In a week where there has been media overload and stupidity about Paula Deen. Yes – the “N” word is bad and as far as I’m concerned, its one of many words that should/could be removed from the English language. However, to basically demonize a white Southern woman for using it 30 years ago after a robbery – and in the privacy of her home with her husband — is insane. This is especially true when you acknowledge that it is a word that is commonly used throughout the black community and it can be found throughout rap lyrics.
This double standard reminds me of an exchange on The View some years ago. It was one of those days when I questioned why I wasted my time to watch The View. Sherri Sheperd and Whoopi Goldberg were berating Barbara Walters for the idea of her possibly saying the word, yet, they both felt it was fine for them to say it – since they are black. And if I remember right – Whoopi went on to elaborate about the “intent” of the person and the tone they use when they say it. Is she joking? None of us know for sure – what a person’s intent is when they say any word.
Here’s the way I see it – if a word is WRONG – then its WRONG FOR ANYONE to use it.
I don’t remember ever using it myself and have no intention to say it in the future. I find it offensive – but I also find other words to be offensive, so I chose not to use them and prefer to be around others, who do not use them.
But I digress – this is why I wanted to thank Anthony Cook….
From CNN –
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer interviewed Anthony Cook, community news director for The Huntsville Times/AL.com, this afternoon about Cook’s recent column about Paula Deen’s troubles over using racist language….
Blitzer referred to Cook’s column as “sympathetic” to Deen, but Cook said it was more of an opportunity to discuss the use of the ‘n-word’ — how it is used and by whom.
Cook’s column pointed out that the use of the word, while taboo for whites, is often used casually or as a term of affection among blacks and in rap lyrics.
“The column gave me the opportunity to question, ‘Why does anybody use it?’
“I just felt like the word carries with it an inherent history that is derogatory to our race,” Cook said.
Confession of a black journalist: Like Paula Deen, I’ve used the n-word (Opinion from Anthony Cook)
As a black man, this writing is my attempt to point out the fake outrage and the hypocrisy of those of us who claim we are somehow damaged by this particular person, Paula Deen, admitting that she used the n-word years ago. If the word is offensive and harmful, why are we not offended and harmed when African-American rappers and comedians use it? Why are we not offended and harmed when neighbors and relatives use it? Why do we not consider that we offend and harm others when we use it?
Full disclosure … I’ve used the n-word. As a teenager, a college student and as a young adult, I used it prolifically, loosely, and largely indiscriminately.
But, as I became more mature, more professional, more serious about my faith in Christ, I removed that word (and many others) from my vocabulary. I was motivated partly by self-respect. I wanted to be viewed by others as respectful and professional without duplicity.
I also began to see the hypocrisy of expecting white people to adhere to a standard that I was not upholding myself. Using it culturally is no excuse. That’s the same reason Paula Deen used it – because it was culturally accepted at the time among her family and colleagues.
I’ve heard the arguments that black people are excused because we took something ugly and made it beautiful.
Newsflash: The n-word is still ugly.
Read Anthony Cook’s full article that is getting so much attention – http://www.al.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/06/confession_of_a_black_journali.html
The exchange on The View and the double standard —
If you want to read the actual transcript that started this firestorm – http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2013/06/entertainment/deen-deposition/index.html