated and not so 'civilized' African people was common (of course it was even more common in Western world, which had its colonies). There is a proverb in Poland, that something is 100 years behind murzyns. The poem itself is sympathetic, but I personally don't like it too much, for these reasons.
Trevek 26 | 1,703    
20 Feb 2010  #124
Regarding "Murzynek Bambo" - it was written in other times, when "colonial" attitude to poor, uneducated and not so 'civilized' African people was common (of course it was even more common in Western world, which had its colonies).

This could also be said about the works of Joseph Conrad. There has been a lot of discussion about whether he was "racist".
Amathyst 19 | 2,704    
20 Feb 2010  #125
I'd say. Look at some of the TV programmes which were made in UK, especially in late 1970's, which cannot be shown now.

Sorry to point out but Rising Damp is still shown and Bless this House and Rising Damp were more to show the ignorance of racism - both black character in the program were middle class and educated...So I'd say view these programmes a little bit closer before making comments.

Should the Spanish take the word "negro" out of their colour scheme?
Trevek 26 | 1,703    
20 Feb 2010  #126
and I'd read my lines a bit more carefully before making comment:-) I said some of the programmes. example: "Mind Your Language" or, my personal favourite, "Love Thy Neighbour".

The latter is deemed particularly offensive by some because of the white character (Eddie) frequently using terms like "King Kong", "Sambo" and "Nig-Nog" (and the black charcater returning the compliment with "Honky" etc). However, the programme was made to show the stupidity of racism, and the women in the series (wives of the men) are shown as sensible people who get along well, despite their idiotic husbands.

Something even more interesting is that "Love Thy Neighbour" was one of the first British shows to pay the Black actors the same money as the white actors.

Should the Spanish take the word "negro" out of their colour scheme?

I'm not suggesting anyone should take any word out of any language, I'm just pointing out some of the arguments and problems connected with the discussion (academically trolling, perhaps?). Personally, I never thought 'paki' was racist, I always thought it was just an abbreviation of 'pakistani', like 'brit' is short for Briton. However, I'm not the one who was getting called 'paki', so I wouldn't have known if it was offensive. I have been called a 'brit', 'a tan', a 'limey', a 'pom', 'island affe', 'rosbif' and 'f*cking English bastard' before now.
Amathyst 19 | 2,704    
21 Feb 2010  #127
I have been called a 'brit', 'a tan', a 'limey', a 'pom', 'island affe', 'rosbif' and 'f*cking English bastard' before now.

Who cares? People do actually use "Brit" as if they are offending these days...Personally I prefer to be called English ;0)
z_darius 14 | 3,973    
22 Feb 2010  #128
Let's see what the authoritative Polish Dictionary says:

murzyn
1. Murzyn «człowiek należący do rasy czarnej»
2. pot. «człowiek opalony na ciemnobrązowy kolor»
3. pot. «ktoś, kto wykonuje pracę za kogoś bez ujawniania swego nazwiska»
4. pot. «ktoś, kto ciężko pracuje i jest wyzyskiwany»

translation:

1. a person belonging to a black race.
2. (colloquial) a person with a dark brown suntan.
3. (colloquial) someone who performs someone else's work anonymously
4. (colloquial) somenone who works hard, an exploited person

Now let's compare it with a word offensive to blacks (the same source):

czarnuch
1. pot. «mężczyzna o śniadej cerze lub czarnych włosach»
2. pogard. «o Murzynie»

translation:

1. (colloquial) a man with dark skin, or dark hair
2. (derogatory) a black man/person

Notice that in #2 of the second definition the dictionary says that Czarnuch is a derogatory form of murzyn.

Ergo, Murzyn is not a racist word.
It may become racist, but for now it's pretty safe.
Trevek 26 | 1,703    
22 Feb 2010  #129
Who cares? People do actually use "Brit" as if they are offending these days...Personally I prefer to be called English ;0)

Yeah, it's never really bothered me (except when the speaker has been holding an empty glass or a bottle).

Mind you, did you ever read this one?
dailymail.co.uk/news/article-497496/English-bitch-Insult-landed-Irishman-living-Wales-court-racial-harassment.html
Bartlomiej    
11 Jun 2010  #130
I'd say the Murzynek bambo is not racist at all. What's more, it's very open poem promoting positive attitude towards different people.

The whole story indicates that Bambo is studying rigorously all the mornings from his "first reading book" (as the child reading the story about him), but he can be naughty at times and not obey his parents like he doesn't want to eat, doesn't want to wash thinking it's boring - just as every child.

It's a beautiful poem promoting similarities and equality, beside geografical difference and colour of skin. Mambo's also a "fellow friend".

At the ending of the poem there's a wish if such a merry Mambo, the maurusy could attend to the school with the children.

The word "murzynek" itself has a very approving meaning.
Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66    
16 Jun 2010  #131
Murzyn is only for "blacks" right? So what would be the murzyn for hispanics?
Magdalena 3 | 1,837    
17 Jun 2010  #132
So what would be the murzyn for hispanics?

Not sure I understand your question? Rephrase please?
Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66    
18 Jun 2010  #133
A black person = murzyn. What does hispanic person = ?
southern 76 | 7,108    
18 Jun 2010  #135
What does bambus mean?Habibi,kebaby who are they?
POLENGGGs 2 | 150    
18 Jun 2010  #136
bambus - bamboo (tree)

your habiby, kebaby = most probably Arabs, or other Asians or North Africans who are Muslim ?

This brings to another query, the word for Jew in polish, in russian becomes derogatory, zhid is derogatory.
Polskiej_Dumy 18 | 66    
20 Jun 2010  #137
Latynos

i was wondering if there was a less politacly correct but not racist word like murzyn.
kondzior 8 | 927    
23 Jun 2010  #139
Wait, Brit is offensive? I thought it is neutral. So how one should call inhabitant of British Islands? In not controversial way, that is. Something short, like Pole for inhabitant of Poland?

Anyway, Czarnuch is considered offensive mostly because of western movies. If in English speaking film someone is called a niger, it is almost allways translated as Czarnuch. So, many non english speaking Poles do think that every black person is turning angry and agresive when being called lkie that. So if someone wants, for whatever reason, offend or infuriate said black person he say to him "ty czarnuchu"

Of course, someone like me knows the right world to make person with black skin to explode with anger :-]
American1    
25 Jul 2010  #140
How stupid can you get.
obserwator    
2 Aug 2010  #141
1. "Murzyn" is technically not derogatory word in Polish in any way, but b/c of the Western political correctness it's regarded as derogatory by some Poles, especially those outside Poland. It's seen also as derogatory word by many Blacks in Poland, b/c it's translated to English word "Negro" (which is not politically correct for long time). "Murzyn" is neutral word, which is really rarely seen as abusive in Poland. Formally you should write "Murzyn" starting with big letter, b/c "murzyn" is colloquial form to describe someone whoh does some work (especially artistic or academic one) for other ppl (you can say many paintings signed by Dutch painters were in fact painted by their "murzyns").

Derogatory words are "czarnuch" ("Czarny" = "Black", but suffix -uch is often used to create lesser/abusive forms of nouns). Also "bambus" (bamboo - b/c of the "hard & empty head"?) or "asfalt" (asphalt - b/c of the colour) are derogatory. Such words like "Murzynek" (Black kid) are used as names of hotels, restaurants, old houses and granaries (mostly as "Pod Murzynkiem" = "At the Little Negro"). Word "Murzyn/murzyn" is not used for non-Blacks as insult.

2. "Żyd" is not derogatory (comes from German/Yiddish "Yid" having its roots in Hebrew) and is used to describe both Jews and followers of Judaism. Technically we distinguish in Polish both uses b/c religious groups are written in Polish starting with small letter, so by Polish orthography "Żyd" = "of Jewish nationality" while "żyd" = "follower of Judaism" (Polish Jews prefer using bigg letter for both uses, especially orthodox ones). But word "żyd" can be used as derogatory by some ppl (and calling non-Jew "ty żydzie" / "you Jew" can be seen as insult, b/c "żyd", just like "cygan" ("Cygan" = "Gipsy"; both written with small letter) have also informal meaning as "someone greedy/unfair" and "thief/beggar" respectively).

3. Word "arab" (written with small letter) means "Arab horse" (the long/formal name being "koń arabski" = "Arabian horse").

4. We don't have special derogatory words meant for Arabs or Hindus, but all ppl with dark skin (but not always Black ppl) can be called "brudas" (it's singular form meaning "dirty one / trollop", plural form being "brudasy"). Word "turban" is used rarely and can mean Arab or Hindu (especially Sikh). It's somehow derogatory (but not really big insult).
convex 20 | 3,984    
2 Aug 2010  #142
A black person = murzyn.

what's "white person" in polish?
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
2 Aug 2010  #143
Personally, I never thought 'paki' was racist, I always thought it was just an abbreviation of 'pakistani', like 'brit' is short for Briton. However, I'm not the one who was getting called 'paki', so I wouldn't have known if it was offensive

You've hit the nail on the head here. Making some sort of equivalence between 'brit' and 'paki' is commonly used when defending racist statements and, from the point of view of language, they are both abbreviations. However, the usage is of course different - I don't remember seeing 'Brits out. or f**k off Brits' painted on my house or hearing it shouted when bricks came through my window, as has been the experience of many British Asians with Paki (which incidentally seems to be a bucket term for all people from South Asia)!

Language becomes offensive when it offends, and racist language is ugly because it is designed to offend and is perceived to be so.

The question is whether murzyn falls into this category. It certainly marks someone as different but does it do so in an offensive way?
bimber94 7 | 254    
2 Aug 2010  #144
Looks like the loony left is raising its silly, Monty Python head again; like in the near future it can be a criminal offence to ask for a black coffee. That was actually a sackable 'offence' in the UK's Labour party in the 1970s/1980s. it isn't now, though. Funny, that!
convex 20 | 3,984    
2 Aug 2010  #145
so any word on what "white people" is in Polish? can we continue to use polak, or is the loony left offended by that too?
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
2 Aug 2010  #146
Looks like the loony left is raising its silly, Monty Python head again

Oh I'm sorry - are you talking about me here?

That was actually a sackable 'offence' in the UK's Labour party in the 1970s/1980s

Were you in the Labour party during that time? It would explain how you know so much about party policy, not to mention also why you now live in your mum's attic.

so any word on what "white people" is in Polish? can we continue to use polak, or is the loony left offended by that too?

Indeed. If we assume that 'black person' is used to mark out people that are different, then 'white person' would be redundant. Why would you need to say 'look at that white slavic-looking Polish person over there' when you live in Poland?
convex 20 | 3,984    
2 Aug 2010  #147
Why would you need to say 'look at that white slavic-looking Polish person over there' when you live in Poland?

hanging out with the gypos?
MrBubbles 10 | 614    
2 Aug 2010  #148
OK fair enough. How about 'ten biały' or something? That would be a statement of fact in this circumstance..
jablko - | 106    
2 Aug 2010  #149
I think białas would be equivalent of czarnuch
convex 20 | 3,984    
2 Aug 2010  #150
OK fair enough. How about 'ten biały' or something? That would be a statement of fact in this circumstance..

would you describe a friend or family member to someone as murzyn?



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