I can’t use the word myself.
But use it they do.
My Danish mother in law came to visit the UK and it was obvious from the offset the visit would be all about her drawing attention to how she felt Denmark was better than anywhere else and constantly holding up examples of this. She peppered most conversation with warped and imagined observations including..”nobody wears fur in Denmark but they all do in London” to meat being cheaper in Denmark even the organic meat (true, not true).
After what was hoped to be a happy outing, sitting on a fairly full but calm and quiet train waiting to move away from the station my mother in law began a loud comment that was including the word ‘nigger’ or ‘neger’…her pronunciation as such that it was impossible to tell which she was using, and to all ears sounded like the former.
For a few wild panicky moments the other people in our group looked to each other in shock, saying “say what?” “is she really saying what i think she is saying?”
Yes she was.
Just to illustrate and to set the context, the train was diversely populated. just writing that to set the scene in order to hammer the point through – it hurts my stomach.
Her wittering alarmed us, the children in our group, the adults in our group and the other passengers. Eyes were widening, necks were craning to see who the fuck was it with the potty mouth and shit for brains. You’d think the person spouting such fuckwittage had a brain injury, or had grown up on some substandard diet of cheap margarine and chips and beer and bingo and fighting in the streets on some half demolished estate in a lonely part of forgotten Britain. Or would it be a drunk person? Just being a twat. Or a middle aged white person from South Africa (because they DO talk like that STILL or at least the ones I know do – ugh). Or somebody who had Tourettes. Who would say shit like that? Those other passengers nearest us on the train made it clear they had heard and their faces said it all, and there was curiosity…who the fuck was this idiot?
Oh nothing to worry about. Just an educated middle class woman who has worked her whole life as a paedagog in the childcare institutions of Denmark raising a generation of ignorant and narrow minded Danes the proper Danish way. One of the favourite ways to train up a Danish child for formal education is to start showing them shapes and asking them to point out the odd one out. For example. Let’s treat the kids from ‘non western’ ‘non-danish’ backgrounds differently and assume they are not as good as parents as the Danish Danes are, for example.
Who was spouting that shit? Just a woman from the ‘happiest place on earth’.
So we hissed at her, all at once, from the youngest child to the oldest adult, simultaneously turning to the faces of the other passengers making our apologetic ‘We can’t take her anywhere, she’s a fucking Dane’ faces and realising if we didn’t shut her up someone might get the hump and attack her verbally or worse.
We hissed: “WHAT are you SAYING??!!”
“You can’t speak like that!”
“Don’t use that word!!!”
and even: “Shut the fuck up GRANDMA!”
I have never witnessed my family rising up so unanimously as one in one heartbeat before. Nor such an obvious lack of respect for our elder. I think the thought of knocking her unconscious and bundling her off the train and back on her crappy cheap flight outa Stansted even crossed her grown up son’s mind. Anything to stop the Danoise. Danoise is like sounds or noise you hear with your ears but it makes your ears bleed and your soul scream “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”
Then we saw it and all hell broke loose.
The glint in her eye.
She was about to launch into full on DANSPLAIN. It’s like explaining but without any reason or brains. It’s like how Danes dansplain why they do stuff they do and they say “BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY WE DO IT AND THAT IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT AND THAT IS THE WAY IT WILL ALWAYS BE DONE BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY WE DO IT BECAUSE WE ARE DANISH AND THIS IS DENMARK AND THIS IS THE WAY WE DO IT IN DENMARK BECAUSE THAT IS THE WAY WE DO IT AND,,,,” ad infinitum.
She paused took a breath and did the following loudly with her mouth, enjoying her captive audience.
She asked why she couldn’t say the word ‘nigger’.
She said in Denmark everybody uses the word ‘nigger’ even “black people”.
She said in Denmark it “means something else”.
She said that when she was a little girl she was brought up hearing the word and was told it meant “people from Nigeria” (?!???!??*&%$£@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?! ????? !!!!)
and that this is what she taught her children and how she explained to the children in the schools she worked with, especially the foreign children who were confused about the word, why it is okay to say the word in Denmark because it means something else.
And she mention free speech and laughed ironically. And she said we couldn’t stop her from speaking her own language. Or words to that effect.
God Help me Babz…do you think it could be genetic?”