pronunciation | drap-et-O-mAn-E-a
note | Drapetomania first appeared in a pseudoscientific article by an American physician in 1851 as a “mental illness” that caused black slaves to try to flee captivity. It supposedly occurred as a result of a master treating their slaves like equals. But though the first usage of the word is deeply rooted in racism, it derives simply from the Greek δραπετης drapetos, meaning “runaway (slave)”, and μανια mania, meaning “frenzy”. I post this word with the knowledge that it has been used as a tool of racism, and I’m choosing to consciously separate it from that origin. I know that words can’t be redefined on whim—but I do think they can sometimes be redeemed.

I think you are whitewashing history by inventing a new definition for this word and trying to cover up ideologies that promoted slavery and racism. If people knew about the origin of the word stigma, the history of slavery, the ideology of George Fitzhugh, etc. then they would be less likely to believe in racism, neo-confederate movements, Steve King, Fox News, etc. 

You see, I’m not inventing a new definition. I’m going back to the original one. As it stems from Greek, there is no connotation of racism. Slavery in Greece, if we’re going to talk history, was fundamentally different from American black slavery. I don’t think the word drapetos carried any racial meaning at all.

You bring up the word stigma, which comes from a word describing a practice of branding slaves or criminals. But that’s actually an excellent example of what I mean—words change. Now, a stigma is “a mark of disgrace”. Words change, and they will always change, and sometimes—in the interest of destroying a concept that we know to be wrong—it’s worth it to encourage that.

Read More

Posted on Wednesday, June 27th at 08:55AM with 3,423 notes
via: other-wordly , source: other-wordly

tagged as: wise ramblings, run, Wanderlust,
  1. nosmokewithoutpancakes reblogged this from ajournalofimpossiblethings
  2. iamkidcanon reblogged this from queengoldchainss
  3. onlylivingwitness reblogged this from spiritismus
  4. please-take-me-there reblogged this from jameston
  5. jameston reblogged this from glittershake
  6. awkwardninaturtle reblogged this from tornqvistm
  7. neflovsya reblogged this from tornqvistm
  8. tornqvistm reblogged this from august1969
  9. yume74 reblogged this from paperarsenal
  10. insideletout reblogged this from taylorjustgotreal
  11. taylorjustgotreal reblogged this from friendsinh0lyspaces
  12. english-lab reblogged this from ama-dor
  13. handsome-herondale-boy reblogged this from lunathehale
  14. flaming-cupcakes-99 reblogged this from counterallyourquickremarks
  15. counterallyourquickremarks reblogged this from thefeelingof-infinity
  16. faery-cum reblogged this from egomystical
  17. protectthehelpless reblogged this from redxriding
  18. lunathehale reblogged this from redxriding
  19. redxriding reblogged this from other-wordly
  20. btnova reblogged this from jasanvn
  21. paradise-shoress reblogged this from widiful
  22. notquite-barelyeven reblogged this from widiful
  23. widiful reblogged this from quackles-padasexy
  24. omgitsgabaaby reblogged this from amebot
  25. goldenrubberx reblogged this from sochillll
  26. babycome0ver reblogged this from sochillll
  27. beansarevil reblogged this from jasanvn
  28. halezmigalez reblogged this from sochillll
  29. sochillll reblogged this from open-h-a-p-p-i-n-e-s-s
  30. loving-endlessly reblogged this from jasanvn