I started not to respond and then realized I had to: this was an important essay and I thank you for writing it. Putting Ms. Rose’s story and what she said in context will take a lot of time. The first place I went was to the Eleanor Roosevelt advice, “no one makes you feel inferior without your consent.” This can apply to the N-word, the B-word, the C-word, I won’t go on. I am finding myself compelled to ask this question to the users of such terms, “what do you mean?” This isn’t easy because there are usually so many emotions flying around that a rational explanation wouldn’t know where to try to land. But maybe that’s the thing: we need to find out what the speaker meant.

Veteran Cat Servant

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