Friday, June 28, 2013

Tackling the "N" Word and other things

Since the release of Paula Deen's Southern tendencies have been made public, the s**t has really hit the fan.  The fact that she used the "n" word 3 decades ago or even two weeks ago took her down. Her sponsors dropped her faster than a hot potato.  Many of her sponsors, like the Food Network, dropped her the day the story blew up.  People, let me remind you, her contract was up.  This huge controversy gave them the out not to renew her and pay her.  Clearly, it was a business decision, not a moral one.  After that, 6 more sponsors dumped her.  She tried to clean it up and apologize but she came off insincere and completely phony.  

There has been so much dialogue this week on talk shows about the use of the "n" word.  It's great to have open dialogue about it.  I, like Oprah, don't think that there is any place for the word.  I know she had a sit down with Jay Z a few years ago to discuss it.  To Oprah it is a word that should never be used; to JayZ he wants to remove the power from the word.  Here is the problem for me:  who gets to determine who can or cannot use the "n" word.  Who is the judge and jury on that?  I heard a young black woman talking about that every group has a slur that only they can use, but that's just not so.  Jews do not, don't think Hispanics do, maybe homosexuals are allowed to use the "f****t" word but it makes me cringe.  

So think about this, kids are listening to the "n" word in music all the time.  They have no idea of the history of the word and the pain and suffering it has caused generations of a people.  How do they navigate when and if they can say it?  The only white person I know that can use it freely in rap is Eminem.  I think that the "n" word shouldn't be an acceptable word for anyone. It makes it confusing and unclear.  Maybe all the rappers and others that use the word and are trying to take the "sting" out of it, need to go to class and listen to their forefathers who fought for civil rights and are continuing to fight today.  I just think it's too dicey. There is some invisible line drawn in the sand and you are supposed to know who can and who can't. Who's the arbiter?  

Okay, people, what the hell is wrong with the world with all the double standards?  Paula Deen is kicked to the curb for unacceptable language and Aaron Hernandez is suspected of at least 3 murders and had a big NFL contract with the New England Patriots and big endorsements. The Patriots dumped him fairly quickly once he was charged with the 3rd murder.  Puma took about a week.  I guess they had to really see the evidence the prosecutors had.  I can't believe that he allegedly shot someone in the face in February and wasn't charged.  So Paula Deen has gotten a public stoning for language and Aaron Hernandez got away with one shooting months ago and now is paying for the alleged, heinous murder of last week.  Aaron Hernandez seems like he has been a violent and bad guy for a long time. Where was the NFL commissioner then?  Seems like athletes always get the benefit of the doubt and second chances.  That's a rant for another day!

Sidebars:  Big Brother 12 began. Julie Chen continues to be annoying. The NBA Draft was last night and boy, it's like watching paint dry.  The only standout was the plethora of international players drafted to all the teams. The NY Knicks for one of the only familiar names drafting Tim Hardaway, Jr. Hope he can shoot as well as his father.  It's the weekend.  I hope that you enjoy it.  It's going to be rainy here.

Please re-post or forward to a friend.

1 comment:

  1. The "n" word is a troubling and difficult issue. Blacks use it. Whites don't understand why we can use it and they can't. I'm old school enough to remember the pain I felt when I first heard it used against me as a six year old attending (the previously all-white) St. Joseph's School in Menlo Park, yet young enough to understand and find humor at some uses of the word.

    My solution to this conundrum? If you're white and feel comfortable enough to say it around a bunch of black people without having the ever-loving s**t beaten out of you, then by all means go for it. But seeing as 99% of whites will never be in that situation, the best thing is to not use it at all.

    And yes, there are "rules". Just as there are the Unwritten Rules of Baseball, there are the "Unwritten Rules For Using The 'N' Word". I don't and didn't make the rules, but I do abide by them.

    1) Blacks can freely use the word. I don't but then again, that's the old school part of me.

    2) Blazing Saddles was hilarious with their use of the word.

    3) White comedians, SOME white comedians, can use the word. Ralphie May is someone who comes to mind.

    4) White people writing or saying the word as "nigga" or "niggah" are still subject to having their asses kicked even though they didn't actually use the aforementioned "n" word.

    And finally

    5) Us responding with the word "honky", "cracker", "wonder bread", etc. against white people borders on humorous because (in my opinion) they're not hurtful. The "n" word, however, is like a slap in the face.

    Ok, off my soapbox now. Great post as usual.