When I was a child – about five or six – something happened that left a vivid impression on me.
I heard the word “nigger” for the first time.
It wasn’t the word that left such an impression (I didn’t even know what it meant); rather, it was my father’s reaction to it.
My dad used curse words at the man who said it. The other man yelled at my dad, and my dad yelled back at him. The other man was big and angry and mean. I was terrified that my dad was going to fight that bad man.
After that incident, my dad sat me down. He apologized for using bad words, and then he said that there were two kinds of words: bad words and evil words. And he said the word “nigger” was an evil word. He said he got so angry because it was wrong for that man to say such a hateful thing around children. He said that sometimes you had to stand up and say that something was wrong.
My father said that people who used that word meant that black people weren’t human beings like other people, but were something less. He said that the most awful things that ever happened happened because people thought like that about other people who were different from them, and that he hoped that I would never be like those people.
I wonder what children who heard Jesse Jackson use the word the other day thought.
There was a discussion about it on The View, in which Whoopie Goldberg and the liberals on the program justified black people using the word. It’s only wrong when white people use it.
Black people use it as a “term of endearment.”
Is that the case?
I don’t think so. There’s nothing “dear” about the word, and there never has been. Hey, I’m calling you a sub-human beast of burden, but I really mean it in a really nice way.
For one thing, it perpetuates the use of both the word, and the content of the word. If you think that racist white people don’t justify their use of the word with, “Black people use it all the time. They use it to talk about each other!” then you simply aren’t living in the real world.
If black people want white people to stop using the “N-word,” then they have to stop using the word themselves. Until that word is off-limits for everyone, it will continue to be fair game for everyone.
As an example, activists such as Al Sharpton have said that it is the (white) executives of the major recording studios who are most to blame for the N-word’s impact on culture. But let me ask you a question: is it the white executives who are using the word, or are they recording the use of the word by black artists? Apart from the related issue of what would actually happen if white music executives started refusing to produce the works of black artists, the fact remains: if black artists refused to use the word, it would immediately die out of the music industry. White executives simply would not dare produce works that used the N-word without the “cover” of it being spoken/sung by blacks.
Ultimately the greatest question of all is this one: how many children – every single day – discover racism by hearing that word for the very first time?
Thank God for my dad, who stood up and said, “Don’t you dare use that word around my son!” My dad’s act of teaching me not to tolerate the N-word helped me learn to be intolerant of the racism that it always has and always will symbolize.
Elizabeth Hasslebeck literally cried because that word so upset her. It ought to upset everyone. Period.
Instead, when I googled “elizabeth hasslebeck” and “n-word” I saw the full hate and meanness of the left come out in all its vile ugliness. I discussed the viciousness of the left the other day in writing about the hatred expressed over the passing of Tony Snow. Viciousness is increasingly coming to characterize the left.
For a second thing, claiming that one group of people can use a word, and another group of people can’t, is the quintessential example of a double-standard.
The double-standards that have been a constant element of “the civil rights movement” for years are a big part of why so many white people have become so embittered over the movement. Racial quotas. The N-word. The very anger over demands for personal responsibility that so enraged Jesse Jackson in the first place.
How on earth does anybody think that a reliance upon one double-standard after another is the path to racial harmony? It just isn’t, and it never was.
Dr. Martin Luther KIng, Jr. said, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” But the civil rights leaders – such as Jesse Jackson – turned that statement on its head.
Don’t you talk to us about the “content of our characters!” You had better never forget the color of our skins!” And you better give us stuff on the basis of the color of our skins!
How are poor whites supposed to feel when they are systematically denied equal opportunity in the very name of “equal opportunity”?
Dr. King’s murder was a terrible thing. But the worst thing of all was that lesser men were able to hijack the civil rights movement and substitute their own ideas for his.
The third thing is that the use of the “N-word” itself becomes a political expression and an example of everything that is wrong with politics.
When Don Imus referred to “Nappy-headed hoes” he was attacked by the very “civil rights leaders” (including Jackson himself) who are now defending Jackson’s use of the word.
When Republican Senator George Allen used the word “macaca” to describe a Democrat plant, he was literally driven out of politics. To this day, I have never been able to find out what that word actually means. It didn’t matter. It could be construed to sound racist, and that was enough.
Now the same people who were so completely outraged over a conservative using the nonsensical word “macaca” are defending a liberal using the genuinely evil word “nigger.” It is simply Kafkaesque.
If you want to say, “It’s different because Jackson is a black man using a word about blacks!” then let me mention Barack Obama’s use of “typical white person.”
What we are seeing today is nothing less than selective outrage being employed as a political weapon.
And it’s wrong. It’s wrong because it makes genuine racism meaningless as politically-motivated pseudo-charges or racism drown out the real thing.
I am a conservative white male. And like the overwhelming majority of genuine conservatives, I would gladly support the candidacy of Dr. Condileeza Rice for president. She is – of course – both black and female.
I wouldn’t vote for her “because she’s black”; rather I would vote for her because she has the experience, the judgment, the competence, the character, the values, and the policies to be our president.
I do not support Barack Obama. And I refuse to support him not “because he’s black”; rather, I won’t vote for him because he doesn’t have the experience, the judgment, the competence, the character, the values, and the policies to be our president.
Jesse Jackson used the “N-word” because he thinks entirely in racial (and I would argue racist) terms. One of the worst examples of racism is the continuous use of terms like “Uncle Tom” and “race traitor” to describe prominent black leaders such as Condileeza Rice, Colin Powell, and Clarence Thomas.
As far as many in the “civil rights movement” are concerned, unless you are “our kind of black,” they feel entirely free to call you “a house nigger.”
That’s exactly what Jesse Jackson was doing. Barack Obama wasn’t being “his” kind of black.
They are the real racists, because they can only think in purely racial terms, and they see racism in everyone but themselves. And it’s truly sad that such people have somehow been able to put themselves in charge over who gets to branded as a “racist” and who doesn’t.
One black intellectual spoke of bargainers and challengers in the black community. The first group is willing to give whites and white society the benefit of the doubt, and work with them to try to create a better society. The second group (and Jesse Jackson is in this group) holds that whites and white society should be regarded as racist until they prove they are not.
But Jesse Jackson himself once said that crime was such a problem in the black community that when he saw a group of young black men he automatically looked around and found himself reassured by the presence of white people. Given the black crime rate, why shouldn’t I assume that blacks aren’t criminals and “thugs” (as Barack Obama’s NEW pastor himself put it) until they prove otherwise?
Because that’s not the way my dad taught me how to regard people, is why. That view doesn’t lead to peace and harmony, but suspicion and mistrust.
Anyone who has read even one of my articles about Barack Obama knows that I am not an Obama supporter. But on this issue, Barack Obama is clearly right, and Jesse Jackson – who has been the paradigmatic “civil rights leader” for a generation now – should now stand revealed for just how terribly wrong he is and always has been.
I dream of a day when Dr. King’s dream comes true. That’s why I have always been an opponent of Jesse Jackson.