Saturday, August 14, 2010
The N Word
Somewhere back in time it was decided that the "N" word was forbidden and ever since then the "N" word has spent a lot of time getting folks in trouble.
Friday Phil Mickelson dropped an "F" bomb and it barely made a blip on the national media radar and Phil the goofy happy go lucky gentleman of golf, never curses.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger who has been known to use some sailor language, took to saying the "N" word and the entire nation went into hysterics. Or did they? One thing is for sure the media went into over drive. But do the rest of us even care?
Dr. Laura was trying to make the point that black culture embraces the "N" word particularly in the comedic form and that for some reason the use of the "N" by anyone else is considered a racial slur.
My grandfather grew up in a time when racial slurs were as common as horse flies on a jack ass.
Wap, Spic, Dago, Beaner, Wetback, Chink, Rice ball, Gook, Mick, Kraut all words I remember my grandfather using from time to time, as well as the "N" word along with colored, and negro.
Often these words were preceded by the a single word stupid, and in some cases two words, poor and old. Sometimes in disgust, sometimes in comparison, but just as often as a way of identifying people. I doubt he ever gave a second thought to using those names or considered them offensive.
Today those names are never used, as I can't remember the last time I heard someone say dago or kraut. In fact all the words are gone except the "N" word.
I hear the "N" word often, maybe much more than often, but being white it is never used in mixed company. Even I'm smart enough not to type the "N" word but it is a part of our language just the same. It is used much the same way as you would expect, often to define someone of low class, lacking intelligence, someone who is distasteful and often a criminal who just happens to be of African heritage.
But I can't help but think if black culture would stop using the "N" word, the word would die a natural death. But as long as the media and people like Al Sharpton make a big deal out of it and black comedians use it in jokes and stand up routines then the "N" word will live on.