Posts Tagged ‘N-word’

The Rationale of Racist Jokes

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

It’s not what you say privately that matters; it’s what you say…

Justin THE DUMB WORLD OF JUSTIN BIEBER__Where Excuses Go to DieBieber’s unsuccessful attempt to buy (and presumably squash) 2011 footage of himself using the N-word while telling a joke puts him right back in the Get Character or Become One hot seat.

The rationale of the racist joke always begins and ends with, “I’m not racist.” But there are other excuses widely used as well, like, “My grandfather was born during a time when…” To hell with your grandfather – now what? Every day is a day in which to get a clue.

Bieber and Paula Dean and Donald Sterling were born some 47 and 60 years apart, so to those who point to silliness like the “era” in which certain A-holes were born, I say, “Go sell that excuse someplace else.” Willful ignorance and insensitivity are learned behaviors, not vintage collectibles. Americans are just as aware that the narrow-minded walk among us as they were in 1963, but thankfully there are far more opportunities today to learn the difference between acceptance and tolerance, as well as bad character versus bad taste. (P.S. Only someone with a grapefruit for a brain would think it “bad taste” to get caught sharing racist thoughts or humor; when the perpetrator is old enough to know better, it’s no-less than treacherously immoral.) (more…)

Why I Hate the Word “Nigger”

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

THE N-WORD_Where Excuses Go to DieI hate the word “nigger” because of what it reveals about its user.

Blue, Black, White, or Brown – you’re lazy.

How’s that, you ask?

Well for one, what have you, the N-word user, attempted to learn about the volatile word? ‘Cause it’s a shape-shifter: one that can be used rightly and wrongly, ironically and seriously, congenially and maliciously, of necessity for the sake of realism and impishly for the sake of comedy.* Do you know its etymology? Have you taken the time to read any Richard Wright or August Wilson? Who were the Little Rock Nine? Do you know why Malcolm X and Richard Pryor swore off using it?

It doesn’t matter. And regardless of who you are, you weren’t born with the right to use the word, so don’t even go there. You have a choice. If you want to debate whether or not cultural perspective should govern its meaning, you’d better find out more than what you heard someone say, sing, shout, or slur.

I hate the word because it whispers its right to be among us, forcing users to make excuses for it. It’s a chunk of broken cement that has, for too many people, disguised itself as a Fabergé egg. Which people, you ask? As Clarence Major wrote in his Dictionary of Afro-American Slang (1970), “persons insufficiently attuned to the volatility of this singularly complex and dangerous word.”

Having been to prison and, therefore, temporarily disqualified from societal participation, you might think my learning was limited to how to survive and/or how to become a better criminal, not unlike the claim that college merely teaches one to be a better student. While there may be a basis in reality for both assertions, prison wasn’t a School of Crimethink for me: it was an ungodly wake-up call. And since the phrase “wake-up call” is grossly overused, I’ll go a little deeper.

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A “Teachable Moment” for the N-Word?

Monday, February 20th, 2012

When Lincoln Brown, a white Illinois teacher, found the N-word in a note passed during his majority African-American sixth grade class, he paused to discuss the slur in detail, even explaining why it hurt him to say it. Midway through the lesson, the school’s principal walked in and Brown wound up suspended without pay.

First of all, isn’t a child learning about the N-word better than him or her simply picking it up from some dummy? I say yes, but I’m not sure we need Teacher Brown’s Federal lawsuit against Principal Gregory Mason and Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to get us there. Brown is claiming a violation of his First and Fifth Amendment rights, alleging that his 5-day suspension is both unjust and based on an inaccurate depiction of the episode submitted by Principal Mason. (more…)