I kind of got in trouble with the kids' therapist at work a couple weeks ago. The kids are not supposed to have CDs containing foul language. I confiscated a CD that had the words "nigger" and "bullshit" because it seemed clear it had not been edited properly. I think "bullshit" probably was mistakenly overlooked, but it seems the therapist (who burned the CD for one of the kids) thought it was okay to leave the word "nigger" in one of the songs.
I understand that within the hip-hop culture, "n-----" is not necessarily considered a derogatory term. But by the same token, other profanities, like "f---" and "sh--" are also used in casual conversation and are not considered "rude." While I know it doesn't *sound* right, a large part of what we're trying to do is to teach these children middle-class values.
Of course, middle-class culture comes with its own vices as well as virtues, but it seems that our vices, by and large, do not cause nearly as much damage to the social structure. From a spiritual point of view, it is true, a stereotypical Soccer Mom may be just as much a sinner in God's eyes as a heroine junkie father who beats his 6 year old son and treats him like a slave--in fact, the Soccer Mom may be even more damned because she would never accept the fact that she's a sinner--but at least the Soccer Mom's kid is probably not going to end up in jail for beating his own children to a bloody pulp.
I'm in a pretty pessimistic mood right now because the whole incident with me confiscating the CD has blown way out of proportion in the mind of the severely traumatized and violent 9 year old to whom it belonged. The worst thing about it is that he no longer directs his aggression against staff (like me) but rather, toward a fragile, abused 9 year old girl who knows just how to play the part of victim, oh-so-perfectly. Ugh. What a depressing job. The only way not become totally embittered and filled with sorrow all the time is to deaden one's heart and pretend that it doesn't matter.