Sunday, August 18, 2013

Here we go again, or did we never leave?

Well, you are getting all this insight on things racial while I wait for the galley to be returned for corrections on book three UNION of the FELIG CHRONICLES, my IR/paranormal  romance. Believe me, Nate and Tina do not deal with this ish.

I am going to expound on a subject that the USA loves to react to but does very little to nil to really speak on. Let’s get ready to speak about racial slurs. Now those of you who are sensitive, or get the vapors or avoid “impolite things,” go away now! ‘Cuz it’s going to get a little warm in here.

I am tardy commenting on the whole fray around the use of the word n-i-g-g-e-r. I put stops between the letters so those of you who did not go away, won’t faint. I shall not be using the soft-shelled euphemism, ”n-word.” Hate that stupid term.  Anyhoo, I want to quote something that my grandfather used to tell me. He was paraphrasing the words of Stepin Fetchit, a Black vaudevillian of the early twentieth-century. He used to say, “I do not hate being Black. It’s just that it’s an inconvenience sometimes.” I know now, as I have gotten older what the saying means. It is tiring. Racial slights and slurs directed at me now, elicit yawns and eye-rolling. I cannot be bothered to respond to tiny minds whose lone thought in his/her almost empty head is to yell, “N-i-g-g-e-r,” at me for some reason only he/she know. I simply walk away or reply, “Miss N-i-g-g-e-r to you!” Now, if the cretin approaches me and I can’t get away, it’s on.

I tire of reading indignant Caucasian people writing in the comments section of some article which chronicles how the latest Caucasian public figure who got caught (Are you listening Riley Cooper?) using the word, n-i-g-g-e-r, in public is being subjected to a “double standard” when Black citzenry call the person on it. I say double WTF? and double yawn. Freakin’ first of all, why does any Caucasian feel they have the right to use the word with a Black person? What is the allure? What is the intent? And don’t tell me, “You guys use it with each other all the time.” WRONG! I don’t use the word. Period. Other black folks need to wake up and cease and desist with the word, too. And do you know why? Because it’s ugly.

I know my history and nowhere in that past history in this country has a non-Black person EVER used that word to show kindness or used it as an endearment. Not a one who has used it with me or with the elders in my family who lived through the Jim Crow era, have EVER meant anything nice. Let me explain it. No matter how numbing to the ear it has become, be it in song, in print, by friends, in movies---no matter how good the intention may be, it’s WRONG! It is a word that was created and used to make the person it was hurled at, afraid, docile and to feel less than the cretin hurling it.

It is the purpose of all and any racial epithets. And you know full damn well what I mean. Do not act dumb. Let’s take a stroll through the American showroom of abundant, wicked racial slurs. Behind door number one, along with n-i-g-g-e-r, we have s-p-i-c/ w-e-t-b-a-c-k for the Hispanic/Latino community, depending which Coast one lives on. Behind door number two, we have that oldie but goodie, k-i-k-e for our Jewish friends. Oh yes, the showroom is bursting at its bigoted seams. And last but not least, we have h-a-r-p for those of Irish descent, w-o-p for Italian Americans and k-r-a-u-t for German-Americans. I am exhausted. The showroom should have a tram running from door to door.

Ah, America! The land of those free to insult one another in many colorful ways.

You’re probably saying, “Get over it. Lighten up. We’re all post-racial here.” Please! I’d like to throttle the idiot who coined that annoying, inaccurate term. Just because the US President is Black means nothing in the healing of racial tension. There is a contingent of White folk (Teabaggers, etc.) out there who think Barack Obama should only be SERVING DRINKS in the White house, not SERVING TWO TERMS. They went apeshit, built fortified bunkers "cuz the race war is coming"and went DEFCON1 when he was elected. So spare me the “post-racial” bullshit.

So when will I get over the racial slur thing? Here’s my deal. I’ll get over it when all those slurs I catalogued above get written into songs like the word n-i-g-g-e-r is written into songs. Let those songs get approved and released by major record labels for mass distribution. Let young people of ALL ethnicities memorize the lyrics, sing them at the top of their lungs and cruise in cars down city streets. Maybe I’ll get over it then and maybe we’ll be “post-racial.”

Except, it ain’t gonna happen. Why, you ask?

Because ALL of those ethnicities know better but most importantly, ALL of those ethnicities know the difference between an ugly slur and an endearment. 

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