NYC Council symbolically bans racial slur

Amadeus Smith

In a unanimous decision, New York City Council banned the use of the n-word.

According to an article from Reuters, the moratorium includes no penalties but acts as a symbol to deter the word’s use.

Kent State doesn’t currently have a policy focusing specifically on the ban of the word.

Willie Boston, director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action, said the university does carry a policy for unlawful discrimination and harassment.

“The university’s policy covers a broad spectrum of racial taunts, epithets and slurs,” Boston said.

The policy defines racial and ethnic harassment as any verbal or physical acts that are meant to create a hostile environment. The unlawful behavior may also interfere with an individual’s or group’s educational or employment environment as well as threaten employment or academic opportunities.

Under Section D Violations, the policy states violations of the policy could lead to the violator’s separation from the university.

Kent State NAACP President Shanelle Smith said the word creates divisions in the black community and individuals should try to stay away from using it.

“It’s a word with horrible historical context,” Smith said. According to Reuters, the city resolution requesting the moratorium traces the etymology of the word from the Latin “niger,” meaning black, to its first documented written use in 1786 as a term slave masters used to label their African slaves.

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