The Student News Site of Bakersfield High School

The Blue and White

The Blue and White

The Blue and White

It’s Deeper Than That

Arline Pineda

No matter the context or who is saying it, words are powerful. They are what start so many things. From small things like arguments and online quarrels to massive things like harmful  propaganda and wars. So much time has passed and society has changed vastly, there’s no denying that. One thing I hear so much more than when I was a preteen growing up using social media, is that people have gotten more “sensitive” than ever before. Ever since I last saw a comment like that, it’s just stuck in my head and has led me to ask myself this question, “Have we all gotten more sensitive or just more aware of how our words truly affect not just this generation but the next ones as well?”

I feel like when people talk about certain words or complain about not being able to say some of them the main reason that they continue to argue and be inconsiderate of how someone else feels about using said words, they don’t know that those words they use so freely have history. I could go through a list of the type of horrible and offensive words used against minorities but we all know which ones I’m talking about so I will say this, when a minority says that they are UNCOMFORTABLE with you saying something or doing something to/around them then listen to them and if you truly care about that person or are just a decent human being, you will fix your mistake, apologize, and change what you’re doing so that they are comfortable. 

I’ve seen too many ignorant people on the internet and in real life justify their offensive actions with how they were brought up or that their friends don’t mind the things that they do. In reality, it’s all just bigotry and it just shows someone’s true character when they don’t want to take a little bit of their time to stop, think, and find out why the things they are doing offend someone so much. 

It’s no secret that cancel culture has a very weird way of holding someone accountable for their actions, but if we look deeper than that we can see that with the lack of productive communication mixed with the internet and a bad video, comment, or action that someone has done is just destined to result in a mess where literally no one is happy and we all look bitter. While typing this, I can only think of the word sensitive and why people use it so common to describe this generation. I’ve wracked my brain and tried to find the best way to explain my thoughts about this and I could only think of it this way, years ago, when our grandparents were teens and then years later when our parents were teens, words weren’t as important as they are now. People said what they wanted to freely and it was rare that they got called out on it because it was so normal for them to do so. Yes, there were some people who felt the way we do now about some terms, phrases, and slurs but taking the time to really acknowledge the fact that people really said these things not under their breaths or behind closed doors, they said these things as much as they wanted. So thinking about that, no wonder some adults have the audacity they do, to believe they have the right to still say those words that are extremely offensive. 

Now fast-forward to present day, the difference between our generation and theirs is that when we see or hear these words we don’t see words, we see history, we see pain, we see years of torment and we see the power of reclamation. There’s no way we can go back and fix what’s been broken to make these words mean nothing so that they hold no pain to anyone, but with reclamation, we can give power to those who have been harmed and affected by those words. Which brings us to the exclusion of non-minorities in words that have been reclaimed. It’s very simple, the reason that non-minorities cannot say these words is because not only are they, not minorities but those words have never affected them and been used against them their whole life. So if you or someone you know uses the defense that they are, “just words,” remember that those words have history, they have brought pain upon so many people, and they are being said by the oppressed now because it is empowering them and has given them something to feel closer to the other oppressed individuals in their specific community. And even after all of that, you have all the knowledge and you know why you shouldn’t say it, but you still do anyway, you are not oblivious to its meaning, you’re just a bigot who wasn’t given the burdens and power of a minority because you wouldn’t be able to handle it. 

I can admit that people can go extremely overboard for things that are not offensive at all and do not harm anyone. I feel that there is a great lack of communication with people, yes it could be that we are all stuck inside and only have the internet to cope but I feel that it’s that we are all just mentally drained. When you really think about it, it seems like we are doing nothing but we are, we’re scrolling through our phones, looking at a computer screen for hours on end, and then when we’re not doing that we’re watching t.v. I won’t sit here and say that I’m a saint and that I never use electronics because I am heavily guilty of it as well but what I want to point out is that while doing all of these things we have forgotten how to interact, we have forgotten how to respectfully communicate with one another and it seems like people can’t tell the difference between satire and light-hearted jokes and just being cruel and offensive. It’s gotten to the point where it is so normal for people to just hate on someone and everyone else just joins in as if it’s funny and a “joke” when it’s not humorous at all but toxic and spreading a mindset that says it’s okay to just speak your mind freely and spread hate because you’re bored. Don’t be fooled, people can take a joke and constructive criticism but there’s a difference between those and random hateful words that are meant to hurt someone mentally. 

This is not meant to be a “shame on you” piece but simply just a reminder to take a breather, focus on your mental health, be considerate when you speak to others, and do the things that you feel will improve you mentally and physically, even if that means taking a short break from communicating with others.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Arline Pineda
Arline Pineda, News Editor
Arline Pineda is the 2023-24 News Editor of "The Blue and White.” Pineda is a passionate writer with a mission to keep Drillers informed about world events and is committed to delivering quality reports to ensure that students stay connected to the ever-changing global landscape. Join Pineda on a journey through the world's headlines, as she covers real-world news.

Comments (2)

All The Blue and White Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • K

    Kamryn H.Mar 12, 2021 at 12:07 am

    Overall, I throughly enjoyed the topics you discussed, how people may use certain words without knowing the ignorant and horrible backgrounds on WHY specific words mean what they do! You explained it in a respectful matter, but still made your point clear on how words can and/or would be offensive to the POC community. I also appreciated how you explained that “just words” are so much more and how they can effect a person internally as well as externally. Big round of applause .

  • H

    Hannah hillisMar 11, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    Periodt queen your said what you said and you meant what you said!