Friday, August 04, 2006
The 'N-Word' Double Standard
Isn't it about time we dispensed with the idea that the "N-Word" is offensive to black Americans? I know that African American "leaders" want to proffer this claim that the word is the epitome of evil and that its use reveals the inherent racism that constantly abuses them everywhere they go. Yet, this stance seems increasingly disingenuous by those same "leaders", especially when they use it themselves.
This claim of how bad the N-word is often times rings hollow to me when time after time I hear blacks use the word as a "term of endearment" with each other in daily conversation. Black comedians constantly use it on stage in their acts yet no one seems to bat an eye over it. One hears it in movies quite often from one black character to another. No outrage is seen.
Since blacks use the word about blacks at an alarmingly common rate, isn't it the proper conclusion to come to that it isn't the word they are mad at but who uses it? If a white person were to come to use the word it instantly goes from "term of endearment" to "proof of racism everywhere". This transformation reveals the black community's confusion far more than anything else.
Let's face it. The word IS offensive. It was used for generations explicitly to demean black people. So, it should be the word itself that blacks should get angry over. It is a word loaded with racist history and its use should absolutely be banished from conversation. And black's usage of it to describe each other should be just as offensive as white's usage of it.
But, even black lawmakers are excused for using it. On July 28th, a black state senator from the Illinois General Assembly used the word on Chicago television and then defended its usage with that ridiculous "term of endearment" excuse, and no one raised the slightest concern over it. He isn't just any black senator, either. He is a high profile leader in the black community, a possible contender for Mayor of Chicago, and -- more shockingly -- an ordained minister and firebrand preacher.
The Reverend James Meeks of Chicago's South Side, a senator in the state government, gave a rousing "sermon" where he called blacks that do not follow his personal ideas of government "House Niggers". The "sermon" was broadcast on Chicago TV.
"...we've got some preachers that are house niggers, you got some elected officials that are house niggers. And rather then them trying to break this up they gonna fight you to protect that white man!"
Channel 2 News Reporter, Mike Flannery, called Meeks on his usage of the word and asked why he used the word to describe fellow African Americans in government?
"The word nigger is not in the African community a bad word. It's a term of endearment and I don't see it as derogatory or offensive."
Amazing gymnastics, there, Rev. Meeks.
But, Flannery went on to point out that Meeks was absolutely not using the word as a "term of endearment" but as a way of name calling to show that blacks in government not toeing Meeks’ ideological line were traitors to their people.
If you thought the above was an example of Meeks' gymnastics, his next reply to Flannery's question would have turned Olga Corbett herself into a human pretzel.
"No body will be offended by it except for an individual it applies to."
So, it is a "term of endearment" ... unless it "applies to" someone who should then be offended?
Of course, this is all politics and not niceties. Meeks is a hypocrite using his bully pulpit to advance his political career and must do these back flips to justify his bellicose rhetoric and his name-calling.
Earlier in his "sermon" Meeks stampeded straight for the race card by equating white government officials to "slave masters".
"…we don't have slave masters, we got mayors but they still the same white people who are presiding over systems where black people are not able … to be educated"
So, what we have is another "reverend" taking the low road, stirring his people with hatred, and vitriol and hiding behind the pulpit while doing it.
Still, his prosaic usage of Nigger is as offensive as it gets. In fact, any usage of the word should be termed offensive.
The word Nigger is NO term of endearment, no matter who uses it.