Offensive Environment

Jacob Gershman, Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2011

In the remote meadows and forests of upstate New York, state environmental scientists have made a disturbing discovery: a road, a stream and a lake all bearing names using the most offensive racial word in the English language.

A vestige of a long-ago past, the n-word–fully spelled out–still lingers in environmental conservation laws classifying bodies of water.

“It was a shock to us. The term is very offensive,” said Scott Stoner, a research scientist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation. “These are not regulations that get looked at often, but somebody discovered it.”

Mr. Stoner said a regional researcher alerted the agency about the racial epithet two years ago. Officials, he said, then did a computer search and found three other examples buried in regulatory indexes and a map.

This week, the state quietly moved to correct the problem. While it can’t rename local roads and water bodies, the agency is finally scrubbing the n-word from its regulations.


The required public-comment period still stands, which means the regulations won’t officially be amended for another month and a half.


Since few people outside the agency ever noticed the slur, it never generated public outrage. {snip}


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15 Responses to “Offensive Environment” Subscribe

  1. Anonymous July 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm #

    This is the type of group psychology you’d expect to find among people in a pre-European discovery Polynesian society or a Melanesian village in the remote Papuan highlands -so fearful of taboo words and their supposed malignant power that they cannot even express them- , not a modern, sophisticated, technological and putatively “free and democratic” community. This evil and pervasive civic religion throughout the West of “anti-racism” will eventually force us to retrogress to the psychological and emotional level of mere brutes, living in constant fear of transgressing racial and other taboos. Or.. has it already?

  2. Whiteplight July 25, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    That word was commonly used and NOT considered offensive. IN fact, it is the actual German pronunciation of “black.” The country had many, many German settlers in the 19th century. What I find most appalling is the incredible lack of education among the complainers, who still continue to use the term among themselves, celebrating their success in lording control of language over whites.

  3. Mrs. Victoria July 25, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    I wonder if the author finds it offensive when young blacks call each other (and oddly, themselves,) “n” a hundred times a day like it’s a first name.

    Worse still, I am now hearing young White boys calling each other “n.” This weekend, I was in the mall and saw one White boy approach another and upon sharing a “soulful” handshake, exclaimed, “Happy birfday, m’ n…a!” The young blacks with them didn’t seem to mind at all.

    Maybe because they end it with “a” rather than “er,” it’s not considered what the author calls “the n-word—fully spelled out.”

    Perhaps New York should “Twain” the names to Slave Road, Slave Stream and Slave Lake. Or they could partially spell it out, but I’m not sure up to which letter.

  4. Bill R July 25, 2011 at 8:56 pm #

    I agree, get rid of that offensive word from every sign which describes a beautiful place blacks are not likely to be found. For certain.

    Then re-label all signs with that same descriptive word where blacks ARE to be found customarily, warning folks they are entering dangerous territory.

  5. SF Paul July 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm #

    If the word is so offensive, why is it used so much in rap?

  6. Old White Jim July 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Man, those guys who live on N-word road are lucky. If that road was anyplace other than New York I would pack my bags today.

  7. GetBackJack July 25, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    Brainwashed whites are bigger advocates for black causes than blacks themselves; and, we all know here on Amren that blacks are huge advocates for themselves. The lunacy never stops.

  8. Tim in Indiana July 26, 2011 at 2:00 am #

    Hmmm, I don’t know why the n-word would ever have been used in the name of a body of water, unless it’s to describe the most polluted and the most likely to be hazardous to your health.

  9. Anonymous July 26, 2011 at 2:31 am #

    As we all know many, many blacks are EXTREMELY fond of the word.

    If prevented from using it many simply could not complete a sentence.

  10. Unwashed July 26, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    N-word Lake? Now THATs funny!

  11. rjp July 26, 2011 at 11:22 am #

    The most offensive words in the English language are multiculturalism and diversity.

  12. Soprano Fan July 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    To whiteplight (re post #2):

    Arnold Schwartzenegger’s last name actually means “black negro”, in German.

    Schwartze – black

    negger – negro

    To Mrs. Victoria (re post # 3):

    There’s a Great Slave Lake in Canada, in the Northwest Territories.

  13. tryclosan July 26, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    Where would black comedy be without the n-word? As long as the comedian is black of course. For example:

  14. ATBOTL July 26, 2011 at 6:52 pm #

    Am I the only one who gets annoyed when the WSJ publishes these articles about political correctness because it ostensibly opposes PC but simultaneously advocates policies that are certain to give PC ultimate victory?

  15. fred July 27, 2011 at 8:54 pm #

    #12 Soprano fan

    The proper division is Schwarzen-egger and not Schwartze-negger. Egger is German for “corner” so the proper translation of his last name would be “black corner”. Schwartzenegger may sound unusal but it’s not. I actually have an acquaintance named Lichtenegger which, of course, would translate to “light corner”.


    state environmental scientists have made a disturbing discovery: a road, a stream and a lake all bearing names using the most offensive racial word in the English language.

    Pardon me, but who are they to say that its the “most offensive racial word in the English language”? Are they suggesting that one racial word is more offensive than another? That sounds prejudiced.