I’m watching TV with the Big Man and cruising the Interwebs. I’m also reading headlines out loud, because it’s something to do during commercials when we’re too lazy to look for the remote.
“Justin Bieber get caught using n-word. Huh. Why would he think that’s okay? Where is his mama at? He better be glad he has bodyguards.”
“Because people who look like Mary Stuart Masterson don’t get to say that.”
“Well, technically, probably no one should say it.”
“You don’t get it.”
“Whatever. But if he feels comfortable saying it, it’s probably your fault.”
“Excuse me? I don’t even know the young lady.”
“I don’t mean you personally. I mean Black people, rappers in particular. Think about it. Every time I see the kid, he’s around rappers. Rappers say it all the time. He probably thinks he has a pass.”
I thought about it, and he’s absolutely right. Rappers do say it all the time. I mean, like every-other-word-that-isn’t-the-f-word-is-the-n-word all the time. If you’re an impressionable kid who bows to the rap gods, than you’re going to feel pretty darn cool letting the word roll off your tongue.
I decided to ask The Destroyer about it.
Okay, wait. Backstory:
As I’ve said, we live in a predominately White area. So when the kids started getting older, they started hearing racial slurs—mostly directed at Mexicans. I let them know that those types of words are unacceptable, and if those kinds of words are directed at them, they had my permission to get it on and poppin’. (Of course this is in case the proper authorities had been notified and the poor use of adjectives continued.)
Yeah, I know. Hitting is bad. But the point was to make everyone around them aware that the n-word was a no-go.
Back to the conversation with The Destroyer. I asked him did he and his friends ever use the n-word. He said, “Sometimes. I mean, not my white friends, but my Black and Islander friends. Sometimes the White kids use it with each other, though.”
“Really? Have you ever heard Optimus Prime use it?” (Optimus Prime is one of The Destroyer’s best friends. His mom is the cool one.)
“Nah. I mean, I’ve never heard him say it.”
“So what do you guys think it means?”
“You know, it’s like saying someone is down. Like they’re your friend. Like how you say ‘what’s up, fam?’ We say, ‘what’s up my—‘.”
What the green beans? It means friend? What part of the game is this? I mean, I understood what he was saying, because around certain people we do say it that way. But it was NEVER okay for non-Black people to say it.
And honestly, I don’t know how that makes me feel.
On the one hand, it pisses me off a little, because I don’t really want anyone to say it. Because these kids don’t know the history behind it, and they don’t know just how foul that word is. How could they? They don’t teach Black history at all and The Destroyer’s school. Not even during February. So they get to pop off and say whatever they feel like, and then get upset when Black people get upset.
On the other hand, these kids aren’t trying to be derogatory—they are seriously trying to be cool. They want to look and sound like Lil’ Wayne (which is sad and makes me afraid for the future. Also, totally off topic, but good LORD is that man ugly). There is no racial element to it for them.
So the Big Man is right, it is our fault. We have neglected to remove that ugliness from our language; we have actually embraced and spread it. While some will tell you that Blacks did that the remove the sting of the word, that’s not true. It still stings.
And I’m about to get real Real up in here. I do say it. And when I say it, I mean it. Also when I say it, I immediately know I probably shouldn’t have. But there it is.
However, let Mary Stuart Bieber say that word around me. It will be just the excuse I would need to beat him down.
Actually, his face is the excuse I need to beat him down.
Yeah, I know. Hitting is bad. But is it in this case? Is it?