I’ve been reading updates about the Paula Dean story. Here is a good write-up that lists some pretty appalling facts. It is another story that evolves around the “N-Word” but of course it goes much deeper than that.
I don’t like how this debate is often reduced to the use of one very disrespectful word. To me it takes away focus from the real underlying issues. Therefore I have a rather controversial proposal: what if we’d all agree that it’s no big deal to call each other nigger? It’s happening within some black communities but it raises the eyebrows of many other African Americans. What if we were all niggers? My Japanese friend could call me a nigger and I’d refer to my Columbian friend the same way.
If we could do that we might be able to disarm that movement. The racists would have to find another word. They could not say “it was just out of habit” any longer. It would become even more crystal clear that they are really outright racist because we would have forced them to step it up a little.
I can see the outcry of some civil rights activists over this. But I’d challenge you to question if it makes sense to hold on to the focus on this word. Why not build a united front with a focus on the bigger issues, such as the high incarceration rate of African American men, the efforts of preventing certain demographics from voting and underlying racism within all ethnic groups in the United States?
The fact that Paula Dean referred to some of the staff at her wedding as niggers is one thing. The fact that those people weren’t treated equally to all the other helpers at this event is the much bigger scandal to me. This shouldn’t be possible in our country any longer. The entire staff should have walked out collectively and let her do the serving for her guests. White, asian and black niggers combined :)
That’s just a thought. And of course it’s not the solution to the problem. Maybe it’s a baby step in the right direction. If you have better ideas on how to disempower the haters then I’d love to hear them. Especially if you’re my nigger ;)