I’ve been on a roll lately, so why stop now? This is probably gonna ruffle a few feathers, but hey, I have opinions, this is my blog and NOBODY IS MAKING YOU READ MY WORDS!
This has been a big week in news and politics and for progressive thinking. But, I’ve trying to figure out why it’s news that a wealthy, privileged, old southern white woman is a racist. Or, if not a full on “racist” in the KKK-white-robe-burning-crosses way, but at least racist enough that she doesn’t have a problem using racial pejoratives such as “Nigger” and “Little Monkey.”
Anyone from the south knows this isn’t actual news. The majority of southern privileged white women in their 60s and older are racist to some degree…That’s not news; that’s the norm.
What IS news, Paula Deen, is that you seem to think it’s okay to use those terms and still try to convince the world that you never have had a racist thought in your life.
Well, honey, Bless your heart.
If you’re white, and you use the word nigger or monkey referring to anyone of another race, then you’re a racist. And if you’d really like to do a “southern plantation style wedding with little niggers dressed in bow ties tap dancing” around while serving the white folk…then you’re definitely racist. And possibly an asshole.
It’s okay if you’re only a little racist, right? I mean, you think there’s a difference between black people and ‘niggers’ just like there’s a difference between white people and white trash.
Excuse me for a second while I clear my throat of the BULLSHIT you’re trying to make me swallow.
Words are powerful. And yes, they are only as powerful as the meaning given to them, however…if they are used in a way to demean or demoralize someone, then that is sometimes a VERY strong power that is hard to overcome.
What about “reverse racism?” OMG. Seriously? WTF is “reverse racism?” Get a GEEDEE dictionary.
noun1. a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.2. a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.3. hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.
So it doesn’t matter what race you discriminate against, it’s racism. Please don’t be stupid and use the phrase “reverse racism” again. Seriously, it just shows your ignorance and how you justify your bigotry.
But let’s talk about Black-to-White Racism: Is there anything a black person can call a white person that is even remotely close to as demeaning as the word “nigger?” (or “towel head?” or “Sand Nigger?” or “Wet bacK?” Or “Beaner?” OMG WHITE PEOPLE CAN BE SUCH FUCKING BULLIES!)
Honky? (WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?) White Trash? Cracker? (hahaha. Call me a cracker, watch me laugh.) So are these words less demeaning to me because I’ve stripped them of their power or are they less demeaning because they really aren’t anywhere near the awfulNESS that is the N-Word. (as well as the other pejoratives I listed above)
But, you may argue, black people use ‘nigga’ and ‘nigger’ all the time in reference to their own people. So? That’s their right. Do I like the word? No. Do I think it’s okay to ever be used in any context? No. But, IT’S NOT ABOUT ME. (Even writing “nigger” is difficult for me, that’s how much it bothers me. When you hear it growing up and you don’t feel the same way as the majority of your family, it brings on many feelings of shame. Because you’re not doing as your parents expect. You’re sticking up for your friends. And you’re ashamed of your family.) But if a culture claims a word as their own, they’re trying to strip it of it’s power. They’re trying to make it less demeaning.
Kinda like when I use “Bitch” all the time to reference me and my friends. I’ve taken that word and made it mine. But let me tell you something, you call my people a bitch, and I’ll be on you like ants at a picnic.
Not exactly a ‘perfect’ example, but similar enough that I think you can understand.
So…back to Paula Deen’s faux pas.
It’s hard for older southerners to overcome YEARS of ingrained racism and prejudices. Is it right? No. Is it news? No. Should she be on the receiving end of all this fall out? Eh…I don’t know. I mean, I find it ironic that WalMart is ending their relationship with her, when they discriminate against women on a regular basis. She called her cook a “little monkey.” That’s not playful, it’s mean. She openly discriminated against the “darker” colors and kept them “in the back of the house.” As a business person, she has failed. And the fall out isn’t exactly unexpected. That’s bad business. It’s also just plain not nice. Especially when part of the brand you’re selling is that of a Sweet, southern, Granny who loves everyone and smothers them in butter and kisses.
What can we learn from all this? Well, racism is a personal choice and every American has the right to be who they are at heart. However, I don’t think there is ANY excuse for this upcoming generation of children to ever know the word “nigger” the way many of us grew up hearing it. It has always been on the banned list in my household. I’ve told parents, in-laws, uncles, aunts, friends, acquaintances and children that they are welcome to their opinions, but that word isn’t allowed around me or mine. And if you use it on a regular basis, you’re really not someone I want to be around that much–and I certainly don’t want you around my children. Especially, if you’re one of those people who justify it with “Well he called me X first.” or “There’s a difference between a black person and a nigger.” Um. No. You probably call yourself a Christian, too. Don’t you? Damn. I guess Jesus loves all the little children, except the black ones. And the gays. He doesn’t love the gays either.
There are people. And there are assholes.
And when you use that word on a regular basis or justify using it or teach it to your children, then you…are an asshole.
You’re probably even a white asshole. (do you bleach?)