It’s Not A “Term” Of Endearment

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Last week, my family and I made our first ever trip to Florida for a long overdue family vacation. Given that I’ve been busy and haven’t posted in a while, it was good to get away from Des Moines and unplug mentally…sort of.

There was no way that I was going to part with my iPhone and the comings and goings on social media.

But there is one topic that I need to vent about because it was long overdue for it to be said.

My cousin, who is wise despite being younger than I am, posted this on Facebook:

Opinion : until blacks show more respect for the pain behind the N word we have no right to get mad when someone from another race uses it….if we don’t respect our history why would anyone else?

This is a perfect response. in light of the Paula Deen fiasco. I don’t consider Deen a racist. A racist is someone who has a consistent history or pattern of intentionally saying insensitive and demeaning terms, and/or behaving in a way that typifies a strong hatred towards a group or individuals that is degrading. From what I know at this point, Deen has no such history of racist attitudes in the past. She uttered a word that was insensitive.

She’s no David Duke, I can tell you that.

The real racists, and I’ll get heat for saying it, is my own people…African-Americans. How we continue to use the N-word as terms of endearment is not endearing, nor is it cute. That word has an ugly and insensitive history, and yet we still use it in the black community as if there is nothing wrong with it.

There is something wrong with this picture.

That word shouldn’t be used at all, especially African-Americans. We look like hypocrites: “if you say it, you’re a racist. if we say it, it’s cool and acceptable.”

That’s bull—-. It’s not acceptable. It’s shameful.

To their credit, the LGBT community use education and awareness to eradicate the use of the all of the derogatory slurs that have been used to describe them. You know what those words are. I don’t have to list them.

To the LGBT community, those slurs and its historical connotations leave little doubt of its harmful impact.

The black community needs to stop tap-dancing around and coming up with weak excuses to rationalize why it’s alright for my people to banter the n-word around and no one else can’t.

It’s time to end the usage of the N-word. By eliminating it, we can cut down on some of the silliness, hypocrisy, and reinforce the notion why this word is harmful. .

I’m not mad at Paula Deen.

I’m pissed off with my community for dismissing the historic context of what the n-word means.

I’ve said in the past, African-Americans are just as racists as any other group. We get a “free pass” for hurling slurs and insensitive words towards other groups, and no punishment is given.

No more free passes should be given to African-Americans if they continue to use the n-word. As my cousin pointed out, if African-Americans have no respect for each other to stop using the n-word, then why should we expect anyone else to have respect not to say it themselves?

That’s on us.

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