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Is the word Kike offensive, when said by a Jew?

When the comments take on the full swing of bickering a post must be made. This is in reference to last weeks pizza post. Yes this is a serious post, no I will not make this blog into a serious one. Ok so basically our dear friend Headbanger used the K-word and after our dear friend Utubefan was offended, used the classic its just like black people using the N-word with each other.

For some reason this excuse sounds invalid, thats like saying the famous George Costanza line of “I have many black friends” to prove you are not racist. The fundamental problem with the whole situation is that I am biased- for the word Kike does not offend me. However those of a different generation with more blatant exposure to Antisemitism are more likely to take this word to heart then us stupid youths.

Like the title says- is the word KIKE offensive when used by a Jew. I am curious to see what peoples thoughts are. Even if it is not offensive, shouldn’t it be one of those words left unsaid, we do not need anymore self hating Noam Chomsky types. Then again you have those of mostly older generations including my dad who do not purchase German products- and find German cars particularly offensive.

I always thought that if you were boycotting German products for their support of killing Jews- you should boycott IBM, Ford and GM because these companies especially Ford were in much support of the final solution. Watson of IBM claims to have not known what was going on, as does GM which owned Opel during the war- sure!

And what’s the deal with Jews driving around in Gas Guzzling SUV’s that support Arab Countries more than we should. One would think that all of the Rabbonim would be setting examples by driving around hybrids and electric cars.

The most offensive thing to me is the way that Jews try insulate themselves from other Jews- with no goals for achdus, just goals for moving to the right to exclude other Jews.

Ok I am done- too much seriousness for one week.

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • outaline April 14, 2008, 11:03 PM

    While I wasn’t particularly offended by the use of the word, using the excuse that it’s like black people using the N-word really doesn’t work. When you are willing to degrade yourself in such a manner those around you will lose all respect for you and are more likely to debase you as well.

  • CaliChica April 14, 2008, 11:27 PM

    It depends upon where you say it. If one is in the middle of the High Sierras and saying howdy to the nearest redneck duck hunter, I’d say no – don’t use that term because it might be viewed as “o.k.” and “mainstream.” Then he’ll go tell his buds that he just heard some JewBoy (I wonder if that’s offensive too???) use the word Kike so gee whiz golly if they can call each other that than sure enough so can anybody else. This blog is not private so who knows if your average reader fits this profile (I’d say probably not but who knows, although I’d guess most of us are Yidden.) In a room full of Jews, I wouldn’t exactly say it’s offensive but it is slightly low brow. No offense to Headbanger on this one.

  • Perel April 14, 2008, 11:39 PM

    I probably should keep in a serious line when commenting to this post, but all i wanted to say is : i like your blog very very much, it reflects intelligence, humour and a healthy amount of chutzpa, so shkoyach and keep it up!

  • Perel April 14, 2008, 11:41 PM

    *humor

  • Headbanger April 14, 2008, 11:53 PM

    To the people who don’t drive mercedes and BMW’s because its German manufacturing, what about the filters and shavers and millions of other German products you use regularly? There’s more German companies than you think and you’d basically have to stop walking on concrete to avoid support. Anyone even know that Chase bank funded Nazis? Better switch to Commerce.

  • dimebag April 15, 2008, 12:19 AM

    I think people are particularly against German cars because the German car companies were among the best known enablers. Companies like Volkswagon, Mercedes, and BMW were generally more compliant with the Nazis (or at least that is how they are perceived) than German companies in other industries.

  • jelen April 15, 2008, 1:06 AM

    okay, a few comments:
    1) it’s one thing to purchase german manufactured products…most germans are not nazis, in fact, the current german population is intensely guilt-ridden about the holocaust and have laws in place to help jews and educate their children about the horrible past that is part of their history, but not their present. supporting arab oil companies is different, because that is supporting hated, anti-semitism, and terrorism TODAY.

    2. i sometimes use the work “kike” jokingly, but it always makes people uncomfortable. i don’t think it has the same status as the n-word, because it’s not really something that has been or needs to be reclaimed…it’s very seldom used today in a derogatory way, and so i don’t really feel that there’s a need to reclaim it…i’d much rather just slowly phase (faze?) it out.

  • Xvi April 15, 2008, 1:13 AM

    Not gonna get caught up in this german conversation. Frankly, its a loaded topic and there is no right answer.

    As far as kike goes, I just dont take it seriously. The N word is a significantly different situation. That word was always a pejorative term and was created and used specifically for that purpose. It does not merely just mean black. It carries many stronger associations. Kike on the other hand wasnt even always a negative term. It was frequently used colloquially among Jews, into the 60’s and carries no specific negativity other than the fact that it is “considered” to be a bad word. I could just as easily say that from now on I will arbitrarily be offended if anyone calls me “squelbo.”

    The point is, that unlike the N word, “kike” is only as offensive as the intention behind its use. That being the case, if some hater called me a squelbo with real malice, I would probably be offended. Very confused, but offended none the less.

  • Me April 15, 2008, 2:04 AM

    I think when some black people use the N word they are refering to a ghetto black. Unfortunately in some circles the ghetto sterotype (thug) are role models to people and when they use the N word it is a complainant. You typically don’t find black people using the N word to describe educated people for example Barak Obama or MLK but you will often hear it describing thug rappers.

    In the Jewish circle the K word only has a derogatory meaning. You will never find the K word used as a compliment. .

    Disclaimer,
    I am not trying to sterotype I use the words some, typically, usually and in some circles and I do not blame anyone for the situation they are raised in.

  • Me April 15, 2008, 2:12 AM

    oops,
    made a spelling err

    the N word it is a *compliment.*

  • Ari April 15, 2008, 7:26 AM

    Words sometimes are more powerful than physical torture, but this one ranks pretty low on the pain-o-meter. In fact, I’d probably chuckle if I heard it.

    Three interesting theories how it evolved:

    1) Keikl means circle in yiddish. Ellis Island bureacrats were known to put an x next to the name of a Christian family and a circle (lazy man’s star of david) next to a Jewish family

    2) Illiterate Jews would sign their name using a circle

    3) German Jews made fun of new Russian Jewish immigrants, whose last names often ended in “ki”

    This one doesn’t bother me so much.

  • ZK April 15, 2008, 9:04 AM

    Perel – You spelled Humour the Canadian way…hardly necessary to fix with a whole new post 🙂
    Jelen – You been to Germany lately? It is Rife with Anti Semitism.

    The bottom line is that the N word and the K word are both words that should be removed from circulation by blacks and jews included.
    No matter what those words have negative connotations, and I don’t care if you are black, or if you are a jew – if you want people to stop using it you must LEAD BY EXAMPLE!
    Are you going to tell your children to not smoke pot, and then smoke in front of them ? It doesn’t make sense.

  • heshman April 15, 2008, 9:21 AM

    Wow intelligent comments, I am shepping lots of nachas

  • jelen April 15, 2008, 9:42 AM

    zk: i personally havent, but i have a jewish friend who LOVES germany so much that she is spending a year there on a really competitive, all-expenses paid trip (the german government did the selecting, and she was one of the only jews who applied)….she is constantly telling me about how when she goes people bend over backwards to be nice to jews.

  • Michael April 15, 2008, 10:52 AM

    by the way most black people wont say the N word at all and for those that do its not offensive but the K word is offensive and should not be taken lightly

  • ConservativeSci Fi April 15, 2008, 11:53 AM

    I think it is an issue of respect. Whether the word is offensive or not in some “absolute” sense, it is clear offensive to certain people. Out of respect for those people, the word should not be used. While we can’t always bend to other peoples wishes, in the matter of using unusual offensive words, there is no hardship in simply never using the word. So the balance of harms, as it were, favors eliminating these words from ordinary discourse.

  • s(b.) April 15, 2008, 11:54 AM

    I drive a Ford (I didn’t know any of that Henry Ford crap when I got my first Ford; I’m on my third, which I got ’cause that’s that what the insurance money from the Corolla I accidentally totaled the night before I left for college [whoops] allowed me to
    afford, and ’cause I’d ridden shotgun in my best friend’s Ford for years, in high school). I don’t use the word kike, ’cause I’m ancient at 31 and had a father and a former stepfather who were beat up regularly for being jewish by charming folks who liked to use words like kike. I don’t use Jew as a verb or say jewbag, jewboy, etc., but I tend to stick a j in front of words like “content” (jcontent) in my blog to let anyone who’s not Jewish who’s reading it know that they might not know what the heck I’m talking about or I might be on a tangent about spiritual things. I don’t consider myself white, but the census would say I’m caucasian. I’ve got soul, and I’m superbad, and I have all these little brown spots freckling me to back that up for anyone who doesn’t understand that men in white sheets make it real clear I’m not white. R’Sly Stone preached well and I agree — I am everyday people.

    humor (nothing against chareidi; parody rhymes):
    There is chareidi who doesn’t like my zaidie
    and calls him apikoras because he dances horas
    different strokes for different folks
    and so on and so on and shoobie doobie doobie

    we’ve got to live together … I am everyday shtiebl; yeah, yeah.

    I really need to dig out my Staples Singers.

    And to whoever has a blog who posted a comment on this one the other day that posted a poem about what kind of black hat moschiach wears, please holler or post it, if you’re reading this. thank you.

  • ugottabelieve April 15, 2008, 12:29 PM

    As far as German cars go I don’t think that anyone is really trying to make an impact on the german economy (or ppl wouldn’t buy Braun, Bosch or Boss products) or even against those companies associated with anti-semites (or ppl wouldn’t be driving Fords or drinking Coors). But at least while holocaust survivers are still alive there is a stigma in some ashkenaz communities against buying products specifically associated with Nazi Germany.

    Obviously it would be more beneficial to try to spread tolerance (not something most of us are good at) or even to memorialize the holocaust in other ways but isn’t it much easier to buy a japanese made lexus (or infiti- the true brooklyn hocker car of choice) instead of a beemer or mercedes instead of actually addressing issues ?

  • outaline April 15, 2008, 12:38 PM

    s(b.)

    I think you mean me. The poem is called Moshiach’s Hat. It’s a bit too long to post as a comment but you can check it out on my blog.

  • s(b.) April 15, 2008, 1:58 PM

    Yeah, totally! Thanks. If hashkafa is related to philosophy, not ritual observance, I reckon it’s a smaller world than many think.
    yasher koach to your folks for exposing you to that from the start.

  • suitepotato April 15, 2008, 5:49 PM

    I’ve heard the k word mostly by Archie Bunker, period. For real people, mostly New Yorker hardly observant of anything Jews saying it in anger about another Jew, not directly, but more over the shoulder as in, “that f’n k—, he didn’t turn the water valve back down.” (real paraquote, from a landlord several years ago)

    Oh well, the black people in my neighborhood use the n word with each other.

    Not my place to tell people within any given group what to say and I’m new so I ain’t gonna go all indignant and say I’m totally against it if the people doing it are fine and just rough with each other.

    As far as German products go… well, we beat Germany and Japan and they nearly bought us. We saved South Korea but left the North Koreans as is. South Korea is wealthy, North eats tree bark. We left Viet Nam and they aren’t exactly a powerhouse. I’m fine with German products today. If someone can show that Daimler is owned by someone who worked the camps, I’ll maybe change my mind.

    Not buying German based on the Nazis would be like me leaving the US because my Indian ancestors’ land is under occupation which is just silly. Eventually, no matter how monstrous something was, the living who had nothing to do with it have to get back to putting up with each other and playing nice or the evil from way back when permanently wins.

  • utubefan April 15, 2008, 6:49 PM

    Um. I was almost afraid to check the blog today and now I am not sure how I feel. Hesh, thanks for opening this up for conversation. ZK, thank G-d for you, because having read the rest of the comments I am kind of sad. I think S(b) also touched on the whole beating up issue that I referred to. I guess this is all kind of pareve with you guys and that just really saddens me. I am living among a generation that is now numb to antisemitism and its roots and tentacles. What the word means and how it was used over the years mattered. And, whether it is relevant today is a moot point. Get on utube (a little hobby of mine) and really read the comments on the Jewish-content videos or even on many non-Jewish related videos (I’m an ’80’s music fan). There’s a lot of hate out there. And, I want to say that I’m not a big Holocaust pusher. I feel that when it is pushed too much (especially in the circles of the unaffiliated) it pushes a culture of pain rather than a culture of uplifting and engaging, rich experiences which is what Judaism really is. But, how many of the young generation really studies the details of what our people have been through in the name of Christianity, Islam (at times) , the perfect race, and most recently anti-Zionism? I teach this stuff and my students just have no clue about the realities of life for thousands of years. When were signs and symbols like yellow stars first used to separate Jews from others? Hundreds of years before Hitler. When was the first Jewish ghetto established? Hundreds of years before Hitler. Why did Jews first become associated with money-related wickedness? Did you know that hundreds of years ago, Jews were not permitted to farm or work in trades? Then, later, when the Church forbade usury, the money-lending thing happened. Who wrote the Protocols of the Elders of Zion? What was it about? Who coined the phrase “anti-semitism”? Why? Look, if you are willing to make the investment of your time, and still feel the need to be pareve about the word “kike” and other anti-Semitic words, then so be it. But–like my husband says–if you guys don’t want to make the effort to understand and just want to move on with your next poli-sci class or metal concert, then that’s not cool. Anyway, I know this is too serious for this blog, but the word was a loaded word and needed to be taken seriously. I encourage you guys of the next generation to open your minds a bit on this one and entertain the thought, as Hesh has done, that this just may not be okay.

  • stacy April 15, 2008, 7:18 PM

    i dont think anyone in this generation or any is numb to anti semitism. and i think we all have a pretty good understanding of jewish history despite what you think.

    words aren’t offensive, people are.

  • s(b.) April 15, 2008, 7:21 PM

    “of uplifting and engaging, rich experiences which is what Judaism really is”

    Bingo! And thank you for saying something, yesterday, too. We walk different paths sometimes, but I think they’re in a positive direction. Ultimately, that’s a good thing. Thank you for taking the time to articulate your thoughts more fully.

  • ZK April 15, 2008, 7:25 PM

    Jelen, Just b/c you have a friend who had a good time in Germany doesn’t mean it’s not rife with anti semitism – which it IS.

    Overall for everyone so willing to be forgiving about using the K word, or using any derogatory word towards any race….WAKE UP. Truly it’s attitudes like that that bring back hate and anti semitism.
    It’s easy when you live in your sheltered jewish world in new york etc. to forget how quickly hate can come back. I have a brother in Wilkes-Barre, PA where there is a very small jewish community, and they have gotten threatened on several occasions, and swastikas spray painted on the local shul.
    I remember a couple of years ago reading an article about a small town somewhere in nowhere USA (where there was obviously not many jews) about a group of high school students – HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS – who had never heard of the holocaust!
    I’m not being a crazy fanatic. I’m not telling you to not buy german rice or whatever it is you want to buy from there.
    But, don’t for a second think that anti semitism hardly exists. Don’t for a second think that it’s okay to start using derogatory language towards ANY race. You start calling blacks the N word, and you’ll see how quickly hate will be brought to the surface.

  • s(b.) April 15, 2008, 7:26 PM

    okay, Judaism’s tons of other stuff, too, but when it comes to reasons to keep it for myself and move forward with it in my life, I refuse to place an emphasis on negative historical events, ’cause there’s no shortage of them, and really, I can’t base who I am on having had bad things happen. Which is probably why I’m a big fan of the pre-Mitzrayim days.

  • Yochanan April 15, 2008, 10:40 PM

    “My nose is large,
    and you know I’m in charge.”

    From Hip-Hop Hoodios “Kike on the Mic”

  • Chris_B April 18, 2008, 1:20 AM

    CaliChica, as an outsider let me say something. If as suggested, the “k word” is OK for insiders, but outsiders know this fact, the word is then OK for us too by default. Once a secret is out it cant be controlled any more.

    Let me give you an example from my adopted homeland of Japan: some locals who see many rap videos use the “n word” with amazing frequency, even when referring to each other. 99% of the ones I’ve talked to dont know the meaning, context or weight of the word, they just know its cool. Lets say some bit of pop culture product gets popular which contains the “k word”, next thing you know, people all over the world start using it without having any idea of the meaning or context.

    Yochanan,

    At least give props instead to MC Serch of 3rd Bass.

  • utubefan April 22, 2008, 8:55 AM

    s(b.)
    I think we can all be multilayered enough people to be cool, chill, hip, informed, and sensitive, forward-thinking, positive, joyous in our Judaism while being grounded with a somber respect for what we’ve been through, open to different cultural experiences while reverent of the experiences and challenges of our own people–all ages, all generations. We can be all that. Those are the people I choose to hang out with and the guy I chose to spend my life with, those are the people I admire. It’s possible. We are not defined by the atrocities committed against our people, but we are not divorced from them. Happy Passover.

  • s(b.) April 22, 2008, 4:51 PM

    for sure, utubefan. gotta know where you’ve been to know where you’re going (and things like that). I accidentally saw siomoe graphic parts of shoah (the movie) on pbs when I was way too young to be watching something like that alone (whoops). Couple that with growing up MO half the time and as a grandchild of holacaust survivors (both of whom died when I was pretty young/z”l, but that was a strong theme, when I was a kid. No religion farts rainbows 24/7 (so to speak). I realize my POV is a reaction to my emotional teabag being placed to steep in “people did bad things to us” water too often, when I was younger. Eventually the reactionary will wear off, but I still would rather spend my time on tikkun olam than being sad about bad things that happened.

    Could I use selfish-motive-tikkun olam as a coping mechanism to help me deal with all the bad stuff that has happened? Perhaps. But I hear selfish-motive-driven tzedakah is still tzedakah. I reckon that applies to tikkun olam activities, as well.

  • utubefan April 23, 2008, 8:48 PM

    s(b.)
    Helping is helping no matter the root cause or possible root cause and I really do think we need to make Judaism and life in general about positive stuff, love of life, Simchat Hachaim. Like you said–just know from where you come. I really like reading what you have to say and how you say it. Hesh brings out richness here on this blog.

  • s(b.) April 24, 2008, 12:23 AM

    aw, thanks; I’m almost blushing. I try. I’ll raise my chocolate milk to the riches hangin’ at Hesh’s yields. I’m definitely grateful for the growth opportunities reading and commenting here has provided. L’chaim. (and, wow, I had some typos up there; whoops)

    sb

  • Rachel November 12, 2009, 9:37 PM

    It’s come to my attention that some of you think Kike is a bad word that hurts Jews.

    On the contrary, once your disempower the word it is a rather not word. Now if you are a Kike like me, repeat after me and soon you will have no problem with some IslamNazi or 2-bit KKK-jerk calling you a Kike

    Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike
    Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike
    Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike
    Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike
    Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike Kike

    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.
    Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool. Kikes are cool.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I love Kikes. I love Kikes. I love Kikes.

    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.
    I am proud to be a Kike and I love non-Kikes too.

  • Rachel November 12, 2009, 9:41 PM

    Y`all shouldn`t get so worked up over the phrase “Jew me down”. It`s a marvelous opportunity to counter with “I know what you mean, why just this morning I Christianed the price down at the car dealership”.

    By the way, if you feel so threatened by anti-semites than get a concealed carry permit. Mr. Smith & Mr. Wesson have never failed to stick up for our people.

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  • PermReader August 26, 2018, 11:42 AM

    I call a Jew the kike just when he is the anti-semite. The Jewish anti-semite – the loathsome figure does not deserve the name Jew. We must persecute them morally,we can`t alow ourselves to ignore them.

  • Free Speech Forum December 4, 2018, 3:59 AM

    There is no hope.

    The US is a bankrupt warmongering police state.

    The elites control the media, Hollywood, Wall Street, and the government.

    The ruling powers have turned everyone into hypocrites, liars, cowards, and criminals.

    Nazis ridiculed Obama when he pulled troops out of Iraq and the media played endless stories about the rise of ISIS, but Nazis who thought Trump would end the wars are now finding out that the elites will treat Trump the same way if he dares end US wars.

    Nazis who thought Trump would pay off the US debt are now finding out that he won’t.

    Some Americans thought Trump was obliviously part of the establishment since he strongly supported the police state and the media gave 24/7 coverage to Clinton and Trump while ignoring Gary Johnson.

    Trump is either naive, being drugged, being threatened by the Deep State, or is a willing accomplice, but the USA is clearly too far gone to be saved.

    The best options at this stage are to go Galt and buy guns, gold, and food or wander the world as a nameless, stateless nomad and wait for the US Ponzi economy to collapse, martial law to be declared, Civil War 2.0 to break out, and WWIII with China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea to start.

    Wake up.

    Think.

    Pass the word.

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