(Lifted from Hopluv's Vox Blog)
I know I'm late on this . . . I just want to add my 25 cents to this bullshit.
I agree with Graham of Regulate the Voice, this whole Kramer "Nigga"-gate brouhaha is like a bad Seinfeld episode. I can't believe that when it's all said and done, the civil rights movement will have Kramer to thank for leading us in a discussion about the word, Nigger.
Man, fuck that.
Michael Richards is an unfunny scrub who decided to have a racial meltdown in a club after being heckled by two African-American patrons. And now civil rights activists want the word banned from the lexicon of hip-hop and popular culture? That's unlikely going to happen. Like journalist Adam Bernard writes in his post -- and I'm quoting him -- "Eliminating a word, any word, from people's vocabularies is nearly impossible, but even in a world where that could happen eliminating the word "nigger" and all of its variations still wouldn't eliminate the racism in the person that would utter the word."
Word to the mutha (all pun intended, my niggas).
Racism is so ingrained in our society that it will NEVER go away, ever.
Racism is here to stay, folks, sorry. So eliminating the N-word is not going to help race relations or make people respect one another.
And the absurdity of those two African-American patrons in announcing that they are going to sue Michael Richards for spewing the word "Nigger" at them. Hey fellas, **news flash** during the course of your lifetime, you will be called a "nigger" by way more bigoted dumb-asses than Michael Richards. TRUST ME. If you do get compensated, please give the money to charity or to a civil rights organization.
And if those guys do get paid, I want reparations. I've been called both a "nigger" and a "nigga" several times during my 36 years on earth. Fuck it, give me my reparations NOOOW!
Personally, I don't use "nigga" as a term of endearment. Much like my favorite writer John Ridley -- as he wrote in his controversial essay -- I used the word often to describe people who are "fucking up" in our society doing dumb shit.
John states in his essay:
"Let me tell you something about niggers, the oppressed minority within our minority. Always down. Always out. Always complaining that they can’t catch a break. Notoriously poor about doing for themselves. Constantly in need of a leader but unable to follow in any direction that’s navigated by hard work, self-reliance. And though they spliff and drink and procreate their way onto welfare doles and WIC lines, niggers will tell you their state of being is no fault of their own. They are not responsible for their nearly 5 percent incarceration rate and their 9.2 percent unemployment rate. Not responsible for the 11.8 percent rate at which they drop out of high school. For the 69.3 percent of births they create out of wedlock."Although his statements above sound elitist (and class-ist), it doesn't stray too far from the truth. On the one hand, just because John is now a successful African-American writer, doesn't give him the right to degrade others who are trying to come up and be successful just like him. But on the other hand, there are way too many motherfucking niggers/niggas out here doing dumb shit.
He then goes on to say:
"Now, let me tell you something about my generation of black Americans. We are the inheritors of “the Deal” forced upon the entrenched white social, political, and legal establishment when my parents’ generation won the struggle for civil rights. The Deal: We (blacks) take what is rightfully ours and you (the afore-described establishment) get citizens who will invest the same energy and dedication into raising families and working hard and being all around good people as was invested in snapping the neck of Jim Crow."John defends his usage of the N-word in his editorial for Time magazine, as well.
In the end, journalist Dan Chaneras is 100 percent on-point with his commentary about the Kramer-gate controversy. I agree what Dan assessment that "Seinfeld is the Ralph Ellison's argument made visual. We -- African-Americans -- are invisible to most people in this world."
Dan also adds:
"They're the white friends who giggle when hip-hop comes on, rather than bob their heads to it. It's not that we can’t be friends with them. It's just that we choose to live multiculturally and they don't . . . either because they don't know how, don't want to, don't have to, or they are afraid to. When white folks are brought out of this space, they can have a number of reactions. Some take kindly to reality. Others snap."Case in point: Rosie O' Donnell. Her "ching-chong" rant probably reveals how she views Asian people in general. Texas A&M sociology professor Joe Feagin describes Michael's racial meltdown [and I'm adding Rosie's rant here, too] as displays of "the white racial frame" -- an extensive set of stereotypes, images and emotions that white people have used since the 1600s . . . [that's been] drilled into our heads from the time we're 1-year-olds, by friends, relatives, and, often by the media, by schoolteachers."
Feagin says Americans have learned it's unacceptable to make racist comments in public -- in what he calls a "frontstage" arena. Yet "backstage," in small groups of friends or family members, white people regularly use racist language and tell racist jokes.
I tend to believe that we all do this and also have hidden biases, as well. Just don't slip up and spew your racist thoughts in public.
In wrapping up this long rant, I give you . . .
Further reading material:
Dallas Penn gives us the history of the C-word "Cracker."
And blogger Hopluv asks, "Are You Comfortable With Your Self-Referential Term?" -- meaning, are you satisfy with being referred to as an African-American, Afro-American, Black, Negro or . . .?
And finally, in the words of Eddie Murphy (as Rev. Jesse Jackson), "Don't Let Me Down" . . .
We all must respect one another.