posted on Jun, 22 2013 @ 09:50 AM
In the (vain) hopes that this post does not offend anyone... no, that's not right. I have no control over what offends someone. The person offended
I grew up with the word. It was part of the language, and had different meanings based on how it was used. In some places, it is still in use... I
know one black man who uses it constantly! He used it to refer to me the last time I was over at his place buying a tiller. It was a joke, intended to
show that there is no difference between us.
Actually, I think there is a difference. He is one of the finest people I know. But that's neither here nor there.
At some point, I realized that some people were getting offended at the word, so I made a conscious effort to stop using it, at least in public. Has
anyone ever tried to stop using a single word that was an integral part of their language? Try to stop using the word "wave" or maybe "wire" or
"pole"... heck, just try to stop using a generic name you're used to using, like "bubba" or "mister"... it's almost impossible to simply stop.
I still let it slip once in a while after all these years.
Then consider how many black people use it themselves... comedians, for instance. Outside of Bill Cosby, is there a black comedian who doesn't use it
regularly in their act?
Paula Deen was speaking privately when she used it, and as I understand it, not even in reference to anyone connected with the plaintiff. As far as I
am concerned, case closed right there. If there was harassment going on at the restaurant, that is another story... and there may well be a case for
this if there was a five year history of complaints. But that's not what got Deen in trouble... a single word uttered in private is what did that.
I swear, I hope she gets off scott free from the harassment suit because of this idiotic complaint.
Offense is not mine to give. I physically cannot offend or not offend anyone by speech. I do not have that ability. The only ability I have is the
exact same one everyone reading this has, and that is the ability to be offended or not. A word is a word; the connotation is solely in the mind of
the listener. If I say "my cat is green" and you think I have an alien cat, you made that determination... not me.
When "Dog the Bounty Hunter" came out, I thought the show was stupid... until Dog lost his job for something similar. Now I make sure to watch "Dog
and Beth On The Hunt" as much as I can. It's still a stupid show, but it's one way to show support for someone who was railroaded. I never paid a
bit of attention to Paula Deen before; now I will probably have to start watching her every chance I get as well. And make sure I do not watch the
Food Network (which I don't anyway).
People need to get over themselves. It's a word. I swear, if I were placed in Deen's position right now, I would make a point to use it as often and
as loudly as I could... she has already lost her show and possibly her business... what is there left to lose? Her freedom? I think I could make a
fine court case that if I was punished for using it, then all black comedians (except Mr. Cosby) would have to be sitting in the cells next to me.
Slavery ended in America (notwithstanding economic slavery of course) in the 1850s, at the cost of countless American lives and bitterness that still
echoes today. No one living today has ever been a slave; no one living today has a parent who was a slave; no one living today has ever owned a slave;
no one living today has ever known anyone who was a slave or who owned a slave. So what if Savannah was a slave trading hub once? It isn't one today
and hasn't been one in anyone's memory. If we're going to keep that stain on it, let's just bulldoze the thing to the ground (Sherman almost did
in the Civil War anyway) and use it for a nuclear waste dump.
I'm sorry this turned into a rant, folks, but it has to be said... when we can use words spoken in private to be used to assign unintended meanings
in public, we have already become slaves ourselves. Our freedom is then gone forever.
Notice the name - it's not an insult, it's a word: