And the saga continues. Unless you have been sleeping under a rock, I’m quite sure you have heard about longtime radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger and her national on air N-word rant. I mean really, what’s good with all of these mad-rapper style “tell em why you mad son” N-word sessions. To be quite honest I’m over the N-word , so upon hearing foolishness like this, I quickly place the individual in the “crazies” box and keep it moving.
I was talking to another one of my colleagues in the blogosphere, and I was telling him how he should run this story on his social/political commentary based blog. I explained to him that this story would be a good way to get those who have a hard time seeing that certain words, actions, and behaviors are insensitive and are not to be touched by those on the outside of that group.
I understand there are those who believe that racism is a thing of the past, and we live in this euphoric society where one can use words with hate and discrimination attached to them and see no harm. To those people I come to either one of two conclusions. Either they are not well versed in history and don’t understand the context, or they are a “ist” (place the subject of your choice in front).
In this case the subject is race. Dr Schlessinger is way before my time, so I am not totally up on her and her personality, but by all accounts she has been acclaimed for dishing out straight talk. The highly conservative Schlessinger, is no stranger to controversy and has been a radio favorite for over 30 years.
After having conversations with a few minorities who are familiar with her, they stated their love affair for Schlessinger, and that they were surprised by her ignorance. Upon hearing that, I promptly retrieved her from the before mentioned box, and I asked myself a question that has conflicted me for a while now: Does using racial slurs make you a racist? To some, the answer is clear cut, but I am really pondering mine.
For years I associated discriminatory hate-based slurs, especially the N-word, as the vocabulary of a racist. But after living a little longer, and experiencing a little more, I realized it’s much deeper than that. After all, ethnic groups use racial slurs against themselves right? Seeing that, I’ve concluded racial slurs make you more ignorant than racist.
That said, I am a firm believer that who’s mouth it comes out of makes ALL the difference– and totally understand why. Although equally ignorant, it is more acceptable for me to talk about my mother than it is for you to talk about my momma– Because if you talk about my momma it’s on and poppin like a cut off stockin.
That is what Dr. Laura and others who feel like they have the “right” to do and say certain things fail to understand. Although not popular, there is a certain sense of entitlement that comes along with being apart of a certain group– especially race. Because I’m quite sure Dr. Laura would not have went to the middle of Harlem, West Baltimore, East Cleveland, South Side of Chicago, Compton, or any other African- American centered place talkin bout no n*gger, n*gger, n*gger.
Plainly put, history tells our society’s strife, and the least we can do is take time to grasp that because its bigger than just us and our opinions. In my young life, I realize there are certain things that I am just not going to understand, and that’s okay. Misunderstanding is tolerable, but disrespect is not.