Wednesday, June 24, 2015

From The "A Nigger Moment" File


If you’ve been reading BLOOD & INK on a regular basis (and if not, then whyain’tcha?) The you’ll have noticed that from time to time I’ll post something here that has been written by one of the most extraordinarily talented artists it’s been my pleasure to work with; Sean E. Ali.

Sean has a habit of writing these amazingly perceptive and on point essays on his Facebook wall that should be read by a wider audience. But Sean is truly a modest man and resists all my suggestions that he should start a blog or something where these thoughts can saved and savored and not lost in the blur of Facebooks posts.  Sean’s a deep thinker who truly has something worth saying about some very important societal topics affecting all of us today.

Fortunately he has a friend like me who has no shame at all in reposting his insightful words on his own blog.

Okay, I’ve run my mouth far too much already. I now turn the floor over to Mr. Ali…


So let me get this straight...

The people upset most that the President used the word "nigger" in an interview...

...are the very people who have been calling him that in one form or another since '08...

...or wasn't Cornell West using it to describe the President's avoidance of the subject he was confronting when he used the word...

...or are people of color who use it as a part of their daily speech when referring to themselves or people they know who think that tossing a bunch of different vowels and consonants on at the end somehow makes the word something other than what it was?

Uh huh...

If that ain't a "nigger moment", I don't know what is...

For the record, I'm going for the Queen's English version of that word which denotes an "ignorant person"...
The word long before it was a racial slur was used to describe a lack of intelligence, an ignorance of things that were obvious.

In short, there is no positive spin for the word.

Sorry, Chris Rock, I know you want to resurrect it after the NAACP did that whole symbolic burial thing, but really it's not the kind of word that meant "Freedom" in Swahili, it's still ignorant even when it's not racial.

For the youngsters and the hip hop community and those folks who think they are down when they use it as a greeting or expression of friendship.
It isn't. It never was no matter how many times you add "az", "uh", "a", "ruh", or whatever else you come up with, you're still calling someone ignorant, you're still insulting someone's intelligence even when race isn't a factor...

But when you do it to one another and then lose your minds because someone who isn't you or yours uses the term...

...then it's racial and stupid, and you're a hypocrite.

If the word is wrong, it's wrong all the way around. You can't pick and choose the moments it's okay to speak a slur or insult, because it's a slur and an insult all the time. You can dress it up if you like, but it is what it is all the time...

At least the President used it as a proper example of the ingrained nature of racism in American culture and the difficulty of erasing nearly six hundred years (if you take in the total time of Africans sending their own to the Europeans who then bound them over into slavery overseas to well, now) of racial inequality in a weekend when it's got that large a head start, is an accurate assessment and summary of what he said.

And FOX Newsertainment wants to act like what he said was somehow the most horrible thing ever uttered by a president...

....despite their long track record of profiling people of certain ethnic groups and hiding behind the new "nigger" trigger word of "thug"...

All of you need to take a breath and listen to yourselves before you start jumping on someone else for using the EXACT SAME WORD YOU USE AND REFUSE TO LET GO OF in a context that offends you...

...probably because what was said is true.
And how Black people can sit around demanding the removal of the Confederate battle flag and not abandon the use of a word which is linked to that flag and that era like a guy with a burning cross and a white hood on his head is one of those things I'm not understanding...

Maybe the Johnny Reb isn't the only thing that needs to be left in the past...


Something to consider, friends.





No comments:

Post a Comment