Wednesday, September 16, 2009

No, It's Still Not Okay To Say

So today, I am going where I haven't gone yet. I have been reluctant to discuss any issues of race/racism, because I feel I don't know enough about it to make statements. Also, because I have a lot of privilege, and I know it, and am trying to deal with it.

But apparently there's still people who think that because slavery was abolished, we no longer have a social debt to the oppressed and can say anything with no baggage attached.
I can't believe Renee has to make a post about this, because it's one of those things that people should just know. One of those mostly-unspoken social rules, like "Don't punch someone because they won't give you a cookie", and "Don't pee on the sidewalk".
Kanye West did a really rude and uncouth thing, and there's a lot wrong with it. It makes him anasshat. It doesn't make him a n****r. Hey, folks? It's not okay to say the word nigger. (And that's the only time I'm typing it out.) It's just not. Especially not if you're white. I think even if you're a POC, it's not a nice word. But if you're white, can you stop? I hear too many people say this to justify it: "There's a difference between black people and n*****s".

Super. I'd like to see the mathematical equation you've worked out for determining which dark-skinned person deserves which label. Oh, you don't have one and your basis for identification is whether you disapprove of how [x] POC looked or behaved? Why not the phases of the moon? Or the Homeland Security Alert color code? It'd be more consistent.

For those who don't understand the myriad of things wrong with it to begin with, try remembering this before you blithely spout that "disclaimer": for a long time, there was no "difference". All POCs used to be "n*****s". And for some people, even today, that is still true. Yeah, crazy, right? Racism still exists! Oh em gee! So saying that word makes you sound bigoted, ignorant, and mean. It's not okay to call anyone this. It strips them of their humanity.
Did you know? The War Between the States is over.
I can't believe I have to say these things. In small syllables. For the people out there who live in the 1950s. Really, I personally would like to see this word fucking retired. And I bet I'm not the only one, fancy that!
I have gotten one member of my family to stop saying this. I'm working on a few others. And now hopefully, I'm working on some of you, reading this blog (although I'm pretty sure if you read this blog, most of you already get this).
If some dude cuts you off in traffic, and he happens to be a black dude, it is ok to call him a jerk, asshole, or douchebag. (Road rage, me? Never. Ahem.) It's not ok to call him 'the n-word'. If you can't think of a better insult, let me help you.