Monday, July 09, 2007
NAACP Symbolically Burys N Word - AP
Gestures are good. Saying hello, for instance, to people in an elevator is a nice thing to do. Slowing to allow cars to merge into traffic is another. But some gestures, like burying the N-word are silly, even at the hands of the once mighty NAACP. Not because the N-word is good, for it certainly is not. However, ‘nigger’, or any of its variations, is a vessel of ignorance, regardless of whose mouth it exits, and it is this ignorance that needs a real funeral – not one for show.
Burying the word in a ceremony is no different than putting departed Aunt Sadie’s favorite dress in the ground, while her body lays somewhere unattended and in open-air decay. The ignorance that has blacks and whites using the N-word so creatively, in all directions, sits fully nourished away from the spotlight of the cameras, microphones, and salivating ‘info-tainment’ hounds reporting on its faux demise.
I attended an open-air farmer’s market this past Sunday and in the midst of the organically grown fruits and veggies was the drone of an amateur gansta-rapper whose ignorance was ever-present, without a single utterance of the N-word, the H-word, or any other expletive begging for deletion. I was nonetheless annoyed and embarrassed by what he was saying, as well as how he was saying it.
When the young, thuggishly adorned, man finished his serenade, I was amazed that some people clapped their seeming approval and encouragement. I did consider that their reward may have been to secretly encourage the sweet silence following his finish. In a world where good is bad, and up is down, I would have desperately taken the long-odds that the clapping would tell this kid that he needed to get back to his real future - the books. But no such luck.
Fortunately, I had a back-up plan – an unceremonious exit to my car, organics in hand, where Fourplay was waiting on the CD to take me home.
James C. Collier
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