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Slur in a Film Title

September 09, 1990

Aug. 19 letter writer Earl Hutchinson criticizes the title of the coming Stanley Kramer film, "Eleanor Roosevelt's Niggers," saying it will "send a tacit message that racist epithets are OK."

Why shouldn't Kramer use the word nigger if the black airmen the movie is about jokingly gave themselves this nickname? Some Americans in the Spanish Civil War called themselves "the Bastard Brigade."

If the word would "enrage blacks," then why do so many young blacks use the word when talking to each other? Spike Lee showed this in the best film of 1989, "Do the Right Thing."

Hutchinson should realize that just as black people take the malevolence out of the word by using it with each other, Kramer's film will debase the word by using it to describe heroes.

JOHN INGRAM

Los Angeles

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