NIGGER

What’s all the fuss about?

I had that Paula Deen pegged from the start. YUCK, what a caricature! I live in another part of the south but do meet such ladies where beneath the hair and behind the eyes is a whole nother character and mixed in with that sugar and sweet talk there’s a venom. And it rears its ugly head. Well depending on your perspective. You may not think it’s venom. She’ll soon be a casualty and blip on the screen although things are pretty ugly for her now and even uglier to bear witness to (can you say train wreck?). Especially when it’s only a reflection of who we really are.

We’re not so innocent.

A few months back I affectionately called my young Jewish friend a kike. Can one use such a term with affection? He had no idea what I was talking about. I’m half Jewish so it’s okay, right? It came up in banter and I quickly saw by the lack of recognition on his face that although not THAT young, he was young enough not to cringe. My forebearers considered the word a slur, although the origination of the word wasn’t meant to be so. Jews who emigrated through Ellis Island, many of whom were illiterate or wrote only Hebrew, were asked to sign their names with an X on some roster, and associating an X with Christianity refused. They signed with a circle instead. A circle in yiddish is “kikel” and referring to these rulebreakers as “kikes” caught on. Similar to how the neutral “niger” or negro (black) from the Latin became nigger and derogatory too.

It’s still derogatory right?

Ask Paula Deen.

Or is it okay now?  Are we overreacting?  Isn’t it just a word?

Kids nowadays of any stripe seem to use the N word without much thought. It’s pervasive.  I don’t use it. Nigger. Well I write it (that’s funny!). Maybe being born in the sixties and of a progressive bent it never sat well with me and I do strive for some originality anyway. It could be that I’m just more sensitive, coming from a family where the Holocaust was real and growing up in New York City where I was exposed to people of every persuasion. I heard it all- nigger, kike, chink, wop, fag, spic, mick, etc. Today I know a twenty year old who throws nigger around liberally, both with me and his array of acquaintances. He’s of mixed background himself (he claims, but doesn’t really know). These kids don’t think much of it at all, it’s like calling each other “dude” or whatever. He hugs me and calls me “my nigger”.  I roll my eyes. I’ve lectured him on it and he’s glazed over. He doesn’t get it nor care. I also know many a white, southern and more conservative type, my age give or take, who don’t think much of it either and don’t mean to be derogatory. Or they do.

It’s normal.

So why are we incensed or surprised? Black people are “allowed” to call each other nigger and gays can call each other “fag” and yes I’m thinking out loud and didn’t wake up today to defend Paula Deen. Or her brother Bubba (can you stand it?)  PLEASE!  I’m just not sure the self-righteous should be looking to sanction or punish Deen simply for being ridiculous. She happened to foolishly say OUT LOUD what many think and doesn’t even know how foolish she really is. I do admit I’m eating it up because I’m a sucker for good comedy. Right down to her embarrassing dream of “the whole entire waiter staff was middle-aged black men, and they had on beautiful white jackets with black bow ties. That restaurant represented a certain era in America… after the Civil War, during the Civil War, before the Civil War…”

YAY!

Lots of people seem to oddly romanticize a long gone time.

It’s GONE lady!

We’re naive. Maybe she can be sanctioned for talking out of her ass.

Cracker.
pauladeen

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21 thoughts on “NIGGER

  1. What I would really like is a bunch of little greys from the Alpha Centauri region of space to wear ray guns and prance around disintegrating the few remaining racist snobs, like in the movie Mars Attacks. Now that would satisfy my schadenfreude.

    😀

  2. You’re right. It’s complicated. It’s ok if black people refer to themselves by the “N” word. It’s ok if every rapper uses it constantly. But it’s bad if anyone else does. I think the distinction is, when there is ‘racism’ behind it. A racial undertone. If we think the person saying it is prejudiced, or a redneck.

    Personally I don’t like any of the words in your list. They all seem racist and disrespectful to me, regardless of who is saying them.

    She sure has opened a big, old can of worms. Maybe if she adds a pound of butter, a quart of cream, a pound or two of sugar, several cups of flour, some candied pecans and a splash of bourbon to them she’ll end up with some humble pie.

    • I don’t like those words either and felt disgusting writing/talking about it and felt WRONG titling this piece NIGGER but in order to prove the point… I hate hearing it and hate letting it slide when I do. Just like the kid I was talking about or the folks who do say it I come across. Why say it when one knows it offends? But again the younger generation or black to black, jew to jew etc it’s like breaking that taboo.

      You’re right, add bourbon and sugar all that and everything’s just fine haha

  3. It s all very odd to me sometimes. In my house is the 60′ and 70’s I was not aloud to use any racial slang’s. But when Aunts and Uncles came over they used them constantly and my parents never said a word to them….very odd to see as a child.
    My Grandparents threatened to move because a family who was black were looking at the house next door to them.

    Fast forward…I live in an urban community 35% black populations. My kids have no no inkling of racism…only what they have read or seen in the media. Now to have all this new stuff with reverse issues…I am so confused!

    • I’m glad you’re confused only in that you’re living the way I do and I’m glad I do. I do think people like Paula Deen are plain backward. I wouldn’t trade how I live or my views on people different that me for the world. We never used racial slang either growing up although I heard my Dad use it from time to time and heard prejudice from him too. I’m lucky overall I was raised to be open and accepting and luckily it stuck. 🙂

  4. Before ‘leaving the parsonage’!, my world was ‘99%’ WASP – Now that’s Not a realistic way to live – (I’m Glad I’m no longer in ‘that world’)!

    ________________________________

  5. Personally, I don’t think we should censor what comes out of peoples mouths. I want to know what type of people I’m dealing with up front. If their not allowed to say particular words, then they’re hiding their true-selves. I need people to be who they are so I know who to count as friends and who to stay away from. Personally, I don’t get offended being called a short dago-wop-greaseball. Besides, I know a guy who can take care of that, hee, hee, just kidding. The N word, however, is a bit darker than any other ethnic slur. Despite where the word originates from, we know it was used during a violent/barbaric time. It’s not who we are anymore, but, I’d prefer not censoring people’s mouths not matter what comes out. JMO.

  6. Pete! You called her cracker!! I LOL’d! We’d say (us Gullah/Geechees from SC/GA), “Po’ buckra.” Which translates as “poor white trash.” By the way, when I was a newspaper reporter, I lectured folks in the newsroom about white trash jokes. I said, “that’s a racist term against white people.” They laughed at me. “You can’t be racist against white people.” (We didn’t know about classism then). Of course, they were all white, too. So I guess they thought it was OK. As OK as “my nigger”

    • When will we all just STOP it! The entertainment factor only gets better is how I see it. And if she’s not a cracker I don’t know who is! 🙂

      Oh for YOU I’ll call you my Negress. You be too classy otherwise hahh And as a jew wop among other things I take liberty!

  7. I dunno dude, she’s pretty lame. I get the feeling that the young people who bandy such words around do it without meaning it in any really mean way. It’s just literally a word. Paula though… I dunno, I get the feeling she uses such words in a pretty judgmental way. Anyway, you’re a big half-Jew so whaddya you know anyhow?

    • When I call you Canuck it’s a challenge hehhh 🙂 It’s true those “youngsters” don’t at ALL mean the same thing as the oldsters who remember. Why hold onto all those old feelings? MOVE ON!

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