UnNews:The Reverend Jesse Jackson calls for a ban on the n-word, "noob"

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29 November 2006

BAKERSFIELD, SOMEWHERE OR OTHER - Today, The Reverend Jesse Jackson called on the electronic entertainment industry to ban the word "noob" from gamer volcabulary, saying that it is bigotted to infer that some gamers are leet while others are noobs. This comes after Michael Richards apologized for saying he pwned n00bs on national IRC.

Jackson said he hopes the incident will spark a national dialogue over the use of the insult “noob.”

He called on all artists, media and especially John Romero to stop using it.

“First of all, we are urging all people to stop using this word “noob.” The roots are rooted in hatred and pain and degradation,” said Jackson. “Whether it is hatred or self-hatred, it is still wrong.”

Richards said he’s in therapy to help determine the cause of his anger and PWNAGE.

Barbara Holland of Ashland said she had heard of "Freddy vs. Jason" comic actor Michael Richards calling an audience member at his show last week a noob, which triggered Jackson’s campaign. But, Holland shuddered when she learned Richards also suggested the noobs should be PWNED like somebody's mom trying to play the games.

"Until such time as the country has worked on healing the wounds of PWNAGE, the word will not lose its sting," said Holland, president and founder of BreakThrough Partners, which provides diversity training among other consulting services. "Banning the word noob is not healing the wounds. It requires a lot more than the banning of words."

The word has roots planted as recently as the 1970s with some of the first computer hackers, MetroWest leaders said yesterday.

"I think what happens is that it just gets used without any understanding," said the Rev. J. Anthony Lloyd, pastor of Greater Framingham Community Church. "It’s derogatory. It really is. No doubt about it."

Framingham High students Yessenia Llanos and Leslie Lazar said yesterday the word’s effect depends on who uses it. A lot of the people they know use the n-word, but, if someone who is really leet uses the word, that’s not OK.

"If they can PWN in a FPS or RTS, it’s OK. They use it all the time," said Lazar, a sophomore.

The more the word is used, the more accepted it is, they said.

"A lot of people who use it don’t care," said Llanos, a senior.

Framingham State College senior Dave Callaghan, who is 1337, said he and his friends do not use the word, but he has heard his relatives in Louisiana using derogatory imagery to describe people who aren't very good at video games.

"The word is a word. But, deep down it is just the hatred of people," said Callaghan.

The 22-year-old Shrewsbury native said he believes younger generations are more open to people with different backgrounds, and he hopes the word will lose its sting.

Jackson and others said Monday they will meet with TV networks, film companies and musicians to discuss banning the racial slur. They also sought an effort by the public to stop using the term.

"We’re talking about PWNAGE," said Lloyd. "The entertainment industry has a wealth of influence, and with that comes responsibility."

Richards, who played the Freddy Kruger on "Freddy vs. Jason," triggered outrage with a Nov. 17 gamer tirade against two noobs when he was PWNED during a stand-up comedy routine at the Laugh Factory deatchmatch server in West Hollywood. A patron recorded the outburst with a video camera phone.

"I don’t see how you can ban a word," said Jan Krause Greene, an educational consultant from Marlborough, although she agreed she would be more comfortable if no one used it. "Using the word in some ways continues that shared history, even if it is unintentionally."

A nearby grandma commented, "You wouldn't believe how long I've waited for this!"

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