Archive for September 6th, 2007

Here we go again…

I’m tired of hearing about the word “nigger.”

Now comedian Eddie Griffin got in trouble  for using it. I will spare you all the other things at hand and how careful comedians have to be now about using this word. So let me just give you my take …

I don’t want to hear you using it in my presence. And I’m not saying, “Oh, it’s OK when WE do it but you white folks better not put that word in ya mouth.” I won’t be saying that because personally I just hate the word and I don’t really want to hear it at all — from anyone. BUT… I grew up with this word (as obviously so many other black folks have) so I admit that on occasion, I do use it’s variation of “nigga” among friends and family but not in earshot of the general public. When people do that, it just fuels the fire of this long-debated and senstive issue of this word — the word EVERYONE hates but for some reason people just love to use. And it just gives more reasons for people to say, “Well if it’s OK for YOU to use it, then why can’t I?” Because hearing this word among strangers is simply embarrassing. And personally, when I’ve used it, it still sounds awful coming from my mouth — even in jest. And I’m far from being a prude.

But that said, I will admit to being a hypocrite. I have used it. Plus I don’t care if my father uses it. And sometimes his joke attached to it is damn funny. But that is in the comforts of his home. And I know there are some really wonderfully offensive and racist things we probably all say at home (and won’t admit) no matter how open-minded you were brought up in this society. We are all human and no one is 100 percent free of some prejudice. The real issue of race is whether or not you actually live your life in ignorance.

Ignorance: the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc. The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

Yep. I know you know that definition. But look at it for a minute. Key words being “lack of knowledge” and “unaware.” Just because we all have our prejudices, it is through learning and being aware that we decide whether we actually act out the prejudices we hold. This is about knowing the difference of what’s on the surface, what is deep-rooted and whether or not your prejudices rule your life or how you treat people. I won’t get preachy here. But I will confess my sins and lay down some facts.

Fact: I admit to repeating or allowing my ears to hear racists jokes. Sometimes I even laugh.

Fact: I hate but have used the word “nigga” at least 5 times this year.

Fact: If you take out all the “nigga” references in Hip Hop as truly hypocrital rap mogul Russell Simmons  is currently trying to do, (be sure to click both links and see how he flips his views so quickly) what’s left will probably be more poetic.

Fact: I’m not a racist. But I’m not perfect. And neither are you.

So. Really. I’m tired of hearing about the word “nigger.”