Monday, October 22, 2007

The N word

letitburndowntothegroundThe good thing about not having a big audience is the freedom to discuss touchy subjects. I can say more or less anything I want, and since very few are reading, there is no problem.
With that in mind, I approach the subject for today’s lesson...the "N- word". It doesn't get much touchier.
Now, we all know what that word is. It has six letters, rhymes with trigger, and makes the brains of some people turn into jello. It is a derogatory phrase for people of African origin, and is familiar to a white southern person like myself.
I try to avoid using this term. There are four main reasons for this. If I ever get paid for doing this I will come up with a top ten list.
1- The N word hurts people's feelings. I have known many fine Black people, and my life is much richer as a result. I do not want to say anything that will hurt these people. As for the not so fine Black People that I have known, they are G-d's children just like me. My fellow human beings no not deserve to be insulted just for who they are. The fact that this courtesy is often not returned is beside the point.
2- Being heard saying the N word can cause all sorts of problems. This can include physical retribution; loss of employment, lawsuits, and having to listen to enough loud angry words to make you wish you had never learned how to talk.
3- It is not a fair fight. There is no equivalent phrase for a Black Person to say to a white person. I do not wish to give that power to another group of people, to turn me into a mass of incoherent rage just for hearing a six letter word.
The closest thing to this is "Cracker", which I only recently found out was an insult. This is odd, because when I was a boy, we had a minor league baseball team called the Atlanta Crackers. There was even a team in the Negro League called the Black Crackers.
Maybe we could try redneck.
4- The use of the N word demeans the user. When you say an insulting word about another human being, you make yourself look bad.
When you hate someone, you hate yourself worse than the person you hate. And frankly, a lot of these people are not worth it.
Now, if the N word demeans a paleface like myself, what does it say about a black person who uses it?



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