I’m not easily affected by ignorance outside of me. I’ve learned that I can only affect the world around me by being the “change I want to see.” I try not to get caught up in debates that have become trivial over time and argument, such as with the casual use of the N-word.
If “random black person” wants to flaunt his/her ignorance and/or disrespect of their own culture and American history, so be it. It’s not my business. BUT when my 11-year old develops an affinity towards hip hop, it’s only a matter of time before I have to engage in the… N-word talk.
For clarity’s sake, the N-word is not referring to North, Nitrogen, or Nadine. The N-word refers to the denigrating word, nigger, nigga, niglet, or any variant of such. The word is most commonly used in a hip hop culture where a majority of the consumers are white. And because of the influence that music has on pop culture, it is also just as common to hear the word in casual language among both young and old, educated and non, and black and (gasp)… white.
Historically, the N-word has been used in a pejorative context referring to black people or people of darker hued skin. It played a starring role in the raping, lynching, emasculation, misogamy, and discrimination of a culture of people. It was spit in the face. It was fire hose to the body. It is a bitter word that carries with it the memory of hate and an action that held minorities captive for far too long. So how is it that people of any origin think that they can speak the word with any expression of favor or affinity?
It reminds me of another piece of history that was the summer of 1973 when three women and one man were taken hostage during a botched robbery at one of the largest banks in Stockholm, Sweden. They were held captive for six days and surprisingly, resisted attempts at their rescue. Even stranger, they refused to testify against their two captors, raised money for their legal defense, and one of the hostages allegedly became engaged to one of her jailed captors. This class of behavior was later coined as “Stockholm Syndrome.”
While hypertension and AIDS are aggressive protagonists in our communities, this “Stockholm Syndrome” is playing a more subtle role of destruction from the inside-out. I believe that there is a great power in words and that we eventually become who we say we are. I am not an N-word nor are my sons. It is imperative that they know that. We need to be more aware of what our children and we take in and reflect.
And I won’t delve into the double standard of how one group can say the N-word while another group (white) is forbidden to even mumble it. That makes NO sense. Should the word be banned? No. It is a part of American history – the same history that “random black person” seems to be ignorant of.
If you know where you came from, you will walk with a greater sense of pride of who are you and what you will be. “Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?” Probably not.
Mahatma Gandhi – “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
“In December 2007, over 2000 American Muslims were asked what they would wish to say to the rest of the world. This is what they said…”
“A Land Called Paradise” was performed Kareem Salama, the first popular Muslim country music-western singer (how cool is THAT?).
And in case you’re wondering… no, I’m not Muslim nor intending to convert. I’m Christian. More importantly, I’m human and I love my
Muslim brothers and sisters. This video puts a human face on the people who live according to a religion that has been hijacked by extremists and terrorists.
“I’m sorry. I’m human.”
This past week started like most work weeks as of late for me – busy and challenging. Coming off of the high of getting a nice bit of writing on my novel done the previous weekend, I was ready for whatever the week had to offer. I was convinced that this week’s demands couldn’t be as bad as last week. I was kind of wrong.
I had yet another court appearance to make in reference to a bus accident I was involved in last year. I was hit from behind and charged with improper passing. There was no way I was taking responsibility for this matter when I was following the law. I challenged the charge and the city bounced me from court date to court date until they finally threw it out on Wednesday. An encouraging victory amidst a mentally and physically challenging work week. I mean really – who works 20 hours in one day? Me – sadly. My 40 hour work week was 72 and it ended last night at 10pm.
I have been too tired to say thank you to my friends and co-workers for the support, attention, letters, and love this week. I was too dazed to praise my manager, Keith for being one to go down with the ship with his crew. Or too achy to let James know that his brain power makes my brain hurt but I’m blessed and fortunate that he’s there. I was too distracted tell my sons that I’ve missed them or to thank Lara, Camille, Rhonda, Missy, and Gally for their much appreciated presence or congratulate Shawn on his new house.
Let me just say that I am appreciative of all of you – named and otherwise. I look forward to warmer weather and lighter workloads and hanging out with you all again soon. I love you all despite my absence of late.
I am NOT a speed demon (as my T indicates) when it comes to writing.
You may be tired of reading about it but… I’m writing a novel. It’s coming along awesomely, thank you. My characters are really in a high state of conflict right now as I approach the arch. It’s like I’m reading a book that I can’t put down. But I’m writing it. And I can’t put it dow… you get the point.
I’ll announce the title and plot and get a nice shave soon. Stay tuned.