Essay on Moral Issue: Offensive speech and racial violence

Paper details:

Essay Requirements:

Review the ethical dilemma below and provide a thoughtful and reasonably comprehensive essay response of 400-800 words that addresses each of the questions at the end of the scenario. Be sure to use paragraphs to organize your thoughts clearly.

Grading:

Note that your response should demonstrate an awareness of the context of the moral dilemma you are addressing.

This includes factors such as:
* the essence of the ethical dilemma represented by the scenario (i.e., what makes it a dilemma)
* the decision-maker(s) in the scenario and who is impacted by the decision being made
* the relevant facts/data in the scenario
* the ethical values that are relevant in the scenario (e.g., autonomy, justice, beneficence)
* the moral theories/philosophers that provide the basis for your analysis 

Essay grading is based on:

* how clearly your answers are written, organized, and explained (logical reasoning and critical thinking)
* the quality of the support you provide with your answers (theory, facts, research, societal issues, etc.)
* proper English grammar and spelling

Essay Submission:

Note that you do not need to follow any particular style format (e.g., MLA or APA), and either single- or double-spacing is fine. The focus of this assignment is on the content itself, not the formatting.




TOPIC INFORMATION:

Offensive speech and racial violence:

This scenario is from: Rahel Gebreyes, “Author Wendy Kaminer Defends Her Use of a Racial Slur During a Free Speech Panel,” HuffPost, June 5, 2015, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wendy-kaminer-racial-slur-free-speech_n_7521858.html.

Is uttering a racial slur – even in an attempt to explain its use in literature – an act of racial violence or discrimination?

Consider this example.
(HuffPost) – Colleges and universities have long been considered places where one can challenge ideas in order to provoke a robust intellectual discussion. Due to what some say is a growing push for political correctness, critics contend academia has lost the ability to have a free-flowing scholarly discourse.
Lawyer and author Wendy Kaminer found herself at the center of that heated debate when she joined a free speech panel discussion at Smith College and used a racial slur while discussing its use in literature and academia. Kaminer joined HuffPost Live on Wednesday and explained what transpired on the panel.
“I was accused of committing an explicit act of racial violence because I questioned our growing list of words we can only know by their initials,” Kaminer said. “I questioned the value and the uses of euphemisms and in doing so, I uttered a few forbidden words, including a racially charged word. And by doing so, I was accused of committing an act of racial violence.”
Kaminer took issue with the idea that “offensive words” could be considered “the same as discrimination.” In her conversation with HuffPost Live’s Marc Lamont Hill, a Morehouse College professor, she defended her use of the word in the context of the discussion and spoke out against the so-called “censorship” to which academics have been subjected.

Questions:
* Do you think that even in an academic setting, using a racial slur to explain its function in literature is an instance of racial violence?
* If so, would using the term to explain its offensiveness and hurtfulness also be unacceptable?
* If not, why not?

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