Full disclosure. The “N” word controversy is an issue that has deeply bothered me to the core for a very long time.
When I ride the New York City train system, for example just the other day, I am often embarrassed to see the frequent use of the “N” word, by people of color. Young men, and even young ladies. Case in point, Tuesday, riding the “A” train from 125th street in Harlem to 34th street, to co-host a radio show on WABC with Curtis Sliwa.
The use of the “N” word is so pervasive even in public on transportation systems, that the conversation in my head goes something like this. Don’t they know the history of this word? How could you?
I normally look at the kids that are uttering the word so much, it’s like they are passing out candy or something to their friends. I want to say something to the teenagers, but ultimately decide that perhaps I should just leave it alone. If your goal is to say, Hello, what’s up my brother?, why not just say that rather than inserting the “N” word.
When a person has the merits of an argument on their side, one has to admit that they are correct.
Like Rush Limbaugh or dislike him, on this issue he is dead on correct.
The same use of the despicable “N” that has caused such an outrage for the now former and disbanded Oklahoma SAE fraternity, would be a hit on radio if Kanye instead said it
. In fact many Rappers already have seen commercial success using the “N” word.
I have heard the ridiculous argument over the year, that goes like this. Brother Carter,” they are keeping it real about the ghetto experience
.” And it’s used so often
that now, the word doesn’t end with the letters “….er” , the slang abbreviated version ends with “….a” An actual, highly successful song
by Jay-Z and Mr. West, titled “N….s in Paris”
I grew up in the projects of the South Bronx on welfare, and I don’t see this as quote: “keeping it real!” My wife Marilyn Carter grew up poor as the rest of us, in Harlem, and is an educator, I have never once heard her use the word.
Let’s get this out the way now. Give me a break, the “N” word is not a term of endearment amongst African Americans.
It’s wrong when the fraternity members used the “N”, and it wrong when kids of color do exactly the same thing.
Everyone is up in arms because of Oklahoma, but select any urban area in America, and see how SOME of the young kids of color refer to each other. “N’ this…..”N” that, My “N.”
So is that OK?
Should we simply ignore it and look the other way because the people are black. And considering the wicked history of this word, (that yes, has often gone along withLynchings
) it is a word that NEVER should be used.
It reflects an ugly part of history. My kids were raised to never ever be allowed to use the word under any circumstance. They are now 27 and 22 years of age. At least I will go to my grave knowing their kids will be raised the same way.
I tend to look at this entire Oklahoma situation
as one that was rather unfortunate, but credit does have to go to the University President
and fraternity leaders
for acting so quickly. It’s my contention that the students involved should have been perhaps suspended, but not expelled from college. This should be a teachable moment for them. In my opinion, this is not a First Amendment issue but it should not define the rest of their lives, and hopefully it won’t.
No one should ever use the “N” word, and by the way, OF COURSE, that includes the Rappers.